30 eBook Authoring Tips

March 10, 2008

30 eBook Authoring TipsJimmy Brown did it again. He recently released another free ebook that’s jam packed with 30 tips for ebook authors (you could also use these tips when creating other types of information products such as CDs, DVDs, and membership sites).

In this free ebook, Jimmy gives you:
– 5 Topics to Write About.
– 7 Ways to Do Your Research.
– 7 Ways to Organize Your Information.
– 4 Tips for Staying Motivated.
– 7 Methods for Overcoming Writer’s Block

To download your copy, simply right click on this link and choose “save target as”…

Read my previous post about Jimmy Brown to see my full endorsement of him and 3 additional free ebooks…

3 Simple Ways to Create Your First Project

December 19, 2007

You’ve probably heard me say it before, “Just do it.” Get started today. Take action. Do something!

You may be wondering what in the world should you start doing! Start a blog. Write an article. Generate some traffic.

But even more important, create your first product. Get it out there and get some experience with marketing online.

You’re not planning for a home run project on your first time up to bat. Just go for that single base hit. I’ve made the mistake in the past of trying to put together encyclopedia type projects which cover every aspect of a topic. That’s not what customers want. They want a simple solution and step-by-step system to reach their goals in the shortest time possible. They don’t even want a full book on the topic. The quicker and easier you can provide the information, the better it is.

You’ve seen me talk about selling high ticket items. They’re key to taking your business to the next level of profits, but they are not where most people start on their very first project. For your very first project, the primary goal is to do something simple that you can get done quickly.

Below are 3 types of projects that make sense for your first time:

1. Write a short report.

Publishing a book is a long time consuming process. I have two published books available at Amazon.com. They both took a lot longer to write and a lot longer to publish than any beginner needs to follow for their first product. Don’t write a book for your first product! Don’t even write a “full ebook” for your first product.

Write a short 10 to 30 page report about the subject instead of a longer work. Give it a low lead generating price (such as $9.95, $10, or $19.95). Sell it on Clickbank.com or through Paypal.com (you don’t need a merchant account). You can also run it on eBay or Amazon’s new Kindle program.

You can write this length of report in a day…or at most 2 days. Then you can pull out an article or two as excerpts from the report for promotional purposes. Are you going to make a fortune from this product? Nope. That’s not it’s goal. The goal is to get you started in a market and start building a customer list.

2. Record an Interview

Can’t write a 10 to 30 page report that gives people a step-by-step system? Maybe you’re not the expert on the subject. In that case, simply find the expert to interview.

If you’ve never done an interview before, you’ll likely be shocked at just how willing many experts are to taking you up on your request. As long as you allow them to promote their new book or their product, they’re ready and willing to do the interview with you.

Here are a few simple tools to do your interview. Use Skype to make the phone call. Then record using Powergramo. The paid version of this software even allows you to record on two different channels so you can fix the volume levels. To edit the interview, you can use the free Audacity software.

Once you’ve produced your interview, you could sell it digitally just like the report above, or you can turn it into a CD using Kunaki. For $1.60 per copy they will duplicate your CD and they even have template designs to get your first product up quickly.

3. Produce a DVD

This is more complicated than writing a report or producing an audio, but it’s not that much more complicated when you use the right tools. If the product you want to create is on anything computer related (online marketing, software program tutorials, ebay, etc.), you can use Camtasia Studio to produce the product. You can download their 30 day trial here.

Once you’ve produced the videos, I recommend Sony DVD Architect which is part of Vegas Movie Studio. It allows you to put together a DVD with menus that you can then upload to Kunaki for duplication (only $1.60 per copy).

There you have it…3 ways to create your first product quickly. If you’d like to go into deeper detail about how to profit from your own information business, check out my Information Marketing Mastery product here…

5 Reasons to Write a Book Today

April 3, 2007

You should write a book. It just may not be for the reasons you think.

The quickest way to get started in the information business is by doing an audio interview. Do a quick outline or put together a few questions. Find an expert. Record an hour interview. You now have a product. No more than 2 hours were invested in the process…and a minimum amount of money (a simple phone recording device can get you started).

A book takes at least a week to write, and you have to pay for a well designed cover to sell it. Yet, I still recommend a portion of my clients create a book. Why?

