Following the dotcom crash which in effect ushered in the new millennium, the true power of the internet has perhaps come to the fore quite nicely. While it may be hard trying to explain what the internet is and exactly why it’s useful to your grandmother, this doesn’t mean you can’t harness the sheer power of the World Wide Web to your own personal benefit.

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There appears to be a second (or perhaps even a third) dotcom bubble however, developing in the form of exactly what people believe they can get out of the internet. I mean there is indeed a common belief that you can literally just type a phrase into your favourite search engine and then get the answer or solution to the question or problem you have. It doesn’t quite work that way however because if you think about it, when was the last time you actually Googled something and the first-ranking in the results was exactly what you were looking for? That leads me to one of the most obvious internet bubbles forming right now, that being self-publishing.

Because self-publishing has in a sense made it easy for anyone to become a published writer (and earn money if their books are downloaded or printed on demand), people who would otherwise never identify as writers are becoming authors with way more than three books to their names. Just as was the case with the original dotcom boom-bust, there are a number of markets popping up as services in support of the self-publishing market. I mean the term itself is self-explanatory — “self” publishing means you don’t have to go through an agent or publishing house and perhaps get an advance if your book shows promise. You can now do it yourself, go straight to Amazon’s self-publishing platform and effectively have a published book ready for purchase in no time.

A lot of “authors” who boast a lot of books in their collections don’t even exist — they’re not real, as a result of the pseudonym or penname element, so if you’re genuinely looking for an opportunity to make some good money as a published writer, it takes quite a lot to get ahead in the self-publishing game.

Specialise and go into detail

The formula for winning at the self-publishing game is quite simple really. You need to find a topic to specialise in and then in writing about it, really drill right down to the bare essentials of that topic. Go into as much detail as possible. This is what readers who are browsing books online want, so you have to give it to them and indicate on the cover that that is indeed what you’re going to give to them inside your book. It’s quality over quantity, despite what the bubble-makers may be suggesting through their actions, so instead of say writing a book about economics in general, go for something specific, like PPI claims and everything to do with this very small but deep topic of the broader financial industry and economics.