I like to find new ways each year to set my goals. Sometimes I write them in a journal. At other times I create vision boards. I’ve gone on New Year’s retreats where I meditated, hiked, and listened for guidance as to what goals to set and how to achieve them. And I’ve gotten together with a friend where we set goals together.
My primary intention each year is to discover effective methods and tools to achieve my goals. It’s frustrating to set them and not see them come to light.
Today, with the ease of self-publishing and e-publishing, you have no reason not to achieve your writing goals—if you keep them simple to start. If it’s to get your first book written, get clear about your intentions. Why do you want to write the book and who will buy it? What obstacles do you see ahead of you?
I can help you overcome just about any obstacle in creating your book. Believe me, I’ve heard and seen them all. The biggest obstacle is time! Don’t I know that? If you say you don’t have the time, why not talk your book? We speak approximately 180 words/minute and there are 300 words/page in a typical book, so you could potentially speak one page in two minutes. I just tried it and I spoke 200 words in one minute. Now, if you spoke for one hour you could potentially create 30 pages of content. In just four hours, you’d have a 120-page book. Could you find four hours to speak your book?
After that you’d get it transcribed and then do the editing (or send it to me to edit it). Or you could speak into a word recognition program like Dragon Naturally Speaking. As for publishing it as an ebook, I recently discovered www.2epub.com which quickly and easily converts your Word doc into an ebook. Then you upload it at Kindle and Barnes and Noble, and you’re off and selling.
Andrea Susan Glass
Some, but not all, of the products that information marketers or “infopreneurs” create from their books include Reports, Ebooks, Workbooks, Manuals, CDs, MP3 files, Podcasts, Videos, Home study courses, Talks, Teleclasses, Webinars, Live Seminars and Workshops, Coaching, and Mentor/Mastermind Programs.
I’m sure many of you have bought some of these “information products”. Because that’s what your book is: an information product.
So how do you create this profit pyramid? That is, if you choose to go this route…
First, survey your ideal reader/target market to determine in what format they prefer to learn. Some people prefer written, some audio, some video. We learn in what’s called visual, auditory, or kinesthetic media. A visual learner would prefer to read a book or workbook. An auditory learner likes MP3s and teleclasses. And a kinesthetic learner would enjoy videos and live presentations or one-on-one coaching.
Plan your next product or service after your book to offer the information you have to share in the way that best fits your readers and your subject matter. For how-to and self-help information, workbooks and seminars are ideal. For specialized knowledge, videos or coaching might be best.
Create a one-year plan to develop your line of products and services as you turn your book into a business—to serve more people and create more profits.
Andrea Susan Glass
PS. If you’ve benefited from my emails and/or gotten value from my services, please tell a friend or associate. My business grows by word of mouth, and I don’t often ask you for referrals! But if you know someone who’s struggling to get their book or ebook done, send them my way.
PPS. I’ll be speaking at the Vista library on Monday, December 5 from 6:30-7:45 pm on Writing Ebooks. If you’re in the North San Diego County area, come by and bring a friend! www.WritersWay.com/press
You can write and publish your own books, have a traditional or independent publisher publish your books, or you can start a writing or publishing business.
The business can involve any services among: ghostwriting, copyediting, indexing, coaching, publishing, proofreading, researching, formatting, and what I do more and more of—teaching!
Which of these is most profitable?
Writing one ebook could be profitable if you priced it low and sold a large quantity. I met an author at my local Kindle meetup who sold 300 of his novels in one month at $2.99. He used social media as his primary marketing method.
Writing one print book could be profitable if you already have a large fan base or mailing list, are out on the road as a speaker, or you teach, consult, or have other ways to reach a lot of people.
Writing a series of ebooks or books is a better plan for increasing profits by reaching more targeted markets with different subjects or the same target market with different ideas on the same subject.
Creating other products like workbooks, audios, and e-courses to supplement your ebook or book is the primary way most authors are building income.
Lastly, selling your services or products to help others write their books is another way to make money with your writing.
Let me know if I can help you map out a successful strategy with any of these paths. Contact me at www.writersway.com/contact.
Andrea Susan Glass
Editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders all work with written materials to make them the best they can be. The terms editor and copyeditor are synonymous, although “editor” can also mean a book editor who works at a publishing company and shepherds an author’s book through initial stages all the way to publication.
What copyeditors do is work from the most complex level to the simplest, which I’ll explain shortly. Proofreaders are usually the last person to see the book, ebook, or report before it goes to print and mostly looks for typographical errors.
I’ll use the term “copyeditor” from here on because that covers the full spectrum of print editing. Let’s start at the simplest level first.
A simple or light edit covers spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, repetition, consistency in capitalization, numbers, abbreviations, contractions, style, and format. At this level, someone who excelled in English can help writers who weren’t top English students.
