In November 2015, I published my first book on Amazon. It was downloaded 1855 times in the first month. I eventually went on to publish more books.
Writing books is a way for me to share what I’ve learned with others. It’s something I enjoy doing and allows me to help a large audience. It’s humbling to think that over 16,ooo people have read one of my books.
But it wasn’t until late 2017 that I realized how lucrative self-publishing was. What can I say… sometimes we’re blind to what’s working for us.
I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did and miss out on huge earning potential. So, today I’m going to share:
- Why it took me so long to see the potential of self-publishing.
- How I earn passive income through self-publishing.
- What I’m doing now to increase my book earnings.
The Things That Blind Us
Let me start by asking you a question…
Do you suffer from shiny object syndrome?
Because I sure do. I have it bad.
I’m addicted to learning new things and trying them out. In my quest to make money doing what I love, I’ve bounced from one project to the next. Never sticking with one thing for longer than six months.
Recently, I’ve come to realize that this is both a good and a bad thing. Let me explain…
… Consistency is the key to success. Every pundit will tell you this. If you want to build a successful online business or side income, you must show up. Every. Single. Day.
So, does this mean chasing new opportunities is a bad idea? Should we stick with one thing over the long term until it works?
Not exactly. Sometimes we need to try a lot of things before we know what works for us. This may involve switching from one idea to the next.
For example, I recently helped a coaching client who wanted to become a freelance writer. Within a couple of months of working with me she’d landed her first client, delivered an assignment, and received her first pay check.
But here’s the twist… despite this success, she decided to stop freelancing. She now knew what it would take to succeed as a freelancer and realized it wasn’t the path for her.
So, was that two months of freelancing wasted?
I don’t think so. If she hadn’t tried, she might still be dreaming about becoming a freelance writer. She’d still be reading blogs, taking courses, and buying books about freelancing.
Eventually you must act on your idea. You’ll never know what works for you until you try different things.
Which brings me back to self-publishing. How did I make $9000 in passive income and why did it take me so long to figure out my sweet spot?
How I Made Over $9000 In Passive Income from Self-Publishing
My self-publishing story starts in 2015. I was exploring ways to make money from home. I’d started a local business, created several websites, offered email marketing services and created online products.
Some of these strategies paid better than others. But none felt quite right. None of them were my passion.
That Summer, I attended a self-publishing conference. I came away inspired.
I loved writing as a kid. And I’ve always been an avid reader. Books are my thing.
I thought – if all these other people can publish books, then why not me?
My first book was Make Money On Airbnb. I published it on Amazon in November 2015.
I had a tiny email list and no author platform. I was a nobody. Yet, that book was downloaded 1855 times in its first month.
When I look back on why my first book did so well. I’m convinced there’s one BIG reason.
My book solved a pressing problem people were searching for on Amazon.
In 2015, Airbnb was big news. People wanted to make money renting out their home or part of their home. My book gave them the exact steps to succeed as an Airbnb host.
Make Money On Airbnb has no fluff. It isn’t a glorified sales letter for an expensive training course. Nor does it have lots of links back to my website (I didn’t even have a blog back then).
For a small investment, anyone can buy my book, read it, implement the steps, and succeed.
That first book still sells today – without any promotion on my part.
I went on to write a second book, Make Money From Self-Publishing.
This book launched in March 2016. I followed the same format as before. Creating a clear, actionable guide for people who want to self-publish on Amazon.
That book was downloaded 3357 times in the first week alone.
Things were going well. But around this time, I got distracted. Remember my problem with shiny object syndrome?
Although my books were selling, I felt like I wasn’t earning money fast enough. A few hundred a month (even if it was passive at this point) wasn’t going to pay the bills.
I decided to monetize my love of writing through freelance writing. Offering a service was definitely faster than writing books. So, I kept at it for another six months.
But to be honest, my heart wasn’t in it. I’m not passionate about freelancing. I continued to write and self-publish books on the side.
Make Money As A Freelance Writer was published in September, 2016
Make Money As A Ghostwriter was published in April, 2017
Make Money As A Life Coach was published in July, 2017
My Light-bulb Moment
Then, late in 2017, I checked my lifetime earnings report on KDP – Amazon’s publishing platform. Here’s what I saw:
I’d earned over $9000 in book royalties. This income was entirely passive. I still didn’t have an author platform. I wasn’t doing anything to promote my books after the initial launch.
(Side note: my total passive income was roughly double this number as I also earned affiliate income from products and services I share with my readers).
My mind started ticking over…
What if I had more books?
What if instead of chasing shiny objects, I focused on writing?
What if I built a platform for my books and started blogging about the same topics?
How many more people could I help?
How much more might I earn?
Or to put it another way…
What would happen if I focused on doing what I love and is already working?
What I’m Doing Now To Increase My Book Earnings
Unfortunately, I can’t answer these questions yet. I don’t know how my business and income will change over the coming year.
I only recently started blogging and focusing on my books. But, I can tell you what I’m doing now. Here’re my plans for 2018:
- Publish more books about making money doing what you love.
- Publish in more formats (audiobooks and paperback) to reach people who don’t buy Kindle books.
- Publish weekly articles on my blog to share my ideas with a wider audience.
Will these things result in a bigger income by end 2018?
Who knows. But I promise to come back and let you know how it works out.
What’s Working For You?
My big lesson from all of this is to notice what’s working. It’s possible you’re already making money doing something you love.
What do you think? What’s working for you right now? Is there a way you can do more of that?
If you’re inspired to self-publish your own books, check out my ultimate guide here. It walks you through the exact steps to write and publish a nonfiction book that flies off the shelves.