Self-Publishing Article by Ashley Emma

Have you ever thought of writing an eBook? Writing eBooks is a great way to make some extra income.

More reasons why you should write an eBook:

  • You could use an eBook (or several) as a free incentive for people to sign up for your email list on your website or blog. If you do this, you can also self-publish the eBook and still make money on it that way. You can also give away eBooks to subscribers that aren’t sold anywhere else, which will make it an even bigger incentive for them to sign up since it is exclusive!
  • An email list is invaluable, because unlike Twitter followers or Facebook likes, you actually own your email list, and no one can take it away from you or start charging you for it.
  • An email list allows you to send updates and ask your subscribers what type of product they’d like so you can sell it to them, such as more eBooks or a video series, or even a course. Basically, once you have this group of readers, you can start making money by selling them what they actually want. For more information on building an email list, I recommend the course Rapid List Building by Bryan Harris. He teaches you everything you need to know to build a large list of subscribers.
  • You could write a book in an area that you are already an expert in to publicly establish yourself as an expert in that certain field or genre.
  • I have an eBook called Legit Work at Home Jobs that I give away to people who join my email list on my website, and I write about all the different ways I tried to work at home before I succeeded. I wrote about Proofread Anywhere and how I proofread and edit books from home, and people love this eBook! People seem to always want to make more money, especially from home, and I got so many questions about how I make money from home that I decided to write that eBook.
  • You could write about your own area of expertise.
  • You do not need a college degree to write a book. Honestly, I think some writing skills can’t be taught. You either love writing or you don’t, and your passion will be clear through your work. If you love writing and have a lot of determination, you have all the skills you need!
  • Have you traveled a lot or had other life experiences that other people might want to learn more about? I have sold more copies of Ashley’s Amish Adventures than any of my other books because people are just dying to know what it was like to live with the Amish. Have you done something that people would be curious about that is unique?

Now, on to marketing your book after self-publishing it on Amazon or other book retailers so you make a passive income. There are certain ways to market your book so that it sells enough copies to give you a substantial amount of royalties.

Many people think they can just write a book, self-publish it on Amazon, and the readers will automatically find your book just because it is there. That is not the case. Believe me, I did that for years. I wrote several books and self-published them on Amazon, wondering why I was only making a hundred or so dollars a year. A year! Now I know how to market my books and make a substantial income from them.

There are many, many courses out there that promise to teach you how to sell more copies of your books so you can make more money, and I’ve tried many of them. Some of them are good, but with some, I felt like I just wasn’t learning anything new because they were more focused on the actual writing aspect, and I already knew how to do that. I wanted to know how to sell my book successfully and make money on it.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing is also an option, and that is the route I pursued after self-publishing a few books. But it is an extremely lengthy process and, honestly, there is a slim chance your work will be chosen by a publisher. I did have an agent interested me for a while, but because they are extremely busy people, they may take several months to look at your submission and actually send it to a publisher. The publisher then could take several months to let you know they want your book and take several more months for them to produce it.

And once you are published, you must pay your agent a percentage of your royalties if you have one. Usually publishers will pay you a small percentage of royalties, and then you will have to pay your agent around 15%.

On you get 35% or 70% of the book sales (depending on how much you charge) and you get to keep all of it. On the other hand, you have to pay for all your own marketing, editing, and cover design, so there are pros and cons. In my opinion, self-publishing gives you an ROI (return on investment) pretty quickly when you do it right. I made back all the money I spent on my first book with my first royalty payment.

You can submit to publishers who do not require agents, but many of these are smaller publishing houses that do not always have the funds to promote your book enough to sell nearly as many copies as a larger publishing house that requires authors to have agents. I received a publishing contract offer from a smaller publisher and my agent advised me to turn it down, saying I would spend more money on promoting my book than I would make. I just couldn’t do that. If you want to learn more about publishers who do not require agents, subscribe to the email newsletter for Authors Publish Magazine. They send you lists of publishers you can submit your book to without an agent.

Just make sure you find out how much a small publisher is willing to do in the marketing department for your book before getting excited and hastily signing any contracts. Some small publishers are excellent and you can do well with them, but not all are like this. By being patient, you may make more money with a larger publisher months or years later than you would have with a small publisher. Or you might make more money self-publishing if you are willing to put in the work.

Recently, I have heard several publishing experts say that because traditional publishers do not know how to market books in the rapidly changing industry, they will go out of business in about five to ten years.

I don’t know if that is true or not. Time will tell. I do know that almost everyone I know shops on and it is only growing!

In the meantime, you need to take stock of your current situation. If you would rather make money more quickly and be in complete control of your book, then self-publishing may be the right choice for you.

Just beware that some publishers will not accept books that have already been self-published if you plan on trying traditional publishing down the road. Some publishers want brand new material that has never been published before, unless your self-published book has a very good sales record. On the other hand, I know some self-published authors who have had publishers see how well their self-published book is doing and offer them a contract.


A fantastic resource for authors to post their work and gain feedback is, and there is also an app version. Unpublished authors post their work for other people to read for free. People can comment and vote on your book, giving you invaluable feedback. This site is geared more towards fiction novels, especially romance, sci-fi, and fantasy books.

One of my Amish books was a semi-finalist in a worldwide competition hosted by Harlequin. Just by being on that semi-finalist list, it now has over 26,000 readers who have been reading and commenting on the storyline. Many books that have been on there longer have over a million readers!

Wattpad hosts several competitions a year, and even if you don’t win, contests are an excellent way to practice writing and honing your voice.

Also check out Becoming Writer for their great contests! I recently judged one of their contests.

If you love reading, you will love Wattpad because all the books are free. Warning: You may get addicted!

Vanity Publishing

Vanity Publishers require you to pay them to publish your book for you. Now, I know people who have had decent experiences with their vanity publishers (even though they never sold many copies) and people who have lost a lot of money. Honestly, I’ve never heard of anyone having a great experience with a vanity publisher.

(Just to be clear, Fearless Publishing House is NOT a vanity publisher. All our authors keep 100% of their rights and royalties. We coach our authors through the entire self-publishing process, and we do the work for them, we keep them very involved.)

You have to be extremely careful when selecting a vanity publisher. Some of them don’t give a hoot about your book and are just looking for your money. They will make no effort to market it, so you don’t sell any copies and you lose a few thousand dollars. However, some may care whether or not your book does well.


Now that you know more about all the options regarding publishing your book, you can make a more informed decision. Do you want to wait months for an agent’s or traditional publisher’s reply, or do you want to self-publish on your own terms, which enables you to write and publish books more quickly, while doing it exactly the way you want?

If you want to skip all the guesswork, save a ton of time and money, quickly self-publish your book, and start making money sooner, I highly recommend hiring a coach or taking a course on self-publishing. There are many great courses out there, but having a coach to guide you who has “been there and done that” and can answer all your questions will expedite your journey to success.

To book a free strategy session with me, go to or and I’d be happy to answer your questions.


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