Are you still carrying your business card religiously? Did it deliver? How often you obtain a consulting job with it? How about a high-paying permanent position?
Are you still using a typewriter? I am kidding. Or should I be serious?
Are you still using a typewriter? I am kidding. Or should I be serious?
Are you communicating with your clients through your telephone? Only sometimes, right?
Or using Periscope? Instagram anyone? Are you SnapChatting? (I like this one; it sounds so Chic).
Are you successfully selling your skills as a writer? I hope so, but do not worry if you are not there yet.
Help is on its way.
We all feel that we could do better. Right?
Have you ever given any thought to finding new, and perhaps better ways to promote your writing skills?
Have you heard about Kindle? I am allowing you to scold me here. Shame on you Jayne…Who hasn’t?
Do you know what e-books are? Again Jayne? I guess I should not be surprised when people will write unpleasant messages to me.
Do you think you could use e-books to promote your writing abilities? Of course, but how good a writer I should be?
Did you get a grade of C or better in English in High School? You qualified.
The trend currently is to write, what we call “short” e-books that contain a maximum of up to about 50 pages. Short books tackle a single problem and most of the time with a single solution.
So, how long do you think it should take you writing a book like that?
Do you think it would be worth your time?
Selling with e-books can be effective, but only if you know what you are doing.
So, let’s tackle this topic a bit.
- Creating Your e-book
The first step in promoting yourself with e-books is producing a SELLABLE e-book. As you can see the keyword is “sellable.”
Sellable also means, selling yourself via the e-book you produced.
It also means that people want to read it….people want to part from their hard-earned money for it.
So what makes a book “sellable?”
First, by creating an e-book that discusses the “right topic.”
a) Selecting the Right Topic
A professional, experienced author finds this task the “easy part,” but for a writer without prior experience in writing books with the right topic can be a challenge.
You need to choose a topic that:
- Is in high demand
- Has a respectable market (meaning sufficient numbers of potential buyers)
- Will “fly off” Amazon’s website (based on the thorough research you conducted online and off)
- Contains adequate new information for your readers to entice them to make the purchase.
- For Interviews: The topic should be a combination of your background and the interest of the industry you are seeking to enter. (Notice: not the interest of the individual company you are interviewing with)
- For gaining new clients: The topic should be a combination of your background, what your company does, the strength of your company, and why should people hire you…
How do you select the right topic? Particularly, if you have never written an e-book (or any book) before?
Writing with a mentor can be helpful. A mentor can advise you and guide you in determining what topics would draw the most interest.
Alternatively, there is nothing wrong to hire a ghostwriter for writing your book. They usually meet with you multiple times to get a feel for your style, your interpretation of the language and in general your view about appearance.
I am going to insert here a brief message: See our services. We do offer to ghostwrite your book, and we were told that we are good at it.
Selecting a topic for your e-book is a large enough subject matter by itself for a blog post; so, here I am only covering briefly the important steps in the process. Please keep coming back to our site and you will be able to read an entire blog post about selecting winning topics for your books
b) Topic selection process
- Brainstorm project ideas – review your experiences in your business and personal life: Look back and think about topics that made you excited to write about, or select subject matter with the power of affecting you emotionally and use other similar creative methods.
- Identify your primary goals (consider your business goals):
- Do you want to enhance your visibility?
- Do you want to create your personal brand?
- Do you want to use the book for building your subscribing audience?
- Do you want to establish your credibility in the subject matter?
You do not necessarily need to select only a single goal; you can bundle multiple goals into a single primary goal.
Your personal goals could include your interest in making some extra income while enhancing your reputation
c) Determine your strengths:
- What are you good at? (I know; Not that!)
- What topics would be easy for you to write about? (Can’t you think about anything else? Although that topic sells well)
- In what subject matter do people turn to you for advice? (Really? What is your secret? Can you send it to my private box: 721-777?)
Although I do not like to place emphasis on “passion,” (between you and me- I am bluffing); I think it is not a bad idea to throw it into this pool. (Ya! Yes throw it please!)
- What do you enjoy doing passionately? (I do not know what I had for breakfast, but I think you are interested to know). Topics that ignite your emotions (I am starting to blush here) [(in good or bad ways..(forget the bad ways)) or things that fascinate you.
All of these (and much more) should be considered in the process of selecting your topic (I promise to be serious from here on).
The important thing to remember is not to take the task of selecting the right topic lightly. Remember, this is a chance for you to present yourself as a professional writer with significant knowledge in the subject matter.
If your primary goal is to make some money, you will want to choose a topic that is hot, potential buyers’ interest is strong, and the audience is large enough to carry multiple books within the same subject matter.
How can you determine if a topic is in high demand?
How can you be fairly confident that the topic you selected will fly off the website of Amazon?
- Research top-selling books (either in print or e-books) on Amazon. You can write about the same topic but attack it or analyze it from a different angle. If possible, choose a topic that is similar, but not identical, to one of these top-selling books.
If you visit Amazon’s site, you will see that top sellers are listed up to the “top 100,” in each category, but it is recommended that you select from the top 20 only.
My opinion is that you will do fine if you select a topic from the top 50 (or 50%) best sellers; it is extremely difficult to compete with a book that is in the top 20 best sellers list, particularly without prior experience as an author, meaning without name recognition.
- Select the right category (listed right below ranking). This is big. These are the categories you are shooting for. The right choice here can make a huge difference between selling lots of books or just selling in “drips.”
- Scroll down to “Product Detail” on Amazon’s main page for the book you want to compete with and review the “Best Sellers Rank.” The best books are ranked below 100,000; some experts recommend aiming for a rank of 50,000 or below.
If your goal is to showcase your skills:
– You will need to choose a topic in which you can showcase your authority and knowledge.
