How to Maximize Your Book’s ROI

The number one mistake I see among first-time nonfiction authors, regardless of genre, is failing to think about their book as a business. They’re not thinking about maximizing their ROI or giving the book the longevity it needs. They’re thinking about professional editing, writing, and publishing services as an expense rather than an investment. So, I’m going to cover the top five ways to maximize your ROI in 2024.

It can be hard to pull the trigger on the professional services, especially if you don’t know how to earn that money back. If you approach this process of writing and publishing your book like investing in a new business, you’ll have a greater chance or maximizing ROI and consistently bring in profit.

Before we get into the top five tips, I want to go into a little bit of psychology. The first thing to know is that we don’t necessarily feel that we are the experts that we are. It’s difficult to step up and say we have something that needs to be shared. New authors tend to feel overwhelmed when they start thinking about cost. In not understanding this world or industry, it might feel kind of hush-hush, or maybe a little snobby.

When we think about book sales, we often think about one-off individual sales, right? How many individual people are going to purchase this book and rate it? That is the wrong way to look at this problem. For the most part, in 2024 and for the past 30 years, most nonfiction authors who make substantial return on investment do so through additional appearances, services sold, consulting jobs earned, raises and promotions.

While reading, I want you to keep this in mind. All of these tips require reviews. There are two types of reviews, and it’s good to have both.

The first type are professional or industry reviews. These are the type of reviews that you’re going to see from organizations like Kirkus Reviews for self-published authors. These are reviews that would be in The New York Times, USA Today, or what you’d see on blogs on the web that are catered to any genre.

The second type of reviews are point-of-purchase reviews, sometimes called POP or pop reviews. These are your readers and audience. You’d see these on Amazon or Goodreads reviews. You don’t need full reviews. Stars can be helpful, too. The more reviews you have where others say how valuable the book was to them, the better off you’ll be.

An important thought to keep in mind with these POP reviews is that companies like Amazon have a long history of removing reviews they suspect aren’t real. For example, 5-star reviews without any real feedback or no feedback at all. They may have been from friends or family, but you might find they just disappear one day. This is another reason why POP reviews, from your true audience, matter so very much.

Panel Appearances or Conferences

Since the pandemic, I’ve seen so much flexibility in how authors can participate in conferences. Before, you’d have to fly to a conference to speak about your book. Now, many conference attendees want a virtual option. We’re seeing conferences of all types that have both a virtual and an in-person component. This is great for authors, as it removes much of the potential expenses for travel when promoting your book.

Virtual conferences are great for first-time authors, specifically panel discussions. It’s easier to get on a panel rather than be a keynote speaker. There’s more spots and it’s less competitive. It’s also easier to perform in, especially if you’re new to public speaking or are a new author, because you’ll have breaks in talking and you can spend time thinking about what you really want to say to your audience.

Giveaway Campaigns

While you plan for a few panels a month, you also want to continue that review engine. One of the best ways to do this, even before your book is out, is to think about doing a giveaway campaign.

When we talk about a giveaway campaign, all we’re talking about is putting up some copies of your book for free. It could be for a radio show, social media drawing, or on Goodreads (the most common place I see this happen). Choose any number of copies for the giveaway, and those who enter get a free copy. You can then encourage them to leave you a review.

This is not necessarily an immediate ROI because we’re giving books away for free. The key is in thinking about your investment as a business. One of the best ways to sell books is word of mouth. Think about every one of these giveaways not only as a potential reviewer, but also someone who can tell their friends, family, and even share the book to others. We can make this happen right when the book launches, but this is also the best strategy for building momentum and exponential growth down the road.

Review Campaigns

My number three tip follows right on the footsteps of our giveaway campaign, and that is a review campaign. I know what you’re thinking. A giveaway campaign is essentially a review campaign, right? Yes and no.

When we talk about a review campaign, I’m talking about the industry or professional reviews that have a lot of credibility with your readers. If you can get them to talk about your book, you’re in great shape. That is exactly what a review campaign does: narrow in on your audience and look at who is talking to them. Ask yourself, “Who does my audience respect enough to follow through when they recommend something?”

