Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the eBook Publishing Boot Camp organized by D’Vorah Lansky. Many presentations were made over the course of two weeks. In this post I will be sharing what I learned from Jim Edwards in his session, Four Ways to Write Your Non-Fiction Book or eBook to Publish & Sell on Amazon Kindle in 7 Days or Less. (If you want more information, check out Jim’s Book, How to Write & Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days.)
1. Use content you’ve already written, as long as you still have rights to the material
- Combine articles or blogs of 500-700 words into an e-book of at least 25 pages
- Use articles you’ve written as an “outline” for an e-book
- Put together “white papers” you’ve written
Jim Edwards reminds us to choose a specific niche and “understand…that you may have to reposition that material, to reflect many of the top reasons people buy online. And those reasons are to make money, save money, save time, avoid effort, escape pain, feel popular, feel loved, or to find social success.”
2. Create an e-book by conducting and compiling “expert interviews”
A great example of this is C. J. Darlington’s book, 112 Christian Authors and Publishing Professionals Share Their Best Advice for Novelists. Think about what you or the person you’re writing for wants to know about a topic. Create a question that will elicit that information and then contact other people to get their answer to that question. (You may want to research your key words on answers.yahoo.com to see what kind of questions people are asking about your topic.) Let your experts know upfront what you are planning to do with the material they provide. After you receive the information, you will need to compile the material, edit it, add an introduction, comments, conclusions, etc., but you have the basics you need to create an e-book.
- If you’re thinking of presenting webinars, check out FreeConferencing.com.
- Create an MP3 file from your webinar and sell it as an audio book. (Free Conferencing allows you to do this.)
- Use iDictate.com or oDesk.com or Fiverr.com to change your MP3 file into a transcript that you can sell as an e-book.
3. Hire a ghost writer
According to Wikipedia, “A ghostwriter is a writer who writes books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person.”
If you don’t have the time or expertise to write parts of your eBook, you can hire other writers to do those parts of the book for you. Jim Edwards suggests going to Elance or Freelancer to find people to collaborate with on your book. In order to do this effectively, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for, write a clear description to post on the site of your choice, and then hire the writer(s) who meet your criteria. If you want to make sure the material you receive from the ghostwriter is original, you can use Copyscape.
4. Put together a step-by-step plan or day-by- day recipe
Think about topics for which you have experience or expertise. You may even want to tackle a subject you want to learn about. (InScribe member, Kimberley Payne used her journey to fitness as her topic. Check it out at Fit for Faith.) Here are some other sample ideas:
- Provide a step-by-step plan for moving across the country or even across the world. Each step could be the basis for one chapter of your e-book.
- Put together a 30-day plan on preparing for a 5K run.
- Share ideas on how to memorize a chapter of Scripture every month.
- Try a new recipe every day for 30 days and share your successes and failures. Perhaps someone in your family has a special dietary need like gluten-free food. Use this as an opportunity to not only learn for yourself, but also to share your learning so that others don’t have to go through the mistakes you’ve already made.
Jim Edwards suggests using Listly to research topics and ideas. Google searches on your key words may also be helpful.
What do you think? I’d love to hear about your successes and “mistakes” as you try out these ideas. For more information from the e-book publishing boot camp, come visit me at my blog.
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