8 Creative Ways to Make Money Beyond Your Books

by CJ McDaniel // October 18  

For many of us authors, earning full-time income from our book sales is still a work in progress. So have you ever wondered how else you could make money as an author in the meantime?

I know I did–especially when I was a stay-at-home mom and I wanted to at least make $20 an hour online.

The good news is there are many creative and legitimate options. So if your book sales aren’t quite where you’d like them to be yet, have no fear. Here are more ways you can use your book, your knowledge, or your self-publishing skills to earn more money:

1) Create a Course

The first option is to create and sell a course. A site like Udemy is a great platform for new course creators. People love taking online courses to learn something new. You could create a course for self-publishing authors, something related to writing like Fiction for Young Writers, or even something completely unrelated, such as a 21-Day Happiness Challenge. Creating a course requires a good amount of work up front, but once it’s done–it’s done. Your course can sell on autopilot over and over, earning you passive income. That passive income can be money that pays the bills while you write more books.

2) Sell Physical Products

Another option for earning money as an author is selling physical products related to your book. Just choose a beloved character, a humorous quote, your stunning book cover design, or your author logo to feature on coffee mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more. Just like you can use print-on-demand service to sell physical copies of your books, you can do the same thing with book-related products on websites like Printful or Printify.

3) Create Digital Products

You could also create and sell digital products like a workbook, journal, or planner. For example, if you’re a personal development author, you could sell a workbook for goal setting or a planner for intentionally spending your time. Some authors even sell printables, worksheets, and planners on Etsy for authors who want to get organized.

4) Become an Author Virtual Assistant

If selling products isn’t your thing, you could sell your service. Specifically, you could be a virtual assistant for authors who hire virtual assistants as their businesses grow. A great way to expand your knowledge and network would be to help another author who’s a couple steps ahead of you find speaking, podcast, or book signing opportunities. To learn more about what a virtual assistant does and how to start in this field, check out this free virtual assistant training. Not only will path give you consistent income, but you’ll learn strategies and make connections that can help you sell more of your books too.

5) Share Your Story as a Speaker

There’s something intriguing to the average person about someone being a published author. And there are so many opportunities, even in small communities, to share your knowledge and experience as a speaker. Although public speaking can be terrifying–especially for us introverts–it can pay the bills, expand your author platform, and you can meet many new readers. You could give a one-hour or one-day workshop about the steps of self-publishing, how to copyright a book, or the main objective of your book. If you’re willing to share your experience verbally, many paid opportunities could come your way.

6) Blog for Money

If you already have an author blog, have you figured out a way to monetize it yet? Things like sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, advertisements, or selling your own products can be ways to earn money related to your author business and books. If you have a blog with traffic but you’re starting to fall out of love with it, check out these tips for blogging authors to rekindle the blogging spark.

7) Consulting

You can also use your book to start consulting. Some authors worry that if they’ve already disclosed all their steps to success within their book, that people will not want to hire them for consultation services. But this could not be further from the truth. A very small percentage of people will actually read and apply your steps, while a larger percentage just need to trust that you know what you’re talking about before hiring you. Depending on your level of knowledge, you could consult about publishing or the topic you write about in your books.

8) Coach Beginners

Last, but not least, coaching has become a lucrative option for earning money. There are coaches for writing books, health coaches, financial coaches, and even baby sleep coaches! Many coaches will offer small group coaching for a more affordable rate and offer 1:1 coaching for a premium price. Coaching could be another lucrative way to use your passion as an author and earn money at the same time.

Grow as an Author

You see, there is more than one path to author success. While these options look different than typing the day away on your computer, creating your next page-turning novel, these are legitimate ways to grow your author platform and connect with thousands of potential new readers and loyal fans. If even the most successful authors are selling courses, creating products, speaking, or consulting, that’s a good sign that you need to too. Plus, when you take a risk to grow your skills and services as an author, your income as an author will grow too.

Val Breit make money as author

Val Breit spends her days strategizing ways to turn a love for writing into multiple streams of income at TheCommonCentsClub.com and KeepCalmWriteOn.com. Her passion is empowering others to take charge of their finances, their future, and their freedom to create their best life (without going broke).

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!