When faced with the expense and learning curve of becoming a self publisher, some authors think they might be better off going with a subsidy publisher. If you really only produce a single book, that might be a reasonable plan. However, if you invest in yourself and publish your own first book, you'll find that publishing additional books is easier, less intimidating, less expensive, and earns you more income than if you use a subsidy publisher. Think you won't write more than one book? I'll bet you will.
You probably have very specific ideas for what you will put in your first book. Say you are a business owner or consultant and you want to establish your credibility as an expert in your industry, so you decide to write a book. The book you are thinking about is one that shows your prospects that you are the right person to help them solve their problems.
However, once you have established yourself as an expert by writing your first book, inevitably your audience will come to you with questions and problems you never anticipated. Your first book not only brings in new consulting prospects, but it gives you an opportunity to expand your passive income potential. You can produce additional books and information products that answer your customer's most pressing questions. The truth is that your first book is unlikely to be your last.
Here are a few reasons why writing more than one book can make good business sense.
1. You can serve niche markets. As I pointed out, readers of your first book may have specific problems that relate to your area of expertise. They often need additional information from you on how to apply your knowledge to their situation. If you encounter enough of these people, it may be worth producing a new book tailored to their particular needs.
For example, after we published our Vegan Success cookbook, one interesting suggestion we received was to produce a vegan cookbook specifically for hospitals. Vegan hospital patients frequently have a difficult time getting food they can eat, even though the hospital kitchen staff tries hard to accommodate them. A cookbook that helps hospitals serve these patients could be a lucrative niche.
2. You can write a sequel. Once you are recognized as an expert, it is easier to sell a book that addresses related subjects. You can recycle your research and leverage the marketing system you put in place to promote your first book.
For example, after we released our book Happy Hound, we promoted it to the pet industry and humane groups. Later, when we released our other adopted pet-related book Happy Tabby, we were able to reuse the contacts we made and the sales and marketing systems we already had in place. Obviously, cats aren't the same as dogs, but many places you find "dog stuff" you find "cat stuff" as well.
3. You can expand into more specific areas. Your first book is likely to be somewhat general. But once you learn what parts of your first book resonated the most with your readers, you can produce additional books that provide specific how-to guidance on those subjects.
For example, Dan Eskelson of Clearwater Landscapes wrote his first e-book The Owner-Built Landscape: How to Design for Success to help readers learn the conceptual knowledge they need to create their own ideal landscape. Dan later followed up with another e-book The Owner-Built Landscape: Installation Techniques that gives readers specific how-to information on installing their own landscape features.
If, like many non-fiction self publishers, you are writing a book to enhance your credibility, reach out to a larger audience, and earn passive income, your first book is only a starting point. Additional books will further those goals, and at the same time, they'll be much easier to produce.
Self publishing success can also be somewhat addicting. It won't be long before you start thinking about that second and third book. We've published 8 so far, so we know how you feel!
Thinking of Publishing Your Own Books?
Try out IdeaWeaver! This innovative PC software is the primary reason, we were able to produce 8 books in less than 18 months. The software helps with idea generation and outlining, so you can see where the gaps are in your project. When you download the free 30-day software trial copy of IdeaWeaver, you also get a free report called "Get Unstuck! 15 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity, Get Organized, and Finish Your Writing Project." Every other day for a month, you receive a tip to help you with your writing (and IdeaWeaver). At the end of the e-course, you also receive a printable PDF that you can print out and keep for reference.. Read more and download a 30-day trial copy at IdeaWeaverSoftware.com