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Self-Publishing: The Path to Passive Income

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Steven King didn’t start out as a best-selling horror and supernatural fiction writer. And since you’re reading this article about generating passive revenue streams we’re guessing you’re not a best-selling author either. At least not yet!

You’re likely in a place shared by many writers today. You have a book or an idea for a book but can’t figure out how to publish. You’re wondering how you’ll make money as a writer anyway-maybe your mother was right. You should just get a real job.

What if we could prove to you that writing is a real job and you can create multiple passive income streams using self-publishing?

We’ve put together some information about self-publishing and writers use it as a platform for generating income.

Read our mini-guide and be inspired! It’s true, just about everybody has a book inside just waiting to be read.

What Is Passive Income?

The world is full of promises. Get rich quick. Sit back and do nothing but still get rich quick. Little investment-big return.

Imagine sitting back and doing nothing but still collecting a check. In the financial investment world, people do just that every day. It’s called passive income investing.

Here’s how it works. You make an initial investment of money (and time). You sit back and enjoy an income stream with little to no effort.

Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

If stocks and bonds, rental properties, or limited partnerships ignite your fire, you’ll be a happy little passive income investor. But what if you have no interest in landlording, underwriting someone else’s business ideas, or gambling on the stock market?

What if you’re a writer toiling away at a blog day after day with little financial reward? Maybe you’re writing your first, your second, or your third novel but can’t find anyone interested in publishing it.

Or are you that person who stores information like a squirrel stores nuts? You have files brimming with interesting facts and ideas.

Just like the stock market or real estate investor, you too can enjoy passive revenue streams. Whether you’re a wordsmith or a miner of facts, you can turn that passion into passive income.

Self-Publishing 101

In the past, the only way a writer ever saw their words in print was if they attracted the attention of traditional publishing company. And getting a book published that way is quite a feat!

Most writers, even those who can be considered writing geniuses, have a hard time penetrating the old boys club of the traditional publishing world. Even if a writer gets past the gatekeepers and can get their book or other written work near an editor’s desk, chances are they’ll still end up a victim of the slush pile. The majority of writers who choose this route are on the receiving end of multiple rejection slips.

Traditional publishing is expensive, both financially and emotionally.

Self-publishing, also known as direct publishing, offers another option.

This publishing method is the best option for those writers looking for ways to create multiple passive revenue streams. If you’re excited about your work and willing to invest some time upfront you could be the one taking a cruise while your bank balance continues increasing.

Self-publishing isn’t only about books but publishing eBooks is one of the most popular formats.

It’s not something you approach in a haphazard manner by throwing a book together and crossing your fingers after you hit send.

There’s a learning process but if you dedicate the time, it won’t be long before you see results.

Solve a Pressing Problem

The first step to direct publishing project is figuring out your audience.

Your message will resonate with a specific group of people. Those people are your tribe and they’re the primary supporters of your passive revenue streams.

Your tribe has one or more pressing problems they need help solving. It could be anything from how to paint old furniture to how to get through the terrible twos. Hint: How-to books and resources are always popular!

The trick is figuring out what your tribe is looking for and packaging the answer using voice and your personality.

Your tribe gladly buys from you and enjoys supporting you any way they can. They wait for your recommendations, opinions, and outlook on the pressing issues they deal with every day.

Write What You Love

Because you’re not just throwing random words out there hoping they’ll stick somewhere, you’ll need some direction for your first publications.

Unless you’ve already written a book and it’s ready for publication, you’ll start somewhere close to the beginning of a project.

A piece of advice often heard in the writing world is write what you know. While those are wonderful words of wisdom, let’s take it one step further. Write what you love.

When you write about a topic you enjoy or love, your tribe will pick up on the enthusiasm. Your voice will sound more authoritative. Soon you’ll be known as an expert on whatever the topic is.

Does that mean you should never wade into unknown territory?

In time you can branch out and write about other well-researched topics you know your tribe is interested in but in the beginning, write what you love.

Gather Your Notes

If you’ve not finished your first book, you may be sitting there feeling discouraged. Keep your chin up!

You’ve probably already written the equivalent of at least a how-to guide in your collection of notes, social media posts, and blog articles.

Gather everything you’ve written in any format and on any platform: Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Spend time organizing and see if you don’t find a pattern. What about those blog posts you wrote about the process you went through when you put together your budget? Maybe you have a series of Tweets about the latest political issue.

Organize and conquer and soon you’ll have the contents of your first publication.

Remember we said self-publishing isn’t just about books? You could easily self-publish a mini-guide to the voting process or one that outlines the steps involved in using Excel for budgeting.

Write a Book

Break your writing into chunks and post each week on your blog. Don’t worry if the writing isn’t worthy of the first prize in a writing contest. Write one chapter each week and make it good.

If you already have a blog, you’re promoting it (hopefully). Promote your weekly chapters just like you do your blog posts. Writing each chapter individually keeps you on schedule. It also lets your blog act as a marketing tool for your book.

Create a Course

Take your notes and organize them into a course. Or if you’ve completed a book, turn that into a course.

Some books can easily be converted to online courses, which creates yet another passive revenue stream.

Dave Rogenmoser wrote Beyond the Grind: How to Do Work That Matters, Travel the World For Free, and Escape the Daily Grind Before It’s Too Late. His book earned almost $4,000 in royalties during its first 60 days.

The story gets better. He grew his email list from his book sales and then launched a successful online course. Between the book and his course, he enjoyed over $1 million in sales in just under 2 years.

Online courses are one of the most lucrative money making ideas. You create and publish. Your customers do the rest. Over and over and over again.

Digital Products

Self-published books are an excellent revenue stream but you can also create other passive revenue streams by creating digital products.

  • Digital products include:
  • Checklists
  • How-To Guides
  • Reports
  • Webinars
  • Webinar Replays
  • Video Training
  • Facebook Group Access

These are just a few options for digital products. Anything you know about that your tribe needs or is interested in learning about is ideal for self-publishing. Generally, these products won’t be expensive and that’s what makes them so popular.

When your tribe can pick your brain for the price of a couple of lattes, they feel like they’ve found an invaluable resource, you!

Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

As soon as you self-publish your first book, start writing the next one. Yes, we really said that!

Passive income is a somewhat deceptive term because it sounds like you plug in a book and few mini-guides and you’re set for life. Passive in this case only pertains to the individual products.

Once you publish a course you don’t continue tinkering with it. You launch and make sales.

You might make certain revisions if the data in the course changes over time. Just like a popular coffee shop introduces new flavors to their latte line, you’ll introduce new content to your tribe.

Passive income for writers runs on a system of wash-rinse-repeat.

Diversify

Another way you can guarantee your passive revenue streams continue being profitable is diversification.

If you self-publish books, don’t limit your products to only eBooks. There are other publishing formats. Even though eBooks are one of the most popular media formats, readers still want print books.

The more publishing options you pursue, the higher your passive revenue will likely be.

The Business of Passive Revenue Streams

If generating passive revenue streams sounds like something you’re interested in then you’re in the right place. Lulu.com has a wide range of self-publishing options and can help you determine which platform is best for your product.

Start thinking like a businessperson now and it won’t be long before your books and digital products are generating income your book is in the hands of your tribe!

Have you thought about self-publishing, or have you already published your own book? We’d love to hear about your experience below.

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