Author Topic: My Story as a Seller of Books  (Read 6280 times)

Fawkes85

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My Story as a Seller of Books
« on: January 22, 2017, 07:40:27 pm »
Post 1: The Day Jeremy Clarkson Became My Co-worker

So I am back in South Africa. Been back for 3 months. Thing is, I didnít care much for the job I had on the other side of the world. The money was good and I very much enjoyed living there but the job...well it was slowly killing me. Just woke up one day and it hit me, I am miserable. Went into work, had no passion, clients starting realizing and telling on me. Snitches. Anyway, the boss called me in and told me to improve or theyíd sent me packing. I looked that bastard square in the eyes, and with Patrickís stories of F-You Money ringing in my ear (and my own stories of F-You Just Plain), I told him to go ahead. Fire me. Put me out of misery. Set me free.
Anyway, long story short, here I am. Here I am. And Iím determined to do it right this time round. No distractions. No more f*cking around. But how? How do I get what I want? I have been thinking about it since before I could think and I am yet to find a way. How do I get that which I want it more than I want Taylor Swift? Yes, yes, I know, her music, but, you know, sheís really pretty. So sod off. But, anyway, what is it that I want so much that I would even turn away Jennifer Lawrence if it meant that I could get it? Well, my freedom.
There is nothing I value more in life than knowing my time is mine. I can do with it as I please. Wherever I please. Whenever I please. I get a hard on just thinking about it. But thatís just it. I donít want to think about it anymore. Thinking has never done anyone any good. Thinking has given us atom bombs and Marxism. Too much thinking has given us SJWs. And I donít mean the good kind of SJW. No, I mean the Millennial kind. Thinking is for the birds and I have no more use for it. I donít want to think. I want to have.
It all.
And there is only one way to gain my freedom. Itís not pretty, but I am going to have to go ahead and get rich. I know, I know, it is so crass and vulgar but I donít have a choice. Time is freedom and time costs money. You go to work, you sacrifice your time and get paid in return. You quit, or beg to be fired, and you keep your time but you sacrifice the pay. I am an atheist. I donít believe in making sacrifices. I want to have my cake and eat it.
But how?
Well, I tried the JSE. Itís not a bad place. I could not have found myself in a more welcoming atmosphere. But again, time. The JSE was a bit short on that. It asked me to hand over some patience, the currency of time, and I was almost all spent out. No, thank you, JSE, close but no cigar. So I had to ask myself, if I leave the tower of Babylon, where could I go? Well, I spun in a circle and went in the direction I ended up facing. I headed into the wild west.
This was roughly 6 months ago, in case youíre wondering.
It was a long journey with not much to tell about. But when I finally got there I found these four very rich fellows on the TV box. Well, they were supposed to be on the TV box, but I found them, much to the dismay of the fat cats who run said TV box, on the Internet. But I digress. These four fellows sat on four chairs and brought in smart people with stupid ideas. These people would pitch said ideas in front of these four fellows and the four fellows would decide if they want to invest in the stupid idea. The answer was usually no. Sometimes, however, a stupid person with a smart idea would come in and the four fellows would fight each other to throw their money at the stupid person with the smart idea and buy up 20%, 30%, 40% or sometimes even 50% of the stupid personís company.
I couldnít help but watch and think, How nice that must be? You give someone a lot of money and they do all the hard work of getting the company of ground and then you sell out later for a one thousand gazillion billion percent return. I want to do that. So I started looking at turning myself into an angel. I swooped high and low looking for someone at whom to throw my ex-JSE money. I knew there was a lot of risk involved, it was the wild west after all, but I promised myself that I would invest my last bit of patience wisely and take my time before signing on the dotted line and handing over a six figure ( six, the number of the devil) sum to any old fool. Turned out that I had less patience in the bank than I thought and I soon ran out of it. Now some dude in Cape Town is sitting with a lot of my money. I went in too quick and I came out to slow. Oh well, what are you going to do?
It was a very risky thing I did but I knew that going in. I had to make a choice and bite the bullet. Eleanor Roosevelt apparently once said that you should do one thing a day that scares you. Well, thatís what I did, something scary. Proper scary. So scary that I had to throw my pants away that day. But it is not all doom and gloom. To, kind of, make sure that I get my six figure sum back I had it put into the contract that the dude from Cape Town needs to start paying me back a certain four figure sum for a two figure period of months starting after a one figure period of said months. So as long as the business does not fall flat on its ass in that two figure period of time, I will get my money back.
It has provided me with some passive income while I get myself onto the straight and narrow. It isnít much, but itís enough to cover my rent and put food in my belly with some spare change left over to fill up my car. But it is not enough. It is not it all, and it is all that I want. So while the dude in Cape Town got cracking on with his thing, I needed to get cracking on with my own thing. I needed to increase my passive income.
But how?
Well, I thought I would try my hand at writing. How hard could it be? As hard as Jacob Zuma around Dudu Myeni, thatís how hard. And what made it so hard was again patience. I was all spent out after my life as an angel. I just didnít have the patience to sit there the whole day rewriting and then writing again one little sentence until it was perfect. Money moves fast and I needed to keep up. I cracked out two novels, and I am being very cavalier with that word right now, in the space of six months. One was 60,000 words and the other 90,000, and they were both completely and utterly sh*t.
It was not the sh*ttyniss of my novels that was the biggest problem, though. The biggest problem was getting past the gatekeepers who refer to themselves as literary agents. Without them, you cannot gain entrance into the halls where the vultures known as publishers roam. So what to do? I spent some time conversing with the oracle they call Google and came up with a plan. I would self-publish through Amazon. But publish what? My stories were no good. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks right between the legs. I should make other people write the stories and then I just buy the rights from them.
It was/is a perfect plan. But what would I make them write? It was a problem I only had to think of for the shortest of whiles. Go for the lowest common denominator. Sex sells. Write erotica. So I went on the Internet and posted a position for a freelance writing position. You write me a story and I buy it from you. Now, I am not going to lie, I screwed them over with the price. Iím not proud of it, but itís just how it is. Only the brave survive in the world of entrepreneurship and I was feeling brave enough to save the world. Unfortunately, however, you get what you pay for, and I got even worse sh*t than my own. Of the ten or so submissions I got, only one was half-decent. So I paid the person, made them sign over their time to me, and got down to it. I went through the thing and edited and rewrote it as best I could, marginally improving its quality.
I then started reaching out to graphic designers to hear what they will pay me to design the book cover and very quickly told them all to go make love with themselves. I headed back to the oracle and quickly found a website where you could design your own professional, well professional enough, looking book cover. With that sorted, I uploaded the book to Amazon and signed it up to their Kindle Select program. I am not going to go into too much detail as to what Kindle Select is, save for telling you about a feature it has where you can give your book away for free for five days. Now why on Godís green earth would I give it away for free you might be wondering. The answer is marketing.
I do not have money for marketing. Itís just a trade-off. I give up the income I would make from the sale, but save the money I do not have on marketing. If your book is free, you can also upload it up to some websites which will feature your book and list it in their mailing lists of thousands of people. It was a no-brainer. Or at least letís hope so.
Yesterday was the first day of my free book promotion and I only moved seven books. It is not the greatest of starts but it is better than nothing. And better than nothing is what I am going to leave you with for the time being. Talk soon.

