Best-Home-Business-Opportunity.org was setup by Gregory E. Rouse (a home business entrepreneur) as a FREE resource to share how people can make money with their hobbies and interests.

Monday, August 31, 2009

eBook Selling

eBook Selling

Before you start selling you need to do a few more steps:
  • Decide on the price: How much does your eBook cost? What are your competitor prices? If anything, start with a high price and gradually work your way down until your sales take off.
  • Write your sales copy: Focus on benefits not features.
  • Decide on how to accept payment and set it up: When you’re online, you have to accept payment by credit or debit card or you will lose 90% or more of your business! Your goal when choosing is an automated system, so you can concentrate on marketing rather than processing orders. A merchant account is one method, but it can be expensive and a lot of extra work with the need for a shopping cart, etc… On the other hand here‘s two options:
  1. ClickBank is a low cost service (a one time fee of $49.95) that deals with all the complicated stuff for processing credit cards securely. There are no monthly fees just a small deduction based on the number of sales you make. ClickBank is a great resource for products that can be delivered electronically over the Internet (i.e. eBooks). Another huge advantage is that they offer an Affiliate tracking program for FREE when you sign up. Affiliate programs are one of the keys to success on the Internet and they usually cost hundreds of dollars. To learn more Click Here
  2. PayPal is an online banking system that originated with eBay, but has now grown to become an online banking system for individuals and businesses alike. PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information. There’s no setup fee and it’s easy to use with many excellent features. To learn more Click Here
  • Check Everything: Before you unleash your website on real customers spend some time to make sure everything works. Is your sales copy in place? Is your deliver method working (i.e. download)? Does your credit card ordering process work? Test, test, test!

When you put it all together, your goal will be to automate your business so it runs itself, then you can focus on marketing and product development. Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy your new lifestyle, knowing that your business is automatically closing sales and depositing money in your account while you’re out playing.


To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Domain Names and Hosting

Domain Names and Hosting

Domain Names
If you have your own domain name, your full URL will be http://www.yourname.com. This is a lot easier to advertise and a lot easier for your customers to remember than the typical free web space URL, which looks like http://yourname.somecompany.com.

As your business grows you may need to upgrade your hosting requirements to another hosting company. If you have your own domain name, then you can take it with you, along with all your advertising efforts. So always buy your domain name separate from any hosting service you buy. I’ve had to do this myself and I would hate to have lost all that hard earned traffic built around one of my companies name (http://www.WildernessTrip.com).

Finally, having your own domain name adds credibility to your business. Many people won't trust you in billing their credit card if you can't afford $20 to $40 per month for a decent website! Besides, business associates are more likely to take sites with their own domain name seriously.

Here’s a resource to buy and register your domain name Dotearth

Choosing a Host
A paid host will usually provide some guarantees about reliability, as well as at least basic technical support. Free hosts, on the other hand, usually provide no such guarantees and may not provide any technical support at all!

With an online business, every minute your website is not working, you could be losing money! With a paid host, you can complain until they fix it, you may even be able to get compensation for excessive downtime and if you're still unhappy, you can take your domain name to a different hosting company.

With a free host, you have no recourse. If the site doesn't live up to expectations, you can move to a different host, but as your URL will change, you have to start marketing all over again and your existing customers could be lost, so as stated above, buy a name.

When choosing your host, I recommend that you look at price, features, the amount of space you get or the amount of bandwidth per month. More bandwidth means more people can download your eBook before you start paying extra fees to your host. Here’s a great hosting company with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited websites for under ten bucks a month Click Here

Again, to simplify this whole thing, what if I could show you How To Create A Website for $0 with domain and hosting for FREE!

My new book was one of those Ah Ha moments!

To find out more - Go to http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org


To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

So, what does it cost to take your business online?

Money Back GuaranteeImage by Roby© via Flickr

So, what does it cost to take your business online?

You can start your online business for under $100, but you’ll need to do everything yourself and if you don’t know HTML programming, you’re in for a sharp learning curve. Most people can get up and running with a fantastic site for around $500.

And, if you have a few thousand dollars in start-up capital, you can blast your website and online promotions into high gear by purchasing advertising, software to automate, and hiring people to handle search engine submission, professional website design and professional sales copy.

Set up a budget and prioritize your needs, then stick to your plan. Don’t get sucked in by companies that try to take advantage of newcomers to the Internet (you can register a domain name for $10 not $50).

Again, if you don't want to spend a dime, what if I could show you How To Create A Website for $0

MY LATEST BOOK SHOWS YOU JUST THAT!

