Good news authors—especially the introverts out there. You can sell more earn more simply by writing more. It really is that simple! Here’s how I know…
My shift in thinking began in around mid-to-late 2015. I had been in the book publishing business, in one capacity or another, for close to 25 years. I’d been publishing books under my own label, Polished Publishing Group (PPG), since November 2009. I knew how to produce a truly professional product for my authors, and I had ample experience to be able to teach them all the traditional book sales and marketing methods. I was a best selling author in my own right, and so were many of my authors. So, everything looked great on the surface.
But here was the reality: my company wasn’t generating enough profit to allow me to leave my full-time sales job. My own royalties, and my best authors’ royalties, weren’t all that impressive. All these bestsellers were earning less than $500 per year in royalties. That was the hard truth.
Burnout and Refocus Time
I was burning out. I could no longer maintain my pace of 50+ hours of corporate sales coupled with another 20+ hours of book publishing, sales, and marketing every week. Especially if there was no end in sight to all this work—no definite increase in profits to show me I was on the right track. I felt discouraged. I felt like I was failing my authors, never mind myself.
So, do you know what I did? I quit my full-time job, and I scaled back the publishing work for a little while. There was something I had wanted to do since my early twenties that I allowed myself to do in my forties. I embarked on my very own “Eat, Pray, Love” working holiday in Asia and taught English in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2016. What a blessing this experience was! I was blessed not only by all the people I met and all the life lessons I learned, but also by my renewed sense of purpose when I returned home.
If you’re feeling burned out in any way, I recommend you do something like this for yourself. Walk away from your work for a while. Have fun! Eat! Pray! Love! Then, once you’re fully rejuvenated, get back to work. You’ll be so much more productive if you do. And you may just find the answers to your questions that had eluded you for so long. That’s what happened to me.
Sell More Earn More in the United Kingdom
I didn’t go back to a “real job” straightaway because I wanted to turn off the corporate noise for a while and really focus on my craft. And I found four personal investors to help me cover my expenses while I focused. In early 2017, I started studying and learning all about email marketing. I also Googled things like “successful authors” and “profitable publishing” to figure out how to take things to the next level and start making some real money publishing books.
The first clue came to me in the form of a Forbes article written about a self-published author in the United Kingdom named Mark Dawson: Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer. I was impressed … but skeptical. I figured maybe he was an anomaly. So, I kept reading and searching for more “realistic” examples of success.
Sell More Earn More in the United States
In May of 2017, I spoke at a writers’ conference in Columbia, Missouri. Because I only presented two break-out sessions of my own, I had the opportunity to attend many other people’s sessions that weekend. One of the most memorable sessions for me was Liz Schulte‘s break-out session. This American was one of only a handful of self-publishers who were allowed to join her local traditional writers’ guild. Why? Because of her proven sales success as an independent author. She was already earning a six-figure annual royalty in her second year of self-publishing.
Now it wasn’t just some seemingly “faraway fictional character” speaking to me about his success from a Forbes magazine article. This was a real person standing in front of me, telling me that she was doing many of the same things Mark Dawson was doing. And she was seeing similar success to his. Now I knew I was onto something big!
I went for a glass of wine with Liz that evening, and I soaked in all her knowledge. I also asked her to write a guest post for the PPG Publisher’s Blog and she willingly obliged despite how busy she is (click on her hyperlinked name above to read it). Thank you, Liz!
Sell More Earn More in Australia
Determined to meet even more authors like Mark and Liz, I posted a question on Quora asking authors to share their success stories with me. I received a somewhat cheeky reply from an Aussie, named Timothy Ellis, who said he wasn’t sure if I would consider him a success or not because he only sells around 3,000 books per month after two years as a self-publisher.
How?! Give me your success formula! Show me your stats! And he did! Timothy Ellis willingly shared his success formula in this guest post on the PPG Publisher’s Blog. Thank you, Timothy!
Sell More Earn More in Canada … and All Over the World!
Long story short, since that time, I’ve been a student of many more successful authors who are following the same patterns as the above three are. In fact, I’ve studied and put into practice everything I’ve learned from these authors to see some success of my own over the past two years.
Here’s the best part: I have a “real job” again now, and even with this job taking up much of my time during the week, I’m still seeing some real progress with my own personal book sales. So, that tells you that you can do the same. You don’t have to quit your job and focus on writing and publishing alone in order to see success with it. You can easily maintain both … until you don’t have to do both anymore. Does that make sense?
My new “real job” is an added bonus for me, because the industry I’m in completely complements my writing and publishing aspirations: printing. I’ve learn so much more about printing this past year that I can offer even more helpful insights to authors everywhere—in Canada and abroad. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and I’m looking very forward to even more success 2019!
A New Focus for PPG in the New Year
In the meantime, I’ve stopped publishing books for other people. For now. There are so many publishers out there, and there are just as many self-publishing tools. But there are very few decent sales coaches for authors who can show you the path to significant success as an author. I’m drawing that roadmap right now. I’m living it as I’m drawing it, and I’ll be sharing it with you in the coming months. It will come complete with real life statistics that prove it’s possible to earn so much more than you ever thought possible by writing and publishing books. Watch for it in early 2019!
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