James Altucher on Making Money by Writing Books

nationalbestsellerI am reading a fascinating book by James Altucher, an idea entrepreneur with an ungodly number of blog subscribers. The book is Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. Check out this passage:

I just realized I have made $1 million writing a book. My very first book Trade Like a Hedge Fund. The book itself didn’t make me that much—maybe $50,000, give or take—but in 2004, I started getting speaking engagements with companies like Fidelity, Schwab, Profunds. A few other institutions would pay up to $20,000 per talk. I’ve probably given well over a hundred talks based on that book over the past nine years. Plus I’ve written articles for them and had other opportunities because of that book. Remember: when you write a book, it’s not all about book sales. Books give you credibility in your area of expertise or interest. Credibility gets you:

  • consulting (Tim Ferriss has done this very well)
  • speaking (the authors of Freakonomics have made a career out of this)
  • other media opportunities (TV show, radio show, etc.)
  • other writing opportunities. Most authors I know, even bestselling ones, don’t make millions from their books. But then they get paid to write for big-paying magazines or corporations or whatever. These add up.

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