Go to http://www.freeonlinebusiness.org


To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How To Get Your Own Website

How To Get Your Own Website

You need a website to sell eBooks successfully. The advantages to selling eBooks on your own website include:
  • Lower advertising costs. The expense of getting new customers and testing your ideas is a fraction of what it costs using traditional media (a one page ad in a national magazine can run $30,000).
  • Lower overhead. Your products are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the need for employees or a retail location.
  • Automation. With modern technology and the Internet, you can automate the majority of your tasks, so you can free up your time for more important things.
  • Ease of Testing. You can test new ideas, new products, new ad copy at virtually no cost and you can do it instantly. Plus with the modern technology of the Internet, you can electronically track everything you do and get instant feedback on the results. Try that without the Internet.

So, what do you need to start a website?

Here’s the things you’ll absolutely need, you’ll need your own domain name (i.e. www.yourname.com), a quality web hosting service (i.e. the people who store your web site's contents on their computers), web pages with salescopy, and a way to purchase and download your product (i.e. shopping cart). These steps will be the best investment in marketing you’ll ever make!

My next few post will break this all down, but to simplify this whole thing, what if I could show you How To Create A Website for $0

MY LATEST BOOK SHOWS YOU JUST THAT!

Go to http://www.freeonlinebusiness.org


To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Publish Your eBook

How to Publish Your eBook

eBook is short for Electronic Book, which is a book delivered in electronic format to your computer.

To publish your eBook you will need to use a Compiler. An eBook Compiler is a program that takes the content and compiles it into an easy-to-distribute format. Commercial quality eBook Compilers cost anywhere from $30 up to several hundred dollars. There are basically 2 types of compilers available. You can use a PDF format or an HTML compiler.

Types of Compilers:
  • HTML Compilers: HTML compilers convert HTML files (like you have on a website) into an easy-to-distribute format, often self-contained Windows programs. These are great if you want more security, you only expect your information to be read on a computer, you have experience designing web pages, and/or you want to take advantage of the special features used on web pages. The down side, they can only be read on computers that are Windows based operating systems, so Mac users are out. However, I have found one that works for both Mac and Windows users and is so easy to use that you don’t even have to know html. Check out eBookpro
  • PDF Compilers: PDF is a file format created by Adobe that can be used for eBooks (along with distributing other types of documents). PDF is like “electronic paper”. To read a PDF file, a user will need to install the Adobe Acrobat reader (most users have this or can download for free at Adobe.com). This format is great for printing if you want the eBook to always have an exact appearance (PDF will look like the original document). The downside is the cost can be a little more expensive, but if you want, they will allow you to make your first 5 documents for free online. They also have an eBook version and if all else fails, for a monthly fee, you can create unlimited documents using their online version. If the expense from buying the software is too much, there are other options, such as Primos a free PDF compiler - the security and features are limited, but good for free reports, etc…

Virtual Covers

Have you seen those Virtual Covers that some people use to promote their eBooks and software? They help present your product in a professional way that can dramatically improve sales by up to 300%!

There are basically 2 ways to get these graphics, pay somebody else to create the covers for you (this can be expensive) or the do-it-yourself approach, in which case you make your own Virtual Covers using your favorite graphics program or a special software application. I highly recommend the later one because it’s inexpensive and with the newest software - Easy. There are some great software programs to help you out, here’s one I recommend for creating virtual 3D covers Click Here

Finally, in order to market and distribute your eBook you need a website. We‘ve already mention a few times that if you‘re not on the Internet you better get there. When it comes to marketing, the Internet is a must. In my next post I’ll show you how to get a website.


To your success,
--Greg

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Writing eBooks

Writing eBooks

The hottest product on the Internet is INFORMATION!

Now if we know the Internet is the best marketing tool (as pointed out in earlier posts), then the best product for the entrepreneur is information, and if information is the best product, then I’d like to suggest that downloadable products are the best way to deliver it on the Internet. You need to realize, Internet users are already looking for information, all you have to do is put the information in front of them, package it right and then help them realize why they want it.

NOTE: Financial freedom is usually only achieved by those who figure out how to establish a passive income. Passive income is when you can generate revenue even though you are not present. Examples would be when someone has employees earning money for them or maybe investments. Well, eBooks in conjunction with the Internet are an excellent way to establish passive income!

Understanding the Industry
Downloadable products are easy to produce, sell and they have obscene markup potential! It’s a secure format, which allows you full control over the marketing and distribution of your product. There’s no printing or shipping costs and they can be delivered instantly or electronically downloaded, which makes them perfect for the Internet or the impulse buyer.

