The most successful authors become authorpreneurs. They build businesses around their books. 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.
Put Your Entrepreneurial Spirit to Work
To become an authorpreneur, think beyond the book and your title as writer. Are you an expert, or can you provide products and services related to your books?
Call on your entrepreneurial spirit and put it to use. 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 former 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 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 traditionally published 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.
Traditionally published authors aren’t always as entreprenuerially minded as their self-published counter parts, but they should be. After all, they go into business with publishers, who expect them to do everything possible to promote their books. You will sell more books if you also sell products and services related to the book.
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 book, Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life, as well as a successful blog and a course for writers. He published a second book, The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do.
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. I speak and coach on this topic as well, and I created a How to Blog a Book template kit.
Make Money as an Authorpreneur
As an authorpreneur, you can profit from writing a book in many ways. Take the time to evaluate your ability to make money in ways that don’t involve writing but that do relate to your book. Do you want to or could you create an:
- Audio book
- Action figure, clothing, jewelry, etc.
- Membership site
- Keynote speech
- Audio or video course
- App or 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. 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.
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