All three books are work for hire. Once the final manuscript is approved, I’ll collect my check and that will be that. There’s no long term gain except for the by-lines that need to convince a royalty-paying publisher to take on my work.
At least, that’s what I thought until I read Nina Amir’s Authorpreneur. Another Muffin blogger, Jodi Webb, asked me to read the book as part of the blog tour. I agreed because I thought it would give me a solid blog post, a big deal when you blog 5 times a week, and I might learn something.
I actually learned quite a lot. If you’ve read Authorpreneur, then you know it is all about building your income by building an entrepreneurial enterprise around your book. In doing this, you not only make income based on the book itself (royalties or work-for-hire) but on a variety of things that build on your expertise as a writer and the writer of THIS particular book. Amir suggests that we do this through supplemental books, classes, workshops and more.
Why am I writing about this if Jodi has already written a post about the book? Because Amir's suggestions have changed how I look at my book. Instead of just putting it on my shelf (how pretty!), I’m brainstorming other possible opportunities based on my expertise. This possibility has been open based on every other sale that I've ever made but after reading Amir's book, I've been motivated to do something about it.
According to Amir, I can write and speak on the Maya and writing. Here is the list that I’ve brainstormed so far.
- A book of late grade school/middle grade writing activities with a Mayan theme.
- A book of classroom activities using Mayan art to teach literacy, critical thinking, and history.
- A book on how we use history, archaeology, linguistics, chemistry, genetics, and forensics to learn about the Ancient Maya. Might feature expert interviews.
- A book on what life is like for modern Mayan peoples.
- A book about how, based on their own preconceptions, early historians and archaeologists got so much about the Maya wrong.
- Researching Nonfiction: How Much is Enough, Gathering Sources and Understanding What You Read
- Writing to Reader Interest and Reading Level
- Rewriting Based on Editorial Feedback
- A classroom experience based on each of the books above.
- Update Site (almost done)
- Pinterest (working on my Maya board)
After reading Amir’s book, I’m beginning to understand how short-sighted my approach to my writing has been. Yes, I write daily. Yes, I get my work out there and I make sales. That's great for the short term but I'm selling my expertise short. Amir has given my ideas about how to capitalize on my sales.
If you'll excuse me, I have a plan to outline.
Find out more about Sue's writing on her blog, One Writer's Journey.