3 Ways to Leverage Technological Disruption To Ignite Your Dreams to Reality

Meet Amanda Hocking.  She is a 26 year old Fastlaner who has 9 self-published books and sells 100,000+ copies of those eBooks per month.  Incredibly, she has NO PUBLISHER and is considered as an indie publisher (much like myself).  She publishes exclusively on Kindle.

If you’re not familiar with the Kindle compensation structure, 70% of eBook sales go direct to the publisher.  Since Amanda’s books are priced from $3-$5 each, her profit per book ranges from $1-$3.

(100,000/sales X $2 profit) = $200K/mo.

How long do you think it will take for Amanda to become a millionaire earning $200K/mo?  2 years?  Or 40 years of 401K hope and pray?

When you push this story through the Fastlane prism, I have to stop myself from hyperventilating.  This is a legendary Fastlane story with so many points of wisdom, that I feel I need a brain reboot.

The first takeaway…

Technological Disruption Gives You the Chance to MAKE Dreams Happen versus WAITING For Them to Happen.

If you got a dream, today’s increased technological efficiencies have made the liklihood of that dream happening.

Think about it.

Amanda has no publisher.  She created her own.

I had no publisher.  I created my own.

We didn’t wait for things to happen, we made them happen.

In old school publishing, the way to get your book to print was to send manuscripts to big publishing houses and then sit around and WAIT.  Or, you send out “suck-up” proposals to literary agents, and again, WAIT, HOPE, and PRAY.

Notice the common theme? Wait.  Hope.  Pray.  Sound familiar?  It should if you read my book.  This is Slowlane mentality.

The Millionaire Fastlane was a book that I felt needed to be written and I took action to make it real — I didn’t wait for literary agents or publishing houses to dictate the dream — and with technology it became possible.  I didn’t wait for OTHERS to dictate the path to my dream.  I swapped out HOPE for CONTROL.

Technological Disruption Gives You Immediate Access to Distribution Which Is a Pathway to SCALE.

Amanda’s Fastlane success was made possible by having immediate access to distribution via Amazon’s Kindle DTP Platform.  The Millionaire Fastlane became a #1 Best-Seller by having access to immediate access to distribution via Amazon’s website while simultaneously ELIMINATING as many intermediaries as possible.   You see, Amanda is profitable because it is JUST HER and AMAZON.  There is no publisher.  No wholesaler.  No distributor.  She connected her product directly to distribution.

In this article published by Novelr, the writer cites a publisher on a private mailing list who alludes this:

There is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.

JA Konrath is another successful ebook producer who cites the TIME investment of the eBook publishing route.  His article (cited below) is another Fastlane EYE-OPENER.

In just 12 months, I’ve seen a 2000% increase in income. And ebooks are still only 11% of the book market.

What happens when they’re 15%? 30%? 75%?

And yet, I still see some writers clinging to the notion that getting a book contract with a Big 6 publisher is the way to go.

Full article…

In my book I mentioned publishing as a pathway to a Fastlane.  Of course, when viewed within the confines of traditional publishing, such a statement is more ludicrous than fact.  This is why I published outside of the publishing arena.  This is why I chose to self-publish AND own the publishing company.  And with technology, the publishing paradigm is changing the dynamics so quick that publishing entrepreneurs are making Fastlane returns.

This same thing is happening in the application markets for mobile phones.  New technology forcing efficiency is giving Fastlaners unprecedented access to distribution markets and the scale that comes with it … all while eliminating profit-sucking control structures (distributors, middle-meddlers, etc.)

Technological Disruption Gives You Unprecedented Exposure To Underexposed Talent

Consider yourself an “underexposed” talent? With technology, no longer do you have to subscribe to the WAIT theory.  Whatever you want to do, just do it.  The internet makes it possible because the internet provides unprecedented exposure through its very nature of interconnectedness via social media and websites.

Are you a filmmaker with a unique, underexposed talent?  Produce a film and put it on YouTube and get exposed.   Make things happen.

Are you a writer just dying to have your prose read?  Produce a Kindle eBook and put it on Amazon and immediately sell it.  Create a blog.  Make things happen.

