by Jennifer Lancaster
After 12 years of researching the self-publishing world, I believe this is the best path for subject matter experts to make money from their knowledge/experience.
If you speak regularly, or you’re a teacher, or you have a huge social media presence (talking thousands here), then you might consider selling books or product to your students or audience.
… You can still opt to sell print-on-demand through online bookstores.
… You can sell books or DVDs through your own web store, keeping about $10 in profits each.
… You can even sell books through Facebook (non-direct) and Amazon, and ebooks through iBookstore and Scribd.
… You sell books, workbook or DVDs at your talks, workshops and seminars.
Ways to Profit from Publishing
Lessen your risk by only buying 50 books in.
Self-publishing is risky and fraught with difficulty, yet can be really good for business… Choose to set up and print 50 books, sell those and then see if you have demand for more.
Lessen your risk by testing the subject ‘resonance’ with others via eBook publishing first
Get some advice on strategy (covering goals, branding and book channels).
Editing or book coaching — improves the quality of the publication and so aids its popularity
Publicise your work inside your profession – thus getting more work opportunities and further creative opportunity.
Blog and Write Articles — this helps publicise your book, but importantly, grows an author brand (or platform).
As part of a contracted service, we can give you further coaching or training on publishing for profit elements.
For editing, Jennifer does it on Google Docs with suggestions. For publicising your work, we give you a Marketing Plan that includes the low-cost tools, places to contact media, and places to find bloggers to review, so that it’s a quicker route to success for you.
Also see our book, Power Marketing (3rd ed.), or our client guide: Niche Marketing & Book Guide (free for clients). They each have several sections on publishing for profit.
Becoming a Publishing Entrepreneur
- Step 1: Get clear on your WHY, so you have clear outcomes in mind before you start. Many have rushed headlong into writing and publishing either the wrong book or one that doesn’t lead to success in a career/business.
- What do you want to achieve?
- Step 2: Think about where your book sits in your business, as a product and a marketing tool. Even a modest book can be a catalyst for increased business, clarify what you love doing, and peg you as an expert.
- Step 3: Who wants what you have to share? Finding a micro-niche means identifying the ideal audience who will strongly respond to your message. Instil it with your own values and experiences they can relate to. It’s far better to niche small rather than write a book for ‘everybody’.
- Step 4: Gain a clear understanding of the self-publishing process through a course or a coach. You don’t need to spend $30,000 in hopes of being a mass publisher, as some publishing pundits claim, but there is a lot to learn as you may see in Book Creation Success club.
- Step 5: Set a publishing project timeline, with smaller goals along the way. Include the contact numbers of your “book helpers” — experts and friends who write. If you let others in your circle know about your project, it makes it harder to procrastinate.
- Step 6: Get to know your readers intimately so that you offer a compelling reason for them to read your book, even if you’re excited to put ‘all’ your ideas to paper.
- Step 7: What is the framework of your book? Allow its personality to emerge in the planning, so that you create a unique book with a strong attraction factor, instead of a bland book afraid to be different. Read 20 other books in your niche, and find a gap.
- Step 8: Write your chapter plans so that you create manageable chunks to knock off. Structure topics in order, with the explanations first and then the more in-depth stuff, as you would if explaining a complex topic to a friend. The chapter plan, based around a topic or person, should contain renown industry sources you can call on again. This will help you research methodically, and limit your time Googling!
- Step 9: Writing is a discipline. Ensure your book comes to life by writing down your goals and managing your time. Call on friends, beta readers or writing coaches to hold you accountable, follow up on your milestones, and cheer you on, so that your book can make it out of the canon and into the field.
- Step 10: Plan for the next step. You’re excited about your book now, but adjust your vision to the future, remembering that you can add workshops, webinars, consulting, coaching, and guest speaking off the back of your book.
How long does it take to write and edit a book?
2 trade pages per day x 5 days/wk x 15 weeks = 150 pages
6 weeks for editing and formatting = a book in 21 weeks!
There is a difference between A4 and a book trade page; a document of 160 A4 pages (1.25 spaced) is more than 220 trade pages (8.5 x 5.5″).
Another non-fiction trade size is 6″ x 9″, which allows a bit more room for graphics and margins.
I hope you get started with a real plan to publish for profit, today!