As the author of 9 self-published books, including a few Amazon bestsellers, I think self-publishing is a fun and rewarding side hustle.

The lightbulb moment for me came early on. I’d published my first book (on how to hire and work with virtual assistants), and I expected to sell a few copies through my website, which I tracked with my Amazon affiliate link.

The surprising thing was almost none of the sales came through my site; instead they came organically through Amazon. Even though my first author royalty check was less than $50, I was excited. I’m a professional author! Someone (several people) bought my book!

Since then I’ve published more titles and learned more about the writing, editing, and marketing process. One of my book projects generated 20,000 free downloads in its first week and went on to earn passive royalties for over a year.

More recently, I launched a new book at $0.99 and it became a bestseller on its first day, and netted $2600 in its first month.

If you’d like to learn more about my book launch process, especially for non-fiction authors without a huge platform, check this link for a special offer on my Udemy course that walks you through the whole process start-to-finish.

224: $5k a Month as a Self-Published Author – in Fiction!

Derek Murphy is a world traveler, book cover design extraordinaire, and the author of a dozen different books, mainly in the young adult fantasy genre.

A lot of the content and interviews on the Side Hustle Show has been related to non-fiction books, usually solving a specific problem or containing useful and practical ideas. Fiction is a bit of a different animal, and something Derek covers in detail over on his site at

Here’s Everything I Did To Launch a Bestselling Book (and How Much It’s Made So Far)

Last month I launched my latest book project, Buy Buttons, out into the world. On Day 1, it became an Amazon bestseller and has gone on to collect 75+ 5-star reviews and sell more than 2600 copies.

My process was much more involved this time around than it was two years ago for the launch of Work Smarter. A lot has changed during that time so I was excited to put some new ideas to the test.

In this post, I’ll break down the entire writing and launch process, step-by-step, start to finish.

195: How Book Marketing Really Works: Tips from a 6-Figure Self-Published Author

Last month I compiled a killer round-up post with book launch and marketing tips from 25 authors, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the self-publishing space.

When I sent my weekly newsletter out about it, one subscriber replied and said something to the effect of, “That’s cute, but let me show you how it really works.”

As you might have guessed, that subscriber was this week’s guest, Adam Houge.

191: Reverse-Engineering a Bestselling Book Launch

Tom Morkes has worked on the book launches for a number of previous Side Hustle Show guests, including John Lee Dumas, Dan Norris, Taylor Pearson, and Neil Patel.

What I wanted to do in this conversation was reverse engineer some of the steps that go into producing, launching, and marketing a bestselling book, even you don’t have thousands of fans waiting for it.

And selfishly, I wanted to get some insight on what I could do to make my latest book project, Buy Buttons, hit the top of the charts. Tune in to hear Tom’s top tips from more than a dozen different bestselling launches.

How to Launch a Bestseller: 25 Authors Share Their Top Book Launch Tips

What’s the best way to write a bestselling book? Ask a hundred people and you’ll get 100 different answers.

This post serves a couple purposes. The first is to collect and share some awesome book marketing tips from the authors you’ll find below. After all, the “round-up” post format is a proven winner.

The second purpose is admittedly a little more self-serving. I’ve got a new book launch coming up and wanted to hear from some of the best in the business what I should to give it the best chances for success.

Quora for Bloggers: How to Accelerate Your Authority, Audience Growth, and Traffic

On December 7th, 2015, I started posting answers on every day.

By the beginning of March — less than 3 months later — my answers had been viewed more than 500,000 times. This has more than doubled traffic to my blog, 10x’d my email sign-ups, and resulted in an increase in book sales.

This post explores my tactics for using Quora to re-purpose old content, accelerate your authority, and rapidly build an audience.

153: Zero to $20k a Month in a Year: 5 Ways to Completely Dominate Your Niche, with Jon Haws

We’ve heard of niche sites seeing success with AdSense or Amazon Associates income, or even with selling private advertising, but Jon Haws took a completely different approach.

Since last November, Jon has masterfully experimented with 5 different avenues and built up a huge email list. All told, these different channels — that didn’t even exist a year and a half ago — are earning more than $20,000 a month!

If you’re looking at a niche or authority business and need some new ideas on how to serve your audience, this is a can’t miss episode.

455 New Email Subscribers in 5 Days: My NoiseTrade Review

For authors looking to expand their reach — to grow their “platform,” in marketing-speak — NoiseTrade is worth checking out.

NoiseTrade started as a site to connect musicians with fans. The premise is pretty simple: download our tracks for free in exchange for an email opt-in.

It’s the same tried-and-true list growth tactic that’s been going on on the interwebs for years.

145: Amazon Ranking Secrets for Books and Physical Products from SEO Pro Dave Chesson

We’ve covered Kindle publishing in a variety of ways on The Side Hustle Show in the past, and it’s one of my favorite side hustles.

But one area of frustration, at least for me, is that for all the effort put into writing, editing, publishing, and launching the book, it’s still tough to sustain sales for long periods of time.

My guest this week has a way to keep moving units month after month, and it works for both books AND physical products (for all you FBA sellers out there).