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Ebook Publishing: How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days, Market It & Start Getting Sales within a Week — Day 3 of 11

TODAY’S LESSON IN THE EBOOK WRITING AND PUBLISHING TOURNAMENT

Sorry for the lateness in getting to you this a.m. But as I’d already given you your assignments for today (finish writing and do your editing and proofreading), I took my time putting together today’s post. (Note: Learn what this ebook writing tournament is all about and read all posts in this series.)

Ebook Proofing/Editing Tip: Once you finish writing, give yourself a break for an hour or two. Don’t try to proofread/edit immediately after finishing. Trust me, you’ll miss a lot of stuff. So, take a break and do something else for a while. Then, sit down with a fresh eye to proofread and edit. And, put a cap on this. You’ll find yourself adding stuff, deleting stuff, rearranging stuff, etc.

DON’T!

You’ll be there till the cows come home trying to “get it right.” Most often, your initial instincts were right. And, the beautiful thing about self publishing is that you can go back at a later date and update (edit) your ebook if you want to. Most often though, once that sucker is done, you’re going to be glad to move on.

I update my ebooks on an as-need basis. Every time I go back in, I do tend to find a misspelled word here, an awkward phrase there, etc. And, THAT’S exactly why I try not to go back in, unless there’s new info to add, because as a writer, you’ll always find something that could be said better, phrased differently, etc.

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR TOMORROW?

Tomorrow, we move on to marketing. And I will get that to you early in the a.m. (possibly even tonight).

DAY 2: RECAP

Following is how Day 2 shook out for all participants.

From Participant EbookTourney18

ebookYuwanda,

Sorry I didn’t report in for day one or day two. I’ve been swamped with client orders, last minute stuff, but I did manage to get some things done.

Day One: Outline and 1 chapter

Day Two: Two more chapters

That’s about it for me. I think I’m moving too slow; I’m so frustrated! I would get swamped right when I want to write my first ebook.

My comment: No such thing as moving too slow. At least you’re in the game.

 

As for getting swamped, remember when I talked about good ole Murphy’s law in yesterday’s recap? It almost always rears its head. The exact same thing has happened to me. I’ve had a couple of new projects come in this week – after going literally weeks with nothing new coming in. Go figure!

I always look at this though as God really testing you to see if what you say you want is really what you want. Because if it is, even with “obstacles” thrown in your path, you’ll do what it takes to achieve your goal. So, trudge on.

From Participant EbookTourney13

Oops–I forgot to drop a line last night.

I put about an hour into my ebook yesterday and almost finished the first chapter.  As ou can see, I won’t “win” this tournament, but I do appreciate the push it has given me to get started and work on this every day!

Thanks, Yuwanda.

My comment: The “win” is in achieving your goal. The only competition here is the one you have with yourself. Good for you!

From Participant EbookTourney25

First Correspondence

Hi Yuwanda,

I wanted to send you an update now before the 7:30 pm deadline.

Good news!

(1).   Today is not over until 12 am.

(2).   Tomorrow is a new day.

(3).   I am learning a lot about myself, my creative schedule and life.

My comment: And that’s a bonus part of this experience!

Second Correspondence

One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock … Rock

Four o’clock, five o’clock, six o’clock…. Rock

……

We are going to rock around the clock tonight.

I am sure the crickets outside were singing with me at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Yuwanda, I have an observation and a question.   In grade school, I learned my ABC’s.   However, when the teacher puts a grade on a project, you can only earn an A – B- C – D or F.   Who removed the “E” in the educational grading system?    In my opinion, the “E” is one of the most important letter you can achieve in any learning environment, because an “E” for experience supports life-long learning and builds on mastering excellence personally and professionally.

So, I am giving myself an “E” for experience.

What I have learned:

1. The title for my ebook is “How to Read Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy”. I have an “e-” (I can’t really finish the word to include book or pamphlet, but I got an “e” at 7 pages.   I learned this is an excellent topic to discuss on a Webinar or Youtube platform.  I may jump on the bandwagon with you.

2.  I should have followed my instincts and changed topic on Tuesday, because what I have for my 7 pages sounds like a drunk who is trying to say the word succinctly and falling asleep in the middle of the word.

3.  Time to explore my second topic.   

My comment: In my opinion, you never go wrong when you follow your instincts, so good for you for having the presence of mind to realize this and change course.

And as for experience, you’re right, there’s nothing like it. It’s always been the best teacher around.

From Participant EbookTourney20

Hi Yuwanda,
 
Here’s my quick update:
–outline done
–five pages done for ebook
—sales page done (although it needs reworked, I’m thinking)
—espresso almost done brewing so I can charge ahead and try and
finish the rest of the book today!
 
I love this tournament. Thank you so much for hosting it!
 
Peace and Chocolate,
Numero Veinte

My comment: Great progress. You’re ahead of the game.

