January 16th, 2014

For most authors, unless a book is a huge bestseller, it is challenging to make a living from book sales alone.  We authors often supplement our income by giving speeches on subjects we’ve become expert in, or getting hired as consultants and coaches. But why stop there?  The idea of better monetizing our skills also doesn’t have to end with the written or spoken words, or service providers, such as coaches and consultants, especially if you have other artistic talents, such as painting or music.

Here are 25 ways to monetize your expertise:

  1. Train others to spread your message like Dale Carnegie. Productivity expert and bestselling author Julie Morgenstern is just one of many examples of authors and experts who are doing this. (Go to http://juliemorgenstern.com/Organizing_institute.php to find out more about Morgenstern’s Organizing Institute training workshops.)
  2. Become a spokesperson for a company, product, service, or association related to your topic or area of expertise.
  3. Get corporate or association sponsors for your book or product.
  4. Coach.
  5. Consult.
  6. Imprint for sale clothing products, such as a T-shirt, hat, or apron, with your message, your name, company name, product title/name, or a quote from your book. (For an example of how this is done, or to order products, visit my publishing company’s store: http://www.cafepress.com/hannacroixcreekbooks .)
  7. Imprint for sale other products or novelty items with your book title or core message, such as mugs, pens, pencils, umbrella, sewing or first aid kit. (Of course make sure you have the right to reuse the cover in this way through an agreement with the original publisher and/or graphic designer.)
  8. Create a calendar based on your material.
  9. Use your material for a customized appointment book.
  10. Develop an app. (Karen Robertson, a children’s book author, whose app is called “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island,” has become an expert on developing apps from books. She is the author of What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One? How 27 Writers Did! and Author’s Guide to Book Apps. For more information go to: http://digitalkidsauthor.com/)
  11. Turn your book or knowledge it into a one-person show.
  12. Use your book or material for a 45 minutes keynote.
  13. Sell foreign language editions to international publishers. There are more than 50 languages you can sell to although there are a core of 10 to 20 of the most popular languages to target. (Send me an e-mail <inquiries@hannacroixcreekbooks.com> if you want to be notified when my book, Foreign Rights and Wrongs, is available for sale or to be on the mailing list to be notified about my next webinar or seminar on this topic.)
  14. Sell an English language reprint into other markets/territories, such as the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Nigeria.
  15. Create a product that builds on a concept developed in the book/your talk/your area of expertise. For example, you could develop a game that is based on your area of expertise.
  16. Teach a course on your book or topic at a local college or adult education center. My very first published nonfiction book, The Vegetable Passion, was the outgrowth of a course I was teaching at The New School, “A History of Vegetarianism.” An editor at Scribner’s contacted me before I even taught the first class, sharing that she had seen the course description in the school’s bulletin, and she wondered if I had ever thought of writing a book on the subject. Pictured here is the reprint edition of that book now available as an e-book.
  17. Offer a workshop, from a 45 minute break-out session, or 1-1/2 hour workshop, to a longer three hour version.
  18. Offer an all-day seminar.
  19. Offer a two-day seminar.
  20. Turn it into an all-day workshop with guest speakers.
  21. Expand to a weekend retreat (Friday night to Sunday after breakfast or lunch).
  22. Create downloadable content that you give away or that requires payment.
  23. Turn your book or speech into a one-act or full-length play.
  24. On your own, collaborating with a screenwriter, or selling the film rights to your book, adapt your book into a screenplay as the basis of a feature movie or use your expertise for the core of a documentary.
  25. Turn your novel into the basis of a musical. That’s what happened with John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, which became a 2013 Broadway musical, of the same name. A Time to Kill is just another example of a long list of novels that have become musicals, to little or great success, such as the musical Charlotte’s Web, based on E.B. White’s novel, and the musical Big Fish, based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel.

Isn’t it productive to find one or multiple ways to get more monetary and even creative mileage out of that book, speech, art work, song, or area of expertise? Definitely!




Jan Yager, Ph.D. is a speaker, coach, artist, and the author of 38 award-winning books in 32 languages including the nonfiction titles When Friendship Hurts; Friendshifts; Productive Relationships; Grow Global; Work less, Do More; Creative Time Management for the New Millennium; 365 Daily Affirmations for Time Management; 365 Daily Affirmations for Happiness; The Quiet Dog (children’s book); The Pretty One (novel); Just Your Everyday People (mystery novel); and Birthday Tracker & Journal. Her spokesperson and consulting clients have included Visa, Disney, Kimberly-Clark, and J. Walter Thompson. For more on this author/artist/sociologist/coach/speaker, go to: http://www.drjanyager.com and the publishing company she founded in 1996, Hannacroix Creek Books, Inc. (http://www.hannacroixcreekbooks.com)


Copyright © 2013 by Jan Yager, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Ten Essential Tips for More Effective Business and Nonfiction Writing for Entrepreneurs

July 15th, 2013

How well you write is one of the key skills to help you to succeed as an entrepreneur, along with your ability to speak in public, communicate with others, manage your time, handle people, and excel in your area of expertise. Here are my ten essential tips for improving your business and nonfiction writing, discussed in greater detail in my book, Effective Business and Nonfiction Writing, 3rd edition.

  1. Make everything you write, from the e-mails you send to the reports that you research and share, an excellent reflection of you and your company. The content and the style of your writing is pivotal.
  2. Whether it’s an e-mail, a blog, or an article, carefully read over all of your writing before you send or publish it making sure there are no typos, spelling or grammatical errors, or questionable facts.
  3. If possible, hire a professional editor or proofreader, or even just show your work to a literate colleague, family member, or friend, for a review and for editing or proofreading it with any necessary corrections to your writing. (If you don’t share your work with others, at least put it aside for a period of time; return to it with a fresh eye after letting it sit for a while. Some errors or necessary changes may jump out at you that way.)
  4. Apply a global perspective to your text since today, more than ever before, what you write may be read almost instantaneously, in English or in translation, around the world.
  5. Although shorter is usually better, you still have to make sure that every e-mail, blog, letter, or article that you write is as long as it needs to be. It has to convey the information that you want to share to make that sale, persuade that reader, or impart enough details so your reader isn’t left with unanswered questions.
  6. Write and publish blogs, articles, or books to grow your business. Although being interviewed by the media is another great way to increase your visibility, publishing your writing is still one of the best and most lasting ways to set yourself apart from other entrepreneurs and businesses, and to drive new clients or customers to you.
  7. Fortunately better writing is a skill you can learn and master. Take the time to read about how to write better. Work with a writing coach. Read examples of great prose. Consider taking a writing workshop or two. Most of all, do more writing. You get better at writing the same way, as the old adage says, that you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.
  8. Apply to each and every piece of writing that you commit to creating the same question that helps you to make the most of each day and to expand your business: What do I want to achieve with this—e-mail? Letter? Website? Brochure? Article? Book?
  1. Intentionally find even one phrase or sentence in your writing that is just 110 to 120 characters long, leaving enough room to also include your name and company, so you can quote from your own writing in a tweet on Twitter. In that way, you will be increasing the reach of your writing and as well as the likelihood of having your phrase or sentence, with your name and company noted, retweeted.
  2. You’re an entrepreneur. Let that entrepreneurial spirit show even in your written communications through the topics you choose to write about, the language you use, the examples you share, the originality of your content, and through your unique writing style.

Jan Yager, Ph.D. is the award-winning author of 35 books translated into more than 30 languages including Effective Business and Nonfiction Writing and The Fast Track Guide to Speaking in Public. She has run her own small press, Hannacroix Creek Books since 1996.

Copyright © 2013 by Jan Yager, Ph.D. All rights reserved.