If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: You don’t publish a book in order to make money. Unless your name is Steven King or Danielle Steele, do not look to book sales as your get-rich-quick scheme.
That said, publishing a book is a great way to make money. If that sounds like a contradiction, read on.
Your book is a tool for creating multiple streams of revenue. It’s a calling card, a resume, a sales tool, and a door-opener. I can provide you with all the information you’ll need to leverage this tool most effectively, beginning with…
17 Ways to Make Money and Boost Your Business With a Published Book.
1. Increasing Your Core Business. Nothing marks you as an expert in your field better than a book with your name on the cover. When you’ve written a book, you become an author, and people regard you as an authoritative voice. As an expert, you can charge higher fees for your goods or services – a book can as much as quadruple your current asking price. Additionally, by writing a book you’re duplicating yourself, in the sense that, while you cannot be everywhere promoting your business, your book can stand in for you; it represents you and your business. Finally, readers love meeting authors, and will flock to book readings and signings. The bottom line is, a book enables you to reach a much wider audience and, naturally, increase your business.
2. Public Speaking. There’s quite a bit of income to be made on the public speaking circuit. Schools, corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and many other kinds of groups are always looking for experts on topics of interest to speak at their meetings and conventions. To be invited, though, people have to know about you, and they usually find out about speakers through their books. You can sign with a Speakers Bureau, of which there are many – and they expect to see a book. A good speaker can earn upwards of $5000-7000 per appearance – and that’s on the lower end- but you need to have that book by way of introduction.
3. Workshops. As with public speaking, groups are always looking for experts to offer workshops at conferences that last anywhere from a day to a week, and they pay handsomely for the right teacher. Again, they tend to hire authors: to most people, a book signifies intelligence and gives you an air of authority. People feel safer hiring someone they don’t know well, or at all, when they’ve written a book. It proves they know what they’re talking about.
4. Trainer/Continuing Education Units. Most schools of higher learning offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to students – accountants, nurses, lawyers, etc. – for attending workshops and trainings. If you’ve written a book, you can be certified to provide CEUs, increasing your pool of clients. I worked with a PhD who’s an expert on child psychology. Since publishing her book she’s been able to realize her dream of travel, going all around the country training educators how to heal children.
5. High-End Consulting. Maybe you’re already being called upon as a consultant to individual or group clientele; if so, you know how lucrative consulting can be. A book is something tangible that attracts the attention of large corporations and high-end entrepreneurs. It’s also something to give your clients as an adjunct to in-person consultation. With a book you automatically increase your fees.
6. Product Placement. Corporations and their PR agencies look for appropriate books in which to promote their products. With the right marketing and eventual visibility as a celebrity expert, you can get paid for mentioning products and services in your book. One author sold placement of a line of female products such as lingerie, toiletries, and hair products in her best-selling dating book; for each mention she was paid $10,000.
7. Expert Placements. Some authors invite other experts in the same or related fields to write guest chapters for their books, and then include information on their products or services that are relevant – but don’t compete with! – theirs. In this way you automatically increase your audience by attracting your guests’ followers, and, especially if they’re famous, you can significantly expand your business.
8. Marketing Tool. A book is a vital component of an effective marketing plan. Once your book is done, you’ll no doubt sit down and brainstorm with your coaching team, targeting people and places to send complimentary copies for reviews and publicity. This can be an exciting, idea-popping process, and can go a long way towards the creation of a comprehensive marketing plan for your core business.
9. Selling Foreign Rights. Your book might be bought by a publisher who wants to translate it into Spanish, Vietnamese, French – every language represents a potential audience. I had this experience with my book Goal Digger: a Korean publisher saw the book on Amazon, and called to ask if they could buy the rights. I agreed, and eight months later they sent me a check – possibly the easiest money I’ve ever made.
(This is called pull, as opposed to push, marketing. The latter comprises all the things you do to promote your business, while pull marketing occurs when clients simply fall into your lap – which is more likely to happen when you have a book out there.)
