Authors Have To Be Entrepreneurs. Here’s Why.

In all likelihood you will never earn a decent income as a published author. (I’m sorry to say that, really.)

But, you can earn a decent living BECAUSE OF your book; they are an incredible platform to develop other revenue streams. Today I want to share one compelling example as to why that is. I’m going to focus on someone who published a successful nonfiction book. In fact, he got his book deal because of his blog, and he earns a significant income because of everything BUT his book.


Dan BlankDarren Rowse  makes 6-figures a year (close to 7-figures a year) by blogging. But the blog is merely a POWERFUL launch platform for other products which generate his revenue. This is how his revenue streams break down for April:

  • 23% AdSense Ads
  • 22% Affiliate Ads/Partnerships
  • 16% E-Books
  • 15% Continuity Programs (Subscription forums)
  • 7% Direct Ad Sales
  • 6% Chitika (A search-targeted advertising solution)
  • 5% Amazon Affiliate Program
  • 3% Job Boards
  • 1% Speaking

The last revenue stream he left off the chart because he only collects royalties twice a year: book sales. He said if he included it, it would rank in the 1-3% range. TINY compared to his other revenue streams.

Darren’s book is ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and his websites include, Digital Photography School, and Twitip.

Okay, let’s model this out. I’m not doing this to pry into Darren’s finances, but to understand how it is someone can really earn a living because of their blog and/or book. Assuming Darren made $750,000 in 2009, this is how the revenue streams would break out (on average) for each month:

  • $14,375 AdSense Ads
  • $13,640 Affiliate Ads/Partnerships
  • $9,920 E-Books
  • $9,300 Continuity Programs (Subscription forums)
  • $4,340 Direct Ad Sales
  • $3,720 Chitika
  • $3,100 Amazon Affiliate Program
  • $1,860 Job Boards
  • $620 Speaking

Keep in mind, this is PER MONTH. Now, some revenue streams deliver higher revenue depending on if there is a new product launch or time of year, so this is just a guestimate.

If you add in the book sales, that would be an additional $700 or so a month. BARELY ANYTHING compared to his other revenue streams. YET, the book features prominently in his marketing as it establishes his authority and builds his platform.

To give a more balanced view, let’s assume that 30% of Darren’s revenue goes to expenses and another 30% goes to taxes. (Darren works from home, and has been careful to not build up a lot of overhead in his business.) Even with these figures, he would still take home $300,000 a year, own his business, along with a variety of revenue streams and the skillset that goes with them.

What does this mean for you? It means that AUTHORS HAVE TO BE ENTREPRENEURS.

Not because the world needs more business people, but because no one is more passionate about your work than you – no one can connect with your target audience more than you – no one wants your writing career to succeed more than you.

The web affords you incredible opportunity that authors in the 20th century never had. This is not something disrupting to your goals, it is empowering!