POINT / COUNTERPOINT
Opposing views on burning questions
Book authors get noticed.
“A book is a quick way for speakers to impact
decision makers. Speakers should regularly send copies of
their books to the people who can book them. It is better
than any brochure. There is a reason why Oprah did not
start the Brochure of the Month Club.
A book is cheaper than a brochure. The average cost of
a book to an author is about $4 if it is independently published. If you are published by a traditional publisher, it is
more like $10. A full-color brochure will cost $10 to $20
and it won’t have the same impact.
Speakers can charge a higher fee if they are the author
of a book. They can also increase the amount of money
they make per speaking engagement by pre-selling copies of
the book to all in attendance.
A book is a differentiator in the marketplace. When you
call potential speaking clients, use the name of the book
right away. People who appreciate books are open to hearing what authors have to say. They know it is not easy to
write and publish a book. If it were easy, everybody would
Henry DeVries is co-founder of Indie Books Inter-
national, and has helped ghostwrite, edit and co-
author more than 300 business books for speakers
in the last 10 years. In addition to a regular column
with Forbes.com, he has authored eight books of his
own, including Marketing with a Book and Persuade with a Story!
PRO: The return on investment is not a sure thing. “Even though many businesses are struggling
how to figure out how to use new technology, your audience certainly isn’t. In the era of social media, video and
on-demand, it’s not immediately clear what role a book
will play in your business future. Your customer not only
expects, but demands a “two-way” relationship. This
means that they have expectations of being able to ask
questions, share their problems, and be a part of your
You can’t form a two-way relationship with a book, only
to hope that the customer returns to you happy. Your email
list, video subscriber, or online buyer can be a relationship
that lasts (and profits) for years. Relationship is replacing
authority-based marketing that many speakers with books
have been using since the beginning of the industry. The average user (not even heavy) is spending 50 minutes a day
on Facebook and over 40 minutes on You Tube. Meanwhile,
25 percent of Americans haven’t read a book in the past
year and 45 percent of eBooks purchased are never even
opened. The speaking business isn’t dead—your ability to
speak clearly, relate to an audience, and build relationships
is still critical. Your words just don't need to be transferred
to a book right away.
Your abilities will simply become your personal platform
in the form of your online programs, your Facebook page,
or your You Tube videos. Choose your investment of time
Ken Course is an international speaker,
certified digital and content marketing expert,
and strategic consultant. Launch your business,
marketing, and leadership skills with Course
Continue the debate! Are you in favor of the
point or counterpoint? Tweet your thoughts
using the hashtag #speakermagcounterpoint.
When not posing questions for this column, Eleni
Kelakos uses theater techniques to help speakers
and leaders perform at their peak. Contact her at
Do speakers need to write a book?