Where Professionals Publish

Earn More Money with a Book: 10 Business Model Options for Nonfiction Authors

A book is a fantastic credibility-builder and can create a wide variety of Business model options for nonfiction authorsopportunities for authors. While the book itself can generate some revenues, the real profits come from the other revenue-generating activities that you can create around the book. Here are some ideas to uncover the real profits behind your hard work.

1. Professional Speaking – There is a reason the word “authority” begins with author. Once you write a book, you instantly establish yourself as an authority in your field—and authorities can become in-demand speakers at events and conferences. If you aren’t already speaking professionally, this can be a lucrative field to pursue. Keynote speakers earn from $2,500 to $10,000 per engagement, plus travel expenses!

2. Consulting and Coaching – Writing a nonfiction book based on your area of expertise is an easy lead-in for consulting and coaching opportunities. Build programs around your book and use the book to attract new clients. As a bonus, authoring a book can often help justify charging higher rates than competitors that don’t have books.

3. Live Workshops and Training Classes – You can use your book as the foundation for a weekend workshop or a series of training classes that you deliver locally or even take on the road.

4. Webinars and Teleseminars – Take advantage of technology to deliver educational programs around the globe. You could offer a series of classes conducted by teleseminar or webinar, or even host a virtual conference. Last year I held an entire 3-day Nonfiction Writers Conference via teleseminar, complete with six speakers per day. Nobody had to travel and we had an international audience!

5. Workbooks – I often wonder why more authors don’t create workbooks as companion products for their books. If your book teaches how to do something, why not create a workbook to help readers put the lessons into action? Workbooks have a high perceived value and can often retail for more than the book. You can also bundle the book and workbook together to boost back-of-the-room sales, as well as sales from your website.

6. Information Products – You can create a wide variety of information products related to your book such as white papers, special reports, ebooks, program recordings, or self-study courses. (By the way, I wrote a whole book on this topic: From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks, and Information Products)

7. Certification Program – Why not teach others how to do what you do? Jim Horan, author of The One Page Business Plan, has built a brilliant business around his book. He offers certification programs to consultants who want to teach his methods, transforming them into agents who promote his brand and his books. He’s not the only one to do this. Michael Gerber, Michael Port, and John Jantsch all offer similar programs.

8. Bulk Sales – Selling books one at a time is a sure-fire way to generate enough money to fund your coffee habit, but selling them in large quantities can earn enough to actually pay some bills! There are many ways to uncover bulk sales opportunities. You can sell books to corporations to distribute at their events or to customers, co-brand them with non-profits, or have them added as a bonus with purchase. You can also score big by selling large quantities to specialty retailers like gift shops, car washes, gas stations, etc. Think big and you could ultimately generate some big sales as a result.

9. Corporate Sponsorship – As an authority in your field, you can pursue opportunities with a corporation that wants to reach your target audience. There are many possible ways to work together. You can be a media spokesperson for the company, promote their products and services on your blog or social media, add their logo to your book cover for distribution at an event, speak at their events, or hold contests on your Facebook page.

10. Product Bundles – Writing your first book is a great start, but why not keep the content train rolling by bundling together many of the items listed here? You could create packages that include your book, workbook, a ticket to your workshop, and an hour of consulting time. Get creative! Product bundles can be quite attractive, either as a one-time promotion or something that you also make available in your store.