In this episode, I share with you 7 small product ideas to use as an upsell to Bible studies, devotionals, or Christian Living books. Make sure to share this episode with other Christian authors you think could benefit from it.
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In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- 7 product ideas for nonfiction Christian authors
- A resource to create your own custom fabric
- And much more!
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Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below:
I don’t know what kind of product I can sell as an upsell to a bible study, a devotional, a Christian living book, what possibilities are there for me? It’s interesting because there is a ton of coaching that goes on in my Author Audience Academy private Facebook group, and one of my members asked this recently. I thought this would be a great topic for this training.
Hi, my name is Shelley Hitz, I’m a bestselling author of over 40 books, the creator of AuthorAudienceAcademy.com, and I’m on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. It’s time to let your light shine. In this Center Stage Spotlight Training we’re going to be talking all about products you can create if you’re a Christian author and you’ve written bible studies, devotionals, and Christian living books. Even if you have other topics I think you’re going to get some ideas in this training today.
My idea number one for creating a small product for a bible study, devotional, or Christian living book is music or songs that you can have created. One of my Author Audience Academy members is a musician, so she was asking me this question, “what can I create as a small product for my bible study?” I said, “well, do you have any music you’ve produced?” She was like, “oh! I didn’t even think of that!” Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. You know, we’re so close to what we have sometimes we can’t even see, “oh yeah, that’s something of value. I could offer that as an upsell to my book.” Related songs, maybe they’re public domain songs.
My husband and I have a book called, “Forgiveness Formula”, and we hired a well known Christian musician to write a song, a unique song just for us, related to our topic of our book, and he gave us commercial rights to use that song. So, we actually had a bonus, but you could actually work with a musician to create music that’s related to your book, or you could actually find a musician that’s willing to let you work out a deal. Maybe you pay them a certain percentage of the sales, I don’t know, there are so many possibilities with that. That’s just option number one.
Option number two is an adult coloring book with the scriptures that you’ve used, or the things that you’ve used, in your study. Maybe you have certain theme scriptures, or certain themes. Maybe one of the themes is gratitude, or faith, or generosity, or something like that, you can have a designer, or if you are even good at doodling and drawing and stuff, you could even try. You could have a designer create stuff for you. They even have, now, different people that are creating PLR that you can actually purchase the rights to use them and resell them. So, there’s all kinds of different options for that, but an adult coloring book is actually a pretty cool idea because they are selling really well right now. So that’s idea number two.
The third idea is a video series. Now, this is pretty common, so you’ll see a lot of bible studies that have a corresponding video series and you can buy the DVD, you can purchase access to the video training. But, as I was brainstorming with my Author Audience Academy member, I was saying, “what about doing a video series?” She was like, “that kind of scares me.” I’m very comfortable on video, I’m a speaker, I’ve done it a lot. The way you get comfortable is practicing it. You can practice on your phone, on your device. You can practice and just record things and never intend to publish it.
The idea I gave her: “what if you did it in your home? Or in a home setting? Someone else’s home where it feels more like an organic, natural bible study setting and you’re talking with other people? You choose certain people you want to be there.” I’ve seen different bible study leaders and people do these types of videos where they are kind of around a table, or they’re in a living room, and they’re just kind of talking and discussing. These could be videos you could have created and produced for fairly inexpensively anymore. You don’t have to spend a million dollars on production, and to get a pretty good quality product. I gave her that idea and she was like, “oh yeah, I think I could actually do something like that.” So, that’s number three.
Number four is a journal. I recently created a 90 day writing journal. It’s spiral bound, I publish it on Vervante, I have an entire episode on my podcast all about Vervante you can check out, but I think it’s a great idea. If you’re writing books that are these types of topics, to have a corresponding journal that they can write in, something that gives them space to process, to write, to do their homework, or to answer questions, and to maybe even have a place where they doodle or have some sort of creative experience. Those are things that you can offer as well. A journal doesn’t take a ton of extra time, because it’s a lot of fill in the blank spaces. That’s another idea.
Idea number five, this was a cool idea. One of our Author Audience Academy members shared this, and I love how our members share with each other ideas and resources, and really collaborate together. Did you know that you can create your own, custom, fabric? That is so cool! If you had a specific theme, or a verse, for your bible study, for your devotional, you could actually have something created; maybe it’s part of your book cover design, I don’t know. You could actually have your own fabric created. There is a sight called SpoonFlower.com where you can create your own custom fabric. That is cool! That is just a unique idea!
You know what? I actually bought fabric like this. I bought fabric that had all these positive sayings and phrases on it, and it just had all this really cool stuff, phrases and different things. I’m all into motivation and all of that. You could create something like that. The options are limitless you guys, really it is, you just simply need to open your mind and realize, there are so many opportunities for you to not only serve your audience, but for you to actually earn income, and help to pay the bills, provide for your family, or give. My husband and I tithe, and then we have offerings, we give a lot of our income away. The more income we make, the more we can give away. The more I can serve my audience, the better as well.
