If you have written — or are thinking about writing — a non-fiction book or training course on a topic that is proven; one that some people are already buying into, I suggest you stop, pause, and consider what's outlined in this article, before you invest significant amounts of money into your venture!
Here's an alternative "publication" idea to evaluate for the modern age, that lets you keep 100% control, costs a fraction of the normal publishing route, and allows you to sell your "publications" to buyers around the world, not just in one or two countries.
Instead of paper and conventional bookshops, why not think digital, online publishing, websites? Using easy-to-learn, yet powerful, flexible, and low-maintenance software publishing engines like:
- Publii, remarkable new static website publishing software, or ...
- Joomla web Content Management System (CMS), or ...
Though do remember, one big drawback with web content management systems is that you'll need to constantly keep them up to date, and make sure extreme security precautions are in place — or face getting hacked and having to deal with the mess that follows.
However, static website solutions from sources like Publii are simpler, faster, and do not store a database online, so when set up correctly, are more robust against getting hacked.
Here's another book-to-website conversion option you can consider. You can convert your book or training course into a subscription web site — a practical, realistic solution for many.
Once your subscription member website is set up, you can monetise your content by making your publications available to your visitors for small access fee.
Some Benefits of Publishing Your Book or Other Publication in Subscription Website Format
- As you become both writer and publisher, you can potentially double or triple your income from each writing project.
- Low start-up costs compared to high risk book publishing: once you've covered your one-off set-up costs and learned how to publish regular content online in a secure way, everything else you earn is pure profit.
- Low risk: as a website, you can make changes and apply content updates quickly. Plus, if you change your mind later, you have additional options. Much better than having a garage full of unsold print books: changing those in the same way isn't possible.
- Once your membership subscription-based website infrastructure is in place, you have few additional running costs. Transaction costs from PayPal and other payment providers are tiny in comparison and can be built into your prices.
- Website publishing is non-exclusive. If you are not yet a published writer in the traditional sense, then the website publishing option lets you bypass the entire usual lengthy process: you can be a published author just as soon as your subscription website is up and running.
- You can sell the same "book" content to thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of people from around the world.
- Website publishing is more environmentally friendly than print-based publishing. Help save a tree.
- You can add to, enhance, or change your subscription website "book" at a moment's notice, building in additional value that customers just love. Providing a similar level of instant update value with a printed book is not possible.
- Multiple website options: why stop at a single website "book"? You could create a follow-up, or a third or fourth in a series.
- Quick and easy updates: keeping your website "book" up-to-date takes a little thought, a few key strokes and a few mouse clicks.
- You can work from anywhere: on the beach, in your garden, beside a lake, on top of a skyscraper, in a motor home, in your home lounge or office, and so on.
- Global reach: you can find new customers that you might never have been able to contact using only traditional publishing options. Digital publishing can open new doors and create new income streams.
- Do the same for others: you could publish books written by other authors in the same way and share in the profits from those too. Think joint venture possibilities!
- Make your website "book" come alive with animated content: your website "book" can be made interactive and highly animated using additional plugins and components, building in even more value, more interest and greater variety.
Assessing the Power and the Risks of Spin-offs
The more you think about options for providing instant access education to up-to-date information, solutions and know-how, the more you can come up with additional, related ideas and options.
However, do remember, that for every great idea, there are almost certainly drawbacks, so do consider any downsides and risks in the same way. Makes lists. Compare for and against. Brainstorm with friends and colleagues.
The Challenge of the Book
Even with all the benefits digital publishing offers, right now, books are a compelling proposition. What is better than a bunch of paper bound together that you can easily pick up or put down at will? Simple, no electricity needed; no possible confusion — no technology involved. When a book is available, it just works — every time!
To overcome the simple awesome power of the book, digital publications like websites, ebooks, white papers and reports, and tablet computers, must offer benefits that vastly outweigh the simplicity and ease that a conventional printed book provides.
When we are exposed to fewer and fewer paper-based books, and one day, in a moment of forgetfulness, find ourselves trying to swipe a printed page upwards, in a flash, we realise how devices like Apple iPads, iPhones, and similar devices, have helped make ebooks mainstream, changing how we define what a book actually is.
The Future Here Now
Trends alter and times change. More of us are happy nowadays to read from a screen — just look at the power of television and tablet computers. As TV and the web start to merge, become seamlessly available in the same box, amazing new possibilities emerge!
Welcome To GitBook
For example, check out GitBook.com. You can write ebooks online, that automatically and easily get converted into PDF, ePub, mobi, or as a website.
Consider how marketable your book-to-website conversion might be. For example, if your book, training course or publication topic:
- Is compelling (health, money, homes, gardens, spirituality, work, income, travel, etc).
- Can be seen as "hot", current or timely (tablet computers, the cloud, celebrities, news, global warming, working lifestyles, etc).
- Has built in urgency (Starting a family, finding a home, coping with an illness, getting a divorce, living more healthily, etc).
- Already enjoys a keen following (home renovations, sports, self-improvement, living abroad, etc).
Then making similar information available from within a subscription website delivery structure, could provide you with a smart, enviable living working within a relaxed environment. You could become one of the new, growing band of authors enjoying the benefits and perks available from the digital writer's life.
Why not start thinking about how you can make subscription-based websites work for you? By all means, play with ideas, but most importantly, take action. And why not begin right now?