Mining the Gold from Your Book

3 ways to discover more money and more transformation from your book

There is a dirty little secret in the publishing industry.  That secret is that the vast majority of authors don’t make enough money from their book sales and royalty payments to live on.  Unless you write a string of smashing best-sellers like J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts, you are going to need to supplement your income from your books, especially in the nonfiction genres.

However, this is actually really great news!  When you write a nonfiction book, you are writing to entertain or educate your readers.  You want to help them learn something, solve a problem, or transform their lives in some fashion.  It often takes more than just reading a book to fully transform a life.  Just think about all the books that have been written on money management, parenting, or weight loss: there are millions of pages written on those topics but many people are still struggling in those areas.

So how can you use your book to create a sustainable living for yourself and help your readers on an even deeper level?

These three mindset shifts will help you begin the process:

  1. See your book as a first date. When a reader finishes your nonfiction book, she will want more from you if she loved your book.  Your book is just the beginning of a long-term relationship with your readers.  When you create additional opportunities for your readers to connect with you on your website, blog, social media presence, and through products and services, your readers have a reason to stay in your world after turning the final page of your book.
  2. See your book as Step 1 in a transformational process. If you are helping your readers solve a problem in your book, they will most generally need additional support implementing all the things you taught them in your book.  Even readers with the best of intentions encounter obstacles, brush up against fears, and struggle with procrastination.  It can be challenging to change.
  3. See your book as your curriculum. Nonfiction writers are teachers, using books to teach new concepts and ideas.  Your book holds many opportunities to expand on the concepts it contains when you view it as a textbook.  If you were sitting down with your perfect reader and teaching him the methods in your book, where would you begin?

Once you shift your mindset and open to the idea that your book is more than just a book, you can begin to create opportunities for your readers to learn from you in other ways, and opportunities to earn additional income from coaching programs, workshops, audios, courses, and presentations.

Then, you’ll have discovered the real gold in your book.

So, how does this information inspire you?

Share your comments below.  I’d love to hear your ideas and inspirations.

Comments 34

  • Excellent article, I will take this information and apply it. I would also like to learn more about marketing the book before it is published. Would this be on your book marketing link on the site?

  • Lynne, I know that you also practice what you preach regarding multiple streams of income after writing a new book. Rather than making a pile of money what is the best way for me to spread my ‘Seniorpreneur Project’ message around the World using my new book. I started by planting a ‘mustard seed’ back in November, 2005. My mission is to empower Seniors(50 Plus) to become Entrepreneurs through Lifelong Learning. My vision is to eradicate Seniors Poverty around the World.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Joe-
      If you really want to spread your message, my suggestion is that you start speaking to Senior groups whenever you can, sharing the message of your book and offering help on how the folks in your audience can create more properity. I think you message is important, timely, and will be very popular.

  • Lynne,
    Thank you for these timely mind shift thoughts!

    My traditionally published non-fiction books (“Faith Factor NT” and “Faith Factor OT” — thru the Bible Devotions) take the reader on a devotional survey of both the New Testament and Old Testament. They were strong sellers for the publisher, crossed from the tween to the adult market, and have even been used by Homeschoolers as supplemental Bible curriculum.

    I’ve been struggling with whether I should set up a site based on the books (can’t use the title, as a rock band owns it), and what I could possibly offer that would be of interest or help! Any ideas?

    My publisher, David C. Cook has free downloadable Devo’s we had to cut from the book (due to space constraints) on their website in PDF format, and an index for looking up topics that I gave them. Would this be good to duplicate on my site? (If I ever get it up and running!)

    I want to serve and help people understand how the Bible applies to their life, here and now. Yet, there are other sites that do that as well….

    Any ideas to spark creativity would be appreciated, as I am in a slump, and perplexed on next steps. Thanks for any input you can give! =)

    • Hi Jackie-

      Sounds like you are doing some wonderful work in this arena! If you want to reach out to people via a website related to your books, I suggest a url like FaithFactorBooks.com. In that way, you can highlight both of your books.

      You could start a blog and provide additional information on applying the Bible to real life, give readers a place to connect with you, and perhaps offer those downloads from your publisher with permission of course.

      However, if you do not plan to write additional books with this title, you could use another url that is more generic and use that site to highlight your current books and any future ones that you would write. Perhaps a site branded under your name would be a good way to spread the information and continue to build your platform.

      Hope these suggestions spark a few ideas for you!

  • I developed a seminar entitled, “Discovering the Book Within You.” Those who attend are given a chance to bring what they have written and share. Some of the most beautiful poems, manuscripts that are now published, and one who had written a play. It has been very gratifying to encourage those attending to write and share. I agree, the two books that I have written and published have been a springboard for so much more than just the sale of the books. I wish I knew better how to market my books since the feedback on the readers has been positive.

    • Hi Darrel- You are right, the marketing is the most challenging part of any book project. Slow and steady action seems to be the best course.

  • Your book ,your thoughts your creativity
    your confidence in you equal your mindset with equal your gold rush.and if you ad value to what you are doing people will pay what your worth.just think like this would you ask Bill Gates OR Donald Trump for discount? Awww i don’t think so., up your game .be encourage and empowered to what you have written and put it out their,for coaching ,workshops,courses and presenting and watch your Gold Rush.

