As an author of 8 books – both by a publisher and self-published – I have a lot of experience with the ups and downs of earning revenues from book publishing. Frankly, unless you do a massive amount of promoting, speaking or have managed to get your book into a sales pipeline, revenues from your books will likely not bring a significant amount of passive income. In fact, in traditional publishing something like a mere 4% of published authors generate about 96% of the sales. Not exactly a balanced playing field.

On the other hand, having an online course, which is significantly easier to create than the book you wrote, has a much higher Return on Investment. Since launching an online academy to certify coaches and therapists in a variety of natural wellness areas, most of my live-able income has been passive!

Think about all of the time one spends writing a book That doesn’t mean that it’s not a great accomplishment; being a published author is certainly a great credential that has opened doors for me. But when one calculates the hours invested, cost of editing, graphic design, book formatting, shipping etc. the profit per unit is rather small. Especially when you don’t print large quantities at first (large initial investment that you carry) compared to print-on-demand (high cost per unit).

I tell this story on my blog and in this video about how on a speaking gig in London, it was so easy to walk away with a tidy profit from selling my courses, while a colleague – quite an excellent presenter – sold only 7 books, which she had to pack, carry overseas and virtually schlep around. The following year when I launched Design My Course by writing her certification course, she had already recuperated 6 times the amount of her investment!

Recently I was invited to speak at a webinar on Online Course Creation. One attendee asked: So, does it require the same kind of consistent social media marketing to drive sales? Actually, depending on your market, it could be easier to market your course than your book. And when you consider how much work you do in blasting social media non-stop, that’s a lot of work for very little return.

On the other hand, online courses can sell for as low as $29 and as high as $5,000. Most will range from consumer courses of $49-99 and certification around $2,000.00. Considering the retail cost of a book, rarely over $30, the math is pretty simple.

Speakers are particularly well-served to have an online course as they can either sell as back-of-the-room products or as an additional menu offering (giving access to attendees for a cost-per-person.) In this case you have a captive audience who will more likely become a devoted follower when they are enrolled in an engaging learning experience. According to a prominent speaker’s bureau that I am about to sign with, they are “currently looking for unique speakers with a blended approach to engage their audiences long after their event is over.”

E-Learning is now a $150 BILLION plus market. We work with authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners to help them tap into this high ROI marketplace for very reasonable time and money investment.

For more information, visit www.designmycourse.com or send me a message to set up a free exploratory telephone call.