Publishing your own book can seem like a difficult task but hopefully my article will let you realize that it is easier than you think.
By Terrell Flautt
This article is for those who have an online business and they are looking to take it to the next level by publishing eBooks about the niche their business is in.
There are a few different reasons why you want to write an eBook about your niche.
a.) You will have something you can give away to your audience and followers in exchange for their email address (which is likely just as if not more valuable than the $.99 cents that they would have paid for the book anyways)
b.) It will give you credibility. As an author of a book people tend to trust you on the subject that you are writing about. Just the fact that you are an author of an eBook tends to make people want to listen to what you have to say because they perceive what you have to say has having value.
c.) To make a passive income. With every eBook that you publish, that will be a new source of passive income for you. And that is what we are all about at modernfinancialguide.com
Choosing what to write about
Firstly, you need to know what you are going to write a book about.
For your first book, my suggestion is to start with your current body of work.
For example, if you are a blogger, then a great start would be to look at some of your most popular blog articles and start there.
This will give you a great idea of what your audience wants to know more about and it will also make the process of writing about the topic much easier since you have likely already done some research on the topic and/or know a fair bit about it.
To start writing your eBook, a good place to start is by just writing down one sentence that sums up the topic that you want to write about.
The great thing about eBooks is that because of the digital formats used, they can be simple and they do not have to be too long.
Once you have your one sentence formed then you can expand on this.
There are 2 ways that I personally like to use when coming up with an outline. You can make a list or you can make a web.
Start by writing down other things that are related to your primary topic, that you want to include in your eBook.
For example, if we are going to write an eBook for “How to get started in affiliate marketing”, then we might write down of the related topics such as, Affiliate Networks, Paid advertising, Social Media, Building a website, etc.
Now that we have this information written down we will want to organize it in a way that makes sense. We want to write everything in order as it will appear in the eBook.
- Affiliate Networks
- Signing up for Clickbank
- Choosing your niche
- How to decide what product(s) to promote
- Building your website
- Designing your landing page
- Social Media Presence and Marketing
- Paid Online Advertising
- How to upscale and replicate your success
Now, it is time to write. And do just that. Start writing. It might take time and trial and error but you want to get into the habit of writing every single day until the book is ready to publish.
This means that you will want to have a clean, organized, work area that you can go to sit down and write without being disturbed. Some people like to listen to music, some like to drink tea, find whatever helps you get into writers mode and set aside at least 2 hours per day to just sit at your quiet-clean spot and just knock out words.
You do not have to write the eBook in any particular order. I tend to start writing in the areas that I know the most about because they are usually the easiest and I can knock them out relatively quickly. Even if those chapters are in the middle or at the end of the eBook.
Then you can finish it up, doing any research that you need too along the way in order to save time.
If you get writers block, the best thing that you can do is just put words on paper, even if it is nonsense, you can delete it in editing, it will get your brain moving in the right direction.
One way that many writers avoid these blocks is be setting a word goal each day and then not getting up until they have hit that goal. If it turns out to be garbage, later, that’s fine, it can be cleaned up, edited, or deleted later, but at least they weren’t sitting doing nothing and not writing anything at all.
Understand that writing a book takes time. Even a short eBook takes time. And you should certainly never rush it because you want, anything that you publish with your name on it, to be proud of your work.
And the eBook needs to provide value to your readers if you want this method of marketing using publications to benefit your business for the long term.
The more value that your eBook provides, the more it will sell, and the more people will value what you have to say on the topic at hand.
If you have made it this far then you are doing fantastic because you are almost halfway done with building your new source of passive income.
After you have finished writing the book it is time for you to take a break and step away from it. At the very least 3 days but I would even try to stay away a little bit longer, like a week or so.
This will give you a chance to clear your mind because you will need to after you’ve been in writer mode for the past few weeks ( or maybe more).
Once you’ve taken a nice break and cleared your head then it is time to read and review your work.
Take your time reading and re-reading your work. Make sure that everything flows together and if it doesn’t then don’t be afraid to move stuff around or delete it altogether.
Move extra information into the sidebar, or into captions, if it goes too far off your main topics so you can still provide that information without losing the reader.
Words and even chapters may need to be rearranged. It is important that you edit your sentences after you rearrange any content so that it still flows together nicely after moving things around.
Once you have your eBook looking the way you wanted to, edited and all, it is now time to come up with a title and and add any other details that you need to such as an introduction or a bibliography.
It is important to come up with a name that will give your audience an idea of what the book is about. If you can’t come up with something then picking a name like “How to get started in affiliate marketing” usually works well.
Come up with a few names just in case yours is already taken, if it is, you could do something like, “Modern Financial’s guide to getting started with affiliate marketing”
Always cite your research in the bibliography to let your readers know where you found your information and to give credit where credit is due. There is no good reason to hide where you got your information and plenty of reasons not to. Cite. Your. Work. Very important.
By not citing work, by copying someone else’s work, etc, you are coming across as disingenuous to your readers and once they find out, they will, you will lose any and all credibility that you have worked so hard to build up.
Coming up with the cover art
Your eBook is almost ready to publish now but you are going to need a cover.
