Feb. 8, 2023

How to Best Sell More Books and Book More Speeches - BM356

How to Best Sell More Books and Book More Speeches - BM356

Want to sell more books and book more speeches?

Lois Creamer is an industry expert. She’s helped countless speakers, consultants, and experts succeed by booking more business and making more money.

Listen as Lois shares insightful advice for monetizing your passion, and savvy tips to kick your speaking and consulting up a notch.

Want to sell more books and book more speeches?

Lois Creamer is an industry expert. She’s helped countless speakers, consultants, and experts succeed by booking more business and making more money.

Listen as Lois shares insightful advice for monetizing your passion, and savvy tips to kick your speaking and consulting up a notch.

In this episode, you will discover...

  • What strategies to use to sell books effectively during and after a speech
  • How to best prepare for speaking engagements to guarantee a successful presentation
  • How to keep your finger on the pulse of marketing trends to help sell more books and book more business

And a whole lot more...

Here's how to contact Lois to get a copy of her free ebook on how to sell your speech, email her at lois@bookmorebusiness.com

Click here to schedule your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan




Susan Friedmann 00:00:00

 Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is industry expert Lois Creamer. Lois works with speakers, consultants and experts who want to book more business, make more money, and fully monetize their message. Her clients include industry superstars as well as the superstars of tomorrow. She's the author of book More Business, Make Money speaking. And she's co author with Kathy Fiat, who we've had many times on this show of the speaker, author, sell More Books, and Book More speeches. She's appeared in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business and Speaker Magazine. 

One of my favorite National Speakers Association colleagues. Lois, what an absolute pleasure it is to have welcome you to the show, and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.


Lois Creamer 00:01:13

Just an honor to be here. I've been looking forward to this.


Susan Friedmann 00:01:16

This is so nice. And your book the speaker author. Sell more books and book more speeches. I think that's brilliant. And I know that your theme is just book more business. Let's focus on that. And as you know, so many of our listeners are nonfiction authors. They have a book. They know because I've told them many times that the way to make money is not by selling books, but rather through speaking. So booking that speaking business, let's talk about that. First of all, let's just go into some of the benefits of speaking. Why do you see the importance of an author honing in and crafting being a speaker?


Lois Creamer 00:02:09

Author speaking, I think Susan, is one of the best ways to attract a lot of attention to what you do in your area of expertise. And I'll tell you, speaking was made for the book business, and the book business was made for speaking. A book really lets you go deep into your area of expertise. A book allows you to do much more than you could in a single speech or in a single singles conversation. I think they just go absolutely hand in hand. And I think a book helps mitigate risk, if you will. When people are looking to hire a speaker, they can see that there is a depth to their intellectual property.


Susan Friedmann 00:02:49

Yeah. And the idea of, I mean, this is a big fat business card to say, hey, I'm an expert in this area. People, as you know as well as I mean, they're booking business with experts. People want experts. And there is this assumption now that you have a book. In fact, one of my authors actually, or an author to be, came to me the other day and she said, somebody asked me for my book and I don't have one. They sort of assume that I have one. It's like, yes, as you rightly say, they go together. So well, hand in glove at a speech. A book. A book. A speech. So that's excellent. So then begs the question, how do we even get started with this? I know that you've worked with speakers to help them book more business, but then how about if you're starting out, how do you even look to find audiences? Where do you start in this sort of jungle, so to speak?