  • Fabulous article Lynne. Loved it so much have republished it on my new site for authors (as per your conditions of course).

  • Great article! I really enjoyed reading your unique perspective of reframing our concept of what a nonfiction book should be. As a life-long teacher, the idea of seeing my book as a textbook and its content as the curriculum is absolutely genial. Thanks a lot for this refreshing new outlook! It will make my writing so much more purposeful and, above all, practical.

  • I would like to add one more shift to the mix for consideration; a shift in heart and spirit. I wrote my books on leadership to make a difference. I wanted my book characters to do the teaching, not me. I literally sent the book and characters out into the world, ill-prepared to do their job. I even said when my first book was done, “My work is done; now it is time for Hugh and Annabelle to do theirs.”

    I thought writing and producing a book was the pathway to make a shift in how we view leadership. Eventually, with some experience on the ground, I did make the three mindset shifts you suggest. When we got a date, sure enough people wanted more, so I created the workbook and the rest of my product line to include kids and a teacher’s guide. But that alone was not enough.

    I had yet another shift to make. That was from passionate writer and teacher to passionate marketer and promoter. The latter is what I resisted for way too long.

    It didn’t see sales and marketing as my forte, desire, or my real job. I found the self promotion uncomfortable. I had hoped that people would just “get it” on their own and share. I fooled myself into thinking I could just hire out the marketing piece, and the rest would take care of itself.

    Even I knew the mantra “once your book is done – the real work begins.” In my case, knowing that made no difference, my mind was in a swirl. I was so confused on which direction(s) to take that my heart began to ache and spirit dampened. I was ready to give up. I had no clue just how much time, money, and energy it would take personally to get a date. However, where I was really clueless was the shift I would have to make, not my just my mindset but at the core of my being about this issue.

    I made the shift by realizing two things: my vision would never be realized without marketing and promotion, and marketing and promotion was my job. Otherwise, poor Hugh and Annabelle will just gather dust in some storage space or wander aimlessly in cyberspace. That was more than I could bear. I felt like a mother who had sent her children out into the world prematurely and now wanted to abandon them. I know, sounds emotional, but it was very emotional for me.

    As you said, the book was the “first date” with me and my characters. However, without giving my all to marketing and promotion we weren’t getting many dates, but what we did get, gave me a little hope and some encouragement.

    So I shifted my mindset, warmed my heart to the notion of marketing and promotion, and lifted my spirit into new action. The truth is I was doing marketing and promotion, but not incorporating the heart-centered or spirit-driven kind that was necessary for me. This shift altered everything, and in turn began to shift my results. Now that is my work in progress.

    • Debra- Thank you for sharing your experience and your important mindset shift. You are right on target…and a very wise women.
      Blessings to you

  • Hey Lynne,

    These are 3 great mind shifts. As always I appreciate your guidance.

    Dr. Michael Kaye

  • Thanks, Lynne! This post was right on time! I will implement the things you shared because it makes total sense!

  • Lynne–
    Great ideas on building our book into a truly fulfilling business. Many of us who are inspired to help change the world and write our nonfiction books do want to keep the opportunities going to help people understand and use our expertise. Thanks!

    • Monica- that is such a good point. We really do want to serve others with our books. It feels so much better to come from that perspective.

  • Thank you for posting the three tips.

    My website, under construction still, has that intent. May I quote you as saying these three things please and put this quote on my site?

    I can see that self-publishing and encouraging others to take this route is empowering, and my slogan is “write to unite.”

    • Victoria-
      I’d be happy for you to use this article on your new website along with the blurb at the end. Best wishes on your new site!

  • Thank you for the tips in this blog. Speaking of which – I know that I need a blog and am working on it among other things. I was wondering if you have any creative thoughts on how to market/sell the three boxes of books in my garage.

    • You are not alone in having books sitting unsold in your garage. That happens to lots of new authors who don’t always know how to plan marketing. There are lots of possibilities here for you. You might want to include them as a bonus with your other offerings, do an email campaign, or offer them to an organization at a deep discount. There are other ideas as well but too many to cover here. I hope these three spark your creativity a bit.

  • I was really impressed with item #3. It
    seems so obvious after you read the
    statement. Nevertheless,I am surprised by
    it at the same time.

    It’s awesome and I feel like it has
    opened up a whole new world.

  • I totally agree and, in fact, I got the idea for my TRILOGY from a retreat I designed. I am actually using the RETREAT curriculum to write the book!

    • That’s brilliant Eileen. The more I teach what I write, the better I like this method. It is so helpful to get feedback in real time from people.

  • I like your tips. Now, how can this relate to an author like me, who is writing a biography, meant to help parents of autism relate to the journey.

    • Hi Leanna- If you are going to help parents of children with autism, balance your own personal story with solid tips they can use in their family. That will help them tremendously and create opportunities for you to teach.

      Your topic is very important and will bless many.

  • Thank you so much! I am launching my new book next week and I feel more empowered with these ideas. They really hit home for me and I am so happy I read your article!

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