Compile a list. You can start looking at bloggers, at bigger news websites like Forbes, and at BookTok. Now, typically when we think about BookTok, we’re thinking about fiction genres, like romance or fantasy. Rather, I’m talking about the influencers on TikTok or Instagram who are open to partnering with authors and other businesses. Add TikTokers, influencers across all the social media platforms, who are speaking to your audience to your list. Then, start pitching.

When you pitch to influencers, you want to think about what they want, which is to keep their audience happy, engaged, commenting and so on. Take the helpful stuff in your nonfiction book and use it in the pitch. If they choose to read your book, they can share this great insight with their audience. Depending on the situation, you might have something like a 10% or 20% response rate, but this can also be exponential growth. You’re pitching to one person, but you’re selling many books.

Podcasts, Blogs and Guesting

The number two tip is to guest where your reader is. When we talk about guesting on Instagram Live, podcasts, or blogs, I mean putting yourself in front of an audience. You might pitch an interview, for example. This can be great for an Instagram or Facebook Live or with a podcast. In this case, you’ll likely have to present a media kit, which is fairly simple to put together with templates on Canva. When we work with our clients, we always include this as part of our services.

We can also think about pitching a takeover. Now, this will be a little more difficult unless you have someone who can vouch for you as a professional, good person. This would be where you would do an episode of that person’s podcast or do an episode of that person’s YouTube. Sometimes we can do a takeover for a newsletter or a blog. Whatever way you choose, the goal is to get in front of that person’s audience in a way that’s easiest to them.

Often, when I am pitching for an interview, I will mention that if they don’t feel like an interview’s going to be the right fit, I have a ready-to-go blog post from my book, and I also would be happy to provide a written interview transcript that they could post on their blog. In this case, you’re asking questions as though they’re the ones that asked questions, but you’re going to do the heavy lifting and take burden off the host. It’s the key to the guesting experience. It’s easier to get that slot and they’ll love you for it.

Your Book as a Funnel

My number one ROI strategy for 2024 is to treat your book as the start of your sales funnel. What I mean is that someone is going to buy your book, the entrance into your business. Now they have invested in your book and know you can be trusted to deliver. If they read it, they’re building trust with you. They’ll feel like you’re easier to approach and they’ll know what you have in common. These people know your name.

The thing about a book, unlike a business card, is nobody throws away books. Sometimes we donate them, put them in a little free library, but we usually don’t put them in our recycle bin. That means even if that person’s not ready to buy from your service right then, they’ve got your name there on their bookshelf. They’re going to think of you whenever they are ready to invest.

That’s all we mean by sales funnel. We’re using that book as a way for people to come into your business and be comfortable investing in your larger ticket offers. If we think about selling one-off books, you’re probably not making more than maybe $20 at the top on a book after you have done the printing and marketing. That doesn’t even include all of the work that you put into writing it.

On the other hand, if you can get enough books out there that you end up with 10 or 15 or 20 new clients, you’ve probably already hit your goal. You didn’t even have to worry about selling millions of books up front. Now you’ve got a book circulating, you got a bunch of new clients, and it’ll continue to bring you new clients.

I want to acknowledge that you may be feeling just as intimidated or overwhelmed as you were when you started reading, but I have a few more suggestions. Think about if it will make sense to hire someone to do pitching for you. It can be a little expensive, but if you can swing it to get the budget for a publicist or a podcast, guest post, or other pitching service, that can really help maximize your ROI.

You also may want to think about a full-service coach. Page & Podium offers this. We will coach you through your book as well as these marketing strategies. If you’re feeling like you want to do a little DIY or you just want some support, that may be the way to go. I do have a brand new, free resource for you. You can download our free guide to maximizing the ROI on your book at

I’m on a mission to make sure everyone has access to the support and tools they need to tell their story well. If you’re finding it hard to do this, you might need a ghostwriter or book coach. If this sounds like you, I have an exciting announcement!

Our Change Maker package is a new package that will give you the ghostwriting and editing support you need to bring your story to life, even if you’re not a writer. While that package is only available to our newsletter subscribers right now, you can head over to our Book Strategy Quiz to stay informed when this is released to the public. You’ll also get a ton of helpful info along the way!

Happy writing!

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Amanda Edgar

Dr. Amanda Nell Edgar is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and book coach and the founder of Page & Podium Press. Co-author of the forthcoming Summer of 2020: George Floyd and the Resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Amanda has authored two nationally award-winning books and ghostwritten many more.

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