Making Money With Ebooks: 5 Income Streams


The typical millionaire has seven revenue streams.

With money coming in from seven different areas and not relying only on one income, it makes sense that these people become millionaires. If one income stream goes away or decreases, they have six other income streams to support them and build their wealth.

And many of their income streams are passive income, which is the best kind. So once they put in the work or buy an asset, it’s hands off and continues to bring them profits. How nice is that?

On the other hand, many salaried employees only have one income stream and subject themselves to losing it all if they lose their job. Their pay is not passive and requires their daily attention to make money.

If the salaried employee and their one income stream is you, how can you add another income stream? I have one in mind. And after doing the work, this asset provides passive income years after completion.

What is it?

Making money with ebooks.

This is possibly my favorite revenue stream because of the direct income and all the other revenue streams that come from publishing a book.

Keep reading to see how to write an ebook and how you can leverage it for five or more different income streams.

How To Author An Ebook

So we don’t jump the gun talking about the profits from publishing an ebook before you have one, you first need to become an author.

Keep in mind when you’re reading the four steps below that there’s more to it than my short descriptions, which is why I added the resource posts. These links go to in-depth guides about each facet of becoming an author.

So I highly recommend reading and bookmarking the resource posts during your self publishing process.

1. Write the book

Some of you will immediately get writer’s block when it comes to starting your book. But you shouldn’t. You know why?

Because writing a book is just writing a really long blog post. I’m sure you can do that.

Start with the easiest chapters for you to write and save the hardest for last. Then take it day by day, and slowly but surely you’ll have a book on your hands after a few months.

My non-fiction books range from around 15,000 to 30,000 words. (Fiction books are often longer to develop characters and a narrative.) To get there I just wrote for 60 minutes every day (or every weekday) for about two months straight.

Learn more and get specific strategies on how to write a book with this huge resource post below. It’s some of my best work.

Resource: How To Write A Book

2. Edit the book

The reason you don’t need to be a perfectionist when you’re writing a book is because you’re going to edit the book yourself, and then hire an editor to improve your writing.

That means your first, second, third, and other drafts can suck because they’re going to be revised. No one will see it except you, and maybe your editor after it’s more polished.

Taking the time to edit your book the right way will save you from any bad book reviews on Amazon for poor grammar and organization.

Once your book is ready, click below to see how to edit a book and hire an editor.

Resource: How To Edit A Book

3. Self publish the book

You’ve written the book and it’s been edited for publishing.

While self publishing does cost some money upfront, now is the fun part. You get to decide on the book title, pick the cover, prepare for launch day, and personally decide when your book goes live.

Pay attention during this step because it’s important your book is formatted correctly for your reader’s experience.

The overall goal when you self publish is to have your book look like it came from a big traditional publishing company.

Resource: How To Self Publish A Book and 9 Self Publishing Formatting Errors To Avoid Before You Look Dumb

4. Market the book

There are two sides to a successful book. One is writing quality content that people want to read and the flip side is marketing it so these people know about your book to buy it.

But these people won’t hear about your book on their own. You need to hustle and get creative in marketing your book.

Create a blog around the content in your book. Build an email list. Promote your book by: guest posting on other sites, interviewing on podcasts, and sharing it on social media.

These resources will help you promote your book to ensure it sells.

Resource: Why You Should Blog As An Author

Making Money With Ebooks

If you write and market your book at top form, you can make a killing. I’m talking at the low end making four-figures and at the high end seven-figures, depending on which revenue stream you choose.

Below you’ll see five revenue streams you can unlock from selling an ebook. At the bottom of each description you’ll see the passive income test of yes or no. Since passive income frees up your time to do other things, it’s extremely valuable and why you might want to start on those income streams first.

1. Book royalties

There’s no surprise about this one. When you publish a book, you get paid each time someone buys your ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

Go on to publish multiple books and you multiply these earnings every month.

Plus, a prime advantage for self publishing over traditional publishing is the self published author gets credit for all international sales. In some traditional publishing contracts, this isn’t true.

I know these international sales add up as I’ve had book buyers in the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Australia, India, and other countries.

Passive income: Yes

2. Online Course

If you’ve written a self-help book related to money, career, fitness, healthy eating, or anything else in that niche, an online course will only be an extension of your book. You can use the table of contents to guide your course’s content.

