Lessons from Shep Hyken for your next book

Shep Hyken writes a lot about customer service.

His latest book, I’ll Be Back, is coming out this fall and currently available for pre-order in either hardcopy or Kindle on Amazon.

In a recent newsletter, he has an “ad” for the book. When you click through, it takes you to his website where you can pre-order the hardcopy for delivery in September.

The unexpected part? You receive the ebook version now — delivered to your e-reader-of-choice or as a downloadable pdf.

Pricing is the same as Amazon Prime with no postage for standard shipping.

Depending on the ultimate goals for your book, Hyken’s approach makes sense for several reasons:

  • Hyken speaks a lot. Early sales/reads of the book can build momentum now for booking speaking engagements around the time of the book launch. No waiting for people to receive, then read, then get in touch.
  • When you purchase from his site, you’re added to his email list (not Amazon’s or another bookseller’s) so he can communicate with you at will. This is super helpful if he has on demand courses/programs and/or a membership program in mind.
  • When you purchase from his site, you receive an email with a link to a workbook and a video lesson explaining how to go through some of the chapter exercises as an extra bonus. This is perfect for helping the reader engage with the content.
  • And, of course, he doesn’t need to share the revenue with Amazon, etc. when you purchase direct.

A potential downside is that only purchases made through Amazon can show verified Amazon reviews. Those reviews can be helpful in making additional book sales.

It all comes down to what the goals for your book project are… getting speaking engagements, serving as a “business card”, showing you know your stuff, writing it for yourself, a legacy project, etc.

Food for thought as you consider your project/promotional plan.

On a related note, here’s a brilliant example of how Tim Ferriss set up a book to almost guarantee it’s read.

Photo courtesy of Hyken.com.