1.32 million = The total number of unique visitors to The Smart Passive Income Blog.
1.66 million = The total number of downloads of The SPI Podcast.
1.48 million = The total number of video views on the SPI YouTube Channel.
The blog, the podcast and the YouTube channel are the three conduits that have together powered the SPI brand since 2010 when I made the decision to expand beyond the blog and actively go out and find a bigger audience.
Every week I receive emails and messages from new fans who found me on the podcast or through my videos – proof that expanding beyond the blog was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my brand.
And as I explained in my Blog World Expo presentation about ‘Being Everywhere’ last year, not only do I get more eyes on my brand, but at the same time I become even more of an authority too.
But is there more? Is there another medium or platform, perhaps, where I can be even more everywhere?
“Where else are people consuming content that lie outside of my current reach?”
The answer: books.
Being Everywhere with Books
I’ve already written a book, eBooks the Smart Way, but it’s a free eBook that lives here on blog that doesn’t do a good job of reaching out to new audiences – that’s not why I wrote it.
I’ve been exploring more book writing a lot over the past year and have had long conversations with several different authors, all who agree that publishing a book and distributing it over the right channel(s) can be a great way to expand your audience and potentially earn some money too, but everyone I spoke to had different opinions about publishing traditionally versus self-publishing, and physical books vs. eBooks.
Traditional book publishing is very attractive to me for a number of different reasons:
- Distribution channels would definitely introduce myself and my brand to a whole new set of people, some who probably would have never found me otherwise.
- The ability to leverage pre-existing relationships through the publisher and other players in the industry.
- The high-barrier of entry yields prestige and authority, which can open many new doors – from speaking opportunities to national press and other business opportunities. The truth is, not everyone is going to be able to publish a traditional book.
- I’d actually have a physical book in the bookstores. It has always been a dream of mine to bring my kids to the bookstore and show them where daddy’s book lies on the shelves.
Of course, there are some not-so-attractive things that can come with publishing a traditional book as well, such as:
- Potentially giving up a lot of creative control.
- The length of time it can take to make it happen, starting with actually getting a book proposal accepted by a publisher.
- A smaller share of the profits, since there are other players (literary agent, publisher, etc.) that get paid too.
Self-publishing, on the other hand, is also very attractive to me because:
- More freedom and control over the entire process.
- The process is relatively quick and easy. Relatively.
- The author typically keeps a higher share of the profits.
- Some digital publishing platforms have millions of readers who are searching for new books every day, so a new reader is just a click away.
But, there are some drawbacks to self-publishing too.
- Generally speaking, authoring a self-published book is less prestigious compared to a traditionally published book, since (almost) anyone can self-publish a book these days.
- Because a self-publisher has total control, there are not as many checks and balances from experts who are there to make sure that what is being published is of the highest quality possible.
- At the start, you only have yourself and the relationships that you’ve built to help you market the book.
Traditional or self-publish…hmm…
It’s a debate I’ve been having in my head for the past year, but I’ve finally decided to follow some advice I learned in T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and I think I’ll do both!
Not at the same time, of course, but I would love to experience both, which is something that many authors who I know have done as well. This is assuming, of course, that I can write a book proposal that sparks the interest of a publisher willing to work with me. 😉
I’ve been inspired by the likes of Chris Guillebeau and Jonathan Fields, who have recently published amazing books through traditional means and have touched the lives of so many people as a result.
And at the same time, I’ve also been inspired by people like Jeff Goins, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, Johnny B Truant and several others who have all recently self-published quite successfully too.
Because self-publishing is a lot faster and because the delivery of an eBook can be automated and scalable, I want to first experiment with publishing an eBook on Amazon.com to explore it’s potential to grow a bigger audience and generate a passive income too.
Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform
It seems like everyone is publishing a book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform these days, and for good reason: many are seeing great results.
A number of authors are generating a passive income from their efforts on KDP, several are seeing an increase in traffic and subscribers on their blogs and many of their books are ranking high in Google for competitive keywords related to their topic.
There are other eBook distribution channels such as iBooks and Barnes & Nobles, but apparently there may be some advantages to publishing exclusively on Amazon, which I’ll have to learn more about.
I’m starting from scratch, but my goal is to successfully self-publish an eBook on Amazon, and I want to share the entire process with you as a case study.
I’ll be keeping track of my time, money spent, earnings made, downloads, traffic, rankings – everything, including the tools and resources that I use to help me along the way too.
I have a lot to learn, I don’t really know what to expect and I haven’t even nailed down the topic of my book yet, but that’s what makes it fun!
I’m really excited to dive deep into another case study with you, similar to what I did with the Niche Site Duel.
I’ll be documenting my progress here on the blog every once and a while, however I know there are a lot of you who are interested in this topic who want all of the details, thought processes and steps along the way, and if that’s the case I invite you to join a special Facebook Group I created called Pat’s First Kindle Book (From Start to Finish).
Why the separate group?
It will hold me accountable, of course, but more importantly it will give you a chance to get involved in the process and allow you to interact and ask any questions along the way.
In addition, the group was created because I’m going to keep these updates coming quite often (everytime something interesting and relevant happens during this process), and I don’t want to flood the blog, my email list and even the main Facebook Page with a ton of updates since I’m sure there are some of you who won’t care for all of them.
Again, you can join the Facebook Group by Clicking Here – it’s free to join!
I’m shooting for a published book in 2 months (before our second baby is due!), so I’m going to get started right away.
By the end of this, I hope I can show you how you can follow the same process – learning from the things I did right and also the things I’m probably going to wish I had done better.
We’ll see what happens. 🙂
Thank you for your support and have a fantastic weekend!
p.s. speaking of “Being Everywhere“, I’m going to be on 3 other great online business podcasts in the next month! Check out the 2012 Summer Marketing Mashup (and you can participate too!) – Thanks!