A medium to heavy (or substantive) edit includes everything in a light edit as well as fact checking, permissions, minor rewrites for passive writing and better clarity, flow, jargon, sexism, and more. This level requires a lot of experience in both seeing the detail and the big picture of the book or report, etc.
A developmental editor often gets involved at the beginning of the project to work with the author on creating the book, ebook, article, etc. so it starts off and continues to a satisfying conclusion. The developmental editor becomes the author’s partner in building a successful product.
Which type of editor do you think you need?
Find out in my next installment.
P.S. Just a quick reminder that I offer a variety of coaching options if you need some support in getting started or completing your book or ebook. Check them out at www.writersway.com/services.
I always like to begin a book project by asking my clients to clarify their two motivations:
1) the author motivation: why do you want to write this book or ebook?
2) the reader motivation: why will your readers buy this book or ebook?
Let me clarify what these mean:
Author motivation can include a variety of goals such as:
- make passive income
- share my expertise
- solve a problem
- spread my message
- promote my name and brand
- do what I love
- enjoy the prestige of being an author
You may have another motivation or several, so think about what it is, and write it down. As you move through the process of writing a book or ebook and confront challenges or distractions, you need to connect with your motivation to keep your forward momentum. (Don’t even think you won’t have distractions!)
Reader motivation has to be strong enough for someone to take out their credit card and click BUY NOW! Some might be:
- need a solution to a problem
- want more information on a subject
- desire to learn a new skill
- inspiration, guidance
- entertainment, escape
Why do you buy books? Why would someone buy your book, instead of someone else’s? This needs to be a strong WHY! Or you won’t achieve your author motivation.
So before you sit down to write your book or ebook, dig down and determine the author and reader motivation. Write these down and keep them where you can see them near your computer. They’ll keep you focused and pumped up any time you get writers’ block, overwhelm, or fear!
By the way, I have accountability coaching programs to keep you on track. Check them out at www.writersway.com/services.
PS. If you live in the San Diego area, I’ll be speaking on Monday, May 23, at the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. My topic is Turn Your Book into Your Business. The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and is at 3851 Rosecrans St. Visit www.sdwritersguild.org for additional information. Would love to see you there!
Congratulations! Either you’ve written your ebook or you started the journey. I’m so proud of you. (If you’re neither of these, please call me ASAP and let me help you get started! Just fill in the blanks at www.writersway.com/contact and I’ll get in touch with you to set up our 20-minute complimentary consultation).
Once you finish writing your ebook and saving it as a PDF you’re ready to load it on your website (and other websites including Amazon) and start enjoying the fruits of your labor.
You say you’re not satisfied; you still want a print book? Not to worry. First take a few weeks, sell a few books and listen to the feedback. It’s easier to make edits in an ebook than a print book! Ouch! When you’re sure your ebook is just how you want it, you’re ready for the next part of your journey.
At this point, authors must decide if they want to find an agent and publisher or become a self-publisher. I can’t make that decision for you; you have to weigh the pros and cons of each. To boil it down, you have more control and more profits as a self-publisher. You have more prestige and less work to produce and distribute your book if you get a publisher.
In both cases you’ll have to do the bulk of the promotion! Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Most publishers only promote their top name authors, so if you don’t get people to buy your book, the bookstores will ship your books back to the publisher and you won’t earn any royalties.
Now if you decide to self-publish you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of using a POD (print-on-demand) press or the printer down the street (or in the Mid-West). My clients are doing both and everyone is getting a high quality book. You just have to do your homework. Ask other authors, join a writing group or organization, get online and do the research.
All new authors start from scratch and are pretty savvy after their first book experience. My favorite client, a 93-year-young crusader for healthy eating, is still learning after his sixth book!
I know you can do it. It’s a lot of work, a lot of fun, and fantastic rewards!
PS. Remember, I have four different coaching services to help you through your journey. Choose the one that’s best for you at www.writersway.com/services. My goal is to help you reach your goal—a published author!
You want it quick and easy! Don’t we all? I know you can do it. Look, I bought a 25-page ebook for $57. Do I sound dumb? The author sold me on the value, and I fell for the sales pitch. It could have been just the information I was looking for. Well, in that case it wasn’t and I was able to “return” it and get my money back.
You can’t really return an ebook. But anyway, all I’m saying is that it was 25 pages, and anyone who’s an expert on anything can write 25 pages in 25 hours or less. If you wrote for two hours a day for 12.5 days, you’d have a 25-page ebook done! If you wanted a 50-page ebook, write two hours a day for 25 days.
You say you don’t have the time for even that? Want to know how to find the time?
The quickest way to write your ebook is to decide on your topic, create an outline, and sit down and write. The best way to write an ebook is to follow this process; it might take a bit longer, but you’ll write an ebook that will sell:
- answer this question: what is my motivation for writing this ebook?
- answer this question: what is the motivation for the reader to buy my ebook?
