How Self-Help Authors Can Turn Their Published Books Into Cash Machines
If you’re a published author, you know all the hard work you put into writing your book and getting it published—whether it’s with a publisher or self-published.
You spent many months writing your book. And then rewriting your book. And then editing your book.
And you probably enlisted the help of many people to get your book in saleable condition.
You hired a professional editor to really make your book a really top-notch book. That probably cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But it was worth to you because without a good edited book, you won’t attract a lot of fans. And you will get the dreaded one-star reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.
And you probably got the best book cover artist your money could buy.
And this, too, probably cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Am I right? Or am I right? Having a really sharp looking book cover is so important to your Amazon presence. Especially when your book cover is presented as a thumbnail in the “Customers who bought this item also bought…” or the “Sponsored products related to this item…” and the other cross selling gimmicks Amazon engages in.
And of course, you have a really good book description that really brings in buyers. (You can download my FREE guide on just how to do that right here: http://freeguide.freshsalescopy.com/ )
But after all that time and all that money you spent, you’re not really seeing the sales that you hoped to have seen.
And you read a lot of books on how to make the best of Amazon. And there are some really good books and some really bad ones—the ones that really just regurgitate what everyone else saying. In fact, that’s what most books are about on Amazon anyway!
But they don’t give you anything you haven’t heard before. The only real strategy they have for making real money with your book is to… “Write MORE books!”
Yes, that would increase your rankings. But then you have the author’s dilemma…
Do you write more top quality books that you can only produce one every six months to a yea. Or do you churn out low quality books every month?
It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you fall on: The fact that the best advice on how to make money from your books is to write more books is so obvious you don’t need to read a book on how to do just that.
What you need is the ONE secret that no one is talking about. And I’m gonna tell you that one secret in a moment.
But the heart of the matter is that after all that work and money into publishing your book, you’re not getting any money out of it.
You want money, right?
(Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention: if you don’t want big money from your book and you ONLY want a high ranking on Amazon for your book, then don’t bother reading the rest of this post because it deals ONLY with how you can actually make money from your book—nothing else).
And the statistics are pretty grim for making serious money from your book on Amazon or elsewhere for that matter.
“There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone…”—Forbes Magazine
That’ s a lot of books! It’s hard to compete with all those books, especially since book readership hasn’t gone up that much in the last decade.
This means that there is a LOT more supply than demand. And as your economics teacher has told you: When supply goes up prices come down. That’s why books are selling for 99 cents. And it’s not just because they are cheaper to produce, it’s because there is such an abundant supply.
Even when big publishers had the ability to make books for Kindle, they refused to lower their prices. So, it’s not about producing a cheaper product.
But what has happened is that since the product was cheaper to produce, the supply skyrocketed—but with NO new readers.
So, in this environment, you really can’t make any money. Unless….
You write a LOT more books. But since you’ve already written a few top quality books, you know it’s just not that easy to crank out books whenever you want.
And you’re starting to feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
“The average book sells only 3,000 copies in its lifetime…The average U.S. nonfiction book is now selling less than 250 copies per year “ –Publishers Weekly
And it’s not.
The problem with selling your book on Amazon like everyone else is that you really can’t promote your book on Amazon. Because when you do, you’re really promoting Amazon, NOT your book.
Amazon is a big store, so every time you drive someone to Amazon to buy YOUR book, you have a very low chance of them actually buying YOUR book instead of some other book or product.
Big stores such as your local grocery store can promote spaghetti in their weekly circular because it doesn’t matter if you actually buy spaghetti or walk out with a box of cereal. They made a sale.
That’s the same thing with Amazon. Every time you Tweet, post on Facebook or launch someone from your website to Amazon, you have a 71% chance of making a sale for Amazon instead of yourself.
Amazon has become the master at the cross-sell. Every time you look at a book (or any other product), Amazon is asking you if you’d be interested in something else.
And this is precisely the reason why the advice given to authors is to write more books, because in essence you are creating your own store with all your books.
That would take you a very long time.
