Every year hundreds of thousands of books are being published.
And this doesn't even include the millions of self published books.
Or the hundreds of millions of blog posts.
And those numbers are going up instead of down.
But at the same time the number of people reading books doesn't go up.
Just like the time people spend reading books doesn't go up.
It can't go up because people's time is limited.
So what does that even mean?
It means that not a whole lot of people are probably going to end up reading your book...
The happiest and/or most successful writers are the ones that don't expect much.
But most people do. Most people expect way too much. I'm guilty of it too.
And here's the problem...
Whenever you expect too much and it doesn't work right away you'll be too disappointed to keep doing it and you'll just give up before it works...
I'd even say that the happiest and/or the most successful writers don't have to succeed as a writer anymore.
Because most successful writers already built or did something incredible before they wrote their books.
That's the main reason why people want to read or hear from them in the first place.
Just think about the books you read...
You usually read books from successful and accomplished people, don't you?
Sure, there are exceptions.
There always are.
But basing your life on a probability of 0.001% that you're one of those exceptions is probably not such a good idea...
# SHOWING UP
So what can you do if you haven't built or created anything remarkable, yet?
What can you do if no one knows your name?
Here's what you've gotta do...
You've gotta get your name out there first.
And you do that by showing up way before you start writing a book.
Maybe one year before you write your book.
Maybe two years before you write your book.
Maybe even longer that that.
So how do you get your name out there before you write your book?
For example by writing a blog that people can read for free.
By putting out stuff that people want to see, read, watch or listen to.
Because that's how you build up trust.
And trust is the most important ingredient in any human interaction.
Even when it comes to selling things.
Especially when it comes to selling things.
There's a very simple rule in life...
Never buy anything from a stranger on the streets.
So the first step is about going from a stranger to someone people know and trust...
The biggest challenge isn't to write a book anymore. Or to publish it. Everybody can do that.
Even the formatting, printing and all of this stuff can now easily be done online. Within just a few hours.
The time it takes to upload your book to Amazon and to hold a printed version of your book in your hands is less than 7 days.
Today, the challenging part is the distribution.
And that's the part where no one will be able to help you.
Amazon won't be able to help you. There are hundreds of millions of books on Amazon already. And tens of thousands of new books are published every single day. So it's impossible to find out about you and your new book.
Publishers won't be able to help you. Book stores won't be able to help you either (they're both pretty much dead already). The only books people end up buying on Amazon, in book stores or any other platform are the books from people they already know. Or books on the bestseller list. Or books someone influential recommended to them.
So how do you end up on the bestseller list?
How do you get your book recommended by someone influential?
By showing up, by building a name for yourself, a reputation and by building an audience of people who want to hear from you. Way before you have your book...
If you happen to also read a lot, then just think about your own reading list. And how many books you still want to or have to read. Books that changed the world. Must read books. Books that were recommended to you by dozens of people already. And those are the exact same books and authors you're going to have to compete with for your potential reader's attention...
We're constantly busy. Running out of time. While at the same time our to do lists are getting bigger and bigger. Which leaves us less and less time to explore new things. So we go for the things we already know. The things everybody else knows. Things that everybody else does. That everybody else uses. And recommends. The things we know that work...
The average ebook makes less than $500. That's the average. And this also includes the bestselling author that sold tens of thousands of copies. So the median sales a book generates is probably somewhere around the $200 mark. Probably less...
If you get an editor, a cover designer and so on, you're probably going to even end up losing money. So if you want to write a book to make money, make sure you understand the chances of making money with that book. Which are basically zero...
Unless, of course, you've already built a name for yourself, people know who you are and you already have hundreds of thousands of people that want to hear from you...
Should you look for publishers?
If you do it because you want to say that you published a book with a real publisher, then give it a try.
But contrary to popular belief, a publisher won't help you with one of the most important things...
A publisher won't help you with distribution.
Sure, you're going to end up in a few books stores here and there.
But the problem of book stores is that there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of books in that book store already.
And the only people who are going to end up buying your book are the people who already know you, your work, your name and what you stand for.
So if no one knows who you are then not a whole lot is going to happen when you have a publisher.
Again, the only books people are buying are from people they already know, books on bestseller lists or books they got recommended from influential people...
P.S. The only people publishers want to work with are authors who already have a big enough audience that has the potential to get them on the bestseller list. Which essentially means that most of the people who end up getting a book deal are the people who don't really need that book deal anymore because their distribution is already big enough....
P.P.S. This also holds true for raising money from investors. Once you're business is running well, you have a proven business model and you don't really need an investor's money anymore, then you're much more likely to successfully raise funds from investors.
# FREE BOOKS
The biggest problem when you invest your time, money and resources into writing a book that you're then trying to sell is that you put a paywall in front of your ideas. A paywall that will hinder your ideas to spread. And when your ideas can't spread, then people won't be able to find out more about you and your ideas.
So a lot of people started giving away books for free. Which might work. But only if you've already done the hard work and have a lot of people who want to hear from you. Because what's going to happen when you give your book away for free to people who have never heard of you and don't know who you are is that not a whole lot is going to happen.
This is especially true when you give your book away for free on a platform like Amazon. So here's whats going to happen when you give your book away for free on platforms like Amazon...
People who don't know you might or might not download your book and none of them will end up actually reading it. Because people who download free books are usually people who download hundreds of free books.
And the only books they're going to end up reading are the books from people they already know and trust. And when I say "they", what I'm really talking about is me.
Here's the thing...
No matter how cheap or free a book is, it still has to be read. And that's a really, really big commitment. A commitment of many days. Sometimes even weeks. And that's what we tend to forget when we put our stuff out there.
So now you might wonder...
Does it even make sense to write a book?
If you do it because you think it will instantly make you famous or a lot of money, then it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Because it won't...