Guest Post by Nina Amir
The most successful authors think beyond the book. They put on their business hats and find ways to leverage their content—or the themes and topics in their books—into additional streams of income. In this way, they prevent themselves from relying solely on revenue gained from book sales. They become authorpreneurs who build businesses around their books.
Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit
If you plan to self-publish, you probably are an entrepreneur—or you should be. Indie publishers create start-up publishing companies after all.
However, in addition to starting a publishing company, you may want to do more. You may want to be like my client Colin Tipping, who left his real estate career after he wrote Radical Forgiveness, and built an international coaching, teaching and speaking business around his book. He’s also written several more spin-offs and created a variety of products, services and programs.
Joanna Penn is another authorpreneur. She began her career with a self-published nonfiction book called Career Change: Stop hating your job, discover what you really want to do with your life, and start doing it! Then she decided to self-publish thrillers under the name J.F. Penn. However, because she blogged about her self-publishing process—and then about the process of also landing an agent, she branded herself as an expert on becoming a self-published novelist and writer entrepreneur. Indeed, she has multiple books in her Arkane thriller series. She also has a variety of programs for writers who want to learn how to write or publish a book or make money with products related to their books.
Bestselling author Michael Hyatt provides a good example of authorpreneurship as well. He markets his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, to more than just authors. On his site, www.michaelhyatt.com, you will find a Get Published Program, Writing a Winning Book Proposal (ebook), Platform Jumpstart Video Series, Why Now is the Best Time to Be an Author (video), and a Platform University membership site. If you think about “platform,” Hyatt’s name almost always comes up. He has branded himself and his business with his books, products and services.
Other good examples of authorpreneurs include:
- Christina Katz, who wrote The Writer Mama, Get Known Before the Book Deal and The Writer’s Workout. She has a successful blog, several spin-off books and a thriving online teaching business.
- Jeff Goins, who has a bestselling ebook and a traditionally published book, Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life, as well as a successful blog, several products, and a course for writers.
I spend much of my time working as an authorpreneur. I approach each book with an eye for an integrated suite of products. I’ve created three courses related to The Author Training Manual, one of which is offered by Writer’s Digest University. Plus, I speak and coach on the topic. I have two courses based on How to Blog a Book, one of which is offered by Writer’s Digest University. When the second edition comes out this summer, I’ll have a third course and a membership site related to the topic. I speak and coach on this topic as well.
Become an Authorpreneur (Even if You Write Novels)
Even if you write fiction you can build a business around your book with products, services or other books. Put on your business hat! Consider the themes and issues in your book(s), and discuss them in the same way nonfiction authors do. Novelist Anita Diamant is a good example of this principle at work. She wrote the international bestseller The Red Tent, a book about the biblical character Dina, as well as three other novels with Jewish characters or based upon events in Jewish history. Plus, she wrote New Jewish Wedding, Revised and Living a Jewish Life and five other Jewish-related nonfiction books. She also has a CD of songs she wrote.
A number of novelists compose nonfiction about writing, such as Chuck Wendig and James Scott Bell. Bell also has two nonfiction books on unrelated topics, How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams and How to Manage the Time of Your Life, too. He offers writing workshops.
Make Money as an Author
- Audio book
- Action figure, clothing, jewelry, etc.
- Membership site
- Keynote speech
- Audio or video course
- App and game
These products and services help you earn more income as an author and increase your book sales. After all, most writers don’t earn a living from royalties.
In general, you have a higher likelihood of being able to sell books and create a career as a writer and author if you do more than write—if you become an authorpreneur. As an indie publisher, don’t rely only on your book’s sales to create income and pay expenses. Book-related products and services provide additional ways to merchandise your book while you increase book-based income.
About the Author
Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual and Authorpreneur, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time.
About Her Book
You’re happiest when you’re writing. It’s what you’ve been put on this Earth to do, and you hope to one day make a living from your books. But you’ve probably realized how difficult it is to earn enough from book sales alone. In fact, most authors, even some New York Times bestsellers, end up having to take on outside work in order to make ends meet.
If you must do other work, why not have it be work that supports and relates to what you love—your books?
If you want to earn a living as an author, you have to think beyond your book. Not only that, think like someone who is more than an author. Think like an entrepreneur. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, just the fact that you’re writing books means you have what it takes to become an authorpreneur.