Nonfiction Writers Are Sitting on a Cash Cow
Posted On: 2015-04-29
by: Bill Platt

29, 2015
Let me ask you a couple very important questions...

Why do you write books?

Would I be wrong to believe that you write books, one, because you enjoy writing, and two, because you want to make more money?

If it is true that you are writing nonfiction books in order to earn more money, then I'd like to suggest that most of you are sitting on a cash cow and you are probably overlooking one of the greatest profit advantages you have at your fingertips.


Tip of the Iceberg

A decade ago, I made my living writing how to articles that were designed to carry readers through a very specific process.

My goal was always to teach my readers something of value to them, but my underlying goal was also to create a need in the mind of my reader.

One of my more successful articles was one that was one that was ordered by a customer, but instead of putting that article in his name, he asked that I put the article in my name.

In the article, I described a common problem facing many business owners, I demonstrated the need for a solution, then I outlined four websites that could serve as a solution to the problem.

At the end of the article, I was given the freedom to tie up the article with a pitch for my own services.

The article was published in a newsletter reaching 500,000 people, then three days later, I heard from my client.

My client was curious how many sales I received as a result of that article.

I had sold $16,000 of my service, and it turned out that he had sales of $22,000.

This 1000-word article resulted in $38,000 in gross sales over three days. If you need help with the math, that is earnings in the range of $38 per word.

Eyes Wide Open

Having heard my story, I bet you are wondering how this story applies to what I am talking about today.

The bottom line is that we can emulate this process with every nonfiction book we write.

We can present a problem and a solution inside our books, then at the end of the book, we can make recommendations that could help our readers further.

There are no rules inside Amazon Kindle about linking to third-party websites in our books, except for one...

We are technically not allowed to use our Amazon affiliate link inside our books, but there is nothing wrong with linking to our website, where we include links to Amazon with our affiliate link intact.

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Amazon is only one place where we can sell physical products and get paid for the referral. There are lots of programs we can join where we can link to a product and make money if someone purchases that product.

Creating Clean Links

The problem with the typical affiliate links is that they are plain ugly and hard to manually put into the browser. If you doubt that, look at any Amazon link to get a clear idea of what affiliate links might look like.

One of the people to whom I pay close attention frequently buys a domain name, then redirects that domain to his affiliate URLs.

His mindset is very clear. If you want to make more money, provide more BUY buttons -- even if those BUY buttons are for products created by other people.

This fellow used to be one of my customers. Twice a week, I distributed an article written by him, and in every article, he had links to at least two URLs that had the potential of making him money. This fellow is in fact the first multi-millionaire I met through my online business.

I have emulated my client in this regard. In some cases, I link to a domain that redirects to an affiliate URL. In other cases, I link to a domain that has links to several offers on it.

The other day, I found a particular product listed on Ebay. I was curious about the manufacturer of the product being sold. So I went to the domain for that manufacturer, and that website redirected me back to the Ebay profile of the vendor.

Nonfiction Opportunity

If you have written a book that helps people solve a problem, then there is no reason for you to stop helping them solve that problem once they have finished reading your book.

In one of my pen named books, I have advice on catching a cheating spouse. In that book on the last page, I have links to a page where people can learn about products they can use to spy on a cheating spouse. From that page, people can make purchase decisions and purchase a product through an affiliate link.

Now, I will be honest. The book doesn't sell as much as I would have liked, but even with just a few sales here and there, there are also affiliate sales here and there. I have made an additional $200 in affiliate commissions, as result of the links in the back of my book.

Other examples of how to utilize this approach is:

* A health related book that points to affiliate links for vitamins that could help the reader.
* A healthy eating guide that points to affiliate links for organic foods.
* A cook book that points to affiliate links for BBQ grills.
* A travel guide that points to affiliate links for camping supplies.
* A book about dogs that points to an affiliate link for a pet supply company.
* A home improvement guide that points to affiliate links for home improvement supplies.
* A gardening guide that points to affiliate links for items that might interest the gardener.
* An unauthorized biography of a movie star that points to affiliate links for movies by that actor.
* A parenting guide that points to affiliate links for items someone might buy for a child.

Honestly, I could keep enumerating this list for hours. There are more ways to make money from your books than you can even imagine, and this technique will work for nearly every nonfiction book in the marketplace.

The Next Step

When you have finished writing your book, sit down and come up with ideas for products or services that might be available to help your readers further, after they have finished reading your book.

Then take some time to look at affiliate opportunities that might be available to you, where you could make a product/service recommendation to your reader and make a small commission should they choose to buy based on your recommendation.

HINT: Don't try to sell inside your book. Simply give links for people to follow to learn more about other solutions available to them.The point is that you should only make recommendations in a style that suggests that they "may also be interested" in those items.

Once you have found the affiliate offer, get signed up as an affiliate, then get your links.

Figure out how is the best idea to present those links to your readers. Do you want to simply set up a redirect URL, or do you want to build a web page that goes into more detail?

After you have figured out how to deliver the link to your readers, add the links to the end of your book under a "More Information" section.

You will have everything in place at this point.

Final Thoughts

As a result of these extra few minutes spend in this process, you will have the opportunity to make a bit more money on the back-side of your book.

Every time someone buys and reads your books, there is always a chance that someone might buy something else that you recommended to them.

This is truly a win-win situation. You win when you make some extra cash, and your reader wins when they find more specific solutions to address their problem.

Don't limit yourself when you undertake this process.

You can do this equally with print books as your digital books, except when doing this for a print book, it is much more important for you to make sure you have an easy link for people to type into their browsers.

Your nonfiction books really are a cash cow. Are you going to take advantage of this opportunity?

Bill Platt has been providing training and services to professional writers since circa 2001.

In April, I hired a female ghost writer to write some romance stories for me. I mistakenly assumed that women would intuitively know how to write a romance story that appealed to women. Imagine my shock when a couple of my lady friends suggested the story "was written by a man, for a man."

So I turned to my favorite fiction guide ghost writer and asked her to create a guide that would explain the difference between "writing romance for women" and "writing romance for men."

I think I finally wrapped my head around it myself. Click Here to Get Your Copy of "Writing Romance Fiction for Women & for Men, and How To Create Stories That Appeal to Both."