One the other hand, when you sell products that require shipping, you encounter some major problems such as shipping costs (the number one reason online shoppers turn away), stocking and packaging which decrease your profit margin, and delays in product delivery time (I just mentioned how the majority of online shoppers are impulse buyers).

So here you are. You've followed the steps in previous posts, you’ve got your information product in hand and you're raring to go, now what? You need a way to distribute your product with minimum overhead, while providing your customers with a quick and easy way to get your product into their hands. The answer is electronic publishing or eBooks!

8 Steps to Success
  1. Find a niche market that you’re enthusiastic about and generate book ideas.
  2. Research a subject of interest not being covered or not being covered thoroughly enough.
  3. Write the eBook or pay a ghostwriter to do it.
  4. Edit the eBook.
  5. Compile the eBook for publishing.
  6. Design a cover and salescopy.
  7. Develop a website with e-commerce capability.
  8. Launch a full-scale marketing campaign.

To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Producing Books On CD

An image of a compact disc - Pencil included f...Image via Wikipedia

Producing Books On CD

Another option for publishing are Books on CDs, with start-up costs about $2,500 depending on how much of the equipment you already have (i.e. CD burners, etc.), a one-person operation can develop quite a nice income with most of the work being done out-of-house. At $15 each, plus $3 shipping & handling, the producer of a CD will gross $18,000 selling 1,000 CDs.

The production cost is quite small. The audio program can be written by the producer who brings the script to a "Narration House", where a professional announcer does the voice recording using a professional studio.

A professional announcer, who owns or has access to a professional recording studio, usually runs his business. Just send your script to a narration house and have them record it for you. The amount they charge depends on the length of your material and the format on which you want your "master copy" recorded. A recording of 30-minute material may cost you $450.

Another popular format for a How-To CD is called the "Interview" format. This is where the author or producer of the CD is interviews an expert in the field of choice. Since this format is prepared on a "question and answer" basis, it is relatively easy to structure, allowing for a more logical presentation of the ideas the author wants to cover.

With this format, the author can prepare 30 to 50 questions, which together with the answers, can be edited down too a 30 to 40 minute program. Depending on where the interview is produced, this format may cost less than a straight presentation where the bulk of the work uses the voice of a professional narrator.

Either way Books on CD’s are another option for the self-publisher and are relatively easy and cheap to produce.


To your success,
--Greg

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Print-On-Demand Publishing

Print-On-Demand Publishing

As discussed in an earlier post, for the new writer, self-publishing is often the answer to being published because the author typically knows his audience and how to reach them. But, the up-front costs of printing can be $30,000 or more and the marketing costs can run into five figures as well. Also, any books that go unsold are "dead inventory" and become an expensive liability (wasted money).

So what’s the answer? Print-On-Demand Publishing!

Print-on-Demand Programs (POD) are programs that let you print your books one at a time as sales come in. It's great because it gets rid of the inventory problem. You don't have to come up with thousands of dollars to print a bunch of books, then hope they sell. Books are paid for on a per unit basis. Moreover, the POD vendor handles the shipping too. So an order comes in, it gets printed, stuck in an envelope and mailed directly to the customer.

However, there are some problems with PODs such as the time it takes to get your book in print and sent to the customer. Many companies have a six-month backlog. Another issue is royalties. Most POD firms pay royalties on the net profit and not on the list price. Royalties average 20% to 30%. Also, some firms ask for the rights to your work, so they can sell them later (Don’t do it!). Others lock you into a long-term contract. Finally, there’s even games played with ISBN numbers.

Some of the popular POD companies are IUniverse, Lulu, Xlibris, Authorhouse, and Trafford. Study each publisher and contract carefully before making your choice.

To help you out, I’ve done some research and found a great POD firm that has the best price and no surprises:

BookLocker: $517
Deduct $200 if submitting your own cover. No hidden fees and includes everything. Books are usually on the market in less than a month. No extra charge for graphics. 35% royalties based on list price for public sales; 15% royalties based on list price on wholesale/bookstore orders. Added Bonus: Returning authors are only charged $99 setup fees on their second and subsequent books: BookLocker.com


To your success,
--Greg

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Editing Your Book

Editing Your Book

There are two phases of book editing. The first step is to edit the book before typesetting, and before a printing master is produced. This step is designed to eliminate the majority of errors.

The second phase is to complete a final editing of the book after a master copy has been typeset. The purpose of the second phase is to eliminate any remaining errors. A second purpose of this step is to cut out or add material and to adjust the length of the book, if necessary.

