How to Self-Publish Your Own Books as a Business Model

Let me just be honest with you. This post is going to REALLY get into self-publishing your own book. Like really really. There are so many misconceptions about how difficult publishing is in general, let alone self-publishing.

But before we get started, let me just say that it irks me beyond almost anything else when I see online marketers, experts, and infopreneurs say they can teach you how to make $20K per month online in 3 months or less, or that they’ll tell you how to bring in $100K off of one course. Results will vary, skeazy marketers. P.S. Skeazy means you’re both sketchy and sleazy, bruh. It’s not a good look. Don’t promise people the same results you’ve achieved (or worse . . . only seen someone else achieve).

So, in this post I want to show you a bit of how I’ve set up publishing printed books for a full-time income, and how I honestly think that you, with a solid non-fiction book idea, can earn truly decent income from printed books in a relatively short time.

Why self-publish? Because it’s a legit business model. Let’s explore.

Traditional publishing looks super glamorous. Book tours. National TV appearances. Lovely and large royalty advances. A publisher going crazy over you and catering to your every whim. Nothing to do but turn in a manuscript and all the layout, design, promotion, and sales will be taken care of for you. Ballin’. Money rollin’ on in.

Reality? New authors get small advances, have to do a lot of their own promotion, and won’t likely get tours and crazy publicity opportunities set up for them. Also. The ballin’? Please let me break down advances, royalties, etc. for us.


The realness of profits in self-publishing vs. traditional.


 

As a new author, if you get a $5,000 royalty advance, you’re doing well. And that’s a beautiful thing, getting $5,000 dollars all at once for your hard work of writing a book. Yay. Money in the bank.

But. That $5,000 is a royalty advance. Meaning you won’t make another cent off of your book until you earn that $5,000 back in your royalties (which are a percentage of the book’s price or your publishing company’s profits).

Let’s take for example a soft cover book that sells for $20. If your publishing company gives you the standard 7.5% royalty (and let’s say they give it to you off of the list price of your book, which some company’s will only give you 7.5% of their profits off of each individual book), then you make approximately $1.50 per book. Though this royalty percentage is somewhat common knowledge in traditional publishing, you can check out by one of my favorite bloggers (former literary agent and current author, Nathan Bransford) for this statistic as well as a few other interesting tidbits.

You’ll have to sell 3,333 copies of your book to pay your publishing company back your advance.
This means you’ll never see another dollar of profit (after your original advance) until your book has sold over 3,000 copies.

So, selling 3,333 copies of your book, earns you $5,000 in the traditional publishing model.

Do you know how much you would have made on those same 3,333 copies of your book through the self-publishing model I teach in Self-Publish Your Book Already (1 of the 10 courses inside my online school, Publish Your Thing)? Assuming you charged the same $20 per copy and had ~170 pages in your book?

$30,000

Because you’ll be making over $9 with each sale.

So, selling 3,000 copies can either get you $5,000 or $30,000–which is enough for me to live off for a year.

That’s why I present self-publishing as a business model. If you want the fame and reach that traditional publishing can possibly get you, that’s completely understandable. But this post is for those of you who want to use self-published printed books (pBooks instead of eBooks) as a business model and way for you to make part or all of your living.

How to Expand a Blog Post (or Series) into a Book

So, here we are, you and I . . . about to dive into: How do you turn a blog post series into a book? OR EVEN How do you turn a blog post into a book?

My friend, I do not have all the answers, and I’m sure there are multiple ways to go about it, but I can tell you what I’ve done in this situation in the hope that it helps.

When expanding on posts that already exist for free on the webs, I try to take a step back and look at the whole topic from the reader/customer perspective. This comes in the form of five questions you can ask yourself about your current post or series as well as five general idea-generating questions you can ask yourself to create an awesome chapter/content list for your book. You can download the worksheets below (just click on them) to help you work through and record your ideas from this post.

How to go from a blog post series to a book

For the purposes of this post, let’s take for example a series you did on car maintenance for your “modern superwoman” blog. P.S. If it is a single post you are turning into a book, break it down into the main points/sections you made. Below, I assume it is a series, but you can change my list out for your post sections.

10 Tips to Help You Transition from a Blogger to a Creative Coach

Many of the insanely sexy blogger friends I’ve been talking with lately via email and social media (yes, you’re included in the insanely sexy category, if you’re wondering) have been going through the process of realizing they are more than bloggers.

A blog is a form of social media, and whereas it is totally possible to be a blogger (just as it’s possible to be a singer or a runner), it’s also possible that you might feel a bit of disconnect from that term by itself. It may be because you’re an infopreneur—and one of my favorite forms of infopreneurship, especially when you’re first starting to really monetize your brand (and blog), is creative coaching. P.S. There are tons of ways to monetize a coaching business. This post is about making the transition.

Creative coaching is a form of infopreneurship (making money from the knowledge in your head) that involves helping people learn skills + concepts they can put into practice and hopefully repeat. You can be a writing coach, a creative business coach, a coach for women transitioning out of a marriage, a coach for freelancers, a voice coach, or a coach for first-time fathers . . . honestly, you can coach people on almost anything that is important to them as long as you have knowledge, desire, organization, communication skills, and a solid customer experience process.

