A friend put the story of his life as a professional magician, film promoter and entrepreneur on paper. It took ten years, two electric typewriters and probably a gallon of correction fluid. He was shocked when he found the cost he faced if he had his book published. There were added problems because he wanted 40 photographs in the book and didn't want to send it overseas where it could be published more cheaply.
Things turned around when I suggested that we publish it as an ebook, a computer file that can be read on most computers. It took weeks to scan the heap of creased pages into my computer and correct the errors caused by his liberal use of the correction fluid. But we soon had the ebook in place on my Internet site, ready for customers.
This was all new to me too.
I sent review copies on CD Rom to magazines and some of his friends in the United States of America and England, but I sent the photos that some magazines wanted over the Internet.
The final parts of his research took only days thanks to email. The 40 photos were also scanned into the computer. Putting them in to the ebook did not add anything to my costs. The customers got reasonable quality pictures, some in color, that had been a major factor in the high quotes he’d received from printers for producing the printed version. That was just a couple of years ago and the resources available to anyone that wants to write and publish their own ebook have improved dramatically, while costs have actually fallen!
I originally supplied the book on CD Rom and posted copies to all parts of the World. These days, I just let buyers download it and other ebooks from my website, immediately after payment. That reduces my costs and gives them the added incentive of ‘instant gratification’.
You can also take advantage of this low-cost, quick method of producing and selling your own ebook. The speed of production and the fact that you keep most of the money yourself instead of getting just a royalty and possibly an advance are not the only advantages that ebooks give the beginning author.
There’s no slush-piles on the Internet! If an unknown author submits their book to a traditional publisher, they may have to wait months for a response and still may just get a form letter rejection.
The high costs involved in processing a book through a traditional publishing system means there is less chance of an unknown author’s manuscript being selected and groomed. But almost anyone, almost anywhere in the World that has an Internet connection, a computer and a few dollars, dinars or whatever for the essentials (website, domain name, credit card processor and Word processor program) can produce, publish and sell their first ebook in a few weeks or even less.
You do NOT need a current model computer – I know one, extremely successful ebook author that was producing his books and did all his business on a fairly old Windows computer running Windows 98 until very recently!
You can be successful even if there are many other books about the same subject available. No-one has your specific background and experiences. You’ve probably got tips and short-cuts or perhaps secret methods that have been handed down through your family for generations. You don’t have to be an acknowledged ‘expert’.
Your task is not to bring your readers from minimal knowledge to Trade Certificate level. In most areas, you should aim to give your readers a thorough coverage of the basics, point out any pit-falls that might reduce their chance of producing good results, give them some more advanced tasks that will test them and demonstrate the improvement they have achieved by reading your book and using the material in it and, most important, left them more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the tasks they will undertake after closing your ebook.
The worst outcome would be to produce a depressed or frustrated fumbler that even lost whatever enthusiasm made him buy your book in the first place. So, you have to maintain a positive frame of mind even though much of the material that you cover is so basic that you yawn as your fingers click the keys. Remember, most of this will be new to your readers and your tone, even the frame of mind with which you approach typing the words, is likely to affect the reader’s entire future in the area that you write about.
The other important element is to carefully check that you don’t leave out any steps in the procedures you explain. They may be second nature to you and your friends but skipping anything can lead to immense frustration for readers and you’ll get more refund requests and angry emails!
You can produce and sell an ebook about almost any subject because the number of people using the Internet is in the millions and growing rapidly. This means that many subjects that a traditional publisher may not be able to supply and make a profit, due to his relatively high costs, can be sufficiently large to be worth approaching with your ebook!
Before you write even one word, you should put some words that strongly relate to your topic into the search engines and see what results you get. If you quickly discover many sites offering heaps of quality, free information you might want to write about another aspect of your topic or even a completely different one. Don’t write it and then look for a market. Save time, frustration and money by ensuring you have a market that is willing to buy your book before investing your time.
The best time to start your first ebook is today. When you find out how easy and potentially profitable it can be, you will wonder why you waited so long.
John Williams, a professional magician, has written 8 ebooks in less than 3 years on a variety of subjects. He expects to publish 4 more in 2005! He’s currently reading a new 5 ebook marketing course that he helped to prepare. He says that anyone who wants to start or build their own web business should check out http://www.ezyebook.com/course.html