As much as you may be motivated to write your book as an expression of your deepest thoughts or to deliver a potent message to other people, you (literally) cannot afford to neglect its entrepreneurial requirements and rewards. At all times, authors should be aware of how much their books are selling for at retail, how much of their price counts as revenue, how much they are spending on various forms of promotion, how sales rise or fall as they change pricing, marketing, or presentation strategies, and so on.
If, as an author, you fail to tend to the responsibility of your book royalties, you could actually end up losing money each month that your book remains on sale. You might not even notice your losses until it is too late if your accounting is disorganized. If, on the other hand, you experiment with many approaches and pay attention to what consistently works for your book, you stand to gain access to a totally new type of lifestyle. Soon, you will discover how passive income can be a complete game changer for people who are used to always having to work harder and harder to earn more money.
Most people have never experienced the unique feeling of freedom and security that accompanies knowing money is going to show up in their bank account every month without them having to do a single thing to acquire it. Passive income, which is money made in an ongoing manner from something already produced, can completely change how you think of your life and the fruits of your labor. It can release you from the chronic stress of always having to trade valuable hours of your life just to earn enough money to pay the bills. For some people, this is by far the most practical and consequential reward of self-publishing a successful and influential book.
The Cumulative Nature of Passive Income
Because its nature is cumulative, passive income quickly becomes an addictive pursuit. $1,000 per month recurring revenue seems life-changing to many people, whether it is an exclusive source of income or a complement to several others. Soon, however, comfort tends to give way to the desire for surplus. Can you picture how your life would be different if you knew $5,000 would be yours at the end of each month without sacrificing any of your time to earn it? What about $10,000 or more? It seems premature to dream so big so early in an author’s career, but these numbers are not outside the range of earning possibilities for a single successful book or the combined royalties of many books published over an author’s lifetime.
With passive income as your goal, your professional focus might shift from a daily grind and 40-hour workweek to a systemic overview of your earning capabilities. You will begin to think of your finances not in terms of one-time sums earned for labor performed, but as scalable patterns that you can predict and influence. This is how good entrepreneurs perceive the consequences of their creative efforts. Only someone with a long-term perspective on their rewards and the ability to delay their gratification for a while can ever live this way. Thinking in terms of passive income constitutes a fundamental shift in monetary psychology.
Passive income isn’t just about being able to live a more comfortable life. It plays an important role in supporting your writing habits too. When you see how the revenue from a single book can transform your financial life, it gets a lot easier to justify dedicating more of your time to creating more books. Authorship is then no longer just a hobby, passion, or calling. It is a wise investment in your wealth, time, and future. Writing becomes a career you can scale throughout your life to heights that are difficult to achieve through traditional employment.
My version of success involves my books becoming thriving organisms unto themselves, not full-time jobs that require my constant attention to keep their place in Amazon’s rankings. I don’t want to have to fear that they will drop off the public radar at the slightest change in market conditions. Knowing that my creative works will survive without my intervention frees my time and effort to be applied to other creative endeavors, such as writing my next books or simply enjoying the leisure time my labor has earned me. The unique value of passive income is that it remains immune to the other circumstances of your life.
How You Book Can Complement Other Sources of Exposure and Income
The next logical step after learning to see your book through a systemic lens like this is to learn to look at the potential of your entire career as an author in a similar way. The more books you publish, the more you will learn about how to make each one successful. You will discover new tools and resources to hack your way to greater recurring revenue. On top of that, your new books may complement your old ones by expanding your author brand. Anyone who likes your new work has good reason to check out what else you have written, even if your other books are on unrelated subjects. Soon, you may find yourself splitting your daily productive hours between writing, editing, and promoting your various messages.
Beyond seeing your authorial career as its own independent system of passive income generation, you can branch out into other related forms of media. With all the effort required to write a book that matters, you have a powerful incentive to make the intellectual property you’ve created count for everything it can. With some adjustments to prepare your content for new formats, you can expand the reach and accessibility of your message.
With each additional medium that you prepare your message for, you also create the possibility of new streams of financial income or exposure for your existing ones, such as your blog or social media profiles. This is a good way to rapidly build up a library of proprietary content that is available online to anyone who wants to learn more about who you are and what you’re all about.
With each new form of repurposing, you increase the possible spread of your audience. When an online browser finds your content presented in one of its other forms, they may develop an interest in purchasing the book or getting involved with you in another way. Repurposing your book content also makes you show up in more and more places around the internet, improving your reputation and appearance for anyone who might decide to look you up when evaluating whether to buy your book.
Gregory V. Diehl is the author of the new book, The Influential Author: How and Why to Write, Publish, and Sell Nonfiction Books that Matter. The book takes a unique and in-depth look at all aspects of book planning, writing, editing, and promoting for self-publishers. Check out The Influential Author on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2RGTYDE Learn more about Gregory’s work at: https://identitypublications.com Add Gregory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregoryvdiehl
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Great article. I’ve been working towards this goal for the past 18 months and still feel like it’s the beginning. Working on my 6th book and loving it. Do you set a budget for Amazon ads? If so how much per day for each book? Thanks!
Hi D.J., Ad budgets vary by author, but I recommending starting with $10 per day, if you can, and test for no less than 30 days. Remember, if your ads are working, you should earn back your investment and then some. We have a free report that covers how to set up ads here: https://nonfiction.lpages.co/how-to-use-amazon-ads-to-sell-more-books/. Good luck!