Tag Archives: ebooks

Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

My writing journal for Saturday, September 13, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Happy days. I made a huge push, and got the final words done on both the nonfiction book with 2,500 words, and the novella, with 1,300 words. Basically, it was just a dash to the finish line. Lots of holes in both books, but that’s OK. At least I have a first draft. No matter how many books you write, each and every one is different, and the challenges are different.

Until you get your first draft done, there’s always a niggling doubt that something will go horrendously wrong, and the book will drive itself off a cliff.

I’m pleased I got that out of the way. It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day.

At the moment, my current projects include: blogging, the company history ghostwriting project, and the freebie ebook I’m writing for a client.

Ebooks to promote your business: create your marketing plan first

Here’s a tip for marketing with ebooks.

Although freebie ebooks aren’t the marketing goldmine they used to be, they’re still highly useful. If you’re using them, create your marketing plan first. Start by setting goals: what do you hope to achieve? Who’s your target market? How will you promote your freebie? How will you schedule promotions? Creating a plan first saves time. It also ensure that you’ll get the results you want.

Honey’s ready for her breakfast, so I make my own at the same time. I eat my toast while skimming through email. I’ve got to respond to important messages now, because I have a couple of student coaching calls tonight.

Time for my walk. This week, I’ve had a couple of days when I didn’t walk, and I feel guilty about that. When Honey was younger, she forced me to walk. She’d sit staring up at me reproachfully when “walk” time arrived. If I spent longer than ten minutes finishing up some work, she’d get progressively more reproachful.

I spend a couple of timer sessions on each project. I’m tempted to spend more time blogging (blogging’s always my favorite project), but I resist, so I can do a little more on the company history. Then I create a couple of cluster diagrams for the ebook, and spend ten minutes on research.

Enough. Time for lunch, and my Saturday errands.

Back again: coaching calls

I got back way too late, but it was fun. Now it’s time to prepare for the coaching calls.

My daily review is done, as is my weekly review. My word counts are good. Now for the calls, and then the writing day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Less Stress: Focus On The NOW

Less Stress: Focus On The NOW

Want less stress, instantly? Here you go. Focus on NOW. Right now. Not tomorrow, or next month or year, or even ten minutes from now.

I’ve found this to be an incredibly useful strategy whenever I feel stressed, and it’s a strategy I teach to my students. You may be thinking that it’s a “very zen” strategy. It’s not zen… To be truly zen, you wouldn’t be thinking at all, but I digress. :-)

It’s VERY hard to stay in the present moment. It helps to have a plan, execute it, and then review at a future date. Once you’ve created the plan, and are executing the plan, just stay in the moment.

Less stress: plan, execute, and review

Once you’ve created your plan, don’t second-guess yourself. Or think too much.

I’ve just been chatting with a writing student who thinks that his writing is going too slowly. He’s written the first draft of a nonfiction book, and is frustrated because he thinks he should be moving through the revision more quickly.

Sadly, he’s lost perspective. In the time we’ve been working together, not only has he planned and written an ebook, he’s planning another one. That’s huge progress.

I suggested that he get a timer, then work at his revision for two or three 25 minute sessions each day. When he’s not working, he should forget about the book, and let his subconscious deal with it.

Another student has just self published an ebook to Amazon. It’s a novella, and he’s priced it at $2.99.  This novella is a prequel to the novel which he published a couple of months ago.

We’d worked out a publishing plan:

  • Publish the novella;
  • Get the next novel written;
  • Make the novella permanently free a month before the second novel is published.

All three ebooks are part of a series, so the novella should work as a marketing tactic for the series. WILL it work? I don’t know. No one knows.

Here’s what I know for sure. If he gets all three ebooks onto Amazon, and the novella is permanently free, he’ll make sales.

We talked about Julie Smith’s publishing company, and that if you’re a self publishing author, you’re a publisher too. Keep it in mind; be business-like in your self publishing business. :-)

Your plan lets you relax: once you’ve created a plan, DON’T change it

When you have a plan, you know where you’re headed. Of course you can change a plan as necessary, but don’t  be too eager to do that.

