What do you fear about retirement?

Dec 16, 2011

Self-Publishing Ebooks as a Retirement Job

Many retirees think that one of the easy ways to riches (as a substitute for a lucrative retirement job) is by self-publishing ebooks given the dramatic rise in ebook sales for devices such as the Kindle, Ipad, and Nook.

Here are the comments that I made on a blog in response to the fact that ebook self-publishing is the rage and so many wannabe writers think that they are going to make such a great income from self-publishing ebooks.

I have been self-publishing print books for over 20 years and make a very good income at it (almost $100,000 a year).

I published one book (101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting) as an ebook on Kindle and am not impressed with the sales. I know of several authors whose ebooks have sold fewer than 25 copies on Kindle. There are obviously tens of thousands of ebook authors with the same results.

The point is that, as a book expert recently said, "Everyone today can afford to preach in the desert."

There are tens of thousands of delusional people out there who think that they are going to make a great income from self-publishing ebooks. Sure, industrious and creative people such as John Locke make a great income but the vast majority won't. John Locke is much more industrious and creative than 99 percent of the population.

Keep this quote in mind:


    "It's never crowded along the path that will take you to destinations worth arriving at."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

In other words, if you are going to be successful at any venture, you better be doing what the vast majority is NOT doing. And one of the things that you have to do that the vast majority is not doing is "creative marketing" for your book.


By "creative marketing" I mean no copycat stuff! Creative marketing is what I did to make my self-published How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free the best-selling retirement book in the world that far outsells all the name brand retirement books such as The AARP Retirement Survival Guide, What Color Is Your Parachute for Retirement, and The Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook.

Fact is, even the marketing plan for my How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free is still in its initial phases and developing at this point, eight years after I self-published it. I have sold only 150,000 copies worldwide and my goal is to eventually sell 500,000 copies worldwide.

In short, most authors (more than 95 percent) have never made much money from their writing and have to work at a "real job" to earn a living. The opportunity to self-publish ebooks will not change this simply because most authors are not willing to do the work that is required to market their books in truly creative ways.

Here is what Seth Godin, one of the top marketers in the world said in his book The Dip:


    "Being average is for losers. Being better than 98 percent of the competition used to be fine. In the world of Google, though, it's useless. If you are not going to get to #1, you might as well quit right now."

Seth knows what he is talking about given the results that he has attained in marketing his books.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 150,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

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