Authors write books.
That’s what they do. Authors write books and sell them. It’s as simple as that. Right?
Well, you’ll come to find out that the most successful authors are doing much, much more than just selling books these days. As a matter of fact, there are many different ways authors can not only sell their books but use them as a launchpad towards other endeavors.
You see, writing a book is just the beginning — a beginning that leads to many different opportunities for increasing your income.
Let’s go over 5 different ways authors can make money outside of selling their books.
1. Launching a Blog
This is one of the first logical places to start if you haven’t already. Here you can showcase your thoughts on your subject matter (especially for nonfiction authors) or have a place for a creative outlet (great for fiction authors). But how can you make money doing so?
A great way to monetize is through the use of affiliate marketing or sponsored reviews. This is where you set up an arrangement with the creator of a good or service where you receive a commission for items sold through you.
For example, I created a program to help authors with their Amazon self-publishing aspirations–Publisher Rocket. And, one of my clients loved the product so much, she wanted to write a review of Publisher Rocket and become an affiliate. Now, she receives a commission for every copy of the program that is purchased from her affiliate link.
And just to be clear, this totally works outside the self-publishing space too. One of my food blogger friends has an entire website about meal kits and meal delivery services. Crazy right? He has an article ranking the cheapest meal kit options that makes money every week — usually every day.
2. Creating an Online Course
Creating your very own online course is an awesome way to make some money as an author. Particularly if you’re an author who can help people learn a skill or a trade. These courses can be extremely profitable because, unlike with a physical book, there is basically no cost of goods after you produce the course.
Most of these courses come from non-fiction authors, but that doesn’t mean fiction authors can’t join the soiree too! Many fiction authors go on to create trainings about how to write great fiction — using their own books as an example. Or, for another angle, legendary sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson teaches online classes about how to break into traditional or indie publishing.
If you’re looking to create an online course, there are two tools you should definitely consider: Thinkific or Teachable. Both are great platforms for creating online courses.
Another way to potentially make some extra income is to start a podcast. Podcasts are very similar to blogs except, instead of typing your thoughts, you actually talk to your audience. Often a podcast is conducted in an interview-type style. And you’d be surprised how many successful people will agree to be interviewed — especially if you’ll let them talk about their latest project. It’s a great way to meet cool people and grow your network.
Like any endeavor, podcasting takes work. But if you master the medium and grow a following, you can make some money via sponsorships and advertising. I’m sure you’ve all listened to a podcast with that “This production is sponsored by…” moment. And you can also use the podcast as an opportunity to talk about your books and make money from selling them!
4. Speaking and Lecturing
How do you fare when it comes to public speaking? If it terrifies you, then maybe this isn’t the best option for you. But if you have a knack for it or you’re willing to give it a go, speaking and lecturing could be an amazing opportunity!
As an author, you can always speak on your topic or subject matter specialization. You can get paid for these speaking gigs and also use them as an opportunity to sell your books, courses, or consulting services.
There are many authors out there who actually make the majority of their money not from their books, but their scheduled speaking arrangements.
Consulting can often be a great move for an author. As a matter of fact, some authors, especially in the business space, only write a book for the purpose of attracting consulting clients.
It can be a smart model because books are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. In many ways, they’re like a proposal potential clients actually want to read because there are valuable insights in the books. It’s textbook content marketing.
There are many smart ways to optimize this process, but if you just give people a way to get in touch at the end of your book, you’ll already have a line in the water.
The Smartest Authors are Versatile.
The moral of this story is something along the lines of: there’s more to it than what meets the eye. Authors often get grouped in with starving artists — creative people who resign themselves to a life of poverty so they can pursue their art. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By using your first book as a starting point, you can migrate into other outlets. And that doesn’t have to mean creating a full-blown writing software like I did. Instead, you can simply leverage your greatest strengths — expertise, creativity, and communication.
And the best part about all of this is… side projects don’t have to detract from your book writing goals. In fact, by using the strategies I’ve shared, you’re probably going to gain an even bigger following. A writing gift you can use when you go to launch your next book.
Cheers!Authors often get grouped in with starving artists, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By using your first book as a starting point, you can migrate into other outlets. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Dave Chesson is a digital marketer, book marketing Jedi, and Tennessee family man. His passion is serving the author community through Kindlepreneur.com. His specialty is in-depth, unbiased information, such as his recent Guide to Grammarly. When he’s not constantly improving KDP Rocket, Dave can be found learning EDM production from DeadMau5.