Each month, the Nonfiction Authors Association asks a burning publishing question of the industry’s best, brightest, and most innovative experts. Here’s what they have to say!
NFAA: What revenue streams have you created for your author business?
I’m the author of 136 print, digital, and audio books as well as a line of 29 planners. Here’s what I did with my book Every Woman Is a Business Woman: 30 Day Boot Camp for the REAL Business Woman.
I wrote the 30 Day script and then went live for 30 days straight. I took advantage of a graphic designer friend’s sale and had the script prettied up and offered the digital PDF for $5 and the physical book for $10. I downloaded the live videos and started doing a 30 Day Boot Camp 1:1 and group coaching programs and I also have an online hub for the videos in case someone wants to go through on their own and at their own pace.
I developed a lite version and turned it into an email course. I took the lite version and used it to create a 30 Day Boot Camp Planner. I took some of the concepts from the Boot Camp and created a One Year planner. From that ONE file, I created 14 more planners in different configurations. I started selling Boot Camp boxes with the Boot Camp book, Boot Camp planner, t-shirt and One Year Planner along with planner embellishments and writing tools. I also do an in-person workshop crash course where we work through the 30 questions and I have a livestream session for that as well. I revamped the Boot Camp material for young girls after hearing about a mom who gave her boot camp box to her daughter, and I now have a 30 Day Boot Camp for girls based on the new material. I am currently creating a new version of the Boot Camp for authors as well as a board game.
♦Book Instagram: www.instagram.com/dynamicallydifferentasc
♦Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/dynamicallydifferentasc
My book, TranscenDANCE: Lessons from Living, Loving and Dancing, was published on Amazon 2/2/20. In addition to selling books through Amazon, I sell autographed copies on my website. I also created custom coffee mugs through a local printer and sell those on my website too. The book and the coffee mugs are simply collateral materials for the movement I intend to enact through the book. Writing and self-publishing a book doesn’t make authors millionaires—at least not right out of the gate. Many refer to books as the new business card. When you think of a business card, it’s part of a much larger strategy a person uses to build their business. A business card is critical, for sure. However, it’s not the only piece. Effective workshops repurpose the book’s content to reach new audiences and share concepts in new and exciting ways. Because the essence of my book is about allowing the Universe to lead our steps in Life’s Dance, I created a supporting presentation/workshop called “Letting the Universe Lead” to talk groups through the book’s main points. I’ve also considered combining the workshop with a dance party and/or dance lesson. When Covid restrictions are removed, I’ll be pursuing additional workshops to promote the book and its message.
Uncorped Influence: Brilliant Transformations & Collaborative AF
Company URL: uncorpedinfluence.com
Watch TEDx Talk: The Dance of Collaboration
Purchase Book: TranscenDANCE: Lessons from Living, Loving, & Dancing
Facebook: Brilliant Transformations (recovery and mental wellness focus)
Facebook: Collaborative AF (business and collaboration focus)
Facebook: Transcen DANCE (dance and music focus)
Instagram: Collaborative AF
Some people learn by reading how to do things; hence we have Google and recipe books.
Some people learn better by watching things done; hence we have cooking shows and YouTube.
After 10+ years as a financial planner, I knew what most people were looking for and the questions most people wanted answered, so I put all my distilled knowledge into a 240-page book. Despite having all the information on how to become a millionaire in black and white, many people wanted the same information delivered in a different format. Each chapter of the book could therefore become a live workshop or virtual webinar, with additional revenue streams for the people who wanted “show me” rather than reading.
Some people who had read and learned the key to DIY wealth then decided they did not have enough spare time for a DIY project, and wanted someone to do it for them. I started another financial planning business where we serviced the DIFM (“do it for me”) customers for up to $10,000, and simply sold a $30 book to the DIY customers.
There is also the possibility of audio books as an additional revenue stream, as well as private consulting.
Financial adviser since 1992
Crypto geek since 2015
Best-selling author of Who’s Taking Your Money? (and how to get some of it back!)
