As an officially published author, (two books now), I’ve spoken to many folks in the last year about writing and author-ship. They ask how I did it. My books, they are not “just” an e-book series. I got a publishing deal with a trusted, successful, known outfit – Entrepreneur Press and via McGraw-Hill distribution. (The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization is my ultimate online marketing book, and has done very well.)
Then, the next question is – how many books did you sell, and how did you get paid (up front fees, royalties, kick-backs, etc). I don’t typically get into all the details, but tell them that YOU must write a book. It’s what separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
The book has given me way more than money.
It’s connection, authority, leadership and trust (and mum loves it!).
Getting a real publishing deal and writing + finishing may be a long road for you.
It is for most.
But, you can shorten that path by first creating self-published works (e-books).
It will allow you to prove yourself to your market, potential future publishers, make money (immediately), and educate your audience about your philosophies and human insight for improved results and “feel good” emotion.
“It is hard to imagine today, but one of the greatest contributions of e-books may eventually be in improving literacy and education in less-developed countries. Today people in poor countries cannot afford to buy books and rarely have access to a library. But in a few years, as the cost of hardware continues to decline, it will be possible to set up “virtual” public libraries which will have access to the same content as the Library of Congress.” – Bill Gates, 1999
Bill Gates (Microsoft) is considered lucky by some (right place, right time). I think he’s a visionary. He continues:
“…e-books have many other advantages. You will get instant delivery from your web bookshop to your e-book, and be able to store hundreds of novels on a device the size of a paperback. E-book technology enables you to have an entire library in your pocket. Or you can keep it on your pca modern laptop can hold more than 30,000 books. You wont have to wait for out-of-stock books to be ordered, and books will never go out of ‘print'”.
These quotes were from 1999. Imagine now, a decade later, and how far we’ve gotten. Bill Gates has made himself a multi-billionaire and many around him millionaires. It’s all based on information, marketing & positioning of that content. The business of “information marketing” is one not to be missed.
Self-published authors are showing up bigger and faster with the advent of Amazon and the Kindle e-book readers and other technology. That includes how the process works. How easy is CreateSpace?
The revolutionizing of the publishing industry is happening right before our eyes. But, it goes beyond just this “change”. It affects the widening gap between the have and have-nots. It’s a little bit like the expression “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer”. The difference is knowledge, skill and implementation. It starts with education.
Michael Prescott knows this. He had graduated from college in 1980, and had worked hard to become a best-selling novelist. He received some acclaim, but publishers constantly passed him up. Today, he’s one of the 15 best self-published authors who have mastered the top 150 on USA TODAY’s best selling books list this year. He’s pulling in over $300,000 in revenue from book sales, even as low as 99c on Amazon. He’s been logged over 42 weeks on the UT’s best-seller list.
Barbara Freethy says that “there have been more changes in the last two years than in the previous 18 years I have been in publishing”. She’s a romance writer and has 9 self-published books in the top 150 and 41 weeks on the best seller list.
The trends are undeniable. The Association of American Publishers, says that e-books grew from 0.6% of the total trade market share in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010. Total net revenue for 2010: $878 million dollars with 114 million e-books sold. There is a gold rush going on.
While a 0.99cent e-book may seem low, and even lower payout for the author (average around $0.35c), it still adds up. In traditional publishing, you might get as low as $5,000 as an advance, and a small % of sales. And, you have to do most of the marketing yourself. Borrowing the powerhouse and name of Amazon can put you at an advantage. Of course, no magic bullet exists – the content has to be agreeable and consumable by your audience. You don’t just write and become a best seller. The top folks work hard, and do much of their own promotion.
The benefits for publishers still can be profound. Rather than guessing if a book would connect with readers, the market can be “pretested+proven” by the self-published authors. Indeed – how far we’ve come. Mr. Gutenberg is likely rock’n & rollin’ in his grave now…excited about what he started.
And, while the preparation, research, creative juice making & writing will take time, effort and money, publishing on Kindle is easy, if you know how.