November 6, 2023
Episode 45: Beyond Bestseller Lists:
Measuring the True Impact of Your Book
Learn How to Measure the Impact Your Book Makes Beyond Money and Message
Episode 45: Beyond Bestseller Lists: Measuring the True Impact of Your Book
Have you ever wondered about the true impact of your book … beyond just royalties, but also how it might change the world? Join me for this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, where I explore the multifaceted impact your book can have on both your business and the world. Learn how to measure this influence and leave a lasting legacy.
Recap & Takeaways
- 02:29 Business Growth
- 05:36 Changing the World
- 10:44 Personal Transformation
- 14:29 Community Building
- 17:51 Entertainment and Escapism
Author Switch Episodes About Marketing
Be a Dick by Marc Ensign
Transcript for Episode 45: Beyond Bestseller Lists: Measuring the True Impact of Your Book
Have you ever thought about the real-life impact that your book can make? Whether your book’s already out there or it’s only between your ears, stay tuned to this episode of The Author Switch so that you can understand the potential impact your book can make.
Hi, my name is Carma Spence, and I am your host of The Author Switch.
And before I go into talking about what kinds of impact your book can make and how to measure that impact, I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself, just in case you are new to my world.
My name is Carma Spence, and I am the founder of Authoneering.com, TheAuthorSwitch.com,BookMarketingClub.com, and AuthorDiagnostics.com. I have been a published author for 16 years and I have 30 years of PR and marketing under my belt, including a master’s degree in journalism from what US News & World Report called the number one public relations graduate program in the nation. I’m also certified in author marketing.
Now tonight I want to talk about something that a lot of people think about on a very surface level, like what impact, oh, it’s going to grow my business or, oh, I might start a movement, but there’s so much more impact that a book can make.
And I’m going to be talking about the five ways that your book can make an impact tonight. And those are business growth, changing the world, personal transformation. community building, and entertainment and escapism. And all five of those impacts can be made with a nonfiction book, and most if not all of them can also be made with a fiction book.
It all depends on how you market your book and what you do with your book once you get it out there in the world. So, first let’s talk about business growth. This is the most obvious impact that your book can make. So, there’s revenue generation. How do you measure revenue generation? Well, you measure it by seeing the revenue that comes in.
That one’s really, really straightforward. You track the sales of your book and your royalties over time, and you measure, okay, when This many books were being sold. Did I get this many new clients?
Another way that your book can have impact on your business is through your expert status. So how do you measure expert status?
Well, you do that by monitoring the invitations to speak at events, to consult companies, or JV offers, all those kinds of things where people are seeking you out because they see you as an expert and so they want you to speak to their audience.
Your book can also impact your networking because books open doors. They open the doors to speaking with influential people and with potential clients. And the way you measure that particular impact is through keeping record of valuable connections that you’ve made through book related activities.
The next way that a book can impact your bottom line is through lead generation. That’s why you write a client attracting book, right? So how do you measure your lead generation efforts through the book? Well, that’s specifically if you want to measure it strongly, what you want to do is have a lead magnet embedded in the book and then you track those leads.
Now that said, you can also get leads through your book that are not actually through your book. It’s like someone sees your book on Amazon or on a bookshelf. They don’t actually buy the book. They don’t actually read it, but it puts you in their mind and they go look you up. You can’t really measure that, but what you can measure is Gee, when my book sold X number of copies during this month, I suddenly saw an uptick in leads, even though they weren’t coming through my book. So you track those kinds of things.
And then finally, the last way I’m going to talk about of how your book can grow your business and impact your business is through product or service promotion. You can spin your book into products, and you can talk about your products in your book.
If your products and services are selling better since you became an author, then your book impacted your business, even if the people didn’t buy the book. Sometimes just having Author, next to your name, is enough to get people to want to buy your products and services, even if they haven’t read the book.
So that’s business growth. Let’s talk about changing the world. That’s the second thing that a lot of people write their books about. They want to change the world in some way. So how do you, how do you change the world with your book and how do you measure that change?
First, it’s education. Does your book educate your audience? Look at the dissemination of knowledge from your book, such as number of copies distributed or downloaded. This is not a guarantee that you’ve educated that number of people, but a percentage of those people will have read your book, will have learned, and made a change in their life because of it.