Lois Creamer 00:03:54

It's a great question. And Susan, this may sound really simple, but whenever anybody approaches me and I get approached by people saying I want to speak, I always say, if you want to speak, you need to be out there speaking. I think the best way to do it and the way I started when I started speaking to corporate sales teams on sales, I have a sales and marketing background in corporate. I would speak to anybody who gathered, who looked for a speech. So I spoke at every chamber of commerce within a 200 miles radius of my home. I didn't get paid for it. I didn't care. I got a testimonial saying that she knows what she talks about. I spoke at every Lion's club, elks club. I called it the animal circuits, the lions, the elks, the moose, looking to be in front of people, presenting my expertise, soliciting feedback and getting testimonials. So if you want to speak, you need to get out there and speak, look for opportunities. And in the beginning, I think testimonials are really the economic capital that you bring to the game. It's the proof that I can do what I say I can do. And then if you want to start being a fee based speaker, you start asking for money. I know this sounds very dramatic, but you start asking for money, so it isn't that hard to get started. I think the hard part can be the transition, especially if you're looking to be a fee based speaker. The transition from speaking for free and then asking for money and lots of decisions to make on what should I ask, who should I be promoting myself to? A lot of variables go into this, but first and foremost, if you want to speak, you need to get out there and look for any and every opportunity you can.


Susan Friedmann 00:05:35

Yes, this is one of those professions that you have to practice and as you rightly say, going out and just doing those freebies where you can make mistakes, you're not getting paid for it, you're coming there. I mean, I'm a Rotarian, and we're looking for speakers all the time. We don't pay our speakers, but we give them the opportunity to show their expertise. Now, you brought up an interesting question, and I'm thrilled that you did, and that is when you transition from free to paid, then I get a lot of questions sometimes where what should I charge? I'm going to throw that to you. And how do you respond to that or how would you respond to that question?


Lois Creamer 00:06:23

It's a tough question. I think that it's one of the most important decisions you make, though, in an intellectual property business like Speaking consulting, you have to assign a value to your intellectual properties. And I'll tell you, if you don't assign that value, others will. And typically they'll undercut your value anytime they can. But one of the great things about speaking nowadays, Susan, as to when I started, is that we've got this wonderful way to do market intelligence and to look on the Internet and see what people are speaking about, who they're speaking to, and even what they're getting. You might get a range, but you'll have a good idea about what they're getting. I always tell people who are looking to shift into paid speaking, who would your competition be? Who are people who are doing what you want to do right now? What are they charging? What is their background and their experience, comparing it to what you bring to the table? And what are their presentation skills like compared to what you bring to the table? Remembering that when you start out, you can always go up, but you don't want to have to back down, always. That doesn't mean that you don't negotiate, because negotiating is part of the deal. But you want to be, I think, conservative, coming out with fees. You can always go up.


Susan Friedmann 00:07:41

Yes, I love that answer. And you've got to feel that you're worth it. I can tell you you can charge 3000, 4000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, but if you don't feel that you are worth that, you're not going to get it. That's got to come out of your mouth.


Lois Creamer 00:08:02

Listen, what you just said is an excellent point, because if I am not confident about what I bring to the table, Susan, and I'm talking to you about bringing me in front of your people, how confident are you going to be to use me in the first place? Being confident and comfortable in your own skin with your expertise, how you deliver it, what you bring to the table is incredibly important. I think that you gain that confidence, Susan, by doing, which is why I was chasing every opportunity to speak that I could in the beginning, just to be in front of people, be comfortable with my expertise, knowing that I was communicating it well, that they were getting what I was saying. All of this speaks to confidence. It's a great point.


Susan Friedmann 00:08:45

You make it's interesting. I'm going to backtrack a little bit, because something that went through my mind is you were saying assigning a value. If you don't, people will start undercutting you. Well, when I first started in the training business, I thought the way in was to undercut my competition. I didn't have much competition, but my competition were charging maybe two, three, four times as much as I went out there trying to charge. There's something in the training business that if it's too cheap, it's no good. So I wasn't getting the business. I thought I was being really clever and saying oh, I only charged $200 and my competition is charging 700 $800 for the same thing and didn't get me anywhere. And I learnt that very quickly and as soon as I raised my price I started getting better business.


Lois Creamer 00:09:44

That's a great point and it's why setting that fee at every point in business, quite frankly, certainly coming out of the gate but at every point is so important. If your fee is too low in the marketplace, people look at your expertise with concern, quite frankly. If you overvalue, they look at it the same way. That's where going online and looking at websites like Espeakers.com, which is kind of a clearinghouse for professional speakers, looking at National Speakers Association website, Nsaspeaker.org and looking at what people's expertise, what they speak on and what they typically ask for. This is a great way to do market intelligence and get a feeling for where you need to be in order to be taken seriously.


