New authors are many times given the advice to write what they know. This advice is based upon the idea that writing about things the author knows well allows for the inclusion of nuance and detail that makes situations, people and places seem more real to the reader. For example, author Daniel Handler, who could be classified as a food aficionado, includes tantalizing foods as part of his narratives, sometimes with recipes. Including underlying themes such as this that have the promise to gain specialized followings opens up additional earning opportunities for authors.
Food as an Underlying Theme
A great example of an underlying theme with a large passionate group following is food within fiction. Fiction books that highlight food and include recipes are not rare. A basic internet search will turn up hundreds of stories that are not cookbooks but still contain recipes. Entire websites are dedicated to foods within fictional texts. Being included in websites that catalog books containing recipes can have the effect of extending readership well beyond authors’ main or intended audiences. Further, authors can use recipe videos to build content for other revenue streams like YouTube channels. Author of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” Daniel Handler, for instance, made a dryly humorous video in which he and a group of children made a drink found in one of his books called Parsley Soda.
Offerings Beyond Books
If executed correctly, authors can bring in more money through accompanying product offerings than from their books. Products like audiobooks, niche meetings and retreats, podcasts, merchandise and YouTube channels are all lucrative revenue streams if an author garners a following, and starting with a passionate niche group is a great foundation. Further, an author already working with a solid knowledge base due to writing from a place of experience and passion will have an easier time transitioning to the content creation required for these types of accompanying products.
There is no doubt that authors rely on excruciatingly specific details to bring the elements of their stories to life for their readers. Writers who leverage their passions to enhance their text may very well also reap the reward of enhanced and expanded readership as well as revenue streams beyond the sale of their books.