- select a topic that will fill both of these motivations
- create an outline that will take the reader from where they are to where they expect to be when they finish reading
- turn your outline into the table of contents
- gather data you’ve already written or collected on the subject and plug it into the appropriate chapters; create new content where you need it
- weave all the content together, read it over to make sure it meets your motivation and the reader motivation
- have five people in your target audience read it; get feedback; make adjustments; get it edited professionally
- design your cover and interior or have it designed; save it as a PDF
This is pretty much the process for writing an ebook quickly. Of course there are more details, but this covers the basics. My ebook “Your Info-Product Success System” fills in the blanks and gives you a complete system for producing your first ebook. Check it out at www.infoproductsuccesssystem.com.
Email me or leave a comment if I can answer any questions.
However, I work with many reluctant writers, and frankly it’s much easier and a lot quicker to get your first ebook done than your first print book.
Want to know why?
Okay, here’s what I’ve found. I can motivate people to write a short ebook quickly and get it loaded on their website to start selling much quicker than they can get a print book done. Why? Because you write your ebook—anywhere from 25 to 50 pages (or more)—then save it as a PDF, put it on your website (or blog if you don’t have a website), hook it up to PayPal, and start having your ebook earn its keep!
Now with a print book, it’s got to be around 125 to 200 pages, or more, you’ve got to get it edited, have the cover designed, the interior formatted, a printer selected (on demand or brick and mortar), and a way to distribute those little gems. In my experience, this longer process scares a lot of aspiring authors back to the safety of their unfulfilled dreams. Well maybe not safety, but comfort zone.
And I’m not even discussing here those folks who want to find a literary agent or traditional publisher. That could be a really long haul—or never at all! (Been there…)
With an ebook you’ll still want to have it edited (please!), and a cover designed. You could format it yourself quite easily in Word—I do it all the time for my ebooks and those of my clients. But you have no printer issues and few distribution issues. At least, you don’t have to stock books in your garage and make trips to the post office to mail books.
Again, why ebooks? Because people are buying them—in droves. That’s a good enough reason for me!
P.S. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, my ebook on producing an ebook might not be enough to get you going. In that case, check out my coaching services at www.writersway.com/services and select the one that will blast you out of your comfort zone!
I call April my “Ebook Explosion” month, because—well, ebooks are exploding! Statistics continue to report more ebooks are now being sold on Amazon than print books. If that’s not an explosion I don’t know what is. You can read an entire book on the 4X6 inch Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and more Kindle copycats than you can count. Then there’s your iPhone and other cell phones that can download books.
So what are you going to do about it?
What you’re going to do is to jump on the Ebook Explosion bandwagon. And how will you do that? By writing your first ebook, of course!
Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a champion of ebooks. I’ve even been working on coming up with a title, like the “Ebook Queen” but queen is so overdone. So I’m toying with the “Ebook Educator” because I teach how to write and sell ebooks through teleclasses, webinars, reports, ebooks, and I just sold a class on this subject to a local university where I’ll be teaching live in the fall. I’m really looking forward to guiding my students to complete their ebook in the six weeks of the course.
So what are you waiting for? Get that ebook out of your head and onto the computer page. Keep reading my posts, and I’ll give you tips to guide you through the process of writing your first ebook and joining the Ebook Explosion!
P.S. By the way, some of the other eReaders are Aluratek, BeBook, EnTourage, Kobo, Pandigital, Sharper Image, Spring Design, and ViewSonic. Where will it end?
P.P.S. If you want to get started right away—and you should—check out my valuable 63-page do-it-yourself ebook on how to produce your first ebook at www.infoproductsuccesssystem.com.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you’ve been planning for a while to write an ebook. So you put it in your New Year’s goals and that’s that. When February rolls around and you see you haven’t gotten started, you wonder why. Well, here are some reasons. First, you didn’t schedule time in your daily schedule to work on the ebook. Time you schedule for your own projects is as important as time you set aside for clients and loved ones. Second, you didn’t formulate a plan as to how to proceed with writing your ebook.
That’s because you’ve never written an ebook before. So you have no idea where to start and how to proceed. It sounded like a good idea, everyone’s reading ebooks, many people are writing them—why not you? I agree, it’s a good idea, a great idea. But you need a plan.
That’s why I write ebooks and teach classes on how to write books and ebooks, because most people have no clue how to do it. I’ll give you a few quick hints here to start you on your plan.
First do the research and brainstorm some subjects and titles. What other books are out there on your topic? How can you be unique? Check Amazon to see who your competition is. Second, create an outline for what you want to cover in your book or ebook; this will become your table of contents. Next, go to your calendar and block off 2-hour periods of time to write. You might even want to get an accountability partner, like myself or a friend or associate. Then sit and write at those designated times. Don’t worry about being perfect in your first draft—just let the ideas pour out of your brain and onto the page.
Hope this helps you move forward with your writing goals.
Andrea Susan Glass
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