Your plan is for you. It ensures that you have less stress, so that you can be productive. After a while, you’ll become focused on NOW, doing what you should be doing in the present moment. You’ll worry less, because you know you have a plan.

Try it. Create a plan for a project that’s worrying you. It can be any project in any area of your life, small or large. Then just start working your plan. When you’re distracted, remind yourself to stay focused on the present moment.

It makes for less stress.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Content Marketing With Ebooks: Leads From Freebies

Content Marketing With Ebooks: Leads From Freebies

A couple of years ago, you could blog, and get traffic. Then everyone caught on that blogs can give you an amazing return on the time and energy you invest. Today, almost four MILLION blog posts are published each day. Why not consider content marketing with ebooks, either in addition to your blog, or instead of regular blogging?

You’ll have less competition… for now, anyway. :-)

Content marketing with ebooks has been around for years of course. You create a PDF, and offer it as a free download, usually in exchange for a sign-up to a list.

Here’s a new wrinkle on that strategy. Consider converting your ebooks to MOBI (Kindle) or EPUB formula, so that your prospects can read on their ereader device, or ereader apps on their phone or tablet.

I’ve been creating MOBI ebooks for clients, and they report that subscriptions and conversions have increased.

How to Create a MOBI or EPUB Ebook From a Document.

Do you use Scrivener? In Scrivener, you simply compile the Scrivener document in MOBI format in a couple of seconds. EPUB format is just as quick.

Whatever document format you start with however, cloudconvert will convert it into MOBI and EPUB. cloudconvert is currently in beta, and promises to convert anything to anything: it supports 199 formats.

Content Marketing With Ebooks: 3 Tips.

Here are some tips which will help you to get the most from your ebooks.

1. Keep It Simple for MOBI and EPUB.

Yes, you can add loads of tables, graphics and other material, however your conversions will need to be done manually to get the best results. If you’re using a document converter, keep it simple. If you have tables you MUST include, do a trial conversion, and edit it carefully.

2. Give Your Website Visitors a Choice, Offer PDF Too.

PDF is still the de facto ebook standard for many people, and others prefer to read on their computer, so offer PDF as well as MOBI and EPUB.

3. Give “How to Read” Instructions.

Instructions are essential to help your downloaders to get your marketing material onto their device.

Amazon’s Send to Kindle is the easiest way to get many different kinds of documents onto any device.

It’s easy to get EPUB documents into iBooks on an iPhone or iPad:

First of all, open up your email client on the Mac. You can do this with any app or webmail program. Address an email to yourself, and attach the epub file you want to open on your iPad or iPhone. Send yourself the attachment, and then go grab your iOS device.

Now, open your preferred email program on your iPad or iPhone, and open up the email you just sent yourself. Tap the attachment icon to download it to your device, and you’ll see the icon turn into an iBooks one. Tap and hold on the file and an “Open in iBooks” will pop up. Tap that, and your iPad or iPhone will open iBooks and then open the epub file you just sent.

If you haven’t considered content marketing with ebooks, give it a try. Your customers will appreciate being able to read your ebooks when and where they choose.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Super-Fast Product Creation: Buy PLR and Profit

Super-Fast Product Creation: Buy PLR and Profit

I love product creation; it’s been a mainstay of my online business since 2002. However, there are hassles. Product creation takes time, above all. You can cut down on that time dramatically when you buy PLR.

Not familiar with PLR? I’m currently offering PLR to three products which I’ve withdrawn, and explained PLR like this:

If you’re not familiar with the term, “private label rights” products, commonly referred to as “PLR”, are products to which you have extensive rights. You can put your name on the products and sell them as your own; you can add and remove text; you can split them up to make new products; you can offer them as bonuses to your own products… basically, you can treat them as your own, and use them in any way you choose.

How to Use Purchased PLR in Your Own Products.

