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Beyond The Book

Advice for Authors including Indie Self-publishing Authors

Joanna Penn

Your book Is only the beginning, says writing and publishing expert and ALLi Advisor, Joanna Penn.  Technology and online tools now enable any author who is willing to learn a few simple skills to turn their book into a variety of multimedia products.

Non-fiction writers in particular have the opportunity to make their books the basis from which they expand into multiple products in different formats.

This can be the most effective way to make an on-going income from your creative work.

Let us take the example of an author who writes books about starting a business and working from home.

  1. You can write a 50,000 word inspirational book with practical advice and sell it on Kindle for $4.99. In the book, direct people to back to your website to download a workbook in PDF format, so readers come to your site. From there you can have a list signup so you can talk to them directly by email which is critical for all authors and online entrepreneurs to do.
  2. You can create a multi-media program from the material in the book, creating a set of audios around the topics in each chapter. Or you could make each session a screen capture video or you talking or being interviewed in video or audio format. For this mini-course you could charge $47 or $97 or whatever the value is, but people will always pay more when audio and video are involved and this is a natural progression from your basic book.
  3. You can then expand the book into a series of talks that you offer as keynote speeches or full day workshops. Speaking for non-fiction authors is usually an important goal but can also be a major income stream, earning into the thousands per appearance once established. For back of the room sales, you could have some of your books actually printed for sale (remembering that the book is the beginning of the sales funnel and doesn’t usually make much cash alone).
  4. You can offer 1:1 consulting based on the material in the book and if you offer this over Skype, your audience can be global. If you have valuable skills that will help people achieve their goals you can charge $100 – $200 per hour.

Fiction authors usually make more income from writing more books, but a number of authors have followed this multimedia model for products on writing within a genre, or to provide information on publishing and marketing.

The skills of audio and video production can also be used for marketing your own book so are invaluable for every writer to learn.

Joanna Penn is the author of the ARKANE thrillers, Pentecost and Prophecy and an ‘author-preneur'. Tweet: @thecreativepenn.  BONUSWatch this video to learn more about how Joanna uses multimedia in her own business, with lots of info about inexpensive tools you can use to make your multimedia products. 



This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I haven’t started creating multi-media but the one I’m interested in learning is how to create a mini course. Speaking in front of a grand audience I don’t know. Doing a mini course, oh yeah.

  2. Joanna, thank you for this! I’m your example — I have a 50,000-word inspirational book doing well on Kindle with a second in production. I’ve been brainstorming how to go beyond that. You’ve helped me so much.

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