According to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales rose nearly 190 percent in the first nine months of 2010 compared to the same period for the previous year. 190 percent is huge. It’s all because of the growing popularity of ereaders like Kindle, Nook and iBook. A 2011 report from Aptara, a digital publishing solutions provider, said one out of five e-book publishers generate more than 10% of their revenues from e-books and publishers’ own e-commerce sites generate the greatest percentage of sales for all publishing market segments other than Trade — up to 18%. Even the public libraries now offer digital lending.
Why should you care?
Ebooks are easy to write and they cost nothing to produce. In addition they add huge value to what you offer your target community. So what’s holding you back?
I have nothing to write about
Wrong, you have a life time worth of unique experience and knowledge to share. You just have to figure out what people want and give it to them.
You might want to take your years of experience and your passion for a field and share it with others. You might want to record your family history. You might need to educate your target community about your product or service. Information products in their many forms are a perfect format.
Write from your passion
Writing is my passion. I have always written. It’s what I do. It’s how I express myself. 65 years ago I was managing editor of my high school newspaper. I was always the one who wanted to write the newsletter for whatever organization I belonged to. I wrote poems and plays and short stories. I wrote from my passion, my need to discover, my need to explain and my need to teach. I always write from my heart and my curiosity.
I also love to organize. And I particularly love to organize ideas. You can imagine my elation when I realized that in my personal journey of coaching and writing and teaching, I had developed a system of organizing ideas into content that I could teach others. It was like coming to the end of a long journey and discovering you have been on the right path all along. I can combine my love of writing with my gift for organizing. What service do you see rising out of your passion?
Share what you discover with others
One of the most exciting aspects of creativity is scooping the ideas out of thin air and bringing them into a tangible form to share with others. All these wisps of ideas floating around in your imagination suddenly become a play, a poem, or an inspirational article.
When I have a problem I need to solve, I often sit down and write about it. Writing out my thoughts helps me explore the possible choices and solutions. Often my questions and my problems reflect that of my target community so I share it with them.
When I realized that others might want help turning their ideas into information products it became a specialized part of my coaching practice.
What have you discovered that you can teach others?
Let your ebook topics come from what you need to know
When I need to learn something, I inevitably write about it – in a blog post or a new worksheet for my clients, a telecourse or a video. Writing about it helps me dig deeper into the topic, examine my beliefs around the topic and find the best ways to teach what I know to others.
My Magnetic Content Development System was created because I needed a repeatable way to write strong landing pages for my new products and I wanted to create a system to teach my coaching clients. I first taught it as a teleclass and later expanded that content into the How to Craft Series of nine separate ebooks..
What do you need to learn that you can write an ebook about?
What does your target community need?
When I learned how to put my ebooks on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Apple I thought about teaching a digital publishing class. If I needed it, other people did. I made a template for my clients that outlines the specific steps I took so they will have an easy time publishing. I could write a blog post about it, or an ebook, or make a video. All from something I learned that I can teach others.
The core concepts of what I teach can be expanded into an ebook series. I have separate ebooks on writing opt in offers, crafting mini-courses, writing articles and blog posts, giving telecourses, and writing how-to books. Break your system down into teachable steps and write about them.
Turn your Cornerstone Content into an ebook. Expand the checklist you offered as an opt-in offer into a bigger ebook. Write answers to the questions you are most frequently asked and turn that into an ebook. Plan a series of articles, write them one at a time and then turn them into an ebook. If it interested you, if it will be of value to your community, write it!
What does your target community need and want and what can you offer them? Create it for them.
The Digital Platform
The entire publishing industry has changed. There are no longer gatekeepers to contend with. Anyone can get their ideas out on a digital platform. Many people are giving their ideas away free with the sole purpose of having them spread. Others are busy creating the 99 cent ebook, which is about 30 pages long. That’s a great way to learn the elements of writing a good book and the technical part of posting them for ereaders. What short ebooks can you write for your community?
What information products will do for you
Spread your ideas: For me the most valuable aspect of digital publishing is the ability to share my ideas with the world and see them make a difference in the life of someone else.
Help you keep learning: Creating information products helps you continue to explore and develop your own system and core philosophy.
Create passive income: The fun part is that information products can create passive income. You post them on your web site and people buy them while you are off doing something else.
Add to your expert status: Publishing any sort of content adds to your expert status, it makes you the natural go-to person in your field.
Inexpensive to produce: The primary investment is your creative time. It is easy to put your ebook on Kindle and Nook and iBooks. And depending on what you write, your work may go viral and bring you new prospects.
Fast to produce: You can have a new product up in a weekend. I wrote 5,000 words in four and a half hours. That’s nearly enough for a small ebook. You don’t have to wait on anyone, you can make a cover, format your content and publish!
Easy to market: Write something relevant and not only promote it to your own community but get your fellow bloggers to promote it to theirs. The author has always been responsible for marketing their own book. Call on your own community to help you spread your idea. An article or blog post about your book can be picked up and put on someone else’s site and you will reach a whole new audience.
Is today a good day to write an ebook?
©2012 Cara Lumen