Can you make a living from your book?

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is “Can you make a living from your book?”

For many of us, the idea of selling millions of books and retiring in our waterfront home while living on royalties is a very attractive prospect. Even better, making passive income… Passive income is a mysterious topic we’ve all heard of, and secretly want to know how to actually manifest in our lives.

But the truth is, nothing is really passive (there is work involved along the way)… and secondly, the answer to the question is…it depends.

In this blog we explore if authors make a living from their books, and if so, how.

In this article, we will cover:


Making money from your book and passive income

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is “Can you make a living from your book?”

For many of us, the idea of selling millions of books and retiring in our waterfront home while living on royalties is a very attractive prospect. Even better, making passive income… Passive income is a mysterious topic we’ve all heard of, and secretly want to know how to actually manifest in our lives.

But the truth is, nothing is really passive (there is work involved along the way)… and secondly, the answer to the question is…it depends.

As with all things in life, what you’ll need to accomplish your goal is a vision, coupled with a strategy.

Basically, book sales are not going to make you a living. There is no exact figure known, but 99% of authors do not make a living from the books they write. Basically, it’s just a very small percent of people who make a living out of books.

Watch this video if you prefer

If you’d rather watch a video than read a blog, here it is!

Book sales income

You can make some money from book sales when you are consistently running ads and promoting your book or selling it as part of a funnel (again, running ads).

If you stick the book up on Amazon and let it go, it will not make sales. There are a few things that need to be in place, like book reviews and the right keywords, for you to make sales.

Consistently promoting a book has earned some people $500, $1000, $1500 a month, or even more. This is as a result of constantly promoting the book.

However, that is not where the money comes from. It comes from all the things around the book, such as selling your workshops and programs, selling your coaching packages or other opportunities.

For instance, if you want to build a platform and speak on stage, you may get paid from the speaking fees. You may get paid to speak once you have got a book because it certainly helps.  If you are already getting paid to speak, you will get paid more when you have a book because it promotes you as an expert and positions you as that ‘go-to’ person in your industry, and you’ll get more money for speaking that way.

Even non-paid speaking opportunities (or when you pay to speak) are easier to land when you have a book, and you can be very successful through speaking on stage and then meeting clients in the audience afterwards.

Therefore, you need to be strategic with writing your book and positioning yourself such that you are making money.

What if you don’t have a business?

When people who don’t have a business or who have a new business where they’re not even settled and making consistent income come to me, I tell them “Look, now is probably not the time for you to be writing your book,” because the book builds upon what you’ve already got and allows you to create more opportunities and more visibility.

And because you are positioned as an expert, you can charge more for your speaking and coaching.

You should keep it in mind that without any of these things in place, it can be very difficult to make back the money you need to produce a quality book. It’s not to say that you can never write a book; it just means that now might not be the right time.

If your business is new, you should spend about six to twelve months building it. You can do so by working with a business coach or mentor while consistently making money in your business, and the book will build upon that and help you skyrocket.

So, yes, you can make a living from your book, not directly from your book, but from everything around that.

What to do if you’re ready to write

If this sounds like the right move for you and you want to brainstorm ideas about what type of book or how you’re going to position yourself, please do book a call with me using this link.

Schedule a chat with me here

I’ll be really honest about if I think this is the right time for you, and what the right book might be.

Until then, happy writing.

Cat x


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