You may also wish to adjust the length of a chapter so that each chapter will begin on the right hand page. You may wish to adjust the length of the book to save printing costs. For example: as I mentioned earlier, most book printers operate in set increments of pages. Many offer 16 page signatures. Therefore, a 160-page book would take 10 signatures. A 164-page book would take 11 signatures and cost extra because of those additional pages. So if you can eliminate 4 pages, you'll save printing costs.

Editing a book takes a considerable amount of time. There are many things to check for, including: spelling errors, sentences that are too long, misuse of words, punctuation errors, capital letters, nonsense sentences, factual errors, omissions of vital material and so forth. Eliminating spelling errors is usually the easy part. If you have a computer, you can use spell-check to catch most mistakes.

For final editing, I always print out a hard copy and then I usually make about three passes through the entire book looking for errors. When an error is found, I'll mark it so it is easy to find. When the entire book has been edited I return to the computer and make the necessary changes. Then I'll print the book one final time and again check for errors. Finally, I'll have another person (often my mother, she great at finding errors) make a last check for me. Having another person make a final check of the book can be beneficial. They will look at the book with a fresh set of eyes and catch errors that you may have overlooked.

One of the most important parts of editing is to check the book's facts and its completeness. You must make certain that the book contains no factual errors and that it adequately covers the topic. If your book falls short in these two areas, it will most likely be a failure and a waste of your time and money, as well as a waste of your reader's time and money. So always double check each fact and make certain that all of the important facets of the topic are discussed. In other words, make sure that your book has something informative to say and that it's said correctly.

After the book has been typeset, you can make one final check to look for small errors. It's almost impossible to catch all errors, but you'll want to remove as many as possible.


To your success,
--Greg

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Writing A Book

Illustration of different font types and the n...Image via Wikipedia

Writing A Book

Start writing and write as though you were talking to someone via the telephone, because writing, after everything has been analyzed, taken apart, studied, improved upon, and put back together, is still nothing more or less than a written conversation between two people. Write as though you’re talking to your next door neighbor.

It makes no difference whether you write it all out longhand or pound away at the computer. Just get it all written! Once you've got your material organized, start writing and don't stop until you're finished!

When you have finished, be proud of yourself! Take a break, go out to dinner, and enjoy a night on the town! In other words, put this first draft aside for a few days and allow your brain, your body, and your creative juices to rejuvenate themselves.

After a couple of days off, take it back up and go through it with a sharp pencil, just as you imagine an editor would do. Strike out, rewrite and polish each paragraph for clarity, accuracy and flow.

This is the time to make sure that what you've written is easy to read, easy to understand and each sentence follows the one before it. The smoother the conversation or the writing flows, the easier it'll be to read, and the easier it is to read, the more copies you will sell.

Book Titles
The title of your book can be one of the biggest factors on sales. A good title will often result in increased interest as well as higher profits.

A good book title should: grab the attention of the customer, clearly reveal the book's subject, arouse interest, define the area covered by the book and promise benefits to the reader. Many books also have a subtitle. The subtitle is usually about 6 to 15 words long and should reveal even more about the book. For example:

BIG JUMPS! How Anyone, Anywhere Can Catch Big Air On Jumps. Learn the tips and tricks of the Professional Aerialists.

One more thing about book titles, if you're planning to produce ads to promote your book, you should consider a snappy, upbeat title which can be also used as your headline. The above book title, along with its subtitle is perfect. It's attention getting, informative, captures the imagination of the prospect and offers a benefit.

Book Layout
There are several basic decisions you must make concerning the layout of your book. These decisions will influence the cost you pay for printing. For example:
  • Stick with standard sizes
  • Number of pages
  • Typeface -- This is the style and size of the letters that make up the text. Don't use some offbeat, out of the ordinary typeface. Make your book easy to read.
  • Type of cover -- You can decide to use a plain, 1-color cover or a glossy, 4-color cover. If you're planning to sell through bookstores, you'll need to design a fancier, eye-catching cover.
Other factors that you may need to consider are pictures, photos, an index, size of chapter headings and subheadings.

NOTE: You can explore various book layouts simply by examining different books, than pick the one you like.

To your success,
--Greg

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Researching A Specific Topic

Researching A Specific Topic

Once you've decided on the subject you're going to write about, the next step is research. Visit your public library and "bone up" on your subject. Read as much about it as you can find in newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet - everything! Start collecting clippings, talk to your neighbors, your friends and relatives and take notes on all information you gather from reading and personal discussion.

