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Selling My Book at Amazon.com

February 21st, 2013
in Op Ed

by Frank Li

On November 30, 2012, I published my first ebook: Saving America, Chinese Style at Amazon.com, priced at $9.95.

Here is the sales data so far:

Follow up:

What happened on 2/10/2013? I set it free for just one day!

Like many new things in life, book publishing and selling has been a great learning experience for me. Here is what I learned over the past few months:

  1. Ebook technology represents the future of book publishing, selling, and reading.

  2. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  3. Is it possible to make money via book publishing and selling?

Let me elaborate these three issues one by one.

1. Ebook technology represents the future

We live in a digital age, with [almost] everything available on-line. This is good for most of us. Two examples:

  1. I could not have written the book without the vast amount of information available on-line. Nor could I have published it without an on-line store like Amazon.com.

  2. Ebook technology is a great technology. It will make life better for most of us, or it will not survive!

2. The more things change, the more they remain the same

Three points:

  1. Yes, writing and publishing has become much easier, but selling remains as hard as before. To be a best-selling author, you must write an excellent book first and have good fortune in selling! For example, there are now paid "reviewers" who will give any book high ratings for a price.

  2. Money talks. In this day and age, many people expect many things to be free, totally! History is littered with "starving artists" and "starving authors". It has become even worse in the digital age. Still wondering why and how so many newspapers are out of business? Wonder not - People do not want to pay for them anymore, when the same news is available on-line, free of charge!

  3. People will still pay for things that they find of value! For example, can you spell Harry Potter?

3. Is it possible to make money via book publishing and selling?

Yes, but it's very hard!

Nevertheless, as a businessman, I am certain that there are people making money in good times as well as in bad times. You just have to be ahead, or outside, of the pack, which in this case, simply means to write an exceptionally good book, and to market it with creativity!

Speaking of marketing with creativity, I am also certain that I will not offer my book free of charge again. Why not? Because it will not provide any benefit in the long run, just as the government "stimulating" the economy by printing money - It provides a short-term relief at the expense of huge harm in the long-run, in addition to being addictive!


4. Why am I writing and selling a book?

Two main reasons:

  1. As a concrete way to thank America, my adopted country.

  2. As a new challenge in life!

If I can't meet the challenge of selling a book entitled "Saving America, Chinese Style", how can I possibly address "saving America, any style"?

Oh, in case you are unaware, I do not write for a living ("Amen")! I am an entrepreneur and a businessman: I treat everything as a business, including saving America with my pen (or keyboard, to be precise).

I believe a pen can be as mighty as any medicine (e.g. a la Thomas Jefferson) or WMD (e.g. a la Karl Marx). The digital age will only make it more beneficial or deadly.


5. How is the book selling after the 2/10/2013 promotion?

I will report about it in a few weeks ...

6. Closing

If you are reasonably intelligent, you should know that America is deeply in trouble. If you are minimally patriotic, you should help find a solution!

My book has the best diagnosis for America as well as the best solution! Any doubt? Read the book and then write your own review, 1-star or 5-star, at Amazon.com!










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