I see many people write their first book, and immediately begin spending all their time trying to market their book to increase sales. In my opinion, this is a mistake for many reasons.
Marketing and advertising are career fields completely different than writing. It may be the personality needed to succeed in these fields does not exist alongside the personality needed to write well. Writers are creators, researchers, dreamers, hard workers, and first of all – writers. Writers have a completion date for each book – the day it is published. Marketing and advertising is ongoing.
After my second book, I wrote “Write to Hike!” in which I set down my “Definite Purpose” for writing. To state it simply, it is “Financial Freedom.” Within the first year, I wanted to achieve the ability to quit my day job and devote my life to writing. I retired from the Air Force, so I have a military pension. I’ve been working part time at home for the last 13 years to earn the extra money I need. I live a simple life, so my needs are not high. I’m more interested in doing the things I enjoy than becoming a wage slave and having a lot of money. I’ve achieved my goal of financial freedom, and now I write purely for the fun of learning new things, and I know my income will rise as I write more books.
Most of the open source books I’ve published are about two topics:
1. Motivational books in the vein of Napoleon Hill, Clement Stone, Earl Nightingale and others.
2. Scientific Management – The most efficient way to complete work with high quality and the least expenditure of time and effort.
If you’d like to read these books, search for Gary Thaller on Amazon, and you will find most of them. There will be some books by other authors mixed in the group.
There are two common threads in these books.
1. If you want to rise to the top in any field, you must devote all your energies to that field for a LONG time. It may take 50 years to rise to the top of the writing field, and the numbers show that an eBook writer needs to be near the top 1% in order to earn a decent living. Define decent for yourself, using an estimate of about $2.00 profit per book. Right now, I’m selling about 360 to 420 books a month.
2. People learn by DOING. Each time I write a book, I learn something new. Each time I copy an open source book, I learn new things about writing, in addition to learning about the topic of the book.
If someone wants to rise to the top of the writing field, the answer is simple. Write! They will learn what works for them, and eventually, they will rise to the top of the field. This is true in any other occupation, and it is true in writing. It takes about 10,000 hours of conscious effort to improve to rise to the upper echelons of expertise. This is the beginning of success, and it takes much more effort to become a well-recognized writer.
Sure, there are exceptions, but if you notice, many of these books sell well for a short time, and then they disappear. Every fire burns down, and new logs have to be added to the fire to keep it burning.