Give it away.
Give your content to the public.
Don’t charge for it.
It won’t matter to the sales of your books. People will want what you are saying. If they respond to your message, it doesn’t matter if they get the information free to begin with. They’re likely to pay for it later, either though buying your book or by working with you in some other paying capacity, as a consultant, seminar leader or services provider.
Your book is a tool.
This is worth repeating. It’s a tool, a means to expand your audience and build your business. It’s not the end of your work: it’s part of the process of building your brand.
If you’ve got a platform â€“ an online site through which you communicate with your readers â€“ the you are already giving content away. You’re either writing your book through blogging, or bouncing ideas off your readership in a way that will make your book that much more interesting.
If you’re going to publish your book electronically (and this is increasingly a viable option for any author), then you should take pains to make sure you publish it in a format that allows your book to be read on multiple devices, or even shared. No DRM, or digital rights management, for you.
(Digital rights management is a form of protection on digital works â€“ books, music, even film â€“ that prevents them from being used on other devices â€“ it’s a way that publishers feel they can prevent copyright infringement. It’s a controversial subject, but increasingly authors â€“ more than filmmakers and some musicians â€“ are releasing works without this kind of protection.)
You want the information out there. For one thing, your message is important, and people will come to you to hear more about your message. For another thing, people don’t retain everything they read â€“ so they will come back to you in some form for a reiteration of what you have to say. They will respond to you as the bearer of the message, as well as to your message.
And your message will continue to evolve, as you continue to interact with your audience.
So give it away. They’ll keep coming back.
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