So, let’s say you sold a hundred books. You can probably guess that at least 10 percent of those people will read it within the first year. So you’ve just impacted 10 people. But what you can’t measure, and what will probably happen, is that those people will change. And then the people they impact will change and then the people those people it’s like it’s like that old 1970s commercial Well, and I told two friends, and I told two friends, and they told two friends It’s it starts with your book, and it ripples out from there.
Your book can change the world through Inspiration. Your book has the potential to inspire individuals to take action based on your words. Whether it’s pursuing their dreams, making a positive change, or overcoming challenges.
So how do you measure the inspirational impact that your book made? Collect testimonials. Now that could mean that you’re collecting people saying things and they email you or they send you a video or They tag you on a social post. But sometimes you don’t get tagged. It doesn’t get sent to you and people are talking about you anyway. So then you use things like Google News to see about mentions of your name. I have several of those.
In fact, I’ve I’m actually quoted on quote sites because someone heard something I said, it impacted them, and they submitted it to a quote site. Go figure.
Advocacy. That’s another way that your book can change the world. If your book advocates for something or something, it can cause people to believe in your cause, and it can increase awareness, and it can mobilize support.
Now how do you measure that? You measure the reach of your book’s message and its impact in supporting and mobilizing the cause. That’s a little bit more challenging to measure. That’s a very qualitative measure. But if you say, let’s say you wrote a book that’s all about helping some animal cause, you could partner with an animal organization that promotes that cause and you can, they are definitely measuring their impact.
Is there an uptick because of your book? You can partner with them and find out what their metrics are and therefore understand. You can also hear stories. I mean, people will share their stories saying, you know, I read your book about saving the elephants. And so I, went to Africa and saved elephants. I don’t know, something like that. People will tell you their stories.
There’s social change, if your book is about some form of social change. For example, the book Quiet, which is all about introverts and their impact on the world. Well, that book has changed the way introverts are thought of and treated in the workplace. She created, the author created social change by writing a very good book about introverts.
And then there’s legacy. Now, this is, this is harder to measure. In fact, you probably can’t measure it all because most legacy happens after you’re gone and are not actively measuring a thing. But, if you’ve sold copies and you’ve gotten in enough people’s hands, you can rest assured that there is a legacy there.
I mean, think about Napoleon Hill. He created an amazing legacy with his book, Think and Grow Rich, and yet he wasn’t rich in his own lifetime. But he created a legacy that is lasting decades after his passing. Your book could do that, too. If you get it out of your head and into readers hands, which is why you need to market it.
Just saying. Check out previous episodes of this podcast in order to learn some marketing tips.
So that’s changing the world. Next let’s talk about personal transformation. And when I talk about this, I’m not just talking about you, the author’s personal transformation. Your book could help the personal transformation of your readers. It can empower them. So for example, my book, Public Speaking Super Powers has empowered people to stand up and speak their words, their truth, their stories. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me, I read your book, and it helped me pass my public speaking class. It helped me go the next step in Toastmasters. It helped me get on stages. My books already created a legacy through helping those people become speakers.
So how do you measure that? You measure that through the testimonials. You measure that through the stories you hear about how your book has impacted somebody’s life. Because believe me, if you made a difference in someone’s life, a large percentage of those people are going to tell you about it.
They’re going to say, Hey, your book changed my life. And you know, as an author, that does not get old. That does not get old at all. I love, it’s not, it’s not about the ego. I mean, yeah, I love the fact that someone read my book and liked it. But what I love even more is that it made a difference in your life because that’s why I wrote it.
And if you wrote a book to change people’s life, aren’t you going to want to hear those stories? Collect them. They’re, they’re gold. And when you’re feeling a little bit down, like the book isn’t doing what you want it to do, read those stories because they’ll turn you right around.
And then there is mental health. If your book is, well, in fact, Public Speaking Super Powers, that’s actually helped some people’s mental health. It’s not a mental health book, but it could. So If your book is about mental health, it can help people’s mental health. And then sometimes even if it’s not about mental health, sometimes it could be about law of attraction, or it could be about forgiveness, and it still makes a difference in people’s mental health.
Inspiring books, learning your memoirs, memoirs can help people with their own mental health because they see your story and they think, well, gee, that author did it. Maybe I can too. Again, collecting stories is how measure that. You can also monitor discussions of your book because sometimes they won’t tell you, but they’ll tell other people, and they’ll tell other people publicly.