You can use PLR products you’ve purchased in many different ways:

  • To kickstart your own product creation;
  • As social media content;
  • As bonus added-value material to your own products;
  • On membership sites;
  • In newsletters you’re sending out to customers;
  • As the basis of audio, video or presentation material you create.

I created a monthly newsletter for a UK gym company for several years, and bought health and fitness PLR extensively to repurpose in the publications. The balance of new content to PLR was around 50/ 50. The company was happy, because they got inexpensive content, and I was happy because I spent less time on the newsletter each month.

When I created a social media campaign for a marketing company, I used a lot of edited PLR in tweets, Facebook postings with images, and as fast and easy reports. When you look at PLR as raw material, it’s like baking a cake. You have the basic flour, fat and protein. By the time you’ve mixed it up and baked it, the raw material is completely transformed.

Death by PLR: Avoid It – Use PLR as Raw Material.

Once Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) became popular a few years back, Internet marketers jumped on it mindlessly. They shoveled PLR onto the Kindle bookstore. Predictably, Amazon got very cross, and swept away much PLR.

Pay close attention to what Amazon says:

Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content

Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We will not accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of that content. For example, if you received your book content from a source that allows you and others to re-distribute it, and the content is freely available on the web, we will not accept it for sale on the Kindle store. We do accept public domain content, however we may choose to not sell a public domain book if its content is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from one or more other books.

You can use PLR as the basis of your own products. Remember what I said about using PLR as raw material, then baking it into something which looks completely different?

I don’t use PLR on Amazon; I publish content under several pen names, and ghostwrite ebooks for clients. However, if I wanted to sell an ebook on Google+ for small business for example, I’d buy good PLR and use it as raw material. Why not? It would kickstart my own thinking, and by the time I’d revised, edited and added fresh content, its own mother wouldn’t recognize it as PLR.

If you’re wary of product creation, even though you know it would benefit your business, take a fresh look at it, with the idea of judiciously using PLR in your new products. It saves time.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Make Money Self Publishing: Use What You Have

Make Money Self Publishing: Use What You Have

You want to make money self publishing, but you’re not a writer. On the contrary: write something, anything, and you’re a writer. As I tell my copywriting students, if you can write an email message and get a response, you can write copy. Similarly, if you want to write an ebook – to make money, or get leads for your business, or build your platform – you can.

Just use what you have. No matter how old or young you are, you have endless topics for nonfiction ebooks, based on your own experiences, and those of your family, friends and colleagues. You can even use the events of your life for fiction.

A BIG tip: when considering nonfiction topics, remember What’s In It For Me (WIIFM). Everyone is totally consumed with self-interest. It’s hard to get anyone to buy an ebook that’s just the story of your divorce. However, an ebook that covers what you learned from going though your divorce, and how that information can help others, can sell.

Writing Nonfiction: What Do You Want to Learn?

Writers are often told to “write what you know.” New writers approach this in a narrow fashion. The truth is, you can only write what you know. Everything you write, whether nonfiction or fiction is colored by your perceptions, and your own version of truth.

You don’t need to have an experience to be able to write about it. Thriller novelists write about serial killers; no one expects them to kill anyone… We all have the same emotions, so a thriller writer can easily use his imagination to feel himself into the skin of a serial killer.

So saying “write what you know” isn’t helpful. You can’t avoid doing that. When it comes to nonfiction, it’s more useful to suggest: “write about what you want to learn.”

Way back in the 1980s I got interested in the Internet. This was long before the Web. A Melbourne academic got me a connection, and from then on I become engrossed in the online world of BBSs. Eventually, I subscribed to CompuServe. Those early online experiences triggered an interest in tech, and for many years, I wrote tech articles for several computer magazines. I wrote what I wanted to learn.

Ask yourself what you want to learn. Maybe you want to learn online dating, or how to cook like Julia Child (a blogger blogged her Julia Child cooking experiences; that blog became a book, and then a movie), or how to home-school your children.

The Benefit of Writing What You’re Learning: Beginners’ Mind.

