Maybe you’re already got the #girlboss title of your dreams. Or perhaps you’re flirting with idea of launching your passion project as a side hustle. Why not add book author to that list? (We did with Homemakers!) Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump launched their careers by putting out books on their areas of expertise. Publishing a book can instantly make you an authority in your industry, but getting picked up by a publisher is out of reach for most people because they don’t have a large enough following or the established reputation that attracts book giants.
Personal development guru and author of Your First Bestseller Mike Fishbein believes that putting your amazing ideas into a successful book isn’t as hard as you probably think. He bypassed the process of getting picked up by a publisher by releasing all 20 of his manifestos through Amazon, which now has features that support self-published authors like Mike. He says the average person can create a beautiful and professional book with relative ease by using freelance editors and graphic artists from websites like Upwork.
It’s not for everyone though. Mike says that while flying solo does allow for more freedom in the development process — writers often don’t have control over content, their book’s marketing or its price point when they’re working with big publishers — not everyone can handle managing the entire project by themselves. “Publishers do provide a lot of services for you in terms of production, editing and distribution, and by self-publishing, that falls squarely on you,” Mike says.
When he decided to get serious about releasing his books, he committed himself to writing every day. (Try these genius tools to stay on track.) He also researches the book’s competition before he gets too deep into the project, because there’s no point in writing something that only your mom will read. “I would first focus on forming that habit of writing and then make sure that you’re producing good quality work,” Mike says. “Beginners should focus on the process of trying to publish something.”
It’s tough, but the payoff is big. Mike and his readers have seen a major shift in their careers since following their literary dreams and coming out with their first book.
5 Benefits to Self-Publishing a Book
1. Build customers for your side hustle. There’s no better way to introduce people to what you love than writing the book on it. And people will be more willing to pay money for your service if you can prove you have the expertise to back it up.
2. Roll in the dough. Think of publishing on Amazon as being carried by the world’s largest book store. Literally anyone can find your book. Compared to working with traditional publishing houses, self-published authors earn roughly 40 percent more in book sales. This is money that you continue to bring in even while you’re traveling or sleeping. How great is that?! Plus, there’s the potential for earning even more moolah through paid speaking gigs, since conference organizers often do their research on Amazon.
3. Boost your personal brand. “Expert” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? If you’ve written a book, chances are people will see you as an authority on that topic. That added specialization can set you part from others in your field.
4. Make your resume stand out. Show potential employers that you’re passionate about something and you have the skills to back it up. Regardless if your book’s topic applies to the job, the steps you took to get there — planning, management and marketing — are universal.
5. Become a better communicator. You don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to publish your own book. The more time you spend working on your writing and thinking through your ideas, the better you will become. Mike says that making time to write is way more important than inherent talent.
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