It feels like yesterday that I was self-publishing my very first e-book, Make a Living Writing: The 21st Century Guide. That one did so well that it’s no longer available (cough).
But I lived and learned, and created better e-books. As I prepped to release my latest, Small Blog, Big Income: Advanced Ninja Tricks for Profitable Blogging, I realized I now have TEN e-books available for sale, counting my free e-book for subscribers.
I’ve learned a ton along the way, so I thought I’d save others some time and unpack it all.
I’ve made over $30,000 selling e-books over the past 6 years, without a lot of effort (I added it up when I was writing this e-book, because I was curious!). So it can add up to a substantial chunk of change, over time.
What helps me earn well from each e-book I release these days? Here are my hard-won tips for self-publishing success:
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Lately, I’ve been reviewing the many mistakes I made as I learned to make money blogging.
It’s humbling! I started in 2008, and it took until the end of 2011 to get any real traction, in terms of earning.
Not exactly an overnight success.
Prepping my new e-book, Small Blog, Big Income: Advanced Ninja Tricks for Profitable Blogging, required me to revisit exactly why it took years to go from earning a few hundred bucks on the occasional one-off Webinar, to earning multi-six-figures a year with my blog.
This was not a pleasant process.
I had to boil it down to the best initiatives I finally came up with that help bloggers ramp up earnings quickly…while reliving how much time I wasted fumbling around making mistakes before figuring things out.
Want to know why most blogs never really take off?
I discovered the answer when I reviewed about 100 readers’ blogs earlier this week on a free-feedback day.
What’s the big stumbling block? Most bloggers are writing all alone.
No mentors. No collaborators. They’re not guest posting, and there are no guest posts on their blog.
They’re blogging in a vacuum. That means you don’t know the best practices, the trends, the sweet little design tricks and shortcuts that help you get more subscribers.
Don’t blog alone
Loads of bloggers are trying to connect with big influencers — but few do it successfully.
I found out an interesting fact this past weekend: Amazon is ringing up close to $6 million in e-book sales every DAY.
It’s no wonder nearly every freelance writer I meet is either thinking about writing and launching an e-book, or has already published one.
My question to all of you e-book writers is: Why? What’s your goal?
Getting clarity on that is key to making your e-book journey a success.
Writers publish e-books for many reasons. For many of us, e-books are what marketers call a ‘tripwire’ product. It exists not to earn money so much as to start readers opening their wallets.
Then, you sell them the more lucrative and profitable thing later on. This is the kingdom of the 99-cent e-book.
Other authors are giving away their e-book free, in hopes of gaining ‘bestseller list’ credentials, and using that authority to get more speaking engagements or coaching students. Still others publish simply to say they’ve done it.
Then, there’s the big dream of many writers: