Stay in One Field…And Own It


Once you select your subject, stick to it; stay in one field. Too many author-speakers write a book on a subject they know well—aimed at their own (reachable) field. With this formula, the book is a success, and they suddenly think selling books is easy, so they write about a totally different subject. It flops because they do not know how to reach the buyers in this particular market. They do not really know who their buyers are, what their buyers need, and where their buyers are. They are starting over.

One day, I received a call from a client. He said, “I’m a chiropractor, and I recognize that while chiropractors are good at what they do, they are not good at running their offices. But I have solved that challenge. I have just finished my book titled How to Run Your Chiropractic Office.”

“Sounds good,” I said and I thought to myself: “Now here is an author who can look into the mirror and see a reflection of his customer. He knows who the customer is, what the customer needs, and (most importantly) where the customer is.” Chiropractors are easy to locate because they have to have a license; they are on lists.

Then the doctor went on, “I have a packaging idea I would like to run past you.” I leaned back in my chair and listened. The caller said “Once I sell this book to all the chiropractors, I’ll go through the manuscript with search & replace and change the word ’chiropractor‘ to ’dentist‘ and sell the same book to all the dentists. Next, I’ll sell to all the medical doctors. Isn’t that a great plan?”

“No,” I said, “It sounds great, but it’s a terrible idea. First off, it will not be all that easy to sell your peers. It will take reviews in your chiropractic magazines, participation in blogs, displays at your conventions, and lots of emails and telephone calls. Finally word-of-mouth from one doctor to another will sell the book.”

“Do you really want to learn all about dentists: read their magazines, spend time in their blogs, join their associations, and attend their conventions?” You don’t have time for that.

“What you should do is publish this book. Then publish the advanced book, then the office forms book, and then the little books chiropractors give to their patients. You want to become known as the publisher for the chiropractic industry.” Soon other chiropractors will approach you to publish their books.

New customers have to be bought; existing customers are free. Anyone who has ever been in sales will tell us, it is far easier to sell an additional product to an existing customer than it is to find a new customer. Stay in one field and keep adding products; soon you will own the territory.

Next: Combine your products in a “Power Pack,” a higher-priced package to sell from your website and back-of-the-room when you speak.

Professional speakers should identify a subject meeting planners are buying. Then, stay in that field

Successful professional speakers are a large dog in one field, as opposed to being a small dog in many fields.

Dan Poynter

Dan Poynter

CEO & President at Para Publishing
Dan Poynter, Author (132 Books), Publisher (Since 1969), Speaker (CSP). He is past-chair of NSA's Writer-Publisher PEG and the founder of the PEG newsletter.
Dan Poynter
Dan Poynter
Dan Poynter

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