And, a little Italian to go with your update; I like, I like! My ex-husband was from Argentina – mom full-bloodied Italian so he was fluent. Always wanted to learn, as it’s very similar to Spanish (which I speak) and seems easy to pick up if you understand Spanish.

From Participant EbookTourney32

First Correspondence

Hi Yuwanda

I realised this morning that I hadn’t checked in with you afterwards, so here it is now.

Yesterday (day 2) I completed 2 more chapters, which is bad considering I have 9 more to write. I’m starting to think that I took on a project that is far too big for the short time I had available. But, then again, if Sylvester Stallone can write the script for “Rocky” in three days I’m damn sure I’m going to have a go at writing an ebook in the same amount of time (did he take time off to sleep? Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong).

On the upside, my remaining chapters aren’t going to be as big as the first few (because they don’t need to be). So I’m hoping to keep on track and bring it in on time even if it means staying up late tonight and crying a lot.

Well, back to it. Too much to do in so little time.

My comment: I didn’t know Sylvester Stallone wrote “Rocky” in three days. Humph, that puts a new light on what we’re doing here. Maybe an Academy Award or at least a small book publishing deal is in one of our futures!

Second Correspondence

Hi Yuwanda

I’m just checking in before I stop working for the day.

Today (my 3rd day) I managed the complete the first draft of my manuscript. But I haven’t gotten around to editing it yet but I know it needs quite a bit.

The problem is that I think I’ve taken on an ebook that is far to big to write in only 3 days. But I’ll keep going, only I think it will take me 4 or even 5 days, which leaves me less time to make the first sale but it gives me a few more days to think about how to accomplish it which I’ve been giving a lot of thought to (but maybe I should have been thinking of writing the book more instead).

But I still intend to make my first sale in 10 days, no matter what. But right now it’s 8pm, I’ve been writing since 9am and I’m very tired, and I’m in desperate need of a cold beer. So I’m signing off for today

because my mind has had enough thinking for one day and I’m startig to makke tooo mani mistukes.

My comment: While it does sound like you’ve bitten off a lot, you seem to be handling it. And, don’t worry about finishing – although that is the goal. But, don’t put out a shoddy product just to say you “finished.”

But you have to be diligent enough to finish even when the tourney is over (if you haven’t beforehand).

That’s where many fall down. Left to their own devices, they just never seem to make time work on their own stuff.

So, keep at it.

Hope you enjoyed your cold one 🙂

From Participant EbookTourney19

Hi Again,

Just a quick update.

I have fleshed out the subheadings within the chapters.

I always just write whatever comes into my head about my topic at this stage. My next task is to edit so the whole thing makes sense. I will then put my work away for a day or so before proofing.

I find that, as I am familiar with the material, it is always better to leave proofing for a while – you are better able to spot simple mistakes,

Looking forward to your next email.

My comment: You’re right on about the proofing, as I talked about in the introduction to this post.

From Participant EbookTourney31

Well, I’m embarrased to say that I haven’t written a thing. I’m working on two major projects, both coming due November, so I’ve decided to save all the e-mails and comments and start my eBook after that time. Hate to peter out, but I believe that is the only way to retain my sanity ;=) The good news is that I really want to write the eBook and that I usually do follow through even if after the fact!

My comment: As I said to Participant EbookTourney32, as long as you’re disciplined enough to start/finish, then that’s what counts.

After all, retaining one’s sanity is important!

From Participant EbookTourney7

First Correspondence

Hi Yuwanda!

Day 2 update:

1:45 PM Central- My ebook was covering too broad a topic. Like another writer said yesterday, it’s enough for a course. The original topic was on the college admissions process geared to home schools. I have enough information for an e-book simply on how to put together a winning high school transcript! I know I can nearly finish writing this e-book tonight. It will be tight, info-packed, and include samples.

Thank you for helping me to keep it real. 🙂

My comment: Love your topic. FYI, in general, from the topics you all have let me in on, you all are writing some well-thought-out, much-needed niche products. I’m super impressed!

This subject matter can be expanded into a whole product line, one where you can do pullouts and sell for a few dollars each (a la Dan Poynter at Parapublishing, which I mentioned yesterday). This is in addition to selling a whole book and courses. Just something to think about.

Second Correspondence:

Hi Yuwanda!

I sent in an update earlier today (10/13/10), stating that I would shorten my ebook because it was going to be too long. It’s now 10:54 Central. I am happy to report that I wrote the bulk of the entire larger e-book today. I should be able to finish the entire thing by late tomorrow night if I am able to maintain today’s writing rate.

Thank you so much for lighting the fire under us. Sometimes it only takes a tiny spark to change a life. Just think: 30+ new ebooks out there, helping countless readers, simply because you decided to take action.

