Since then, I've posted many more examples of authors enjoying phenomenal success with their online book sales: Amanda Hocking, Liz Schulte, Timothy Ellis, and Sheri Fink. Granted, again, these are all authors of fictional novels and children's books. And, again, these posts inadvertently invited a comment from an "author marketing consultant" that echoed the above person's presumption that it's easier to sell fiction than non-fiction: "...our particular audience is business (in many ways a tougher market than fiction) and business types rarely write more than one book. ... Writing a book and getting it published are the easier parts. Making enough money to live on or even to cover the time invested in the writing of the book, let alone make a significant profit on book sales is extremely difficult."
Well, anyone who knows me well knows that presented a challenge to be met. So, I went in search of non-fiction success stories to prove that it is, indeed, possible for non-fiction authors to enjoy the same success as the authors of fictional novels, and I quickly found one such success story in Steve Scott. (You get what you focus on!)
I won't cut and paste the entire post about Steve's six-figure success here. I'll let you read the article for yourself. But I will point out three commonalities I've seen in all successful authors who are enjoying six-figure (or better) success and best-selling status online:
1. All of these authors are prolific writers. They've all written several books and are releasing them one after the other, strategically, in order to leverage the success of each previous book's release-date traffic. (Which makes me wonder why an "author marketing consultant" wouldn't recommend doing so to one's clientele. ???)
2. All of these authors build meaningful relationships with their readers. These authors stay in regular touch with their growing readership. They maintain regular communication with them by replying to each and every comment they receive from their fans.
3. All of these authors use email marketing and/or blogging to promote the release of new books. For authors, building an organic email marketing list or blog subscriber list is equivalent to building a near-guaranteed readership.
If it can work for one author, it can work for you. If it can work for fiction, it can work for non-fiction. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you get what you focus on. Focus on success.