As I was bringing back my creative coaching class (since some of you wonderful people have been asking about it), I realized I hadn’t posted on creative coaching in quite some time, and I thought that one of the most common questions I get would be a great thing to answer:

“How do I start offering coaching services, but still keep a reader’s trust and attention? P.S. I want to make some decent money doing this, and I really do love it.”

Ah ha, my friend. You’ve asked the right question . . . it’s important to keep people’s trust. So let’s explore 10 quick tips to help you transition people into your new coaching services.

10 Tips to Help You Transition (Gracefully) from Blogger to Coach

1. Don’t “cold tofu” your readers.

I think some people say “cold turkey” but let’s just agree to disagree.
It can really help your brand and your readers if you are NOT a blogger one day and then a coach/consultant the next. But how can you avoid doing that? Well handsome/gorgeous, start to throw some baby hints and new content out before you’re selling any coaching packages–I recommend starting 45 – 60 days out, at a minimum. And I’d also suggest trying the next four tips below in your prep period.

How Being an Infopreneur Helped Me Earn Six Figures in a Year

If you’ve perhaps been following along with my blog, reading the income + traffic reports I publish occasionally, then you already know a little bit about how I structure my business and earn a living. But, what I want to talk about with you today is the revelation that has really helped me in my first year of business. It may be something you already implement in your business or it may be something you want to explore more, and I hope I can help.

You see, it’s my new favorite word. Daredevil.
Wait. That’s my new favorite show.
My new favorite word is infopreneur.

A person who makes money with their mind. With their knowledge. A person who loves learning, loves teaching, and loves the feeling of helping others really get something.

And here’s the thing. Even if you’ve been overwhelmed/underwhelmed with scammy-seeming people selling sub-par information products, I want to assure you . . . you can actually monetize your infopreneurship in ethical ways that benefit others. You can explore things like a monetized blog or podcast, books and workbooks, and of course classes or coaching. I have some resources for you, ninja friend.

And whereas this post was originally written in early 2015 (when I’d only been “infopreneuring” on this site for about a year), I have learned a lot since then and want to point you in the right direction if you’re interested in changing your business model around so that you can change your lifestyle through passive income and low maintenance products.

Starter Infopreneur Resources:

1. I have a free 5-day email course on getting started in infopreneurship.

How to Create a Course in 12 Hours

If you have a moment, I want to help you create a course (an epic “mini-course” to be more specific) that you can give away or sell to your audience, and I want to help you for free. Like seriously, I have a 20-page workbook and 5 training videos waiting for you, but I must start with the brief story of a time, long ago, when I created an entire mini-course in 12 hours. The story begins in the distant past known as . . . two days ago.

11 a.m. – I woke up // Don’t judge me, I got a late start.
11:15 a.m. – I remembered how I really want to create a quick, free Blog School this weekend to help people plan + create their blogs.
11:17 a.m. – I thought it would be fun to invite other friends across the globe to create their own short courses with me.
11:18 a.m. – I thought, “Maybe I can make it a bit of a challenge and post updates throughout the day.”
11:19 a.m. – Made up my mind and then posted a graphic announcing my plans on Instagram.

Mini Course Challenge Announcement

I started posting YouTube updates as I was creating my initial product (a blog school), which I still plan to finish soon, but then my path morphed a bit. I realized (somewhere in Hour 3 I think) that the mini course I was actually creating was a course on how to create mini courses. Yeah. It took me a minute to realize it. But see, #whathadhappenedwas:

I was working and posting videos and updates on one thing, but I constantly wanted to develop worksheets, resources, tips, and more for everyone else who was following along and creating their own mini courses.

Shocker, right? If you know me at all, then you know that I live to create and do adult homework. So the day I had so carefully planned out (translation: had not planned out at all really) morphed into the creation of a short course that I want you to be able to take for free.

Want to take a completely free course on how to create courses?

And here’s the thing, you don’t have to jump through any flaming hoops (unless you’re really keen to) . . . you get complete access just for joining my weekly email series with ninja business tips. I mean. Would I be mad if you tweeted the short tweet below? Not at all.

Take a free class my friends

And, would I complain if you put up with me as I share a few more shots of the workbook? Nope. It was a lot of fun to create.

How to create a mini course for your audience

So, what’s in this “Create a Course in 12 hours” workbook?

The workbook has 20 pages that cover the various sections of the mini-course. Between the five training videos and the worksheets, you’ll find materials to help you as you:

  • Decide on your topic
  • Identify your people (audience)
  • Create an outline for your course
  • Select the format for each part of the course you are creating
  • Decide on the delivery methods for your course content
  • Think up course promotion ideas
  • Edit your course
  • Format your course documents/videos (+ my secret tip for creating materials quickly)
  • And more (such as a Launch Checklist and lots of videos of me in my Jimi Hendrix shirt)