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How Authors Can Use Their Books as the Basis for an Internet Business

Whether you have a fiction or nonfiction book, there’s a lot more gold in that tome than you may realize.

Let me show you what I mean:

We’ll start with a nonfiction book we’ll call 15 WAYS TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS. And we’ll agree that:

• The book has been published (whether from a traditional publisher or self-published doesn’t matter).

• Each of the 15 ways has an individual chapter.

• You have a website for your book.

Now you take those 15 chapters – and you plan and record a one-hour teleseminar around each one. Voila! You now have 15 teleseminars that you can sell off your website. And as easy as this you now have an internet business.

Of course, as your mindset focuses on having an internet business based on your nonfiction book, you’ll begin to see other opportunities. Perhaps there’s an expert in a related area who you would like to interview and then sell that interview. Or perhaps you’d like to offer one-on-one coaching through the internet or telephone.

Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of creating a good book, don’t stop there. Keep looking for how you can build on that basis.

And what if you have a fiction book? Yes, it isn’t quite as easy as a nonfiction book to use as a basis for an online business, but we’re writers – let’s use our imagination to think of a possible scenario for this endeavor:

Let’s say your novel, like my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, takes place during the Vietnam War. There are many people alive today who are too young to have any knowledge about this war. What if you wrote ebooks about the war from the point of view of the people in the different countries involved in the fighting?

You could do research and write an ebook about the United States’ role in the Vietnam War and include the U.S. military point of view as well as that of the U.S. war protestors’ point of view. And then you could do research and write an ebook about Australia’s role in the Vietnam War and include the Australians’ opposing viewpoints.

Okay, maybe this isn’t an exciting example. How about – if you’ve written a romance novel – doing research and writing ebooks about dating relationships?

One ebook might be “The 7 Ways You Can Blow a Relationship in Only 10 Minutes.” Would people buy that ebook? I think so. And I also think people might buy a series of teleseminars that you host with different dating experts.

Now does this romance/dating example get your thinking cap fired up? It does mine – if only I could write a good romance novel ….

Step back from being the author of your published book and instead think about how you can develop your book’s “brand” into an online business. You’ll probably be surprised how many good ideas you can come up with.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel and a National Internet Business Examiner at She is also the head of, an internet marketing company that helps people promote their brand, book or business. On July 1st the company will launch the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.

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Comment by Terry Cordingley on June 23, 2009 at 10:20pm
"Step back from being the author of your published book and instead think about how you can develop your book’s “brand” into an online business."

Great advice! I think after awhile, it is possible for an author to be so attached to a book that they don't look at it as a product, which it is. When you identify the niche market for your book and find a way to target that niche, that is when a book can really take off and make these value-added products profitable.

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