Side Hustle Series: Making Six Figures Via Self-Publishing

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It’s been a couple of months since my last side hustle series post. The wait is over. In this installment of the side hustle series, I had the chance to interview a young lady that is making six figures via self-publishing.

Alexandria McCormick is a wife, mother and research database manager – turned – solopreneur from Los Angeles. She has run a self-publishing business for the past 2 years, and her most recent venture is the Sober Alley Blog, where she shares her sobriety journey and help others improve their relationships with alcohol.

How did you come up with the idea of Sober Alley?

After achieving success with my self-publishing business and quitting my job, I found myself with tons of time on my hands. Never one to put all my eggs in one basket, I knew it made sense to grow my online empire.

I’d had some success on my sobriety journey and always wanted to try blogging for profit, so I decided to jump in with both feet!

I felt I had lots of wisdom and knowledge to share and that I might be able to do something I love (writing/learning new tech skills) while helping others at the same time. Thus, Sober Alley was born. “Alley” is a play on my name, “Allie”.

What do you discuss on your site?

I suffered from alcoholism for 17 long years before finally quitting. I tried AA, but it just wasn’t a good fit for me for many reasons.

The Sober Alley blog is all about helping those who don’t really view themselves as “alcoholics” or feel like going to AA or rehab or therapy – or even those who don’t really want to quit drinking forever, to get a firmer grip on the role alcohol plays in their lives.

With that in mind, I primarily share my own journey and give practical tips and advice on how to slow down or stop drinking without AA.

I’ve recently expanded the focus of the blog to include other closely related health topics, such as fitness and weight loss because one of the first things people do when they stop drinking is to improve their overall health and appearance. So, I also share a bit of my weight loss journey and any other health and fitness tips I learn along the way. Basically, I focus primarily on removing the more severe impacts of alcohol first, then improving overall health and fitness and just becoming the best version of yourself you can be!



How did you get into self-publishing?

My husband and I went to dinner with a friend a few years back, and this friend told us all about self-publishing and how it was a fast, easy way to earn passive income. She sounded nuts!

Well a bit later when I was pregnant with my son, I thought “what if I don’t want to work when this baby comes? I’ll need some way to bring in money from home”.

I was browsing a travel forum on Facebook and someone started a thread about remote work opportunities that allow people to travel full-time. One gentleman in the thread talked about self-publishing, and alarm bells instantly rang.

I purchased the training program he recommended… I believe it was only $49 at the time. Immediately got to work implementing the steps… and the rest is history. Best $50 I ever spent!

Don’t get me wrong – it was hard at first. Very confusing, lots of ups and downs and things to figure out and experiment with. But 16 months later I was making enough to quit my job, and I haven’t looked back!

Can anyone do it?

I think anyone can do it, but I don’t think everyone should. It takes a few particular skills sets and/or personality traits to make it work.

If I have to pick the top 3 hard and soft skills you need to succeed at this, hard skills would be:

  1. Tech-savvy
  2. Resourceful (willing to google/find answers to things you don’t know)
  3. Good at organization/research (for putting together book outlines)

Top 3 soft skills:

  1. Persistent (don’t give up quickly, even when things seem difficult)
  2. Introverted (you spend a lot of time on the computer/alone in the beginning… may sacrifice social life at first)
  3. Creative (picking good graphic images for book covers will attract people to buying your product)

How long did it take you to get to six figures?

I had my first $10,000 month exactly 18 months after releasing my first book and haven’t earned less than that a single month since. So, I say 1.5 years to 6-figures.

Is there anything that you would have done differently?

Not at all! I think I did it the right way. The only change would have been to get started sooner!

Things change so rapidly online and competition increases as more people find out about opportunities such as this. Though I was highly successful starting in 2016, even back then I heard the “golden age” was a few years prior to that.

Now, in life, if I hear of opportunities that give even a hint of turning out good, I’m jumping on them ASAP!

Do you have any tips for newbies?

My best tip if you want to start self-publishing right now is don’t go into it expecting miracles overnight, and don’t go into it totally broke, either.

Treat it like a real business, with overhead costs.

Any business you start will cost you money and/or time. You need to be comfortable with that. Don’t expect a get rich quick scheme. This ain’t that!

For more information on my entire story of how I grew to 6-figures with self-publishing and quit my job, check this page:  https://soberalley.com/how-i-quit-my-job/ If you join my mailing list at the bottom of that page, you can get a complete how-to guide that I created totally free. It lays out exactly how it all works from A to Z!

Instagram: @soberalley

Pinterest:  @alleysober

Check out more of the side hustle series below.

Side Hustle Series: Investing in the Stock Market

Side Hustle Series: Selling Men’s Apparel

Side Hustle Series: Solopreneur Edition

Side Hustle Series: Should You Start Freelancing?

3 Comments

  1. Wow, inspiring! Good for you for finding what worked for you to fight alcoholism, and you turned it into something so positive and uplifting. Congrats!

  2. Wow this is such a cool niche and of course it’s inspiring to hear about the six figures of income. I would love to make 5 figures a month selling my books. Working on a second one right now so hopefully it sells well.

    1. Heck, I’d enjoy making four figures with my ebook. I’m due for another one.

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