by Angela Lauria August 24, 2020
8 Great Ways to Make Money with a Book in the ’20s
In this episode, Dr. Angela shares 8 ways to make money with a book. Spoiler alert, the least successful way is book sales. Does that surprise you? Tune in to find out the most successful ways to make money with a book.
Listen To The Show:
Podcast: Download (25:45, 23.5MB)
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In this episode you will learn:
- 04:00 – Will your book sell? Here’s how to find out.
- 04:34 – Are book sales going to pay your bills?
- 08:11 – Is it beneficial to sell your book yourself?
- 10:24 – Who can you send copies of your book to?
- 14:26 – Can you make money by giving your book away?
- 16:00 – Love to teach? Host a a virtual workshop!
- 17:16 – Use your book to get a prospect on the phone.
- 18:44 – Your book can get you referrals
- 21:01 – Help out a local business and get leads.
- 22:22 – How to get your name in the news.
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to the roaring 20s. We’re going to be talking about eight great ways to make money with a book in the 20s. And no, I’m not talking about the roaring 20s. Actually, those were the 1920s. And there was one way to sell books in the 1920s. That was to get your books into bookstores, close your eyes and hope people would buy it.
In the 1920s. Authors needed intermediaries, authors needed an agent, a publisher and editor. They needed people to sell their books into bookstores. There was no Amazon in the 1920s, no internet, not even a glimmer in the eye of Al Gore or anyone over at DARPA even who were actually I invented the internet, Vint Cerf was just being born or not quite yet born, I guess still 10 years before Vint Cerf was born.
The only way that books were sold is by getting into bookstores, there was limited shelf space in those bookstores. And so there were gatekeepers. There were intermediaries, there was a limit on who could be an author. Those limits are gone. And the way to make money with a book in the 2020s is totally different than the way we made money from books in the 1920s. So I’m gonna take you to the new roaring 20s where there are hundreds of ways to make money from a book.
I’m going to share today. Eight of my favorite ways to make money from a book, we’re going to look at this upside down sideways backwards, I’m going to show you a few of the creative ways that my authors generate hundreds of thousands of dollars from a book. While most new authors make Can you guess, how much $250 US total, over the life of their book. Most authors don’t know how to make money from a book because even now in the 2020s, they’re using hundred year old methods to get their books sold. They’re hoping for this white knight who’s going to get their book in bookstores. And then for people to magically go into these bookstores, find their book and buy it. The numbers just aren’t there.
Have you heard about the retail apocalypse? Bookstores are closing faster than you can say Harry Potter. Oh wait Harry Potter I cancelled so you can’t say Harry Potter bookstores are closing. That is not where people will go to buy your book and can they buy your book on Amazon? Sure. They can. They will. But shelf space on Amazon is unlimited and what does unlimited shelf space mean? It means you got competition and a lot of it. In fact, if you don’t have competition, you have a bigger problem. If you have written a book, that there are no competing books, no one else has written a book on this topic. Your chances of getting any book sales is about zero.
The books that sell best, have the most competitors but still you’re getting a fraction of the market share a fraction, because you have so much competition. So how do you make money from a book? Let’s roll. I’ve got eight ways to share with you. We’ll take a quick break. And I’m going to be back with my first couple of ways. So stay tuned, I got some good tips coming up.
Ok, spoiler alert. The first couple of ways I’m going to share with you and how to make money from a book are the worst. I know I’m starting with the worst. But I can’t skip these because for any author, these are the ways that sort of weirdly mean the most they’re like sentimental money from a book. And that has to do with selling books. The worst way to make money from your book is selling it. But sure, book sales are number one to make money from your book, book sales on Amazon though I want you to concentrate on Amazon, there are lots of online bookstores, you can obviously have your book on Barnes and Noble on target. You can list your book through the Amazon service KDP. But you could also go through lightning source Smashwords book baby, there’s aggregation services. There are hundreds of ways to list your book. And there are other book experts out there. Like for instance, Joanna Pen from the creative pen, who she focuses on helping fiction authors but what she says is get your book out everywhere. Now I’ve done my own research on this and I will tell you why my focus is only to put your book on Amazon and own Amazon. And here’s why. The effort to get your book everywhere online is pretty steep. And the amount of book sales that happen off Amazon are fewer than 10%. So you’ll spread your effort thin, you’ll get 10% more sales over here on all these other channels, but you will reduce your Amazon sales by 20 or 30%. lowering your overall sales. So yes, book sales, but Amazon go all in, do KDP Select, learn how to use their promotions and discounts and advertising and then take all the money you make on those book sales on Amazon and go buy yourself a nice pair of shoes. They might be $20 shoes. They may be $2,000 shoes, but money you make from books is meant to buy shoes. All right, way number two is selling books on your website, setting up your own e-commerce funnel. Now, I don’t say this because you’ll make more money. I say it because you’ll have more control. So easy math. Let’s say your book is $10. You put it up on Amazon, you’re going to get roughly $7 from that book varies a little but that’s a good placeholder. If you put your book up on your own website and you set up an e commerce interface. You can use Shopify you can just use what we use, which is stripe. But if you sell your book directly on your website, other than that 3% Merchant fee that you will probably Pay, you will keep 97%. So on a $10 book, you’re gonna keep $9 and 70 cents instead of $7.
