That's a great question and it honestly doesn't have a single answer. The best description that I can give of an Authorpreneur would be someone who uses the power of books and publishing to serve customers, build a business, and make money.
Since there are many different ways to do this, there are many different types of Authorpreneurs. For simplicity, let's look at the main way that anyone can build a business and make money using the power of books and publishing using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.
Obviously, you can make money directly from selling books. Using KDP, you would set the price of your book which, in turn, locks in your royalty (the amount that Amazon pays you every time that your book sells). Seems simple enough, right?
Most fiction and self-help books sell in the $9.99-$19.99 range which will earn you a royalty of about $3-$9 (for a 200 page book).
Getting paid a royalty while Amazon does all of the work of printing and shipping sounds great, but if you're only collecting $3 at a time, you'll have to sell A LOT of books if you want to make some REAL MONEY.
If you sell 100 books in a month and make $5/book, that's an extra $500/month in your pocket. Many people would be thrilled with an extra $500/month from their book sales, but if you wanted to make $5,000/month, now you have to sell 1,000 books and that's playing a very different game. Going from $500 to $5,000 means either selling TEN TIMES as many books, or earning TEN TIMES higher royalties on each sale.
It's my opinion that it's much EASIER to find ways to earn MORE per sale than to sell MORE books. But keep in mind that this is not an either-or scenario; you can certainly do BOTH.
So, what if you could find a way to make $50/book instead of just $5? Selling 100 books in a month would now bring in $5,000 instead of just $500. But how can you earn a royalty of $50 (or more) per book when most books sell in the $10-$20 range?
Great question and astute observation! Notice that I said MOST books, not ALL books. There are many ways to justify a higher price for your books that will result in higher royalties being paid out to you for every sale.
Here's how: When it comes to books, most will fall into one of two categories: Entertainment or Education. While there is no "official" maximum price that you can charge for a fiction book (think Harry Potter), you're going to have a tough time justifying a price higher than $19.99. Unfortunately, this will severely limit the royalty per book that you can earn as a fiction writer.
When your books are in the education category, there are really no price maximums. When your book teaches your readers how to DO SOMETHING or SOLVES A PROBLEM that they have, the price of the book is closely tied to the value that the readers places on learning that skill or solving the problem that they have.
Teach a VALUABLE skill? You can charge more for your books.Solve a BIG PROBLEM? You can charge more for your books.
You can also find other ways to include MASSIVE VALUE to your readers THROUGH your books. You can do this by including access to digital assets or downloads, links to exclusive, private content, or even membership in an online community. Your readers gain access to all of these things through the printed pages of your book! They buy the book and they receive the information on how to access all of the additional assets and content that come with the purchase of your book!
Here is another way to think about this. You've probably seen tons of different online courses. Prices can range from free to a few dollars to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When people buy an online course, they are buying ACCESS to the online course content. This is often written content, video lessons, and sometimes even membership in a community.
You can offer this EXACT SAME ACCESS to your own online course material through the purchase of your BOOK on Amazon! When a reader purchases and receives your book, they find the information on how to UNLOCK or ACCESS the same information that was included in the online course. This could be a link to redeem or validate their Amazon purchase that then unlocks a members-only area of your website or password-protected videos hosted on Vimeo.
The more value that you add and include in your book, the more you can charge for your book. And the higher price on your book means higher royalties on each sale.
I've sold $10 books, $100 books, $200 books, and even $300 books and I've never had a single person complain about the price. Why? Because I do my best to OVER DELIVER in terms of value through my books. I try to include so much value in my books that purchasing becomes a no-brainer decision. Someday, I'd even like to sell a $1,000 book that includes some kind of 1-on-1 coaching access or a ticket to an in-person event.
And when you publish your books using KDP, your readers are buying from Amazon and they know that they can simply return the book if it doesn't meet their expectations. As an author, I WANT my readers to be CONFIDENT in their purchases and the Amazon return policy can definitely help sales and remove any perceived risk or hesitation from your readers.
I LOVE Authorpreneurship! And it's not just about the 'make money' aspects. The creative marketing options that you have when you publish books and course content through KDP.
There are two more ways that Authorpreneurs can use KDP to build a business that I'll share with you over the next couple of days.
Questions about Authorpreneurship? Just ask!