Susan Friedmann 00:10:33

Yes, that's really important. You've got to know what the competition is doing and where you fit into the marketplace. Now, as you know, I'm very fond of niche marketing and getting right in there and looking where can you be? A big fish in a small pond. And there people there's a sort of an expectation if you're sort of the only game in town. The sky is the limit in terms of what you could potentially charge. But of course, everything what people will pay as well is something else. So yes, it's just knowing and understanding that competition. Now let's look at the fact we've got lots of listeners who already finish their book and they're speaking. How can they make the best use of their book in their speaking engagement?


Lois Creamer 00:11:25

Yeah, great question and I'll tell you that I am a big believer in talking about your book in your program. I'm not a big believer in trying to sell your book in a program. The difference to me is in programs I will read from my book, I will say, well here's the point I wanted to make, I wanted to read it. So I get this exactly right, I'll read it from my book and I'll be holding up my book in front of the group. Susan, this simple technique has sold a lot of books for me talking about the information that you're giving in your speech as opposed to the amount of expertise you share in your book also make that comparison. I'm sharing with you a small part of the expertise that I share in my book blah blah, blah blah. I also will say that I am a big believer in selling books along with speeches and there are a number of ways to do it. Certainly selling them in the back of the room is something that you and I are very familiar with. I think that that should be plan B. Plan A should be preselling books. If you have a book and you're going in to speak, when someone commits to you that they want you to speak, I want you to start selling books. And the way my clients do it is by saying this sentence, Susan, do you think it would make sense for everyone to be able to walk away with the companion book to my program? Because if you do, I can make that available at a good discount to you. Now, that sentence sold a lot of books. I wish I had a percentage on that. But that has sold a lot of books because it makes someone one of my phrases that face, Susan, is, do you think it would make sense? And when I say, Susan, do you think it would make sense for the people in the audience to be able to walk away with a copy of my book and the importance that you pay to it by bringing me in? Now, if you say, no, no, that makes no sense at all. You sound kind of nutty, quite frankly. So I want somebody to really think about that. And then my fallback, if they're not into pre purchasing books, is to sell them in the back of the room. I also have a favorite practice adopted from my friend Phil Jones, who wrote the New York Times bestseller, Exactly What to Say. It's a terrific book, by the way. Phil includes books every time he speaks, Susan, he will include 50 books, and if the audience is 300, he'll say, well, I'm going to give you 50 if you'd like to buy additional copies so everyone can have a copy. It's x amount of dollars. If you're not interested in the book, you don't want to buy the book. Good news, you get 50. You can auction them off, give them away, do whatever you want. But he automatically includes some books. And that's a tactic that some of my clients are using very successfully.


Susan Friedmann 00:14:23

I love that. Yes, I've read Phil's book. Love it. I mean, it's beautiful. I mean, that's like dynamite. Oh, my goodness. Yes, everybody should say that. And I'm so thrilled that you emphasize the idea of making the book part of the agreement, the speaking agreement, that people have books. Yeah, it does make sense, because selling books at the back of the room is a pain in the proverbial yes, it can be.


Lois Creamer 00:14:57

It certainly is a way to sell books. But I tell my clients, I really don't want you selling books after a speech. I want you engaging with the people who are in your audience who want to talk to you. I would rather have you pre selling books knowing everybody's going to walk away, not only with the information you share today, but more information than they'll have an opportunity to hear. And I think that when people do walk away with a book, they feel like they have access to more information. I just think it's the best way to speak to everybody in the audience. Give everyone access to your book in one way or another. Whatever strategy you want to use to sell them. It just makes total sense. Plus, that audience gets to know you much better than just hearing you give an hour speech or a 90 minutes speech. Sometimes that familiarity can cause another invitation.