Okay, cool. But again, I don’t really care about the extra two $2 and 70 cents. What I care about, and I want you to listen really carefully is this. When you sell books on your website, you can run ads to your website. You can pixel the customer, you can run ads to Amazon, you can run ads on Amazon to Amazon, you can run ads on Facebook to Amazon. But what you can’t view is the pixel and Amazon page. Now I know you might not know what that means, but it’s really important as an author to understand that you need to own this buyer, you want their contact info. When you sell a book on your site, they’re going to put in their name and email address. When you sell a book on Amazon, Amazon gets their name and email address, not you. So you can’t follow up with them with your next book, your next promotion or your next offer if you sell your books on Amazon, so there are two ways to make money from book sales, selling it on someone else’s site and selling it on your own site. My advice number one is sell your book just on Amazon. Don’t worry about all those other sites.
And then my advice number two is focus on driving ads to your own ecommerce website. pixel everyone for advertising, get their contact information and then follow up with a free consultation call with you or someone on your team. What will you do on this consultation call? Well, you’re gonna have to stay tuned through this break, because we’re going to talk about how you really make money from a book when we come back.
Okay, so now you know you can make money from book sales, and that money is meant to buy you shoes. So what’s the money that’s meant to pay your actual bills, you know, rent, food, things like that? Well, in this part of today’s podcast, I am going to share with you direct sales techniques that you can use with a book. These are tried and true. And they are really the heart and soul of how our authors make money with a book. They use their book. Now, I talked earlier in the podcast about how you can sell a book. That’s cool, do it, buy the shoes, you can also give a book away.
So whether you sell it or give it away, in my perfect world, you get the contact information for the people who got your book, because the contact information, people that we call prospects, those prospects are where the real money comes from a book and how you make money from a book. So what you’ll want to do is talk to your prospective clients, find out what their problem is, and offer to help them solve their problems. And that’s the key to making money with a book as an author, meeting your readers. meeting them, obviously over the phone or virtually meeting them in person, if that ever makes sense, but really meeting their needs, seeing them and helping where you can help. So I’m going to give you three keys for direct sales from a book. If you’re ready.
Here is the first: this is number three on our list of eight great ways to make money from a book. Make a list of your top 50 most exciting prospective clients, some people say 100 you can google this. It’s called your dream 100 list. But I like starting with 50 and here’s why. You can get copies of your book printed copies of your book for about $3 each. And what I will always advise people to do is to get 100 copies of their book. That’s about 300 bucks. Then what you do is you make a list of 50 prospective clients. These could be people that you are connected to, through groups or associations you’re in, maybe yoga teachers at yoga studios near you. Maybe they are business owners that you found on a local business list. You will make a list of those prospective clients and send them two copies and a letter.
Why two copies, because you will double your sales by sending two copies. No one likes to have two copies of the same book. And no one likes to throw out a book. So when you send people two copies, they will need to give one away to a friend, family member, co worker and to give one away. They have to read the back cover copy to know what to say to the person they’re going to give it to. So they’re going to say, hey, Jennifer, I thought you’d like this book. It’s about whatever your book is about, in order to give it to Jennifer. So if you want to boost direct sales, instead of mailing 100 people, one book, mail, 50 people, two books, and you’ll get 10 sales calls and two or three clients.
The next method for making money with a book through direct sales is to give your book away. I mentioned this one earlier, and I love doing giveaways through other people’s events. So find events that are happening with people who would be good prospects for you. Maybe it’s a women’s empowerment event, maybe it’s a business matchmaking. event. There are so many virtual events happening right now. And the organizers of those events can no longer do in person, goodie bags. So what they would love is to give a digital copy of your book to their readers. You can do that totally free and you’re the hero. So Google virtual events that might be a fit for people who could use your help with their business, their body, their relationship, their kids, their heart, their spirituality, who’s running events, and how can you make your book a free giveaway in the goodie bag.
