When I read entrepreneur/lifestyle blogs, there is usually a lot written about creating passive incomes through producing online products and content. The running joke is that it’s all overpriced online courses and ebooks, but there is more to it than that. It got me thinking, what have I put out there over the last few years? Not a lot, which given the amount of material I’ve written is kind of crazy.
Let’s summarise it, shall we?
Well, I have three full books completed, three short stories, and twelve month’s worth of writing on this blog. If I want to broaden my focus and include material from my old site, that’s four ebooks, a bunch of templates and spreadsheets and other handy tools, and over four years of proven blog content.
How much of that is online and available? Two of the ebooks are on Amazon and Smashwords, no promotion, just collecting one or two sales every month. And only one of my short stories has actually been published in a magazine.
Okay, all that old content is for a blog (and a social media presence) that’s no longer around, covering topics I no longer write about. But my current work is basically stuck on my laptop, waiting for somebody, somewhere, to want to publish it. I could self-publish those three books right now and start making some money off them.
So, what’s holding me back? Publishers don’t like it, apparently. If your self-published book doesn’t do well on Amazon, who’s to say it will do any better with the publisher? If it does do well, that’s a lot of sales they’ve missed out on profiting from.
If I want to put my books out there now, I have to accept it will almost certainly end any hopes of them being published the traditional way. If I choose to stick with the old school route, then playing the waiting game is just part of the process. Alternatively, I can do what a lot of writers seem to be doing nowadays, and embrace both. Put some of my content online, and save the rest for the bookstores.