People want information, and they’re willing to pay for it. However, at any given period, there are many more people who want to learn the basics of a topic, rather than advanced material. You need to write what you experience as a beginner, rather than waiting until you become an “expert.”

Here’s why: you’re only a beginner once. When you achieve deep knowledge about any topic, it’s challenging to write for people who are new to a topic. You can’t wash away your experience.

So, in conclusion, if you want to make money self publishing, go for it. Use what you have, and write about your experiences learning something new.

Write Short: Sizzling Success From Short Reports and Short Stories

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

Use your spare minutes; turn them into cash. Write and sell SHORT products you create, both nonfiction and fiction. You’ll discover a great new write-and-sell strategy, and will develop your own profitable income streams which will boost your hourly rate into the stratosphere. Get started immediately.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Write to Sell and to Brand Yourself FAST

Want to build your brand? Consider this: Amazon gives you the opportunity to write to sell, and to build your brand at the same time.

Write to Sell and To Brand Yourself

Currently I’m working with a couple of clients who are writing short ebooks to build their brand. One is a personal trainer, and the other is a financial consultant.

Both have professions which involve a lot of education.  The trainer needs to teach his clients to improve their health with better nutrition and exercise, and the consultant needs to give his clients ways to improve their finances.

Their writing helps their work, and it will over time give them standing and credibility in their chosen fields.

What about you?

Could writing help you to build your brand?

Blogging is one way to build your brand, and for years, I’ve encouraged many of my clients to blog. However, a blog is a commitment. If you’re pressed for time, blogging may not be for you. Twitter or Instagram makes more sense: you can inform and teach your current clients, and find new ones, in seconds.

A short ebook helps you to share your knowledge fast. It helps your current clients, attracts new clients, and helps you to make a side income  too.

You’re wondering, how short is SHORT?  Writers think in terms of word count, so I suggest 5,000 words. In page terms, this is around 20 pages. Of course, with ebooks, pages are irrelevant.

I’m helping the trainer to create a small library of ebooks. He’s not only aiming to help his clients, he wants to spread his message further. The consultant’s creating a single ebook, plus a print edition. He’s selling on Amazon, and he’ll be selling both digital and print versions from his website.

In branding, nothing beats writing a book to give you presence. These days, writing a book is easier than ever.

Yes, you can go the traditional publishing route, as some of my clients do. However, that presents challenges of its own. Many publishing houses have conglomerated or have disappeared over the past decade. Those that remain, want their authors to have a platform before they consider their proposal. If  you want to write a book to help you to build your brand, you have real challenges.

Publishing ebooks makes much more sense; particularly short ebooks. You can write your ebook yourself, or get help writing it, or you can hire someone to ghostwrite it for you. Either way, the entire project takes weeks, rather than months — or years, in the case of traditional publishing.

If you’re interested in writing to sell for any reason, check out Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories; the program includes coaching.

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

4 Ways to Finish Writing a Book, Even If You’ve Been Procrastinating for Years

Write a book

Do you have a partially-completed novel or nonfiction book cluttering up your hard drive? When I’m coaching writers, they’ve usually got a book or two that they’ll finish “one day.”

Don’t feel bad, it’s common. With 280,000 novelists signed up for NaNoWriMo this month (good for you, if you’re one of them), thousands of uncompleted novels will never see the light of day.

I’m guilty of starting more books than I finish too. I tend to start a new book whenever I get an idea. Then a client needs help, or something else happens, and I don’t get back to writing that book. Procrastination wins again.

Over the years, I’ve learned some fast and dirty ways deal with this habit. Here they are.

1. Carve out what works, and then publish

This is as fast and dirty as it gets. It works a treat on both nonfiction, and fiction. If you’re writing a novel, your book becomes the first in a series. (Be sure to warn readers that they’re buying a serial, or part-work, otherwise you’ll get lots of nastiness in the reviews, and rightly so.)

Let’s say you’ve completed 40 to 70 per cent of your book. You lost inspiration. You’re sick of the sight of it. You hide it in an Archive folder, and shudder whenever you think about it.

