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I was approached by a talented creative writer who wanted her book edited and I told her I was not taking any fiction manuscripts at the moment. She was disappointed but I referred her to a colleague and she was happy. A few weeks later, she came back to me again and asked, now that she is working on her book, how else can she make money out of her writing skills and the book? We had a long chat and this is some of what came out of it. I wish I had asked her to do this article.

How to make money from your book

Traditionally published authors enter into a publishing contract that normally transfers all their rights to the publisher, including audiobook rights, film and reproduction but the books have not been produced.

Publishing rights

1. Audio version

While self-publishing has evolved mainly to electronic publishing, that is usually as far as people go from traditionally printing copies. However, the audio books market remains untapped but is worth a fortune if explored. Covert your book into audio and sell it. Research an identify the audio niche and target them.

2. Film

Great films come from great books. Do you think your book can be turned into a film or documentary? That is an area that you need to explore to earn extra income. Film producers are constantly looking for script writers and your book can easily be turned into one. You can earn royalties or a flat fee, depending on how you negotiate the deal.

3. Translation

One other income stream from your book is through translation. Translate your book into another language and tap into a new niche. You can try French, Portuguese or Swahili, etc.

4. Adaptation

Adapt your book for a different market. For instance, if your primary market was the adult market, adapt it for children and sell. Nowadays children can digest any topic as long as it is broken down to their level. I am always astonished about the topics that my four-year-old discusses with me. This was my inspiration to our Paivepo children’s books series.

5. Braille

You can also adapt your book into braille and cater to the visually challenged who are usually neglected. This can turn out to be a lucrative market that you can enjoy. Not all of them enjoy audiobooks hence giving them the solitude of a book adapted into braille would appeal to them.

7. Reading tent

With the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic in the way, maybe reading tents have been shoved at the moment. I am praying that a permanent cure is found and we get back to life as usual because I love reading tents. If as a people we could get past the Spanish flu, I am sure something will come up soon to deal with COVId-19. We are the educated tech generation anyway.

Thanks to technology, we still have alternatives to physical reading tents. Facebook has created rooms, Zoom allows group meetings and interactions, google meet is there. Some can use Skype, Facebook live, Instagram live or WhatsApp. Create a following and let people subscribe to your reading sessions where you can get to read a chapter of your book, discuss and allow people to ask questions that you will attend to.

Other ways

8. Become a speaker

You were brave enough to complete a whole manuscript on post-natal stress, who best to stand up in front of people and talk about post-natal stress? The internet is awash with webinars from coaches and speakers offering different topics. This is the time to catch on and deliver what you have. You have already done your research, you have the facts, the analytical wisdom and the knowledge. Organise paid webinars and share with people what you already know and have answers to. As you help the next person, you are cashing in a few bucks as well.

9. Teach writing

Do as I say not as I do works with Editors. We are the ones who tell you how to write. Writers on the other hand speak from experience. Tell your writing story and inspire the next upcoming writer. They would want to learn from you because they know you have done it. That is an opportunity right there. Start a basic writing course and earn money from it.

10. Freelance proof-reading

Proofreading is a specialised skill that mostly requires the patience to read attentively. Most writers are readers. Take on a few proofreading gigs and charge a fee. Use your writing experience and the few lessons that you learnt from your editor and help someone.

Conclusion

Handwork needs to be rewarded and it is only fair to get the best possible income from book writing. Your sleepless nights and isolation can greatly pay off if you try the recommended additional income streams. Best wishes!

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