It’s simple really. Becoming an author provides you with immediate benefits that are hard to compete with in any other way.

1. Improve Credibility for Consultants and Coaches

If you’re currently doing any consulting or coaching, having your own book separates you from the competition. Would you rather hire the consultant who studied all these books…or the author of the books they studied?

Instead of simply giving someone your business card or a brochure, you can hand them your book. You’re the expert. While most people won’t “read” your book, it now goes on their shelf with other books they’ve purchased. It makes them feel better just having it.

2. Increase Fees

Want to increase your fees? Publish a book. This one goes right along with number one. You’ve improved your credibility, so you can now raise your rates. This includes consulting, coaching, and speaking fees. You’re a busy author (doing publicity campaigns and more). Your time is valuable.

You’ll also run into less price resistance as an author. It seems miraculous, but your perceived value in the eyes of your clients has now went up. You’re an author…and your “expert” fees seem more reasonable now.

3. Generate Publicity

Send out review copies. Do radio talk shows. The media is starved for good interviews. You now have something to talk about in your new book (I recommend creating your book with publicity in mind from the beginning).

Not very many people will listen to an interview and hire you to consult with them. They will buy your low cost book and be added to your customer list. Then you can follow up on them with all your higher profit items on the backend.

4. Backend Sales

A book is a perfect entry point in your product funnel. Let’s say you sell DVDs, home study courses, and even do workshops. Your higher price point items might require an endorsement from a trusted source or someone to speak to them on the phone. The book simply has be offered as a solution to a problem they’re having. It’s an easy sale.

You can then have upsells and other offers throughout the book. Don’t turn the entire book into a sales letter. DO offer items that solve their problems. The book can be a doorway into your other product offers.

5. Deepen Your Knowledge Base

Even if you never sold a copy, a book can still be profitable to you. It requires you sit down and organize your thoughts. You have to outline. You have to study your subject more in depth. You’ll have a broader base of knowledge and skill when you’re finished with your book.

To put it simply…writing a book will help you grow. It will stretch you. You’ll come out of it with greater knowledge, experience, and value to give to others.

Find Out More
If you’d like to know more about creating your own book and information publishing business, go to:
http://www.publishingseminar.com.

I’m teaming up with 3 other business building experts to help you grow your income as an author or publisher. Fred Gleeck will show you how to build your information funnel, hold your own seminars, and increase your speaking income. John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, will cover how to generate the most retail sales of your books. Bob Bly will cover book ideas and the advantages of traditional publishing versus self-publishing.

It all happens on May 29th and 30th. Reserve your seat today…

http://www.publishingseminar.com

How to Publish a Book

March 27, 2007

Would you like to publish your own print book? If so, here’s a quick rundown of how I did it personally….including the tools I used.

I have two books currently in print…both using the exact same system.

Internet IntegrityBook one is “Internet Integrity: The Truth About How ANY Business Can Increase Profits Online.”

This covers the step-by-step system I used to build my online business including the 10 deadly online marketing mistakes, my 15 step copywriting system, and the exact email strategy I used to produce $96,250 in email sales in 72 hours.

It also has two special chapters. The first covers how any local business can use the Internet to increase their profits. The second one tells you how to get started today even if you don’t have any products or services to sell. Check out its reviews and order on Amazon….

Financial FreedomBook two is “Financial Freedom: A Step-By-Step Practical Guide for Walking in God’s Blessings.”

I regularly minister in churches, and this covers the spiritual growth my wife and I experienced that helped create our success. Very few Christians walk in financial freedom, and this is a guide to help them get there. It also deals with a lot of the misconceptions and poor doctrine about money that many churches preach.
Also available on Amazon.com…

How to Publish Your Book

My books are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and can be ordered by any bookstore through Ingram. Yet, I never ship out a single book to any of them. I have my own Amazon Advantage account for example, but I don’t deal or sell any books through it (I used it for CDs and DVDs I offer).

My print-on-demand book printer takes care of the distribution of the books to all these sellers. Here’s how I’ve done it…

I have written all my books myself. You can hire ghostwriters, and they do an excellent job. I like to write though, so I don’t outsource this part at all. The editing was done by Julie, my wife. If you don’t have someone extremely good with English available, you could hire this out to a worker from http://www.elance.com or hire an English Major or Journalism student from a local community college.

