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8 Ways to Make Money with Consulting Books

Welcome to the Roaring 20s – the 2020s, that is. Book marketing and sales look vastly different than they did a century ago. Gone are the days of hoping your book gets stocked on a few elite bookstore shelves. Today’s authors have an abundance of innovative ways to monetize their books and generate revenue directly from their expertise. And what better way to make money than by writing consulting books?

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From leveraging the power of Amazon to hosting virtual workshops, building an email list, and forging media partnerships, there’s never been more opportunity. In this guide, we’ll explore eight proven strategies for turning your consulting books into a sustainable income stream.

Book Sales on Amazon

One of the foundational ways to monetize your consulting books is through good old-fashioned book sales on Amazon. While it may seem like an obvious route, there are some key strategies to maximize your earnings from the online retail giant.

Leveraging Amazon’s Ecosystem

The first step is to make sure your book is listed and available for purchase on Amazon. We recommend publishing through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform, which gives you access to promotional tools like countdown deals and free book promotions. You can also advertise your consulting books directly on Amazon through their pay-per-click advertising system.

Why Amazon Reigns Supreme

While there are certainly other online bookstores like Barnes & Noble and niche alternatives, we advise focusing the bulk of your efforts on Amazon for a few reasons:

  1. It’s the largest online retailer: Amazon commands over 80% of the U.S. online book market share, dwarfing its competitors.
  2. Streamlined and powerful selling tools: Amazon’s KDP platform is designed for independent authors with useful features and straightforward processes.
  3. Reader discoverability: With millions of book shoppers, Amazon has robust algorithms to surface relevant books to interested buyers.

Rather than spreading your limited time and resources thinly across multiple platforms, we’ve found it’s better to go all-in on owning your presence on the Amazon marketplace.

A Steady Stream of “Shoe Money”

While consulting book sales on Amazon are unlikely to make you an overnight millionaire, we affectionately refer to it as “shoe money” – revenue that can fund smaller luxuries and rewards for yourself. As you’ll see, there are bigger monetization plays at hand, but these book sales provide a nice complementary income stream. With the right strategies, consistent book royalties from Amazon can cover some guilt-free “shoe shopping” and more.

Book Sales on Your Own Website

While Amazon provides an excellent sales channel, we also recommend setting up an ecommerce platform to sell your consulting books directly from your own website. This avenue offers some powerful benefits.

Rolling Out the Digital Welcome Mat

Getting set up to sell books directly is relatively straightforward these days. You can use ecommerce solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce for WordPress sites. Our preferred method is using a simple payment processor like Stripe that integrates seamlessly with most websites.

The upfront investment is fairly minor, but the payoff of owning the customer experience and data can be huge. You control the marketing funnel and messaging around your consulting books.

Capturing Valuable First-Party Data

One of the biggest drawbacks of going through third-party retailers is the lack of access to customer information. When someone buys your book on Amazon, you don’t get their contact details. And if you are looking to get in contact with the people holding your book, you kinda need their contact details.

Selling consulting books on your website flips the script – you instantly capture details like name and email address for everyone who makes a purchase if done through your own service and not a third party. This allows you to then remarket to those warm leads with your next book, service offerings, events, and more.

Laser-Focused Advertising Potential

In addition to organic lead generation, having your own ecommerce stream sets the stage for targeted paid advertising campaigns. You can run ads straight to the sales pages for your specific consulting books, then retarget those visitors with additional promotions and offerings.

Tools like the Facebook pixel give you additional tracking and retargeting superpowers. The data you own enables hyper-relevant messaging that converts better than blind outreach.

The “Dream 100” Prospective Client Outreach

While book sales provide a nice income stream, the real monetization opportunities for your consulting books come through direct outreach and engagement. One of our favorite strategies is what we call the “Dream 100” prospective client push.

Step 1: Identifying Your Ideal Audiences

The first step is to get hyper-targeted with your most promising prospects. Make a list of 50 companies, organizations, or individuals who fit your core client personas. These should be prime candidates for the services and expertise you offer through your consulting books and business.

Maybe they are local businesses in complementary industries, leaders at companies you’d love to work with, or members of specific organizations aligned with your niche. Get creative with who your ideal audiences are.

Step 2: The Power of Two Consulting Books

Once you have your “Dream 100” list defined, it’s time to make a powerful impression. Order around 100 print copies of your consulting book, which can often be purchased in bulk for just a few dollars each.

