Maybe you are already a published author? Or perhaps you want to become one?
It's a great time to turn your dreams into reality. EBooks are changing the world of publishing. You can write an eBook and get it published much easier than a traditional print book. Yet how can you promote it effectively and get it to sell?
I will help you learn everything you need to know to get your own eBook and to sell it.
Excited? Are you ready to get your eBook published? Let's get started:
I've organized all the information you need to know into a convenient, 8-Step Program. You will learn how to write, publish and sell your own eBooks.
Step 1: How To Write An eBook
The process of writing an eBook is very similar to writing any book. The main difference is that the finished product will be an electronic file.Here are some tips to follow when writing an eBook:
Tip #1: Purpose - Before you start writing, take some time to think strategically. Do not skip this critical step. It will save you time and trouble later.Answer these questions:
1. Who is the intended audience?
2. What will be the topic of the eBook?
3. What is the purpose of the eBook? (or what problem will it solve?) If your eBook doesn't help your readers, why would they buy it? Unless you story is purely for entertainment, that is.
Tip #2: Outline a Structure - Put together an outline or a Table of Contents. Plan out what you intend to cover in each chapter.
Tip #3: Do the Necessary Research - The Internet is a great place to do your any research. Statistics, quotations, recent news, whatever. But beware - many aspiring writers have spent countless days and weeks caught up in the research stage, and they never started writing. Get your research completed as quickly as possible and move on to your writing.
Tip #4: Schedule Time To Write - The most writing I ever did was when I had a deadline and had to produce a certain amount on time. Schedule time every day, or every week, when you are going to write. It's also a good time to set yourself a target number of pages to write in each session. And keep to your schedule.
Tip #5: Write Your First Draft - Write, write, write. Don't try and get it perfect now. Just get your thoughts down on paper. You can edit and rearrange and correct mistakes later.
Tip #6: Include Appropriate Graphics - Select any graphics, charts, diagrams and pictures that are appropriate to include. Be sure they are placed near to the text which references them. You will also need some artwork for your cover.
Tip #7: Rewrite Several Times - You will probably need to rewrite each chapter at least 2-3 times before you are really satisfied. Aim for clear, concise writing. Keep an eye out for cumbersome passages that the reader could struggle through or lose interest. Cut out unnecessary words and phrases as you go.
Tip #8: Rewrite - Replace passive writing with active writing. Here's an example. "The ball was kicked out of the stadium" is passive. There is no-one doing the action. It is better to say, "Peter ran forward and kicked the ball high into the air, sending it sailing out of the stadium".
Tip #9: Get A Friend To Read It - Find an objective friend or family member, or better still, another writer. Ask them to read what you have written and give you some feedback. What can be improved upon? What did they not understand? Which parts were tough reading? Believe me, it's better to find this out now than when after your book is published and when it is being reviewed!
Tip #10: Editing Tips- Check again for unnecessary words or phrases. Cut them out. Be ruthless.- Check that the content of each chapter is consistent with the chapter title.- Check that the content flows from paragraph to paragraph, and from chapter to chapter.- Consider whether you have you used sufficient examples, anecdotes, similes, metaphors, etc.- Check the spelling (your word processor should be able to help you with this).- Check your grammar (your word processor should be able to help you with this).
Tip #11: Format - Remember that your readers read your eBook on a PC, or they may decide to print it on paper before reading it. Keep this in mind when designing the format, including colors, graphics and layout.If you expect your readers to view it online, you may like to include special effects when they move the mouse over a section or when they click, for example on hyperlinks.
Tip #12: Don't Breach Copyright - Do not copy graphics or passages of text from other sources without permission or the rights to do so. Learn more about copyright here.
Step 2: Choosing A Publisher
What is publishing? What does a publisher do? In traditional print publishing a publisher aims to publish a certain number of titles per year. The publisher contracts with a writer for the rights to publish a book, manages the design including the cover, illustrations etc, and manages the marketing and promotion of the book.When it comes to your eBook, you have a number of publishing options:
Option 1. You can publish the eBook yourself, compiling the written pages into an eBook, even obtaining an ISBN number, and selling it through your own web site.
Option 2. You can choose an eBook publisher who meets you half way. One such publisher is BookLocker. They require you to deliver the eBook to them in its finished, compiled state. They will then provide the store, payment processing etc. You have control over the eBook's price. You retain the rights to sell it elsewhere. Royalties are good at up to 70%.
Option 3. You can choose a publisher who will function even more like a traditional print publisher. Take 1stBooks for example. They will set the price and take a more active role in marketing your book. You still retain the rights to sell your eBook elsewhere. Which way should you go? It really depends whether you have the time and motivation to get actively involved in marketing and promoting your own eBook. If you do then Options 1 and 2 above will probably work very well for you. They will also put more of the money from each copy in your pocket.
