Sunday, June 17, 2012
If You Seriously Want to Make Money Self-Publishing, Attack It
James Scott Bell
I have this quaint notion that writers should be able to make money at their trade.
You may have seen the recent report that half of the self-published books that came out in 2011 made under $500. Though this report is not without its critics, it’s pretty clear a majority of self-published writers are not getting the financial returns they’d hoped for.
For some, those hopes are based on unrealistic expectations. Many writers still think of self-publishing as a gold rush. They believe they can come out with one or two books and win the lottery. But 99% of them won’t. Not even if they try to write another Fifty Shades of Grey (please don't try to write another Fifty Shades of Grey).
If you really want to succeed at self-publishing––and by that I mean make a profit and grow revenue over time––you’re going to need a plan. Like a good golf swing, this plan should be workable, repeatable, simple to understand and have a track record of results.
I have such a plan.
My new book, Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books, is now available on Kindle and Nook.
I’ve spent the last year and a half studying, experimenting, watching, publishing and taking notes on what it takes to make a go of self-publish. My goal was to see what any writer could do, not just one with a massive backlist (where there really is gold). I have not put out my backlist immediately. Rather, I wrote new material––short stories and novellas and non-fiction––and kept track of the results.
For me, the key data point is how you trend. You want your trend line in sales looks like this:
This is what long term self-publishing success looks like. Steady growth via the introduction of new product.
Just like in traditional publishing. Just like in any business.
With the upside that no one can cancel your contract. You have a lifetime deal––with yourself.
That also means you have a fiduciary duty to do the best you can. You are under an implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing, so you’d better perform or you’ll have to take yourself to court.
The strategies and tactics in Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books have been tested by experience and confirmed by what other successful self-published authors are doing.
These laws are immutable––that means they will never change. They will stand the test of time and the challenges of an ever evolving marketplace.
As someone who has run successful small businesses, I know how one has to think and plan in order to create the best possible foundation for making a profit. I'd like to see more self-published writers getting it right.
Because I have this quaint notion that writers should be able to make money at their trade.