My covers were designed by:
http://www.alphaadvertising.com/covers/

Don’t skimp on your cover. There’s that old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yet, that’s how most people DO judge your book. Most self-published books have horrible cover design. They look self-published, and that’s definitely not something I wanted for my books. Can you pay less? Yes. Should you? Not in my opinion. Alpha did a great job on my books and came up with most of the potential designs.

Get your ISBN Numbers at:
http://www.isbn.org

The book printer I use requires you to have your own ISBN number when you come to them (they require everything to be print ready). You can purchase 10 ISBN for $240. I had my book cover designer put the ISBN and bar code on the back cover of the book for me.

My Print-On-Demand Book Printer is:
http://www.lightningsource.com

I first found them when I considered going with another print-on-demand publisher that shall remain nameless here. This other publisher charged $2,000 upfront to do your cover, ISBN, and get your book in print. Then they paid you like $2 a book sold…chump change. While doing some searches, I found Lightningsource was their real printer. Go to their links page…and scroll down to Author Services. You’ll see almost every print-on-demand publisher. Interesting, isn’t it?

With Lightningsource, I’m paying $4.20 for my Internet Integrity book at 220 pages and $4.74 for Financial Freedom for 256 pages. This is per book. I could get it cheaper if I wanted to purchase a high volume, but I don’t want inventory sitting around.

When a book sells on Amazon, they take care of it. They only charge for the book printing. The whole difference between the wholesale price and the book printing fee is my royalty. They then send out the royalty checks quarterly. They handle book orders from retailers. They don’t sell directly to the public.

If you want a little easier solution and someone who can handle direct customer orders also, http://www.lulu.com is an option. They’re quite a bit more expensive, but they’re a little easier to use when you’re setting up. I include a 318 page coil bound manual with my Information Marketing Mastery product at http://www.myinfomastery.com. It was printed by Lulu because I wanted the coil binding since it’s a workbook, and Lightningsource didn’t offer this.

Do Clients Pay Attention to Your Emails?

February 20, 2007

I constantly hear people moaning about just how hard it is to get people to open their emails. If they’re a client of mine, I take a look at a few of their emails. Almost without fail, the ones who complain the loudest and moan the longest about their email problems are people who deliver emails I definitely wouldn’t be reading either.

Just yesterday I went through all my Internet marketing newsletters again and unsubscribed from a large group of them. For each one I looked through several back issues…specifically looking for value in them.

Many of them had no real value. All they included was one promotional piece after another. Why would I want to subscribe to that? Why would anyone want to subscribe to that?

What is most surprising is that many of these email publishers were also information sellers. Producing a little good content in their newsletter would be no more difficult than including an excerpt from one of their products.

Were the ones I was reading doing this? Nope. It as just one hyped up email after another. No content. No value. No reason to keep reading. Thank you. I have enough advertising in my box.

What about the Last Time I Did a Large Group of Unsubscribes?

You’ll notice I said I went through the newsletters and unsubscribed again. When was the last time and what caused it?

The last large group of unsubscribes occured during the last big one day promotional event. I received more than a dozen emails that all essentially said the same thing. They all talked about how wonderful and profit producing product A was. What was most annoying to me was it was obvious most them had only seen the promotional videos for the product. They had never studied the product themselves.

So I removed myself from every single list where they published the normal information about the product launch. The only ones I stayed on were the ones where they gave their opinion about the product…and they really honestly tried to explain how they felt about it themselves.

Remember, people want content and they want an honest voice.

They don’t want a parrot.

If all you say is exactly like everyone else, why should anyone listen to you? They can read this person’s newsletter instead. Inject personality. Inject emotion. Be yourself in your newsletter. Tell them how you personally feel about it.

For a long time I’ve told people to write their emails like they are writing to a friend. Let me ask you this. How do you feel about friends you only see when they want something? I’m sure you’ve had a few friends like that in your life. You don’t see them for months. When they do show up, it’s because they need money or help. You may help them for a while.

The question is just how strong is your relationship becoming as this happens time and time again. Think about that the next time you send an email.

