When people approach me about writing a non-fiction book, my advice often disappoints them because of their expectations about the publishing world. There seems to be a pervading myth that simply publishing a book, on its own merits, is enough to bring fame and fortune to any author. This may come as a surprise, but if your purpose in wanting to write a book is to make money, then read on as I shed some light on the real truths behind book publishing.
The truth is that very few non-fiction authors make much money from their book alone. Publishing a book and getting nationwide distribution is an exorbitantly, and in most cases prohibitively, expensive process. It’s time and energy intensive, and will take massive amounts of resources. In fact, non-fiction authors will spend anywhere from $400-800,000 before they even break even with book sales (anywhere from 200-350,000 copies sold). So if it’s that difficult and expensive, what’s the point of publishing a book anyway?
Reason #1: Marketing
Unless you have a baseline business platform, other than your book idea, to drive traffic to, there’s very little point in publishing a non-fiction book. You won’t make any money and it won’t be worth the effort. The successful non-fiction authors are those who understand that their book is nothing more than a marketing tool to drive traffic to their business, and who exploit this knowledge effectively.
For example, Stephen Covey’s books drive traffic to Franklin Covey, T. Harv Eker has Peak Potentials Training, Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen’s book The One Minute Millionaire markets the Enlightened Wealth Institute, Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson and myself leads to the Freedom FastTrack process, marketing guru Seth Godin built Squidoo, Ken Blanchard’s company is a global leader in workplace learning and productivity, just to name a few.
The real money to be made from publishing a book doesn’t come from the book itself; it comes from the business that the book is designed to market. So what does this mean for you? You should spend far more time and effort developing a legitimate business, rather than writing a book. This approach will ultimately result in far more dollars to you than trying to make money from book sales alone.
Reason #2: Credibility
In the Information Age, your audience is drowning in information. They’re constantly bombarded with television, radio, books, advertising, Internet, blogs, music, etc. So why should they listen to you, especially when there may be countless competing factors sending them conflicting messages? When faced with information overload, people listen to and buy from those they deem to be credible.
And that’s where a book can help. There’s something magical about a book, that, when structured and approached the right way, can drive more leads to your business, and more money to you. And that’s exactly what I teach in my Write a Book in a Week course. Anyone can write and (self) publish a book these days, but most don’t understand how to make their book successful. Most authors are working for their book instead of having their book work for them.
Curious to learn more? Have a look at my online course Write a Book in a Week – I’d love to have you join us on this journey!Write a Book in a Week
Wilko van de Kamp Author
WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world. Visit him online at www.wilko.ca