Hi this is Zack, at Bestseller Authority (now Distinct Press). When I discuss my ghostwriting & bestseller engineering process with potential clients and we come to the place where cost is what prohibits us from moving forward I offer some coaching on how you can get someone else to pay to ghostwrite and publish your book while still keeping all of your rights and royalties.
This morning, after discussing this strategy with 3 prospects, I decided to make this quick 10 minute video to share this information with you.
First of all, whether you are aware of it or not, strategic product placement happens all of the time. We are probably most aware of it in the corporate sense...
Remember the Tom Hanks film, "Castaway"? Can you imagine the film without Fed Ex? I mean he was on the Fed Ex plane, working at his Fed Ex job, delivering his Fed Ex packages all the way to the end where he went to deliver the final Fed Ex box to the little house in the prairie. In this specific case, Fed Ex did not pay for placement and in fact, the idea of a story based on a FedEx plane crashing gave the company "a heart attack at first,". But in the end, the overall story was seen as very positive and the company saw a significant increase in brand awareness in both Asia and Europe following the film's release.
In the latest James Bond film "Skyfall," which is the 23rd Bond film, Bond forgoes his usual shaken martini in favor of a Heineken. When asked about the deal, Bond star Daniel Craig told Moviefone "We have relationships with a number of companies so that we can make this movie. The simple fact is that, without them, we couldn't do it. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is. This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs as nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can."
And then there was "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler. Remember the first time Gatorade was shown? The football player screamed “Who drank all of the Gatorade?!” And then, throughout the film, major product placement was obvious: Gatorade, Bentley, Reebok, Lay’s potato chips, Dell laptop, McDonald’s cheeseburger, People magazine, “The View” talk-show, Icy Hot, and ESPN. Placement sponsorship is how that film was financed and made.
One of the most famous and earliest examples of product placement was in E.T., Steven Spielberg's 1982 film that used scattered Reese's to lure the loved extraterrestrial out of his closet hiding place. Of course after the film's release, sales soared. It's more obvious now and in many films it is distastefully out of control.
Now I am not saying to write a book just to sell product placement. But if you are someone who needs to get to that next level and a book is out of your reach because of lack of funds, then why not consider placement or sponsorship?
Specific products, services or individuals could be written in as "case studies" or "examples" of what works or where to locate the best...
Sponsor placement in your book does not have to look like advertising. In fact, I advise against it. The last thing you want to do is make the back of your book look like the yellow pages. But strategically positioning and writing a sponsor into the content of your book is an elegant way that they are being mentioned which gives them credibility. For the sponsor, appearing in alignment with your content sets a subliminal trigger that the author is an endorser or supporter of the product or service.
A published book is seen as one of the most credible forms of endorsement there is. It is what is called "targeted third party exposure". They are being placed in front of a highly targeted audience in the form of an endorsed service or product.
When approaching your sponsor tell them that you have hired a ghostwriter and bestseller engineer who has guaranteed results. Tell them that you wish to write them into the content of the book as a product or service placement sponsor.
The bottom line is that you are giving them a super powerful promotional advantage that will cost them very little of their total annual budget. Magazine or news ads are per issue whereas a book is forever so this carries a long term benefit to the sponsor.
Some obvious examples follow:
- If you are writing a book on globalization, you may approach a sponsor who offers foreign language study materials or an immersion school or program abroad.
- If you are writing a book on sales strategy, you may wish to approach successful sales people who are doing very well and have them pay for a case study or interview within your book.
- If your book is on chiropractic spinal care, you may wish to approach mattress companies.
- If your book is on fitness, you may wish to approach companies that sell exercise equipment, protein powders, vitamins, etc.
- If you are a realtor writing on historic homes, for example, you may recommend contractors, paint companies, antique dealers in your specific area, especially if your book is being written in a locale based niche.
- If your book is on vitality and health, you may approach a company that sells supplements. But to take that to a more intimate level, how about contacting the local "Shaklee" rep in your area?
The point is that they do not have to be big corporate sponsors.
Think out of the box.
- Who would benefit from having a placement in your book?
- How will the reader benefit from having this specific information?
If your book deals with travel abroad and you are writing it based on your own experience of staying in specific bed and breakfasts, then there are your obvious sponsorship targets.
If you do not have existing relationships with sponsors, then browse some magazines in your niche.
Look at the ads that people have placed.
- How much were the ads?
- What is their target market?
- How many people do they reach?
After gathering some facts, call the sponsor and tell them you saw them in the magazine. Tell them you are writing a book (or that you have hired a professional ghostwriter) and a bestseller engineer and that you'd love to offer them exclusive product placement in the book. It is highly credible to be mentioned in a book.
People throw away magazines all of the time, they discard business cards, fliers and brochures all of the time - but people keep books.
A single-page ad in a magazine can cost $15,000 or more. You are offering them lifetime placement in a published work which is professionally written and guaranteed to be a bestseller.
They get the endorsement value and in comparison to traditional advertising, they are underwriting book publication which is for life. Their brand awareness will increase and in a very credible way. When presented in this way, what you are offering is relatively inexpensive in terms of their overall marketing budget.
You can decide if you want to have several sponsors or if you wish to offer exclusivity, but even if you do offer exclusivity, it can be in the form of their business, product or service.
For example, a travel book may have a travel agency, a hotel chain and a rental car company. None of these are in direct competition and they are each exclusive to what they offer, yet there are three sponsors.
Another way to do this is offer them "free" placement within the book but they must agree to buy a certain amount of copies at retail which they can use for their marketing. If your book will sell at $15, have them commit to buy 100 copies and you have $1200 ($1500 less your printing $ shipping cost).
You can add them to the resources, interview them, mention them as your preferred source - the possibilities are limitless and can be customized to both your and your sponsors' objectives.
The goal of course, is to get your book written and your message out to the world. You gain the obvious author credibility but your sponsor also gains by the prestige that they get from being highlighted or featured in your book.
Don't let money stop you from making the decision to get your book out there.
Instead get creative and pumped on how you can build momentum and accountability by recruiting some awesome sponsors who'll be on your team to make your book happen!
If you're ready to take action, then click below, we'll hangout and discuss your book project.
Remember, where there's a will... there is a way!
Vice President of Global Research and Development