Susan Friedmann 00:15:51

To speak again, it's like a souvenir. I talk about it often as a souvenir. They're walking away with a piece of you. It's like when you go on vacation and you want a souvenir to remind yourself of this wonderful experience that you had. Well, I see the book filling that role that people walk away with a piece of you, and if you sign it for them as well, oh, my goodness. Again, they're not going to part with this, especially if it's too low. You're the best.


Lois Creamer 00:16:23

I mean, everything you just said, they're walking away with a souvenir, with a reminder. And also, if I run a business and I'm bringing you in to speak, it's a reminder of the importance that I pay to the topic that I'm having to speak on. If I'm a smart employee, I'm going to want to know what they want me to know.


Susan Friedmann 00:16:40

Yeah, because so much of what you're saying in the book, you're brought in for a reason. Whether it's inspirational, motivational, educational, there's a reason why the meeting planner brought you in or the executives or whomever, and you're going to start speaking a slightly different language. And if everybody isn't on the same page, so to speak, I mean, it's like, oh, what are they talking about? Or what concept is that? What technique is that? I'm not familiar with that. Yeah, you don't want to be in that position. Left out.


Lois Creamer 00:17:16

I like the way you put it. No better souvenir than to have them walk out with than your take your expertise. Nothing better. It's why I like books. Books to me, are the foremost, the ultimate in products.


Susan Friedmann 00:17:29

Yes. I mean, as you know, I've got bookcases here because not only them my books, but then the books that my authors have published. Through Aviva publishing books of my life. I sort of collect books like Amalda Marcus Collected Shoes. Lois, I know that our listeners love learning about mistakes in this environment. What are a few of the common mistakes that you see speakers make with regard to the book and all of the things that we've been talking about?


Lois Creamer 00:18:07

I'll share with you a big mistake that I made early in my business. When I would accept speaking engagements for corporate sales teams, I would have a conversation, a sales conversation. I would get hired. We talked about some of the content that I would be presenting, but I didn't go deep into what they wanted to accomplish. Susan I developed a pre programmed questionnaire to get kind of in deep with an organization when this really paid off for me. And I thought, this is probably one of the smartest things I ever did. I was going out to La. To speak to a corporate sales team that I'd been in touch with for a couple of years before they hired. They were filling out my pre program questionnaire and sent it to me. The last question on that questionnaire is, is there anything that's happened in the last six months in the business that I should know about? The gentleman who filled it out said, you may want to know and I love the way he started this you may want to know that we laid off 25% of our sales force two weeks ago. Now, this was two weeks before I was going in to talk on sales. Had I not known that when I was introduced to the group and I could come out slapping my hands together saying how much we love selling, I would have been met with abject horror. But because I knew the lay of the land going in, I was able to say, I know that this is probably the most pressure filled time you have had in your professional career. You're being asked to do more with less resources. And the reason I'm here is because your company knows this, and they brought me in to help you deal with this situation because I said that people were really open to everything that followed. I think that it's so important knowing what you're walking into when you speak, knowing what the lay of the land is, especially knowing what's the most important thing you want me to accomplish by being in front of your people. And from then on, my pre program questionnaire became a marketing piece. I advertised that I did this work prior to going in, and it served me well. It served my clients well.


Susan Friedmann 00:20:21

Yeah. That's incredible. Yeah. Because then you came in empathetically.


Lois Creamer 00:20:28



Susan Friedmann 00:20:29

You knew where they were. You knew how they must be feeling. And bringing somebody in to talk about sales when, as you rightly said, the sales force has been cut and there were more expectations on their shoulders, you probably had to change and help me with this. Your speech from maybe more of a sales oriented to maybe a little bit of an inspirational motivational talk, pumping them up a bit.


Lois Creamer 00:20:57

That's a great point because the tone was totally different. This one sentence on this pre program questionnaire changed the whole tone of that speech. I would say I wanted to be more encouraging than anything else. I felt like they brought me in to be an encourager and give people some tools, tactics and techniques maybe, that they can use to be more productive, but also to mitigate the pressure and the fear of mi next that they may have had. So I think being prepared at all times, but especially when you're walking into a room and you have the responsibility of making sure that you are going to give value to the people who are sitting in front of you, know what the lay of the land is before you go out, do your homework.