Here's a tip from a professional writer. Sit down and pretend that you are a person who knows absolutely nothing about the subject. Write down FIFTEEN QUESTIONS that such a person might ask you. Then write out, in your own words, the answers to the fifteen questions. Do not try to be literary! When you are finished, lay it aside for a day or two.

At this point start categorizing all this information. Put it all in separate files, each separate file will become a new chapter in your book.

When you've spent a good six weeks researching your subject, gathering notes and discussing it as often as you can with as many different people as possible, you should be ready for the next step, the sorting, compiling and assembly of your notes. Simply read through all the notes and clippings you have accumulated, discarding those that are repetitious and organize those you're going to use according to subject matter.

Now, form an outline of all your subject matter. Don't let the outline part of your project become an obstacle. An outline is simply listing the order in which you want to write about or discuss each subject of your book. An outline can be likened to a table of contents. It makes the coverage of your subject more complete and as a result, your writing will be much smoother.

Once you've completed your research, organized your notes, and have your book outlined, it’s time to WRITE!

Ghostwriting
As a little sidebar, once you’re done with your research (yes - you still need to do the research), if you have no desire to write, you can always hire a ghostwriter like most celebrities do. I’ve really taken away all the excuses, you don’t even have to write, all you have to do is come up with a great idea for a book and then just have someone else write it.

Now because I write my own stuff here’s a link for a great resource on someone who knows all the in’s and out’s of hiring ghostwriters Click Here


To your success,
--Greg

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Selecting a Topic

Selecting a Topic

The best and easiest subjects for self-publishers to produce are of the "how-to" genre. Books, reports and manuals that tell readers how to do something are among the liveliest sellers. It's very difficult for a small publisher to be successful with novels or poetry books, although these techniques will work in those areas as well. For this post, we will focus on "how-to" books. These are the "real" Money Makers, they’re something anyone can produce and with the proper ingredients, at the right time, you can become independently wealthy! The hard part, of course, is getting all the proper ingredients at the right time.

One of the most successful “How-To” books was and still is, a short report on "How To Keep Moles Out Of Your Yard", by Jerry Buchanan. Another of the most successful and biggest moneymakers ever written, had to do with the many different ways to prepare and serve hamburger. Simple, basic, grass roots kind of information is what we're talking about.

To begin, write about what you know. You should also have a targeted market and a plan for reaching that market. Example: you may have in mind to produce a book about how to ski to be sold in ski shops, resorts, ski magazines and on the Internet.

It's not necessary for you to be an expert on the topic if you aren't writing the book yourself. But you do need to be knowledgeable enough to evaluate the book proposals that are submitted to you. Otherwise, you'll have to hire an expert to evaluate the manuscript for you.

Most small publishers specialize in one general topic. For example: skiing, photography, crafts, health, etc... A home-based publisher, like you, will then produce several books on the same subject. Thus, greatly increasing sales because you'll have related books or products to offer to the same customers.

So how do you pick a topic?

The process is very easy. These are the top 3 approaches:
  1. Use information or knowledge that you already know and have most likely already gathered.
  2. Find a "need" or “problem” and solve it! Find topics in your niche market that people are demanding information about and supply the answers. (Search the Internet, current magazines, newsletters, etc.)
  3. Find topics from books that people are buying right now and enter the same market. Figure out a way to cover the topic better or in a different or more precise way. For example if your competitor is selling a book about survival, make your book a specialist book on one aspect of survival, like edible plants. NOTE: Amazon.com is a good resource to search for popular books.
The best approach is to generate a lot of ideas as quickly as possible. Don't review them initially, just write them down and the review will come later.

Now Review. Once you have a lot of ideas, go through each one, looking at the following:
  • Are you interested in the topic? Forget any topic that you’re not enthusiastic about!
  • Do you know enough about this topic? If not, are you willing to learn more (research) about it?
  • Can you find the benefits that will motivate people to buy? People buy benefits not features.
  • Do you know how to reach your target market?
Once you have a few potential topics, the most crucial question becomes, "can I sell a book like this and, if so, how will I sell it?"

Many small publishers recommend that you have a potential market of at least 50,000 people interested in your topic. An easy way to find this out is with the Internet. Make a list of 3 to 5 topics and then research them online for market interest.

There are many resources available, here’s one to try - Go to the Keyword Tool, it’s a tool for people to find keywords for their Google Adword advertising campaigns. The nice part is that you can use it for FREE to search your niche and it will give you possible keywords, along with how much advertising competition and search volume there is on each one. Look for high search volume and low competition.

