Self Publishing an e-Book: Is There Any Money To Be Made?

Is Writing and Self-Publishing an e-Book an Easy Way To Make Money?

 

There are many reason why writing a book is a great idea. As for being an easy way to make money, not really. If you already know your nicheand have a good book idea ready, writing a book might be a good way to establish yourself as an expert, or even to make some money, but it isn’t easy.

Think of it this way:

Writing a book isn’t easy;

Writing a good book is hard; 

Writing a book that people will buy is REALLY hard. It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot of work.

If you are a great writer and love the process of researching, writing, editing, re-writing and editing again then writing your book’s content might come easy to you. What you may not have thought about yet is your book cover design, page/font design and ensuring your book is formatted correctly to be ready by the right programs used by each of the various platforms.

Of course all of this can be outsourced very easily, but it’s not free. If you’re only concerned about the writing, you should still hire an editor, which will cost you around $2000 for a freelancer, depending on length of your book. On top of that, after you’ve outsourced your designs, formatting and editing, you’re looking at an investment of around $2500.

Writing a book isn’t easy; writing a good book is hard, and writing a book that people will buy is really hard.

Typically, eBooks sell best at prices between $0.99 and $4.99. You could raise the price, but will sell many fewer copies if you do. On the high end of this range, around $5/book, you will need to sell 500 books to reach your break-even point of $2500. If most of your sales come from a platform like Amazon, that number will be slightly higher, as the platform takes a cut.

The hardest part about selling a book is getting people to buy it.

How big is your market? How much are you looking to make? Are you planning on writing multiple books?

Iam not trying to talk you out of this idea. I think writing a book is awesome. There is nothing like it. You will learn about yourself and your ideas, you will share a bond with other authors and everybody else who helps you along the way.

Just don’t do it only to make money, because the money from book sales, even for many successful writers, is very slim. On the other hand, it is worth considering additional ways your book can help you monetize your ideas and your expertise.

Public speaking engagements are huge. They will help you build yourself as the expert in an area, and this will be validated if you have also written a book. Public speaking is a great way to test how well you know your stuff, and your Q&A can even help give you ideas for your next book.

It’s also important to develop a digital presence. For eBook writers, it’s important to have a website that your book readers can go to and get more information, or a discussion board for others. Today, you can even manage this using Facebook groups, but do not ignore the importance of growing an email list. Once you build an email list, you can mail out upcoming books or other promotions.

There are many great outcomes that result from self-publishing a well-written e-book. Some of these outcomes can even greatly increase your income. Just don’t expect the sales of your first book to be one of them. I am not saying that it won’t happen, but rather do not let that be your driving force.

This Is The Most Difficult Thing to Learn and Accept About Life

I recently answered this question on Quora.com, and it has since been viewed nearly 300,000 times (as of February 5th, 2016). Click here for original post. 

I thought I would share it with my readers here and see what your thoughts are regarding my answer. I appreciate you!

Question: What is the Most Difficult Thing To Learn and Accept About Life?

 

1. People usually aren’t listening. They are either thinking of what they are going to say next, or something else entirely.

2. Everyone is insecure about something, it’s not just you.

3. You are going to die no matter what.

4. Your kids will experience hardship.

5. The bigger an organization is, the harder it is to make a change even if the need is so obvious.

6. Some people are bad and have bad intentions.

7. Many people (not all) will steal $100 from you today even if it means missing the opportunity to earn $1000 from you next week.

8. You will never be 100% sure about decision ever. But always make a decision because it’s better to go back and fix it than to never make it at all.

9. There is ALWAYS someone who makes more money than you, is more fit, has a better looking spouse, has an easier life, good things happen to them. Usually more than just one.

10. How you react to an event, problem, emotion, or anything, is more important than the actual event, problem, emotion or whatever. You cannot control your emotions, you cannot control others, all you can control is how you are going to react. Sometimes it’s easy but usually it’s really really hard.

The biggest negative reaction I received in this post was regarding number 10. 

However, the responders typically missed my point. When I wrote: you cannot control your emotions, many took that to mean there was nothing you could do about it.

This is not my point at all. My point is that you cannot control how something will make you feel. Thats it. Exterior forces and events will happen that might piss you off, make you sad, humble you, break you, knock you on your ass and then kick you in the teeth while you are down. 

But just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean you have no control. You choose how you will react. You don’t choose your feelings.

He who angers you conquers you.

I have done many stupid things as a result of my emotions. Many of which I regret. Through self reflection, meditation and studying emotional intelligence, I find myself reacting to my emotions less and less every year.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed and strengthened. But like any skill, it is only achieved through dedicated practice and awareness.

The Death of Website Traffic

The Death of Website Traffic is Here: Are You Ready?

The era of the Website is coming to an end. You could probably blame Facebook if you needed someone to point a finger at, but its not all their fault.

Consider this: How do you spend your time on the internet?

If you are my dad you have a long list of bookmarks (I am talking hundreds of bookmarks) that you check on a regular basis looking for information that interests you.

If you are like me, and people like me, you are on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, maybe even sites like Quora or Medium.

And if you are just a couple years younger than me, or just more hip, you are on SnapChat, WhatsApp and probably a bunch of other stuff I haven’t heard of yet or can’t pronounce.

Trends always come and go, but technology, and especially the  internet, cause trends to start and end at a much higher and faster rate than ever before.

