With a pretty cool track record of profitable self-publishing under my belt (52,000 copies in print and a full-time income for five-plus years) with my first two books, The Well-Fed Writer and TWFW: Back For Seconds (www.wellfedwriter.com), I saw a juicy opportunity with my third title, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living (www.wellfedsp.com)…
I won’t kid you. With a full-time publishing income from the first two books, along with a pretty strong following, I saw a few dollar signs – the chance for Lucrative Self-Publishing: The Sequel. If I stuck to my formula for “well-fed self-publishing,” no reason TWFSP couldn’t pay the bills for a few more years.
That proven formula was the key to the second reason for writing TWFSP: I had devised a successful blueprint for profitable self-publishing, and I knew there were tons of authors out there banging their heads against the wall trying to get in the doors of conventional publishing houses – to no avail.
Not to mention countless others who had been admitted to The Publishing Kingdom only to discover that the emperor truly had no clothes. We’re talking anemic royalties, 18-24 months to publication, loss of creative control, surrendered book rights and the unpleasant realization that even after giving up all that, authors are still expected to shoulder the lion’s share of the book promotion burden themselves! All to earn – in most cases – far less than a buck a book.
As I saw it, for most authors (especially those in the non-fiction and non-fiction how-to genres), there were precious few reasons to go the conventional publishing route. Add to that all the authors who’d self-published – how can I put this delicately…oh the heck with it – like sloppy, clueless amateurs. It was frustrating to see good books tank because their authors stopped short of taking the relatively simple steps necessary to dramatically enhance the competitiveness, marketability and profitability of their titles.
As I saw it – and had empirically proved – it just didn’t take that much to do a book right. And through TWFSP, I hoped to raise the bar on self-publishing by giving authors a doable game plan for crafting their own self-publishing success story.
But, weren’t there a lot of books on self-publishing already on the market? Yes, there were some classic well-established titles, no question, but I believed there was room for one more, especially since mine had several key points of difference: a focus on painlessly developing a sales and marketing mindset; a real-world “case study” approach vs. a more theoretical approach; a radically different book promotion strategy vs. the increasingly ineffective reliance on mainstream media; and of course, a fun, lively, irreverent tone that’s been the hallmark of my books.
No, there are no guarantees of success, and yes, these steps involve some investments of time and money. But, in my experience, any money invested in a half-assed self-publishing effort will likely yield closer to zero results, and hence zero ROI. Invest more money and more of yourself (Remember: no one will ever care about your book as much as you), and your return could potentially dwarf those investments.
Self-publishing isn’t easy, but thanks to the Internet, a bit of creative thinking AND, I’d like to think, books like TWFSP (www.wellfedsp.com), it’s more feasible that ever before. Good luck!
Peter Bowerman is the author of THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER: HOW TO TURN ONE BOOK INTO A FULL-TIME LIVING. You can visit his website at www.wellfedsp.com.
self-published author, self-publishing guru, self-published book, POD publishing, how to self-publish, self-publishing how to, why self-publishing?, full time publishing income, Peter Bowerman, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, virtual book tour, virtual blog tour, blog tour, book tour