In recent months there have been a rash of “systems” promoting all the money that can be made simply by publishing for the Kindle on Amazon.
“We’ll get rich, Martha! It’s guaranteed! Look, all these other guys are doing it!!!!”
Those other guys are not starting from ground level. They have a built-in audience who will buy whatever they pitch. And once you have a base that will help push your Kindle book to the top, it’s within view of “normal” people who might find it interesting and buy a copy.
But the rest of us? Those folks who don’t have tens or hundreds of thousands of people on a list?
We publish to Amazon’s Kindle store, step back and…
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I despise the “internet marketing” world.
Because nobody makes it?
No, some people do. There are exceptions to the rule. But those systems are promoted to make you think you are the exception. Sure, not everyone makes it, but I will!
And maybe you will, but here’s the question I’d like you to think about…
Are you an author? Are you a publisher? No and no? Then why are you messing around with book stuff on Amazon?
“Because it’s the new gold rush! I’ll get rich!!!”
Maybe, but I doubt it, because the people who think like that are “business opportunity seekers” and as much as they like to think they are, they’re not building an internet marketing business. The mark of those people (sorry if this describes you) is someone who was building web sites to flip last month, is publishing Kindle books this month, and will be doing who-knows-what next month.
Always jumping from one “opportunity” to another, because the next one is the one that will finally make all their dreams come true.
If you want to write a book because you have a story to tell or information that’s useful to people, write the book. But don’t do it because you think you’ll get rich — odds are you won’t.
Making money as an author has always been a rare thing, and the fact that you can now self-publish doesn’t really change that. In order to make money you need to sell a truck-load of books, and to sell the books you need people to see that book.
In other words, it boils down to traffic. Just like it always has for every product. You need to get eyeballs on the product. Every one of those “gurus” has the traffic in a bag. All they have to do is point it in the right direction to kick start sales.
(Note: I’m not anti-guru. Some of my best friends have been gurus.)
Do you want to make money writing?
About the only surefire way, assuming you have some skill, is freelance writing. Someone hires you and you write something for them in exchange for money.
Writing a book and hoping it sells is like buying a Lotto ticket and waiting for the numbers to be called out.
The guys who are making money with self-publishing — and I mean the real guys, not internet marketers — are the ones who are writers. And they write a book, throw it online and forget about it because they’re busy writing the next book.
And maybe they make a few bucks, but usually not, though that doesn’t stop them. They write the next one and get it online and forget about it. And they keep doing that…
…and according to those guys, the ones actually making money with self-publishing, something magical happens somewhere around book 9 or 10. Sales start to pick up all across their line of books. I’ve heard multiple people give that as their experience. No extra marketing, no special PR blasts, just writing decent quality books and putting them online.
But they don’t write one book and call it good. Or even two. And they don’t expect to get rich because someone sold them a “system” that says Kindle publishing is the road to riches.
The real secrets to self-publishing
Here are two truths — and I believe them to be truth not because I came up with them, but because the guys who have had true success with self-publishing prove these things work:
1. You need to have about 10 books available before you start making any money to speak of. You may get lucky earlier, but assume at least 10 books.
2. Don’t go exclusive with Amazon. If someone uses a Nook, or some other ereader and they hear about your book and it’s not available for them, you may never get them as a reader. Ever. When you self-publish, publish to all of the major venues so your book is available to everyone in every format.
That’s it. The secrets to self-publishing.
Unfortunately for me there’s not enough there to charge $497 for a system.