“An intellectual writes three things: books that never get published, papers that never get read, and letters to his parents asking for more money.”
– Old joke
I wrote seven books this month. One was for a client, one sold zero copies, and one was too personal and won’t get published. I also had a random throwaway book, that I wrote up in an hour last October, get mentioned on a blog. I sold 10 copies in 24 hours.
While I didn’t sell a lot of books, as the picture above indicates, I did learn a lot more about passive income and marketing. Most of the books were thrown up using the old “pray and spray” method. While this has worked in the past, I had a timely eggnog recipe book that became a best seller, it didn’t do too well this time.
With that said, I still managed to monetize my hobby. I like free writing anyway, and the most expensive book I put out cost me five dollars. Last month I made a little under $50 off eBooks, this month will net me slightly more.
I actually tried learning more about the eBook industry and researching how to market and promote books. It didn’t really pay off. However, I did learn a lot from my experience. I learned that certain niches don’t have any competition because there are no buyers, and I learned that it’s pretty hard to sell people something that they’ve never heard of. This month I had made a rule not to write erotica, and discovered that normal books are pretty hard to sell. You’ll do better with a poorly written book about outlandish sex scenarios than you will with a subject that’s actually practical.
Also I’m not too concerned about the money. While I’m not a huge fan of my current oDesk gig, freelance writing is a boring slog, there are worse jobs. Additionally, a long time ago I made a pact with myself. I wanted to fail, although success would be welcomed too, at 500 different activities before I turned 30. Even if I didn’t do well at whatever I was trying, at least I’d have tried. For 30 days I spent time that would have otherwise been wasted in front of a television being creative and trying to sell books. I even wrote a full length novella which is now sitting on my hard drive. Not many other 20-year-olds did that. Additionally, I improved on some of my weak points like writing dialogue and fleshing out characters. I’ll basically make enough every month to pay my phone bill simply because I monetized something that I would have done anyway.
I still had fun and learned a lot from my experiments. Also, I have a pretty big project in the works for my next challenge. I’m really excited to share it and think that it will be my most ambitious project yet.