P.S. This thread is not just for me to babble on. I hope you will join the discussion and give me some words of wisdom as I try and build up my publishing empire. I am sure there are more than a few successful entrepreneurs on here who have succeeded in starting up a business or two. I would love your advice and guidance.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 06:41:20 pm by Fawkes85 »

Nivek

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 09:16:45 am »
Nice post, maybe that can be the start of the book. Good luck, building a successful busines is very satisfying. At least with writing you don't have big overheads, so there's very little risk to your finances, you'll only lose your time.

Mr_Dividend

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 10:13:59 am »
Very interesting - also have dabble with the writing idea - have had an idea for a kids series for years. I occasionally re visit the idea - and even attempt to start writing, but have zero follow through. Have said to my wife (a graphic designer) to explore the idea of doing book covers - would fit in well with us while we travel. if you don't mind me asking, what where they asking?

Moneypenny

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 11:17:18 am »
Impressive. 

I like how you "think out of the box" so to speak, and more importantly - act on it.

If I'm not mistaken, you're a millennial - mid-30's or on your way?   At the risk of being too presumptuous - I think I'm getting what you're going through.

Anyways, I'm babbling.  Good luck, I hope it works out for you - keep us updated.



Veni, vidi, vici

Orca

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 11:24:19 am »
I did at one stage look at becoming an angel myself and found a financial company that pools all investment money and spreads it out among many different startups. This way you will not have all your eggs in 1 basket.

Your book idea is great and looks set to work. Most of my life I have been wanting to write a book on "a simple method to never forget math formulas" and a simple method to never forget some geographic principals.
Your story has me motivated to do so.
 
I started here with nothing and still have most of it left.

jaDEB

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 11:30:24 am »
And yes, here comes Mr Negativity  :frustrated:. My daughter studied how to write Short stories, Novel and 1 other course to do with writing. She has written books, and have been in contact with publishers.

Not going to F%$# up your day.

DO IT !!!!

jaDEB

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Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 11:35:38 am »
Thanks @Nivek. Problem is there are still living costs involved while I give this my undivided attention and don't work. But luckily I got that passive income coming in from the investment I made. As long as I live frugally it should cover most of my big expenses.

@Mr_Dividend they wanted to charge me R5000 to design my book cover. R5000! For something that would take them all of 1 hour at most to put together. I ended up putting together a decent enough looking one myself in less than an hour. For free. So yeah, they can just go ahead and do you know what with themselves.

@Moneypenny yeah I am a millennial. Will be 32 in August but we speak about it in hushed tones only.

@Orca do it. If you then publish it through Kindle Direct Publishing you have nothing to lose but your time. Won't cost you a thing otherwise.

