Dollar-earning in Colombia: Publish a Book

in Finding work/How-to guides/Investing/Plan to stay

Here is what I wrote in bullet point 4 in my article on 9 Ways to Earn Dollars in Colombia:

“Publish a book using ClickBank or CreateSpace. It could be anything from a cookbook with your granny’s recipes to an insider’s guide to Bucaramanga. Let your imagination run loose. The days when going through a big publisher was necessary are long gone. Check out Steve Scott and see how he publishes mini-books (50-150 pages) with guides on how to use Evernote, how to exercise well and everything in between. Each book cost between $0-3 dollars. He also has a blog where he describes in detail how to get started.”

Today you do not have to be a journalist, a teacher or have a linguist degree in order to write a book. The barriers to entry in this once well-guarded industry has never been lower. Self-publishing is the new order. You can literally type a 50-page ebook like “An Insider’s Guide To The Colombian Coffee District” on your 10-year old laptop, and sell it on your website, Amazon or through Clickbank for $5 and start earning money.

Steve Scott, that I mentioned above, was recently interviewed by James Altucher for his podcast. In this episode Scott tells listeners exactly how he went from $0-$40.000 a month selling his small books on Amazon. It’s a very resourceful interview, packed with information, that I guarantee will be worth your time (63 minutes), if you are serious about writing for living.

Tools to get you started

These days you don’t even need special software to get started. With Google Docs, which is free to use, anyone can start typing and automatically save your content in the cloud. If you prefer writing offline, and Pages or Word don’t satisfy your needs, Scrivener is the software that receives the best reviews.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip wrote an a stupid simple blog post on how to become a better writer. Make sure to read it, especially if you plan to do business writing.

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark. The title says it all.

Clickbank is an online marketplace for digital products. It serves as a connection between the digital content creators (sellers) and affiliate marketers, who sell the products to consumers. Consumers can also buy directly from ClickBank without having to go through a third-party marketer. It has more than 50.000 products for sale and do business in more than 200 countries. As a writer you can upload your ebook here and have affiliates from all over the world promote it.

CreateSpace is an Amazon subsidiary that helps authors, musicians and filmmakers publish and broadcast their books, songs and movies easily to a large audience. It includes tool boxes with everything you need to get started as well as finishing your book.

And if you are scared about not having the discipline to write a book, then check out NaNoWriMo. It’s an online community where aspiring writers connect and motivate each other to keep deadlines. Ernest Hemmingway said that all he aimed to write was 500 words a day. In 3 months that becomes almost 50.000 words. To compare, this post has 859 words and I wrote it in three hours. Not bad, eh?

My last advice, to improve your writing, is to read a little bit every day about any subject that interests you.

What if you could write a book without ever having to type a word?

Tucker Max is a man that many might have a hard time taking serious after writing about his hilarious youthful escapades in Assholes Finish First and I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell. Just looking at the titles, it’s easy to see how his books got turned down by the mainstream publishers. The interesting thing is, that Tucker ended up self-publishing his books and reached the #1 spot on the NY Times bestseller list, and became a millionaire in the process.

Book-In-A-Box is Tucker Max’s most recent business venture. Him and his staff give people with ideas a way to publish a book, even though they might not have the time, patience or ability to do so themselves. And the promise is that they do so, in record time, without you ever having to type a word yourself.

It works like this:

  1. You have an idea for a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, does not matter.
  2. Through a series of in-depth interviews via telephone or Skype with a world-class writer, all of your ideas come out of your head and into recording.
  3. These recordings gets transcripted. From the transcript a manuscript will be created.
  4. A professional editor will polish the content.
  5. Voilá – you have a book with all rights reserved to you.

Additionally, Book-In-A-Box also offers to help you design the book cover, as well as publish and market your book.

If you have ever had an idea for a book but never done anything about it, it’s going to be pretty hard to come up with excuses not to take action with the opportunities available today.

Good luck – and if you ever publish a book, please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to see the result!

Passed through Cali for the first time in 2011, on his way from the US to Brazil on a motorcycle. Ended up kissing a caleña on his last night and the rest is history. Has been a resident of Cali, Colombia since 2013 and currently living in Barrio Bellavista with his girlfriend and 2 daughters.


  1. Patrick, keep up the good work. I read your blog even though I don’t live in Cali or Colombia but hope to visit Cali one of these days. Very entertaining and educational.

    • Hi Bobby,
      Thank you for the kind words – glad to hear that you enjoy the content – I’ll keep it coming!

      Saludos, Patrick

  2. This is some great stuff, Patrick. I have a couple of books I have written and sat on. It’s as if your new blog post is a tap on the shoulder from God telling me to get busy and get on with it. Love you and your little family down there! I hope to see you soon. Love, Tia Bonita

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.