Just because it is a digital book doesn’t mean that the cover is any less important than a traditional book because it will still be one of the first things that people notice.
If you have the money then consider getting the help of a professional to help you come up with a design that will help you stand out among your competitors.
Some times you can find design work cheap on sites like fiverr.
If you do not have the money then make sure that the images you use for your cover design are not copy righted.
Getting feedback / Market research
Once your book is finished, you should distribute it among friends. You can even give it away on your website in exchange for email addresses for your mailing list. Now you are looking for honest critiques for any chances to improve your book before publishing.
Be sure that when you give the book away that you ask the following questions:
- How was the book?
- What did you like the most?
- What did you not like?
- How can I improve it?
Make a list of the things people said about your book.
Go through and address everything that was brought up, especially the parts that were not liked and the parts that can be improved upon.
You may find yourself editing and deleting a whole lot more, even restarting all over if you have to and that is okay because this is where you are able to add massive amounts of real value to your book which will in the end, this will get your more followers, make you more money, give you more authority on the subject, and add to your credibility.
Remember to add an acknowledgements page. It usually only takes up a paragraph or two and it will give you a nice opportunity to thank anyone who offered you valuable feedback.
Getting ready to Publish
First you will want to write down relevant and important information about your eBook. The more precise information that you gather about your eBook, the easier it will be to publish and promote successfully.
Now you are going to make a list on another document:
- section and chapter titles,
- the number of sections or chapters,
- the word count of the book,
- a page number estimate.
After you have written that info down come up with another list of descriptive terms or “keywords” that are pertinent to your book, and a general thesis.
You do not have to have a thesis statement but usually if you do it will be pretty obvious what it should state once you have completed writing the eBook.
Think about your audience and come up with a general target demographic.
Decide on what publishing platform(s) to go with. Different platforms have different audiences, pay different royalties to you, and vary in piracy protection of your content. Right now you should look at which one is going to make you the most money.
KDP is Kindle Direct to Public. They will let anyone publish an ebook on their platform and let them keep 70% of the sales. They keep the rest for the service. The only drawback to this service is that it only markets to people with kindle e-readers.
There are other services like Lulu, and Smashwords that you might want to consider but some of them cost money. A lot of these companies will edit, and publish your manuscript in PDF format.
I am of the opinion that you do not want to pay a lot of money to publish your eBook because it doesn’t really cost anything to publish. All you have to do is save your file as a PDF… Don’t pay for that when you’ve already edited and converted to a PDF yourself.
However, some of these companies may be worth it because they can reach wider audiences and some pay higher royalties.
For example, Lulu, pays 90% royalties.
Smashswords pays 60% of list price from major ebook retailers and up to 80% list at the Smashwords Store.
There used to be a company called Booktango that gave 100% royalties but they are out of business (i wonder why?).
So, when it comes to choosing a publisher, do your research, compare costs, and ultimately decide what works best for you.
Make sure that there are no hidden costs, that they will let you set the price of your own book (eBooks sell best when priced between $.99 and $5.99, and that you have reviewed the rules so you know exactly what format to use for your eBook.
Some may require special software to use to convert your files to the right kind to be published.
It is entirely possible to self publish your own e-book and sell it on your own website in order to keep 100% of the profit.
If you already have the audience, a way to accept payments, and a website then this may be the perfect solution for you.
Just keep in mind that your anti-piracy measures probably aren’t going to be as good as, say, the ones offered with major publishing services.
Here are a few programs that will allow you to write your, eBook, and convert to an encrypted PDF file:
- Calibre – New, quick, easy to use. With this program, you write your eBook in a word processor that is able to save your file as a HTML file. Once it is an HTML file, you can convert it to an EPUB file, which is the industry standard for eBooks. This software is also FREE! But if you make money from your eBook then a donation would be appreciated by the creators.
- Adobe Acrobat Pro is the standard program for which the industry standard was set. You can create PDF files, which can be read on just about any computer or device. You will also be able to password-protect your PDF file when you save it. Keep in mind that once you’ve given out the password, anyone who has the PW will be able to open the book. It’s a powerful and versatile program but it is not free.
- OpenOffice.org is what I started with because it is a popular free office suite that is similar to Microsoft Works. Like Calibre, OpenOffice.org’s word processor is free to use and lets you save files to a PDF. It is not the best for making the cover but you can find other programs for that by looking at image and PDF editing programs.
Promoting your published eBook
Congratulations! You’ve published your first eBook!
Now its time to sell that bad boy. However, if nobody knows about it then you aren’t going to sell very many.
This is where marketing comes in. There are many ways to get yourself some paid advertising online and it may be worth it to use paid advertising if you think your book could do well.
The best thing that you can do to promote your book is to do as much work as you can, yourself.
This means promoting it on social media, sending out email promotions, talking about it on forums, making YouTube videos on your topic, etc.
Giving away the book for free may sounds counter productive but if you do not have an email list yet then offering a free eBook in exchange for an email address could be just as valuable.
Set up an email grab on your website, and email them the PDF after then have subscribed to your mailing list.
This will help you build trust in your community and now people will begin to recognize you as an authority on the subject. This makes them much much more likely to buy a product that you promote in the future.
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