Then, mail two copies of your book to each person or company on your list, along with a handwritten note. This simple approach is incredibly effective for two reasons:

  1. Receiving two copies creates a behavioral hook – people don’t like wasting resources, so they’ll read about your book and likely pass the other copy along.
  2. Prompting discussion about your book and expertise increases awareness and curiosity about you.

Step 3: Consultation Conversation Starters

With awareness piqued, a percentage of your “Dream 100” contacts will inevitably follow up, creating an open door for sales conversations. Be prepared to offer a free consultation or strategy session to discuss how your books and services can help solve their problems or achieve their goals.

By generously giving away valuable content and insight first, you build credibility and trust. Then, when you ultimately provide your advisory service offerings, it’s seen as a natural next step versus a out-of-the-blue hard sell.

Book Giveaways at Others’ Virtual Events

In addition to your own direct outreach, partnering with others in your niche can expose your consulting books to an already warm audience. One powerful way to do this is through virtual event giveaways.

Identifying the Right Virtual Event Fits

With the rise of online events and summits, there are constantly opportunities to get in front of targeted audiences. Research virtual conferences, workshops, and online summits that align with the focus of your consulting books and services.

Look for events hosted by influencers, thought leaders, or companies that serve your core customer personas. Ideally, these events will have an existing database of engaged followers interested in the broader topic area you operate in.

Offering Your Book as a Value-Add

Once you identify some promising virtual event partnerships, propose offering your consulting book as a giveaway to the attendees or participants. In the virtual world, ebooks and digital products are ideal to include in “digital goodie bags.”

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Frame it as a value-add for the event organizers – you’re providing a free, high-quality piece of content that jejich participants will appreciate. If positioned properly, they should jump at the opportunity.

Expanding Your Audience Reach

By taking part in these third-party virtual events, you immediately get exposed to a new audience filled with promising leads. Some will redeem your consulting book, consuming your content and ideas for the first time.

This makes an excellent top-of-funnel strategy for booking sales consultations and converting new clients down the line. Those who resonate with your book will be primed to then explore working with you professionally in the future.

Hosting Your Own Virtual Workshop

While partnering for third-party virtual events is an excellent marketing avenue, hosting your own workshops provides even more opportunities to nurture prospects with your consulting books.

Reducing Barriers to Entry

A core strategy we recommend is offering low-cost (e.g. $7 to $9) or even pay-what-you-can virtual workshops or webinars related to the topics covered in your book. Make it as easy as possible for interested parties to attend.

You can structure it as a purely educational experience or cash vaue-add, but the key is reducing barriers to entry. This gets your consulting books and expertise in front of more eyes.

Using Your Book as an Incentive

To maximize attendance and create reciprocal buy-in, offer a free copy of your consulting book to anyone who registers and attends your virtual workshop. Depending on your revenues goals, you can:

  • Give away ebook versions to all attendees
  • Provide print copies by charging a minimum ticket price
  • Sign and mail print copies for an added personal touch

This freebie incentivizes more people to show up, increases engagement, and gets your full published content into more hands.

Converting Attendees to Clients

The obvious play here is to run an effective consultation or service offer during or after your virtual workshop. With the free value and book delivered upfront, prospective clients feel the reciprocity and your sales proposition carries more weight.

Offer a limited number of discounted strategy sessions, paid implementation coaching, or another harmonized premium service. Those who enjoyed your book and workshop will be warmed up and primed to take the next step with you.

Just be sure to make your offer details clear during the workshop so attendees don’t feel misled. When done right, a surprisingly high percentage will convert to paying clients for your consulting services.

Sending Books for Referrals from Current/Past Clients

While generating new leads is important, one of the most valuable assets you have is your existing client base. Don’t overlook them as a source for referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. Your consulting books can actually help grease those wheels.

The Power of an Upfront Thank You

Rather than just asking for referrals, get proactive about showing your gratitude in advance. Order print copies of your book and send them out to all of your current and past clients with a brief handwritten note.

In the note, thank them for their business and simply let them know the book is a free gift, no strings attached. This makes an powerful impression and primes them to want to reciprocate with future referrals.

Adding a Referral Incentive Bonus

To add even more motivation, you can include a note that if they do refer someone who becomes a client, you’ll send them an additional gift or bonus as thanks. This could be:

  • A free course or product
  • Complimentary consulting/coaching hours
  • Amazon or Visa gift cards
  • Company-branded swag

Just a small bonus like this amplifies the impact and makes people more likely to keep you top-of-mind for referrals.

Turning Satisfied Clients into Evangelists

By taking this “appreciation first” approach, you effortlessly nurture your happiest clients into becoming evangelists and informal salespeople for your consulting books and services.