Susan Friedmann 00:21:43

Do your homework. Yeah. That's so important because you're right. How awful would you have felt if you'd gone in there not knowing this, and then done your speech and been amazing at what you do? But it just didn't land because you didn't know what had happened. And so they probably didn't even hear what you had to say, however brilliant it was.


Lois Creamer 00:22:07

And Susan, I totally agree with you, and it would have been my fault that I wasn't received well. It would have totally been my fault that I wasn't received well.


Susan Friedmann 00:22:16

Whereas some other people would say they just were an awful audience. They just didn't get me.


Lois Creamer 00:22:24

The advantage of my feeling confident that I knew the amount of anxiety in that room before I came out really served me well to make sure that they really heard why I was there and they heard what I had to say and they heard my intentions. And also, I will share with you that the people who hired me were thrilled. I said, they brought me in to help you during this difficult time. That's why I'm here. It also helped them.


Susan Friedmann 00:22:54

Yeah. And I remember something similar, but as you know, I did trade show training. I train the exhibitors at trade shows, and often I was brought in by corporations. And they said, we do such a lousy job at exhibiting, I need you to give them this, help them with the skills that they need to do a better job. So I knew why I was being brought in. And I always liked one of the C suite to introduce me and give people the reason why I was there.


Lois Creamer 00:23:27



Susan Friedmann 00:23:28

Not that, oh, she's a brilliant she does this and she's written this and that's not important. What's important is why am I there? And for them to say the VP of sales or even the CEO saying, we brought Susan in because that was so helpful.

Lois Creamer 00:23:51

It's great credibility, Susan.

Susan Friedmann 00:23:53

Yeah. So wonderful. Lois, our listeners are probably chomping at the bit to find out how they can get to learn more about you. Where can they find you? How can they find a book? What would you like to share with them?

Lois Creamer 00:24:08

Well, I'm easily found Susan. That's the good news. You can find me online@bookmorebusiness.com. You can also reach out by email. Lois@bookmorebusiness.com, my books are on Amazon. I'd also be happy to offer a free ebook on how to sell your speech for anyone who's interested. You can just email me, Lois@bookmorebusiness.com, and I'll shoot that ebook out to you right away. But feel free to reach out if I can help you you can find out everything you want on bookmobbusiness.com.


Susan Friedmann 00:24:40

Excellent. And most of all, we'll put all that information in the show notes, Lois. So that's easy for people that they don't have something to write with at the moment, but something listeners to pay attention to. Lois, you coined this book more business. That's her signature. It's brilliant because in the name, she's saying exactly what she does. And that's one of the strategies in my riches and niches book that I talk about, is to have a name that says what you do. And this is brilliant book. More business, make money. Speaking. There isn't any if, ands or butts about what this business is about. Excellent. Beautiful. Lois, we always like to leave our listeners with a golden nugget. What would you like to share with our listeners?


Lois Creamer 00:25:32

One of the things that I always say, and I constantly am putting it up on social media, I think I put it up yesterday, as a matter of fact. And it's this you risk a yes every time you ask for something. Are you willing to take the risk?


Susan Friedmann 00:25:49

It's taking that risk. And then your beautiful sentence. Do you think that it would make sense if beautiful, lovely listeners, that's worth the price of admission for today. So great. Thank you, Lois, for sharing your wisdom. I knew you'd be awesome, and you were even more awesome than I knew you would be, so thank you. And by the way, listeners, if your book isn't selling the way you wanted or expected it to, let you and I jump on a quick call to brainstorm ways to ramp up those sales. Because you've invested a whole lot of time, money and energy, and it's time you got the return you were hoping for. So go to Brainstormwithsan.com to schedule your free call. And in the meantime, I hope the this powerful interview sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books. So until next week, here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.

Here's how to contact Lois to get a copy of her free ebook on how to sell your speech, email her at lois@bookmorebusiness.com

Click here to schedule your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan