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

June 7, 2020

It would be skeazy for me to guarantee that you’ll make a certain amount of income from self-publishing your own books (ex: How to Make $7K Every Month Self-Publishing), but I can say this . . . with a solid non-fiction book idea, and the dedication to work through promotion, I believe you can earn a meaningful yearly income from eBooks and/or printed books.

Hint: skeazy = sketchy and sleazy = not a good look, bruh 🙄

I’m sure you’ve had enough of the online marketers who promise customers they’ll achieve the same results the marketer themselves achieved (or worse . . . had only seen someone else achieve), so I’m not going to be “that guy.”

Since 2014, I’ve been earning a full-time income from a handful of books I published, with one bringing in $100,000 in profit by itself over 5 years.

There are so many misconceptions about how difficult self-publishing is, or how hard it is to earn a living as a writer/teacher/author, and I’m here to bust a few myths and outline the process.

Note: this article was originally published in August of 2015, but I’ve updated it (in 2020) to make it even more helpful, so . . . let’s get started.

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 reality of profits in self-publishing vs. traditional.

As a new author, if you get a $12,000 royalty advance, you’re doing well. And that’s a beautiful thing, getting $12,000 dollars all at once for your hard work of writing a book. Yay. Money in the bank 💰.

Note: typically advances aren’t paid out all at once like people think they are. You might get 1/2 on signing and 1/2 on approval of your book. Or, you may get 1/3 when you sign the contract, 1/3 when you submit your book to your publisher, and 1/3 when your book is published.

But. Either way. That $12,000 is a royalty advance. Meaning you won’t make another cent off of your book until you earn that $12,000 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 8,000 copies of your book to pay your publishing company back your advance.

Translation: you’ll never see another dollar of profit (after your original advance) until your book has sold over 8,000 copies.

So, selling 8,000 copies of your book, earns you $12,000 in the traditional publishing model.

Do you know how much you would have made on those same 8,000 copies of your book through the self-publishing model I use and teach? 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. And P.S. I’m talking print books. You can sell digital books for a much higher profit margin.

So, selling 8,000 copies can either get you $12,000 or $72,000⁠—which even half of that is enough for most people 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) as a business model and way for you to make part or all of your living.

Keep reading

10 Ways I’ve Made $10K+ in Profit in Under 30 Days Using Advanced (and Humanized) Sales Methods

March 23, 2019

The other day on a 6-hour flight, I decided to create a list of 100 ways that I could make $10,000 in under 30 days. It was a creative exercise, but I wanted to turn it into something that would be helpful to you.

Which is why we’re here. I want to tell you about 10 of the 15 methods I have used in the past to generate at least $10,000 in PROFIT (not revenue) in under 30 days.

But first I want to normalize my “100 ways” list that I made on my flight. See, my new obsession in life is making various “100 ways” lists: for personal development, creativity, relationship building, and business.

Here are some example lists (directly from my notebook) for context:

  • 100 Places I Want to Travel for Historical or Cultural Reasons 🌍
  • 100 Ways to Offer Amazing Customer Service 🎉 in My Business
  • 100 Vegan Breakfasts I Want to Make 🥥
  • 100 Stakeholders Who My Decisions, Productivity, and (Executed on) Values Affect 💡
  • 100 Ways I Can Respond to Someone Who is Being Rude or Passive Aggressive That Will Add Positivity Instead of Take Away 🧘🏽‍♀️
  • 100 Books and Movies That Had a Philosophical Impact on Me 🤔
  • 100 (Legal 😉) Ways to Make $10,000 in Under 30 Days
  • 100 Ways for (Almost) Anyone to Make an Extra $1,000 in Under 30 Days 💰

So, you see? Totally normal that I was making this list on my flight, right? Right. Let’s move on to the reason we’re here today.

In order to give you more context around the various ways of making $10K+ in profit (shown below), I’m going to share:

  • What I was selling
  • How much I charged for the product or service
  • How much I made (in profit) and in what time frame
  • If I used paid advertisements or not (which I did not for most of the methods below)
  • A few notes on how you might make each method work for your business

A few fun facts that will help you know whether or not you’re spending time with the right article and person today (👋🏽, I’m Regina, by the way):

  • I own a profitable health and wellness website (it makes a few thousand dollars per month), so I don’t *only* know how to make money from a business about making money
  • I’m a registered yoga teacher; I’m at least 30% hippie, whatever that means
  • I studied business in school and have started many profitable in-person and online businesses since college
  • I taught a live, online, 4-day graphic design course that made over $100,000 in profit
  • Every year for the past 4 years, at least $250,000 of my business revenue has come from teaching online (through live, previously recorded, and even text-based courses)

Okay, let’s get started for real for real. I’ve generated at least $10,000 in profit in under 30 days:

1. Using a single blog post to explain and pitch my program ($17,000 in profit)


A 10-week online program to help people set up a meaningful blog

Price point:

$350 (this was low, but it was my first time offering a program like this so I was scared to charge more)


A single blog post on the program; no sales page, just an application link at the end of the blog post


$17,000 in a week the first time I offered it, then $32,000 the second time, and it grew from there; Note: the revenue was higher, but I’m subtracting expenses and giving you profit because I don’t want to be misleading

Did I use paid advertisements?:


How you might make this work for your business?:

Instead of a blog post you could create a Facebook Live, an Instagram Live, an IGTV episode, a podcast episode, a YouTube video, or other content. Obviously, if you are a solid writer/communicator, a blog post, article, or in-depth guide could be your chosen content form as well.

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Creating a compelling piece of content that motivates your audience in the most logical ways based on who they are and what you’re selling. This is something I talk about inThe Flexible Funnel™️ Kit (explained later in this article).
  2. Building up a consistent and reliable source of new people finding your piece of content. I used search engine optimization (so people were finding it for free), but you are not limited to traditional SEO. You can create ads that direct people to your content, you can collaborate with another person/entity and have them direct people to your content, you can retarget audience members you already have if you’ve previously built an audience on Instagram or an email list, etc.

2. Hosting a live online masterclass with an application people filled out during the event ($18,000 in profit)

Note: I’ve done this masterclass multiple times, so I’ll just review a specific month I used this method below.


A 1-on-1 call and 10 live group lessons on creating a signature program

Price point:



At various points throughout the live masterclass (2 – 3 hours of training online), I encouraged people to fill out the application for the program and explained what the program was


$18,000 in about two weeks the first time I offered it; Note: the revenue was higher, but I’m subtracting expenses and giving you profit because you’re smart and you know that’s what really matters

Did I use paid advertisements?:


How you might make this work for your business?:

If you have a program or service that sells at a mid-range to higher price point (relative to your audience), you might want to consider putting together a training that is way more valuable and motivating than whatever your audience could get elsewhere.

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Selling something that is DIY (do it yourself) or DWY (done with you), instead of something that is DFY (done for you). In general, the types of people who want a DFY service don’t want to sit through a 2- or 3-hour training on how to do it themselves. I think that 1:1 calls (among other methods) are a better approach to selling DFY services.
  2. Inside The Flexible Funnel™️ Kit, I share an outline/template of how you can craft a powerful masterclass, hold people’s attention, and pitch your program (product/service) with or without an application process.

3. Publishing an Instagram Stories ad that linked directly to a sales page ($9,150 in profit)

Example Instagram Stories ad
This is an example Instagram Stories ad that I designed during one of our masterclasses, but is not my actual ad.

Note: I’ve done ads straight to a sales page or checkout page that have brought in more (as well as less) profit than this instance, but I believe this particular sales method is the most relevant and helpful to you.


A single 1-on-1 call with me for 75 to 90 minutes (as in: at first I was offering 90 minutes, then I changed them to 75 when I discovered 90 was too long for me, for this type of call) where we discussed the launch of your newest product or service


The ad itself was the pitch; when people clicked on the ad, they went to a brief description page that shared what we would accomplish on the 1:1 call. This page had a picture of me on it (similar to the picture they just saw in the ad) and shared a button to purchase the call.

Price point:

~$200 (this is a low price, on purpose, for a strategy call such as this)


$9,150 in about two weeks the first time I ran this particular ad; Note: the revenue was a little over $9,500, but I spent $350 on ads

Did I use paid advertisements?:

Yes (screenshot below); in this instance, I targeted specific people on Instagram who had interacted with my account recently


I spent $350 on the Instagram Stories ad that helped me generate $9,500 in revenue

How you might make this work for your business?

The keys to making this work are using this strategy when:

  1. You have a low price offer (relative to your audience); or
  2. You are retargeting people with your ad who’ve taken an action that shows interest in you and your services/products (ex: they’ve interacted with you on Instagram, or visited your website, or watched at least 25% of a Facebook Live you recently hosted, or signed up for your email list, etc.); or
  3. You are showing the ad to your best customers who have purchased from you in the past; or
  4. You are showing the ad to a pre-set audience that you have narrowed down (through targeting) to a group of people likely to take action on your offer based on their interests, actions, and needs that you can target on Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram/YouTube/Pinterest ads

4. Posting inside a Facebook Group I host to generate $50,000 in profit in under a week

Note: The Facebook Group is a virtual space for online business owners that I founded and used to host by myself, but is now co-hosted with 7 other experts


A bundle of pre-recorded courses to help people start creating workshops and other educational products online

Price point:

$500 – $1,300 (I offered the product to my Facebook Group at a massive discount but continued to add content to the bundle and increase the price over the next several months)


The FB group post itself was the pitch. The post shared that I had a new program that I was only offering to my group members (for a limited time); they were told that no one else knew about the program yet (which was true, obviously) and were invited to click through to a sales page with more info and a discounted price.


$50,000 in about 5 days the first time I posted about it; the first $10,000 in profit was generated within about an hour of the post; the product generated about $200,000 in profit in total before I stopped selling it

Did I use paid advertisements?:


How you might make this work for your business?

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Build a lively, safe space for people interested in your topic/niche to come converse with each other and with you. You’ll want to build this ahead of time (whether on Facebook, Mighty Networks, Slack, or some other platform) and regularly teach, share, and learn from your members.
  2. Be patient and use this as a long-term strategy if it fits with your business model. There are many ways to sell and pitch (which is the whole point of this article), so this one might not fit you, or . . . it might be the most amazing option for you.

5. Hosting a small “online conference” by myself for $21,000 in profit in about 7 days

Host an online conference

Note: I’ve used this strategy multiple times before, so I’ll just review a specific month I used this method below.


A pre-recorded online challenge to help people sell their first information product

Price point:

$99 – $249 (the product was at its lowest price when it was first introduced, but increased in price every day until I stopped selling it)


I pitched this product by hosting a free 7-day online conference on topics related to the product. I conducted the conference sessions myself each day and shared the sales page (and a discount code) for the product from each one.


$21,000 in about a week the first time I offered it; Note: the revenue was higher, but I don’t remember if I ran ads or not (there were no other related expenses), so I’m subtracting about $1,000; at the time I released this, I had never spent more than ~$500 on ads

Did I use paid advertisements?:

I can’t remember, but if I did, it would have been fewer than 500 dollars

How you might make this work for your business?:

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Crafting an online conference/experience that is useful and meaningful to your audience so that they will be motivated to show up for the free trainings.
  2. Being clear and consistent in how you pitch the paid product you are selling during the live conference.
  3. Hosting sessions that match the mood/mode your audience wants to and needs to be in . . . in order to take further action and purchase your product or service.
  4. Giving yourself enough lead time to properly promote and attract people to the free conference. I help you with this inside The Flexible Funnel™️ Kit, which I will tell you more about below.

6. Paid, intimate live group classes (with registration capped to keep the “virtual” room small) that typically generate an extra $10,000+ each month I do them

Note: I’ve done these live classes multiple, multiple times, so I’ll just review a specific month I used this method below.


A self-paced course on growing your email list

Price point:



I pitched the product (a self-paced online course) during an intimate live group class that people paid to be on. So the class itself earned me $2,700 in profit, and I was able to sell several more spots in my main product . . . which usually always pushes me over the $10,000 in profit mark within a few days of the paid live session


$10,000+ each time I use this strategy

Did I use paid advertisements?:

Not typically in the past, but I’m starting to invest a few hundred dollars each time now that I know this is a profitable pitch method

How you might make this work for your business?:

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Being honest with people ahead of time that you will be sharing an offer or opportunity with them during the live session. People shouldn’t show up and be surprised by your pitch.
  2. Creating a unique and meaningful experience for your attendees. I typically like to either teach for a short time during these sessions (say: 30 minutes), then go back and forth coaching the members in attendance, or I like to teach for a little longer (say: 60+ minutes) and open up the room to hot seats or questions from a few attendees.
  3. Leaving some of the training and growth to your paid product/service so people who want more will still be motivated to “upgrade” to your deeper experience.

7. Sales email (and special follow-up sequence for people who express interest) that typically generates $11,000 – $16,000 in additional profit each month when I use it

Use smart emails to sell better

Note: I use this particular type of sales email and special interest sequence frequently . . . to sell different weekend workshops or multi-day intensives, so I’ll just review them as a whole below.


A 3-day online bootcamp with multiple live sessions that people can attend from their couch/office/favorite coffee shop (topics have varied from writing good emails or creating videos to setting up a funnel or teaching profitable online workshops)

Price point:

$100 – $1,000, depending on the depth of the workshops


$11,000 – $16,000 in 1 – 7 days each time I offer them

Did I use paid advertisements?:

Typically, no, but lately I’ve been doing a few hundred in ad spend to retarget people who have visited our website, signed up for our email list, or visited my Instagram/Facebook page recently

How you might make this work for your business?

The keys to making this work are:

  1. Building up your email list more and more with the types of people who are willing to pay you for your help and are deeply invested in their own growth. I often recommend selling some inexpensive product to your audience after they join your email list to give them that initial great experience of buying from you.
  2. Writing powerful sales emails that speak to the type of audience you have on your email list. Some of my most powerful sales emails don’t really “sell” at all–they tell a story or teach something and invite people to go further in my product or service.
  3. Inside The Flexible Funnel™️ Kit, I share 10 different types of sales emails with you.

Other pitch methods I’ve used (that I expand on inside of The Flexible Funnel™️ Kit):

8. 👉🏽 $100,000 in profit from an online workshop series in ~30 days

9. 👉🏽 $25,000+/year* in profit (for 3 years) using a demo video to sell an evergreen, passive income product

*Note: The demo video only accounts for part of this profit, but it’s impossible to track exactly how much

10. 👉🏽 ~$9,000 in 3 days using 1-on-1 calls (where I pre-qualify the people booking sessions) and typically have at least an 80% conversion rate


👉🏽 Want an 8-day course (it’s free!) on creating and selling information products…from scratch? You’ll be able to package your knowledge, coaching skills, and experience together in ways that allow you to help more people at once.


Think Twice About Your Online Course’s Refund Policy

March 9, 2017

P.S. I am seriously open to debate on this topic. I will present my views but I am deeply interested in learning from the ways other people see the world.

There is one reason (you—if you’re someone who is busy building a meaningful course) I was inspired to write this, and I have a few quick illustrations below to show my reasoning. Hopefully you won’t hate me when it’s over.

Why I’m strongly against online course and digital product refund policies that make people do X amount of work or jump through fiery hoops to get a refund.


I write this blog for you. I create tools for you. I stay up at night dreaming, scheming, and creating for you. Not just in the “I say this because this is how online marketers are supposed to talk” way, but in the “No, literally, I relate to where you are and who you are, and where I had to come from to create various businesses and products I love” kinda way.

