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eBooks For Fun And Profit

Yesterday I read You Can Earn A Fortune Creating And Marketing Your Own Ebooks which has some great ideas. Not only that, but the blog has a tremendous amount of motivational information and advice for helping people get started (check out all the links at the very bottom).

The idea of writing a book has always been interesting to me, and I’m intrigued by the suggestion to prepare one and make it available electronically. Once the book is written, there are no ongoing costs for electronic delivery and no expensive inventory to store.

Alternatively, there are methods of self-publishing available to aspiring authors. Some companies’ services are geared more toward hobbyists and people looking for a novel gift or professional-looking family history and not so much for the new author with low-volume sales. I say that because small print runs can be very expensive per unit. You’ll see what I mean; here are a couple of companies that I’ve come across:

I do have a friend who works at a publishing company and I’m thinking about running my outline and first chapter by him before resigning myself to eBook format. Managing my expectations is important, however, because he has a story that he likes to share which goes something like this:

“I’m thinking about writing a book,” a dentist confides to his friend (a respected author who will remain nameless).

“I’m thinking about taking up dentistry,” the friend replies (facetiously).

On the one hand, I can see the point that he’s trying to make which is that there’s more to writing than simply getting words down on a piece of paper. There is a strong element of talent, intellect, etc.

Where the comparison breaks down is that we all write things every day, whereas none of us does anything that overlaps the job responsibilities of a dentist. Additionally, there’s such a broad spectrum of topics, writing styles, and book types that it’s reasonable to expect that there might be a market for books in which the publishing industry may have no interest. Books are usually reviewed and proofed by professionals who can really raise the quality of a written work as opposed to dentists who must rely on their own knowledge, skills, etc.

So back to the idea of writing an eBook — the questions I would like to resolve before moving (too much further) forward include:

  • Will people be satisfied with paying then waiting for me to e-mail them the eBook? Or is there a quick and easy way to have them receive it automatically (without it costing me much or any money)?
  • How long should the books be?
  • Is there really a market for the types of eBooks that I might be interested in writing?
  • How do I determine pricing?
  • What’s the most effective way to market it/them?
  • Is there any inexpensive way to protect your work (i.e., prevent unauthorized distribution)?

Question(s) of the day:

Have you thought about writing an eBook and selling it on your blog? If you’ve already done it, what tips and tricks can you pass along?

4 comments to eBooks For Fun And Profit

  • The answers to most of your questions depend on what the topic is/who the market is for your book. What were you thinking about?

    Writing (and marketing) an ebook can, in fact, be a great way to produce income online. But, like most things, there are real challenges to overcome.

    I have a personal friend who has been marketing an ebook online for about 5 years now. This year he will cross the 100,000 units sold mark. That’s a big number that most traditional books fall far short of.

    There are systems for automatically delivering ebooks after they are purchased and distributing them using DRM (digital rights management) technology to make sure there aren’t unuathorized copies.

    The technology is the easy part. The hard part, as in most things, is marketing your product effectively.

  • Matt,

    I’ve been kind of leaning toward a book on personal finance (even though I know there are lots out there) because there’s a need in my family. I thought that writing the book would be fun, helping my family member would be great, and it would be the icing on the cake if I were able to earn a little bit of money for my efforts.

    It would be very interesting to learn more about your friend’s experience, the book topic, his/her marketing techniques, the sales price, etc. And I believe that you are correct when you say that the marketing will be the most difficult part.

    As I was reading more at Lulu.com about the services they offer, it looks like you can list your e-book there for free. They handle the payment and delivery for you in exchange for 20% of the profit. Depending on what’s important to you (as an author and businessperson) that seems like a pretty reasonable deal.

    I may even try to sell a calendar or two with some of my digital photos. Hopefully Santa will bring the Canon Powershot S3 IS that I’ve been asking for . . .

  • If you’re still working on that project, you might want to check out the combo of ClickBank and Secure-eBook.

    Secure-eBook will provide a simple and affordable way to have your eBooks protected.

    ClickBank will provide with a rich network of affiliates who would promote and sell your eBooks for you.

    Of course, marketing the book and making it attractive for purchase is far from cakewalk.

    You might find some interresting articles in our blog at http://www.secure-ebook.com/blog

    PS: Selling eBooks and printed books are not mutually exclusive :)

  • [...] presents eBooks For Fun And Profit posted at ThoughtfulConsideration.com – Get Your Think On, saying, “Have you ever thought [...]

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