“What if I told you that even if you don’t have an audience or email list that you could self-publish a best-selling book on Amazon?”
– Spencer Haws, Niche Pursuits
Are eBook gurus secret book projects actually pornography?
Every few weeks I’ll see some guy posting an article about how he made a billion dollars off Kindle eBooks. And you can too!
It’s the old “give me a dollar and I will teach you how to earn a dollar” shtick.
They’ll wheel out some cool graphs and chart showing you just how much they made off books about geology, camping, or baking apple strudel.
While there are a million dirty tricks to boost sales rankings (like creating shell accounts to buy up copies of your own book) we’re going to play pretend and say that none of the Internet marketing guys do this. Instead they all write actual books that simply become best-selling titles.
Who is buying these?
If I wrote an anonymous book titled Best Fitness Secrets For Perfect ABs why would you buy it? I know I wouldn’t.
There are dozens of reputable authors who are well-known for dishing out great fitness advice. No one is clamoring to buy up some one shot title without a brand or community behind it.
Plus, competition in the eBook game is tough. A quick search using the keyword “fitness” pulled up almost 90,000 titles.
Writing one book won’t make a dent in the industry.
Even pen names need a reputation
Most ghostwritten books are part of a brand. There are multiple titles under each author and they’re all connected by a common theme. Doing well on Amazon usually requires you to have at least 30 titles.
If you have a blog or are active on YouTube you can probably lower the number. Guys like Matt Forney and Victor Pride do well with only a handful of works. They’re backed by their websites and reputation.
If you don’t have an established following, you’re going to need one before the money starts rolling in.
As a general rule of thumb you need about 30 different books before you’ll ever develop a sustainable income. Writing one book in a weekend, with no audience, and making a thousand dollars a week is unlikely.
What’s your market?
When I go to Half-Priced Books I’ll usually buy something I know nothing about. But on Amazon it’s a whole different story. There’s very little chance of me ordering something that I didn’t go on the site to buy. My personal conversion rate from looking at what I came for to clicking on another item is about 5%. With purchases it probably dwindles to about 1%.
I’d imagine that other people do something similar.
If you have a blog and earn money off Amazon Associates you’re probably converting less than 10% of your clicks. That means that 100 people will visit a product’s sales page and (maybe) 9 of them will buy something. Now if you have a book that relies entirely on blind luck, even getting 100 visitors can be a challenge.
90% of people never look past the first page of Google results when they’re searching for something. Amazon is probably similar.
A book on page two of the search results will get 10 visitors for every 100 that a book on page one receives. Without an audience and fans, you’re going to have a very hard time getting out of that situation.
Internet marketers are doing one of two things…
From doing a lot of research and talking with a plethora of writer’s I’ve learned that the quick kindle cash comes from some incredibly twisted eBook erotica. We’re talking dinosaurs raping cheerleaders, teens knocked up by their step-dads, and other weird stuff that Sigmund Freud would have a heyday with.
Since internet marketers are always cranking out these magic bestsellers that they’ll never let you see, we can assume one of two things. Either they’re lying about writing no-following books that make a small fortune, or they are pumping out pornographic novels that cover incredibly taboo subjects.