Books create compound earnings
For every book you write, there is a greater chance a reader will buy that book AND all the previous books you have written. In the traditional publishing world, this catalog is known as your "backlist."
Let’s look at what happened with Malcolm Gladwell's backlist recently. He is admittedly an... outlier... as far as numbers go, but when it comes to the backlist, most writers see the same benefits as he does.
Malcolm Gladwell's latest book - The Bomber Mafia - rose to the top of the bestseller lists.
This surprised nobody.
The part that might surprise you is this: Gladwell's NEW book helped sell all his OLD books. Amazon data suggests that a month after The Bomber Mafia was released...
The Tipping Point (2006) was selling ~55 books per day
What the Dog Saw (2009) was selling ~17 books per day
Outliers (2011) was selling ~155 books per day
David and Goliath (2015) was selling ~24 books per day
Talking to Strangers (2019) was selling ~24 books per day
Every book you write helps sell more books you’ve already written.
Nobody says this better than Patrick O’Donnell, a nonfiction author in a narrow niche about police education: "Since I published my second book, I noticed I don't just sell one book at a time anymore. I sell TWO!"
Don't stop publishing content
Like I said, platforms like Medium are wonderful for authors. I’m not leaving Medium. I’ll still be on LinkedIn and Newsbreak. I’m starting a paid newsletter too.
Having a book written doesn’t mean you can’t do any or all of those other things. A book simply increases the amount of money you can make every time you write a post.
Imagine a world where you can write a post that makes $50 on Medium but also one that leads to $18 more in book sales. You’re doing the same amount of work, but when you have a book the average amount of money you make per post created raises your entire revenue line. Tony Stubblevine, a coach, author, and prolific writer calls this "getting paid twice."
In addition to my medium earnings I’ve already made $10,000 extra in my sleep from selling my ebook to people who follow me.
Todd is further ahead. He’s climbing toward that six-figure number thanks to his books.