I’ve wanted to be a 5-figure author since I hung out with Tom Corson-Knowles in Vancouver. He had dozens of books out and was making 10K a month in book sales. How amazing would it be to write books full time, and never need to work for anyone else?
Last year I started publishing fiction. I gave my books away for free for a year to build a platform. This year (in 2017) I’ve started switching them to paid. In the last three months I’ve made $11,863.70 from Kindle – so I’m averaging about 4K a month, really from just 2 main earners.
My goal is to hit 10 books this year and get up to a consistent 10K a month, but I’m excited, grateful and happy about my current results. I’ve given a lot of free advice about how to market books, but here are some more pearls of wisdom:
- There isn’t much competition at the top; the hundreds of thousands of unsuccessful authors aren’t your competition. Your only competition is the top 20 books in your target categories. You need to do better than them.
- “Book marketing” doesn’t work. I don’t market or advertise my books. I build platforms that get traffic; email lists of target readers; and I use seo and backlinks to stay visible. Most authors are working far too hard, and their sales depend on their constant promotion (people talk about the 30-day cliff, and say you need to keep pumping out new books to stay visible… I haven’t found that. My books stick at certain ranks depending on demand.)
- My books are successful because I’m deliberately writing books for a target audience and I make sure to add in all the tropes while doing it new and better. I choose popular genres and write the best books I can to entertain readers of that genre. I don’t think writing to market, writing books that people enjoy, or making money with books means that I’m a hack or “not a true artist.” (Actually, that’s a BS limiting ideology that unsuccessful authors use to defend their beliefs about artistic production – that being a failing author somehow makes their work higher quality.)
Making money is easy, as long as you’re providing value.
- If you write fiction, your fans look to you for entertainment.
- If you write non-fiction, you’re solving problems for your fans.
But impacting people’s lives is close to impossible when your book is just floating there, forgotten in the Amazon sea. If your readers can’t reach you, all your hard work goes unnoticed and you lose your drive to create even more of what could have been a successful series of books.
Making 5+ figures a month is a deliberate choice – you can do it if you decide to do it, and learn the business. It’s not easy, but it isn’t as hard as you think it is either. Recently I joined an online publishing summit with a bunch of successful authors. It was free to attend the live events, but if you want to watch the replays you can buy an all access pass.
Even if you missed the event, here are a list of the resources – these are people you should be following!
• The Secrets of Plotting vs. Pantsing Your Way to a 5-Figure Book (Libbie Hawker)
• How to Craft a Book Idea That Sells and Succeed as an Author (Nina Amir)
• Three Dangerous Misconceptions Preventing You from Finishing Your Book (Andrea Cumbo-Floyd)
• Three Must-Dos Before You Hit Publish – Neglecting These Will Cut Your Sales by Half (Michelle Weidenbenner)
• The Ultimate Shortcut to Writing Your Book Fast. It’s Better Than Longhand (Donna Kozik)
• Why 72% of Self-Published Authors Never Sell More Than 1,000 Books and What It Takes to Be a 5-Figure Author (Kevin Tumlinson)
• The Single Most Powerful (And Most Overlooked) Strategy to Become a #1 Amazon Best-Seller (Dave Chesson)
• What Never to Put on Your Cover. The Reasons Why Readers Don’t Give Your Book a Second Glance (Derek Murphy)
• How to Leverage the Power of Social Media to Build a 5-Figure Income Instead of Suffering from Time-Suck and Overwhelm (Kirsten Oliphant)
• The Shocking Mistakes Authors Make That Keep Them from Getting to 5 Figures (Derek Doepker)
• What You Need to Stop Calling Yourself to Become a 5-Figure Author (Jim Kukral)
• Three Common Hurdles That Block Your Way to a 5-Figure Author Career and How to Overcome Them (Honorée Corder)
• The Single Most Effective Strategy 70 out of 75 Successful Authors Put to Use (Eric Van Der Hope)
• Better Than Bookbub. The Three Step Process to Building a Following on Steroids (Buck Flogging)
• Three, Often Overlooked, 5-Figure Book Launch Strategies You Can Implement Now (Bryan Cohen)
If you’re ready to shift from being just another writer to discovering how to become a best-selling 5-figure author, click here to join the 5-Figure Author Challenge now!
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.