Writing and publishing your book is the easy part. The hard work begins when you build your income stream through promotion and sales. That’s also where you spend and earn your dollars and you establish your reputation.
Embrace the Income Stream Process
So embrace the process. Have fun with it. You have more ways to market and move books than you will ever have time to implement and more ways to measure success than just book sales.
I travelled to conferences all over the country to speak with like-minded souls, students, long-time friends, and potential readers about my adventures in the Vietnam-era antiwar movement thanks to my four-volume Voices from the Underground Series about the independent, antiwar underground press.
Sometimes I was paid for speaking. At others, I spoke for free but got reimbursed for travel, food, and lodging expenses. I always sold books. Whenever I could, I arranged to have my talk videoed so I could upload it to YouTube and my website.
Sometimes I initiated the outreach to conference organizers and asked to speak. At others, they came to me.
It’ll be the same for you. Who is your audience? What conferences do they attend? Make your availability to speak known.
Tax Bonuses of Writing
And you can write off expenses on your annual taxes: for travel, for food, for your phone, for supplies and equipment, for research and education, for web maintenance, charitable contributions, promotion, and so much more.
Your accountant is the last word on what you can write off, not me, but if you make purchases in any of those categories, save your receipts and begin developing your case for how they relate to your business and should be deductible.
Build Your Income Stream
The keyword to publication success is “income stream.” Book sales may be a significant part of your income stream, especially when you publish in hard cover, soft cover, ebook, and audio.
But don’t stop there. As a thought-leader in your specialty area, you can teach college classes, lead workshops, sell courses online, host webinars, and speak in front of major conferences.
You can negotiate with conference organizers to purchase copies of your book to stuff in gift bags when you’re delivering the keynote speech.
Sometimes your book is a source of income. At other times, you give away books to attract a related but greater source of income. At tax time, you can usually write off the cost to purchase most books you give away.
To promote your book and your expertise, you can write articles on your blog and link to other sites or get them to link to yours. You can use the articles to create chapters of new books. You can link to them from whatever social media you use.
No one next step is correct for every promotional campaign. Just keep moving. The more steps you take, the easier it becomes to take the next step.
Two Proud Professions
One lesson I’ve learned: As an author, you need to be a speaker, too, if you want to make significant money from your books.
Join the National Speakers Association to learn the business of speaking and discover an amazing network of contacts, mentors, and friends.
At the same time, join the National Writers Union, where you will learn about the world of freelance writing and publishing, ask questions, and share your own sage wisdom on NWU-BOOK, NWU’s active listserv for book authors. In addition, if you find yourself looking at a book contract, you can request the free services of a trained book contract adviser — worth well more than the cost of membership alone.
You aren’t a writer who speaks or a speaker who writes. You are a writer and a speaker, a member of two proud professions that work together to make your hard work easier. Become knowledgeable about both worlds and how they come together.
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This piece was adapted from Ken Wachsberger’s You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You. Ken’s other books may be found here and here. For book coaching and editing help, or to invite Ken to speak at your meeting, email Ken at [email protected].
Schedule your complimentary 30-minute coaching and editing session now.