Write First…Edit Later

May 18, 2006

I promised to share with you the biggest mistake new writers make today.  It’s the mistake which turns a short writing process into a full day drudgery.  And it’s also a problem which isn’t limited only to new writers.  Experienced writers go through periods of time where it weighs them down.

I’m talking about editing at the same time you’re writing. If you try to edit while you’re doing your first rough draft of any article, white paper, or book, you’re going to slow down the whole process to a snail’s pace.  Writing and editing are a completely separate process, and you have to treat them as such.

When you sit down to write, you must write.  Don’t worry about being perfect.  Don’t worry about making mistakes.  Just do it.  Write.  You’ll do your editing later in the process.  You might end up cutting out several paragraphs from the beginning of your writing when you get to editing.  It doesn’t matter.  In fact, when I’m training people on doing copywriting, it’s normal for us to cut out the first few paragraphs or even their whole first page.  It’s almost as if they’re going through a warm-up process in getting started.

So sit down and write.  That’s the key.  Don’t go back and edit.  Don’t sit there and contemplate what you’ll say next.  The more you can just write or type your thoughts out as they come to you, the easier the whole project will be.  Don’t allow yourself to rethink what you wrote at this point.  Don’t stop to go back and make changes yet.  Just write it until it’s finished.

Once you’re finished, now you can take a break from it for a while. Give yourself some time off.  Relax and do something else to occupy your mind.  My best ideas have almost always come to me while i was doing something other than working (playing a game, seeing a movie, taking a shower, etc.).

Have you ever experienced a conversation with someone where you don’t seem to get your point across?  Of course you have. In most cases the perfect words come to you later on that day and you just wish you had said such-and-such.  Writing is your opportunity to do this.  You write as if you’re in a private conversation with someone.  Then you take a break from writing and your subconcious gets to work on the project.  Now you get the opportunity to go back in and reword your piece.  You can’t take back words that come out of your mouth, but you can sure edit your writing before it’s published. 

The best results occur for me when I take a day between the writing and the editing process.  When I come back to my article I’m refreshed and often have a new perspective on it. It’s easy to go through and make the first several changes from things that came to mind in the past day.  I then read it outloud.  Someone else reads it outloud to me.  Anywhere that it just doesn’t sound right is modified and edited.  In a future postings, I’ll explain more about the overall editing process.

The one key principle here is that you must separate writing from editing.  It’s that tendency in us to perfect something that holds you back in writing.  It’s also the fear of making a mistake.  What if you don’t write it correctly?  What if it doesn’t sound right?  Public speaking is the number one fear of the average person.  They’re afraid they may appear foolish in front of an audience.  This same fear invades our writing at times. 

The simple solution to it is to tell yourself you will edit it before it goes out.  What you write today is not what will be published.  It is called a rough draft because it’s rough and needs some polishing.  You have to get over your fear and get started.  Just do it and edit it later.

Don’t Stare At a Blank Screen of Death

May 17, 2006

The thing that keeps most people from writing is the dreaded blank page. You get yourself motivated.  You sit down and turn on your word processing program.  You stare at the page.  You try to come up with the perfect first sentence.  After a few minutes you finally begin typing one.  Your next thought is that it just isn’t right and you delete the whole line.  You stare at the blank page a little longer.  Finally you write something else.  It isn’t right either.  So you delete it. 

This process continues on for an hour or two…until you give up in total frustration.  Writing must not be for you!  I’ve been there.  I’ve felt the pain.  I’ve stared at the blank screen of death.  Nothing came to mind.  Nothing ended up being written down.  All I did was stare. 

This pain continued until I learned a much easier writing system.  I used to dread writing.  I hated sitting down to write something.  Maybe moving some papers around my desk would be better.  Maybe making a phone call to a friend would help.  Maybe taking a break was what I needed.  You’ve probably experienced some of those same thoughts….where you’d do anything to avoid sitting there with that blank stare on your face.

Writing the first sentence of an article, an ebook, or a book is the most difficult sentence to write.  So don’t start there! That’s one of the secrets.  What you must learn to do is to break up whatever you’re writing into smaller chunks.  If you’re writing an article for example, come up with 3 to 5 points you want to make.  Break up the article into these principles, steps, or points.  Now instead of writing a 500 word article, you’re writing 100 word chunks for each of the steps you’ve created.

