Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Changes Coming to my Blog...

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! I'm excited to announce that there will be more changes coming to my blog soon... I've already published my first guest post, and I hope to have more of those coming soon.  I've also been educating myself about WordPress - I read the e-book WordPress Revealed: How to Build a Website, Get Visitors, and Make Money (even for Beginners) by Matt Wolfe, and I'm also in the process of going through his 7 day free mini course on WordPress, so this blog may be moving to a self-hosted WordPress site soon.  In addition, I signed up with Clickbank - if you scroll to the bottom of this site, you'll see that I placed my first Clickbank ad.  I may also start writing reviews of some of the writing-related e-books I find on Clickbank.

I'll keep you all posted on these changes as they happen, and I'm hoping to start publishing more guest blog posts soon.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Career as an E-Book Publisher - guest post by Robin Henry

Good evening everyone - for my readers in the States, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.  I'm very excited to bring you the first of what I hope will be many guest posts.  In this post, Robin Henry talks about how he got started as an e-book publisher.

During the nineties I worked for an Australian Government organisation as staff development and training manager for the Northern Territory (Australia) with responsibilities for training staff in six geographically dispersed offices. Each State and Territory had a separate SD&T Manager, so there were eight of us with small teams spread across Australia.

On one occasion we were all called to Head Office in Canberra to undergo "train-the-trainer" activities in relation to a new program that the organisation was introducing. Someone at Head Office had hired a consulting firm to produce the training media which consisted of 75 PowerPoint slides with text taken straight from the new program manual. Not only was the so-called training boring, but the projected slides were impossible to read and the session was a disaster. I couldn't believe that anyone pretending to know anything about training could produce such poor media, especially for the high price that had been paid to the consultant. When I inquired as to who had organised the training and how it had been contracted, I found that an administrative officer with no training background had been responsible and had issued a request for proposal which was well below a satisfactory standard.

As a result I undertook to write guidelines for others contemplating designing training programs. In my off-duty hours I wrote guidelines I called, "How to Write a Winning Training Proposal" and distributed it freely within the organisation. Soon, I had training staff from other Australian Government agencies calling me and asking for a copy.

In 1998 I decided to convert the text into an Adobe PDF file and try to sell it online. I set up a small sales page and did a little advertising and sat back and waited for the millions to roll in because I had read about the huge incomes some of the Internet gurus claimed to have made selling e-books and other digital products. I remember waiting and waiting and nothing happened. Every day I would come home from work and immediately log into my Internet to see whether I had sold any copies. Nothing. And then, one day I logged in not expecting anything and there it was, an order for a copy.

After the first sale, others began to follow and since then I have published a couple of other titles, all of which have sold reasonably well over the years. Interestingly, I still sell copies of "How to Write a Winning Training Proposal", but as I have been lax with advertising, I'm not selling as many as I once did.

What appeals to me most about e-book publication is that you put in the work once and you can sell with very small overheads forever. Also, you can place your advertisements and let everything run automatically 24/7/365.

If you'd care to see my sales site for this e-book, please go here. If you'd like a free copy of this e-publication, please email me at the email address given on my site referring to this post.

Robin is a semi-retired human resources and adult education specialist who runs a business communication consultancy from Central Australia. He also sells a range of e-books from his digital store. Also be sure to check out his blog, Working Smarter

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book progress for this week

Posting this early because I'll be going out of town for Memorial Day weekend tomorrow.  Started making a little progress on my book again this week - trying to expand some of my chapters by including information that I've read in e-books that cover the same subjects - for example I've got a chapter on stress reduction strategies for people who work from home that I'm adding some additional information to, and I also plan to work on adding some more information to the chapter on how to save for retirement when working from home.

I've started getting responses from people who are interested in writing guest posts for this blog too, so I hope to start publishing some of those next week.  Everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Been doing some research on copyright..