Number six is also, you can think of getting a print created like, a different type of artwork. Think about it, if you have a theme again, or a core verse part of your book, you could have artwork created. This is actually something you can do now pretty easily. The place you can go, and I just researched on Etsy, I actually didn’t know how to do this myself, I haven’t actually done this myself, disclaimer. I found a link where they were talking about how to do this on the Etsy site, it’s like a discussion forum. They recommended the website iPrint From Home. You can go there and you can have different prints created, and you can sell these on Etsy, you can open your own Etsy store, you could sell them your fabric, and your prints on Etsy. It can be a way for you to create additional income from your topic and your book.
Number seven is, you can also then have a way for people to work more closely with you. You could have, let’s say, accountability and coaching group. This is different even than just a bible study discussion group, this is more of accountability or coaching, depending on your topic. I have a book, “21 Days of Gratitude Challenge”, so I could actually set up a group coaching program where they pay and I walk them through each day of the challenge for 21 days and we meet live. Now that we have Facebook Live Streaming in groups you could create your own group, and then you could do videos just like this where you interact with people, and you could do your own coaching or accountability group. People could pay a fee to be part of that, because they are getting access to you. The more people are getting access to you the more valuable it is.
That’s seven different ideas, wow. I talk a lot about what I call the Author Audience Funnel. In marketing there’s a common theme called the Sales Funnel. You think about a funnel and how it’s shaped, and there are going to be people that join you, and a lot more people that join you, they buy your book, they opt into your free subscriber list, all those things, and then it gets less and less and less. So, there won’t be as many people that buy your book that might buy your prints, or buy your journal, or buy your coloring book. Then, it gets less and less and less. As you get higher priced there won’t’ be as many people that will join your coaching or accountability group, but there’s usually always someone that wants to go further with you.
What can you do, as an author, to offer more ways to serve your audience? I talk about this Author Audience Funnel in episode 27 or my podcast, and I encourage you if you haven’t to go back and listen to that episode. Then, the very next episode, episode 28, I talk about four reasons to create a small product. So, if you haven’t listened to those two episodes go back and listen, it’s episode 27 and 28. This episode is specifically to help those of you who are Christian authors and you’re just thinking, “Shelley, it’s a great idea. I think what you’re saying is brilliant, it’s great, it’s good, but I don’t know what to do.” These seven ways, they’re just a tip of the iceberg really, there are so many other ways. If you know a Christian author that could benefit from this training please share this with them so that they can get a hold of this training.
Let me recap.
The seven different products you can create are:
1) Songs or music
2) Adult coloring book based on your theme or scriptures
3) Video series—you could get creative with that, maybe even film it in a home setting so you feel more relaxed and at ease
4) Journal—so you would have a corresponding journal, and there is a way to publish spiral bound journals on Vervante.
5) Custom fabric at SpoonFlower.com, you could have your own fabric created, how cool is that?
6) You could have prints made, like art prints, of your main theme or your verse, or your scripture at iPrint From Home.
7) You could actually have a paid accountability or coaching group where you really go through deeper and really help people in even a deeper way. You could pray with them, you could offer just that accountability that they need just to really take that next step in their spiritual walk.
So those are seven different ideas, I hope you found it helpful. I think it’s just a really great way to offer more value to your readers. There are so many people that you can partner with if you don’t have that gift. I know some of my authors in Author Audience Academy have that gift, so they’re able to do that naturally themselves. There are so many people you could partner with and work with. One musician my husband contacted for our best seller launch for our book “Forgiveness Formula”, and he has a bunch of just instrumental music that’s just really soothing, during that season of life I was listening to his music a lot. He has it available for free on the internet, and I contacted him and asked him if it was OK if I distributed it and gave it as a bonus during our best seller launch—he gives it for free anyway—and he gave me permission.
So, you never know until you ask, right? Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to reach to someone and say, “I’m doing this certain bible study, this certain book, what would you think of partnering together in this way or that way?” You could actually do the book and have the CD as a bundle that you sell at speaking engagements, or that you do a special launch, a special book launch, or a special promotion, and you offer that as a bundle and they get so much and you get so much, you work together. I don’t know. There are so many options we just have to be open.
I also recommend just praying and asking God for wisdom, asking him for creative ideas. We serve a creative God and in Genesis it talks about how God created everything, the fish and the birds and the animals and us. Look around you, just look around at creation, it is amazing, isn’t it? So much creativity, and so many different species of fish and different things we’re still discovering to this day. We have a creative God, he has the ability to give you ideas you don’t even know about yet. So just be open, and I encourage you to create your Author Audience Funnel.
So, your take action tip today is, if you have a book that could relate to this topic—like I said, self-help, bible studies, devotionals, different kind of a Christian living book—choose one thing from what I shared and start doing some research. If you’re part of Author audience Academy post in the Facebook group and we can do some coaching, I can help you brainstorm some more ideas, we can talk about resources and how to actually implement this.
Just pick one thing and start moving forward with it, because that is what is going to get you results. Just simply listening to my training’s, simply getting more ideas, ideas don’t make money, ideas don’t change lives unless you implement them. We can’t serve our audience unless we implement. You can’t do everything, so you have to have focus, and you have to choose, “what is it that I’m to be doing right now?” So that’s your take action tip, is to choose one thing and start moving forward. I’ll see you next time.
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