[TSE 42] The Art of Self Publishing and How to Become an Amazon Best Selling Author in Less than 8 Weeks

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Podcast / 22 comments
Woman behind book

Did you know that while 90% of us want to write a book, the truth is that only a small percentage of us ever will.

Fortunately, that’s changing right before our very eyes. You see, it’s now easier than ever to write and publish your own book.

In this podcast episode, I decided to get personal with you, to show you why you no longer have to be beholden to the traditional publishing route to ensure your message gets shared with the world (or even just your friends and family).

I’ve also brought in a special guest, Pam Brossman, to show you how to become an Amazon best selling author in less than 8 weeks.

The New Breed of Amazon Best Selling Authors

There’s literally nothing stopping you from writing a best selling book, making more money and achieving more notoriety and success with self publishing and digital books, than those published authors who hit the NY Times Best Seller list.

I’ve done a LOT of research over the last 6-12 months on what it takes to write a book that will impact people’s lives and be one that’s talked about for many years to come.

I’ve had several discussions with friends who’ve published their own books and those who received book contracts from major publishing houses (thanks Jenny Blake, Kent Healy, Seth Godin, David Siteman Garland, Chris Guillebeau, Marianne Cantwell and Jaime Tardy).

As Seth Godin states:

“Traditional publishing: “Be famous, build a platform, organize a tribe, then we’ll publish your non-fiction book.”

Self publishing, particularly long-tail digital self-publishing: “Write a book, codify a manifesto, put it into the world and use it attract, organize and build a platform.

When the cost of showing up goes down (so the real cost is intellectual, not cash) it’s easier than ever to use a book to make an impact.”

I’ve looked and dissected all the pros and cons, and my personal decision is that you can indeed publish a world-class book yourself, without the help of a traditional publishing path that is archaic and endangered.

What You’ll Learn in this Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast Episode

  • How traditional publishing works, including typical advances like why a major publisher approached me and then turned down my book proposal
  • The benefits of self publishing and the tools you need to do it, with big ups to Guy Kawasaki and APE
  • How Sean Platt (considered THE expert on Amazon publishing) switched from selling higher priced digital eBooks to publishing on Amazon for less and making more money
  • How Danny Iny self-published his book with 30 amazing contributors in just 6 months, gave it away for free and gained 25,000 new email subscribers while still selling 5,000 copies
  • How Pam Brossman shifted from social media maven to video guru to digital publishing goddess
  • The top 3 advantages to self publishing and why digital publishing is the hottest trend for increasing your credibility and star power
  • How Pam got 22,000 downloads in 3 days for her 2 books on Amazon
  • Pam’s top tips to get your book written in 4 weeks or less
  • How I got featured in three books that all took completely different types of publishing methods.
  • Why I’m self publishing my book and running a Kickstarter campaign (yes, please do support) to cover the costs, but also gain a platform and buzz in advance

Click on the play button at the top or download this in iTunes or Stitcher Radio (and don’t forget to leave a review!).

Even better, click here to pick up my completely free book on `How to Start a Podcast that Matters’ by leaving a short review on my podcast.

Share this on social media in one click

Twitter Logo@pambrossman shows you How to Become an Amazon Best Selling Author in Less than 8 Weeks via @suitcasepreneur https://bit.ly/1haY5z3

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Tools to Use for Self Publishing:

  • Createspace provides free tools to help you self-publish and distribute your books, DVDs, CDs, video downloads and MP3s on-demand on Amazon.com
  • HostBaby for Authors offers writers everything you’ll need to share, sell, and promote your books online.
  • BookBaby – turns your electronic files into a finished eBook available for sale at the world’s largest retail sites.

Connect with Pam and Natalie



PS. My Kickstarter was 121% published! Watch this video series on how I did it and how you can do it, too.

Watch: Five Steps to Run a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

  • Loved this week’s podcast! Pam’s tips were incredibly insightful, but I still struggle with the idea of using KDP Select to get my book into the Lending Library. I really hate the thought of making it exclusive to Amazon for three months.

    • Fair point but with a publisher you have to often go exclusive for way longer you know.

  • one of your best episodes yet and there have been some great ones. I would love to hear some more like this and more on your journey and experiences.

