Yep. Did it, done it, got the t-shirt and the bank statements. Actually, we are on our way to 2 now.
As my character in my next book to be published, Nightstalkers: Area 51 says: Been everywhere but the electric chair, seen everything but the wind.
Which is apropos of nothing.
Catchy title, eh? Had to get your attention.
There are so many self-published books being thrown up on Kindle and PubIt and Kobo and the Berlin Wall, it’s numbing. I was just watching some lawn guys in the convenience store buying lottery tickets and realized they had a better chance of earning a million dollars than most of the self-publishing authors.
But you can do it. But it’s not a lottery. It’s called work.
I have had a HUGE advantage in this game. It’s called backlist.
I honestly do not know how many books I’ve written (and every book I’ve written has been published). I’ve also co-written some books. My bestselling books right now on Amazon are, amazingly, my first series: The Green Berets featuring my hero from the Bronx, Dave Riley, whom my grandson is named after. All six are in the top 100 in the War bestseller list. But I also have nine books in my Area 51 series that sell solidly and six in my Atlantis series that sell solidly. And we just put the first books in each series together with a new concept: Doubling: We put the first book in the Area 51 series with the first book in the Atlantis series in one book and you can buy them together for less than buying them separately. I wanted to call it coupling, but that sounds kind of kinky.
I’ve invested over $45,000 in having my books made in audiobooks via Audible’s ACX program (which is quite brilliant in my opinion and easy to use). So that’s the other ‘secret’. It takes money to make money. But each day those books sell and churn money. By the way, this week you can buy all ACX titles for under $6 as part of a big promotion they’re doing. We’re talking audiobooks that normally cost almost $20. Click here for the sale.
And when I say “I” made a million in 18 months, let’s be accurate. WE made that. My business partner Jen Talty who does the tech side of things is the other part of Cool Gus Publishing. I kind of believe the term “self-publishing” isn’t realistic.
And there’s Cool Gus. Do you know how much we’ve paid in vet bills for him, since he eats pretty much anything? Do you know how much we had to pay to put him up in an air-conditioned suite with twice a day walks and massages and manicures when we went out of town last month? That is why we are going to monetize Cool Gus. Yes, we’re pimping the dog out. He just stirred at my feet and gave me a look.
So, back to my title. How to make a million with eBooks. WRITE.
A lot. Get good at it. Write better books.
Our mantra at Cool Gus is the best promotion is a good book. Better promotion is more good books.
Jen and I actually wrote a book explaining how we did it: The ShelfLess Book: The Complete Digital Author. And I wrote a book on how to be a successful author: Write It Forward: From Writer To Successful Author.
Because here’s the bottom line: you can be the greatest writer in the world but in the current publishing environment, you also have to be a great business person. Because this is a business.