An important article on self-publishing came out today. Usually I would just scoop it and send all my followers to that collection. But this one is a very long article, and I'm afraid most readers would fail to follow through on the whole shebang, which would be unfortunate for their own careers. So . . . I'm going to break it up into manageable chunks and pass it along during the week.
About the Author: James Altucher can be found at jamesaltucher.com and @jaltucher, where he spills his guts and talks about failure, success, more failure, a little bit of death, and hopefully some life. And his latest book, "Choose Yourself!" (foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter) comes out today.
Here's his introduction and point number one -- both of which turn out to be important reality checks.
I wanted to write a book because I thought it would make me attractive to women. I thought it would make me attractive to future employers.
I also thought — maybe — I would make a lot of money. I would stand in the shower and count how much money I was going to make from every book.
I’ve published ten books. I wrote five with traditional publishers (Wiley, Penguin, HarperCollins). I self-published five. I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of copies of my books. I’ve had ten million visits on my blog since I started it in 2010.
None of those things happened.
I think I am now probably less attractive to women. And I’ve probably removed any chance I’ve ever had of being hired by a future employer, based on the content of my books (where I advocate quitting your job, exploiting your employer, and I tell the sordid stories of how much money I’ve lost and the ways I got out of the messes I ended up in).
Today my eleventh book, Choose Yourself! is coming out. I self-published it.
In this article, I’d like to let you in on some of the most important aspects of publishing that I’ve found, particularly if you’re getting ready to self-publish your own book …
21 things you need to know about self-publishing 2.0
I wanted to start at “zero” with this list to give you a guideline on what it’s all about.
This is not a bullshit list. I’m not going to tell you, “don’t do it for the money.” Or “stay positive.” It’s also not a brutal technical how-to on uploading your Kindle file to Amazon and then wait for the millions to come in. Although I will get to that.
This list is about writing, building your audience, publishing vs. self-publishing, self-publishing, and what I call “team-publishing” which is the direction you need to go if you want to professionally self-publish.
All of these things are important to build your skills, your audience, and ultimately readers of your books.
I love Copyblogger because the writers and readers here really care about writing quality material. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. Now, follow these 21 steps I’ve laid out for you below, and you will create quality books.
1. Reality check
At the time of this writing, the amount of money households spend overall on reading materials is going down.
In 1994 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) the average household spent $165 on reading materials. In 2011, adjusted for inflation, the average US household spent $115. How come? Because there are many high-quality, free things we can read. So we spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the number of books being published each year rises at a steady 6% per year.
So we have less demand and more supply. Which means prices and incomes go down. You can use this to your advantage.
How? Publishers aren’t reducing the prices of their books. Actually, they tend to raise them with inflation to keep fueling their bloated machines.
So you can instantly gain an advantage by reducing prices, given the facts I’ve laid out above.