It takes so much time and effort to become an indie author. Now, how about a little ROI? Truth is, now that you’ve crystallized your ideas into book form, there are multiple ways to spin your book into gold — aka make more money from your book — by exploring different formats and unique paths to market. In this post, Leslie Lam Miller has seven suggestions to help you do just that.
From professional audio to guided journals to keynotes, repurposing your content to suit the needs and wants of different readers is a terrific way to build on a strong foundation to increase your book’s reach and revenue. Yes, I'm talking about ways to make more money from your book.
Create a Workbook
Many authors, especially coaches and consultants, use their textbooks directly in their work with clients. Why not go one step further and distill the main points and take-aways into a functional workbook? Your readers and clients will appreciate the format and space to interact with your ideas more deeply. You can use the workbook in your coaching sessions, talks, or organizational work. No more handouts, and one more way your book is working for you. While a textbook can feel a little one-sided, a workbook is interactive, taking your content and asking the reader to apply it to their real life. Boxed set, anyone? With a boxed set, that's one more variation and product for your income streams.
Create a Journal
Less intensive than a workbook, a guided journal with your inspirational quotes, distilled ideas, or writing prompts is a quick production piece that gets the reader involved on a personal level. Packaged as luxe as you want—think ribbon markers and elastic closure bands—a journal is a visual representation of your comprehensive book, allowing the reader to reflect on your content and make it applicable to their own lives in a very real way.
Use Your Book As a Brand
You’ve heard that a book is the new business card. What about a version of your existing book that truly functions that way? Pare down the words and focus on graphics, dynamic design, and visual engagement and you’ve got a brand book that shows up in strong way. Think ‘Instagram meets publishing’ and create a bold take-away for the social media generation. Bite-sized content paired with visuals give a brand book more staying power than a basic business card without giving away all of the content in your published book.
Narrate An Audiobook
According to Edison Research, just two years ago, 67 million Americans “read” their books by listening to them, and the trend is only growing thanks to audiobooks that are more accessible and affordable than ever. Whether they listen in while commuting or ask Alexa to read them a story, consumers are officially in love with the spoken word. Thanks to a proliferation of audio service companies, indie authors, fiction and nonfiction alike, have great options for quality audio production that stands on its own. Either read the book yourself or take advantage of professional voice actors to make your message or characters come alive. An audiobook adds another outlet for your auditory audience and the investment doesn't have to be as significant as you might think.
Run a Webinar
With your book as your content guide, create and host a live, one-hour session (free or not) and record it to sell as a download on your site. Ideal for life coaches, nutritionists, career professionals, and more, a webinar further establishes your expertise and is a nice lead-in to your book, which of course you’ll offer at a discount to attendees! It’s all about creating an all-immersive experience and a webinar is an opportunity to bring your face and voice to your growing audience.
Deliver a Talk or Keynote
These days, having published is de rigueur for the stars of the keynote circuit. And now that you are a published author, why not seek out speaking opportunities? Your compelling, well-written book will make you much more attractive to speakers’ bureaus and agents, and a more likely pick for panels and conferences. Every talk is great for your brand and presents a captive, ideal market for your work. The opportunity to sell your book at an event that you speak out adds to the excitement and can grow your audience right where they are. And it can nicely close the loop: your book opens the door for you to deliver talks and the talks help you make more money from your book through book sales to your audience.
Work With a Book Club
More popular than ever, book clubs continue to proliferate, with 70 percent of book clubs reading fiction most of the time. A solid avenue for all independent authors, book clubs present fiction writers in particular with a fantastic opportunity for more sales.
How do you break in?
Start local and craft a solid pitch. According to bookbrowse.com, a full 80 percent of book clubs read local authors at least some of the time, but don’t depend on the local connection to comprise your entire pitch. What would attract the club to your work specifically? What universal themes are present? Do you have a reading guide or other materials that the club can refer to? Are you willing to present the book or offer backstory or insight into your process that might enhance the club’s experience? Once you have a solid pitch in hand, bookstores are good places to check for specialized or genre-specific book clubs, as are libraries.
More Ways to Make More Money from Your Book
The publishing landscape has changed dramatically, offering up so many more ways for readers to interact with story and message alike. As an independent author, you have the power to take advantage of new technologies and opportunities not available to many who have gone the traditional route. Expanding your content into multiple platforms is the stuff that builds your brand along with your expertise. And while your initial goal may have been to write a book, the journey – and opportunity – doesn’t have to end there. Think creatively about your content and use multiple formats to leverage your success…and make more money from your book!
OVER TO YOU
Other than sales, how have you made money from your books?
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You nailed it Fonda. We are alone. The sage advice always falls short when it comes to the actual initial break through without an agent. I am no where near your league of exposure. I am however compiling articles like this -not this one I have enough now of these- for an eventual non-fiction history of culture. So your email is welcome indeed. It won’t be quoted. I am with you in spirit.
Thank you Joe for taking the time to read my thoughts and comment. Much appreciated. Good luck to us both
I am a published author working on my 4th novel. My books r on Amazon and kindle. I am trying to find a way to reach a vast audience since I write crime fiction which everyone reads. I’m considered an expert on serial killers and have created and produced several shows on reality tv
But when u r not with one of the ‘big’ publisher or have an agent u r on your own. I do book readings book signings but noticed if your name isn’t in the top ten or if u r not a celeb it’s harder to book that bigger bookstore. How about some advice on these issues. Much appreciated Fonda St Paul. Encore!Encore!
Any advice on how to make and sell single laminated pages? (Ideally an automated process like KDP that would also distribute them to Amazon and other marketplaces. ) They’d be good products for poems, flash fiction, memes, and cheat sheets.
Kathy Steinemann – I went to a ‘print shop-‘ where I had some artwork laminated. A 4 cost by A$10.35.