Another option is to look on Amazon for your topics and see what the interest and competition are. The Internet is an incredible tool and there’s no way to list all the ways to do research on it, the key is to just do it. I think I’ll have to do a future post on just researching with the internet.

Next, once you have a topic or two, you need to determine if these people are easy to reach. Are there magazines, trade associations, clubs, or mailing/email lists that you can use?

Although certain niche markets may only have a potential market of 50,000 to 200,000, this is still enough for you to be successful. This is especially true if you have a good way to reach these people and you have several other books or products related to the topic. It seems as if the day of the high page count, broad topic books is about over. There are many groups of people who are interested in all kinds of narrow, specialized topics.


To your success,
--Greg

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Self- Publishing

A printing press in Kabul, Afghanistan.Image via Wikipedia

Self- Publishing

The trouble with publishing a book, from a first-time writer's point of view, lies with the lack of speed within the publishing industry. Once written, the book has to be accepted by a publisher, rewritten according to the editor, then scheduled, printed, distributed and marketed.

Years later, with the very best of luck, the author begins to see some small reward for his efforts. Maybe $5,000 if he or she is very lucky. Another problem for the new writer is that, if your first book isn't profitable for a publisher, you may never have the opportunity of having another published.

So, what’s the answer? Self-Publishing!

In this Blog you'll learn how to succeed as a home-based publisher, publishing books and booklets on the subjects of your choice. And, if you have no desire to write your own material, you'll learn how to get authors to write for you.

There are many reasons authors decide to self-publish, including:

  • It's very difficult to get a manuscript accepted by the giant publishing houses, unless you are a known personality in some field or are already a successful author.
  • Often, the large publishing companies will want to edit a manuscript in such a manner that is unacceptable to the author.
  • The author can market his/her own book more effectively than a large publisher will. This is especially true if the material is of a non- fiction or "how-to" nature.
  • Self-publishing allows the author to keep all of the profits.
  • There is plenty of opportunity for the author/self-publisher to set up other profit centers or products that are related to the topic of the book.
As you can see, there are many compelling reasons why thousands of authors have chosen to self-publish. Also, the availability of low cost desktop publishing equipment has made self-publishing much easier than in years past.

NOTE: If you’re still interested in the traditional path, look into writing contests by signing up for the free writing newsletters in my earlier post on freelance writing. The fastest way to get noticed by publishers is through writing contests and these newsletters list a bunch of them.


To your success,
--Greg

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Writing

Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Ll...Image via Wikipedia

Book Writing

Almost everyone has dreamed of writing a #1 Best-Selling Book and becoming rich and famous. Why not take your knowledge of the outdoors and turn it into that book?

Millions and millions of books and booklets are sold each year. The large publishing houses produce most. However, there are also several million books sold every year by small, unassuming, one-person publishing companies. Most of these one-person publishers operate from a home-based office and earn excellent incomes.

What you need to know is that anybody can become a published writer, the big hurdle seems to be that not everybody knows how. The chapter that follows is designed to help you with this dilemma.

It’s assumed that you already know how to write and will be writing your own book or hiring a ghostwriter to do the job for you. So the following information will focus on the steps you need to succeed as a self-publisher. With that said, if you need help with your writing or would just like to brush-up on your skills, I highly recommend the following website Click Here

Understanding the Industry
In the earlier posts on freelance writing, I discuss the writing industry in detail. So, as not to waste your time, you can refer back to those posts if you would like to here it again. Otherwise, let’s get started!


7 Steps to Success
  1. Find a niche market that you’re enthusiastic about and generate book ideas.
  2. Research a subject of interest not being covered or not being covered thoroughly enough.
  3. Write the book or pay a ghostwriter to do it.
  4. Edit the book.
  5. Produce a master copy for publishing.
  6. Print your book.
  7. Launch a full-scale marketing campaign.

With all of these steps carried out, you could easily have a fast-selling book on the market within a few months, or less.


To your success,
--Greg

CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Making Money from Selling Advertising Space

Making Money from Selling Advertising Space
 
If you would observe the company that delivers the daily paper to your doorstep for a business case study, you will come to learn that the newspaper publisher hires reporters, writers and other important staff to create the contents and deliver the papers to their readers.
 
In addition to the above mention, the publisher has to invest regularly in heavy duty machineries and tons of papers in printing tons of newspapers on a daily basis.
 
And in order to ensure that the newspapers are delivered on time, the publisher appoints agents at every part of the covered territory.
 
So, how does the newspaper company make money? It is obvious that selling a copy of the papers at less than a dollar would not even be able to even fund the operations.
 
