Publishing 3.0: James Altucher and what we can learn from his self-publishing success

James AltucherI read How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0 and LOVED it. So much so, that I took notes, and am sharing with y’all.

I admire James for letting it all hang out. He does this day after day. It’s what made him a successful blogger, author, and entrepreneur.

Here are my notes in note-form (that is to say, disorganized and unedited)

The distinction today is not between traditional and self-publishing, it’s between professional and unprofessional publishing

Benefits of professional self-publishing (ie, do it yourself, and do it well):
1. More money – you own rights, can do special packages, higher royalty
2. Control over design
3. Faster process – up to a year
4. Control over content (say what you want)
5. Avoid “bad things in life”

Here’s how you do it

1. BUILD A PLATFORM
MUSTS: significant Twitter, Facebook, and blog following

2. HOW TO BUILD IT
“if it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead”
“sincere voices will always rise to the top”

3. WRITE
Write 500-2000 words every day
High quality foreword – Dick Costolo (Twitter) wrote his

4. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
you can do it the easy way – Amazon Createspace
OR, you can put out best possible product, follow “Publishing 3.0”. this is more expensive and requires more effort

Publishing 1.0 – traditional publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster
Publishing 2.0 – self-publishing like Amazon CreateSpace (15mm books published last year, vs 300K 10 years ago…not a typo)
Publishing 3.0“self-publish better, more successfully, better edited, better designed, better marketed, and make more money than if you go any other route”; much of the best publishing talent (editors, designers, marketers) do lots of freelance

5. EDITING
hired 2 copy editors
hired Command Z Editing for content/structure editing. worked with Nils Parker who previously edited Tucker Max, Naval Ravikant, Ryan Holliday; together they did 15 rewrites

6. DESIGN
Erin Tyler Design – found a great cover designer, managed interior design process

7. AUDIOBOOK
a. helps credibility for your print and ebook
b. for his topic (self-help-ish), people love listening while driving to work
Tucker Max recommended John Marshall Media – James improvised quite a bit, made a fresh product
reading highlights writing that isn’t working, rewrote 20% of the book after the experience

8. TITLE
chose a bunch that he liked, ran FB ad campaigns, “Choose Yourself!” was clearly #1 based on click-thrus

9. MARKETING
used Ryan Holliday’s Brasscheck
scheduled 60 podcasts, radio interviews, speaking engagements, guest blog posts
Reddit AMA – 3K comments, 1mm views
Ryan’s co created slideshare preso – 300K views
First ever bitcoin-only pre-release
Video trailer scripted and edited by Simplifilm
“the offer” – if you proved that you bought and read it, James would refund your money

10. FOREIGN RIGHTS
2 Seas Agency – In June, the first month the book was out, Marleen Seegers from 2 Seas sold rights to: Brazil (USD 2500), China (USD 4300), Korea (USD 5000)

11. OTHER MERCHANDISE
I also made a poster that is designed like the cover of the book when you look from afar but when you get close to it you see clearly all 67,000 words of the book

12. THE NUMBERS
Here are my advances on my first mainstream-published five books in order: $5,000, $7500, $30,000, $100,000, and $30,000

In the first week “Choose Yourself!” was out I got onto the WSJ Bestsellers List with about 10,000 copies sold

Altogether in the first month I sold 44,294 copies between my paperback, audio, ebook, and even hardcover versions

at $4.99 per copy, with ~60% royalties (averaged), he cleared 6-figures in the first month, not including foreign rights and special offers. not bad! :)

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.