My most recent book has sold 82,000 copies since it’s release on June 3. This post is about what I did differently, why I did it differently, and how I think anyone can do this to self-publish a bestseller. I describe all the numbers, who I hired and why, and how I made the various choices I did.
I strongly believe everyone reading this answer has the content inside of them to write a book.
If you want to stand out in a world of content, you need to underline your expertise. To publish and market an eBook is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, friends, and lovers what the most important things on your mind are right now.
Unfortunately, most people suck at it. I’ve largely sucked at it. I’ve published 11 books — five with traditional publishers and six that are self-published.
I’ve written before about publishing and self-publishing. But mostly it’s been how I lost money on every book I’ve written. This is the first time I can say I’ve published a good selling book and here is what I did.
The distinction now is no longer between “traditional publishing” versus “self-publishing.”
The distinction now is between professional versus unprofessional publishing. My first 10 books were done unprofessionally. Even the ones with the big publishing houses. They will probably hate me now. I hope not. I really like the people I worked with at these publishers.
I hope that everyone self-publishes. The benefits are enormous.
How to Publish and Market an eBook?
More money. Unless you are a John Grisham or E L James you will make much more money by professional self-publishing. It’s not just money on sales but also foreign rights and special packages that you can offer if you control all the rights to your work. Packages that the traditional publishers almost never go for.
Incidentally, both of those authors self-published their first books. EL James, in fact, sold 250,000 copies of “50 Shades” via Createspace/Amazon before publishers even noticed her.
Control over design. Traditional publishers usually keep that control.
Speed. You will probably speed up your publication date by over a year or more if you self-publish.
Content-control. My bet is close to 100 percent of the people reading this post have content in them strong enough for a book. But 22-year-old interns at publishing companies won’t recognize that content. Even the editors, the publishers, the marketing guys — most of them — will not recognize the message you have to offer. Which leads me to…
Avoiding bad things in life. I hate getting that feeling of, “I hope he or she chooses me for X.” Where “X” could be love, or an investment, an acquisition, publishing a book, buying my product, whatever. I try to limit this feeling in my life whenever possible. I HATE when I have to depend on other people choosing me.
When you have to deal with more and more layers of people who have to choose you, you don’t get the opportunity to choose yourself (!), which is infinitely more valuable.