Self publishing books is a great path to making a full-time income and building your authority. While heightened competition has made it a little more difficult than it was a few years ago, it’s still possible for any new author can build up a full-time income self publishing brand.
A fear of saturation in the self publishing industry is one of the many myths that holds back would-be authors from publishing books and generating royalties. The self publishing journey is time consuming, but that’s true of all efforts worth pursuing.
It would be very concerning to see someone shy away from a goal solely because it is time consuming.
Some of the most common myths dissuade people from self publishing their own books and entering this business. These are 3 of the common myths that hold writers back.
Myth #1: Writing A Book Is Hard
When most people think of a book, they think of a 200+ page masterpiece with detailed research. However, that’s not most books. In fact, you can write a book that’s less than 100 pages.
Don’t focus on the amount of pages you have to write. Focus on the word count. For many authors, a 20,000 word book equates to 100 pages.
Each word you write gets you closer to finishing your book. Seeing quick progress will make it easier for you to continue versus feeling like you have to fill up an entire page to claim a sense of progress.
You also don’t have to write the book in one sitting, and almost no author writes their book in one sitting. Think back to the 20,000 word example. If you write 500 words per day, you’ll complete the 20,000 word book in 40 days. If you decide to write 1,000 words each day, you’ll complete that same book in 20 days.
The average person types at 40 words per minute, and you will end up typing faster over time. At 40 words per minute, it will take you roughly 12.5 minutes to write 500 words and 25 minutes to write 1,000 words.
To avoid getting stuck in the writing process, create a detailed outline of your book before you start writing. This will help you maintain 40 wpm as your lower threshold and possible accelerate to 50-60 wpm. This acceleration becomes more realistic as you write more often.
Myth #2: I Have To Sell Many Copies To Make A Full-Time Income
The most common path for new self publishers is to publish $2.99 Kindle books on Kindle Direct Publishing. Although this is a common path for beginners, it’s also a common path the pros stick with. Why break something that’s working just fine?
For a $2.99 Kindle book, you’ll make roughly $2 in royalties for each sale. It will vary slightly based on the size of your book file, but most people will end up with a $2 royalty.
To make 6-figures, you’d have to sell 50,000 books each year. That adds up to 4,167 books each month. When you think of this scenario, it’s easy to see why Myth #2 dominates the conversation. However, there are three workarounds.
The first workaround is publishing more books. Let’s say you publish 10 books. Now, each book has to sell an average of 417 copies each month for you to hit 6-figures. Your odds significantly increase with this approach versus having to sell 4,167 copies of a single book each month. You can also publish book series to lead readers from one book to the other.
The second workaround is to also offer paperback and audiobook editions of your books. Authors typically earn higher commissions on paperbacks and audiobooks, but you’d still have to sell thousands of copies each month to hit 6-figures.
The third workaround is to offer services within your book. You can use a book to drive customers to your existing business rather than solely rely on the book royalties. If someone reads your book and proceeds to buy your $1,000 service, you didn’t make a $2 royalty from that book. You made $1,002, and someone who spends $1,000 for one of your services is likely to return in the future whether it be for a different service or to buy your next book.
You don’t have to sell as many copies as you think if you incorporate your book with your existing business or build a business around your book.
Myth #3: I’m Not A Good Writer
This is where self-doubt enters the conversation. No one starts as a good writer. Look at anyone’s first bunch of blog posts and you’ll see they’re very different from their current blog posts.
The only way you become a good writer is through practice, and why not get paid to practice? You can write books, blog posts, Medium articles, and other content that allows you to get paid to practice writing.
Furthermore, not every reader looks for great writing. Some readers care far more about the takeaways from a nonfiction book or the plot of a fiction book. If those are good, some of your readers may overlook when your writing isn’t perfect. No writer is perfect, and it’s a skill you refine over time.