Crucial Conversations and the Decline of the Publishing Industry

It’s a brave new world. The book industry, as we know it – the paperback is dying a slow, agonizing but almost certain death. It seems the only book shop still in operation is the Dymocks in Sydney. When it comes to book publishing, I am sure many authors are still doing things the old way – generating revenues from book sales and it is without a doubt that these writers are seeing their cheques slowly but surely evaporating.

However this blog post is not all doom and gloom, instead I wanted to showcase an author that is doing things right – because let’s face it people still love to read so the demand is still out there – it’s monetizing that demand in the age of digital piracy that is the hard part.

The author(s) that I am referring to is for a book is called Crucial Conversations. The book has sold a million copies and has surely netted the author a considerable chunk of coin… but it’s how the author has turned the book into a physical selling piece for his consulting company VitalSmarts software that’s the real achievement in my book.

Here’s the book cover, in case you see it in the book store it’s a good buy if you find yourself having unproductive/awkward conversations to the people that are important in your life.

You see, once every 10 pagess or so of the book, the author asks the reader to flip to their website. The author’s intent is to get the reader to sign up for the author’s weekly e-newsletter. The author even tracks which page number led you to sign up for the email newsletter! Check out an example of a URL below that was generated when I clicked through to the sign up page (notice the page number):

Screenshot of link from Crucial Conversations ebook (yes you can place links in eBooks and it is very useful!)

Considering the book sold around 2 million copies, you can imagine the amount of traffic it generated over to the website and the amount of inquiries it got.

The whole book, while extremely valuable, is just one big lead generation device. But why would someone give over not just their name, but their company, position and a bunch of other important details? Well the exchange in this case happens to be a video.

This is the landing page where you come to when you click the link on the eBook. There’s a definately a whole lot of value for someone not to give their details.

You see for every lesson in the book they link to (a very high quality I must say) video lesson. Who wouldn’t want to get the benefits of audio visual on top of their regular reading? Here’s one example of a video from their vault:

The book is very good (and I recommend it if you get the chance to pick it up) and the authors have monetized themselves well in an industry that is dying.

In the past authors didn’t have to grapple with the issue of digital piracy but they also didn’t have the ability to sign up and become potential clients from one click. Most people these days are writing books as a way to boost their main business practice and establish credibility – rather than as an income tool (not many authors are making good money from book sales I would say).

I guess it’s just one of those paradigm shifts for authors and the lesson from this is – video is a great lead generation device.

To use our expertise and use video for lead generation feel free to pick up the phone (or more likely the mobile) and call 1300 TEN 700 and we’ll see how we can apply these principles to your business.