When I published my first book in 2014 through Amazon, I figured I would never make any meaningful amount of royalties. I figured that my friends, family and the people that read my blog would buy my books and that would be pretty much be the end of it. I wrote my book understanding that it would serve much more as a business card for my personal brand than it would be a product that actually generates revenue. This was definitely true for the first year and a half that I had books out on Amazon. Between Email Marketing Demystified and 40 Rules for Internet Business Success, I was making around $500.00 per month in book royalties. Then, something interesting happened.
Amazing Amazon Royalties
In early 2016, my books began to get some real traction on Amazon. The Kindle and audiobook editions of my books have done particularly well and only seem to be increasing in overall sales. The early numbers for The Ten-Year Turnaround also look extremely good. For the last several months, I’ve been averaging $1,500 per month in royalties and I think that could top $2,500 per month by the end of the year. While these numbers aren’t particularly impressive compared to what MarketBeat does, they really are passive income streams that generate revenue for my business without any ongoing work. Amazon handles sales, marketing, operations and customer service. I just have to sit back and collect royalty checks.
I haven’t previously put any serious effort into researching book publishing on Amazon. It turns out there’s a whole network of gurus and experts who write extensively about this type of publishing. For example, Steve Scott reportedly earns more than $40,000 per month in royalties through Amazon. He’s also published more than 20 books through Amazon. While I don’t plan on being nearly as prolific as Steve Scott, I should be able to create a five-figure monthly income stream from book publishing if I can build the right team, publish several more books and optimize my current book listings.
The Big Announcement
This leads me to a big announcement: In addition to the Ten-Year Turnaround, I will be publishing two more books in 2016 and at least one in early 2017.
The first book, Business Growth Day by Day, will be a collection of short-form articles that I’ve written about business and entrepreneurship over the last five years. The concept of the book is much like a daily devotional for entrepreneurs. Readers will be instructed to read one chapter per day for about 40 days. Each chapter will contain a business lesson or concept that I think every entrepreneur must learn to be successful. The book will be written in much the same vein that 40 Rules for Internet Business Success was written, but with different content. The beauty of this book is that it’s coming together quickly, since it’s largely a collection of stuff that I’ve already written. We plan to get this book out later this summer.
The second book will be a personal finance book that I will be co-writing with one of my long-time personal finance writers, Toi Williams. The title of that book is “Simple Savings: 50 Simple Money Saving Tips That Will Help You Save $1,000 or More, Every Month.”
In 2017, I plan on publishing a book about how to build content-driven Internet business. This book will teach the MarketBeat model, which involves creating content, generating revenue from advertising and selling information products and services.
I plan to largely use the same production game plan that I have used for my previous three books, but will be looking for ways to produce these books more cost effectively. It cost me about $6,000 to put together The Ten-Year Turnaround, which means I have to generate $6,000 in royalties before I break even. However, there are plenty of ways to get that cost down. I plan on relying more heavily on my in-house team. Fortunately, I have a graphic designer and an editor on staff already. My goal is to get the production cost of each book down to about $2,000 each.
Since these two books won’t be major releases, I will probably tone down the marketing for each book a bit. You probably won’t see as many obnoxious social media posts from me about these two books, but we still plan on doing things like using giveaways, book listing sites and promoting the books to our email list in order to generate initial sales.
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