You're a ghostwriter with 5 days to pummel out 50 pages on small business loans.
The clock is ticking. Your motor's running. You're stuck somewhere between traditional financing and venture capital. And the theme song from Mission: Impossible is taunting you in your mind.
Research often turns out to be a vitally important part of the ebook writing process. Yet many authors fail to master - let alone learn the A, B, C's and 1,2,3's - of this task.
You see research - really good research - cannot always be summarized with a rudimentary search on Google. Sometimes it requires that you look under rocks on the invisible web. It may require you to consult specialized databases, or dig into magazine archives.
Here are three tips that'll help you get your research motor purring like a well oiled machine.
Learn the Lingo.
If you're writing about search engine optimization strategies, you should also know about latent semantic indexing, crawl frequencies, and canonical URLs, in addition to the usual keyword strategies.
Understanding the vocabulary associated with a topic, will help expand your research options. Your writing will reek of educational prowess. You'll unearth details about a topic that other less savvy writers invariably miss.
Utilize Expert Directories.
When in doubt, check it out. . . with a human, that is.
Expert directories like ProfNet (which is a subsidiary of PR Newswire), and the Yearbook of Experts, Authorities and Spokespersons, connect writers and journalists with experts in a variety of fields.
When using a directory like ProfNet, you'll submit details about the project you're working on, explaining exactly what you'll need. Experts who fit the bill contact you with their offers of expertise.
The Yearbook of Experts, Authorities and Spokespersons has an online directory where you can find direct contact information for experts in dozens of categories.
Expert directories are necessary for mission critical assignments because the people listed in them are looking for publicity. So they're quite fast when responding to journalistic requests. Aaaah. . . perfect for you.
Stay Up-to-Date on Research Techniques.
Even when I've been 100% familiar with the topic I'm writing about, I've always had to do some kind of research while writing about it.
It's for that reason I'm a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals.
Although I'm not a professional researcher, the AIIP provides excellent research tips in their members-only e-mail discussion list. They have conferences where you can learn research strategies from the experts. Plus members get discounts to top-notch research databases, publications and websites.
Research is kind of like creating a web page.
If you don't understand HTML, you're going to think all those tags and codes on the page look like gibberish. But even learning the basic tags can instantly turn the unrecognizable into kindergarten-ish sight words.
Learn the basics of research and here too you'll see the simplicity of the task.
Alexis Dawes talks about what it's like to sell ebooks online through her blog. If you'd like to get an inside glimpse at the problems, pitfalls and power moves ebook authors experience, click on over to (http://www.AlexisDawes.com ).