As mentioned in previous posts ... now is a great time to write that book you're always talking about writing!! Unless you have a large social platform I wouldn't expect this to become a source of income (but you never know what can go viral these days), but it will no doubt add to your resume and your self-esteem. So this has a huge return for the investment, which can be about $0.
Nice. The world is your oyster.
Article from James Althur:
You know how to do something better than anyone else in the world.
How do you let the world know that you are better? A business card won’t cut
it. People will throw it away. And everyone’s got a website with an
A) Give away part (or all) of your ideas in a book. You’re a brand new
social media agency? How should social media work? Write it down. You’re
a new CRM software package? How should CRM be better? Tell me. How
should online dating services work? Tell some stories. Heck, make them
as sexy as possible.
Don’t have time to write it. Then tell it to a ghostwriter you
outsource to for almost no money. You don’t need 60,000 words. Do it in
20,000 words. Throw some pictures in. Just do it. Then when you meet
someone and they ask for your business card, how cool will it be when
you can say, “Here, take my book instead.”
B) You have more to say. More and more companies
have blogs. Many of the posts on the blog are “evergreen”. i.e. they
last forever and are not time specific. If you just take the posts
(mentioned in the point above) and publish them people will say, “he’s
just publishing a collection of posts”. A couple of comments on that.
1. So what? It’s ok if you are curating what you
feel your best posts are. And for a small price people can get that
curation and read it in a different format.There’s value there.
2. Don’t just take a collection of your posts. A
blog post is typically 500-2000 words. Usually closer to 500. Do a bit
more research for each post. Do intros and outros for each post. Make
the chapters 3000-4000 words. Make a bigger arc to the book by using
original material to explain WHY this book, with these chapters,
presented in this manner is a different read than the blog. Have a
chapter specifically explaining how the book is different from the blog.
I had original material in each chapter and several chapters that were
completely original. Instead of it being a collection of posts, the
overall book was about how we have been brainwashed in society, and how
uncovering the brainwashing and using the techniques I describe can
bring happiness. This was covered in a much more detailed fashion than
the blog ever could even though the material was inspired by several of
C) Amazon is an extra platform for you to market your blog. Or
vice versa. You won’t make a million dollars on your book (well, maybe
you will – never say never) but just being able to say, “I’m a published
author” extends your credibility as a writer/speaker/enterpreneur when
you go out there now to sell your book, syndicate your blog elsewhere or
to get speaking engagements, etc. And when you do a speaking
engagement, you can now hand something out – your book! So Amazon and
publishing become a powerful marketing platform for your overall
D) Nobody cares. Some people want the credibility of
saying “Penguin published me”. I can tell you from experience – nobody
ever asked me who was my publisher when Penguin was my publisher. And,
by the way, Penguin was the worst publisher I ever had.
E) How will I get in bookstores? I don’t know. How
will you? Traditional publishers can’t get you there either. Often
bookstores will look at what’s hot on Amazon and then order the books
wholesale from the publishers. In many cases, tradtional publishers will
take their most-known writers (so if you are in that category,
congrats!) and pay to have them featured at a bookstore. As for my
experience, my traditional publishers would get a few copies of my books
in the bookstores of major cities (i.e. NYC and that’s it) but nothing
OK, I’M CONVINCED. HOW DO I SELF-PUBLISH
There’s lots of ways to do it but I’ll tell you my experience.
A) First write the book.
For my last two
self-published books, as mentioned above, I took some blog posts,
rewrote parts of them, added original material, added new chapters, and
provided an overall arc as to what the BOOK was about as opposed to it
just being a random collection of posts. But, that said, you probably
already have the basic material already.
I used createspace because they
are owned by Amazon and have excellent customer service. They let you
pick the size of your book and then have Microsoft Word templates that
you download to format your book within. For my first book I did this by
myself, for my second book, for a small fee, I hired
Alexanderbecker.net to format the book, create the book design, and
create the final PDF that I uploaded. He also checked grammar, made
proactive suggestions on font (sans serif instead of serif) and was
C) Upload the PDF.
Createspace approves it, picks an ISBN number, sends you a proof, and then you approve the proof.
D) Within days its available on Amazon.
print-on-demand as a paperback. And by the way, your total costs at this
point: $0. Or whatever you used to design your cover.
All of the above (from Createspace) was
free. If I didn’t hire Alex to make the cover I could’ve used over 1mm
of Createspace’s possible covers (I did that for my first book) and the
entire publishing in paperback would be free. But with Kindle,
Createspace charges $70 and they take care of everything until it’s
uploaded to the Kindle store. Now you are available in paperback and
1. Readers of my blog who asked for it got the first 20 copies or so
for free from me. Many of them then posted good reviews on Amazon to get
the ball rolling.
2. I’ve been handing out the books at speaking engagements.
Altogether, I’ll do around 10 speaking engagements handing my latest
3. I write a blog post about how the bo0k is different from the blog and why I chose to go this route.
4. Writing guests posts for blogs like Techcrunch helps and I’m very grateful.
5. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ are also very helpful.
G) Promotions. You’re in charge of your own promotions (as opposed to a book publisher.). For instance, in a recent blog post I discussed the differences between
my latest book and my blog and I also offered a promotion on how to get
my next self-published book (“Bad Behavior”, expected in Q1 2012) for
Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to stand out, promote their
service, and get validation for their offerings. Writing a book makes
you an expert in the field. At the very least, when you hand someone a
book you wrote, it’s more impressive than handing a business card. It
shows that you have enough expertise to write the book. It also shows
you value the relationship with the potential customer enough that you
are willing to give him something of value. Something you created.
And you can’t say the excuse “I don’t have time, I’m running a
business.” Entrepreneurs make time. And they have the ideas so, again,
at the very least you can use elance.com to hire a ghostwriter.
Over the next year I have five different books planned. All on
different topics. I’m super-excited about them because I’m allowed to
push the barrier in every area I’m interested in and there’s nobody to
stop me. There’s nobody I need validation from. I get to pick myself.
You can do this also. And now, you should do it.
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Amazon's Author Central