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Chris A. Baird | April 20, 2022
Here’s what I’d do if I had to START OVER

Are you having a hard time publishing your books successfully? Here’s what I’d do if I had to start over the whole process of self-publishing.

Figure Out What To Write About

It was several years into my self-publishing journey before I realized I had made a huge mistake all of these years. Even though I didn't completely regret the process itself. That's the reason why today we are going to discuss what I'd do if I had to start over. 

It doesn't have to be so hard. It was the year 2015 and I was starting on my very first book. The thing is that I wasn't really a writer. Here's what I'd do if I had to start over.

I hadn't done that much writing. I did it for school and I wrote a lot of emails but I don't know if that really counts. In addition, I had only become a brand-new reader as well. Only a few years before that. 

Before, I had read almost no books my entire life. Just winging it in English classes and things like that, without actually reading. But suddenly, something about reading became very exciting to me. 

I wanted to get my book onto the market. But first, I had to figure out what I should write about. So, I went through some things like my hobbies that I've had throughout the years. 

My day job and a lot of different subjects which I considered would be a possibility. I had never even thought about the idea of putting a book on the market. Except for my brother, he had thrown one on the market. 

Now it was not selling a lot of copies. But the idea that it doesn't take that much work at the same time the Kindle revolution was kicking off and there were a lot of free Kindle books on how to self-publish most of this stuff was complete garbage. 

But I started reading through it and I got the Kindle bug in me. I was excited about the idea that maybe I could throw a book on the market. And it might even sell a copy or two. 

The thing was that if I didn't manage to get this going, what was at stake was that I would never get my ideas out into the world. I had many ideas. I'm a person who enjoys looking at how we make things better. 

How we live, hack, and these sorts of things. I had a whole series of ideas; I have not heard other people express themselves. “I wanted to get these ideas onto the market” maybe you're a little bit like that.

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Whether you have a story that you want to share with the world. Or whether you have a hobby, an interest, or your profession. You have some ideas that would be useful to other people that you'd like to get out into the world. 

And self-publishing is an excellent way of doing that. The problem is that I had quite a bit of doubt because I wasn't really a writer. I mean I had done emails and I had written essays for classes and things like that. 

But my grammar was terrible and I wasn't even a reader until just a few years prior. So, the first obstacle I faced was that I was trying to figure out what I should write about. I decided to do Goal Achievement because I figured this is a subject I know a bit about. 

So, here's what I'd do if I had to start over. I've taken lots of classes, and I have tried a lot of different things. I had several goals and I achieved the goals that I was trying to achieve at the time.

And this was a new goal which was the goal of getting a book on How to Achieve Your Goal on the market using the very same techniques. So, I went all the way through this particular process. I was writing a thousand words a day. 

And then we came to the cover, that was a pain. We came to the formatting and that was a really big difficulty and all of these things. Ultimately, I got the book on the market but then it was sort of crickets. 

It was not selling very many copies so I came up with another clever idea. Let's do a book on Habits. I've seen some other publishers do books on Habits and do quite well. 

So, I put this book on the market and it did better than my first book. Also, I had the experience behind me telling me what exactly readers were expecting. And maybe how to get this book to sell a little bit better.

I was also working with branding at this time. After doing many other books, my Sleep book was my most successful book. Hitting the best sellers list on Amazon for months at a time.

Choose Something You Love

It was unbelievable but you see, the pattern here was that my books were on Sleep, Habits, and Goal Achievement. It was all over the place even though I was trying to put it under this powerless brand. And it was getting some traction even when I ran ads against it and things like that. 

I was able to get them to sell. But then years later, I discovered a huge mistake that I made. I had started reading business books regularly. 

Maybe one to two business books a month on marketing, sales, and production. All of the things that are necessary to understand the ins and outs of your self-publishing business. I wanted to know everything, there wasn't anything that I didn't want to know. 

That was when I made this huge discovery. So, here’s what I’d do if I had to start over. You need to choose one audience; I was choosing audiences all over the place.

But what was I to do? I had already chosen so many audiences. The thing was that I heard a message that was coming through these podcasts and YouTube videos. I was reading books that said you should choose something you love. 

Something for which you can get excited about and go year after year on this very same subject. Something you're not going to get bored with. Not some fad or something short-lived.

But something that you are passionate about. It is very important and that was the first point. The second thing is that when you're choosing to write on something, choose a profitable market, niche, genre, or subgenre. 

In other words, choose something where there are a lot of readers. They want to read these books but guess what? There are just not that many of those books on this topic. 

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This was very powerful. I discovered a whole world of keywords that I had no idea about. I didn't even understand what keywords mean. I just have a title. 

