Can You Find Success with a Self-Published eBook?

By: Melissa Brewer

IntroductionAs a full-time freelance writer, I spend alot of time trying new publishing ideas and learning how tomarket my services. Most of my work is web-centered, so I love thechallenge of innovation in content creation. I also love the factthat when you're a writer on the web, you are more in control of yourmarketing efforts than you will ever be offline. When I made the decision to write aneBook, it really didn't occur to me to NOT self-publish. I already had awebsite and a newsletter, I've taught classes online, and I amcompletely comfortable with the online environment. I also wasnaive enough to look at a self-published eBook as aless-than-daunting task. I self-published for the reason mostpeople do; I can retain full control over the production, marketing,and distribution of my eBook. I can make updates and changes without apublisher's permission. I can also keep control of the costs ofpromotion and marketing. What I've Learned as a Self-PublishedeBook Author1. Networking is essential. There are alot of people, in the same boat, willing to help you in your journey.2. Self-promotion can take a lot of timeand effort -- but the satisfaction of a polished, professionalproduct and the prospect of profit (rather than a percentage ofroyalties) can be worth it.3. You're never done! The web is aninfinite space -- if you sell your own book, you will neverbe "finished", there is always work to do! New eBookwebsites and distribution centers launch every day. New websitesaccept eBook submissions for review every day. 4. Ebooks are still a relatively newmedium -- which, of course, leaves many people skeptical. They have alotof unrecognized potential, and, for themost part, have been quite underrated. I believe that this ispartially attributed to the fact that there areliterally thousands of people out there that buy "resalepackages" of "reports" that have been converted to Adobe Acrobatformat.

These "reports" are usually short, poorly written, andout-of-date -- the exact opposite of what an eBook shouldaspire to. These "eBooks" are not written by the people whomarket them (A few I have seen don't even carry a byline) andtend to be promoted heavily by MLM and "Get RichQuick" people.5. That being said - ebooks are moredifficult to sell -- it's difficult to establish credibility asa self-published eBook writer. You'll have to havetremendous faith -- and gusto -- in your writing and your finishedproduct. I've had several people discuss my eBook on writing lists with theprimary question: "Is it worth the money?" (And this is at apromotional price of four dollars and after several'gloat-worthy" reviews! I've never seen anybody walk intoStarbucks and ask the coffee makers if their Grande Mocha Lattewas worth the money -- oh, well!) Be prepared forskepticism and craft your responses carefully.6. There's hope in the future! Ebooks arejust getting started. Ebook writers have the ability to adapttheir content to their audience and create aninteractive element. Hyperlinks help with quicknavigation to important resources on the web. I believe, in thefuture, eBooks will gravitate to become the truly interactivemedium they are -- content that allows audience to explorethe topic as superficially or as deep as they want.Imagine if you publish a fantasy novel and havehyperlinks to the maps of the world you created just a clickaway? Or, like thousands of DVD's, what if you createlinks to a website that has a "behind the scenes" look into thewriting process? Or what about scenes you loved but didn'tfit into the eBook's plot? Why not show the reader whatyou edited out?7. Success is possible, with time, MJRose's eBook, Lip Service, garnered many great reviews,sales, and future print publishing contracts. In MJ's latesteBook, Buzz Your Book, she mentions that Angela Hoy, makesseveral thousand dollars with her eBooks on a monthlybasis. These success stories took time (months and years) tocreate -- but now these women have become "eBook legends."It turns out that self-published eBooks can pay off! (Youcan find out more about MJ Rose at http://www.mjrose.com/and Angela Hoy at http://www.writersweekly.com)If You're Considering Jumping On the Bandwagon The internet has changes the wayself-publishers market. There are websites, email discussionlists, and communities dedicated to help the independent writerget into print. Where once self-publishers missed outon the support of an editor or publishinghouse, they now have the opportunity to participate in a quicklygrowing community. Is self-publishing an eBook right for you?Here are a few questions to help you decide:1. Do you have an idea -- or manuscript --for a good book?2. Do you ENJOY networking with writersand publishers on the web?3. Are you INTERESTED in learning new waysto promote yourself?4. Do you have the time and resources toDIY? (do it yourself?)5. Are you prepared to learn a lot ofinformation and apply it on a daily basis?If the answers to these questions are"yes" or "maybe", there are also resources online you'llwant to check out before you begin your project. Hereare a few to get you started:Self-Publishing Discussion List (sponsoredby SPAN)http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Self-Publishing/AnEBookChat -- Discussion List for eBookWriters (Experienced and Newbies)http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnEBookChat/Series of Articles with Many eBook-relatedLinks "Become an E-Book Author -- .......Selling Your Knowledge"by Edward Toupinhttp://www.webwritingbuzz.com oupin1.htmleBook Web -- Resources, articles, and tipshttp://www.ebookweb.org

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