Everyone wants to make money. And writing a book can be a great way to accomplish that goal. Books allow you to showcase what you do, how well you do it, and how your customers benefit from what you offer. However, book sales are only the tip of the financial flow you can create. Create a career, or line up speaking engagements, webinars, or workshops. Or sell ancillary products as other options to make money. We become more successful when we widen our perspective, from “I have to sell X number of books,” to seeing all the opportunities the book creates to bring in income.
Nothing establishes your authority better than a book. Your book instantly boosts your credibility as a doer, as an expert, and as a celebrity. Of course, it has to be a great book or even an extraordinary book. The more extraordinary, the more your credibility will grow! Hire professionals to help you design and market your extraordinary book, or invest a great deal of your time to learn all the skills you need.
- Become a paid speaker: A published book automatically establishes your credibility in your subject you receive more visibility, more bookings, and more recognition. You can speak about the content of the book, the process of writing the book, and the research behind the book. Libraries to professional organizations are always looking for speakers. Events help them promote their organizations. What professional organizations do you belong to?
- Create a workshop that you can facilitate at churches, conferences, or retreats: Even in a fiction book, there is a “real world” application. One of our clients has written Elmina’s Fire, a fiction book where the main character heals herself through painting mandalas. The author leads mandala making workshops. What is your “real world” application you can pull from your book?
- Host webinars: Audio and video conferencing have become technologically easy to manage. From live, free “fireside” chats to ongoing weekly webinars, there is an opportunity for ongoing income production. Some of our authors also create webinar packages that people can pursue on their own time schedule. These packages create passive income once you have created them. What do you have to offer that people want?
- Become a consultant: Want to get in the door of major corporations, government offices, foundations, or think tanks? A book is the ultimate foot-in-the-door strategy to get attention from key decision-makers. Whether you have written a book on flower gardening, Civil War History, or Steam Punk Science Fiction, you have information that will help someone else. Book authors are experts people come to when they need answers to their questions. Research your options. Who would benefit from your consultant services?
- Individual coaching: As an expert in your field, you are able to coach people on your topic. Coaching people in their flower gardening, their understanding of the Civil War, or just how to develop their character for their science fiction is open to you as an author. How could you coach people?
- Develop ancillary products: One of our clients used the cover of his book to make postcards, t-shirts, and posters. List your products with Café Press and Zazzle. Because they produce the products for a fee, you don’t need to invest in material. You can create anything to sell on your website or at events.
- Sell a product: Use your book to help promote another product, whether a real-world product or an online information product. If you have written the ultimate book on flower gardening, sell seeds. If you have written a Steam Punk book, sell the tools of your story.
- Sell rights: Your book has a constellation of rights that can be sold: movie rights, reprint rights, foreign rights, audio rights, multimedia rights, merchandising rights, and more. J. K. Rowling did not become a billionaire from writing books. She became a billionaire by selling the ancillary rights those books automatically generated: foreign rights, mass market rights, movie rights, merchandising rights, and more.
- Develop yourself as a freelance writer: Someone who can write a book can write almost anything: blog posts, articles, columns, etc. You immediately qualify to write for websites that pay money for blog posts and articles. You could be invited to write a column for a related magazine. As an author, you can also ghost write for other authors.
- Create a tax break: If it’s not necessary to make money from your book, you can donate all profits to a charity. Are you passionate about the environment, childhood illnesses, or domestic abuse? Your book and your donations will make a greater difference.
As a publicist, I have helped authors create revenue from each one of these income stream options. Their book became the foundation for building a great business, a lasting career, or steady profits via royalties and rights sales. But a note of caution: many book authors sell fewer than 100 copies of their books. That’s why it’s crucial that you market your books. Market your books hard, or your books won’t sell. A successful book almost automatically opens up new income streams.
© May 2017, Mari Selby