Now, what if I could tell you that you ONLY need ONE book to make serious money? Well, in minute I’m gonna explain to you exactly how that can be done.
But first, it’s important to understand that all the hard work you put into this is not in vain. In fact, I’m going to show you exactly how you can use YouTube, blog posts and other materials to make serious profits from your published book.
But first, let’s explore the futility of what you’re are already doing…
First, you wrote your book and spent hundreds of hours writing it and rewriting it. And many, many more hours editing it so it is a fine tuned masterpiece. If you haven’t, then don’t worry.
What I will explain to you doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. But if you did create that masterpiece, then read on…
And you probably spent hundreds of dollars on your book design. And you probably spent many, many hours with your book cover designer to make sure your book cover was just right. If you didn’t, then you are one of the few.
Only to realize that your great book cover looks great big, but not small like in an Amazon thumbnail—which is how most people will see your book.
And it’s indeed frustrating to getting this right. Your book cover must grab the attention of your readers and look good at full scale, but it also must stand out with all the other books on a page such as Amazon.
And once you spent all that time and money perfecting your book, you now have to go the dreaded process of…
It’s definitely a word that sends shivers down the spines of many authors. Many of you just want someone to buy your book! And not have to market yourself or hustle your book like some carnival barker. Am I right?
And you’re not alone either. No one else likes to promote themselves and their wares—no matter what they are.
So, you’ve come to the realization that you MUST promote yourself or you’re just not going to make any sales. You may have avoided this for a long time, but now you realize that you won’t make any money from your book unless you actually make sales. And you won’t make any sales unless you actually promote your book.
That’s the way it works.
If you haven’t come to that realization by now, then you should because there are no exceptions to this rule. Yes, you may have read a few stories of authors getting lucky and making a butt-load of money without any promotion.
Well, here’s the untold truth: They’re lying. These overnight successes aren’t really overnight successes. It may seem that way. And the story they tell make it appear to be an overnight success.
And that’s why you probably got into the book publishing businesses (among other things we will discuss later). But you thought you would hit it big with your book and it hasn’t worked out that way.
And now you’re coming to the realization that you will have to promote your book. And you’re now realizing how thought it really is.
Because everyone else is promoting their books too! That is why.
Remember, you’re not alone in this (and in a moment I will show you how you can create your own island of profits).
So now, you’re in the world of marketing. Welcome to my world. You will soon realize that it’s very tough.
All the FREE information out there is free for a reason:
It’s mostly useless. Sure, if you know nothing, you will indeed learn a lot from blogs and YouTube videos. But to really break out of the pack, you have to do little more than a casual foray into the world of marketing, You really have to really immerse yourself.
But that’s not what this blog post is about. This blog post is about you turning your existing published book into a real cash machine. Don’t worry, I’m getting to the nitty gritty of just how to that.
But first, you need understand that what I’m about to tell you is something I am very certain you have not heard before.
And once you hear me tell you, the lightbulb go off in your head and you may start to hear more about it. Just like when you buy a new green car and now everyone seems to be driving the same green car.
Getting back to your book-promotion journey. You probably tried many of the following:
- YouTube videos
- Guest blogging
- Book lists
And if you’ve done all this, you’re probably not happy with the results.
The good news is that if you did do all of those things, you have nearly all the ingredients of what I’m about to tell you in regards to turning your book into a cash machine.
All of those efforts won’t do much to promote your book because you end up running into the same old problem that looks something like this…
- You create a website, so you can showcase your book.
- You engage in some SEO campaign for your website, so people see your book and buy it.
- You get very little traffic because everyone is doing the same thing.
- So you then realize you need a Facebook page because everyone is telling you that you need a Facebook page to promote your website that is currently promoting your book.
- And when that fails to give you the results, you get a Twitter account, so you can drive people to your Facebook page, so they can Like your page—in the hopes that will drive people to your website where you’re promoting your book.
- And if you’re one of the more outgoing authors, you probably set up a YouTube channel to promote your book and your website.
This is a lot of work.!