Step 3: eBook Software & Compilers
Before you select your eBook software you must consider which format you want your eBook to be in. Here are your main choices:
PDF Format - The Portable Document Format is so popular - and is appropriately named - because it can be delivered to almost, anyone, anywhere, who has a PC. It doesn't matter whether they are using a Windows PC or a Macintosh computer because they will still be able to read it. PDF files are read using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free for readers to download.
EXE Format - Some compilers will take your pages and combine them into an executable file which will automatically run on and Windows PC. The eBook will usually appear similar to a browser window with links, forward and back buttons etc. Macintosh users may not be able to read these files. Some customers may be afraid of running executable files which could be hiding viruses.Which one should you choose? If you are really serious about making money from eBooks, I believe it is worth making the investment in Adobe Acrobat. It is more expensive than the other compilers, but it has more universal, and safer delivery in the minds of customers.
Step 4: Build Your Own Web Site
If you have written an eBook, you should really have your own web site to promote it. Yes, you can probably link to it at your publisher's bookstore, but why not spend a few hours and set up your own web page promoting it.
Part A: Setting Up A Web Site
Part B: Selling From Your Web Site
Part A: Setting Up A Web Site - Is it difficult to set up a web site? A task best left to computer wizards? No way! It is easy to set up your very own web site. Here's what you need to do
:Step 1: Choose a Domain Name - Is your book all about Antiques from China? You may want to use the domain name www.chinaantiques.com. You can check the availability of domain names at:iPowerWeb - See Domain Check in left menu. Hostway - See domain name at top left.
Step 2: Choose a Hosting Service - Your web site pages need to be accessible 24 hours a day on a secure computer connected to the Internet. Tip: Buy 12 month's hosting at iPowerWeb and you'll pay only $7.95 per month with No Set-up Fee and a free Domain Name. Excellent offer!
Step 3: Write Your Web Pages - Web pages are written in HTML. If you're crazy you might like to write these in raw HTML code. It makes much more sense to write your pages using Microsoft Frontpage or Dreamweaver or even Microsoft Word. It's a breeze. Simply write the pages, format them the way you want them to look, then save them as HTML format. At hosts like iPowerWeb you can simply use their web design wizard to get started.
Step 4: Upload Your Pages to Your Hosting Service - You can either do this using Microsoft Frontage or similar, or use an FTP program like SmartFTP. Your hosting service will give you detailed instructions on how to do this. Congratulations! You now have a web site.
Part B: Selling From Your Web Site
Tip#1: Set up a dedicated page for your eBook. It's even better if you decide to have a dedicated web site just for your book. On the web page, use a medium sized graphic of the cover, include a book description, possibly your table of contents, some positive references and reviews, and a Buy Now link or button.
Tip#2: Include a small graphic on every page of your web site, linked to your eBook's page.
Tip#3: Use your web site to get visitors to subscribe to a newsletter. See more in our newsletter section.
Tip#4: Consider offering a time-limited discount, e.g. 'Save $4.00 if you purchase before Friday 25th April'. Make the date just a week or two later so the customer has a reason to act quickly.
Step 5: Taking Payments
There are a number of options available that enable you to take payments online. The most complex is to set up your own merchant account with your bank so you can accept credit cards. Payment processing services like ClickBank and PayPal offer a low-cost alternative which meets the needs of many eBook sellers.
ClickBank - If you choose ClickBank for your payment processing you'll also have an instant affiliate network promoting your eBooks. ClickBank will take $1.00 plus 7% for each transaction. After the customer pays they will be directed to a 'Thank You' page where they can download the eBook.
PayPal - You can start accepting online credit card payments instantly. In addition, PayPal offers a full suite of tools to keep your payment processing running smoothly. But wait! If a customer looks at the source code for your web page before paying, they may be able to see where they will be taken at the Thank You stage - therefore they could get to the download page without paying. Therefore, if you decide to use PayPal, I strongly recommend using it in conjunction with PayLoadz.
PayLoadz - Integrates beautifully with PayPal's online payment system. Deliver your products to your customers instantly after payment, using a completely automated and secure system. Recruit affiliates to sell your products too.
Merchant Account - A merchant account is an account your bank sets up to allow you to accept credit cards online. It can be more costly than the options above, if your volume is low. Please get further details from your bank.