The answer? Selling advertising spaces! You have definitely seen lots of advertisements in the newspaper. The publisher simply sells advertising space in the papers to advertisers who want to leverage their advertising efforts on the paper’s high readership.
 
On the same analogy, you can make money the exact way from your newsletter: simply by selling advertising space to prospective advertisers!
 
If your mailing list size exceeds 1,000 (5,000 is recommended) subscribers and beyond, you can start selling advertising space for say, $10.00 per sponsor ad.
 
In this manner, you turn every issue you send out to your subscribers into a profit-pulling device. And since there is virtually no end to the stream of advertisers as products, services and businesses are showing up every single day in every industry imaginable, so are your money making opportunities.

To your success,
--Greg

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Newsletter Management

Newsletter Management

Managing your newsletters can be an overwhelming task if not done wisely. The wisdom comes from using technology and automation. You can use special software on your server that is designed for newsletters such as Listserve, Majordomo or self sustained programs such as Icontact.

The other option is to manage the newsletter yourself using your own software. You’ll need a little more computer skills for this one but you own it and there’s no monthly fee. I recommend this second option, based on control and long term expense. Check out Mailloop

Newsletter Layout
The growing trend is towards html formats which look nice and pleasing to the eye, but they are plagued with viewing problems between different email clients. No matter how much you try you never seem to get the right format for everyone. On the other hand, text formats universally work and if you still like the html look, one trick is to just give them the first paragraph and then have them click a link in your newsletter to bring them to a website that has the html.

Here's what you must keep in mind. Subscribers are not buying the look, they are buying the INFORMATION. A newsletter's true value (although style and format are important) is in the information or value each issue offers its readers. Everything else is packaging.

Here’s some basics on how to package:

Header and Footer – Every issue should include the name, date, title and contact information. Contact info is usually in the footer.

Table of Contents – This organizes and lets readers decide what section they might be interested in (usually only used for larger newsletters).

The Body – The articles and information of your newsletter.

Teaser – Cover what’s coming up in your next issue so that readers will look forward to receiving it (only do this if you know what’s coming up).

Advertising Placement – This is your sponsor or classified ad space.

Unsubscribe Statement – You must give your subscribers the option to unsubscribe in every issue, it’s the law.

Beyond the basic format, some extra pointers:
  • Use dividers to separate sections (i.e. dots, asterisks, dashes, etc.).
  • Use only 65 characters per line to make sure that your formatting remains consistent throughout all email clients.
  • Keep your subject line consistent and familiar.
  • Editor’s Section – Here's the place for your own opinions, viewpoints, and editorial comments about your subject or field.
  • Eventually you'll be getting emails from subscribers, some congratulating you on your progress, others complaining about you or somebody else in the field. These can be printed as-is (with the subscriber's permission) or edited to fit your space.
  • Book reviews and new product reviews. Aside from your newsletter, there’s probably many other publications out there offering information in your specific field: new books, magazines, newspapers, directories, courses, audio/visual products and, yes, maybe other newsletters. Buy some. Subscribe, read, evaluate, digest and report on them. Is there a new gadget or product that might help readers? Here's the place to tell them.
  • Use your imagination; include whatever you think readers want to know. Be concise, keeping all information brief and to the point as you make every issue informative, interesting, helpful and valuable so subscribers will want to file all issues for future reference, and renew their subscription year after year.
  • As far as length, 10 pages maximum. Beyond this you’re going to start losing people. Also, remember to include a table of contents for longer issues.

To your success,
--Greg

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Newsletter Content

Newsletter Content

Market research is simply determining who the people are who will be interested in buying and reading your newsletter and the kind of information these people want to see as a reason for continuing to buy it. You have to determine what it is they want form your newsletter.

Review all the popular topics and subjects being written about in your niche market. Then ask yourself, can I come up with a better way, a different angle, or a different twist that would be of interest to the readers in my market? Are you aware of some techniques that allow people to accomplish their goals faster? Maybe you can think of a better way to cash in on some current trend?

The KEY is to remember that people come online to find solutions to their problems, so stop selling and start solving their problems. If you’re creative in developing your material, then you can enter that market and make some incredible money! Remember, solve their problems!

Content
It’s advised that you become a member of different organizations in your field, subscribe to several magazines, newspapers and other newsletters, all of which will help to provide you with an on-going stream of information for your own newsletter. Your function will primarily be that of editor of the material you gather, refining it to useful information worthy of printing in your own newsletter.

