The four main ways you can make money from books is by using books, writing books, and making or selling books. Next time you look at a book, look at it differently. Let’s look at some ideas for each of those four areas:
1) MAKING MONEY USING BOOKS
Using books generally means reading and learning from books, but of course using books could also have a more literal meaning, like stacking up a pile of large old books, covering them with something attractive, and using them as a table or chair, even selling that table or chair.
1a) Reading and Learning from Books:
Use recipes in a recipe book, and sell what you bake or cook
Make craft items explained in a craft book, and then give craft lessons to other people or to children
Make craft items explained in a craft book, and then sell your craft items
Learn how to take better photographs from a photography book. Start making money from your photos – selling stock photos online, selling your printed and framed photos, or offering a wedding or portrait photography service
Instead of going to university (or not being able to), buy books that cover the subjects, or that are very similar to the university books you would have used. Learn on your own, obtain no degree, but start your own business related to that degree or those subjects.
1b) Literally using books to make (or save!) money
If you can get hold of a whole bunch of extremely cheap medium to large sized old books, make kiddies tables and chairs or little stools from them (and use or sell the tables and chairs.)
Make the chairs and tables by securely tying up same-size books, using duct tape and stong glue too if you think it will help, and then covering them firmly with whatever material you choose to use, or even painting your chairs and tables. Depending on how securely you have bound your books together, and how you plan to finish them off, you may even be able to cut short legs into your larger chairs and tables, instead of having a mere block for a table or chair.
Think of other uses for that block of books mentioned in no.6 and decorate your block accordingly. For eg a block of books decorated in cute kiddy patterns or pictures may help encourage a small child to use it as a step when learning to use an adult sized toilet.
Separate a few attractive front covers of small hard cover old childrens’ books and glue them in pairs, back to back. Repeat for a few more, then varnish them or wrap them in thick stong clear plastic very firmly and neatly.
Make a hole in them to thread a string through, and make a child’s mobile. Or, cut shapes or specific pictures out of the front covers of old harcover books, and use those to make your mobiles.
Or use internal pages of an old book, the pages with bright pictures or patterns, and fold the paper into interesting shapes, and make a mobile with them.
Cut out part (not all the way through) of the middle of a hard cover book, but leaving the front cover and back cover intact, perhaps a few pages either side of your hole too. You may glue the front and back pages together if you like. Insert a little tin or something attractive into the centre into the hole that you cut out, and use or sell the books as little secret hideaway places for special things.
Cut out circles from the front covers of old (but clean and in good condition) hard cover books and make coasters.
Cut a rectangle into a medium to large size hardcover book, and use it as a picture frame.
Wrap or decorate an old hardcover book or two or three to make one block or rectangle, add extra bits to it to make your block or rectangle look like an animal or something cute, and use it or sell it as a doorstop.
Use an old fairly large but thin book with a hard cover, and by adding a ridge all around the edges, and possibly two handles too, turn it into a tray. Attach a cushion beneath it and turn it into a tv tray you can rest on your legs, or for using when sitting up sick in bed.
Think of what goes with books, make those items and sell them. For example: book shelves, bookmarks, or even a little “reading time” pack, consisting of a bookmark, warm socks, a mug, hot chocolate, rusks or biscuits, and some chocolate.
2) MAKING MONEY FROM WRITING BOOKS
If you’re planning on selling the books you write (and not just giving them away as a gift) then do first be sure that your writing, spelling and grammar skills are pretty good. If not too sure about your writing talent, then first spend some time improving your writing – by reading a book or two about writing, or even by looking for and studying free writing tips on the Internet, and then first practicing your writing a bit, showing and asking friends and family to give you their honest opinion.
You could even join an online community of writers, like HubPages or Bubblews, and publish some of your writing there. If your articles or stories get accepted for publication or are not taken down by the owners of the site soon after you published them, that’s one feather in your cap. The second feather would be if your articles or stories get a lot of favourable comments and plenty of views, as you could then maybe assume that your writing is okay, maybe even pretty good. You can earn some extra income at HubPages or Bubblews at the same time.
Write a book, get it published, and make money from it.
Write a book, and self-publish it.
Write a book, and sell it in ebook format from other sites or from your own site.
Write a book, in ebook format, put it on disk, and sell the disks.
Write a book, publish it in its entirety on your own website or own blog, monetize your site with ads, and work at getting lots of people to visit your site
Be a ghostwriter, writing a book for somebody else.
Handwrite or type up your own book, like a recipe book perhaps, presented in even a simple hard cover A4 size excercise book, but nicely and attractively covered, with your own drawings or photos inside too. Sell your book.
3) MAKING MONEY FROM MAKING BOOKS
No 21. in the previous section should have given you ideas on how to make some kinds of books, but you could also make smaller books, using smaller excercise books, with not all that much content in them, with the aim of selling a lot, cheaply.
Make books by writing something, organizing which parts of the content to copy onto which half of which horizontal A4 size pieces of paper, print them even from your own computer, staple them down the middle, fold so that you have an A5 size booklet, add an attractive cover, and sell it. Make photostats or extra prints to make and sell more. You don’t even necessarily have to write anything to make a book like this – your book might consist of pictures for kids to colour in, or your book may consist of paper dolls and paper doll clothing to cut out.
Make miniature books from attractive paper and card, with cute messages or pictures inside. Sell as little gifts or as keyring holders, or attach a magnet and sell your miniature books as fridge magnets.
Make miniature “fake” books, decorate with Christmassy words, patterns or images, and sell as Christmas tree ornaments.
Make miniature “fake” books from wood or metal, attach whatever else is needed, and sell as ornaments, keyring holders, large earrings, necklace pendants, items for a mobile, items for a wind chime.
Make small books from material, after cutting out rectangles of material from baby or child clothing material or baby or child blanket material.
Look for material that is patterned in letters of the alphabet, words, toys, animals or shapes. Stack your rectangles on top of each other, sew down one end, and you have a book for children made out of material.
Learn scrapbooking, or improve your scrapbooking skills, and then offer a service of making a scrapbook for others if they give you the photos they’d like to see in the scrapbook that you create for them.
4) MAKING MONEY FROM SELLING BOOKS
A bit of an overlap here, as any of the books you wrote or created in the previous sections can be sold, so let’s add one more to make this no.29 more legit – you don’t have to be the person who wrote or made the books – you can sell other people’s books for them, for a fee, of course.
Search for and discover online sites that sell books, and that have affiliate programs. Set yourself up with a website or blog, write and add content to your site, join an affiliate program or two, place their ads (with your referral/affiliate code in the coding of the ad) onto your site, and work at getting lots of people to visit your site. Earn a commission when somebody follows a link on your site to the site that sells books, if they buy a book when they visit that site.
Buy books and sell them at a profit.
This mostly applies to second hand books,
so look out for auctions, house auctions, garage sales, check the local paper for people selling their second hand books, visit charity shops, garages sales, second hand stores, school or church bazaars, flea markets
and any place where you might find second hand books at a good price.
Buy the books and sell them at a profit – from home, from a website, or at a flea market.
GETTING CREATIVE AND TAKING SHORTCUTS
Look at all the lists above, and the four main different ways you can make money from books, then think about how you could mix and match some of the ideas:
For example: Using, Writing, Making and Selling all come together if you USE a book to learn how to write better, if you WRITE a good book, if you MAKE the book yourself (or an ebook version of it), and if you SELL that book.
© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2014