The elevator pitch is that I write a blog (Married Man Sex Life) that teaches how Nice Guy husbands can add a little bit of Bad Boy to moisten the wives panties, without turning him into a Total Douchebag and ruining everything.
Obviously I want to make money from this though, so here's my approach so far....
The blog is the a marketing platform for the book(s), the book(s) = expert, expert = the golden goose of coaching/speaking/whatever. The first two years of this project have been to simply break even, by which I mean earn about as much as I would have earned if I had an extra part-time job instead of blogging. I started MMSL www.marriedmansexlife.com on 1/1/2010, so coming up to the 2 year mark. $15,000 net for the first book so far... might hit $18,000 before it's life cycle ends, so that is a win and meets the first two year mark goal.
I always assumed the books would be stolen to some degree, but I'm also a unique product for the moment as well. No one else writes about application of pick up artist a.k.a "Game"theory for marriage. I purposely priced at a very reasonable $10 kindle/PDF and $20 print which Amazon discounted to $14.39 for ages. (Game stuff is usually that whole $199 value, but wait discounted to $129, and if you buy it right now it's $79 for a 80 page eBook!!!!! bullshit.)
I also purposely tried to intimidate any potential competitors in the marketplace that I was (1) first to publish and was the best and brightest on this topic, (2) going to revise my flagship book annually, (3) plan to do this for the next 30 years. The inspiration for this was the book "What Color Is Your Parachute" which makes up 93% of all job seeking books sold year after year. As yet, no one else has dared to publish anything in my tiny little niche within the larger Marriage/Sex market.
The flagship book is called "The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011", or Primer 2011 for short.The plan is to drop the price for the 2011 edition down to $0.99 Kindle/PDF a few months before the 2012 edition is out. So the 2012 Primer sells at $10 and the 2011 Primer at $0.99 side-by-side on Amazon.Then rinse repeat that process for 2012/2013, 2013/2014.... Thus anyone can steal my 2011 Primer *now*, but it's devalued to $1 in a year and zero value in two years. And yes it does require a meaningful upgrade to the Primer annually to make this work.
Then every year I plan to release a new book that stands alone and doesn't get annual updates. So ten years from now, I have the 2021 Primer, plus a backlist of ten other books. This is where I really start getting concerned about piracy. I can keep ahead of the curve with the Primer updates, but if someone rips off a backlist book, that's going to hurt me.
My primary problem for the moment is time - I still have to work full time. I'm 41, wife, two kids, the whole nine yards. So everything I'm doing with MMSL is evenings and weekends. The books really do have to pay over the short term, or I can't keep doing this.
Also I've had a period back in May where life was crazy - Jennifer (my wife) and I were on Inside Edition, and you would *think* that would have resulted in an epic influx of interest... nope, just an extra 1000 hits to the blog. I. Shit. You. Not. All the mass media stuff has proved worthless to me, the blog > all.
Anyway, all this is in process. The 2012 edition is slated for Feb 1st 2012 release, and I'm squeaking out a second book "before Christmas". So how well my book model works will be roughly known by April 2012. 2012 might be huge, or less than 2011, I won't know until I'm there. Seriously, even another $10,000 means life is vastly easier for me and I can throw some money at book covers and so on.
The big win is that I've had around 500 emails from people saying MMSL saved their marriage from divorce / restarted their sex life / averted marrying the wrong person. So that's an epic win. I need more money for a better computer, better product presentation and not to have to go to work anymore so I can do this full time. Sure there's an element of personal greed, but it's really about getting to do the work I want.
So my basic questions are...
(1) Is this a viable plan for book sales long term?
(2) What can I do to increase sales/profitablity of the individual books?
(3) Obviously I am bridging toward a speaking/coaching aspect of the business, but concrete ideas for doing that are something I'm struggling with. What's the next step?
(4) What don't I know that I should have a question about? Seriously any ideas would be great. I can create content all day, but marketing I'm lost on.