on-becoming-and-accidental-publisher

iPublish Books is one of those businesses that was conceived accidentally.  My bread and butter is earned in the digital media marketing space working with small, mid-size business owners and solo professionals.

A few years ago I was at a local Meetup.  Our guest speaker was a young entrepreneur.  Not yet 30, he was raking in big bucks in the business of publishing ebooks and was fast approaching the magical 7 figure income.

I should mention at this point that not all his income came in from royalties on the books he published, although at $10K+ per month it wasn’t exactly chump change either.

His publishing business was the catalyst for several other business models that shared the same touch points he wrote about.  He expanded his reach and spun off businesses in both vertical and horizontal markets.

He had my attention.

I was galvanized by the notion that within a relatively short period of time he had managed to create a six-figure residual income from his books alone.

“Why not?”

Said the little voice in my deep seated conscience as I pulled out my plastic and bought his course.

Using a nom de plume I quickly polished off six short nonfictions and published them on Amazon.  Three of those books in particular did rather well.  I also published a few books for another author in a different genre.

I learned a lot.  It was easy.  It was simple.  It was fun.

Royalties appeared like magic in my back account at the end of every month.

As often happens things changed in the digital publishing world, notably so in the publishing and distribution platform where I sold my books.

My royalties dropped.

The honeymoon was over.

Writing was very much a part time effort for me. I had a business to run so turned my attention back to that which was filling my fridge and cupboards with groceries and providing me with warmth in my home and clothes on my back.

Several years have flown by since I decided to shelve my short lived writing career.  Yet month after month, regular as clockwork, royalties, albeit significantly reduced from their heyday, are automatically deposited into my bank.

Residual income!  That is the most desirable of all types of incomes.  It’s so powerful.

One evening as I logged into my bank account, there it was again.  Four deposits from four countries where my books had sold.

My entrepreneurial-self kicked in. The penny dropped.  Literally. And I asked myself:

What if I actually worked at this?

What if I made it a business?

What if I shared my experiences with others who may be on the same journey?

What if I actually marketed my books?

What if actually published more books … my own and those of others?

Back I went to see what was happening in the publishing world.  Reconnected with some of my colleagues and reached out to others in publishing.  Looked at different models and platforms, distribution channels, and more.

Dang!  I had only scratched the surface of publishing!

Writing still coursed in my veins. The more I thought about it, the more I experienced a churn in my stomach that took me to that moment when, at a reunion, a classmate recounted how for a long time she would look for my name in magazines as a contributing journalist or, that at the very least I should have written a book or two by now.  “What happened”  she asked.

What happened indeed!   I wrote about that moment in my blog My Story Writing Come Back to Me

A gauntlet had been thrown my way again.

I picked it up.

As of this writing, I have helped one of my students write and create a book which will soon be self-published. I have the privilege of co-authoring a book, soon to be self-published as well; and most importantly I will be dusting off those old books, updating them and applying new strategic marketing practices that I’ll be sharing with you here.

It is true.  No blood flows through my veins, only ink.

Valentina Bellicova
DigiTerata – Digital Entrepreneur
iRead. iWrite. iPublish