You have dreams.Â Dreams of fame, a publishing career, and a Bill Gates-sized bank account.Â You're convinced that writing an eBook will earn you the big bucks.
Publishing an eBook is just as much about marketing yourself as it is about writing.Â (And you, Donald Trump wannabe, have no problems chatting yourself up.Â This will be a piece of cake!)
An eBook is an easy way to gain an audience and establish yourself as an expert; it can also be a moneymaker for the entrepreneur-in-training.Â How do you make the leap from eBook author to bestseller?
Writing Your eBook
Your first focus should be the work itself.Â You've no doubt picked a topic you know well, one which you could talk about in depth with other people.Â (If you didn't, count on being poor for a while!)Â Your eBook needs to do three things for you:
1. Explain ideas clearly to your audience;
2. Add something new to the discussion; and
3. Be edited well.
Your eBook should capture people's attention with its subject matter, but the ideas contained within its pages are meaningless if your readers cannot understand what you're saying, or have no idea how to apply your theories in real life.Â Examples, brevity, and language free of jargon will go a long way toward this. You also want to ensure that you add something new to the topic being discussed, whether that's a new way of viewing the subject or a new use for the information.Â For example, if you are a niche expert on organic fabrics and most items on the subject revolve around how to make fashionable clothing from it, you may opt to write about how sustainability and fashion interact, or how organic fabrics can be used to make upholstery.
Before you publish your eBook, ensure that your piece has been thoroughly proofed.Â This means covering basics like grammar, punctuation, and spelling – your audience needs to take you seriously – but it also refers to getting feedback from secondary readers.Â Ask friends, family, or colleagues you trust to read your eBook.Â Select readers who will be honest and tell you that your book is loaded with run-on sentences, or that your second chapter seems a little skimpy.Â You want your name to be associated with quality content.Â (Don't mention the ice chalet you plan to buy in the Alps with your earnings.)
Marketing Your eBook
Once you have self-published your eBook, you will need to get the word out.Â Your work will be available online, so take advantage of this outlet.Â There are many online communities out there with people who will help, or offer advice, for free.Â Search for forums, blogs, and other websites that focus on your eBook's subject – these people will be interested in helping you, and they'll have great suggestions on ways to get the word out.Â Schmoozing helps you here as much as it helps you anywhere!
Build a reputation for yourself as an expert.Â You can do this in many ways, from posting on the aforementioned websites (high-traffic sites will serve you best) to working with a company that will help you establish yourself as a specialist.Â Many, like Digital Talent Agents, will utilize your expertise to find footholds across many media outlets.
You can, of course, do some media marketing yourself.Â (Let's pretend you're not doing this all day as it is, Richie Rich.)Â Social media marketing and press releases are two things you can do on your own, and these are also two methods that allow you to use your current list of contacts to spread the viral word with simple links and documents.Â Adding a link to your email signature is another efficient way to let your network know you've published a book – and you never know how many times your signature may get forwarded.
You can go a step further and create excerpts of your eBook as marketing tools.Â Writing an article or creating a short video that touches on the content of your eBook is essentially giving your customers a preview of your eBook; whetting their appetite is a great way to encourage a purchase.Â The best commercials convince you to go see a new movie; think of your free articles and videos the same way.
These are all very cost-efficient methods of selling your product, but this means nothing if your eBook isn't readily available.Â Try to post your book on as many sites as possible; good options include Amazon, iBookstore, Smashwords, and Us.Â Remember your rights and responsibilities as an author – you own a copyright to your work, and so do others.Â Some sites, like Amazon, spot-check books to ensure copyrights aren't being violated.Â Read up on Digital Rights Management to educate yourself on your rights.
Success is Possible
While these methods may seem simple, they work.Â One well-known example of a successful eBook author is Amanda Hocking, a twenty-something who couldn't find a publisher for her paranormal series for young adults.Â She self-published her novels as eBooks and sold 450,000 copies of the books in one month.
John Locke is another notable example; he sold one million dollars' worth of eBooks in a 5-month period and landed himself on the New York Times Best Sellers List.Â Why can't that be you?
As a self-publisher, putting your book together will not cost very much; however, completing the book doesn't get you past the finish line.Â As an unknown author, marketing yourself takes time and effort, but there's a big payoff at the end.Â And don't forget — once you're a success, you can count your money in that ice chalet while you write your next eBook.
Nicolas Gremion is the founder of Paradise Publishers Inc. He started online in 2006 with a single website, www.Free-eBooks.net. His newest venture is Foboko.com to serve the popular desire people have to be published. Read more about Nicolas here.