Self publishing has come of age. In addition to the significant initial sales revenue a novel might generate, ongoing passive can provide the means for a writer to enjoy financial security.
What is passive income?
Passive income is defined as income accumulated by work completed at some previous date. Royalties are one type of common passive income. Record an album; earn ongoing royalties for each subsequent every sale.
Why passive income is so important
Job security rarely exists anymore. People used to work at the same job for years. Companies used to offer pensions. However, the days of loyal workers and grateful companies, if not gone, are fading, and passive income represents the digital age’s way for people to secure money to replace lost pensions.
Why self publishing?
The advent of print on demand technology and e-publication has enabled people the ability to create cottage industry publishing houses. Anyone interested in publishing can set to writing and publishing stories, novellas, or novels. Without a significant marketing strategy, data shows that each new story or book has a shelf life of about 30 to 90 days at which point sales plateau. However, a marketing strategy can extend a book’s longevity well beyond those 30 to 90 days.
More important is the passive income generated from that book. Data shows that as a person writers more books, sales of old books peak briefly due to new fans discovering an author’s previous works. The more a writer generates new material, the better the old material sells.
Finally, if a person is a decent writer and if that person can tell a decent story and if the writer is able to publish 6 or 7 novels, data shows that sales and repeated income hit a tipping point at that 6th or 7th book. This tipping point represents a common point among self publishers where their hard work pays off, and all the novels written to date start generating significant passive income.
Work from internet tip #1: get inspired by the success of others
The good thing about self publishing is that the uncertain heyday of it all is over. Back in 2005 or so, very few print on demand publishers existed, and people derided self publishing. However, there are so many success stories, it’s easy to see that this has changed. The major print on demand companies such as Create Space and Lulu allow individuals to publish their own work with little or no upfront costs, and many successful self-published authors have obtained traditional publishing contracts and have sold the movie rights to their stories. Stunning success stories include Amanda Hocking, Michael Sullivan, and 16-year old Rachel Yu all of whom have found success in crime, romance, and fantasy genres.
From writing to editing to marketing her book, work-at-home author Deborah Jacobs gives a blow-by-blow account of how her books became bestsellers.
Work from internet tip #2: obtain free feedback
Self publishing might be profitable, but a writer must first polish his or her craft. The place to start, of course, is by reading.
However, anyone who is considering self publishing is probably already a reader, so the obvious next couple steps include writing and obtaining feedback.
Free writing workshops exist online, and these workshops are typically run by established writers. For instance, the Internet Writing Workshop offers people the ability to opt-in to their e-mail list. Once a writer has opted in, he or she can then participate. The only actual requirement is that a writer participates in both offering critiques and receiving feedback.
Another online workshop is available at Zoetrope. Zoetrope is one of the top online workshops in existence. It’s associated with Francis Ford Coppola and its literary journal has been around for many years. The fee associated with Zoetrope: $0. Yes—it’s absolutely free.
Aspiring self publishers can publish their stories online at such websites as Smash Words, one of the best places to help build an audience and receive feedback. Note: feedback received at places like Smash Words differs from that received from online workshops. Workshop critiques are typically offered by other writers, and the intent behind the critique is to help a writer improve his or her skills. Feedback, however, is offered by customers, and it can range from exuberant praise for a highly entertaining story to indignant rants about how the writer just wasted the reader’s time. This type of feedback can be daunting, but Smash Words helps a writer get a little dirty and gain insights into what readers (customers) want. The beauty of it is that all a writer has to do is post some writing online and see how the audience responds.
Trial by fire?
Not really. All the writer needs as protection is a pseudonym for the story. As the writer’s confidence grows, he or she can then go about publishing longer stories and novels under his or her real name or an official pseudonym.
Is this real?
Yes. It’s real. Again, the downside is simply a lengthy learning curve, but with patience and passion, a writer can achieve significant income and even more significant passive income.
Happy self publishing!