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...