@jaDEB by all means share your thoughts. I might be a millennial but I am not prone to take offence just because the world won't play nice. Any truth you can send my way can only help and prepare me

Update: As mentioned, I moved 7 books that first day(Saturday). So yesterday I promised myself that I wouldn't rest until I moved more than 7 books. Well, midnight came and it showed I only managed 6. I ended up going to bed very disappointed but then when I woke up this morning the graph updated and it showed I actually moved 9 books yesterday! Now, of course, they are still just free copies and I am not earning a single cent for them but still, I managed to achieve what I set out to do. I moved more than 7 books. Gave myself a pat on the back and now let's see if today I can do at least 10.

dividendtycoon

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 12:20:12 pm »
Interesting story.  It will be interesting to note your progress with selling books. I write for my blog, but would perhaps like to write a book relating to dividend investing, or something in that line. However, my first love is still the actual investing. Do you think if you had rather placed the angel investment in say listed property yielding 10-12% you would be better off? Can you share more about what put you off the JSE, as it can also become a good way of making passive income ie not very time consuming, if you pick shares with high and growing dividend yields.

In my experience I did not reach financial independence quickly from investing on the JSE, but it did work, and now is pretty secure unless I mess too much with the portfolio. I feel people do not give it enough of a chance and rather seek the get rich methods, which usually do not work. I am not criticizing your angel investment, as one learns these things by trial and error, but would be interested if your decisions were based more on your area of interest or if it was more impatience.

Good luck with the publishing empire though, earning royalties would be a great way to live should you succeed.

PlatinumWealth.co.za

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 06:03:40 pm »
Nice read
www.PlatinumWealth.co.za <- South African Investment and Finance forum.

Fawkes85

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 12:04:49 am »
@Thor187 Thanx

@dividendtycoon You are right. If I were a bit more patient I could have found something better to invest in as an angel investor but my ass was itching and I had to scratch it. It was my mistake but at least I am getting that monthly payment from the guy which will give me a 20% return a year for 2 years. Hell knows what will happen after that. What put me off the JSE was definitely impatience. I was invested in high dividend paying stock but it would have taken me 10-15 years to start making the money I want to make and it was just too long for me. There are just some things I want out of life and I was not going to get them from the JSE. I will go back there one day but only after I have proper money to do it. My long term goal is to actually start a type of holding firm through which I will buy shares in listed companies. If I invest proper money I will get a decent enough dividend return but it was just not going to happen while I was investing the chump change I was investing. For my kind of money, I had no choice but to take on bigger risks and invest in a start-up to have a chance at getting the kind of money I want.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 12:34:12 pm by Fawkes85 »

dividendtycoon

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 08:44:38 am »
@Fawkes85 I understand where you are coming from, it does take money to make money with dividend investing and you do perhaps need to first make a large lump sum in some other way. If I was starting over I would perhaps look at using the JSE to make shorter term trades on undervalued stocks, I made a good lump sum profit from Gooderson recently for example which is about to be delisted. The price a year or so ago was obviously ridiculously low. I would not invest long term or for dividends in such stocks anymore, but a few of these can give you a lump sum fairly quickly, although with some risk.
However, if you are wanting to stay away from the JSE you will need to look for a business that generates a lot of cash. Could you use some of your returned angel investment to buy a fast food franchise, or a cheap property that can be redeveloped, or buy and sell something you have knowledge of. My worry with writing is that you are not guaranteed anything, I would perhaps do it part time while looking for another area to make money, while keeping the books as another stream of income.
Unfortunately I do not have a Kindle as I would be interested to read your book, but perhaps it time to enter the modern age.

Moneypenny

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 09:27:05 am »

My book is still available as a free download on Amazon, and it will remain free until 25 January 2017. If you want to do me a solid go download it, give it a read, and throw me a review.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7U4DAS


Will do. 

Patrick, you could start a book review section perhaps, mostly for investing, trading etc but also "other"?
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Patrick

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 11:01:33 am »

My book is still available as a free download on Amazon, and it will remain free until 25 January 2017. If you want to do me a solid go download it, give it a read, and throw me a review.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7U4DAS


Will do. 

Patrick, you could start a book review section perhaps, mostly for investing, trading etc but also "other"?
I could, but I think Fawkes is hoping for Amazon reviews so it will improve his sales, not really reviews on a third party site.

jaDEB

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 11:41:31 am »
That was a close call, I nearly mailed it to my daughter and ask her to download it for me.... gonna kick u a$$  :LHST:
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 12:41:10 pm by jaDEB »
jaDEB

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Moneypenny

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Re: My Story as a Seller of Books
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2017, 12:15:40 pm »
Whoa.

Totally unexpected, think that is erotica not adult romance. 

For obvious reasons, Iím not going to review story-line, writing style etc, but Iíll say from a business perspective there is potential for international audience, timing is perfect considering current human involvement (especially female) as to what is deemed as acceptable in society and of course we have the second Gray movie due in time for Valentines.  Try to hook into that somehow - perfect timing - awareness is going to increase next few months.  Go with the flow.  Thatís it Ė all I have to say.  Good luck.
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