Expert Branding

How Do Authors Make Money? Thinking Beyond the Book

It’s a commonly held misperception that authors are rich. Yes there are some authors who are well off, and yes some of them sell thousands of books, but here’s the real reason those authors are making money—they’re thinking beyond the book.

The truth is that quality books are costly to develop and produce and they must sell through several reprints to become profitable. As such, much of the money authors make doesn’t come from the sale of the book itself but from the opportunities the book gives the author.

As an author, a book gives you instant credibility and opens doors to other streams of income previously unavailable to you. For nonfiction authors, the book is often an extension of your business or expertise. It’s a marketing tool, demonstrating your philosophy and unique approach to potential clients, media outlets, and speaking opportunities. For fiction authors, a book demonstrates your ability to perceive and recreate the world, and opens up opportunities to teach, speak, and educate other authors.

Anatomy of an Author Website

As an author, you know how important it is to have an attractive and current website. Your website is your calling card, and a vehicle for conveying your brand to both media and readers. It is also a tool for building your community of followers and letting them know about your activities. Your website is crucial to building and retaining your platform, and it must be designed to net the most benefit both for you and your followers.

The first thing you need is a relevant and easy-to-spell URL. The web address you select should either be your name or a key phrase associated with your brand. It’s also a good idea to purchase the URL of your book title and have it redirect to your website Remember, most people will use a keyword search to find your website, so keep it short and avoid any unusual words or phrases that will be difficult to spell and/or remember.

How to Strategically Build & Maintain Your Audience

Knowing exactly who needs your expertise and, therefore, who should be your target audience can oftentimes be a challenge. One of the most common errors that authors and experts make is thinking that “everyone” is their audience. While it may be true that just about anyone could benefit from the information that you are sharing, it’s important to consider who would want the information, and who is likely to be most excited about it. For example, just about anyone could benefit from learning how to manage their money, but only a select few will actively seek out that information.