How I Got Started Self-Publishing

How I Got Started Self-Publishing
How I Got Started Self-Publishing

When I tell people what I do to make money, they usually don’t believe me or understand what I mean. “So what is it that you do online?” they ask me.

“I sell books.”

I like to keep it as short and sweet as possible. If they want to know more I have no problem telling them exactly what it is I do. I figure I’ll share the same here. This is the story of how I got started self-publishing.

I got out of the Marine Corps in January 2014 and took 90 days of terminal leave so I continued getting paid until April of 2014, my official end of active service. I had a lot of time to kill, lounging around on a recliner for months getting paid around $3,500 per month to sit on my ass.

While I was staying with my parents before I moved to the town my college’s in, I was looking for ways to money online without getting a “real” job. I stumbled upon a Reddit thread about a self-publishing author making over $5,000 per month writing short fiction stories. Short adult fiction stories. Oh yeah, I was going to join the adult industry.

I figured I could write, so I did. I read that thread at around 10 PM on March 17th and stayed up until 8 AM writing my first short story.

It wasn’t very good. Syntax-wise it was good, but the actual content was like trying to stuff a novel into a three thousand word essay. It had too much character development and not enough, as they say in every Eastern Asian country, boom-boom.

That’s a given, though, it was my first time trying it out. I still decided to publish it with Amazon KDP Select. To date, it’s made around $12. But that’s  $12 that I generated with my fingertips while sitting in a recliner and watching Amazon Prime.

After that, I tried different genres, both nonfiction, and fiction. I wrote a few kid’s books, a few how-to’s, and in my first whole month (April 2014) I made $85.

I started outsourcing most of the work to freelance writers, and slowly worked my way up into the triple digits. All summer long I worked a “regular” job until school started. In September 2014, I quit that job and in October 2014 I hit my first 4 figure month. I haven’t had a “real” job since.

Now I’m doing various experiments and challenges. One thing I’m trying is seeing how much money I can make in 6 months with a budget of only $1,000.

If you want to start your journey creating art people want to read, check out the Onyx Defiant eBook Guide. It’s a no bullshit, quick run through of producing your first eBook.

Not bad for a guy who had ass grades in high school and was too poor to go to college.

Now big dawgs eat.

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Justin Charnell

King of Spades at Onyx Defiant
I spend my time working out when I feel like it, being a gorgeous webmaster, and learning things. Former Marine, total POG (0651). I drink too much. PlayStation 4 on occasion. Gummy multivitamins and gallon jugs of water.
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  1. I’ve been on the fence about trying this. Steve Raiken talked about it too and I loved the idea.

    I think I’m going to start out with a free e-book to just throw together for my website. I have one post that gets a lot of traffic but I don’t think it’s converting into subscribers to add to my list. I figure an e-book is the way to do that.

    • That’s probably one of the best ways, as far as I’ve seen. Take something that’s getting a lot of traffic and expand on it.

      My eBook writing guide is a culmination of the first few posts. As I add new content, I’ll be able to add to that guide.

  2. That’s pretty genius man, outsourcing work to other writes to get paid more.
    Guessing it’s jobs that didn’t appeal to you but you knew that you could work an angle.

    Nice to see a true personal development article.

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