Extra Income with a Foreign Book Tour

On my last trip to China, I traveled to Hong Kong to give a talk for  a company that was holding its annual convention there.  The agreement I reached with them included my speaking fee, plus purchases of some of my books.  (I autographed 300 books, and they gave them out as gifts to the group’s leaders.  They also gave me a flat fee for my transportation.

Normally, when I travel to a place like China, which is so far away, I like to travel first class.   In addition, I require a second ticket so that I can take an assistant with me.  I do this for two reasons.  First, as a legally blind person, it is literally impossible for me to travel to foreign countries on my own.  Secondly, it is lonely to travel all that way, and I like having a friend along.  Usually, my friend Michael Roden travels with me.

On this trip to Hong Kong, I bought two tickets in coach, then used frequent flyer miles to upgrade us to first.  I got to keep the remainder of the travel money I negotiated for.

In addition, I began to network with associations and companies in the Hotel industry, to see if I could line up some speaking engagements.  (I am a former chef, hotel onwer, etc.  I often do workshops for that niche.)  The results were fantastic!

I ended up going to Hong Kong about four days early, and stayed two days after the weekend speaking engagement.  One hotel chain gave Michael and I each a wonderful suite in their five-star property.  I did a 90-minute presentation, and got the rooms for free.  We spent a couple of days exploring Hong Kong, and it gave me a chance to rest up before my big presentations to the Network Marketing company that brought me over in the first place.

After the weekend engagement, I had arranged a full-day workshop for the Hong Kong Hotels Association.  They paid me, and also gave me a room/suite at the top hotel in Hong Kong.

On the flight home, Michael and I really enjoyed the first class treatment, and we had plenty of extra income to make the trip worth it.  We saw all the sites in Hong Kong, and on the neighboring islands.  The people were exceptionally nice.

Here is the lesson.  When you book an international trip, look for ways to extend your stay, and make more money.  After all, the major expense is the travel.  As long as you are going that far, make it worth your while by attracting some extra business, and don’t be afraid to negotiate for “trade outs.”

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The Kindle Is Practically Worthless

Yes, you read the headline correctly.  I truly believe that the Kindle is practically worthless.  Let me tell you why.

One of my friends, who is 80 years old, is still very active.  In fact, he travels frequently on both business and volunteer work.  Last year, he was flying to Europe to meet with associates, and wanted to try the new Amazon Kindle.  He purchased one, loaded it with four books, and hopped on the plane.  (Well, these days, nobody “hops” on a plane, but you know what I mean.)

He loved the Kindle.  It was convenient, easy to hold, and when he got tired of reading, he switched to the “voice” mode, and listened to the books.

When he returned home, he was unpacking, and he dropped the Kindle on to a tile floor, and ruined it.  He immediately called support, and the technician tried to talk him through some repairs, but it did not work.  His Kindle was no more!

“No problem,” said the man from Amazon.  “We will ship you a new Kindle overnight, and give you a box to return the broken one – all at no cost to you.”  “Great,” said my friend, “but it had four books on it.  Can you replace them as well?”

Again, no problem for the A team.  He received the brand new Kindle the next day, with his four books on it.

What does this prove?  It proves that the Kindle is practically worthless.  Amazon is not in the business of selling Kindles.  They are in the business of selling things to go on the Kindle.  If your Kindle is broken, you wil not make continuing purchases from Amazon!  It isn’t the Kindle that has the value.  The Kindle is only a platform.

Folks, don’t make a BIG mistake in your business.  Don’t be a “one and done” author.  Find a way to get in on a continuing stream of income, then set up another one just for good measure.

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Think like an author, act like a wealthy author

One of my clients, a psychotherapist who is writing a book for her patients, wanted to know how to write faster.  Now, you need to understand my philosophy here.  A wealthy author must be a fast writer.  The faster you write, the more you can sell.  So, I gave her the following advice:

become a writer by adopting the trappings of a writer.  Act like a writer.  Dress like an author, and bevisible to people around you as an author.”

What does this mean?  In her case, it meant choosing a table at a local coffee shop, and making that her “writer’s table.”  She is to dress the part, then take her computer with her and begin posing as an author while sitting at that table.  She will make herself a regular at that table, until people around her begin to take notice.  Soon, she will be a writer – in her own mind, and in the minds of the other patrons of the shop.

What about you?  Do you have a public place where you can go to wrie?  Or, even if you will only write at home, is there a set of clothes you can wear, a plce to sit, a special area where you go to become the writer?  Fit the character, and stay in character while you are writing.

This may seem silly to those of you who are new to the game.  I know it will sound sily to those of you who have never made much money as an author.  But for those of us who write consistently, and for those of us who make money, we know the value of being an author, and more importantly, being known as an author.

When I first retired from teaching college to pursue my writing full time, it was important to tell people that I am an author.  Now, it is second nature to me.  When will you make the transition?  You don’t have to leave your job to do it.  You can always say, when asked, “I am an _______, and also an author.”

Believe me, it pays!

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Foreign Book Sales

One way to boost your foreign book sales is to do a book tour.  I have been to China twice, and will return there this year.  My publisher makes all the arrangements.

Don’t be surprised if your foreign tours are “different” than your domestic tours.  My publisher left it to the last minute to tell me my schedule the first time I went to China.  As I was traveling to the airport, my wife called me on my cell phone and said, “Did you know you are scheduled for two, six-hour presentations the first two days you are in China?”  There I was, about an hour from the airport in New Jersey, and I just found out I was speaking for six hours – twice!  (This was just the first two days of the tour!)

My second trip, to Hong Kong was much better.  It was better organized, and I knew what to expect.  In my next post, I am going to tell you about two things that happened in Hong Kong.  One of them involved a mob of fans, (yes, you might find yourself with “rock star” status) and the other was a great way to add extra cash.

