You need to forget everything you know about publishing online that you learned a few years or months ago, because everything has changed once again. The reality is that the writing you did a while ago is either not as useful or is outdated. Self-publishing standards of a few months ago are no longer valid. You have to spend a lot more time being logical, While remaining a passionate writer. You should not be discouraged, but you can’t hang on to the idea that by simply publishing you will make money. Or, rather having many self-published books will lead you to your dreams of riches.
There really isn’t such a thing as passive income, at least not with a self-published book. The hard work does pay off over time if you keep focusing on building your networks. There are those who will encourage you to focus on writing, but a lot of hard work with no benefit is risky. A risk is something a writer wants to mitigate as much as possible, especially when it’s his book. Some writers are willing to sacrifice the ostensibly important ego- to create books that will actually attract readers.
Imagine yourself as a reader, maybe even a reader of your book. You find that there are at least 1,000 books on any given topic, even a niche topic- and you have to find it on Amazon- not counting a topic such as writing- put in the search term ‘on writing’ and one of the more famous books Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life is one of the top ten, along with Stephen King and his views- aptly named- On Writing. This immense quantity of paper books and ebooks poses a great challenge to a reader even on their best “search” day.
With a self-published book, you need to get the word out through social networking sites (Facebook author page, or Twitter) and other means, and you have to start sooner than you might think is necessary. You don’t want to suffer or hurt your book’s chances if you can avoid it. You need to have a blog up and running and have some leaders behind you, and be prepared to sacrifice a lot of things to achieve success.
Suffering in the online world is universal- no one is immune, but most people don’t want to sacrifice the time it takes to attain success. In this case, I have seen many writers trying to build networks by writing on sites such as Hubpages, and many others. Some have success. Most do not. They begin to lose sight of what matters- their books. Since the fall of many online writing sites, most writers have become “gun shy” with writing. What they don’t want to accept is the fact that they lost focus on their blogs, on the Facebook or Twitter networks, or on their books. They chased the money and lost, and the giant “writing websites” lost too.
There are always winners and losers in the game of self-publishing. It’s a challenge to be a winner in this harsh environment, and you will need to protect yourself against the illusion of success. You can, and should fail, and that is the only way to learn.
Most writers refuse to deal with the law of averages. (This is where the numbers hit hard- most self-published books sell on average 41 copies outside of family and friends.) Most writers don’t want to sacrifice their dreams, but they don’t want to take the lead or responsibility in doing the work they need to have success.
They rely on others- such as online writing sites where they can “show off” their writing, which, long term, distracts them from writing on their books. They don’t understand this is a good idea, but the wrong time, and the wrong focus, and possibly the wrong site. Worst still, with the downfall of many writing sites, and the push to blogging and self-publishing, there is again a danger in not seeing what was once true is not anymore.
It’s time to face the emotion of fear, and then sit down and refocus and ask for help. There is no shame in saying things didn’t work out, but it is the best self-publishers who go back and rework and re-fix to make it better.