50 Shades of Pay: Making Money as a Contentpreneur

Writers who want to succeed need to reinvent themselves as contentpreneurs—creative, innovative entrepreneurs who produce and repurpose content for different forms, media and countries.  Contentpreneurs have more opportunities than ever to serve their communities, generate synergy, and build diversified income streams from their content, knowledge, ideas, and literary and business skills.

Authors of practical nonfiction will be able to benefit more from these opportunities than storytellers, but you’re only limited by your imagination. More chances to profit from your work will emerge as technology and your career develop. There are more than fifty ideas here, and following what authors in your field are doing will spark more ideas.


  • A Book

* Revisions and new editions of the book

* An illustrated version of the book

* A series of books, stand-alones or sequels, that sell each other

* Young adult, middle grade, and children’s versions of an adult book

* Adapting a book for woman into a book for men

* Adapting a book about one city, state, country, or profession to others

* Adapting a general how-to book into books for different professions

  • Articles and short stories
  • Collections of short work
  • Article syndication
  • Column syndication
  • Forewords
  • A newsletter that has advertising and promotes what you offer
  • Advertising on your blog/website
  • Ghostwriting
  • Advertising
  • Media releases and other publicity materials
  • Editing

Subsidiary Rights

  • eBooks
  • Audiobooks
  • Movies
  • Screenplays
  • Video Games
  • Foreign rights
  • Merchandising
  • Plays
  • DVDs
  • Television series
  • Downloadable templates


  • Paid talks that last from thirty minutes to a week for

* corporations

* nonprofits

* conferences

* conventions

* schools and colleges

that will either buy books from you, your publisher, or a local bookseller to sell or give away

  •  Free talks for

* libraries

* service organizations

* churches

* professional and trade organizations

* alumni associations

* academic or trade-show conferences

at which you can sell books, products, and services

  •  Audios of talks
  • Videos of talks
  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Teaching

* your subject or about the kind of books you write

* about writing and publishing

* about editing

* about research

* about promotion

* how to create a website

* how to use social media

* how to make videos and book trailers

* how to make podcasts

  • Teleseminars
  • Webinars
  • Training
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Putting on live conferences
  • Putting on online conferences
  • Retreats that last from a weekend to a week
  • Being a corporate spokesperson
  • Facilitating a critique group
  • Facilitating a book club


  • Always bringing books to sell at every opportunity
  • Giving discounts for multiple books
  • Bundling books, products and/or services at a discount
  • Subscription for a membership in your organization
  • Using your website to sell products and services
  • Merchandising (cups, T-shirts, calendars, etc.)
  • Selling products and services through ecommerce sites
  • Selling books, products and services at events
  • Selling books in bulk
  • Tours of places in your books
  • A business or nonprofit institute based on your ideas
  • Having local businesses sell your book
  • Using your email list to sell products and services
  • Selling other people’s products and services that relate to your book
  • Selling your books in catalogs
  • Renting your email list

Helping me add what I left out will lengthen the list.


The goal of the blog is to help us both understand writing and publishing.

Questions and comments most welcome.

The 6th San Francisco Writing for Change Conference / Changing the World One Book at a Time

September, 6th, 2014 / www.sfwritingforchange.org / sfwriterscon@aol.com

Keynoter: Adam Hochschild

The 12th San Francisco Writers Conference  & Open Enrollment Classes

A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community

February 12-16, 2015/ www.sfwriters.org / sfwriterscon@aol.com / Mike’s blog: http://sfwriters.info/blog

Keynoter:  Yiyun Li

@SFWC / www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoWritersConference

Michael Larsen-Elizabeth Pomada Literary Agents / Helping Writers Launch Careers Since 1972

larsenpoma@aol.com / www.larsenpomada.com / 415-673-0939 /1029 Jones Street / San Francisco, 94109



  1. Great blog and tips, Michael! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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