    • Wow thanks Robert, so kind of you to say. I was pretty proud of it, most research I’ve ever put into a podcast that’s for sure.

  • A friend of mine forwarded this link to me because I’m currently working on a book that I’m not sure what I plan to do with. It’s a fiction story however, so it seems not quite what you are talking about, but the self publishing concept is obviously still the same. She’s mentioned self publishing before and I always dismissed it, but after listening to your podcast, I’ve got a lot to think about. Thank you for such an informative cast!

    • Hey Jennifer. So glad they did forward it. I think what’s discussed here applies to fiction and non fiction. You know Johnny B Truant is a great resource for self publishing fiction too so check him out and can’t wait to see your book published!

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    Awesome episode, Natalie! Thank you for putting so much into it! I liked the structure that Pam mentioned (7 and 4).
    And a brilliant idea on how to interview folks when your internet connection sucks! I can totally relate to it))
    Best of luck with you BOOK! I’m waiting for it!

    • Thanks Galina, so glad you enjoyed it. I need to go back and listen to Pam’s tips too. I am so excited about the book myself. It’s coming along really well

  • Heather

    I also really enjoyed this podcast!! I run a site about bread baking so I had thought, the only thing I could do is a cookbook, which I don’t really want to do. From this I am seeing the light. One idea I had was a book titled something along the lines of “A year of homemade bread” which would feature one recipe every week and a narrative along with it. Half cookbook half real life story. Does anyone know, can you incorporate video into you books? My main form of content is my webshow… but I could also just have an exclusive website with the videos just for book owners.

    • Great idea Heather. You can incorporate video pretty easily into digital books these days, and for published print books you can provide a customized URL to the video in question or host them on your site for the book in the resource section.

      • Heather

        Thanks for the info Natalie! Now I just need to research my topic- healthy, whole grain breads/bakedgoods. I was thinking I could split the book into quarters and then just publish one and see if it does well as a test. I can get something out there much sooner with 12 recipes over 52…

        • You know releasing a chapter at a time is actually a pretty damn cool idea so it also makes it manageable. Go for it

  • Alec Watson

    Natalie, just recently discovered your blog and podcast. Great interview with Kent Healy and just an awesome episode on self-publishing. I’ll definitely be back for more! Thanks for the great content and good luck with the book.

    • Why thanks Alec. Welcome welcome welcome and so glad you are enjoying the podcasts. I really do want people to learn as much as they can and apply it for more success.

  • Wow! I loved this podcast. Thanks so much for providing it. I love the idea of taking existing content in making it into a book. Cheers, Natalie!

    • Seems like such a no brainer doesn’t it Emma. So glad you found it useful

  • I really enjoyed this podcast! My friend and her mum have been encouraging me to write a book – so the timing is PERFECT! (one is my “Agent” and the other my “Editor”) I particularly love how clearly you speak Natalie, it makes it very easy to listen to. Also how all speakers, clips etc are the same volume. Exceptionally professional (expected nothing less) but it is the little things that make it that much more enjoyable. I have been receiving your newsletters for months and only just started paying attention, so it’s obviously meant to be!

    • Wow thank you Jayne, loveliest thing I’ve read all day. And appreciate you can understand my Kiwi accent clearly 😉 Your two friends are pretty handy people to have in your corner, use them wisely.

      • It might be that I’m a kiwi? Do you know Lisa from KiwiOz nannies? I have been trying to figure out who put me onto your newsletter… i think it might have been her.

        • Ah perhaps that’s the key. I do know of her and know she’s in my community for sure. Go the Kiwi Ozzies!

  • felineswholunch

    Hi natalie, Ive clicked the stitcher link but ive been taken to your latest podcast on content. Im also not able to see the play button at the top of your post. Ive tried looking for it on the itunes list but there is no TSE 42 it only goes up to TSE 48, so Im quite confused. If you could let me know if ive totally missed something Id appreciate it.

  • felineswholunch

    Hi natalie, Ive clicked the stitcher link but ive been taken to your latest podcast on content. Im also not able to see the play button at the top of your post. Ive tried looking for it on the itunes list but there is no TSE 42 it only goes up to TSE 48, so Im quite confused. If you could let me know if ive totally missed something Id appreciate it.

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