Today’s post is by Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach.

The vast majority of authors do not make a living from their books. Most traditionally published books never “earn back” their advances, which mean they don’t sell enough copies to make the authors any money past the initial advance on sales given for writing the book. Most ebooks don’t sell more than about 550 copies per year, and only a few indie authors pay their bills with the royalties they earn.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue authorship as a full-time career, which means one that earns you enough income on which to live. Indeed, you should. But approach this goal with a different mindset than the typical author, who writes with the hope of earning an income from book sales alone.

To make a living as an author, write your book with a focus on how you can turn your book into a business. Write your book thinking you’ll create related products and services that help promote sales of your book, build platform, and earn money 24/7.

A nonfiction book easily can be turned into courses, talks, coaching programs, membership sites, and other products and services. Depending upon your creativity and energy level, the ways to build a business around your book are endless. Novelists who think outside the box—or crush the box—can build businesses around their books as well.

Become an Authorpreneur

Maybe becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t high on your list of reasons for writing a book, but if you want to make authorship your career, you need to become an authorpreneur. Keep this in mind as you conceptualize your book.

Don’t decide to build a business around your books after the book is released. It’s better to make this decision in the early stages. In other words, write your book with this purpose in mind.

Focus the content of your book on what your readers, customers or clients want and need, such as problems solved, questions answered or pain eased. Provide a structure for you book that serves as the foundation for programs of all types. For example, each of your chapters could spin off into teleseminars, webinars, workshops, online courses, speeches, or workbooks. Or you could develop chapters around specific steps, ways or tools, and you could create programs or courses around these. Additionally, if you can devise any type of system that can be repeated, you can use it to structure you book and to support a coaching program or even a done-for-you service.

Include Conversion Elements

When you write a book in this manner, you can include elements within the manuscript specifically meant to generate leads once the book is published. The most common conversion elements are “calls to action.” For instance, in the content of your chapters or in the front or back matter of your book, you might make an offer that sends readers to your website. To receive your offer, they must provide you with an email address. This helps you grow your mailing list, which you can use to contact these “business prospects.” Such calls to action might include:

  • A free teleseminar
  • A free ebook
  • A free course
  • A downloadable whitepaper or report
  • A ticket to an event
  • A discount on a program
  • A free consult

You also can include a page at the back of your book that lists your additional products and services, including ecourses, home-study course, live courses, or membership sites. Or you can provide a link to a form that request more information if they are interested in services, such as coaching. Don’t forget the simplest conversion strategy: hyperlinks to web pages or landing pages where you sell your wares.

Books may not always be big money makers for authors, but they can produce a career and an income—especially if you plan your book with this in mind. First, decide to become an authorpreneur. Then start writing your books with the goal of building a business around them.


Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University.

Her latest, Authorpreneur: How to Build a Business around Your Book, was named a Hot New Release on Kindle.