Are you a comedian without an audience?  Perform in your home and throw it up on YouTube. Create your own audience. Make things happen.

Are you a musician without an audience?  Compose your music and put it on an website that promotes indie labels. Make things happen.

This process is something I call “putting IT out into the box” — the box being, the MARKETPLACE.  Let people, the marketplace, interact with your dream — if your dream gives others value, it will SELL and GROW.  And if it is REALLY GOOD and you are good enough at it, it will be spread not linearly, but exponentially.

And as I say, exponential growth creates exponential wealth … your Fastlane wealth equation becomes ARMED and DANGEROUS.


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  • DM

    Thanks for the article MJ, your the best and I love you for being inspirational to me and a lot of us ;)

    • Rubenjresquivel

      Great Post im just wondering is it possible to write an eBook that is not successful???
      If so how do you know if your eBook will sell before you write it?

  • Michael J.

    Absolutely awesome article. If this dosent light a fire under your @ss to take action, nothing will!

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  • Gene

    Great story!

    I’m curious, is there a way to see what people are searching for on Amazon, like you would do keyword research for PPC?

    Is the 100,000 monthly downloads consistent? Seems insane that that many people would download the books per month. Is her market THAT big?

    Thanks for the great article. Got my mind running with ideas.

    • MJ DeMarco

      Believe me, I was surprised too … her works are fiction (which is really the surprising thing) so to say they are keyword oriented is probably false. Keep in mind, these ebooks are equivalent to a cost of a cup of coffee making scale economics more possible.

      • Gene

        Yeah, I looked her up on Amazon. Seems her story lines are about vampires. And we all know how popular the “Twilight” series/movies are.

        And yes, I think the small price has something to do with it. Let’s face it, most people have no problem paying a few bucks for an ebook….kind of like apps in the iTunes app store.

        If you have an iPhone or Kindle, you can afford a $1-3 ebook or app.

        I’ve just always gone after higher priced products and information, so I’m still trying to wrap my ahead around selling low priced products. I always would rather sell less of higher priced products and make good money instead of selling a ton of low priced products.

        They both have their pros and cons I suppose.

        Good thing about Amanda is now she has a HUGE list of buyers to sell any future books/products to. Key word being “buyers” which we both know is much more valuable than a list of freebie seekers.

        P.S. Thanks for responding to things like this and being in active in your forum. It’s refreshing to actually be able to interact with someone as successful as yourself. So again, thank you.

  • Fantastic article- so very inspiring!

    @Gene: if Amanda is using the kindle platform, she may have lots of fans and people ready to snap up something new as soon as Amazon let’s them know its out, but that doesn’t mean (and I could be wrong, But I’ve published with kindle myself) any ability to get the clients names or contact information.

    If she wants to do that, she needs to offer a way “in” the book to reach out to her, and encourage readers to do so..perhaps by offering them a (something vampire related?) if they sign up for her mailing list on her site.

    • Gene

      Yeah, it seems you don’t get the buyers email address when they purchase on Amazon. Unless I’m wrong.

      But, like you mentioned, hopefully she has something in her books that gets people on a mailing list.

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  • Caroline L.

    Great piece. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe she is violating 2 commandments; control and entry. How long would it take someone to research what is hot selling on amazon and outsource a similar ebook? And what would happen if Amazon changed something that made her violate their new terms so her account gets terminated and all her books gets deleted.

    • Yup, following the strictest of interpretations. Entry can be abolished by process and execution – just by doing more than the average person. The indie author route (via Kindle) is now rife with entry violations. Those who enter may publish a book (or two) but ultimately will get discouraged and move on to the next “shiny” object. Anyone who sells directly to POS by a direct distributor will always have risk – the way to get around that is to create your own following, and have a built in audience. No one can take that away. Being focused on process (I’ve written 30 books!) over events (I’ve written 1 novella) minimizes or eliminates these violations.

      • Caroline L.

        Thanks MJ. So basically just build an audience and brand around your name. That could probably work though I’d still not feel comfortable giving up so much control to Amazon.

        Talk soon.