You’ve finished your book. It’s published, and you’re an author. You should be very proud of your achievement. You’re marketing your book, and are making sales, but don’t stop — consider that you can get much more out of your book.
Before we go on, I need to mention that this is where self-publishers are hugely better off than any traditionally published author. Here’s why: when you self-publish, your book whether fiction or nonfiction, is an asset.
You can make much more out of your asset than sales of the book in its current form.
You’re an author: you now have an asset
Everything you write, to which you retain all rights (articles, books, videos, audios, presentations, speeches, blog posts) is an asset. Few authors (me included) make as much of their assets as they could.
Why not? Primarily because they’re busy. They get tunnel vision. They publish their book, and market it diligently. Then they write another book — or maybe not, if the sales of the first book are disappointing.
Here’s where a small knowledge of copyright comes into play. Book publication is just one form of the rights you own in a work that you created. There are many more rights, including:
- Audio rights;
- Video rights
- Movie rights;
- Serial publication rights;
- Translation rights…
Basically when you own an asset, you own all the rights, so you can transform the work into anything you choose. You can license these rights to others, or you can use them yourself.
Your rights aren’t limited — you can choose to transform your book into anything you like, and can sell any rights you please, even rights you create specifically for that book. You may license the rights to a character in your novel to a graphic artist so he can create a graphic novel, for example. You own the character, so you get a share of the royalties from the graphic novel.
One of my friends is demon with rights; she’s making money from licensing oddball rights to books she wrote years ago. You can be as creative as you choose when you own an asset.
Let’s look at four ways you can get more out of your book.
1. Blog your book to build your brand and sell more copies
Many authors blog their books as they write them. They post chapters online. Some authors blog their entire book, leaving all the chapters online, before and after they publish, as a form of marketing. Other authors take down the chapters once a book’s published.
Whatever you choose to do, when you blog your book you’ll not only build your brand, you’ll sell more copies.
2. Offer your book in multiple formats for more sales
Many authors are diligent with this. They not only offer an ebook, but they also offer print books — hardcover and paperbacks, as well as audio books.
Offering your book in more formats makes huge sense. When you offer your book as an audio book for example, you’re tapping into a new audience. We’re all busy, and it’s handy to be able to listen to a book in your car. If that book were only available in ebook or paperback format, people who prefer audio books would ignore it.
3. Create a course, or create a series: your book is just an introduction
Let’s say you’ve written a nonfiction book about improving your memory. You can turn that book into an online or offline course.
Perhaps you’ve written a mystery novel. Why not create a series, using the same characters, or the same location?
Look on your asset, your first book, as an introduction. There’s usually a lot more you can do with a book than offer it in multiple formats.
4. (Nonfiction) Become a coach on your book’s topic
You may have noticed something about bestselling nonfiction authors. They hit the bestseller lists, and become speakers. Or they become coaches. People pay fantastic sums to hear an author talk about his topic for a couple of hours. These bestselling authors are paid five and even six figure sums for an appearance.
Other authors coach students in their topic, and they’re fully booked — coaching is another way of using your asset.
As an author, how much money are you leaving on the table?
You’re an author now. So take a few minutes, today, to consider ways in which you can use your asset. You’re sure to come up with several ways to do it. Aim to get as much out of your book as you can.
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