I was intrigued to read in today’s NY Times about book publishers placing authors in high-profile, well-paid speaking engagements. Supplementing the traditional author tour strategy — which only the best-selling authors get anyway since it costs dearly — publishers have launched their own speakers bureau to place authors after post-publication publicity campaigns wind down.
What’s great is that authors — who, like your organization, always need to earn more — can increase earnings and book sales while establishing themselves as experts (thus paving the way for more sales next time out of the gate). So it’s a win-win for author and publisher alike. Read more at "A Way to Give Authors a Lucrative Second Platform."
- There’s an equal, if not greater, opportunity for nonprofit experts (or foundation grantees) like yours.
- The credibility your issue experts offer is even greater than an author’s, since there’s clearly no financial agenda in store (not trying to sell books).
- "A speakers bureau ‘goes beyond the traditional marketing opportunities. It’s a way for authors to continue to raise their profiles and reach new audiences,’"says HarperCollins’ James Brickhouse.
- Placing your experts as speakers keeps your issues and your organization unique role in the arena front and center, even when there’s no crisis to address or other issues are hot.
- Corporate clients (think pharma company, investment firms with charitable arms, etc) tend to pay more than libraries and schools but remember, this is free marketing. And,bookstores are frequently recruited to sell books at the events.
- You can have a staff member table with membership, fundraising and volunteer information.
- For forever and a day, I’ve recommended that you position your experts as sources for the press, using ProfNet. This takes it one step further.
- So start a speakers’ bureau for your nonprofit, or even better, form an issue-based bureau with colleague organizations whose experts complement your own (think Coalition on Darfur Speakers Bureau). There’s everything to win, nothing to lose
- Open the bureau on your Web site.
- Promote it, and make it easy for prospective takers to find the speaker they want, and understand the terms.
- Market it to the ‘low-hanging fruit"
- And let me know what happens.
Take a look at Penguin’s author speaking bureau, and steal some great ideas…today.
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