Independent publishers are by nature outliers, but one in particular stands out: Jim Blasingame.
The self-made, multi-media personality has a lot to say about the publishing industry, the crux of which is this: Write books. Publish them yourself. Keep the money.
But for Blasingame, there’s a twist. He writes, he publishes, but he also entices corporations to use his books.
Tens of thousands of them.
In a multi-pronged approach, Blasingame folds his books into other services he offers, such as speaking engagements or consulting contracts with companies.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal to sell 2,000 books,” said Blasingame, whose latest, The Age of the Customer, is a multiple award-winning book with more than 60,000 copies sold. “Most people want to sell the books, but I show companies how to use my books. There’s a difference.”
Although he won’t reveal who his customers are, the industries he sells to run the gamut from insurance, to technology, to online sellers.
For Blasingame, it’s not about dropping a pallet of books off at the dock. He’s all about adding value.
“I say to them, how many customers you got? Prospects? Salespeople? I will show them how to use the book to reach those customers,” said the syndicated radio host, whose three books have sold more than 150,000 copies to date.
Beyond the corporate sales, Blasingame has also used his books as a value-add tool for his speaking engagements.
“To speak and then be in the back, selling books? That’s not who I am,” he said. “Instead, I’ll include the book’s price in my fee and give everyone in the audience a free copy. Then I’ll stay and autograph them. I’ve sold a lot of books that way.”
While he’s not afraid of Amazon and sells a lot of books “onesie, twosie,” Blasingame says one of the biggest mistakes authors make is equating success with being published by a major house.
“There are people who are publishing house snobs who don’t think they are successful unless their book is chosen by a publisher,” he said. “A sale is a sale. That’s what I tell people.”
Jim Blasingame is one of the world’s leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-wining host of the syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, now in its 19th year; syndicated columnist; and award-winning author of The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance (SBN Books). For more, visit www.smallbusinessadvocate.com and www.ageofthecustomer.com.