Step 6: Promote Your eBook
There are many ways to promote your eBook. Let's look at some:
Tip #1: Write Articles - Write articles on topics related to your eBook and offer the articles free to newsletter editors and webmasters. Post your articles at these sites:http://amazines.com http://www.ezinearticles.com http://www.certificate.net/wwio/index.shtml http://www.marketing-seek.com
Tip #2: Partner With A Publisher - Selling your eBook through a publisher such as Booklocker will give your eBook additional exposure. See Choosing A Publisher.
Tip #3: Sell through eBook Stores - Amazon eBooks eBooks.com eBooks N' BytesFictionwise Mind Like Water
Tip #4: Pay-per-click Search Engines - At first you may be reluctant to pay for visitors. However, unlike regular advertising, you will at least know how much each visitor cost. And if you know that 1 in 20 visitors buys your eBook, then you can easily calculate how much you can afford to spend per visitor. The most popular services are from Google Adwords and Overture.
Tip #5: Reciprocal Links - Find related web sites and newsletter and suggest swapping an advert with them. Sites like LinkPartners can help you find appropriate sites.
Tip #6: Start A Free Newsletter - A newsletter is a great way for you to stay in regular contact with your contacts. If you can get web site visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, they become your prospects. Through a newsletter your regular contact will build trust and give you the opportunity to turn them into paying customers.
Tip #7: Start Your Own Affiliate Program - Which is better? Selling your eBook on one web site, or having a whole network of web sites promoting it. With an Affiliate Program, your affiliates promote your eBook and receive a commission from you whenever someone purchases it as the result of their referral. More
Step 7: Start An Affiliate Program
Which is better? Selling your eBook on one web site only, or having a whole network of web sites promoting it. With an Affiliate Program, your affiliates promote your eBook and receive a commission from you whenever someone purchases it as the result of their referral.To set up an affiliate program consider the following options:
ClickBank - If you choose ClickBank for your payment processing you'll also have an instant affiliate network promoting your eBooks. Many webmasters already have ClickBank ID's so it will be very easy for them to add your eBook to their web site. With ClickBank the affiliates send people to your web site and a "cookie" keeps track of where the referral came from.
PayLoadz - Use PayLoadz together with PayPal and you will also get affiliate capability. With PayLoadz the affiliates sell your eBook from their own web site. When the customer sees the sales copy on your affiliates site and click through to buy it, PayLoadz ensure the revenue comes to you and keeps track of which affiliates are due commissions.
Affiliate Program Software - For a serious affiliate program that you host entirely at your own web site and allows you to have 1st-Tier and 2nd-Tier commissions, consider the following applications:http://www.allaffiliatepro.com http://www.affiliatesoftware.net http://www.informationmanagementsystems.com
Join Other Affiliate Programs - Consider linking to related products from your eBook. It's quite easy to do. Simply include links throughout your eBook or include a page of 'Recommended Resources at the back.http://www.AffSite.com
Step 8: Start A Newsletter
A newsletter is a great way for you to stay in regular contact with your contacts.
If you can get web site visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, they become your prospects. Through a newsletter your regular contact will build trust and give you the opportunity to turn them into paying customers.
Golden Rule: Never, never, never send spam to people. Spam is unsolicited - unwanted - emails. Operate an Opt-in newsletter that your readers have full control over, i.e. they are able to subscribe or unsubscribe at any time.
How do you start a newsletter? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Planning - Decide on the title, topic and frequency of your new newsletter. Will you produce it in text format, or HTML, or both? If you decide to use a professional service like Topica Email Publisher, you can write your newsletter once and Topica will automatically take care of the different formats.
Step 2: Select a List Management Service - You could try and manage all the subscribe and unsubscribe requests manually, but you will probably go insane within a month or two. Check out Topica - I highly recommend their professional service if you can afford it right away, but if not you can start with their free service and it won't cost you a dime.
Step 2: Add Sign Up Forms To Your Web Site - Get a subscription box on every page of your web site inviting people to sign up for your newsletter.
Step 3: Plan Your Content - What will you include in each issue? Articles? News? Tips? Advice? Reader feedback? Certainly some advertisements for your eBook and other products.
Step 4: Format it Neatly & Professionally - This is especially important if you are not using a professional email service. Everyone uses different email software and what looks good for one person using Eudora may look very different for someone using Yahoo. Here's a few pointers:
If preparing a text version, include spaces
and lines like I have here.
Keep each line to 65 characters with a hard return at the end of each line and you will preventyour newsletter looking like this.
If preparing your newsletter in HTML be sure to test it by sending some sample emails and viewing them in your own email program, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL etc.
Step 5: Prepare Templates - This step is for those not using a professional newsletter service. Once you have decided on your regular content and format prepare a template (or use your first issue as a template) so you can produce it in the same consistent format each time. This will help to build an identifiable brand and 'look'.