How to Sell 25,000 Self-Published Books: Interview with Frank McKinley

Frank McKinley is a Tribe Writer and he recently let slip that he has sold 25,000 of his self-published books. He’s here today to talk about how this incredible feat, including valuable lessons on writing, publishing and failure.

How to Sell 25,000 Self-Published Books: Interview with Frank McKinley

Frank’s journey as a writer began when he was very young, in fact he says he has been writing for as long as he can remember! Writing helped him deal with the world when he was a teenager, it was therapeutic for him.

His first writing assignment came from a job interview. It was for a sales position; they didn’t hire him for the role but asked if he would write their weekly company email for the next three months. He’s still writing that company email six years later! That one assignment has grown into public speaking and giving company-wide presentations for Frank.

There’s an equally interesting story behind the origins of his first book, you’ll have to listen to this episode of The Portfolio Life to hear the details!

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Frank and I discuss:

  • Is it possible to know if your idea will be successful?
  • How did damaging a customer’s roof lead to his first book?
  • What would he do differently if he were launching a book tomorrow?
  • What surprised him about the process of writing and publishing ebooks?
  • What are his initial steps when promoting a new book?

Follow what is proven rather than winging it.

Frank McKinley

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Takeaways from Frank on selling 25,000 self-published books

  • What three qualities are needed to sell 25,000 books?
  • Can you sell thousands of books if you don’t have an existing large audience?
  • What is the most important page of your book?
  • How and why to build relationships with your readers.
  • What outlets is he selling his books on and which is the most effective?

Be willing to try, test and fail in order to succeed.

Frank McKinley

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Frank’s advice for new writers who want to be professionals

  • How often should you write, and who should you share it with?
  • Should you build a blog if you don’t have an audience for your book?
  • When will you have a hard time selling your book?
  • What he learned from his failures, and what those lessons mean to you.
  • When do keywords matter?


Do you have an idea for a book? What can you do right now to make that idea a reality? Share in the comments.