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Make Money with Foreign Rights

I just received a check from my publisher in China.  It wasn’t much, about $2,100, but it pays some bills.  In fact, I am just finishing my latest book “Happy Leap Year” and need to pay my book designer, so the money will come in handy.

My books have been published in about 20 languages over the years.  They include Spanish, German, Slovac, Czech, Romanian, Bella Russian, Russian, Ukranian, Polish, Greek, French, Dutch (I think), Hindi, Hebrew, Chinese (two forms), Korean, Japanese, Norwegian (I think, or was it Swedish?) Italian, and a few more.  In the old days, when my agent handled everything for me, I would get a book in the mail periodically, in some sort of foreign language, with my name on the cover.  Many times, we would not be able to tell what language it was.  The breakup of the Soviet Union created many opportunities to deal with small publishers who published in specific mid-Eiropean languages.

Today, my foreign rights are primarily in Chinese, Ukranian, Polish, and Hindi.  Why did these four languages survive?  I am not sure, but I trust my distributors in those countries, and I always seem to get a fair sales volume.

I like the foreign rights business because it is no hassle for me.  My publishers in the countries handle everything.  They even arrange book tours for me.  I was in China twice, and plan to go there this spring for a third tour.

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The $100 per day Author

I am going to reposition myself, and brand myself, as the $100 per day author.  From now on, I am going to teach my clients how to do two things.  First, I want them to create $100 per day in sales, and then second, I want to teach them how to create $100 per day in income from being an author.

I don’t think this is an unreasonable goal.  If you do $100 per day in sales, then you are generating $36,600.  If you do the same in income, then the numbers are the same, but you get to keep it all!

Now, some people will say, “How did you get that figure?  Shouldn’t it be $36,500?”  Don’t forget, I am the author of “Happy Leap Year!”.  I give everyone an extra day each year.  It makes a difference.

In the weeks to come, I will be writing more about the $100 per day author strategy.  I want you to have something meaningful after all of your work.  Will making that money set you free?  Probably not.  But, for the vast majority of authors, it would be great if they weren’t writing for free!

Is it hard to do?  Well, yes, but certainly within the reach of almost every author.  In fact, I will include some great case studies for both fiction and non-fiction.

Stay tuned, and get ready to start making $100 per day.

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When Is It Right To Write?

I speak to many authors who are waiting for the right time to write.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is no such thing, because it is always the right time to write.  If you organize your book properly, you will always have something to write about.

Thisis true for both fiction and non-fiction.

As many of youknow, I use Fast Pencil to write my books.  This is a FREE service, with an online writing tool.  Check it out, and get a free account with them for a LIFETIME by using the following link:


After starting a new project, the first thing I do is to name my chapters.  (I can always add new chapters later.)  Now, I am free to write in any chapter, as the mood hits me.  This means faster writing, and when you write faster, you publish sooner.  When you publish sooner, you make money sooner!

Don’t wait for the right time.  It is always right to write.

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Stop Typing and Start Writing

If you want to get a book out quickly, and you do not like to type, or if you get writer’s block every time you sit down in front of the computer, you can just talk!  There are several great systems on the market that will record your voice – right from your phone.  Then, hire a transcriptionist to type it up for you.

I use a system called Audio Acrobat.  It costs $20/month, and it is one of the great bargains on the web today.  To get a free, one-month trial, just copy and paste the following llink into your browser:


In a future post, I will show you how to do an interview style book.  You can write it (recorded) in about two days, and then get it typed up.  Never worry about writing again.

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I Can’t Stop Writing

I am almost finished my twentieth book.  Why do I keep on writing?  The answer is quite simple – I want to keep on making money.

Remember, I chose this life.  I chose to be an author, to have fans, and to make money by supplying them with great material.  It is much easier to sell my books to existing fans than to look for new ones.  Of course, I am always happy to have new fans!

When you make a commitment to writing for money, you must understand the implications.  You will need to write more than one book.  In fact, you need to keep on turning out books.

For some people, this is a very difficult task.  However, you need to learn a feew, simple rules about writing, and then you can prosper.  (I will reveal these simple rules in future posts.)  Even with these simple secrets, writing is difficult and time-consuming.  But remember, you are getting PAID for this stuff.  If it was too easy, none of us would make money, because anyone could do it.

For some great information on the writing game, get my ebook “Write Fast, Publish Cheap, & Sell More”  It will give you some great ideas for writing and making money.

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Making Money Means Making a Decision

The first step towards becoming a wealthy author is to make a decision BEFORE you write your book.  You must decide in advance that you are writing for money.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is.

When I start a new book, I already know who is going to buy it.  I write for buyers, not readrs.  Sure, I want to have lots of readers.  I want loyal fans who love my work, but the person I am most interested in is the buyer of books.  I want someone who will take cash out of his/her pocket, and make a purchase.

Who buys books?  People with a problem buy books.  It doesn’t matter if you are a fiction writer (solving entertainment problems) or a non-fiction writer (solving education, information, outcome problems). No one is going to pay money for your book unless you make their life easier by solving their problems.  Otherwise, it isn’t worth the money to them.

In future posts, I will discuss problem solving more deeply.   For now, just face this fact – if you want to make money by writing, you need to decide that you are going to make make money by writing – and then write a book that meets the needs of your buyers, not just the readers.

Finally, let me say that there are many ways to turn your content into cash.  The book is one way, but you must be open-minded to other possibilities.  Many of my coaching clients only want to write a book, and they only want to write one book.  That is a bad way to think if you want to make money.

Coming soon – “Thinking OUtside the Book.”

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