How To Actually Make Money From A Book

How To Actually Make Money From A Book by Charles Sledge

There are thousands of people out there making hundreds of thousands from their books may even more. However barely any of them are making that money how you think they are. So I want to talk about how to actually make serious money from a book. As in money that can be used to take your business to the next level and give you a comfortable living for the rest of your days (provided you put in the work). Now I’m not talking about doing the hire a bunch of outsourcers have them publish thousands of kindle books route even though that’s a profitable option. Nor am I talking about selling enough of your books to make a living off of something only writers of sappy fiction for women and a few choice others can ever hope to do.

Not what I’m talking about is using your book as a tool to catapult your business success to a whole new level. I’ve written over 30 books for a variety of different topics and people. And what I have found is that hoping to make money by having a quality product and selling it through Amazon is the least effective way to make money from a book. Even if you know how to game the Amazon system (which you must for any success) having a bunch of reviewers lined up, offering incentives to leave positive 5 star reviews (very smart), and fighting one star reviews you still aren’t going to make that much from selling your book directly.

The Best Business Card Ever

But that’s not using your book properly. Your book isn’t a money maker in and of itself, it’s a tool to be leveraged to make money. The best way to do this is to use your book as a business card. Now what do I mean by this? Obviously I don’t placing a copy of your in random doorways or throwing them out at a crowd but rather to use your book as a highly targeted business card. Meaning that you identify your prime clients and then instead of leaving them with a business card like most people would do you leave them with a hard copy (meaning not an ebook sent through email) of your book. With a book you can knock down doors that months of cold calling and sending mail to could not.

One trick is to send a copy of your book to a prime prospect with a sticky note saying “Thought you’d be interested in this” then a dash with the first letter of your name. Even if they don’t dig into it right away it’ll likely it on their desk with your name prominently displayed to them for some time. People rarely if ever throw away books, something that they’re likely to do with direct mail pieces (no matter how weird or fancy), cheap gifts, and other tricks of the trade. A book is an entirely different subject and treated with respect. So while you should still pass out your business cards and make use of them for those big important prospects they simply aren’t enough. Instead give them a copy of your book.

Authority & Expert Status

What you do and how good you are at doesn’t correlate exactly (or really at all) with how much you get paid for it. A trainer from the biggest loser will command more money per hour then a much better trainer who isn’t on TV. Marketing over skill every damn day of the week. This isn’t to say skills don’t matter they do, but the skill of doing your profession is the icing on top of the cake of the marketing/soft skills. And one of the most important marketing activities is establishing yourself as an authority and expert. There are a variety of ways to do this but the absolute best one is by writing and publishing a book.

The price that you can command is largely tied to your expert status (or lack thereof). Books are a great double whammy to not only break through the marketing noise (people are likely to ignore an ad or cold call but a book is a different story) but it also establishes you as an expert at the same time. You go from that random guy who wants my business to the expert who I have a chance to work with! You go from pursuing marketing to attraction marketing. You go from chasing down people to people lining up at your door, quite a nice switch in my opinion.


No matter what business you are in you should write a book. Even if you work for someone else talk with a higher up about writing a book for the company. This might not work for a really large corporation but there’s probably something you could be doing. And even then write a book about your subject area so you’ll have the credibility. That way when your corporate job feels like screwing you over, you’ll be able to land on your feet and even end up better then you were. And with corporate America it’s not if they’ll screw you it’s when.

And for those of you who are entrepreneurs then this is a must. Get to work on publishing a book right away. If you’re not sure about the process send me an email. If there is enough interest in this, I’ll go ahead and write about the step by step process of formatting a book in word and then uploading it kindle, where to get the cover, table of contents, all of that stuff. But get started on it right away. The sooner you get your book out the sooner you’ll be making more money.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it. You can follow me on Twitter here.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge

  • Johnny Grube

    You should write that book.

    • Ha I’ve thought about it. I think if/when I start writing books for the site again (too busy with other business right now) I’ll write “finance” type books.

      Dan Kennedy and Dave Witty wrote a great book on this topic called Book Your Business and Bob Regerus wrote a pretty good one too, called The Best Business Card In The World.

      I’ve been building on their ideas and they’ve been working great. Best thing I can say is give away as many of your books as possible.

      • The first thing I did after the first time you linked to me was search you.

        Upon finding a mountain of books where most have none, I responded exactly as you described.

        You’ve got more experience than most in this area, should definitely write that book.

        • May look into that then, or at the very least do a series on it.

  • “What you do and how good you are at doesn’t correlate exactly (or really at all) with how much you get paid for it.”

    This is at the heart of a post I’m writing now. Great minds, CS.