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A good way to try and make a passive-ish income is to write ebooks. That's what I'm doing. If you've got a blog, use what you've written and turn it into a book, or many books. If you've written anything interesting, turn that into a book or books. Anyone can publish an ebook on amazon. Publishing is easy, but you also have to do marketing, which is a pain in the ass at times. But there are ways to outsource that. For example www.fiverr.com
And even if you don't want to do any marketing, if your book is quite good it will probably (hopefully) start to sell over time. And you can just leave it on amazon forever. And in future if you want to learn about marketing you can always go back to it and market the books that you've wrtitten. there's nothing to lose, really.
By the way, buy my book. It's called The Smart Man's Dating Checklist - What to Look for when Seeking a Good Woman. Check it out on amazon.
I love this forum. You can promote whatever you want and no one says a thing.
Have you had good success with ebook sales?
What about the idea of writing some short fiction ebooks?
Well, a few days ago I did a 1 day free promotion. I got 71 downloads. A couple of days after that (2 or 3 days ago) I got my first sale. It was a nice feeling. I've also had 3 reviews. I published it on May 5th, so it's still early days, and I'm still learning about marketing, which I hate.
I don't know about fiction. I used to be pretty good at writing stories when I was at school, but it's been a long time and I'm not really feeling it. I prefer non fiction.
Based on everything I've read, I think $2.99 is a good price for all books. Maybe a bit more expensive if it's quite long, maybe a bit less if it's a short one. But Bear in mind this :
$0.99 - $2.98 = 35% for you, and 65% for amazon
$2.99 - $9.99 = 70% for you, and 30% for amazon
$10.00 upwards = 35% for you, and 65% for amazon
But today I changed mine to $0.99 just to see if I get some sales. If I don't, I'll probably change it back to $2.99.
Lengthwise, I'd say that 10,000 to 15,000 words is reasonable.
Can you use an alias as your author name?
Yes. You can have up to 3 pen names. None of them has to be your real name. They're all linked to your account, and amazon knows who you are but no one else has to know. My book is under the name Johnny Montoya, but that's not my name.
I highly recommend inheriting money. Great line of work if you can get it. I know a few people living entirely off their dead fathers and enjoying the heck out of it.
But for the rest of us, there are no real shortcuts.
Personally, what I've been doing (it's a work in progress) is work the corporate grind for the last 15 years, making a decent salary but living below my means. This has allowed me to buy properties and rent them out (I live in a good rental market and landlord rights are solid here; not a given in many states). I've also bought and sold stocks for years, managing to earn a pretty respectable return on investment of about 10-15% yearly (ie: if I have $50k invested in stocks in a given year, I'd typically average about $5-7.5k profit for that year). Between rental properties and stocks I've averaged probably around 20% overall return on investment yearly. This means I had to save a lot of money in order to make that money work for me.
I've currently got about $20k yearly "passive" income (after expenses, taxes, etc), and I'm trying to get that # a little higher before I embark on my overseas adventure. I say "passive" because there's still a lot of interaction required on my end, even with a property management company handling my rentals. Buying and selling stocks requires a lot of constant monitoring, planning, research... but I enjoy it so it doesn't feel too much like work. I still manage all this alongside a full-time day job, so you can imagine how easy life would be if all I had to do was manage my passive income and not go to work every day.
Anyway, be realistic and understand that unless someone dies and leaves you a small fortune, you're probably going to have to do this the hard way. If you're starting from zero it will take you years to build up enough passive income to live on comfortably.
OK, please let me know how it goes with the 99cent ebook deal. My plan is basically to write a short ebook and charge 99cents for it, and publish it under a pen name.
Do you know if you're allowed to use swear words in the title if you want to list on Amazon?
I don't know for sure. But I've never seen it. But I've seen some titles with "f@!#&%ing" and things like that, so I'm guessing that it's not allowed. You might want to look into it.
The thing you have to consider about passive income online, is that you need something that is going to be stable in 5, 10, 20 years from now. Otherwise, it will never be passive. Writing a good book and getting lucky and having a bestseller could work.
