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New to ebooks, please help me learn.

SportsGuy OK, so I'm finally finished the rough draft for my book.  It took me weeks, but I now have almost 70 pages of detailed info on my topic ready to go...

...but where do they go?

I have actively looked for book agents - you know, actual books you hold in your hands - remember those?

This has left me feeling a smidge disenfranchised as there is simply so much garbage in the publishing world to wade through.  Plus, I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to give up control of things to an agent, and admittedly, after this much work on what I feel is a great product, it would be disheartening to be told to write more...I may yet, but at the moment, it's a full, well-rounded package.

So, that leaves self-publishing for me and ebooking (is that even a phrase? LOL).

I find myself ready to go with my first round of reviews with trusted folks - people who would be just like the target audience I'm after - those who have no clue how to do what it is the book shows them, or at the most, have very little experience.  Or, they have very little self confidence and need a book like this as a prop - heck, the market just keeps expanding for me.

Let's get into some real questions:

~ Following the final revisions, what should my next step be?
~ My goal is to sell the book, but how do I determine pricing?
~ I don't expect everything to be free, so investing in protection software, etc. is on the plate pending actual costs - where should I start on that end?
~ I'll be setting up a website, so it'd be natural to sell through that, right?
~ I'm not the first with this idea, I'm sure, but I do what the book outlines for a living and have a profitable website as a result of these practices myself (on the side), so how do you approach the sale?  Hard sell on success, or softsell on reality?

I'll wrap up my first post by saying thanks for th great reading this forum has provided so far today - nicely informative.  ...and if the link in my signature is against the forum ettiquete, I'll remove it pronto.


(Edited by SportsGuy at 2:01 pm on July 5, 2006)

Posted on: 5:58 pm on July 5, 2006
Storyman Hi Duane,

Congrats on finishing your ebook.

1) For self publishing look into POD (Print On Demand). There is alot on the Internet and if you live near any cities there are probably a few print/binding shops that can do it for you. Personally, I think most of the online sources are overcharging. Do your homework.

2) Definitely a web site. Before you go too far spend time to learn what SEO means. If you decide to hire someone to build the site you should at least know when the designer is a hack. Bottom line: if you don't heed to SEO you'll have worse search engine rankings than without it. (Also, be leary of people who claim that they can get top search engine results. Sometimes they are short lived, sometimes the wrong customers, sometimes their 'tricks' will get your site banned from some search engines forever.

As for APS (Automatic Payment System) they fall into two camps oneline or integrated into ebook. Which you choose really depends on your marketing strategy. Both are secure and achieve much the same--in principle. The online service is not a good match if you go the viral marketing approach.

Basically viral marketing means that you want a happy user to share your ebook with their friends. When they do the ebook is automatically relocked and will require the friend to purchase it to unlock it.  My understanding is that the online service doesn't allow the ebook to have a preview mode (Preview Mode: you select which pages can be viewed before purchase) and as such doesn't lend itself to viral marketing.

Like I said it really depends on your marketing needs as to which route is best for you.

I do have a preference and this is it:

To adequately respond to all of your questions would take an ebook--and many have written them. Save your money because there is enough talent and experience hanging around this forum that you should get a reasonable answer to most any question. Do keep one thing in mind though. The Internet and how to market on the Internet is still evolving. What works this week could be a loser next week.

Hopefully your market will find you and you'll retire wealthy. Although there are a lot of harkers who claim to have the magic keys to success their money comes from bilking others out of their dreams.  What it comes down reminds me of those actors who are an over night success that spend a decade learning their craft.

Posted on: 10:32 pm on July 5, 2006
SportsGuy Simply great advice Storyman!  Thanks.  Always nice to see a Canadian product being recommended (I'm on the East Coast of Canada).

I didn't want to make my initial post too much longer than it was, so I omitted to provide any background on myself.

It's always nice to hear honest feedback on building websites and getting SEO work done.  I say this because I am a professional search optimizer for a living.

I work for a sports content publisher with 5 main websites and handle everything search marketing related.  I've been going to the search shows in New York, etc. for years now and pretty much breathe my craft...LOL

I truly am a searchgeek.

On top of that, I'm the Co-Chair for the In-House SEM comittee with SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization).