Stop shuddering. It’s time to rescue the beast. All you have to do is find a section of material which is publishable as-is. Ebooks can short, so if you have 150 pages, you should be able to publish at least 120 pages as a single ebook, or a couple of ebooks.

Big tip: DO NOT READ the entire document. It’s fatal. You’ll end up procrastinating again.

Read the headings.

For nonfiction, just carve out the section which is publishable, write a short intro and conclusion, and publish. All done.

Fiction tends to be more work, because you’re rejiggering the novel, the character and plot arcs will need work – you’ll need to write new scenes, OR remove a subplot, OR (my favorite) remove a character.

2. Finish it: make it shorter than you planned

With this method, you look at what you have, and work out how you can finish it quickly.

You’re not carving much away. With nonfiction, publish what you have. You may be surprised that when you look at the material with a “finish it, no matter what” mindset, the material works as-is. Remove any chapters you haven’t completed. You may need to add a few paragraphs to the introduction and write a short concluding chapter.

With fiction, the easiest option is turn the book into a novella, or a couple of short stories. Alternatively, write the rest of the material as quickly as you can, and publish.

3. Blog it: use the material to sell something else

Sometimes, neither #1 nor #2 will work. Or maybe they would work, but you don’t want to spend any time on the material. That’s OK. You can use the material to sell something else.

Create a blog for the material, or offer it as a free download to promote your business, or other books.

4. Major surgery: outline, rewrite and complete

If it’s been a year or two, you may find that when you read the material again, you know exactly how to fix it. Or, you feel that this project is worthwhile – the book deserves to be published, no matter what it takes. This is wonderful, because you’ve regained your inspiration.

Start by outlining what you have. Then rewrite, and write fresh material.

Tip: ONE revision only, otherwise you’ll procrastinate again. Do the revision, get a beta reader to read it, and publish it as an ebook.

See how it goes. The book may surprise you.

Try these four methods of finishing a book. They’re easy (well, except for #4,) and they work.

NEW: book coaching programs

From your head into print — or onto your Kindle… Writing your book is fun, and easier than you think. A book coach helps you from go to whoa: from brainstorming, and planning your book, to creating an outline and blurb, and finally to writing your book, and selling it. Discover my new coaching programs, and write a book.
, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging: 5 Fast Ways to Get More Business Via Your Blog

business blog

You have a business blog. Is it getting business for you?

While there are many benefits to creating and maintaining a blog (credibility, find-ability, trust), few businesses bite the bullet and commit to getting business via their blog.

Let’s look at how you can put your blog to work.

1. Write About Your Products and Services

Whenever I get a new blogging client, I check the blog to see how tightly the blog’s integrated with the business.

Many businesses do this brilliantly, but there’s always room for improvement.

Do this now: check your customer service reports. What questions are your customers asking? Answer the questions on your blog. You know your products. Help your customers to get the most from them.

2. Get Sponsors

Why not offer other businesses the chance to advertise on your blog, by sponsoring content?

There are sites which automate sponsored posts. However, it’s better to get sponsorships yourself. Sponsored content is a form of native advertising.

“Native advertising” has been hot for the past year. If you’re not sure precisely what native advertising might be, there are many definitions. It’s a slippery beast to try to nail down, because there are so many varieties.

In essence, I agree with Ian Schafer, that native advertising is old-school advertorials revamped:

The loudest such critic, Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer, considers native advertising in this case just a re-packaged version of advertorials, a timeworn ad format for print media. Schafer’s definition is a bit different: “Advertising that takes advantage of a platform in the ways consumers are actually using it.”

Do this now: offer allied and related businesses the opportunity to sponsor content on your blog.

3. Increase Your Reach: Multiply the Effect of Your Content

You can multiply the effect of your content to get traffic and sales by repurposing your content.


  • Turning your blog posts into an ebook (or a series of ebooks);

  • Creating presentations from popular posts;

  • Creating YouTube videos based on blog articles.

