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

How to Self-publish Your Book from Scratch

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 this post 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 Zero to Self-Published Book (the class formerly known as Book Ninja)? Assuming you charged the same $20 per copy and had ~170 pages in your book?


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 Create + Host Online Workshops (or Live Classes) for Free

How to create and host online workshops for free
Five months ago I set off on a quest to find and create a more personal online learning experience for live events than what I was doing back then. Previously, if I wanted to give free trainings online, I created a simple Google+ Hangout On Air and invited people to RSVP on that page. Like the one below from April 2015 about my 10 favorite ways to monetize as in infopreneur:

Becoming an Infopreneur Webinar

Here’s the problem with that. You have no real way of capturing valuable information from the people who attend (like, say, their email address, name, and type of business/need) and the built-in chat feature is less than awesome–when you compare it to the super interactive way Periscope or other online chats operate. The “no email” issue began to be huge for me because I like to send homework (PDFs) before live events to help people get the full value out of the workshop.

No bueno. But I did many live events online like this before I knew better. You can check them out on my workshops page.

Let’s move on to V2 (version 2).
If I wanted to deliver paid workshops online (live or pre-recorded), I used to create a Google+ Community that only paid participants could access, then I’d upload videos at a set schedule and hang around all day answering questions live. This was the model I started using about 5 months ago. I thought I’d arrived at a perfect solution.

This is how I used to do paid workshops online. Now I have a much better way to host live classes for free.

Whereas this model was more chatty and personal, it lacked organization and I soon found out that Google+ was not everyone’s favorite tool for community interactions. Booooooo.

So I started in on V3 of my quest. I began doing what most people do for their short webinars . . . integrate a Google+ Hangout On Air with LeadPages (a software that I truly love–you can see my bro and I using it below) or use Webinar Ninja (another very useful piece of software that’s simple to use for quick webinars). I can create signup pages, thank you pages, and live video pages with an embedded chat. Note: I’m still using both of these tools for shorter trainings–and for ones I don’t charge for.

A screenshot from a LeadPages webinar
P.S. Even though that might look like my brother Lemuel, I’m supposed to tell you that’s actually a guy named Len. P.P.S. Len is just a different persona my brother adopts during workshops to illustrate a point.

But, here’s the problem with these models for longer workshops like the one I’m doing next week on self-publishing your own book (that I’ve been talking about with you on Periscope for days now), you can’t host multiple videos on the same page at the same time easily. So if you plan to have an 11 o’clock session, a 1 o’clock training, and a 3 o’clock training for your workshop, you’d have to have 3 separate URLs, which can be confusing and doesn’t really allow for the convo to keep going in the same chat box easily.

Also, the tools listed above cost money. Further, with LeadPages your chat will be below your video typically, which means people have to stop watching to scroll down and type. Boooooo.

So now we arrive at V4 of all this. The version I recommend and use when I have lengthy online classes and workshops going on (especially ones with multiple separate trainings) that I want to provide a single workshop page URL for. Oh, and the best part about this version? It’s free.

Backstory: As you can see on my workshop page, I have a $97 master workshop coming up on self-publishing your own printed books. I’ve shared in income reports before how printed books make up a couple thousand of my income each month. I completely believe in them.

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

How to go from a blog post to a book.
So, InfoBoMo (Infopreneur Book Month) has brought about some of the most interesting experiences, awesome new friendships and business alliances, and of course, some excellent resource shares and questions in the community.

As I was answering one particular question, my thought was:

Dang, I’m writing this woman a whole blog post. Don’t hate me.”

Then after I was done, my thought was:

Dang, I should make this a blog post. Other people probably have the same question.”

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

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

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.