Your assessment to watch for crafty characters is bang on and I love hearing this sage advice from mods in respected forums. (I'm staff at searchengineforums.com myself).

Anyway, all that is irrelevant, other than to point out, maybe, that I can cobble togther the website and optimize it myself.  In fact, I've been there, done that, and have the ongoing income as a result of one of my other hobby websites...LOL

My goal here is to learn how to effectively protect and market/place my ebook.  I know I'm not the first to write on this topic, but my knowledge is based on doing this for a living - I pay my mortgage by doing this stuff.  I firmly believe that anyone can learn this skill set and I'm happy to share my knowledge - for a small fee, naturally.

After all, I want that mortgage paid off sooner...

I'm going to check into that link you posted and keep reading some more threads here.  Hopefully I'll be back with more questions soon.  Thanks again.


Posted on: 1:30 pm on July 6, 2006
Storyman Hi Duane,

You'd think that getting the SEO message out would be a snap, but there are people who insist that it doesn't matter because their site is doing well today. They seem to miss the concept of search engine's ever changing algorithm. To me the subject is the gatekeeper of distribution, marketing, and sales.

Currently I read the forum you mention and one other. Do you know of a blog that summarizes the key changes in the top search engines? RSS would even be better.

(Edited by Storyman at 6:29 am on July 6, 2006)

Posted on: 2:14 pm on July 6, 2006

Quote: from Storyman on 10:14 am on July 6, 2006[br]Hi Duane,

You'd think that getting the SEO message out would be a snap, but there are people who insist that it doesn't matter because their site is doing well today. They seem to miss the concept of search engine's ever changing algorithm. To me the subject is the gatekeeper of distribution, marketing, and sales.

Yeah, it's amazing what folks class as "success" when they don't know any better.  Worse, they're deathly afraid of learning new things, in case they make a mistake and slide backwards.  It's pretty simple stuff if you have the apptitude and desire and it actually makes a difference.

Currently I read the forum you mention and one other. Do you know of a blog that summarizes the key changes in the top search engines? RSS would even be better.

If you're on SEF, you've probably seen me floating around - same username here and there.

As for a blog that summerizes things - honestly, no.  I follow MattCutt's blog and generally contain my chatter with other pros to see what's new.

I do read Planet Ocean's Search Engine News and Jill Whalen's High Rankings Advisor, though.  PO's SEN offers a nice recap of monthly changes, though I temper that with the statement that they, like the rest of us, are in the dark in reality, as Google doesn't share the algo data, so we learn by watching changes in things & testing theories.

I'm sure there must be an RRS feed out there somewhere, but I've never gone looking.  I know I never encountered much in Bloglines, but again, I haven't looked in a while.

Posted on: 6:30 pm on July 6, 2006
ideaguy Hey Duane - congrats on your progress so far.

Here are some next steps - these are just a subset of our InfoProduct Creation Checklist, but these seem to be logical for where you are at...

1. Write your sales letter.  If you haven't already done it yet, you need to put together a benefit-laden, highly compelling sales letter that will conver visitors into either customers or subscribers.  Reason I put this first is that the process of writing your sales letter can bring out deficiencies in early products. Having written several self-published e-books and book, I typcally follow a process where I discover, reseearch and test topics, then outline the questions my market wants answered followed by organizing the solution into a 'system" I can call my very own.  THEN, without writing another word, I put together the sales letter to make sure I have enough compelling benefits in my book - if not, I go back and add chapters as required.  

2. Develop a report, private site, minicourse or other high value giveaway you can use to begin building opt-in subscribers from your sales page.  This is important since you will triple your sales by exposing your audience to your site multiple times versus a "hit-and-run" visitor traffic generation program.

3. Get yourself a payment processor and affiliate management software solution that will help you to conduct e-commerce online AND sell through JV partners

4. This is a good time to start thinking about what your next or back-end product will be?  What do you ultimately want to market to your customers in a higher price point to scale your business.  This gets to the very root of what your business really is.

5. Begin to market - build branding, drive traffic, work on turning yourself into THE expert in your market (Obviously there are many techniques here, not enough room here.)

Hope this helps...


Posted on: 2:44 pm on July 18, 2006

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