The books themselves act as social proof while educating potential referrals on what you have to offer. Those blown away by your work suddenly have shareable content to introduce colleagues, friends, and family to your brilliance.

Over time, this can build a self-perpetuating referral engine, continually filling your pipeline with new warm leads. All from generously equipping your biggest fans with your consulting books upfront.

Offering Books to Local Businesses

While digital and online strategies are crucial, don’t overlook the power of engaging with businesses in your local community. Your consulting books can be an ideal olive branch for opening new relationships.

Finding Businesses in Need

Take a look at businesses in your area that rely on consistent foot traffic and customer patronage. These could include restaurants, retailers, service providers like salons, fitness studios, and more.

Chances are, many of them are struggling to re-engage existing customers and attract new ones after the disruptions of the past few years. They are likely looking for creative ways to provide value and incentives.

Providing Added Value with Your Books

Approach these businesses with a simple, no-strings-attached proposition – offer to provide free copies of your consulting book as a customer appreciation gift. Whether it’s leaving copies in waiting areas or including them in a promotion, you’re giving them a way to deliver value.

Frame it as a way for them to give something valuable back to their loyal customers. Since it’s just the cost of your book’s printing fees, it’s a very low-risk, high-upside play for the businesses.

Building Community Goodwill

On the surface, this strategy helps expose your books and brand to localized audiences. But the underlying goal is building genuinely valuable business relationships.

By approaching it as a way to help them re-engage their customers at no cost, you position yourself as a credible partner. You become viewed as a supportive member of the community willing to give first without expectation.

Over time, this goodwill can indirectly lead to organizations and businesses becoming customers of your consulting services themselves. Or, you may receive referrals as they tell customers about how you helped support their business.

Even if neither of those play out immediately, you’ve taken the first step in becoming a valued part of your local business ecosystem simply by sharing your published expertise.

Sending Books to Journalists/Podcasters

Positioning yourself as an authoritative expert is key for driving more consulting business. One powerful way to do this is by connecting with influential journalists, bloggers, and podcasters in your niche.

Finding the Right Media Contacts

Start by curating a targeted list of 10-20 media personalities and outlets that align with the topics you cover in your consulting books. These could be:

  • Newsletter writers and bloggers covering your industry
  • Podcasters interviewing guests in your field of expertise
  • Local TV/radio journalists in relevant verticals
  • Trade magazine contributors and editors

The more niche and specialized, the better. You want to get on the radar of influencers followed by your ideal audience.

Offering Value-First with Book Copies

Once you have your media list compiled, it’s time to make an impression and spark their interest. Order some extra print copies of your consulting book and mail them out to each contact on your list.

But don’t just send the book alone. Include a brief one-pager highlighting 2-3 potential interview ideas, Q&A topics, or thought-starter angles they could explore with you as the guest expert.

Frame it as simply wanting to be a resource and provide value to their audiences. Don’t directly pitch anything other than your willingness to contribute knowledge.

Establishing Long-Term Expert Partnerships

By taking this value-first approach and avoiding any hard sell, you begin establishing credibility. Media personnel are constantly bombarded with pitches, so your willingness to start by giving will set you apart.

Those who find the topics/angles you suggest interesting may reach out to have you on their show or contribute insights. This gives you a chance to showcase your expertise on a broader stage.

Even if they don’t bite initially, you’ve gotten on their radar. Stay persistent with occasional friendly follow-ups and content sharing. Over time, you can potentially build long-term partnerships where they see you as a go-to expert resource for their audiences.

How Will You Use Your Consulting Books?

From optimizing Amazon sales to hosting your own workshops, launching referral campaigns, and forging local business partnerships, we’ve covered eight powerful ways to monetize your consulting books. The common thread? Positioning your book as the first step in an engaged, long-term relationship with your audience.

While book sales provide a nice income stream, the true revenue potential lies in using your published expertise to drive more clients to your suite of high-value services. With commitment and creativity, there’s virtually no limit to what you can earn as an author entrepreneur leveraging these consulting book strategies.

Listen to Our Secret Podcast!

Unlock hidden revenue strategies for authors in our exclusive and enlightening podcast series

By opting in, you’re joining our vibrant community! Expect 2-3 weekly newsletters packed with curated content, exclusive updates, and valuable insights to fuel your journey. Welcome to the conversation!

Listen to Our Secret Podcast!

Unlock hidden revenue strategies for authors
in our exclusive and enlightening podcast series

By opting in, you’re joining our vibrant community! Expect 2-3 weekly newsletters packed with curated content, exclusive updates, and valuable insights to fuel your journey. Welcome to the conversation!

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