What do you mean by a keyword? And that was when I was introduced to this powerful concept. I would put a book on the market, it would be making a thousand dollars a month by choosing an exact keyword that people were searching on. 

And there were a lot of sales on those books that were coming through Amazon. Then at the same time, we saw not only those sales but very few books in those markets. Making it a profitable keyword or profitable sub-niche on Amazon. 

It’s very powerful and the funny part, just on a side note it's that all of the books that I put onto the market continue to sell. Driving ads against them. Using content marketing just continues to pump just sales after the sale. 

These books continue to work because they were in the right markets. So, if you don't listen to anything else, I'm saying this was the most important lesson for me. It was that you needed to be in the correct market. 

So, here's what I'd do if I had to start over. Then comes the next one, competitor analysis. When we're jumping into a profitable market, we need to see what our competitors are doing. 

The absolute winners are the top players in that market. We're not jumping into a market. Unless we have people who are making a killing in this market within that particular type of book.

Even if you have a book on your mind, we can move it and adjust it. So that it fits within one of these profitable niches. This is not difficult.

So, this is another aspect, you're going to want to do it. But we should not ignore what it is that the best sellers, the top players in our particular sub-niche are doing. 

And we're going to make sure that we're not doing that much differently than them. So based upon the length of their books, based on the covers of their books, and based upon some of the title aspects of their books, we're going to be looking at all of these aspects.

I completely failed to make these huge mistakes. Not only was I not targeting one audience, but I also wasn't even paying attention to my competitors. I didn't even know it was a profitable market. 

Following A Very Powerful Concept

Here's what I'd do if I had to start over. The final thing is its content creation, it's not about one and done. We're not talking about putting one book onto the market and then you're finished with this particular thing. 

No, after you put one book on the market, we start running ads against it and content marketing. Then, we're writing our second book. So, we're continuing to pump out books on this exact market. 

We're targeting the market; we're taking a slant. A position in that market that's slightly different from what everybody else is doing. Then we're going to build our name around it. 

This is a very powerful concept. But remember, if you don't love topics like cryptocurrency, children's books, or something but you're doing it because you think it's profitable, you're never going to last the years it's going to take to build out the brand.

There are so many coaching clients I have who come to me and say “I don't understand, I knew my book was going to sell thousands of copies. But now I look at it and it's not making sales. What is the problem?”. 

My point is you're missing one of these four areas here. Just like I did too, I missed the same thing. And this is one of the reasons why these business books were so helpful in helping me to clarify my message. 

Because if you are confused, you lose like the marketing made simple. People say, “So finally, I had to decide which market I wish to target.” Which one, is it about habit? Is it goal achievement? 

I have gone through a whole series of things. I had worked on using this keyword targeting just to see if it would even work for over 200 books on Amazon. Including my books and books that I paid others to write for me. 

Testing out these theories and going through the cycle. Using the money that's coming in to hire a team that can help me put these books together even faster. So, this combination, this rhythm of getting it to go around, I discovered something miraculous here. 

It was the subject that I was excited about, the profitable niche that I was interested in. The thing that I could write about forever and talk about forever was Self-Publishing. So that's the reason why I'm even doing it today.

It was because I came across this, that I never would have expected in the beginning. I mean, what did I know about self-publishing? But as you start to get the hang of it, it becomes so exciting. 

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I realize now I could go for years on this particular subject. And you personally also probably have a subject. It could be a fiction or a non-fiction subject that's near and dear to you that you also could use years writing about. 

As opposed to hopping from book to book. These business books pointed out that you should just stick with the same market. Give yourself a decade, it goes ten years on this one topic. 

Just putting in time every single day. Investing in yourself, listening to books, podcasts, and books. Like YouTube videos or reading a blog like this or podcast or email. 

Take in input from people who are excited, and who are trying to help you achieve your goals. Since that point, I've never looked back. I have had updates and up days and down days. 

So, what I'd do if I had to start over? I stay in communities, I communicate with many of you on YouTube and other locations to stay motivated. To keep on trying to help others to achieve the same goals that I had.

The thing is do you need help clarifying your message? Do you need to figure out which of these things you're breaking and help to analyze it? So there, I have just mentioned the things that I’d do if I had to start over.

Well, check out my free Discovery Session to help you achieve your goals. So just check it out, it's free. It's very casual, nothing to worry about. We will take a look at your book and the market you're in. 

We can see what concrete steps you can take to move it in the correct direction. If you haven't written a book, we can look at which markets may be profitable for you to target to make sure that your book is as successful as possible.

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