Can You Find Success with a Self-Published eBook?
As a full-time freelance writer, I spend a
lot of time trying new publishing ideas and learning how to
market my services. Most of my work is web-centered, so I love the
challenge of innovation in content creation. I also love the fact
that when you're a writer on the web, you are more in control of your
marketing efforts than you will ever be offline.
When I made the decision to write an
eBook, it really didn't occur to me to NOT self-publish. I already had a
website and a newsletter, I've taught classes online, and I am
completely comfortable with the online environment. I also was
naive enough to look at a self-published eBook as a
I self-published for the reason most
people do; I can retain full control over the production, marketing,
and distribution of my eBook. I can make updates and changes without a
publisher's permission. I can also keep control of the costs of
promotion and marketing.
What I've Learned as a Self-Published
1. Networking is essential. There are a
lot of people, in the same boat, willing to help you in your journey.
2. Self-promotion can take a lot of time
and effort -- but the satisfaction of a polished, professional
product and the prospect of profit (rather than a percentage of
royalties) can be worth it.
3. You're never done! The web is an
infinite space -- if you sell your own book, you will never
be "finished", there is always work to do! New eBook
websites and distribution centers launch every day. New websites
accept eBook submissions for review every day.
4. Ebooks are still a relatively new
medium -- which, of course, leaves many people skeptical. They have a
of unrecognized potential, and, for the
most part, have been quite underrated. I believe that this is
partially attributed to the fact that there are
literally thousands of people out there that buy "resale
packages" of "reports" that have been converted to Adobe Acrobat
format. These "reports" are usually short, poorly written, and
out-of-date -- the exact opposite of what an eBook should
aspire to. These "eBooks" are not written by the people who
market them (A few I have seen don't even carry a byline) and
tend to be promoted heavily by MLM and "Get Rich
5. That being said - ebooks are more
difficult to sell -- it's difficult to establish credibility as
a self-published eBook writer. You'll have to have
tremendous faith -- and gusto -- in your writing and your finished
product. I've had several people discuss my eBook on writing lists with the
primary question: "Is it worth the money?" (And this is at a
promotional price of four dollars and after several
'gloat-worthy" reviews! I've never seen anybody walk into
Starbucks and ask the coffee makers if their Grande Mocha Latte
was worth the money -- oh, well!) Be prepared for
skepticism and craft your responses carefully.
6. There's hope in the future! Ebooks are
just getting started. Ebook writers have the ability to adapt
their content to their audience and create an
interactive element. Hyperlinks help with quick
navigation to important resources on the web. I believe, in the
future, eBooks will gravitate to become the truly interactive
medium they are -- content that allows audience to explore
the topic as superficially or as deep as they want.
Imagine if you publish a fantasy novel and have
hyperlinks to the maps of the world you created just a click
away? Or, like thousands of DVD's, what if you create
links to a website that has a "behind the scenes" look into the
writing process? Or what about scenes you loved but didn't
fit into the eBook's plot? Why not show the reader what
you edited out?
7. Success is possible, with time, MJ
Rose's eBook, Lip Service, garnered many great reviews,
sales, and future print publishing contracts. In MJ's latest
eBook, Buzz Your Book, she mentions that Angela Hoy, makes
several thousand dollars with her eBooks on a monthly
basis. These success stories took time (months and years) to
create -- but now these women have become "eBook legends."
It turns out that self-published eBooks can pay off! (You
can find out more about MJ Rose at http://www.mjrose.com/
and Angela Hoy at http://www.writersweekly.com)
If You're Considering Jumping On the Bandwagon
The internet has changes the way
self-publishers market. There are websites, email discussion
lists, and communities dedicated to help the independent writer
get into print. Where once self-publishers missed out
on the support of an editor or publishing
house, they now have the opportunity to participate in a quickly
Is self-publishing an eBook right for you?
Here are a few questions to help you decide:
1. Do you have an idea -- or manuscript --
for a good book?
2. Do you ENJOY networking with writers
and publishers on the web?
3. Are you INTERESTED in learning new ways
to promote yourself?
4. Do you have the time and resources to
DIY? (do it yourself?)
5. Are you prepared to learn a lot of
information and apply it on a daily basis?
If the answers to these questions are
"yes" or "maybe", there are also resources online you'll
want to check out before you begin your project. Here
are a few to get you started:
Self-Publishing Discussion List (sponsored
AnEBookChat -- Discussion List for eBook
(Experienced and Newbies)
Series of Articles with Many eBook-related
Links "Become an E-Book Author --
.......Selling Your Knowledge"
by Edward Toupin
eBook Web -- Resources, articles, and tips
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Brewer is a full-time freelance
writer and author of The Writer's Online Survival Guide, available
at http://www.webwritingbuzz.com. She hosts a
website for professional freelance writers and she publishes a free
weekly newsletter, The Web Writing Buzz, featuring articles on
freelancing, writing jobs and publishing news from around the web.
Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/
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