SHIRLEY GEORGE FRAZIER
My nonfiction books instruct readers how to start and grow a niche business. They require support to find supplies to create products that satisfy their customers. That support is delivered through each book’s addendum, and this is where sponsorships fit into my revenue stream income.
I identify companies with supplies that readers need to purchase and mail letters (not email) to those firms to introduce each book, state how their listing can increase sales, and include an agreement to mail back with a check or to complete online. The publisher’s advance is negligible compared to the tens of thousands of dollars I’ve earned from this income stream, and the companies are compensated with sales from the investment.
I use my free ebook at the top of my funnel to capture qualified leads to move them through my funnel to upsell them my lowest price offer and then upsell them again on my course or high-ticket coaching program. Using a free ebook on my website is a great way to attract the right leads so that these new leads turn from cold to warm leads.
Using an ebook at the top of your funnel to bring in and qualify leads is one of the fastest ways to grow an aligned audience. An ebook can be an incredible asset to attract people at the top of your funnel who are ultimately ideal clients for your bottom of funnel offer. To create a truly leveraged ebook, you have to begin with the end in mind. What is the carrot (topic) that will attract your perfect rabbit (ideal client)? One of the biggest mistakes people make with ebooks is creating random “value adds” that don’t actually create desire and demand for their ultimate offer. This leaves you with a list of people who aren’t saying yes to your offer. But when you start with the end in mind, where you want them to go, you can create an even more targeted ebook, which will not only attract your ideal client, but get them one step closer to becoming a paying client. This feeds two birds with one seed, both attracting them and moving them down the funnel.
After being trained by Sam Freedman in his book-writing seminar at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, I left New York and returned to my hometown in Kentucky to report the biggest story I knew that nobody wanted to talk about — how my town became the epicenter for 70 men arrested on 30 farms in 10 states with 200 tons of marijuana between 1985 and 1989. I wrote The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History, which was published by Lyons Press in hardcover in 2012, paperback in 2013, and revised paperback in 2019.
From the success of the book, I became a nationally recognized journalist, covering cannabis issues for outlets like POLITICO. While covering the passage of the Farm Bill in late 2018 that legalized hemp, I discovered my opportunity to cross over from book-writing into the business world by co-founding a CBD brand called Cornbread Hemp, named after my first book. Today, Cornbread Hemp is the only CBD brand to offer USDA organic, full-spectrum CBD products from flower-only extraction — the only cannabis products good enough to be called “Cornbread.”
Cornbread Mafia book: https://www.amazon.com/Cornbread-Mafia-Homegrown-Syndicates-Marijuana/dp/1493038494
Cornbread Hemp: https://www.cornbreadhemp.com/
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @cornbreadhemp
We have helped publish multiple nonfiction books for our clients, and this is what our clients getting the largest ROI are doing:
Give your book away for free. View it as marketing dollars. The ROI on giving books away for free is tremendous because you will attract more talent to your company and get in-depth attention of your ideal clients.
You need to make sure you are strategically giving them away, though. Don’t just ask people if they want a free book. Start by identifying who you want to have read this book so you can generate ROI on the backend of it. After that, find ways to get in front of this audience. Getting on industry-specific podcasts is a great way to do this. Then offer the book for free to anyone who emails you (and don’t make them pay for shipping). This will allow you to get quality readers who will finish your book and will allow you to monetize the backend benefits of this.
Empathy Digital Marketing
Diversifying revenue is a must for nonfiction authors. I currently have revenue streams coming from book sales, licensing existing course content, speaking, consulting, and on the 24th of this month will be adding a Diversity and Inclusion related clothing line to launch with my book Inclusive Mindset. Later this year, we are slated to do courses with potential licensing of new content. Nonfiction authors should consider doing a 90-minute brainstorming session to identify other ways they can leverage their existing content (i.e., affiliate marketing). During this brainstorming session no idea should be discarded, and an author should create a strategic plan to add revenue streams. Don’t try to add everything at once (like I initially did), because you won’t go deep and instead will have minimal impact.
Author of Inclusive Mindset and Your Why Matters Now
Founder of Work. Meaningful.
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