On March 18th, 2011, I completed perhaps the most difficult item on my bucket list. I became a published author. Not an e-book author, not a self-published author, a real life, ISBN carrying published author. The process took me more than two years and involved an unbelievable amount of new learning. So was it worth it? Let me dive a little deeper by answering some common questions.
What was the most unexpected part?
The weirdest and most unexpected part of this whole experience is that I STILL HAVEN’T HELD THE PHYSICAL BOOK. There are literally hundreds of people who have already finished reading it and I still haven’t even touched a hard copy. In case you don’t normally read this blog, I travel a lot. :-) My current living logistics have prevented me from getting a copy. I live in a digital world and this is one of the side effects.
Don’t worry though, I have a plan. (It is almost as weird as the problem it is solving.) I met a girl when I was in California and long story short, she is going to be living with me for a month. (Seriously? Your life is weird…) I will be posting this blog post as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning, going to the airport to pick her up and then I will finally hold my book. In fact, all of that is probably happening right this very second. How about that for a crazy story?
So, are you like rich now?
You know that stereotype about poor starving authors? There is a reason that mental image exists. I am by no means starving but the numbers involved with the deal were not nearly enough to make me rich. In fact, because of the amount of time I spent writing it, I am still operating at a net loss. If you want to make a lot of money, do SEO consulting! Don’t know how? Buy my book!
When I was in Israel, I randomly met a book agent while exploring some caves. (Because where else would you meet a book agent? Borders perhaps? No silly, that place is going bankrupt.) We discussed the terms I had signed and the conclusion was that I got numbers on par with the rest of the industry. Writing your first book is not a good way to make a lot of money. It is much more useful as a tool to demonstrate expertise and spread your message to new markets.
How is the book selling?
Extremely well! Its first day on sale, it was the 122th most popular book on Amazon. The initial Amazon shipments just about sold out in Canada, the US and the UK. (+5 to Amazon and Wiley publishing for successfully scrambling to prevent this) A week and a half after it came out, the publisher started printing the second edition. That means, if you want a first edition, you have to buy it now.
While all of the benchmarks make me happy, the real fulfillment comes from the feedback I have been receiving. Almost all of it has been great and I already have had lots of people telling me that the book has “proved fundamental” for them. My goal with the book was to help level the playing field for SEO consultants. I honestly think I have made major progress in doing that.
Will there be another book?
Perhaps but the subject matter and medium is still up in the air. There is a good chance that you are reading an excerpt from that theoretical book right now.
Do you sit around coffee shops now and play the bongo drums?
Yes. I also wear funny french hats and sit exclusively on cushions. Chairs are so passe!
I may not be as cool as New York Times Best Selling Author, Matt Inman (also a former mozzer) but I do feel very good about this whole experience. I am optimistic that the book and the growing popularity of this blog will allow me to finish my bucket list well before my deadline. (Every single one of my blog KPIs have grown at least 100% week over week for the past three weeks). Combine this with the fact that I have a new job that I love and you get an extremely happy bearded dude. (That’s me.) For me, happiness, not sales numbers or blog subscribers, is the real bottom line.
My goal right now is to pursue my bucket list in a way that actually drives a profit (either for me or for charities). Will I be able to execute this? Time will tell. Either way, I am going to have a lot of fun trying :-)