“Why isn’t my book selling?!”
You cry, after self-publishing your book and seeing it live.
Maybe it’s been out for months and you’re still only seeing maybe one copy a week being sold.
But you put it all over social media! You had people review it! You told everyone to like, share, and comment!
How could it not be selling?
“There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone, depending on which stats you believe. Many of those — perhaps as many as half or even more — are self-published. On average, they sell less than 250 copies each.” — Nick Morgan, Contributor to Forbes
As you can see, there is a lot of competition.
But competition aside, there are self-published books which can sell consistently.
In today’s marketplace, there are very few authors who make a living from writing books alone. Unless you’re Nora Roberts or Stephen King, you aren’t likely to get famous and make tons of money from your one or two books. It just is not the norm.
Finishing and publishing your book is the easy part.
Marketing and selling your book over time is what’s tough!
There are many reasons why your book may not do well.
Perhaps your cover is not grabbing eyes, maybe you don’t have the right keywords or categories selected, or you didn’t get it professionally edited (a must!).
Have you done marketing for your book? Are you leveraging your network, getting reviews, and doing ads? Did you put the book in all your bios and your email signature?
You could even pay a person or company to market your book for you. But there’s another way.
How To Make Money From Your Book
So after hearing all of that, you may be asking, “OK…but you said I could make money from a book??”
You can. But it’s not from the book alone.
As you saw above, it is very unlikely that you’ll make an actual living from writing a book, especially if you’ve only written one.
But if you’re using your book as one piece of a larger business, then it will be a potential gold mine for you!
Nonfiction books can be a great marketing tool for your business and show you as an expert and a thought leader.
Being a published author will also be a solid credential if you’re looking to book speaking gigs.
Your book will help position you as a leader in an industry and will help you to sell courses and other educational materials.
There are a ton of articles and posts all over the internet and Medium all about marketing your book and trying to sell it. But what about the other way around?
Books As Marketing
Your book is the perfect marketing tool.
Let me give you a real life personal example.
I published my first book “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” in August 2017.
I’d been working as a freelance writer for almost a year and had already ghostwritten several books by that point.
When working as a ghostwriter on books, you are almost always required to sign an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) and your name is not on the book and you cannot use the book as a writing sample.
Which is completely fine! I was paid up front and understood the terms.
But when marketing myself and talking to prospective clients, I could only say, “I’ve ghostwritten several books but can’t share them with you.” So, not ideal!
So, I wrote a book. It was the simplest way to prove I could write one.
And it worked!
Not only am I able to use my book as a writing sample and a marketing tool when speaking with potential clients, but I have also gotten new clients and people added to my mailing list who simply found my book and read it.
I was able to charge more for my ghostwriting and book editing services, as being a published author seemed to legitimize me as a writer and editor — and my business.
I later wrote and published a second book which was more of a passion project, because I didn’t have to focus it on my business or for marketing purposes — my first accomplished that already.
So, yes. You CAN make money with a book. It’s by using your book as part of an overall business.
YouTube video that goes along with this article.
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