Did a little research on copyright today.  Thought it was interesting to find out that works are protected from the moment they're created... so I actually can claim copyright on my book right now if I wanted to.  From what I read, works don't have to be registered, unless you want protection in the case of copyright infringement, so I probably will register my book once I get ready to actually publish it.  There were also some interesting FAQ's on the the site, feel free to check them out: Copyright FAQs

Another great site for writers!

Found another great site for writers called Write On Purpose - looks like it has a lot of great resources and information for writers.  Just one thing though, if you try to join for free you may get a page that says it can't find what you're looking for.  I've let the site owner know about the problem though. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Changes coming to my blog...

Going to be making some changes to my blog in the coming weeks.  Not sure if I'll make any physical changes, such as changing the layout, etc, but one thing I'll be doing in the near future is adding guest posts to my blog.  Yesterday I signed up with MyBlogGuest, and I'll be looking there for some guest bloggers, as well as asking people that I've met since I started writing my e-book.  If you've written and published an e-book and want to share your story on my bog, please let me know!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What I accomplished on my e-book and e-book marketing progress for the week of 5/13/13 - 5/19/13

Though I didn't do much work on my actual e-book this week, I did work a bit on my e-book marketing efforts, especially where this blog is concerned... as I mentioned in a previous post, I read a great book about SEO, and learned a lot of things that I hope will help me increase exposure for this blog, and hopefully also for my e-book's product page once I put my e-book up for sale on Amazon.  Here are a few things I've done this week:

  • Finally was able to get Google to index this blog - Now, if you go to Google and type in "My Journey to Become a Self-Published Author," this blog will come up. 
  • Started a list of links to useful tools for writers - this isn't really related to e-book marketing, but hopefully it will help other writers who read this blog.
Looking forward to hopefully getting back to working on my actual e-book a little bit this week! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Been Educating Myself on SEO

Have been educating myself a little bit on search engine optimization (SEO) today - at the suggestion of a friend I downloaded a report from The Keyword Academy called "How to Really Make $5,000 per Month Online" and read through it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make money with this blog, in fact I can't because I'm not able to sign up for Google Adsense in North Carolina - but it did give me some good ideas on how to find keywords to use in my e-book.  One thing that I had to do was sign up for a free 7-day trial of a site called Keyword Project Manager, which helps you organize and analyze potential keywords you might want to use in blog posts, or in my case my e-book.  As a matter of fact, as I write this post KPM is currently analyzing a list of keywords.  Not sure if I'll keep the membership after the 7-day trial, I may ask around and see if some of my other blogger/writer friends think it's worth keeping.  I also downloaded a book from Amazon called SEO 2013, hoping that gives me some good information on SEO.  Other than that, progress on my e-book project has kind of stalled this week, been very busy working at my other jobs (the ones that actually make money :) ).  Hope to get back to is this coming week.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More Excellent Reads for Those Who Want To Publish a Kindle E-book.

Read two more excellent books about publishing Kindle e-books, "Price Rich" and "The Black Bible," both by Von Money.  This post will provide a little more information on both books.

  • Price Rich - This Von Money book contains a lot of great advice not included in other e-books I mentioned previously, or advice that's contrary to what other books I've read have advised. For example, in one book that I read, "How to Publish a Best-Seller on Amazon," Nicholas Black advises against pricing books at less than 2.99 because the royalties are smaller - 35% for books priced at less than 2.99 vs. 70% for books priced 2.99 and up.  This is good advice, but one point that Von Money mentions is that if your book is priced higher and isn't selling many copies, you may make more money if you price your book lower and more people buy it.  Von Money also mentions a few resources in this book that I didn't know existed.  For example, at you can download free software to create your own book cover.  I have downloaded this software, but am currently still figuring out how to use it to create a book cover. 
  • The Black Bible - This Von Money book is the sequel to Price Rich.  It contains more advice on how to write an e-book that will sell, and also  mentions some other resources to take advantage of.  It again mentions the software, and in addition he mentions a few other valuable resources, such as the Cover Creator application that KDP launched on April 3.  He also suggests taking advantage of the Amazon Affiliate program as a way to make extra money - this will help you make extra money on your e-books, as well as other Amazon products. If you have a website, you can place affiliate links for products that you mention on your website, and if visitors to your website buy the products using your links, you'll get a 6% cut. I did check out Amazon Associates and try to register, however it's not available in my state of North Carolina.  

