Books allow you to showcase what you do, how well you do it, and how your readers benefit from what you offer. Book sales are only a small part of the financial flow you can create with your published book. To start making money, you need to start thinking beyond the book.
If you want to make money from a book, don't focus on selling copies—use your book as a marketing tool that gets you attention and sales for a product or service. Much of the money authors make doesn't come from the sale of the book itself but from the opportunities the book gives the author. As an author, a book gives you instant credibility and opens doors to other streams of income previously unavailable to you.
The key is to think beyond the book and look for ways you can leverage your new position as a published author to find ways to generate income, grow your platform, and identify new outlets for your talents (and your book). Here are a few ways you can make money as an author.
Become a Paid Speaker
Authors are sought after speakers for seminars, conferences, charities, and other events. You can speak about the content of the book, the process of writing the book, and the research behind the book. Professional organizations are always looking for speakers.
Authors often teach their subjects online, at workshops, conferences, universities, continuing education classes, and in other venues (you can roll the cost of the book into the cost of the workshop or sell directly to students).
From live, free “fireside” chats to ongoing weekly webinars, there is an opportunity for ongoing income production. What do you have to offer that people want? Based on how you answer this question, you can then create webinar packages that people can pursue on their own time schedule. These packages create passive income once you have created them.
Become a Consultant
Get your foot in the door at major corporations, government offices, foundations, or think tanks. A book is actually the ultimate foot-in-the-door strategy to get attention from key decision-makers. Book authors are experts that people come to when they need answers to their questions. Research your options. Who would benefit from your consultant services?
As an expert in your field, you are able to coach people on your topic. Think about the different ways you could coach others.
Sell Ancillary Materials
Books can be repurposed into teacher’s guides, workbooks, pamphlets, e-books, and other products.
Merchandise and Spin-offs
Think about selling T-shirts, posters, DVDs, coffee mugs, and other merchandise either based on the book or related to it.
Develop Yourself as a Freelance Writer
Someone who can write a book can write almost anything: blog posts, articles, columns, etc. You could write for websites that pay money for blog posts and articles, or even write a column for a related magazine.
As an author, you’re not limited to sitting around and waiting for your book to make you money. You can use your book’s content to create opportunities for even more money. The only limits are your time and imagination.