Refund policies that make clients submit worksheets, and modules, and proof of this and that and the other rub me the wrong way.

If your entire audience consists of people who don’t care about money at all, then cool.

If you have people in your audience that care about spending their money on things they get value out of, or who are on a specific budget, or who may, despite your wishes and requests, spend their last dollar on your program, then hmm.

Keep reading

23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Info Product (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

January 3, 2017

23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Use to Become a More Authority Brand

Engagement is the name of the game when it comes to your audience.

While text lessons, posts, and articles are of course valuable, in the interest of making your info products (such as group coaching events, workshops or online programs in general) more accessible, delightful, and useful for different learning styles, it’s a good idea to explore the many types of engaging media you can create—easily—and most often without any financial investment at all other than your time. And that’s like the Mary Poppins of media—practically perfect in every way.

Check out the 23 types of media below that you can add to your marketing materials, Facebook groups, workshop content, website, blog, landing pages, and more to create a more valuable and user-friendly experience for your students.


1. Animated videos with voice narration or an epic lesson

As a level up from just slides alone (or from only including video of yourself called a “talking head” video), animated videos can be an engaging, clear way to communicate short lessons, to advertise your program, present a module of your workshop or to help students learn how to navigate your online event community hub.

Try out BiteableLumen5 and Spark Video (by Adobe) to create quick and easy animated videos. These programs offer slide transitions, royalty-free music and access to free and safe-to-use stock photos from integrations with and that you can use in your video.Animated, educational video made with

2. Recorded presentations—video of your slide deck with narration/lesson audio

We love using these in our bootcamps and online events. Even for lessons that you already have completely written out as text lessons, adding a recorded presentation of the same material will offer a different (and appreciated) learning experience for your students.

You can use QuickTime for free, or purchase software such as Camtasia or Screenflow to do this. Another option is to use the low cost eCamm Live (only available for Mac at the time of this writing) to stream live into a Facebook group or page and then save that broadcast to your computer. We also use the video conference software Zoom to do this which offers free plans and screensharing capability. #SoManyOptions

Add videos of your slides or presentations to your course

3. Live online workshops

It’s no secret that we live for live workshops. One way to build out the modules of your info product, or add valuable bonus content to them, is to create mini live online sessions on your topic.

You can use them as your main program sections by releasing them on a schedule (as in a virtual summit or a multi-week bootcamp), or you can use them as standalone content pieces (either paid or free as in a weekend business lock-in) to build your email list or to have additional surprise content to offer your audience.

Even as certified introverts, we’ve now done more live workshops than we can possibly count. Somewhere along the way of delivering our infinity + 1 live workshops, we realized that they are a low stakes/high reward way to get used to teaching, test out content, grow your email list, create a content library or build an online course.

4. Online workshops, edited and repackaged (with extra goodies) after the initial recording

This is one of my favorite ways to create NEW value and new content out of something you’ve already done. You can take one or all of the live workshops you created in #3 above and make them awesome by:

Repurposing content isn’t just smart, it’s a critical time-saver. Repackaging (+ editing and adding upgrades) is one of our favorite ways to create NEW value and new content out of something you’ve already done.

You can take part or all of the live workshops you created in #3 above and make them more awesome and easy to consume by:

  • Editing the recording down and taking out unnecessary dialogue, time-specific references that don’t apply anymore (ex: “Next week I’ll be doing another workshop on X topic.”), and any sections you don’t feel went as smoothly as you wanted them to (hey, it was live after all and sometimes glitches happen).
  • Adding in a re-recording of any sections that you want to redo. You can also revise slides (if you noticed an error after it was too late to fix it), or add entirely new sections that you think of by simply recording your screen (talked about below) and audio at the same time.
  • Adding a workbook to the workshop. Now that you’ve done the live event, you know exactly what you actually said, all the points you shared and maybe recognized a few points that you missed . . . why not make an actionable workbook or follow-along notesheets for your workshop? If you were rushing to get a workbook completed for your event deadline, you can now go back and tweak it to your perfectionist heart’s content.
  • Creating a PDF export of your slide deck (if you have one) for people to download and use after the fact to follow along with your workshop (audience’s love using the slides as printables after your event). This is an easy to use export function in Keynote and PowerPoint to convert slides to a PDF.