Do this now: compile blog posts on a theme into an ebook. You can offer this free, in exchange for contact details.

4. Collect and Cultivate Leads (Inbound Marketing)

Are you collecting leads from your blog? Encourage blog readers to:

  • Sign up to your mailing list;

  • Call you for a product demonstration;

  • Visit your Facebook and/ or Google+ pages, follow you on Twitter, visit your Pinterest boards.

Do this now: add social media buttons and widgets to your blog.

5. Use Your Blog to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competitors

Think about your competitors. Your blog offers you the perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself.

Do this now: make a list of ways you’re different from your competition. Next, make another list on how you can expound on those ways on your blog.

Blog traffic is hard-won. When visitors do arrive, make sure that your blog’s doing its job, which is getting business for you.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Ebooks: A 3-Minute Strategy to Write and Sell

If you’re getting into self-publishing, you need a strategy which you can put to use immediately.

I’ve created an easy one for my book marketing students. You can understand and memorize this simple presentation in three minutes. Then put it to use — use your creativity.

Here’s a quick transcript of the slides.

1. Kindle Ebooks in 3 Minutes Write Your Ebooks FAST

Presentation: Angela Booth angelabooth.com

Twitter: @angee

Writing Genii: writinggenii.com

2. 3-Minute Strategy • Select a topic that sells • Decide on an angle • Define your “hook”

For nonfiction

3. 3-Minute Strategy • Choose a genre • Character, setting and plot • Theme and meaning

For short stories

4. Create a List Outline

5. Write!

6. Publish on Amazon Kindle

7. Promote…• Review copies• Twitter, Facebook• Blog• Blog tour• GoodReads, LibraryThing• Reader list

8. The Easiest Promotional Method: Book Two

Each book sells the next, so write your next book.

9. Cherish Your Readers (Build Platform)

10. Survey: What Did Your Readers Love?

11. Give Your Readers What TheyWant in Books Two and Three

• Is your ebook selling? • Write a series. • Talk to your readers… • Give them what pleases them… and • Magic happens. You’ll sell more ebooks.

12. The Ebook Revolution Is Here: Get Help Now

• Want help writing and selling your ebooks? • Angela’s been doing it for years. • Get help now…

13. Contact Angela Booth: get help with your ebooks today.

Ebook Writing and Selling Strategy: What Did Your Readers Love?

Survey Your Readers

Writing and selling ebooks is a booming industry. If you’re a business person, nothing helps your credibility as much as writing a book. And of course, if you’re a writer, self-publishing means you get to keep the profits.

The publishing industry is changing fast. If you’re a self-publisher, you may feel intimidated that traditional “big publishing” is moving into your humble sphere. Don’t be. You’re much more nimble, and innovative, than they are.

I’ve been working with committed self-publishers in our ebook mastery workshop. We focus on building your readership from your very first book. It’s essential.

Build your readership (platform) and survey your readers

Cherish your readers. You’ll grow your platform one reader at a time. Here’s a strategy which will work for you, even if you only have five readers — survey them.

Ask them what worked for them in the ebook. What did they enjoy most? What didn’t they enjoy? What else would they like to read? What are their favorite genres?

Your readers will help you to develop your next ebook, and your next.

They can function as beta readers, so that your ebooks improve. You can even survey them on cover design.

You don’t have to survey them formally. (Although you can do, PollDaddy is very useful for this.) You can simply ask questions.

The last page of your ebook sells the next one

The last page of your ebook is your last chance to connect with your readers… However, it doesn’t have to be.

Set up a webpage (or use a Facebook or Google+ page). Then add to the final page of your ebook: “Join me at___(your URL.)”

When your readers land on that page, don’t overwhelm them. Ask them to subscribe to your mailing list, to be informed of your next book, as well as for updates to the ebooks they’ve purchased.

Over time, your readership will grow. Link to your webpage from GoodReads, and other read communities to which you belong.

Your readers are gold. Treat them as if they’re the most important people in the world. They deserve it.