E-Book progress for the week of 4/29/13 - 5/5/13

Here's what I accomplished this week - haven't done much in the way of writing, but did do a few other things that  may help with my e-book:

  • Read two more great e-books about writing and publishing e-books, Price Rich and The Black Bible, both by Von Money.  Both contained information that I think will be very valuable as I go through the process of writing my first e-book.  Will be doing a separate post with information about both books.
  • Downloaded Gimp software, which was recommended by Von Money in both e-books as a great way to design an e-book cover.  Still trying to get used to the software, seems a bit complicated. 
  • Checked out Amazon Associates, which Von Money recommended in one of his e-books (can't remember which one) as a way to make additional money not only on books I've written, but also on books I've read and other products I've bought from Amazon - unfortunately the program isn't available in North Carolina. 
  • Checked out CreateSpace, which has been mentioned in a few of the e-books I've read, as well as in a few writing groups I'm in, as another way to make extra money on my books.  Might be a good way to make extra money on them, as well as have an actual hard copy of my book for myself, as well as a few copies for friends and family.  
That's it for this week! Stay tuned for next week's update... 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

E-Book Progress for the week of 4/22/13 to 4/28/13

Here's what I accomplished this week on my e-book:

  • Decided to try something different and rather than writing a full-length book about working from home, first I'm going to try to write a short Kindle Single about my experiences with the work from home companies I've worked for, and I'll also talk about a few of the lessons I've learned over the past few years.  I hope to use this Kindle Single as a way to build buzz for when the actual book comes out.  One thing I'm finding out as I do research on writing Kindle Singles, however, is that whatever I publish in my Kindle Single can't be published in other Kindle books, so I'm undecided as to whether I want to limit my Kindle Single to information about my first ten years of working from home, or include information about some of the lessons I've learned, and just not include those lessons in my other Kindle book - any thoughts/suggestions you all have would be appreciated! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trying something different....

Thinking of trying something different.  Been reading the e-book How to Publish and Sell Your Article on the Kindle, and I think rather than publish my e-book right away, I'm going to try writing an article about the companies I've worked for in my first 10 years of working at home, publishing that first and seeing how it does. I'm still going to publish my e-book, but after reading this I thought publishing a shorter article first might be a better way to go. Will have to see if I can write an article that's long enough to be published on the Kindle first though - this e-book recommends an article of at least 3,000 words.  Will be sure to keep everyone updated as usual!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Found another great resource for E-Book writers...

Found out about the Kindle Chronicles website today while reading a book about writing Kindle Singles.  Looks like there is a podcast too, will be checking that later on.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My e-book progress for the week of 4/15/13 - 4/21/13

Here's what I accomplished this week:
  • Found a great website for marketing e-books - actually posted about this already and put their badge on the site.
  • Emailed a few people that have written e-books about working from home to ask them for advice on marketing.
  • Joined the Transformational Author Tribe - not sure if it will help but it was a free sign-up, so I figured why not?  You can find out more about it here.
  • Started getting some responses from the work from home colleagues I'd emailed with questions I wanted them to answer about their work from home experiences, and started fiinding ways to work them into the book.
  • Used the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find keyword phrases to use in my e-book.
  • Went through and made some more notes on the e-book, and started finding some ways to change some things.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Had to share this...

Had to share this... This is a screenshot I took of the stats page for this blog.  It shows me how many people have visited and what countries their from, as well as what websites they're using.  I know it's rather small, but that's as large as I could make it.  Still, thought it was pretty neat to see where everyone lives that visits this blog.

Keep visiting and be sure to tell you friends about me!