10. Coaching. Readers might want to further enhance their understanding of your book’s content by having you directly teach them the philosophies and principles outlined in it. I once helped a group of women publish a book on networking; now, because of their book, they’re being hired to coach other groups of women on networking and client acquisition techniques.
11. Become a Bestseller. Okay, it’s rare that a book written to promote a business ends up reaching the sales heights that comprise best-sellerdom – rare, but not unheard of. The people who wrote the first Chicken Soup for The Soul book had no idea it would end up as a runaway best-seller, becoming so popular it spawned several more Chicken Soup books for targeted audiences such as women, Christians, and others. So it can happen. It’s good news for writers that the New York Times Best-Seller List is no longer the only game in town: regional newspapers now put out lists of what’s being read in their geographical areas, as do niche magazines and bookstores, both chains and independents. The more educational content your book provides beyond your specific product or service, the likelier it is to reach best-seller status. This is something you might want to think about as you map out the outline for your book.
12. Movie Rights. Again, it’s rare that a book of this kind is snapped up by Hollywood, but it does happen. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis, which describes a system of selecting baseball players for major league teams, was to be a movie, with Brad Pitt in the starring role. (Unfortunately, the project was dropped halfway through production.) A book that did make it to the cineplex is Julie and Julia, one woman’s adventure cooking all the dishes in a Julia Child cookbook. Starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, it’s received both critical and public acclaim.
13. Public Relations. What could be a better PR tool than a book? It’s your ticket onto television, radio talk shows, podcasts, videocasts, and blogs. Your little book goes out into the world as an ambassador for your business, and in roll invitations to appear places, reaching wide audiences, and expanding your business. Which can lead to…
14. …Celebrityhood. If you’re the kind of person who thrives under the spotlights – and you might not even know yet if you are – then you’ll love the life of a celebrity that publicity from a book can bring about. Think Suze Orman. Martha Stewart. Donald Trump. We all recognize these names from television – people who began, just like you and me, as entrepreneurs writing their first books as marketing tools. They’re now widely recognized as the top experts in their respective fields, get called by CNN and MSNBC to serve as news pundits, and regularly appear on The Today Show and other popular programs. In recent years, authors have even been asked to do their own reality shows. If celebrityhood with all its glamour and glitz appeals to you, remember: the first step down the red carpet is to write that book!
15. Non-Profit Organizations. You can package and sell books in bulk – usually discounted or at cost – to non-profit organizations for use in their fundraising drives. The group puts them into gift bags or donor baskets used to solicit donations. In this way your book finds its way to donors and philantophists, who are frequently high-income or wealthy. This is a win/win situation for everyone involved.
16. Corporate Sponsorships (see below). After you’ve written a book and developed your platform enough to make you a business celebrity, doors to corporate sponsorships will open up. David Bach, the author of The Automatic Millionare and Smart Women Finish Rich obtained sponsorship from Wells Fargo Bank, becoming a spokesperson for their financial services.
17. Repurpose Your Book. Finally, books these days have way more than one or two lives. Time was, a book came out in hardback, and a year later in paper, after which it hit the remainders pile. When audiotapes became a trend, books got a third spin. Today, thanks to the Internet, a book has even more incarnations: as an e-book and a podcast, to name just two. As technology changes and grows, we’ll no doubt see more ways to increase a book’s lifetime and, therefore, its earning potential.
Now that you know 17 ways to make money on your book, what are you waiting for? Write that book!
Alicia Dunams coaches her clients on how to expedite the book-writing process and “Make Your Book Your Business.” Her clients include best-selling authors who have appeared on national media outlets such as 20/20 and CNN, and have been written up in The New York Times. These “authorpreneurs” are adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to their bottom line – all by leveraging their published books. Visit http://www.aliciadunams.com or http://www.17daybookchallenge.com for more information.
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