Writing and Selling Ebooks Online: Diary of My Quest to Publish 50 Ebooks on Amazon in One Year, Part XII

I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since I’ve published anything in this series. But, I’ve been busy doing, what else . . . writing and uploading more ebooks. This afternoon, I uploaded my 28th title to Amazon.

For a while there, I really thought I was not going to make my goal. But, I’m stubborn and determined, so I refocused  and pushed a lot of stuff to the side to make some headway.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details. FYI, you can read all entries in this ebook writing series at the end of this post.

Things You May Have to Sacrifice to Meet Your Ebook Writing Goals

What have I sacrificed to meet this ambitious ebook writing goal:

Social Media

I haven’t been nearly as active on Twitter in the last few weeks. In fact, I make it my business to NOT post at least one day a week. In spite of this, Inkwell’s follower’s continue to grow. My secret goal was to get 10,000 Twitter followers by the end of the year. I think we’ll get there this month if things keep going the way they’re going.

Thanks John Paul!

Living in Jamaica Series

I haven’t updated this series since March because any time I get time to write, I’m writing another ebook or formatting an existing one to upload to Amazon; not writing on an existing series.

This series is very time consuming to put together and became quite popular. Because I still get a lot of requests about it, I will start updating it again soon – promise!

By the time I leave Jamaica this time, I will have been here for six months (the longest I’ve ever stayed at one time). Consequently, I have some great videos and pics that I’ve stored up for tons of new posts.

Freelance Writing Client Projects

I personally worked on my last project for a client in July. I’m soooo excited about this because it means I’m stepping into a strictly managerial role a New Media Words, my SEO writing company.

As I talked about in my post on freelance writing goals for 2011, I was 9/10th’s of the way there. Now, it looks like I’ve made the transition 100%! In making this transition, I’ve turned down some projects that I wouldn’t have turned down in the past.

But, when you figure in what you have to pay other freelancers to do the work, it wasn’t even worth it for me to oversee some of this work. With my end goal clearly in mind (to publish 50 ebooks on Amazon by year’s end), I took a short-term income hit to gain long term.

What’s Happened Since the Last Post in This Ebook Writing Series

Here’s an update on some of the things I addressed in the last post in this series.

5 Ebooks Published Since Then

As I said in the beginning of this post, this afternoon, I uploaded my 28th title to Amazon. September wasn’t a very productive month for me as for as ebook writing. I was pissed at myself because I farted a lot of time away.

I think sometimes as human beings we subconsciously sabotage our own dreams because then we have a built-in excuse if we fail. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me about how I unwisely used my time last month.

But as I said, I’ve refocused and am now back on track – even though I’m still behind. This month though, I’ve put myself on target to publish between 8 and 10 titles. Two or three of these may be new; the rest will be existing titles that I’m formatting and uploading.

Started Writing First Fiction Novel

I’m in the middle of co-writing a fiction novel with my sister. I’ve never written fiction before (it’s a LOT harder than nonfiction writing); my sister is a pro at it and she’s been holding my hand a lot. Even though I’m experiencing some bumps along the way, I’m enjoying the process and am proud of the way the ebook is turning out (it’s kind of a paranormal murder mystery).

I’m anxious to finish to see how it will be received.

Why Write Fiction? Why Now?

Quite frankly, because it sells a helluva lot more than nonfiction on Amazon; so I want a piece of that pie. I want my writing income to come from different genres. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned as a small business owner of many years is that diversification is key. Next year, in fact, I plan to focus almost solely on fiction. My goal is to put out 24 titles (yep, am already looking forward to 2012).

How Ebook Sales are Shaking Out

Sales were down in September compared to August. I sold almost 20% less.  I was a little discouraged by this, but then realized that September is the month kids go back to school; hence people have less disposable income because day care costs kick in, new school clothes, etc.

This month sales started off sluggish, but have picked up in the last couple of days. If I can match what I did back in August, I’ll be happy because I have my biggest payout ever coming from that month – which I’ll receive at the end of this month (Amazon’s payouts lag by 60 days).