Getting a transcription of your workshop, or transcribing it yourself, so that you have a text version of everything you said. This is something we’ve done by hiring someone from or using While transcription services aren’t cheap, they are a great step toward repurposing your content. Once you have a transcription, you can also provide a more accessible version of your content to people (and/or create captions for the hearing impaired).

5. Screencasts

Videos of your screen (often called screencasts) allow you to provide software tutorials, or tips/hacks on how to do any type of computer task, and much more. Screencasts are one of our favorite types of videos to create and teach because they don’t require much tech (plus they don’t require you to have your face on screen if that’s not really your style) and can be done for free.

Free tools include, an easy to use browser extension to capture your screen and create a video of that capture. You can also use Zoom and share your screen while you do a walkthrough of a tool or concept.

Screencasts can be amazing ways to show software function, share slides, and so much more

Keep reading

Be consistent and small. That’s how you win at business.

November 1, 2016

These are the words I will pass on to my daughter or son (if I have a child in the future) should they ask me about how to be successful, or start a meaningful business, or build a purposeful life.

I have actual tears in my eyes as I begin to write these words. Partially because I was humbled and unable to speak after reading your comments on yesterday’s post (thank you, forever), and partially because I am overwhelmed with the simple, powerful truth I’m about to share.

These words probably won’t be new to you. No words really can be. But it’s the decision to embrace and apply them that matters.

Raise your hand if you are like I am when it comes to ideas—you have 1.3 million of them . . . every single time you blink or inhale.

They crowd your mind, excite you, drive you, wake you up, prevent you from sleeping, and honestly . . . eventually overwhelm you.

Your ideas are great. And any one of them CAN work. Any one of them CAN be the thing that helps you create a lifestyle where you’re able to breathe, take breaks, provide for your family in new ways, actually go on a vacation, etc. ANY single one of your ideas can do that.

But they’re likely all missing the thing that all of my ideas were missing a few years ago before I started this brand.

Consistency and smallness.

“Mom, what can I do to be great? Even when all the odds are against me?” asks my fictional child. Let’s name him Emmanuel—obviously we can all refer to him as Manny. Or, “The Man.”

“Son,” I reply slowly. “Be consistent, and be small. Every single day.”

Be consistent.

Show up. Consistently.
Keep creating content.
Speak passionately to a crowd of 0.
Until you’re speaking passionately to a crowd of 3. That’s 3 whole people, with whole lifetimes of experience and memories, who have chosen to tune into your words. That’s an honor.

Create. Consistently.
When everyone else has gone to bed.
When everyone else has stopped paying attention to your dreams.
When absolutely no one seems to care.
When someone has recommended to you that you stop or that you move onto something more logical (to them—major eyeroll emoji).

Love. Consistently.
Until your love finds the community of people it’s most needed by.
Until people can’t help but take your concern for them seriously.
Until someone, somewhere believes in themselves again.

Listen. Consistently.
Not just until you hear the one thing you choose to respond to.
Not just until it gets uncomfortable.
Not only for the sake of appearances.
Not only to focus on how someone else’s words make you feel. But also to focus on how they feel.
But also to understand what people need from you.
But also to know what to create consistently, where to show up consistently, and how to love consistently.

Be small, son.

In the way you approach an important goal.
Because if you focus only on the grand dream . . .
And if you focus only on the one outcome you’re hoping for . . .
And if you care most about the final destination . . .
Then you miss the opportunity to take the steps to get there.
Then you miss the stops along the way that were meaningful and beautiful for you and for others.
Then you miss the signs that were pointing another direction—where more purpose and greatness were hiding.

Keep reading