Today marks the official birthday of both of my published books.
It’s the half-birthday of Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, and the official 2-year birthday for So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing.

(Check out both of these books on Amazon!)

Golly, has it been a journey!
Read @JuliaEMcCoy's thoughts as she crosses the 1,800-copies sold mark for her two self-published books 📚 Click To Tweet
I always knew I’d publish a book when I started out on my journey seven years ago, dropping out of college to become a content marketer. Being an author was high up on my list of career priorities.
But, I didn’t know how hard it would be.
I’ve self-published both of my books, and all in all, have invested over 1,000 hours into both of them.
Well, probably much more than that.
The first one by far was the hardest, and the second one, while it took eight months, flowed much more easily after the learning curve of book #1.
But what I’ve found, years later from my first book getting published, is that it was totally worth it. And, that self-publishing is pretty cool. You’re in complete control of every part of your book, from marketing to earning 70% of all the book sales.
Those dollars have all gone back into building Express Writers and the Content Strategy & Marketing Course, so I’m thankful to each and every one of you who have purchased and read my books!
Read on for a look at where my books have sold, how many have sold so far, and two major benefits from two books written and published.
celebrating 1800 books sold

Celebrating 1,800 Books Sold! (So You Think You Can Write? and Practical Content Strategy & Marketing)

To celebrate the two-year mark of So You Think You Can Write, and the six-month mark of Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, I counted all my book sales on all channels today. This is as of today (4/30/18).
Here’s the lowdown.

So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing

  • Published April 2016
  • 853 paperback purchases
  • 771 Kindle ebook purchases
  • 1,624 total books sold

Practical Content Strategy & Marketing

  • Published November 2016
  • 120 paperback purchases
  • 140 Kindle ebook purchases
  • 260 total books sold

My books have sold in more than eight different currencies, from Japanese Yen to British pounds. These are the major countries my books have been purchased in:

  • United States
  • Europe
  • Japan
  • India
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Brazil

I’ve spent less than $200 to market both of these books ($100 on a sponsored tweet, another $90-95 on several sponsored Facebook posts).
99.9% of all of my book sales have come organically. I am also not counting the copies I’ve given away (dozens if not hundreds of copies, mailed and signed for free).

Two Amazingly Huge Benefits From Publishing Two Books

#1. I made some amazing connections in the industry through my book.

I chose to invest time and effort into getting a few industry leaders to write my foreword, and asked a group of 10-15 influencers to review my book and give me blurbs for a “Praise” section, before either of my books became published.
This took time, but it was a HUGE benefit to me in getting more eyeballs on the book, and making more connections in my industry.
We’ve even seen some long-term clients come in from the marketing firms of the people who reviewed my books.
Getting influencers to write my foreword was a major benefit for both of my books. My first book’s foreword was written by Sujan Patel, a leading internet marketer who runs multiple SaaS companies and is the co-founder of Web Profits, Australia’s largest marketing company.
My second book’s foreword was written by Mark Schaefer, author of more than eight books on marketing, and one of the top five marketing bloggers in the world.
I had built up connections with both of these amazing people via social media and by inviting them on my show, The Write Podcast. (Listen to Sujan’s episode and Mark’s episode.) I’d met both of them in person, too. Sujan lives locally to me in Austin, Texas, and I met Mark at CMWorld 2017.
So, building up a relationship prior certainly helped quite a bit. Once I officially “knew” them, it was as simple as asking them — and they both said “yes!”
I also met and connected with other self-published authors after my books came out.
Chris Strub is a self-published author that I had the honor of meeting in Austin, Texas this year.
He’s an awesome social media expert, and self-made entrepreneur. Chris is the first man to livestream in all 50 states, and authored a story about his journey.
We did a Facebook Live together outside of the Amazon Bookstore that had just opened up in the Domain in Austin, Texas:

What’s cool is that we connected over our books, and have been able to shout each other out for more exposure.

#2. I’ve built long-term industry authority.

I’ve had new prospects trust and buy 10x quicker just because they read my book before they became a client.
Because my books are very well-written, with much and thought put into them, they are in essence a “conversion vehicle” for my agency.
You read my books, you can tell instantly that I know and care about online writing – these books weren’t an overnight deal – you hire my writing agency.
Simple! It happens over and over again.
(We’ve even had some clients ask if they can have whoever wrote my books, assigned to their content. *cough* Since actually wrote my books, that’s somewhat impossible. But, I train all of the writers I hire – and I guarantee our expert and authority level writers are just as good as I am! Some of them basically share my brain cells.)
I’ve also garnered some amazing opportunities, like leading MarketingProfs Marketing Writing Bootcamp, because I had a published book out. It qualified me in my industry as an expert “speaker”.
These opportunities would have never come my way without the books, so this truly made my time involved worth it.
(Note: You can’t expect these opportunities overnight, however. Many of the biggest opportunities rolled in with the second book, and others occurred months and months after my first book was out.)

Contribute to the Book Celebration!

You know, authors are basically nothing without readers, no matter how good we are.
If you haven’t, please leave a review on Amazon! It would mean the world, and it would also mean that we reach more people – as you can see from my Facebook Live with Chris Strub, it’s critical to Amazon and how they showcase books to the rest of the world.

If you did leave a review, please tweet/mention me so I can publicly shout you out and thank you! Follow me on Twitter.
Also, did you know? I’m writing a third book! I can’t spill too many of the details, but it’s a memoir about my life, with tragedy, bravery, growth, success and more woven in. As many of you know, I escaped a cult six years ago, and learned to heal from terrible mental abuse along my entrepreneurial journey. I cannot wait to share this book in all its rawness, realness and beauty!
Stay tuned for more details coming on my latest book.