Tag Archives: ebooks

Writing Journal 52: Traffic From Ebooks

Writing Journal 52: Traffic From Ebooks

My writing journal for Friday, October 3, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another busy day ahead; a meeting this morning, which cuts into my day. Not to worry.

Happy days — I’ve finally settled on a sleuth for the mystery novel who’s perfect for the series. I wrote a long screed to the client, putting my case for this sleuth, so we’ll see what the verdict is on it. Words: 2,600.

With that load off my mind, I focused on completing the book proposal for the memoir. I’ll do a little more on it tonight, then I’ll send the draft off over the weekend. Words: 1,500.

Breakfast for Honey. I have breakfast while writing a bunch of email messages.

Then, it’s time to prep for my meeting. I organize my schedule for the day, and try not to think about everything I need to do. Action, rather than thinking about it, is the key.

I’m back. The meeting was great, and I managed to pop into the library to do some fact checking for the book proposal, and for another project.

A client asked about ebooks for her business. She’s got an ecommerce store, and is getting fewer sales because traffic is shrinking. Paid advertising isn’t helping as much as she’d like.

She’s wondering about content marketing, and how ebooks play into that. So, let’s look at it.

Traffic from ebooks, and the rising tide

Traffic is hard to get in 2014. In 2015, it will only be harder. A tsunami of content flows onto the Web each day: millions and millions of pieces of content.

Many companies are using content marketing today. It’s the new big thing but it has challenges. Many, many challenges. Why content marketing fails for many who try it is explained in this excellent slide deck from Moz, Why Content Marketing Fails.

Basically, here’s how it works. You post content. You get recognition. You build trust. People remember what you’re selling and when they have a need for it, they may buy. As Rand points out in the slide deck, you fail, fail, fail… and then you succeed.

Content marketing has been part of the Web since there was a Web. Now there’s a fancy name for it, but it changes nothing about the way it works. It’s all about trust and recognition, and being persistent until you succeed.

So, how does traffic from ebooks play into that?

I tell my students: be everywhere. Spread yourself around. The more people who hear your name, the better. Amazon is a search engine too. So are the other ebook retailers. iTunes has a search engine. And YouTube.

Someone sees your name in your ebook description on Amazon, and remembers it. If they read your ebook, you’re lucky, but the point is — Google indexes Amazon.

Content marketing and SEO

You have a website. You’re on Twitter, and Facebook and Google+. And now you’re on Amazon too. Google indexes ALL that, and as Rand points out in his slide deck, the rising tide of SEO lifts all boats. So, you’re building a profile, as someone who’s here, there and everywhere, and Google takes notice.

You just keep going and going, and your “everywhere” thing grows. You get more traffic, and make more sales. Along the way, you make connections, which also help.

That’s how you get traffic from ebooks. You’re on Amazon, and everywhere else, too, and your boat (profile) is lifted everywhere. That’s the macro point of view.

On a micro level, what the hey — you may sell a few ebooks AND get traffic. Remember to put your URL and info in the front and back matter of your books. :-)

It’s late afternoon now. I spent a busy afternoon on several copywriting jobs which grew out of my meetings this week. I also assessed my content calendars for clients’ blogs.

Finally, a quick overview of today’s activities and word count, and a longer review of what got done, and what didn’t get done this week. And that’s it for another day.

Oh woe, oh junk folders…

Before I forget. I posted a quick note on the freelance blog about Team Up. Several people mentioned that they found the ezine messages in their junk folder, and were upset about potentially missing out, since it’s the final coaching program for the year. We’ve extended Team Up enrollments until this Sunday to help.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The end is in sight for the novella. I wrote 1,200 words, setting up the major scene which I mentioned yesterday.

So, I’m ready to write the scene. However, since I’m way ahead of the schedule on this book I decided to spend some extra time on the nonfiction book proposal which I’m creating for a client’s memoir. I made good headway on the overview, so Julia’s sending that off to the client for her input.

It must be spring, because Honey’s outside. She didn’t want to come in this morning; she’s enjoying the warmer weather. I’ve got to call her in and make her breakfast.

I read email while I’m eating my toast. We’re almost all caught up with email, because I did a heavy push on it last night. Several students sent me their stories; I’ve got just two left on which I need to provide feedback.

Next, work with my new coaching client.

Showing your expertise in an ebook

I’m working with a new coaching and ghostwriting client who’s starting her own business. She’s got wonderful expertise in her profession, so I suggested that she capitalize on that.