Now, if you have a hard time coming up with your own content or just don’t want to write it yourself, you can always hire a “ghostwriter”. You can find hundreds of them in the back of Writer’s Digest, or look at past posts from this Blog on freelance writing for the different freelance websites. Also, if you come across an article that would be of value to your readers, contact the author. Authors will often be happy to sell it and some may even let you post it for free exposure as long as you include their name.

Speaking of free, did you know that there are websites devoted to collecting articles that you can use at absolutely no cost? For those on a tight budget, all you have to do is include the author’s name and link at the bottom of the article. They get some exposure and you get some free content, not a bad deal.

NOTE: I would recommend you still write some of your own content once in awhile to establish yourself as an authority to your subscribers.

Here’s a great site to start with for free content: EzineArticles.com

How Often Should You Publish?
Finally, some newsletters are published monthly, other’s weekly, and a few are issued on a daily basis. But until you work out the "bugs" and get yourself established in your particular field, it would be wise to publish on a monthly basis. This will give you time to gather material, write and layout the next issue. Once you get a few issues under your belt, you might be able to step up the process.


To your success,
--Greg

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Understanding the Newsletter Industry

Windows Internet ExplorerImage via Wikipedia

Understanding the Newsletter Industry

Starting a newsletter is really much easier than you might have ever guessed with the advent of the Internet. In the days of old, you needed to worry about printing and postage costs, but with email, all those costs are eliminated and the whole thing can be automated!

People crave information that appeals to their basic needs and will somehow educate or enlighten them. Simply by putting your own specialized information into a newsletter, you can start putting a hefty price on information you were probably giving away for free.

Your first step should be to subscribe to as many different newsletters as you can. Analyze and study how the others are doing it. Attend as many workshops and seminars on your subject as possible. Learn from the pros. Learn how the successful newsletter publishers are doing it, and why they are making money. Adapt their success methods to your own newsletter, recognize where they are weak and make yours better.

Regardless of the frustrations involved in launching your own newsletter, never forget this truth; There are people from all walks of life, in all parts of this country, many of them with no writing ability whatsoever, who are making incredible profits with simple two, four and six page newsletters. It's also interesting to note that for every newsletter that's started, another one disappears just as quickly because of lack of marketing know-how.

Therefore, plan your newsletter before launching it. Lay out your start up needs; detail the length of time it's going to take to become established and what will be involved in becoming established. Set dates as milestones of accomplishment for each phase of your development; a date for breaking even and a date for attaining a certain paid subscription figure. All this must be done before publishing your first issue.

Most newsletter publishers do all the work themselves and are very impatient to get that first issue out. As a result, they neglect to devote the proper amount of time to market research. Don't start your newsletter without first having accomplished this task!

Finally, in a future post we’ll talk about free newsletters, because you would be surprised at how much some people make off of free newsletters, but more on that later. For a great free website that’s all about publishing newsletters. Check out: http://www.emailuniverse.com/

6 Steps to Success
  1. Find a specific market. A newsletter can produce a nice profit with as few as 500 subscribers, if marketed right.
  2. Find a subject not being covered by other newsletters or not being covered thoroughly enough.
  3. Set up your layout for the newsletter.
  4. Find a continuing supply of newsletter content.
  5. Market your newsletter.
  6. Automate the whole process! Find some good management software, you need a way to not only manage the newsletter distribution, but the registration, payment, and subscriber database.

To your success,
--Greg

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Newsletters

A handbill from the California Gold Rush. The ...Image via Wikipedia

Newsletters

A newsletter is a great way to earn a large income quickly. With a newsletter you can take advantage of numerous revenue streams. The obvious one is paid subscriptions, but some of the other less obvious ways are things like advertising, personal products and affiliate programs.

Today, in the “information age”, the Internet has created a gold rush for information. There is an astronomical demand for newsletters of almost every imaginable kind. With only 1,000 subscriptions sold at $50 each, you could be earning $50,000 a year. Currently, there are newsletters charging anywhere from $3 to $950 for their subscriptions and earning upwards to $500,000 a year at the top end.

One guy charges $3 a year for a “tip of the day” newsletter and has around 250,000 subscribers. You do the math! He takes one day a month to write 30 tips and then using his management software he uploads them to his server, which automatically emails one out each day for the month. It’s all been automated and he only works one day a month!

This chapter is intended to help you put together and find a market for your newsletter (or ezine). If you feel a little weak in this area, the best way of learning about newsletters is by signing up for several of the better newsletters and seeing how they do it. That’s why throughout this Blog I’ve listed several free newsletters for you to sign up with. Of course, for a great example of layout and content, you can always check out one of my own - Wilderness Trip Newsletter

To your success,
--Greg

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