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natew

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Back in late 2010, I threw my hat into the writing/self-publishing ring. A friend had used a self-publishing service to get his first book into print, and it seemed like a good idea to test out. Needless to say, I knew nothing about marketing books or marketing anything at the time. I made many mistakes, the first of which was to do everything in a hurry. It was a somewhat hasty job with a lousy cover that I had produced with help of my crummy flip-phone. Still, the eBook led me to a search for book reviewers. One reviewer introduced me to Goodreads. There, in 2011, I saw an ad for The Millionaire Fastlane. Intrigued, I watched the video of MJ by his pool and bought the book. A short time later, I joined the forum.

In 2011, I also read How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months, by John Locke. I was amazed by his complex, involved Twitter strategy for finding readers and developing connections. It fell flat when I attempted it, though.

In that same year, I chose another idea that flopped: iPhone apps. What a waste that was! I’m good at programming, and learning the programming language wasn’t too hard. However, there were many drawbacks: the $99 membership fee; the convoluted process for even getting one’s test copy of an app onto a phone; the constant, surprise changes to the programming language that instantly render your how-to book obsolete; and the extreme difficulty monetizing those things. Wow - by 2011, it was already “Game Over.” Nobody was paying for apps anymore; in-app purchases and ads were the way to go. Add to that the $800 annual LLC tax that my state stupidly charged even before I had a penny in revenue...

I’ll cut to the chase: Despite the incredibly long odds, I hung on until 2013 before calling it quits. It was September, close to the start of the new Jewish year. My wife and I had a talk, and decided that, for the foreseeable future, I was finished selling my wares; we could do OK on our regular incomes alone.

Then came more financial burdens. In 2014, I gave Locke’s book another read, took notes, opened a new Twitter account, and hit the red. A writer friend advised me to revise my book. I took her advice and launched it again in early 2015, with a new cover. I also started working on a sequel.

Networking became a blessing. Twitter and Locke led me to Joanna Penn, whose Creative Penn podcast and website were a treasure trove of resources. I finally felt like I had the thorough guidance I needed. Penn also led me to other authors with resources, including courses - notably, Nick Stephenson and Monica Leonelle. Because of Stephenson’s course, I joined Facebook and his Facebook group.

The network expansion has been very helpful, as has my drive to continue producing products (books). One FB group leads to another group, another helpful book, and so forth. My author journey is in the process of becoming a real career. Measurable passive income is actually happening. On more than one morning, I have found that I got X number of Kindle Unlimited page-reads while sleeping.

So, yes, there’s finally some momentum!

Here’s a blog post from 2017, for those interested:
I Started with an Audience of One
 

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RazorCut

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Hi Nathaniel,

Excellent read. Well done for persevering. Self Publishing is a tough market to become successful in these days.

I've also found FB groups highly valuable. There are some really tight communities out there that, like this forum, have seams of gold running in all directions.

Just had a look at your book list. Love the covers. They certainly draw my attention.

All the best with your next adventure. ;)
 
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MJ DeMarco

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On more than one morning, I have found that I got X number of Kindle Unlimited page-reads while sleeping.
Congrats! That's called entrepreneurial heroine, once you experience that, even in the smallest amount, there's no going back!

Thanks for your story, where you impacted positively by Amazon's recent moves?

Also you might want to check out @MTF 's publishing thread on the Inside. He makes great money publishing and we were fortunate enough for him to chronicle his journey, from nothing (ZERO!) to something large enough where he's building his money system.
 
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natew

Bronze Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Jul 12, 2011
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Los Angeles, CA
Congrats! That's called entrepreneurial heroine, once you experience that, even in the smallest amount, there's no going back!

Thanks for your story, where you impacted positively by Amazon's recent moves?

Also you might want to check out @MTF 's publishing thread on the Inside. He makes great money publishing and we were fortunate enough for him to chronicle his journey, from nothing (ZERO!) to something large enough where he's building his money system.
Thank you for the encouragement and the reference!

I generally ignore Amazon’s changes, and don’t really keep tabs on whether they affect me. (I will say that their recent change to their advertising dashboard was a minor inconvenience, and I wasn’t doing a lot with product display ads, anyway.) Instead of monitoring Amazon’s moves, I prefer just to keep going. My time is pretty tight, so I strive to use it wisely - writing, marketing and studying how to improve my game.

I know that I still have a very long way to go. I also know that I’m far ahead of where I used to be. There are always untapped opportunities, and I’m constantly learning.
 

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