My wife and I used to have a Multi-Level Marketing business. Yup, we were in one of those. But, I did learn one, valuable thing from it: the need to create methods of making passive income. Passive income = money you can make in your sleep.
I met a self-published author once who insisted she “liked the hustle” of carrying her books around and selling them. Which is fine. But, if you’re like me, and do this full-time, you can’t afford to hustle every day.
What if your wife has a health emergency? Or, heaven forbid, you want to take time off? Those two things happened to me in the span of three days. That time is irreplaceable, which is why your time should also work for you.
Call it boilerplate, but, if nothing else, ESPECIALLY if you’re self-published, your book should be available in both paperback AND digital formats. I’ve spent countless hours curating a list of reviewers, and most of them still want paperbacks. It doesn’t make sense not to do both.
Think about it: if your book is only a paperback, you cut off digital sales. Why would you do that? You don’t want to make more money and expose people to your writing across the globe?
Amazon’s KDP Select program opens up the possibility of your writing reaching England, and German, France, Spanish, and Italian-speaking countries. I’m not knocking her hustle, but I’m thinking she’s not doing it over there simultaneously.
Likewise, publishing on Smashwords’ Premium Catalog would put her book in the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, etc. Throw in Pubit.com for the Nook, too. Once she published digitally in all of these places, all she has to do is check back and see how much money she’s made.
Conversely, to an indie publisher or a self-publisher, an exclusively digital book does not make sense in the long run. It means no signings to expose yourself to new readers. If you’re a speaker, it becomes increasingly difficult to convert your audience to a digital sale, versus something they can see.
Digital only also cuts off the ability to be shelved, or carried on consignment, which are two ways to generate passive income. A benefit of paperbacks (most times) is the hustle because it’s instant income. At worst, it takes 30 days for you to get it. Selling your e-book online means you won’t see that money for up to three months. Even if you’re not in the game to make money, you’d like to make some eventually, right?
Nope. She wasn’t feeling me. Hopefully, you are.