Excellent Reads for Those Who Want to Write An E-book

I realize that many of you are reading this blog because you're either writing or want to write an e-book, so I thought I'd share some information with you on the e-books I've read on this subject that have been invaluable to me.

How to Publish a Best-Seller on - This was the first book I read about publishing on  This book doesn't focus as much on th writing process as it does on the actual process of preparing your book to be published on  Nicholas Black discusses KDP, which is Amazon's self-publishing platform, preparing your document for Kindle, the importance of keywords, how to promote your book on different websites, such as Facebook, Twitter,  and the different free e-book listing sites that are available.  It was in this book that I also learned about Calibre, a free software program that I highly recommend every e-book author download, because you can load your e-book (or a draft of your e-book) into it and it will give you an idea of what your e-book will look like when it's uploaded to Amazon's site.  In another post, I'll explain how to load your e-book into Calibre and convert it so you can see what it will look like as an e-book. 

How to Write a Book This Weekend, Even If You Flunked English Like I Did - In this book, self-help guru Vic Johnson goes through the process of how to write an ebook in one weekend - he claims he's used this actual process to write many of his books.  I personally like to take my time when it comes to writing, but he does provide some excellent advice which I know will come in useful as I write my ebook.  Some of the topics he covers are how to prepare to write an ebook, how to pick a niche and topic, and how to choose a working title, among other things. 

The Kindle Writing Bible: How to Write a Best-Selling Non-Fiction Book From Start To Finish - This book covers a lot of the same topics as "How to Write a Book This Weekend," however Tom Corson-Knowles also provides some additional ideas.  He also provides links to other resources, such as motivational videos, information on the Facebook group he's created, as well as additional information on writing and publishing e-books. 

Self-Editing and Evaluation Checklist - This very short e-book provides information on things to check for when editing a manuscript, whether it's a print book or an e-book.  It's an excellent reference, and only costs 99 cents to download, so I highly recommend it for anyone who writes for a living. 

These are the e-books that have been helpful to me as I write my first e-book, however there are many others out there - if you've read an e-book on this subject that you've found helpful, I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Found an excellent website for authors!

I just found an excellent website for authors who publish ebooks on Amazon.  It's called The Author Marketing Club, and it has some great tools to help authors promote their books.  These tools include a forum where authors can share advice and tips, marketing tutorials, links to book creation and marketing resources, a link that shows you ways to get your ebook featured on the Author Marketing Club website, and they also provide links to sites where you can submit your ebook when you're doing a free promotion. I'm looking forward to using this website's tools, and hope you'll check them out.

Book progress for the week of 4/8/13 - 4/14/13

Made a lot of progress on my e-book this week! Here's a summary of what I accomplished:

  • I added another chapter on health insurance options for people who work from home.
  • I created a Hootsuite account so I can easily post these blog posts to all my social networking sites at once.
  • Joined a Google+ community for ebook writers.
  • Created a Google+ page for my ebook and linked it to Hootsuite.
  • Rearranged a few things on my blog
  • Sent a message to a few of my work at home contacts asking them for information that I can include in the e-book - specifically, asking them to answer some questions about different topics I cover in the book. 
  • Signed up for the Transformational Author Experience - a series of teleclasses that's going to be taking place at the end of May.  Already have three audios to listen to, hope I'm not disappointed! 
  • Read yet another book about publishing e-books, called "How to Write a Book This Weekend, Even if You Flunked English Like I Did," - got some great ideas from it. 
  • Replaced some of the pictures I put at the beginning of my chapters with quotes that are relevant to the subject of the chapter - uploaded the new draft to a facebook group that I belong to, hope they give me some feedback!
This coming week I hope to get some feedback as well as some more information from the people I emailed. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Added another paragraph to my Introduction

Added another paragraph to my introduction today - wasn't sure if I'd mentioned that the information in the chapters of my book is taken from blog posts I'd written for, so I added the following paragraph to my introduction:

The information provided in the chapters in this book all comes from blog posts I’ve written as a contributing writer for the very popular work at home blog Work at Home Adventures.  Why am I writing an e-book with the same information that’s already available online?  Well, when I went back and re-read these posts, I realized that there was a lot more information that I could add to a lot of these posts, and I also wanted to write a book that was different from a lot of the work from home books that are available, most of which tell you about companies you can apply with, or different ways to work from home, but don’t tell you about the other things you need to know.

