Reese Witherspoon has a genius method for making extra bank that doesn’t involve acting at all.
After rising to fame in the early 2000s, the actress struggled to find roles that weren’t some version of the ‘ditsy’ blonde she played in Legally Blonde.
In fact, she felt there was a lack of strong female characters being written in general.
So she started to take things into her own hands.
She’s since gone on to make millions, all without having to step in front of the camera.
In 2012 Witherspoon was recommended a book that changed everything: Gone Girl.
At the time, stories with strong women at their center were rare, and she found a niche that was both important to her and incredibly lucrative.
She produced the film version of the book and it was met with huge success.
Sure, the powerful woman featured in Gone Girl was kind of terrifying, but it was a massive jumping-off point for Witherspoon.
Seeing a huge opportunity to recreate this winning formula, she launched Reese’s Book Club.
Every month she chooses a book written by a woman and reads it, along with the club’s 2.5 million subscribers.
Books chosen by Witherspoon go on to sell 700 percent better than other fiction books.
And all of her features have sold at least 10,000 copies.
“I want to make a lot of women a lot of money,” Witherspoon said.
But how do these sales benefit Witherspoon herself?
Through her platform, she’s set up a brilliant way to earn money.
Each book she chooses is pretty much guaranteed to be a success.
This means publishing houses are desperate for her to read their books, giving her special access before the public.
“I let it be known I wanted to see material,” Witherspoon says.
“And because we’re specifically looking for female-driven properties, I don’t think a lot of other companies were out there doing that.”
Through these connections, Witherspoon secures the rights to adapt the novels into films or TV shows.
And that’s where the big money is.
So far, she has made smash hits like Big Little Lies, Where The Crawdads Sing, and Daisy Jones & The Six.
Her club also acts as a testing ground for her to assess what is worth adapting and producing through her media company Hello Sunshine.
If her millions of fans love the book, chances are they will love and support the show or film too.
This clever business model has increased Witherspoon’s bank balance significantly.
She is one of the richest women in America, with an estimated net worth of $440 million.
And with TIME naming Hello Sunshine one of the most influential companies in the world, she shows no signs of slowing down.