ASP 01: How to Generate Revenue Just By Writing Books

Quote of the day:

A successful self-publisher must fill three roles: author, publisher, and entrepreneur—or APE.

– Guy Kawasaki

When it comes to making a living through self-publishing, you will want to establish multiple streams of incomes. Specifically, you will be looking to make revenue from your books and from products that extend beyond your books.

One of the best platforms for self-publishing is the Kindle platform on Amazon. This is actually a relatively simple process. You will upload your books on the site and then follow the instructions there for publication through the Amazon marketplace. Many authors find this to be a convenient way to get their books out. In fact, Steve has been publishing books there full-time since September 2012. However, it is important to remember that results vary by individual.

It used to be easy to manipulate Amazon, but these days it is much harder. Amazon is doing its best to weed out manipulators and keep people from gaming the system. So the best strategy is to produce good content! Those who build a catalog of good books will have the most success. Just bear in mind that it takes a lot of work to make a six-figure income as a self-published author.

The Kindle Unlimited program is currently undergoing changes. Under the new parameters, authors with longer books tend to benefit more, particularly when it comes to fiction.

Other platforms:

Although Amazon dominates the market, there are other platforms for self-publishing, including:

  1. iBooks
  2. Kobo
  3. Nook
  4. Google Play
  5. Smashwords
  6. Draft2Digital

Selling Direct

You can also sell directly to people rather than relying on platforms. One convenient site for this is There is also a site run by Matt Stone called Archangel Ink.

Barrie’s first book, 52-Week Life Passion Project, was offered on the normal book platforms, but she also offered it in PDF form on her website, where she made twice as much per copy sold.


Audiobooks are another great way to monetize your content. Steve makes between $3,000 and $5,000 per month through audio book sales. One of the better platforms for audio books is Audible Creation Exchange, an Amazon Audiobook platform that can also help you find narrators.

Print Books

You can also go the way of traditional print publishing, and one of the best options for doing that is CreateSpace. It costs around $200 to $300 to create a print file version of your book, so whether you decide to go this route depends on your market. If you have an older demographic, this might be a good option.

Foreign Books

If you’re books are doing well, traditional publishers may actually cold call you, wanting to publish your catalog. This may even happen in foreign markets that you have not yet entered. Steve doesn’t sell his book rights to countries where he can market himself, because he has found that it’s valuable to work with a marketing partner when possible and do his own sales, giving the marketing partner a 50/50 split of profits.

Affiliate Marketing

Another great way to monetize your books is to include a link (in the book) to a blog post reviewing a product (such as Fitbit, for example.) Affiliate marketing can bring extra income to supplement what you are making from book sales. Barrie has done this with a blog called 20 Books You Can’t Put Down.

When approaching affiliate marketing, think about the topic of your book and find parallel products you can promote to your readers. You can send your readers to review pages that introduce them to the products of your affiliate marketers, but it’s important that you don’t put an affiliate inside your book. (You can link to a product page, but not your affiliate link.)

These are a few ways to generate revenue through your books. For more ideas, check out the Facebook group Authority Self-Publishing Facebook group and download our writer’s checklist at You can also text “AP CHECKLIST” to 3334 and we will send the list to you!

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