Put Pen to Paper on Your New Side-Hustle Today

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on April 6, 2020 in Make Money

“This book has been in the making since the mid-1970s, when I was a 10-year-old traveling through Germany with my mom.”

That’s the first sentence of my new e-book I just published this past week on Amazon’s Kindle service. It’s called Replay: Your Second Chance to Invest in the American Dream. I spent a couple of years traversing four continents—Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America—to chronicle the rise of the non-Western middle class and the opportunities to, well, basically relive the greatest investment period in global consumerism: the emergence of the American consumer between the 1950s and the 1990s.

Now, this dispatch isn’t about those investment opportunities (see the book for that). Instead this is about the book itself, or, more specifically, the electronic version of the book. The e-book.

Though I’ve written eight or nine traditional books in the last 15 years, this is the first time I’ve put any real effort into publishing an e-book…and let me tell you: It is so easy. 

Like, I am honestly surprised at how easy the process was.

Now, granted, you actually have to write a book. So, you know, there’s that.

But the actual process of becoming a published author couldn’t be simpler. 

With all my previous books, I followed the traditional route: find an agent; shape a proposal; wait weeks or months while the proposal shops around; and assuming a publisher greenlights the proposal, wait another nine months to a year while design and production takes shape.

With this new e-book: I answered the routine personal questions, filled in the appropriate payment data, then uploaded the book and the cover (and made a few selections specific to the book, the genre, and the royalty program I want to be part of)…and that was that. Probably took me 45 minutes, and part of that was spent hunting for the image of the book cover, which months ago I stuck in the wrong folder on my laptop.

Later that same night, an email from Kindle Direct Publishing announced, “Your book is available in the Kindle Store!”

In the span of a workday, I’d gone from having this idea about publishing my book online to actually having an e-book published online.

I share all of this because it is, with apologies to Pink Floyd, just another brick in the wall of my ongoing and ever-evolving e-earning strategy. Photo microstock sites, Upwork and Fiverr for freelance writing, independent freelance contacts I’ve made (including a new one at a major U.S. newspaper’s travel section), building my blog and the affiliate marketing/adverting links that will go with that, and now this e-book. I have a few more strategies I’m now exploring, and I’ll be back to you with those when I have something useful to share.

In the meantime, I’m quite serious when I write about replacing the rickety three-legged stool of retirement (Social Security, pension, savings) with a retirement bench—a collection of active and passive income opportunities that can work for me 24/7, from anywhere I want to be. I want you to see these processes in action. I want you understand how easy they are to put in place, and I want you to see someone actually do it.

To be clear, I’m not saying this is easy in terms of “look how much money you can make doing nothing.” There’s definitely work involved. Real income doesn’t happen without real effort. You have to take and edit the photos, or write the blog posts and find the affiliates to market, or teach the online English classes, or write the e-book, or create the online-coaching or dropshipping website—or whatever e-earning opportunity you’re pursuing. 

But once you’ve put in the work, then just a bit of maintenance is all that’s required for what then becomes an ongoing, yet passive and portable income stream that follows you wherever you go.

I don’t know what to expect from this e-book venture. It’s brand spanking new and I’m just now trying to market it through my social medial channels. As soon as my blog is up and running, I’ll be marketing the e-book there as well, and using it as a teaching tool to show what’s possible when you work and earn from home or wherever you want to be.

I’ll be telling you more about how you can follow in my e-book footsteps in the May issue of The Savvy Retiree. One of my former colleagues is now an e-book romance writer who left her previous job on the East Coast, moved to Colorado, and today earns six figures doing what she loves. I’m in the process of writing her story from a how-to perspective, and I hope you’ll tune in for that when the May issue arrives in a few weeks.

For now, I’m just happy to have completed this initial step of listing my first e-book…

Written by Jeff D. Opdyke