See how that works. And another personal transformation that people can experience by reading your book is a perspective shift. So someone reading Public Speaking Super Powers could have a perspective shift about maybe before they read the book, they thought, Oh, I can’t, I, I’m not a good speaker. I can’t speak in front of people.
But then they read my book, and they see the exercises I provide, and they start doing them and they realize, Hey, this is not as horribly scary or as hard as I thought it would be. They had a perspective shift. Your book can do that, too. Now how do you measure that? You seek feedback on how the book changed readers views.
Again, read reviews of your book, because sometimes that information will be there, but also just talk to people who’ve read your book. Again, some of these things are harder to measure than other things, but they can be measured at least on some qualitative level.
Next point. Community building. Your book can create communities. So, book clubs. Books bring people together. Your book could be included in a book club and therefore help build that community. Or it could become the center of its own book club. And you can track growth and measurement of book clubs using your book.
That’s something that is potentially trackable, especially if you have something on your website that actually helps book clubs read your book and use it and you can provide discussion questions or packages or things like that. You can partner with your local library and have a reading group around your book. And you can measure growth that way.
Shared experience. Reading the same book can create bonds among individuals who might not otherwise connect. So one of the people I interviewed for this podcast, in its first, first iteration back in 2021was, was, I think the book was called Be a Dick and it was about the life lessons that the author learned from his neighbor whose name just happened to be Dick.
And so he created these communities where people were sharing How they were a Dick. So like, they did this for their neighbor, or they did that for a friend, and it was like this whole movement about being a Dick. This person named Dick was filled with wisdom. So, I will put a link to that episode in the show notes.
So, keep an eye out for that, but check out the book. It’s called Be a Dick.
And then there’s collective action, which again is part of the changing of the world. Books can mobilize communities. That’s probably a little bit harder to measure, but it can be measured by what initiatives or projects did your book instigate, inspire, um, help out with? And build a community around? So here, here’s sort of an outside of the box look at this. J. K. Rowling, love her, hate her, doesn’t matter. Her books, the Harry Potter books, built a community. In fact, interesting enough, because I’m, uh, one of the projects I’ve been working on, on the side, is about the, the history and sociology of science fiction.
Because science fiction has, pretty much historically, since it really became a genre, been very community building. But fantasy and horror, which are related genres, really haven’t had that until Harry Potter came along. Harry Potter came along, and you had complete groups of people. There, there are people who play Quidditch. There are people who want Quidditch to be an Olympic sport. That’s how strong a community, her fiction books created. Fiction books. Tolkien also has some community building around his books about the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits. But Harry Potter was really the one that where it was a breakout community building through fiction.
And finally, there’s entertainment and escapism. Now, no matter what your book’s about, it behooves you to make it entertaining. Unless, I guess, unless it’s the textbook, but even then, if you have an entertaining textbook, do you think that the students are going to learn better? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. One of my favorite educational books is called, um, Oh, there’s actually a series of them, and I can’t remember what they were called, but I got the one about Darwin.
It was just, it’s hilarious. Oh, and then there’s the grammar books, uh, Transitive Vampire, which was the sequel to Oh gosh, I will put links to these books below, but they are books that take a dry subject and make them entertaining because you can make an impact in the world just by spreading joy. So joy and relaxation. Books give you joy and relaxation.
Analyze reader feedback. Did they enjoy your book? One person actually wrote me and said they read my book, Public Speaking Super Powers, three times. And they’re a professional speaker. They had no need to read my book. They just enjoyed it. I just spread some joy.
Imagination. Your book can create imagination. I can tell you this. Growing up, and I still do it to this day, actually, whenever I read a fiction book, I almost always insert myself into the story and I live the story. Like, I talk to the characters and Okay, maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m a wacko and you shouldn’t listen to me.
Or maybe people are reading your book and imagining themselves in your book. And if your book is transformative, maybe they are transforming while being entertained. Now, there’s a thought.
And that is the impact your book can make. It can grow your business, it can grow communities, it can change the world, it can help people transform their lives, and it can entertain.
So if your book isn’t out there in the world, what’s taking you so long? Get it out of your head and into readers hands. Get it out of your head. And onto Amazon. Get it out of your head and into the world because there are people out there who need your book. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a little short nonfiction book.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a big trilogy fiction story. It doesn’t matter. There are people out there waiting for your book, even though they don’t know it’s your book they’re waiting for until they see it. And they’re not going to see it if you leave it in your head.
That’s the end of this episode of The Author Switch. This is Carma Spence saying ciao for now.