My sister, a few years older than me, didn’t technically grow up with the internet. AOL entered our house after she was 16 meaning she was out driving with her friends while I was starting an online Sports Cards Training business out of my bedroom.

Timing is everything.

But now I am 30, and I am too old to try and undestand SnapChat. Maybe just too busy. Maybe both.

But I do understand trends. And I REALLY understand Facebook. And when I say I understand Facebook I mean that I understand not just what they are today, but what they are also becoming.

(Author’s Note: I am long $FB. I am also the author of How To Leverage Your Real Estate Business with Facebook)

Why do I mention my father and sister? Of the three of us, my father is the least technoligically inclined, followed by my sister who is half and half, and then myself. A few decades separate my father and I, and only a few years separate my sister and I.

My Father doesn’t want to learn Facebook or Twitter, just like I don’t want to learn SnapChat or whatever. He refers to his list of bookmarks and searches the websites directly. This is how we all used to search the internet for our content.

But that trend is ending and the new trend has already begun.

Website Traffic is No More

The fact that you are reading this article on this blog is a miracle. I already understand this. In the future, possibly months or a couple years, this will be even more of a miracle.

Whether it is ‘Breaking News’ or just good content, the media is changing mediums.

Consider this:

Most of my traffic comes from Facebook. Some comes from a combination of other social media like Twitter and Pinterest, and some comes from search engines (mostly google).

If you are searching google for an answer to something, you are most likely going to find that answer as a link to a webpage.

But if you are using Twitter and Facebook, especially from a mobile device, you are highly unlikely to want to leave that medium. So unless the content I am trying to share with you is right there on that medium, the future of my content won’t have much of a future.

Facebook is rolling out insta-articles and Twitter is rolling out ‘moments’. Apple just launched ‘News’.

All thee of these roll outs allow you to read updated content and breaking news directly on their platforms without having to leave the site. Trying to convince someone to click on your link and wait for a new page to load is asking a lot from your viewers and potential customers.

 

What is the Solution?

Well, for writers and content creators like me it could mean the end of blogs as we know it. Trying to get a Facebook user to come to my website to read an article is already a big hurdle.

However, if I copy and paste my article onto Facebook directly, whether in a post or the Notes section, then more people on Facebook are more likely to read it.

Now, this won’t work on Twitter obviously so it is important that I treat Twitter (as well as my Twitter Audience) differently. This might include sharing a few tweets in a row summarizing the best tidbits of my article in addition to linking to the rest of it. If the tidbits are enticing enough, you may click.

What will not work, however, is the current trend of ‘click bait’. For those who aren’t aware of this term, it simply means giving an article a title that sounds very enticing, or baiting you to click on it, only to find out the article is either made up or doesn’t even discuss the topic for which you clicked on it.

If you are an individual or a brand, you will piss off your audience and they will stop following you all together.

If you aren’t providing good content, the same thing will happen as well.

If you are providing good content then people will share it with their friends and your audience will grow.

This sucks if you run a big website or newspaper, but this is great if you are an individual trying to grow your own book of business, whether you are a writer or entrepreneur.

 

The Death of Website Traffic 2015

If you make money from website traffic it is time to really rethink your strategy. I make very little money from my actual website, but I do make money when new clients find me through my website and I am able to serve them.

Because of this, I can upload my content to many different places and still be ok.

The same can be said for all those Grantland.com writers who were just fired or suspended or whatever ESPN just did to them. 

In the past, you needed ESPN or the New York Times more than they needed you. They were the brand and you were just a small name beneath the titles of some articles. But today, with Twitter, Facebook, cheap or free blown sites, the individual creates their own brand.

Sure, those big companies are a huge help and sometimes pay well, but the trend is already shifting.

If you are in sales, or a writer, or an entrepreneur, or somewhere in between, the solution is clear. Keep providing value.

Whether this means creating good content or answering the tough questions or being very transparent about your business, it doesn’t matter whether or not people are visiting your website.

But if your income depends on ‘clicks’ and ‘website traffic’ then I am sorry to break the news to you, but pretty soon your only traffic might be from my dad.

(I love you dad!)


QUORA: I’m 16 and I’ve started a business that earns $3,000 monthly. What should I do with it?

QUORA QUESTION:

I’m 16 and I’ve started a business that earns $3,000 monthly. What should I do with it?”

 

Here was my Answer:

 

Passive income is the way to go. You can either create it (start a business) or buy it (dividend stocks, rental properties , bonds etc. )

Or you can do both.

I spend my time and energy creating businesses that don’t need me around. Then I take the money earned and invest it into more passive income.

Now you have your business and a passive income investment (2 streams of income!)

Passive income gives you freedom, especially freedom to travel. When you have more passive income than expenses, then you are free to live the life you choose! (I call this The Cash Flow Lifestyle)

I really knew this was real when I began to invest money I earned from rental properties I purchased in my early twenties and invested into dividend stocks (Reits and boring Energy companies mostly)

One month I had to replace an AC unit so the property management company just used my rental funds to pay for it, so I would not receive any income that month. However, that was also the first month that my dividend payouts were more than my monthly rents!

I realized then that it wasn’t just talk, passive income is real and if you focus solely on increasing it and adding new streams while keeping your monthly expenses low (rent a boat instead of buy, own a home you can afford or don’t buy one at all and travel instead) then you truly can have the freedom you eread about in books like Four Hour Work Week.

Lastly: congrats on your early success! Just stay humble.