I think that clears things up. Hope to publish another update next week.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Added pictures

Added a bunch of pictures to the e-book today to see what they would look like - most of them look good, but I do need to enlarge some of them.  Plan to do that tomorrow, as well as delete the space that I ended up creating at the top of the chapter headings.  Also took out the few bulleted lists I'd put in, because they didn't look good on there.  Also figured out how to turn off full justification, which I hate - it completely screws up the spacing in the sentences.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making more edits...

I'm been in the process of doing some editing to my ebook - that mostly consists of getting rid of some of the wordiness, plus I marked a few places that I want to expand with  more information - I'll be working on expanding those places this weekend, since my husband will be out of town.  I also asked for advice about adding pictures on an ebook writing group that I belong to on LinkedIn, and one member of the group suggested I check out the Smashwords Style Guide, which has some good advice about pictures.  So I'll be checking that out this weekend as well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Doing some editing to my ebook

Doing some editing on my ebook - went through and changed the chapter titles, and I'm also working on adding some information in spots, and taking out some of the wordiness.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Started looking at ebook editors...

Not sure if I'm actually ready for the editing stage, but I figured at least I could start looking at them and get an idea of how much it will cost me to get my ebook edited - so far the most reasonable editor I've found is - they charge 3/4 of a cent per word, with a minimum charge of $75.  I'll be interested to see if I can find any other ebook editing services, or even just someone who would be willing to look at my ebook and tell me if there's anything else I should include in it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sign up for my book launch mailing list!

Even though my book launch is still very far away, I've gone ahead and crated a form so those of you who are interested in being notified of the launch can sign up.  Feel free to sign up, and of course don't forget to pass this along to your other work at home friends...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Did some tweaking to my ebook.

Did some tweaking to my ebook today... mostly minor tweaks, like making the cover larger (didn't realize it, but the size was actually smaller than the minimum required size for KDP Select).  Also did a test upload to my Kindle Fire and it looks great on there! Other than that, made some other minor tweaks, mostly punctuation and format-related things. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Added another chapter to my book

Added another chapter to my book - "Networking Tips for Work at Home Professionals." Put it at the end, since networking is important not only for landing your first work at home job, but also future work at home jobs.  Looking forward to adding additional chapters.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A bit disappointed with the webinar....

Well, I was a bit disappointed with the webinar.  It was only 30 minutes long, and it was an interview with this author named Brian Tracy who had written books on sales, leadership etc.  It gave me a few ideas, but it was mostly an advertisement for a more in-depth online course on how to write an e-book.  The course costs $497, so I don't think I'll be buying it anytime soon.  Still, it did give me some ideas of things I want to look into, as well as four basic steps to writing a book.  Looking forward to applying them as I work on this book as well as (hopefully) future books.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Signed up for a book writing webinar!

Signed up for a free webinar called "How to Write a Book and Become a Published Author"- going to be on Saturday at 9 am.  Should be an interesting webinar, I'll be sure to share what I learn!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Check out my cover...

Check out the cover I created for my book...

Taking the plunge

So, after writing freelance articles for different sites for many years, I've finally decided to take the plunge and write my first ebook.  The ebook will be the subject I feel I know most about - working from home.  I've been working from home for various companies for the past 10 years, and have written many articles about my experiences with the companies I've worked for.  In addition to that, for the past 18 months or so, I've been a contributing writer for the highly successful work from home blog Work at Home Adventures.  Most of the chapters of the book will consist of information from some of the blog posts I've written.  I created this blog not to promote the book, as much as to share my experiences as I go through the writing and self-publishing process.  I hope you enjoy reading about my journey, and feel free to leave comments on any of the posts I make!