And even for all the work, it often goes nowhere for most authors because there are just too many authors all doing the same thing!
It’s a no win situation.
Building an audience of the magnitude you need to make sales of your book is a huge undertaking.
And if you did all those promotional efforts, it would be virtually worthless if you only have one or two books for sale. You would need at least five top-notch books to make a whole marketing campaign like the one outlined above worth it.
Finally, we come to paid advertising as a last ditch effort to promote your book to your audience. Paid advertising would certainly cut through the headache of all that marketing. At first, it seems like a quick and easy fix, but there are many traps…
Many authors waste hundreds of dollars trying to promote their book through paid means. Most of the time it just doesn’t pay for itself—unless you know the secret of creating real campaign for your book (which I will reveal in a moment).
I’ve been in the online marketing business for quite some time to see a lot of businesses including authors waste hundreds and even thousands of dollars on paid advertising. There are many reasons to this in which this post is much too short to go into all of them. However, needless to say, they don’t really have a plan.
One thing is that many of these advertisers get this information from just about anyone. And they start to advertise their product like a big brand (think Coke or Geico).
Now, I’m going to give you the secret to how many authors make real money form their books. Like I said earlier, if you have a blog or some YouTube videos you have a more than enough to make some real money from your books.
Here is the formula for profiting from your books…
What you want to do is package your book so it is an information product, not just a book. What’s an information product?
Most of the time it’s the same information you would find in a book, except that it’s packaged with videos, audios, workbooks, test, quizzes, infographics, and other assets that help your audience solve their problems.
Before, I go into details about what an information product is, let show you why creating one and selling it is so much better than what you’ve been doing with your book.
So, let’s start with your book.
You have a book for sale on Amazon for $2.99, or if you’re brave, it’s for sale for $9.99. In either case, getting someone to read it is a monumental task. Free promotion doesn’t work. You‘ve done that already.
So, let’s look at reliable paid advertising…
Let’s say you spent $1,000 on advertising on Google Ads or Facebook Ads. What does that get you?
Well, most people get around $1.50 to $2.75 CPC (Cost-Per-Click). That means for every person that clicks on your ad, you will pay Google or Facebook $1.50.
This means that your advertising budget (of $1.000) will yield 667 clicks. Now if every person bought your book at $2.99, you would see a total revenue of $1,994. Not too bad right?
But we forgot about the royalties. Take out 30% royalties (found on Amazon). So let’s factor that in:
$1,994 x 70% = $1395.8. That’s your real revenue after you take out the royalties.
Okay, we have a much more realistic picture of what you get if everyone who clicked on your ad bought your book.
So if we subtracted the original cost of your ad campaign ($1,000) from your revenue, your profit would be $395.80.
So, essentially, you’re spending $1,000 to make $395.80.
If you did that every month, in a year’s time, you would have spent $12,000 to make $4749.60.
This isn’t very appetizing, is it?
And if you wanted to make a decent profit from your book—say $20,000 in a year—you would have to spend over $48,000 in ads just to make that $20,000 for your book.
And this is where it gets really scary…
In the above advertising scenario, we assumed that 100% who clicked on your ad bought your book.
Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work that way. You’d be lucky to get above 5% of the people who clicked on your ad to buy your book. This is why selling one book for $2.99 is futile.
Sure, other stores can run million-dollar campaigns for paperclips or reams of printer paper and still make money. That’s because they are advertising their whole store. You only have one product.
So, the reality of an ad campaign for your book would be more like this.
$1,000 / $1.5 (CPC) = 667 clicks or visitors to wherever you’re selling your book. Now you have the 667 people coming to your site or wherever you’re selling your book.
Now, let’s suppose you get 7% of those people to buy your book (believe it or not, this is very good conversion rate), you would be looking at 47 buyers for your $2.99 book. So that comes to $140 in revenue (before royalties are taken out). You just spent a $1,000 for a total revenue of $140.
This is why advertising online is a terrible prospect for selling your book.
So, how do you promote your book online or even make sales if free advertising doesn’t work and paid advertising is a total disaster? Bear with me for a moment.
