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How I Made Money From My Book Without Selling a Single Copy

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are many ways to make money online. One popular method to is to turn your expertise and life experience into a book.

This sounds easy on paper (literally), but writing a book is a marathon. If disciplined, you can quickly write a 50,000-word book in 90 days. For others, completing the entire book creation process may take a couple of years or even decades.

While writing a book has enormous upsides to your credibility and finances, finding ways to make ends meet while the book is being written can be tricky.

It took me about three years to write my book. As I wrote it, I accidentally found different ways to make money from it without even releasing it. Luckily, you can use this guide to earn money from your book as you write it.

Here are five ways to make money from a book without selling one copy:

Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Make Money Writing a Book

1. Renovate your social media

About halfway into writing my book, I created the book cover and ordered a couple of marketing copies.

Marketing copies are just empty copies of my book used for marketing purposes. Once these arrived in the mail, I got a friend to do a photoshoot of me and my book in various poses. I next used these images to renovate my social media presence completely.

By showcasing myself holding marketing copies of my book, I got an instant credibility boost.

This credibility boost made it easier to network with people online, close more clients and attract new clients/partners. It also helped me reduce my no-show rates.

2. Increase your prices

Yup, you guessed it.

An increase in credibility and authority makes it easier to raise your prices. Not only will you feel comfortable charging higher rates, but the people purchasing from you will also feel comfortable.

Having a book is one of the ultimate credibility boosters and shows others that you are an expert in your field.

3. Land speaking engagements

When I started posting publicly about my upcoming book, speaking gigs naturally made their way to me. Most of the speaking gigs were free, but even at the free ones, I was able to acquire new customers and partners.

I also made sure to record myself speaking to build up my speaking portfolio. I knew that once I release my book, this would make it easier to land larger speaking gigs that pay over $10,000+.

Speaking also made it easier for me to refine my message within the book as I write it.

Related: The World’s Best Marketing Tool: Writing a Book

4. Get on podcasts

Showcasing a marketing copy of my book not only made it easy to start my own podcast, but it made it easier to book guest spots on other people’s podcasts as well.

I love hopping on other creators’ podcasts because it is a great way to expose your message to a new audience. It’s also a great way to refine your messaging within your book and build a pipe for it as you continue writing it.

If podcast marketing is at the top of your priority list, consider pre-selling a book with the advice given in this article. It will increase your chances of landing an opportunity to be a guest.

One of my favorite tactics is to include a picture of you holding a marketing copy of your book toward the bottom of the email you are sending out. I noticed this trick increased my open and response rate in any email I sent out.

5. Start a movement with your writing journey

You can become a millionaire selling anything. You can sell bathwater, rocks, cars and anything you’re mind can imagine.

The hardest part is finding or creating an audience to sell it to. If you already have an audience, that’s great; you’re one step ahead. But if you don’t have an audience, getting traction can be tricky.

One fantastic way to build an audience is to document your book-writing journey online.

I started my journey towards the beginning of January 2020, and I’ve been able to grow my Instagram to over 15,000 followers over the past three years.

This journey of mine has attracted so many friendships, customers, partnerships and even dates. So many things can happen when you share your journey online and document the good, bad and ugly.

Related: Why You Should Write a Book to Build Your Brand

Don’t write a book if you want to make a quick buck online. Writing it is a marathon; if you’re in it for the money, you won’t last long.

But if you decide to write a book, consider applying the advice I gave in this article. It will allow you to not only build an audience and increase your authority online, but it will also let you turn your book into an asset far before you release it.

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