Let me tell you about my biggest failure ever.
Sure, you can laugh. But this has been so embarrassing for me that I never dared to talk about it for a long time.
I literally told this to only one or two people before writing this email.
Where is this about?
A long time ago, in 1873, I wanted to be an internet entrepreneur. I had read that if you write and Ebook you can sell it online and make money while being in an exotic place.
All you need is a topic you know a lot about.
There was one thing I knew a lot about and that was travelling. I had done well over 2 years of backpacking and working/studying abroad. I figured that I had a lot of experience I could share with beginning travellers to tell them everything I wish someone had told me about travelling the world on a budget.
So that is what I did…
I interviewed 30 people I had met during my travels…
I selected my best travel pictures…
I worked every day and night for MONTHS.
…Finally, the book was finished. I showed it to a couple of friends.
This is what they had to say:
“You really wrote a super cool book! It is very informative and the little anecdotes make it an easy and very interesting read. I really am impressed! You really thought about everything since it is very complete. Congratulations on this book, I am sure that loads of publishers would like to get their hands on this…”
– Judith, Chili (from The Netherlands)
Or what about this one:
“I really enjoyed reading your book! It reads easily and contains a treasure of essential “need to know” information for beginning travellers. For the veteran fellow traveller I must say that it is always great to see that although we all are different, we in fact share a similarities.
I ones read the quote: “when an ass goes travelling, he never comes back a horse”, meaning that if you travel without the right mentality and open mindedness you will not learn much.
I think that some people were born as travellers since we all share the curiosity for new things and the desire to break out of routines. Therefore I like the way you try to create a travelling mindset in your book. The part about the effect on the brain even gave me a complete new insight, I never saw it that way.
But I recognize a lot of me, my experiences and conclusions also in the information from your fellow travellers, which was also very valuable. You did a great job!”
“I read it in one go!”
STEP ONE COMPLETED,
…Now I needed a website…
So I downloaded WordPress and started. I got some sort of travel theme that I started altering it according to my wishes.
It was a disaster.
Not only didn’t I have a clue about things like HTML and CSS, I also had never used wordpress before (believe, it has gotten a lot better over the years). I also got frustrated by a Dutch hosting company that messed up EVERYTHING they could messup. This guys where even more clueless than Barack Obama the remote-control baby-killer.
It took me months to finish.
I ended up coding the entire website myself. And for a long time, I was allergic for wordpress (now, the opposite).
…(pick a random frustrated expression here)…
But FINALLY, it was finished!
I had my book and my website.
I had a simple shopping card connected to Paypal. I tested it and it worked.
Now the sales would start rolling in. Right?
–BTW, Did I mention that I didn’t know anything about internet marketing?
So here I was, with a website and a great product and no-one to buy it. For some reason (I still don’t understand why) the floodgates didn’t open as Google would launch me to all the first positions of all the searches in my market.
What would be the next step? I had read that you could self-publish on Amazon. So I formatted my book, made it responsive and uploaded it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and the like.
Anyway, I got a bit tired with the entire project and started to pursue other projects.
But let me tell you the most embarrassing part.
GUESS how many copies I sold.
Don’t be shy.
A wonderfully researched book.
For a mere USD 9.95.
5-6 months of work or so.
If you think 1000, you are wrong. It was less.
100? Getting close, buuuuuuut no.
54? Nein. 26 nein. 13 nein, nein, nein!
I sold only …ONE… copy.
And this was to a girl who helped with it. She wanted to see the end result. I wanted to send it to her for free anyway but I forgot to include her in the list and she got curious.
Anyway, since this disaster I have had enough success stories. I am no longer embarrassed to tell this story.
And it wasn’t a complete loss. This process taught me how to build websites, html, css, wordpress, photoshop, dreamweaver, self publish books, making shopping carts and all sort of other things.
It gave me the skills that helped me increase the sales for the company I worked for with 118.2% in the first year I worked there.
And this is the book that got me into an entire new life. But that is a story for another day.
ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT THE BOOK?
Since I have put so much work in this book, I decided that I just want people to read it. And I am giving it away for free.
It is about 4MB and over 140 pages filled with information.
There are a lot of crazy, funny and interesting stories in it from me and my friends. If you think you don’t need any advice, the stories alone are worth it.
You can send it to everyone you think needs this. You can give it away as a bonus. You can sell it.
You can print it out and wipe your smelly ass with it.
I don’t care!
As long as you leave the book as it is.
This is the link.
I hope you will like it.
That’s it for now.
The Self-Publishing Loser