Online courses are the perfect answer, and better than books, for taking someone from their starting point to accomplishing a specific goal.

Or where do you send the readers who sped through your book and want more from you? Again, an online course is the answer.

Because these courses are more in-depth with video or audio lessons, worksheets, and assignments, you deliver more value and thus can charge more money.

It’s common for online courses to range anywhere from $99 (at the low end) to $1,999 (at the high end).

So you can imagine how much more profitable these courses are compared to book sales. Sell 100 books at $5 and you’re at $500. Compare that to selling 10 courses at $500 and you’re at $5,000. Big difference!

Passive income: Yes

3. Coaching/Consulting Business

If you write a book in the how-to space, you’re immediately credible as an expert in that subject. People will recognize that and pay you to take a specific look at their problems or business.

Because of this, writing a book gives you the opportunity to start a coaching or consulting business. Your services could be needed by an individual, group of people, or business.

Your mission is to identify their problem and simply take them through each step of your how-to book. Each individual will get stuck in different areas, and it’s your job to navigate them through it to achieve their goal.

The way you execute this depends on the customer’s preference and yours. Communication by phone, video chat, or in-person meeting—if they live in the area—works best here.

If your clients get the results they want and prove your wisdom works, coaching or consulting will become extremely profitable for you. The top coaches charge over $1,000 per hour of teaching.

The only potential negative is that coaching and consulting requires your time and energy to continue to get paid. And if your schedule fills up, you can’t gain more clients and income because it’s not passive income.

Passive income: No

4. Affiliate Links

If you don’t know already, an affiliate link is a special link that you (the affiliate) would use to advertise another company’s online product or service. Then the company pays you a commission for the referral.

And there are many opportunities to recommend a tool or service in your ebook with an affiliate link to get paid. Since it’s unlikely you sell everything you use or recommend to readers, this is a way for the author to get a cut for introducing the reader to something helpful.

I do have a few warnings with this income source.

Warning one is to only lead your readers to affiliate products that you honestly believe in. If you lead them to some garbage product or service and they have a bad experience, it comes back to ruin their relationship and trust with you. That’s the last thing you want to do!

Warning two is to not put all your eggs in the affiliate income basket because the company could stop the affiliate program entirely or change it, and now you’ve lost all your affiliate income. Relying too much on one company is always risky.

Passive income: Yes

5. Speaking

I don’t think it’s true when people say you’re either a good writer or a good speaker, not both. Plenty of women and men have gone on to excel at both.

And if you’ve written a book, you already have the material to pitch for speaking engagements. Maybe you expand on a theme in your book, retell the core narrative, expand on a specific chapter, or tell your readers the backstory about why you wrote it.

The content is there, I promise!

At the beginning of your speaking career you won’t get paid as much. But, once you build your following and become a bigger deal, every year you can increase your speaking fee. That’s leverage at its finest!

Since this clearly isn’t passive income because you have to be there to speak in front of the audience, some authors are turned off by speaking. However, if you love to travel and meet new audiences, speaking could be your new favorite income source.

And don’t forget to sell your books at the event. It’ll be a tip on top of your speaking fee.

Passive income: No

Circling back to the fact that many millionaires have seven streams of income, I only outlined five different revenue sources here.

But the cool thing is you can use the money from these five streams above to buy stocks for capital gains (income stream #6) and dividend income (stream #7). Or buy property and rent it out to tenants (income stream #8).

Writing a book can’t do all of this on its own, but it can start the wheel and get you closer to your goals than you ever thought possible. However, in the same way that if A = B and B = C then A = C, you can say that writing a book opens up seven income streams or more.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one of my favorite things each month is receiving a direct deposit for my book royalties. Why not experience this same feeling?

Final Words

I don’t know your life goals. Each person prioritizes things differently.

Some of you are like heck yes, making more money each month and adding another revenue stream is exactly what I want. Now I can travel more or buy that car I always wanted.

If money is not your thing, then consider the freedom that comes with quitting your day job or giving your family a backup income in case you lose your job.

You can make money from ebooks to payback grad school loans or retire early.

The opportunities are endless.

What motivates you to write a book? What income streams are most appealing to you? Please comment below with any thoughts or questions and I’ll be happy to respond.

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