Hopefully, holiday sales will be better because the Kindle is cheaper, and I’ll have at least one fiction novel up there – which I’m really hoping will bring in some sales because it’s in a popular genre.

My Pen Name Ebook

As an aside, the relationship ebook I published this summer under a pen name has been one of my most popular titles. It was my second biggest seller in September, selling just one copy less than my most popular ebook, which for the last couple of months has been SEO Examples: 10 Illustrative SEO Writing Samples.

So, I’ll definitely be publishing more in this genre. As a 40+ year old woman, I have tons to say in this genre and if people are willing to pay for it, I don’t mind writing about it! 🙂

Strangely enough, the first ebook (although I didn’t call it that at the time) I ever wrote was a relationship ebook. I never published it though. I’d just broken up with a boyfriend and was getting some stuff off my chest by doing some serious self-examination. I compiled my thoughts into a little booklet. So I feel like my writing has come full circle in this area.

How Many Different Title Sold

In August, I sold copies of 14 different titles on Amazon. Last month, I sold copies of 16. So again, I’m encouraged by this because I don’t want all of my sales coming from just one or two ebooks.

How Many Ebooks Do You Have to Write to Make a Full-Time Living as an Ebook Publisher

In the last post in this series, a commentor wrote:

I’m also just getting into this whole Ebook thing, so am looking forward to learning more, and hopefully one day actually writing one of them! The only thing that’s putting me off is that people are saying you got to write lots of them. Take care. Vic

In my experience, this is very true. While I don’t know how many ebooks you have to write to make a full-time living, I know I didn’t start seeing a real difference in my income as a self-published ebook author until I’d published probably around 15 of them.

Now while some people like John Locke and Amanda Hocking have had crazy success with fewer titles, this just won’t happen for the vast majority of ebook writers.

But IMO, this shouldn’t discourage you; instead it should encourage. Why? The way I look at it is this — if somebody told me that I could be a self-sustaining writer in 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years – guaranteed, IF I just put out enough titles, would that make me happy or sad? It makes me happy.

While I might have to write 200 ebooks to achieve a 10th of the success of a Lock or Hocking, at least I know that I can “write my way to riches,” so to speak. After all, writers write, right?

And that’s it for this installment of the ebook writing series. Hope you’re having a fabulous week; I’m off to do my taxes (I file an extension every year and now the deadline is almost here (October 15th)).

P.S.: Get The Ultimate Self-Publishing Package: 4 Ebooks. 1 Low Price.

ebook-publishing-packIf you are courageous, hard-working and self-motivated, you really can make a lot of money selling ebooks online (I’m proof of this) – if you don’t forget that last ingredient – perseverance.

Share Your Ebook Selling Tips and Questions?

Have any ebook selling tips to share? Have a question about how to make money selling ebooks online? Share in the comments section below.

P.P.S.: Serious about Starting a Self-Publishing Career? Then You Need a Website/Blog. Learn why and how to start one.

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    1. Loved this post!

    2. Glad to hear it, Yuwanda! I’ll be first in line to buy. (Come on, Spring!)


    3. Jean,

      As always, it’s so good to hear from you!

      As for that ebook suggestion, actually I have one that’s on my list to write that’s similar to that. It’s tentatively titled “How to Start an SEO Writing Company” and it covers all of the things you mentioned — and so much more.

      That one is going to take a while to write though because it’ll need to cover so many facets of doing business, eg, 1099ing employees, how to test them, filing taxes, etc.

      Maybe by the spring of next year.

      Thanks for the suggestion, and I do hope all is as well as it can be with you :-).

    4. Congratulations, Yuwanda! You’re a true inspiration.

      I do have an e-book suggestion for you: why not write on how you were able to grow your business to the point that you now manage it (work “on” it instead of “in” it) in just a bit over three years? Spill the beans! How you found subcontractors, your pricing (and payments to your writers), do you use virtual assistants, etc., etc.

      I, for one, would gobble that one up instantly!

      My best to you always,



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