Building the World’s Biggest Book Empire
(FeatureSource) When it comes to leveraging books into
businesses, no author is better known or more respected than Mark Victor Hansen
of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and ”One Minute Millionaire” fame.
But even though more than 80 million books have already been sold under the
“Chicken Soup” brand, the complete empire takes in far more
territory—audio books, greeting cards, branded merchandise, board games,
calendars, a television series, music CDs and even pet food.
Hansen—and a few savvy authors like him—have developed for writers and
authors a message that’s clear: It’s not just a book anymore. It’s a
In fact, with new technologies and super-sophisticated marketing strategies,
even new authors can create a robust and far-reaching global empire.
“Start with a plan,” says Hansen. “Turning your expertise into a book and
then into dozens of additional profit streams is surprisingly simple to do. But
regrettably, few would-be authors launch their books with this empire model in
Consider the simple effort of turning your book into an audio-cassette program.
Hansen protégé Cynthia Kersey, author of “Unstoppable,” created an
eight-tape course in just one weekend—then went on to parlay that course into
$500,000 worth of retail sales and a stint on the Home Shopping Network. She
now conducts training and coaching programs for individuals who want to reach a
specific business or personal goal.
Or consider author David Bach, expert behind the “New York Times” best
seller “The Automatic Millionaire.” He turned his book into a six-week
telephone seminar (teleseminar) series that helps consumers fix their finances.
While Bach had written numerous other books over the years, the teleseminar
series—and the premise that he could turn people into millionaires—landed
him on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” within days of completing the series (and
just in time for his book to be released in bookstores).
Super-savvy authors market their book via city-by-city promotional seminars,
creating buzz and earning cash—as Hansen and Allen did with their “One
Minute Millionaire” one-day workshops.
Regrettably, few if any authors even know about this business model—let alone
the steps they need to start making money from these highly lucrative areas.
For readers who want to start early on the process, Hansen offers these tips:
1. Build a brand using free publicity. Hansen and his “Chicken Soup”
co-author Jack Canfield used the power of the press release to promote the
books everywhere. They soon parlayed that print exposure into a syndicated
column seen in more than 150 newspapers worldwide. Licensed retail products
2. Sell millions of books through special sales. All kinds of groups
will buy books in volume, and become more open to additional opportunities
including training programs and more, as a result.
3. Transform your expertise into high-priced training programs and other
profit centers, including home-study courses, boot camps, subscription
consulting, train-the-trainer programs and more.
4. Take your expertise to the Internet. Using e-newsletters, e-books,
one-page Web sites that sell specific packaged materials and other e-marketing
strategies, authors can almost instantly broadcast their name and expertise
around the world.
5. Start speaking for mega profits. Even unknown authors can sell
thousands of dollars’ worth of high-priced packages and programs from the
platform, with the right sales techniques.
“Writing a great book that captures the market’s imagination is just 10
percent of the effort you need to make,” concludes Hansen. “Marketing and
extending your brand is the other 90 percent.”
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