– You will want to delve deep into the selected topic.
– You will likely want a topic that you are already familiar with in this instance.
– Above all, choose a topic that will give you some room for creativity.
Irrespective of what your goal is, you want to shine when you publish an e-book, and this requires creativity, good writing ability, (notice I did not say excellent) and a sizzling hot topic.
Fresh ideas are always in high demand, and if you are lucky, your e-book may fly off from Amazon.
Wouldn’t that make your day?
- Writing your Book
How to write an e-book is also a topic on its own. We have created multiple articles and courses to cover this topic in detail, so here we just summarize the important steps of the process.
Since you have selected your topic, you are pretty much aware of your target audience. It is extremely important to understand for whom you are writing the book.
All successful books are written for a single person.
Naturally, you want this single person to be cloned to hundreds and even to thousands of potential buyers.
Do you want to know how I started my first eBook after I delayed it for months? I woke up one morning, opened Pages for Mac, typed the title that I had in mind, and started to write.
That is exactly what you need to do.
Some writers feel more comfortable creating chapter titles and table of contents (TOCs) before writing the first word. That is acceptable too if you are confident that the book will cover your topic adequately, but leave something for the next book.
Whatever time you read this, just know that if you do not start writing tomorrow morning (or whenever you are comfortable writing), then you will never write an eBook.
Kindle suggests that you write your script in Word because if you decide to format the book yourself, you must save your file to a filtered .html or .htm format, which translates on Kindle very well.
A few very important things you need to keep in mind right at the beginning as you start writing:
- Create the descriptive and attractive titles that scream “buy me!” I am going to put in a plug here, that we offer either creating your titles or if you are determined to create it yourself, we can review it and provide you some guidance for optimization for search engines.
Fascinating titles that consider and use the appropriate keywords most often result in higher purchase rates.(You can Tweet this)
Web and Amazon users will be intrigued and click on your title rather than the one with the mundane heading. However, please make sure that your title matches the content of your book. People do not like to be deceived and will remember a ruse forever.
You will also want to include a subtitle with your e-book. Subtitles give a little more information and create a need in the mind of the potential buyer.
Keyword selection also applies to the first few paragraphs of your text. Google crawls deeper than just your title.
If you are a new author unfamiliar with search engine optimization, you are bound to run into challenges. Don’t let this stop you, as only by trial and error will you learn. Believe me; you are not the first author who is new to this technology, and you won’t be the last, either.
There are plenty of books out there about SEO; perhaps you can pick up one or two and educate yourself about this technology. It definitely will be time well spent.
Once the actual content of the book is written, you need to write the table of contents (TOC), unless you already created it.
A “ Supportive Statement” by a known author here can boost your sales significantly. Alternatively, include a few testimonials.
If you have testimonials from people who read your first draft, you should insert them at the beginning of the book.
It is trendy to add a gift for buyers either here, at the beginning of the book if you are interested in collecting e-mail addresses and do not restrict the receipt to actual buyers only, or at the end of the book, if the gifts are intended only for purchasers.
Next, it is time to design the book cover.
People do judge a book by its cover, so make sure that the cover is inviting, stands out from the crowd and appears professional. It is worth spending some money for a professionally designed cover; watch as your sales improve.
I just reviewed a colleague’s selections from “99designs.” They are not inexpensive, but they sent him upward of 150 designs, and he can select the top 10 he likes and ask his friends, colleagues, and readers to vote on their favorites. This process increases your chances of selecting the right cover for selling more books.
You are almost ready to publish, but before you get there you need to proofread your work, and then proofread it again. The more times you can proofread the work, the better your results will be. Consider hiring someone else to do some of the editing and proofreadings for you, because getting someone else’s ideas about your book is always going to help.
Ready to Publish your Creation – Your First e-Book
Once all of the content for the book has been created, you need to compile it all in an e-book format. This is a crucial step in learning to publish and market with e-books. The good news is that publishing e-books are much easier than publishing traditionally printed books.
One of the easiest ways to publish an e-book is with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. KDP is a free publishing tool that allows you to format your book and publish it to the Kindle marketplace. We will cover this topic in more details in other posts. Another option is to convert the entire file to a PDF and attempt to sell it on your own.
Marketing with e-books
Finally, once the book is published, you need to market it. However, today it is trendier to pre-sell a book that starts significantly earlier as compared to when the book is ready to be published.
Although we have left the marketing of your book for the end of this post (nearly coinciding with the publishing), in reality, the marketing of your book should be initiated either concurrently with the first word of your writing, or even before that.
Many authors start to promote their book as soon as they start writing it. I hate to be repetitious, but this is another “heavyweight” topic that needs its coverage, so that is what we will do. It appears that you’ll have to wait to read for a while.
“If you build it, they will come,” is a great tagline for a movie, but it doesn’t apply here. People are not going to buy your book simply because you published it. You need to entice them to do so.
Use your blog, your subscribers and all your social media sites to get the word out. There are a huge number of websites that you can send your press release, and they will promote your book to their readers (either free or for a nominal fee). We will publish a list in upcoming posts.
Offer some free copies for reviews on high-traffic blogs, and send some to “professional” reviewers and social media pages. The more eyes you get on your book, the better your chances of success will be.
You should run a pre-sale promotion, as soon as you have settled on the title and description of the book. The next step is developing a “noisy” launch followed by at least two to three months of relentless marketing. If this is your first book, you can even extend this phase to six months.
Recently, it is quite popular to lead “launch parties.” From what I have learned by reading about these events, it is worth your time and investment. Authors who run these kinds of events sell more books; the book has a better chance to become a best seller and they remain “hot” for longer periods.
Good luck with your first book. Please let us know, if you need any additional information and help. This site was created with you in our mind.