Here is a simple, but passionate post on why you really ought to write your first book.
10 days of a little bit of sweat, and probably very few tears. (and definitely no blood, unless he is a compulsive fingernail picker like me)
One thing I’ve learned over the last month or so is that for most of those of us….. the thought of “writing a book” is filtered through some sort of unconcious mechanism where the default network of our sinking sense of self importance says –
“Me – write a book? What a silly idea? Who cares what I have to say? What do I know? And who would read it even if I did?”
The answer is, probably a heck of a lot more people than you think.
The truth is, even though I still feel like a complete newbie when it comes to publishing books on Amazon (I have 2 live books in my own name which aren’t selling at all, a 3rd in a pen name that is, and I’ve helped a few clients publish and some promote some books that have had some pretty good success) the power and potential and pure passion that I feel for creating content, and connecting with a community of people who share that passion, is a huge daily driver for me everyday.
Of course, not that this is going to make anyone rich by any stretch of the imagination, but my first “pen” name book of 2015 ain’t setting any sales records, but the first 2 weeks of May has sold well over 100 copies on Kindle, and it’s a niche that I really have no “name” in at all.
30 sales (31 I think) on the best day of the month thus far isn’t going to make anyone rich, but if I can replicate that same success with 10 books, all at 2.99 – and all taking under a week to write and publish, that’s a pretty good automated, passive income stream without much upkeep.
I did NO promotion on the book above, other than putting a link to it in the sidebar of a site I own and manage in the “spiritual” development niche.
What I like the best about the whole Amazon self publishing space is that it truly is a strategy you can scale. There is a pretty good book on the best way to build a self publishing “empire” on Amazon where the title is really the only thing you need to read to understand the approach.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was everything after the title.
And that one of the guy’s who published it has a blog called “Writer Dad” which makes me dry heave a little bit.
But just a little bit. Mostly because I appreciated the overall advice and I read it on an empty stomach and am trying to be a good person in 2015. And no one likes a puker.
That aside –
Don’t even buy the book. Just let the title sink in, as that really IS the best piece of advice when it comes to creating content that converts into cash.
Keep writing. Keep publishing. And keep adding to your empire of ideas.
Another super simple idea that has really impacted my thinking on the whole self publishing thing has been a return to the idea of keeping my books super simple, with a focus on one super actionable idea that will really help the reader overcome one obstacle.
I’ve found that people don’t want to pay for pontification. They don’t want to be be-dazzled by the weight and wisdom of my words. They may be impressed with the power of your prose……but if they don’t LEARN something they can apply that solves a problem, even spending 2.99 on a book will feel like a waste. (something that undoubtedly will show up in the reviews)
When I wrote FLOW (a book I gave away on Amazon that spent a few weeks as the #1 FREE book in the personal development category at different junctures) I was amazed at how different the reaction was from those who read it.
Many of my existing blog readers really seemed to love it, and that was really meaningful for me. (especially because it was a compilation of previous posts I had already published
Many new readers told me how inspired they were by the words…..and that was even more meaningful, as I could feel my audience expand, and my little bit of influence extend to a new audience.
But…..there were others who hated it.
And who weren’t shy about sharing why. (including the one guy who wrote ” I needed a shower after reading this”
The truth is, when I fairly evaluated the book, and tried to figure out why there were a lot of people who didn’t seem to benefit from it, I sort of reluctantly realized that it didn’t solve any problems.
It didn’t show anyone how do DO anything.
It didn’t show people how to enter a “flow” state. (even though the title is/was FLOW) 3 or 4 people commented on just that alone. (even a few people who liked it – still said they thought the title was misleading)
Anyway, I eventually un-published the book.
Mostly because I’m sensitive and in therapy.
But also because I realized that what I appreciate most from the books that I read is learning something new.
How to tackle a problem, or fix a flat or overcome an obstacle in a very straightforward way. If I want to read or experience someone emote and express about their own existential life crisis, and pursuit of purpose, I’d watch more Glenn Beck.
So I decided that everything I publish on Amazon going forward would help people solve a problem that was central to the reason they bought my book….and even if they hated my strategy or solution, it would still be worth 3 bucks to discover why.