Let’s get back to your information product.
If you had an information product that was sold on your website for $495, the whole paid advertising prospect looks a lot better. Let’s examine that for a minute (later, I will show what goes into your information product).
Your ad budget for the month is the same $1,000. We will bump up your CPC to $2.50 because that’s a little more realistic. I was being very kind when I proposed a $1.50 earlier. So, let’s look at what we get…
$1,000 / $2.50 = 400 (total visitors to your info product on your website).
Not all of them will buy your product. So let’s be very conservative with the actual buyers. Let’s say only 5% of the people who click on your ad buy your information product.
400 x 5% = 20 buyers.
Your product ($495) x 20 buyers = $9,900. Now subtract the original ad cost ($1,000).
Your total profit now is $8,900 for the month. Do this every month, and you’re looking at $106,800.00 in total profits for the year.
Not too bad, right?
And this is the power of selling a product that’s not your book that’s only $2.99.
So, do you see how you can promote your product and make money? Whereas no matter how you promote your book you’re not going to make any money unless you write at least a half dozen books.
That’s no exaggeration. And to create ONE information product will take a lot less time than writing 5 or 6 books—or even one or two books for that matter.
Here’s an interesting story…
I recently came across an information marketer who’s selling his information product for $1,999, and he’s making millions online. And he can advertise like crazy. And he does! That’s how I found his product.
Let’s look at that and see how realistic that can be. Let’s work backwards.
If he wanted to make one million dollars a year, he would need $83,333 in total monthly sales. His product is $1,999, so he would need 42 total buyers.
Let’s say that 42 buyers represents about 2% of the total people that clicked on his online advertisement. That would look like this…
2,100 total visitors to his site. Now he needs to buy 2100 visitors. Let’s a assume he has a very CPC of $3.50. So to get 2,100 visitors would cost him $7,350.
Subtract that ad budget from his total monthly sales ($83,333) and he now has a total profit of $75,593. That’s a really good return on investment, wouldn’t you say?
Now, you could sell your product for $1,999 or more, but that’s a pretty big undertaking and you need to have a really good product.
I recommend starting out with an information product that is in the $495 range. This is much easier to put together and you conversions will be much higher.
Let’s see how we can create an information product from your existing book…
Let’s pretend you have a time-management book that’s 225 pages and is currently being sold on Amazon for $9.99.
Here’s how to your information product from your book:
First, chop up your book. Take all the chapters of your single document and make as many documents as there are chapters.
For example, if you have 20 chapters, create 20 PDFs. And don’t call them “chapters”. Call them “modules”.
For each module, make a 20-minute video recording. This is usually a screencast, not necessarily you talking to the camera.
For every 5 modules, make an audio recording that summarizes the main ideas.
Create 5 (30-minute audio recordings) that people can listen to in their cars or at the gym. This doesn’t require the listeners full attention. These can be inspiration or dispelling common myths.
Create a few calculators in Excel where people can input their own information. If your book is about time management, then you would have entries relating to time management. Same goes with weight loss, goal setting and so on.
Create a Quiz for every 5 chapters. This will help your audience retain the information.
Finally, create worksheet for every one or two chapters where your audience can input their information.
Now, for some who have never written a book, this may seem a like a lot of work. But for some who have already gone through the book process, this is a breeze.
Now, if you’re skeptical about people buying your product because everything is free on the internet, don’t be. People want to solve their problems as quickly as possible.
And that’s where information product really shines.
No one wants to waste time reading a book. Sure, there are some poor slobs who won’t pony up the money to buy your product, but they are the same poor slobs who couldn’t be bothered to read your book either.
I’ve put together an information kit that shows you exactly how to put together your information product. And it’s absolutely free. You won’t have to pay a penny.
To learn more about how you can create an information product, please download my FREE guide right here: http://landingpage.freshsalescopy.com/
Ash Waechter is a direct response copywriter who helps small businesses sell more products and services online. He also writes SEO copy for attracting readers from around the web.