Which is easier to think about writing…one full article or simply a two paragraph section?  Obviously it’s easier to write two paragraphs.  Once you’ve decided on the steps or principles your article will contain, you can then begin writing on any individual section.  There is no rule that you have to start in the beginning…and in most cases, that’s the last place you should start.  Pick any of the sections you’ve now created and start there. 

Write about point number four if that’s the one which comes the easiest for you.  Then write about step three.  Work on each step or section individually and once they’re all finished…then you come back to the beginning.  As you see your article slowly taking shape, that’s when you’re motivated to continue.  And the more you write, the easier it gets to keep going. 

The basics of today’s lesson is that you must not allow yourself to sit there staring.  Do a simple outline of the main points you want to make.  Begin writing on whichever point will be the easiest for you to do.  Take each section individually so you only have to think of doing a paragraph or two at a time.  Often the beginning of the article is the last portion written.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the biggest mistake new writers make that causes them to take 2 to 3 hours to write something which should only take about 30 minutes.

Why Write Articles?

May 16, 2006

This is the first in a series of postings about writing articles and content for the Internet.  Today we’ll cover why you need to learn to write for the Internet world.  Some people hate writing…and I understand that type of thinking perfectly.  In school, my best subjects were math and science.  English and Speech were two of my most hated classes, yet those are now the skills I use the most in my business. 

Sure, you can hire out the job of writing to freelancers or you can join websites which offer you private label articles, but both of those options cost money and don’t build the same level of relationship with your subscribers.  Although you don’t have to write the majority of your content, you should at least produce some of of your own. 

Here is a short list of the benefits of producing content for your websites and your business…

  • Produce content and build relationships with your opt-in subscribers.
  • Create a regular blog series for traffic and community.
  • Submit your articles to article submission sites for free traffic generation.
  • Compile a group of your articles together for an ebook or physical book.
  • Use the articles for search engine “fuel” by optimizing them for search engine rankings. 
  • Provide content for affiliates to use in promotion of your products and services.

The last four benefits can easily be reproduced by hiring outside writers.  The first two are much more difficult to accomplish without producing at least some of your own writing.  People buy from those who they like and trust…and for small businesses, it’s very difficult to build strong relationships with your customers without regular contact with them.  In fact, blogs have become such a part of online marketing that many large corporations now have their own blog writers to deal with this marketing medium. 

What I’ve found throughout my business is that nothing I’ve ever done has produced the same level of value to me as writing to my prospects and clients has done.  For example, I once wrote an article called, “The Internet Lifestyle.”  This article was published in hundreds of email newsletters and reproduced on thousands of web sites.  It generated viral traffic for me for years…and it is still making it’s rounds even though it has been close to six years since I originally created it.  An article which took me around 30 minutes to write…has produced tens of thousands of visitors and has continued producing for six years. 

What free promotion have you ever done that equals that amount of results with so little time invested?

This article wasn’t about some new revolution in Internet marketing or some new strategy no one had ever heard about.  It was simply about what I call the Internet lifestyle….and how I can live and work anywhere I want.  When you run an Internet based business, you can do it at home from your home in your underwear if you want.  You can do it in a big city if that’s what you like.  You can do it out in the middle of nowhere like I do if that’s your choice.  I live in rural Indiana on a street where there are only three other houses in a one mile stretch of road.

The “Internet Lifestyle” article talked about a cow named Oscar which lived next door to me.  This has to be one of the most well known cows in existance as I’ve been asked by email, on the phone, and even in conference about how Oscar was doing.  In fact, just last week someone asked me that question again.  I had to simply respond, “I’m sorry, but Oscar was eaten a long time ago.”  Don’t look at me!  I didn’t do it.  Oscar just lived next door.  It is kind of funny that as long as the article has been out there…no one mentioned the fact that Oscar was really a bull, not a cow (I was wondering if anyone would mention it and they never have).

Anyway, the point of this is the power of one interesting article.  It builds relationships.  It drives traffic.  It’s totally free promotion, and most people simply don’t know how to do it correctly.  In the next couple of postings I’ll be teaching you a few aspects of the article writing system I’ve always used to get you started fast. 

 

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