After many months of being deprioritized due to Sett and other obligations, I've finally finished my new book on habits, Superhuman by Habit. It's available right now on Amazon.
I've been writing for nine years now, and a good portion of that time has been spent focused on self-improvement. How can I get the most out of life? Out of myself? As I've gone down this path, the answers I've found have coalesced around habit building. Get your habits right, and everything else falls into place.
Doing things when they're the most fun and exciting things to do is easy. Those are the gains that everyone gets. Once we move beyond that, we have to rely on willpower. The problem with willpower is that gains are slow and incremental.
Habits, on the other hand, are the mechanism by which we can leverage our willpower. Rather than relying on willpower for everything, we use it only to build new habits. Once a habit is installed, it uses little to no willpower. That's why I called the book Superhuman by Habit-- habits let us expand our capabilities exponentially. Things that were difficult become easy, and stay that way.
I had originally planned on using a bunch of old blog posts about habits and mixing in some new content, but the perfectionist in me demanded that I write it all from scratch. So while you will see some familiar topics, the entire book is new content that you haven't seen before. The first half is essentially ~50 pages of discussion on the building of habits. In the second half I take key habits from every major category (productivity, social, health, outlook, etc.) and break them down with the pros and cons, how to build each habit, and notes on taking it further.
This is the first book I've written that I think will appeal to all of my readers. If you like my posts here, I think you will really love this book. Please consider buying it for Kindle here at Amazon.
A Note on Reviews and an Offer
It's impossible to overstate how important reviews are for an author. Although most of my book sales for the first few weeks come from readers, the sales over the following years come largely from people who find my books in the recommendation engine on Amazon. When you leave a rating, that helps Amazon figure out what types of people would like the book, and helps show my book in other places.
The amount of stars is also very important. For a while one of my books had a perfect five star rating. Then one person gave it a one star rating (he believed that I was successful with girls because I was fabulously wealthy, which I wasn't/am not) and my earnings went down to 25% of what they used to be overnight.
I'd never ask people to rate my book higher than they think it deserves, but I will ask this: if you like my book, please take the time to rate it and write a short review on Amazon. This is literally one of the biggest things you can do to support me as a writer. It's not just an ego thing of having one more good review-- each review impacts how many people will read my book.
So on that note, if you buy my book from Amazon and leave a review, I will send you any one of my other books for free. Just send me a link or screenshot to your Amazon review that says "verified purchase" and tell me which book you'd like. It may take a few days to send the book, because I'll be on a boat for the next couple weeks, but I will do my best. If you've already bought all of my books, send the email anyway and I'll try to do something special for you down the road.
My next book might be a fiction book. I've actually written 1/3 of it already. I'm a finalist for the Amtrak residency, and if I win, I'll use that time to finish the book.
I have four books that I've published myself. Three are on Amazon as paperbacks and Kindle, and a fourth is only available on Kindle. Despite all sorts of other projects I've worked on, my books represent nearly all of my income. Just ten years ago, before good self-publishing tools became available, this would not have been possible.
Although I don't make a very large income, the ROI of time spent on my books is incredible. I wrote Make Her Chase You in approximately one week six years ago, and it still makes hundreds of dollars per month. At its peak, before I got a crazy one-star rating, it made about $4,000 per month. Superhuman by Habit still hasn't settled into a predictable sales pattern, but it's already sold several thousand copies.
I didn't realize that these numbers were exceptional until Superhuman By Habit started to hit some Amazon bestseller lists. I googled around and found that all of my books have or are on track to sell more than the average publisher-produced book.
I've also been helping a friend work on her book, and the experience has made me realize that I've picked up a lot of knowledge on how to sell a book on Amazon, and that knowledge could be useful to other people. I've already written before on how to write the book, so this is about how to make money on it.
Jason Shen graciously contributed a new guestpost to the site -- his have always been popular here. He's running an online class on "The Science of Willpower, Habits, And Behavior Change" in January. Here's Jason --
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is one of my favorite films and the best comic book to film translation ever done. Nolan's take on Batman is gritty, heroic, fresh, and even somewhat plausible. One of my favorite scenes from the first film, Batman Begins, is when he is being trained by Ra's al Ghul on the art of ninjutsu. The key conversation I want to point out here:
George St. Pierre pummeling your untrained face