Firstly, we’re setting up a website for her, essentially so that she can collect email addresses of prospects. At the same time, we’re developing a couple of ebooks. One she’ll use as an inducement to sign up for her mailing list. The other, we’ll publish on Kindle Direct Publishing; this will help her to show her expertise. If it happens to make a little money, that will be fine too. :-)

A year ago, I would have suggested that she build out her website into an authority site to get traffic. However, the online world has changed. Yes, you still need all the SEO you can manage. But it’s hard to get search engine traffic for a brand new website, no matter how large and authoritative it might be, so we’re going to skip that for at least a year.

My client needs the ebooks, and social media, AND partnerships to get traction.

I love working with people who are good at what they do; helping them to provide value for others. Our first step will be to work out exactly what she’s offering, and how she’ll brand her new business.

It’s time for my walk. I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, because I have a couple of meetings, so I need to go today.

I’m back from my walk, and spend some time updating my schedule for this week and next. Then I have lunch while browsing social media.

After lunch, I get on with the company history book, using the cluster diagrams I created yesterday. I manage to do 2,000 words on this. Excellent.

The new blog launch

In our meeting yesterday, we discussed the company’s branding, and their new blog. I’ve got to do a proposal and scope. This means a lot of research.

Research tip: only do as much as you need to do.  Start by deciding exactly what you need to know, and create some research questions to answer.

After spending a couple of hours on it, I need a short break. I decide walk to the park with Honey so that I can get some fresh air, and think.

It’s late afternoon; time to I catch up on email and phone calls. I’ll try to work on a couple of short stories tonight; I need to keep up with them so I can get them published in October.

I complete my daily review, count my words, and I’m done for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 40: Use PLR For Fast Ebooks

Writing Journal 40: Use PLR For Fast  Ebooks

My writing journal for Sunday, September 21, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Sunday, which means that it will be another short writing day. As usual, I started the day off writing fiction, and managed 1,400 words. It’s going slowly this morning. Sometimes the writing flows as slowly as molasses in winter. It’s aggravating. I hate it, because I’m usually a fast writer; I can focus and get it done. Of course, annoyance just makes it harder to focus. :-)

Next, I do a little more on the client’s book proposal for a memoir. I need to be ready to start writing it tomorrow morning.

The time zooms past when you’ve got a lot to do. I make Honey’s breakfast, and eat my own while reading email. I’ve got to catch up with client emails, and student emails, tonight. No time today.

I posted an article to my freelance writing blog about a PLR offering. Several students have asked me whether I’d sell PLR to some of my programs which we’re withdrawing. The answer’s simple — sure, if you want it. I won’t be using the material myself, so I’m more than happy for others to get value from it.

PLR to two top-selling programs

I decided to go with Web writing programs for this first PLR offering. Everyone needs to write for the Web these days, so anyone who buys the PLR will be able to create their own ebooks and other materials from it.

If you’re not sure what “PLR” might be, basically you sell someone the rights to use the material as their own, and create their own materials from it. A buyer can create ebooks, books, courses, blog posts — pretty much anything they like, with some limitations.

Over the years, I’ve used PLR that I’ve bought to to use in my own programs. It cuts down on the time that program creation takes. Of course, buying QUALITY PLR is the key. A lot of the material which is sold as PLR just isn’t of high quality, and you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, to use the cliche.

The first PLR offering closes on September 26. I’m not promoting the offering at all, so I doubt that many will be sold. This is a good thing for the PLR buyers; it means that few others will have the material.

Next, I need to write the student memos for last night’s coaching calls. I upload the MP3 recordings too. Whenever I do a phone consultation, I offer to record the session for the client. Most clients want the recording, because it’s a challenge to take in and remember a lot of information in a call.

I’ll be out for lunch and most of the afternoon. When I get back, I’ll need to focus on blogging.

Back again to do the editorial calendars for clients’ blogs and my own

Sunday’s always my big planning day. I spend a couple of hours researching, and writing draft posts for blogs. Two clients have sent images, so I need to tidy them up in Photoshop, to get them ready to post.

I’m pleased that the same clients have decided to try Pinterest. I’m a huge Pinterest fan; it can drive as much traffic as Google, and more, on some sites. The big question of course, is conversions. Pinterest can’t be your entire promotional strategy, but if you sell products or services, it can be a useful part of your overall marketing strategy.

With that done, I review the week, to see what worked, and what didn’t. I write up a couple of memos for clients, review my word count, and I’m done for the day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

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.