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Authors can make enough money to make a living in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most common business models employed by successful author businesses.
1. Single-Minded Model: Write Fast, Publish Often
Writing in a popular genre, writing fast, publishing often. Often Amazon only to take advantage of KU (Kindle Unlimited), and often ebook only, or with print and audio as an also-ran.
2. Wide Model: Multiple Formats and Retailers
Referred to in the community as “going wide”, publishing through Kobo, Apple Books, Google Play, and distributors like Draft2Digital and PublishDrive as well as KDP, and IngramSpark as well as Createspace for books. And multiple formats: ebook, print, audio. The idea is to reach as many readers as possible and build a growing readership, steadily, over time.
3. Books Plus Mentoring Model: Information Products and Consultancy
A nonfiction model, whereby books are supplemented by speaker and consulting income, together with higher-margin, information products connected to the book, (often done as back of the “room” sales, after a speaking gig or webinar)
4. Books Plus Teaching Model: Supported Learning
This is true teaching, not just an information product. The time-honored way is through an educational establishment, like a university, but now it can happen online but it distinguishes itself from Model 3 by being real, active teaching in a supported learning environment, with the author, or another real person, correcting modules and exercises, not just giving information.
5. Books Plus Reader Membership Model: Benefits For Close Readers
Keen readers are invited to subscribe monthly or annually to a membership program that offers various benefits. Again, this generally works better for non-fiction authors, although some fiction authors, especially women’s and romance novelists, have made a great success of these.
6. Books Plus Sponsorship or Patronage: Support from Other Individuals or Businesses
Wealthy patrons have never been as generous to writers as to fine artists, for some reason, and these days, it’s more likely to be a brand, arts council or other sponsor offering money, and wanting something in return for the investment. Often, awareness from your fans or followers. Another new opportunity for this model is crowdfunding through Patreon or similar.
7. Multiple Streams of Income
The most common, and perhaps the safest, business model but one that can make a creative business owner very time poor. In addition to combining any of the above, authors can also now benefit from affiliate income through their web Any comment site recommendations, paid freelance writing gigs, prizes, grants and other options. Combining these is a workable way can take time, but when you get the mix right, it can be very rewarding, creatively and commercially.Anybody work with some or all of these? How about crowdfunding? How do they work for you?