How to Sell More Books with Flywheel Growth
Every author I know shares the same two wishes, whether they’re a self-published side-hustler or a traditionally published New York Times bestselling author:
- I wish I sold more copies of my books
- I wish I made more money from my books
When nearly everyone is unhappy with the norm, that gets my attention.
What if the “norm” has it all wrong? What would have to work for an author to see both of their wishes come true?
For months, the answer has been spinning around inside my head: Flywheel Growth.
Potters have been spinning a flywheel to work with clay for thousands of years.
500 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci expanded the flywheel concept to a machine which eventually led to its use in cars, tractors, and other engines to collect and use momentum even when direction shifts.
In 2001, Jim Collins introduced the concept of Flywheel Growth applied to business in his classic bestseller Good to Great but he had such incredible success with this one framework (out of many) that he expanded it into a follow-up book, Turning the Flywheel.
Jim Collins famously met with Jeff Bezos early on to map out the Amazon.com plan for Flywheel Growth. For a flywheel to fuel growth, he explained that each step must be an “inevitable consequence of the step that came before.”
Once you fully grasp how to create flywheel momentum in your particular circumstance… you get the power of strategic compounding. Each turn builds upon previous work as you make a series of good decisions, supremely well executed, that compound one upon another. This is how you build greatness.
Hubspot recommends you replace your funnel with a flywheel, shifting your focus from the linear process of converting prospects to leads to customers and starting over, to a cyclical process that feeds itself.
In fact, they redefined Inbound Marketing to convert strangers to prospects to customers to promoters with a flywheel built from three core steps of the cycle:
- Attract: drawing in the right people with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor with whom they want to engage.
- Engage: presenting insights and solutions that align with their pain points and goals so they are more likely to buy from you.
- Delight: providing help and support to empower your customers to find success with their purchase.
Your Book Royalty Reinvestment Plan
Beyond machines and marketing, Flywheel Growth also shows up in investments, the most prominent example being a Dividend ReInvestment Plan (or DRIP). According to Investopedia,
A DRIP is a dividend reinvestment plan whereby cash dividends are reinvested to purchase more stock in the company.
- You invest in a company’s stocks, which allows them to grow
- You receive dividends (profit share) based on their success
- You reinvest your dividends back into more stocks in the same company
Personally, I use M1 Auto-Invest to get the same benefits as a DRIP but balanced between a portfolio of different companies (rather than just one).
But DRIPs got me thinking... could the same strategy work with a book?
A book is a Gateway Product, which means its purpose is to create customers, not cash. Once someone becomes a customer, they are five times more likely to purchase another product than someone who has never bought from you before.
Hence, here's the Flywheel Growth model I've started teaching my students:
- Sell your book
- Reinvest royalties into marketing
- Grow your audience
- Sell more books
This is a mindset shift, from making a buck or two per book to taking zero profits from your book—but with Flywheel Growth plus a Seven Figure School strategy, both author wishes can come true.
You can sell more books and make more money from your books too.