Book Royalities Won’t Make You Wealthy

Are you counting on book royalties to make you wealthy?

Publishing, royalities, publishing contract, book royalitiesMany writers have unrealistic income expectations when publishing their first book.

Writing a book is not enough for authors looking to build a brand and an income stream for years to come.

Today’s successful authors know that  publishing a book is just the first “brick” in building their business. To become successful as an author requires a long term marketing strategy and putting yourself in the shoes of your readers. Authors need to think about what else they can create and offer their readers by expanding upon their books.

Author Dan Miller offers some excellent suggestions in a guest post for Michael Hyatt:

Several years ago Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup For The Soul told a small group of us author wannabes something that revolutionized my approach to writing. He said, “Everyone I meet wants to write a book. I tell them, ‘Write your book. Do a great job. Now you’re 10% finished. The remaining 90% consists of marketing, promoting, developing ancillary products, etc.’”

Jay Conrad Levinson is best known for popularizing the term “guerrilla marketing” in his many books. He comments, “Some people asked me how much I made from my first book. The answer I gave was $10 million. The book itself only paid $35,000 in royalties, but the speaking engagements, spin-off books, newsletters, columns, boot camps, consulting, and wide-open doors resulted in the remaining $9,965,000.”

How are you approaching your writing? Are you frustrated that in return for submitting a great article you are paid $70 and that the royalties from your book have covered the cost of your morning Starbucks but have done little to impact your mortgage?

The first edition of my book 48 Days to the Work You Love was released in 2005. It continues to do very well and I am thankful for the royalty checks that come in. But as I have little control over those, I’ve never depended on that income for any real expenses, vacations, or retirement funds. My wife Joanne and I typically have fun guessing the amount before we open that twice-yearly envelope. And then we squeal with delight or groan in fake agony when the dollar amount appears.

However, since the original release I have:

  • Developed the complete twelve-session 48 Days to the Work You Love seminar which is now being taught by facilitators around the world;
  • Written multiple 48 Days to manifestos;
  • Been deluged with career coaching requests;
  • Licensed over 350 coaches to which we refer coaching requests;
  • Conducted countless teleseminars on the concepts;
  • Delivered speeches all over the country;
  • Supplied related content for periodicals from Christianity Today to Success magazine; and
  • Hosted Write to the Bank conferences three times a year for other writers.

Guess where I’ve made 95% of the money from the content in 48 Days to the Work You Love?

Book royalties won’t make you wealthy

While book royalties won’t make you wealthy, the good news is, as Miller points out, there are plenty of creative ways to produce an income using your book as a spring board. While writing your book you should be thinking about what other products and services you can offer your readers. It’s never too soon to begin focusing on the marketing of your book and your brand. Book royalties alone probably won’t make you wealthy, but the ancillary business  you can produce from your book just might.

What products and services could you offer that create more value for your readers?

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