Personally, I would avoid anything related to technology. That field is just constantly changing too much. Even if you build websites or do SEO or marketing or whatever. Some cheaper 3rd world countries will be able to do it better and cheaper. It's a race towards the bottom frankly. Just look at the website fivver and see what people are willing to do for peanuts. The technology constantly improves and renders itself obsolete. You start increasing your google rankings one day by paying for backlinks, and the next day you find out that you're blacklisted from google due to a recent change in policy. How can you predict and rely on anything in that field?
Well I don't know anything about that, but I've watched enough youtube videos and I've read enough books and articles to get a feel for what can happen if you write a few ebooks.
If you write not one, not two, but a few books (and they don't even have to be that long), and make them good, and get a good cover, a good title, and a good book description, there's no reason why you can't make a reasonable income. Obviously you would need to do a bit of marketing, but some of that if not all of it can be outsourced, and that's the good thing about fiverr. Remember, some of the people on there are from countries (such as the Philippines) where your $5 means quite a bit more to them than it does to you.
Don't expect to get rich off one book. The key is to write a series or a variety of books on the same or similar / related topics, and do that for each pen name. What will then happen, if what I've heard is correct, is that each book will help the others sell, especially if you tell readers to check out your other books (which you can do at the back of every book).
There are lots of little things that can be done to increase sales, which if done together, can work in your favour. And anyway, you have nothing to lose. You write a book, you leave it there forever, and see what happens. And if you learn some marketing techniques, you can spend some time on that too and see if you can get your books noticed more. Amazon does the rest. The way it works is that Amazon helps those that are already doing quite well, which means that you have to do a bit of work yourself. But if you can crack that, amazon can help you along.
If you're worried about a book becoming a bit irrelevant or obsolete, there's no need. You can unpublish books, you can make changes, you can change the price, you can change what category it appears in, you can contact amazon and tell them to put you in another category, you can reinvent a book with a new title and cover, you can create bundles of books (as one single product). You can even get negative reviews removed if they are unfair or moronic. There's a lot of flexibility. And it doesn't have to cost much, and you can take your time with it.
Think of it like blogging, but with more to be gained from less writing. Plus you have amazon helping you along, as long as you help yourself too.
Let me give you an example of what can happen. A few days ago I had a 1 day free promo of my book. I got 71 downloads. That's not much, but if I had left it for a few days longer, each day would have resulted in more and more downloads per day, because they have a ranking system for free as well as paid books. I made it to #1 in one category, and #13 in another (that's in the free charts, not paid). Imagine if I was doing a good job of getting actual sales. What would happen is that my ranking would go up, and then more and more people would buy it, and amazon would put my book in front of more people. But to get there you have to work at it for a while. Obviously I'm no expert, but I'm just telling you what I know.
Something that hasn't really been touched on that much is working for an overseas American Company or International NGO. Though difficult and not instant for those without degrees and significant experience but still possible. The U.S offers opportunities with the Embassies, NGOs like World Bank and U.N., or non-profits like World Vision, WWF, as well as international corporations like IBM and Apple. If you are a younger guy with a degree like myself why not grind it out for a few years at an average but relevant job and a part time gig. Making 35k a year you could easily save 10-15k a year and a part time job saving 3-6k a year. In 4-6 years time you could save 40-80k. Take that income go to grad school and/or travel to the country of your choice and volunteer or intern with a company of your choosing. Make connections and gain experience. By the time you are 30 or early 30's you could be living overseas with a nice steady income and good benefits. By the time you are late 40's or 50's you could probably retire with a nice pension.
ADB starts junior analysts (32 and below) out at 70K USD a year living in Manila with housing assistance, 2 free plane tickets home a year, good pension and health care, and a few other great benefits. Of course your resume needs to stand out but its not impossible with hard work and dedication and there are other companies doing this to. I've heard of companies like IMB sending employees over to Manila for stints of 6months to even years and putting them up in apartment complexes and nice hotels like The Pennisula and Shangri La.
Of course it takes education, hard work, and maybe a little bit of luck but definitely possible. Probably a little easier and more secure than gambling with the real estate market. At least you will have an education and work experience to fall back on if it doesn't go that well. I know several people who have done similar things. For those older this might not help but for younger guys in teens to mid 20's its definitely possible.