by Joan Stewart
Most authors obsess over one statistic: the number of books sold.
They don’t see their books as springboards to other opportunities. Sure, selling a truckload is exhilarating. But for the really smart, savvy authors, only one number really counts: how many revenue streams they can create from a book.
Authors who haven’t published yet can start creating spin-off products from a book that isn’t finished. Simply tie the products into the topic of your book.
Here are 33 ideas to get you thinking about multiple revenue streams.
For Beginning Authors
1) Special Reports
These inexpensive PDFs, priced at $10 or less, allow customers to test the waters before deciding to spend more money with you. See Special Reports: Snack-size Samples That Offer a Tasty Sample.
2) Subscription Ezines.
Most ezines are free. But if your tips help people make money or your subscribers are in narrow niches that few other experts serve, you might be able to sell your newsletter.
3) Tips Booklets.
Print booklets, chock full of short how-to tips, can be sold individually for a low price—say, $5. Or offer them in bulk to trade associations at a discount. You can give buyers the option of getting the digital booklet. Paulette Ensign, aka “The Tips Booklet Queen,” has built an entire business on teaching people how to publish tips booklets and even license them.
Teach people how to draw, build, write or create something.
5) White Paper
Research a problem and explain how you think it should be solved. Sign up for Perry Marshall’s free five-day email course on how to attract customers with White Papers.
6) Cheat Sheets and Checklists
Buyers love these! Create several and sell the entire bundle at a discount.
7) Pocket Guidebooks.
A Foodie’s Guide to New Orleans would be a perfect spinoff product for an author who writes a murder mystery about New Orleans.
Teaching & Training
8) Adult Ed Classes
Contact your local school district, City Hall or tech school. They might love to offer a class on writing and publishing, or a topic that ties into your expertise.
9) Guest Lecturer
In addition to your topic, you can speak at colleges and universities about writing and publishing.
10) Cruise Ship Workshops
Host your own cruise. Teach about your topic onboard, market it yourself (the cruise line won’t) and sell it as a working vacation.
11) Speak on Cruise Ships
Cruise for free, or for a significant discount, in exchange for programs presented onboard for the cruise line.
12) Home Study Courses
Great for the do-it-yourself crowd.
Let people attend live, and sell the recordings.
14) Certification Programs
Certify people to sell a type of product or service.
15) Email Course
You deliver this via an email autoresponder after someone registers.
16) Public Seminar Speaker
Present your own content or someone else’s at seminars conducted by companies like SkillPath. You’ll get first-hand experience at how to sell from the back of the room.
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17) Inner Circles
Let a select group of customers buy special access to you by phone or Skype. You can also upsell them to in-person training.
For Author Experts Only
18) Brand Ambassador or Celebrity Spokesperson
Teach consumers about how to interact with a company’s brand.
19) Corporate Spokesperson
Go after companies that need the kinds of readers and audiences who love you.
20) Trade Association
Collect membership fees and offer high value.
License your own content to be used by others.
22) Expert Witness
Attorneys hire a wide variety of expert witnesses to testify on their clients’ behalf.
Branded Retail Products
23) Desk or Wall Calendars
Great for fiction authors, too.
24) Board Games
The Settlers of Catan board games, which have sold more than 18 million copies worldwide, are being turned into a book, proof that the book doesn’t always come first.
25) T-shirts, Hats and Accessories
Another profitable opportunity for fiction authors.
26) Membership Programs
You bill members monthly. It’s difficult to keep members for longer than three months, so offer high value.
27) Group Coaching
Offer this in person, by phone or Skype.
28) “Rent My Brain”
People who don’t need long-term access to you can rent your brain for an hour. At the end of their session, try to upsell them to a longer-term coaching or membership program.
29) Mentor Program
It differs from group coaching because it offers one-on-one training although you could include group coaching.
Many people who want to write books don’t have the time or don’t want to learn how to write
31) Freelance Writing
Sell articles to print or digital media outlets.
Edit copy for newsletters, websites, articles or blogs.
If this is a new revenue stream for you, consider creating a profile at Fiverr.com. It’s a digital marketplace of vendors who are willing to perform a service for only $5. Many vendors try to upsell clients to more expensive services.
Those are my ideas. But I’ve only scratched the surface. What other products or services can authors spin off from their books?
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.