Alright, and my fifth favorite way of making money from a book is for you, my lovely friend to host a virtual workshop on your topic.
Make the price low. I like $7 or $9. But here’s the trick. And it’s so fun. The workshop can be as long as you want, it can be totally low cost so everyone can attend. You can even make it pay what you can with a minimum of $1. But the trick is that everyone who buys a ticket and shows up gets a free copy of your book. If you make the tickets to your workshop $10 you can afford to buy them a print book and mail it to them. If they show up. You can even sign it and mail it to them. So what this does is it increases the show up rate at your event. It increases the mental buy in people have when they show up for your event, and again increases the chance that they will want your help.
Remember, the key to making money from a book to pay your bills, pay your employees, pay your rent is direct sales. And the way we make direct sales is by getting people on a phone call listening to their problem. And if you can help them solve that problem, make them an offer. By doing a virtual workshop on your topic, you can give lots of generic information for free, use your book to increase your show up rate, and then make an offer for a consultation in that virtual workshop.
So to sum up, three ways for direct sales one make a list of 50 prospective clients, send them two copies each of your book Number two, give away your book in the goodie bag of someone else’s event. And number three, do a virtual workshop and give your book away to people who show up for your event. You’ve now heard the five top ways to make money from a book in the new roaring 20s. But I’ve got three more so stay tuned, come back and I’ll share my last three ideas with you.
While the number one way to make money from a book is through direct sales, there’s a long game to be played to amat is with indirect sales. I’m going to give you three ways to use a book that will indirectly impact sales. And over a year, you will see a massive impact to your ability to scale by adding these indirect techniques to the direct techniques. So, these are ways to make money from a book and to make more money from a book long term. Number six, give copies of your book to all current and past clients with a very special letter or video. This is a request for referral. In advance, thank you, like a book is a powerful way to increase the number of referrals you get. Now, you can send the referral request and then say if you make a referral, I’ll give you my book but when I like to do is to send people your book with a letter saying I’m sending this in advance, thank you. If you do make a referral, I have an additional gift that when I see your referral come through, I’ll send it over and that can be a recorded class or a bonus 15 minutes with you, or something else that you might want to give to them. I’ve had people give pens, post it notepads, mugs like this one. And you can just say a quick thank you $5 Starbucks card or grub hub, gift certificate, something like that. Now, of course, if one of those referrals buys, I would also send a monetary percentage, depending on your price point 510 percent 100 bucks, 1000 bucks, just to say thank you if that business closes.
All right, the seventh way to make money from a book. This one’s a favorite. And it’s so important right now. Call local business owners who are struggling for foot traffic. They are struggling for ways to reach out to clients they used to see regularly and offer your book as a free customer appreciation gift for their clientele. local business owners will be so excited to meet an author and they will be thrilled to have a free gift for their list for their clients. No strings attached, no pitch. Just say I’d love to give my book to your customers as a way to say thank you. It’s great if this is actually a local business that you go To that you enjoy. So we call this customer appreciation, play the long game, build those relationships.
And the last indirect sales method I want to share with you and are a great way to make money with a book is to make a list of 10 local journalists even better industry journalists. These can be people who run podcasts or local TV news reporters, even local print reporters. Send them your book and three story ideas. These are ideas of things they could interview you about and ask you about frequently asked questions you get from readers, clients and people you’ve helped. Don’t pitch them anything. Don’t tell them you want to Pitch Anything. offer for them to use you as an expert. One of the things I tell the journalists I’ve built relationships with all the time is. I’ve got 1000 authors. If you ever need an expert on a topic, reach out, I’d be happy to hook you up. Journalists need resources. Podcasters need people to interview, be a resource, build that connection. That’s the long game as an author. Today, I have shared with you eight great ways to make money from a book in the 20s. It looks a lot different than it did in the 1920s. And I’m so excited you’re here. You’re committed to building your credibility, driving leads and growing your revenue with a book. The great news is in the 20s many, many more authors can Make 10s of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars from a book. In the 1920s. Very few people were selected to be the voice of their generation. Very few. Now it’s an open playing field and you can learn the game and you can win it. That’s what we do at the Author Incubator. We love helping our authors by changing the world, one book at a time.
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