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How Authors Make Money

I hate to burst your bubble but…

Book sales are NOT your end goal.

The reality is that it takes a while before writing, publishing, and book sales accumulate enough traction to be as profitable as the Brené Browns and Glennon Doyles of the world. In the meantime, being a published author is an admission ticket and a statement of credibility to a much wider playing field. My goal with this blog is to open your eyes to all the other opportunities where authors can make money off their book idea.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

YOU ARE AN EXPERT in your field. Let that sink in. If you wrote a book about something, then you know something about it. You are the expert on that. Even if it is simply a memoir of your life, you are the absolute best expert on your own life. In addition, most memoirs still have a life lesson they are trying to impart on the reader. The fact that you are published gives you credibility. This new tangible bit of credibility gives you five other effective ways to make money from that expertise.

1. Become a Consultant or Coach

If you are already in business, create a new package geared towards the topic in your book. For example, if you are a business coach who wrote about work-life balance then your new package would be a six-month coaching package about finding that elusive balance in your business.

2. Offer Workshops or Emersion experiences

If you wrote a memoir about your journey of self-discovery walking the Camino de Santiago, you could lead a group for a fee to experience walking the Camino. You don’t need a Ph.D. in walking to offer this emersion experience, you can be an expert by having traveled the road once before.

3. Create a Digital E-course

Say you’ve written a book about Personal Finances for women and share 10 crucial steps in your book that offer protection and freedom to women. You can create a workbook and video recording for women to dive deeper into each point. Some platforms you can use include Udemy or teachable.com, or you can create your own by seeding it through your email marketing tool. Depending on the subject of the book, I often recommend my clients outline their e-course before or while they write their book.

4. Online Webinars, Support Groups or Masterminds

This is something that can be adapted to absolutely any non-fiction book topic. As long as the reader feels a connection to the writer and the topic it is easy to ask them if they need a more guided approach to the solution the book offers. Using platforms like Zoom makes it easy for the author to connect with a worldwide audience and offer more support.

5. Create a Podcast or YouTube channel

Yes, you may already have social media content and blogs that you created to increase your platform before you wrote and released your book. (hopefully, because you followed my advice here) But I am talking about upping your games and attracting sponsored ads.
For instance, if you wrote a cookbook you can do recipe demos or if you are a lifestyle writer, share make-up tutorials and exercise routines.

Another way to make money, which was the case after I became an author, is to be paid to speak. I remember one event where the lady presenting me read my bio and blurb off the back of my book as an introduction and said she couldn’t wait to read my book now! I was paid to speak solely on the basis that I had published a book. They did not know me, or my writing, but the fact that I was published gave me credibility and a paid speaking gig.

Bottom line: publishing is good for business and not all the money will be made on book sales. Open your mind to the possibilities.