Book Publishing: There’s More to Your Book than just a Book

If you are an author, you have a product that can be morphed to other products. Books have covers. How would it look on a mug? a Tee-shirt? What about a canvas bag or a nifty pin? Illustrations can become products that you sell … are there any in your book? Can they be made into a sellable product that is low price and an add-on to a sale of a book or stand alone? To do this, you need to get permission of the illustrator or have it arranged up front that you own all rights for anything and everything. How about a bookmark that becomes a “tool” vs. just a placeholder?

Some will require payment—either a lump sum or royalty arrangement–it will depend if you create it yourself with your own product/material that your own outright or one that you have to make an arrangement with the holder of the copyright if it isn’t you.

I  turned one of the critters in my book Stabotage!™ How to Deal with the Pit Bulls, Snakes, Skunks, Scorpions & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace book into a 2 x 3 pin that cost 60 cents that sells for $5—markets my books whenever it is displayed or worn. We’ve got one of our logos on a mug that sells and created a tee-shirt with one of the “Keepers” from a book that has sold thousands.  Taking a key tool from the Stabotage! book, a bookmark with created with a tassel that sells for $5–an easy add to each sale of a book. Then we lumped 10 of them together, tied a purple ribbon around them and sold those at a discount for $40–we’ve sold thousands of those.

Don’t just stop at the book.  There may be gold between the covers and on top of them. Create products that will continue with your brand.

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (, a book publishing coach and the Founder of Author U (niversity (, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book publishing on the Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at