Thursday, November 15, 2012

Learning from Mistakes

Jaana over at Passive Income Stream Creator has hinted that I should write a post about the mistakes I've made over the past few months and what I've learned from them. I thought that was a fantastic idea, so here we are!

A little bit of backstory: The first five ebooks I wrote did very well and continue to make me money five months after their release. Instead of leaving 'well enough' alone and moving on to the next project, I instead decided to build a website to generate more sales of my ebooks, which ended up being a waste of time because i didn't do the math beforehand. Oh well, lesson learned.

After that, I juggled through several ideas and ended up releasing two more ebooks - not a lot. In between those two releases were a few more ebooks that I started, but decided not to finish after realizing that they weren't going to make me any money. The two that I did release didn't really make me any money anyway.

To date, one has sold 0 copies after being live for over a month. A lot of effort and research went into that book, and I was really disappointed. I learned a lot writing that book, though. It was a lot longer than any of my other books and required much more intense and detailed research. It was a large undertaking and I stalled on it quite a bit, but finishing it proved to me that I am capable of undertaking larger scale projects - very important for my new niche of focus.

The other book I wrote during this time sells 2-5 copies a month, which I won't turn down since it cost me absolutely zero dollars to produce and costs zero more to keep on sale. I won't turn down an extra ten bucks a month, but if I keep writing books that only sell that amount, it's going to be a long road to creating a livable passive income. That's out of the question when there are so many better options.

I hit on something right with my first books when I discovered a topic that was:

  1. Popular
  2. Selling Well
  3. Not saturated/had a gap in niche coverage
But for some reason, with my next few books I decided that I would only focus on number 3, and ended up writing books for which there was no market. Silly me!

I'm willing to write whatever sells, so I've finally gotten back on track by jumping into a flaming hot niche that meets all three criteria. I just released my first book in this new niche and it has already moved nine copies in less than 24 hours (having gone live on only two sites and with no promotion) - a good sign that I've hit all three criteria. Here's hoping. Now, to get back to the business of writing...


  1. Hi Cindy I learned about your blog via Janaa's recent post. Thanks for sharing your posts so far, I have subscribed and will be following along.

    I'm also reading Steve Pavlina's series. I have gone for more of a Website / SEO approach but am curious to learn what I can about the ebooks side of things too (I also considered but didn't buy the Vic Johnson course). Well, good luck!

    Oh my periodic updates are at

    1. Hello Pierre!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog and subscribing. I checked out your site and noticed that you're the guy behind the NYC Subway updates! That's awesome - as a resident of the city and active Twitter user, I find those feeds very useful. I look forward to keeping up with your passive income progress as well.

      I'll definitely be writing more ebook posts in the future (I'm even thinking of doing some basic 'how to get your book live on Amazon' type posts). I'm hoping to do the inverse w/r/t ebooks and websites. Once I have a nice ebook income, I'm going to experiment with site building, SEO, and affiliate-marketed info products. As Jaana once said, so many ideas, only 24 hours in the day!


    2. Hi Cindy that's awesome that you use the subway Twitter feeds. Good luck in the new year with your business and planned relocation.

      I'd love to swap knowledge at some point. I could tell you how the sitebuilding / SEO process works, and maybe you could explain a bit about your ebook process. We could do a Skype chat or something? If you're interested, drop me a line, I have contact info on my Website.

      May 2013 be a great year!