Blessings

My comment: You’re blazing! That’s great. As for lighting the fire, happy to be the spark, but it’s really you all who are “doing it!” I’m just happy to be along for the ride.

From Participant EbookTourney12

Hi Yuwanda,

I got up to 4500 words today, and have 2 chapters to go, but I think it will still be done tomorrow. I have two topics left to write about. The worst part is as I write more, I think of more things to add. But I have a lot of time tomorrow to work on this.

Can’t wait to see your shocker.

My comment: That happens a lot (the more you write, the more things you think of to add). That’s why editing is every bit as important as writing.

Ask yourself, is this really necessary, or am I just adding “color.” And, you can always do a follow-up to your first ebook, so don’t be afraid to leave stuff out, as long as it’s not critical.

From Participant EbookTourney23

Hello, Yuwanda —

I see that H. Paula has been downgraded to a Cat. 1. I hope she veers out to sea!

This is my first “report.” Regarding the ebook tournament, I am in the “late start” category myself, as I just sat down to my computer this afternoon. However, I have a bit of an edge as what I’m doing is compiling columns I wrote as a newspaper writer in 1993-2001. So I’m keyboarding like heck, as the original e-files for these columns are long gone.

I now have about 4,500 words, including a Foreword. Or should that be an Introduction? (It’s written by me.) That’s five columns. I think I should probably publish 10-12. However, my eyeballs are about to fall out, and I’m going to have to catch up more tomorrow. Fortunately, I’ve been doing some editing and spell checks as I go along.

All the same, this is a wonderful impetus to actually make myself DO what I’ve been wanting to do re: this book for the past year or two. So thanks in advance! (Perhaps you’ll consider being a “whip” for any of us who might not finish in three days?!)

My comment: Foreword/Introduction – all depends on what you’re saying.

Found this explanation on the difference between an introduction, foreword and preface helpful.

As for Paula, no more effects here other than rain the other night. It’s gorgeous and today seems like it’s gonna be a real hot one (gotta find time to throw a few clothes on the line; can’t waste the sunshine!).

From Participant EbookTourney14

Hi,

I’m thinking we should do this every month . . . everyone seems to have received more work as soon as they started to plan their ebook! 🙂

I’ve been working on client projects most of the day, but I did manage to finish half my ebook. After reading your comment this morning, I reworked my outline a little, too. After all, someone reading about time management is probably not going to be interested in a forty page ebook, so I shortened it up a bit and I think it will be much more manageable now.

Looking forward to tomorrow when I hope to set aside a bit more time!

Thanks,

P.S. I’m finding it fascinating to see where everyone is living and working! I’m in Guatemala myself and loving it

My comment: You know, someone else said the same thing, re “doing this every month.” I simply wouldn’t have time though unless I turned it into a paid class and limited participants. It’s an awful lot of work; I had no idea what I was getting into, even though I’m enjoying it immensely.

And, a 40-page ebook on time management – if it’s normal pages (Times Roman, 12-point type, double-spaced pages) is not that long in my opinion, especially if it’s all necessary information. Anything too much longer than that might be, but 40 is not bad.

But, if you can cut, then by all means do so.

And, like you, I love the fact that the internet makes where were live irrelevant, yet fascinating at the same time.

Just for fun, everyone want to send in where they’re from. I live in Atlanta, but am currently working from Negril, Jamaica, of course.

From Participant EbookTourney4

Yuwanda:

I created three more pages for a total of 7 pages in 2 hours. Since I was shooting for 10 pages, I guess I’m almost done. Thanks for the encouragement about length not being important – only quality of content. I was thinking that way, and it’s great to hear the same from someone more experienced. Writing really is hard work, and I find my brain can’t think after four straight hours.

Question: When you talk about sales page, do you mean landing page or mini site? Or is there a difference? Just curious.

My comment: Good progress.

What Is the Difference between a Minisite and a Landing Page?

The terms are used interchangeably by some. I mean sales page though (which is just a one-page site, which is why some refer to it as a minisite). But, a minisite can consist of more than one page. A landing page doesn’t.

You can do either, and I’ll discuss that in the marketing section tomorrow.

From Participant EbookTourney2

Hi Yuwanda,

I had to make up for lost time today — had to spend the whole day yesterday putting out fires:  answering prospective writing client questions, researching and developing quick proposals, rescheduling phone meetings that canceled at the last minute. 

It’s all part of the freelance writing game, but it illustrates one of the major obstacles I’ve run into for the past couple of years: all too often I have to put my own projects on hold in order to market or handle customer service issues. 

It’s frustrating to know that I’m writing content to develop someone else’s business, and my own passive income plans suffer.  That’s why I’m determined to develop my own line of online products so I can stop writing for others and write to promote my own business instead.

Anyway, I got an outline and a couple of chapters written, so I’m satisfied even if I’m still behind schedule. 

If I count the accumulated hours, I think I can get my ebook written in 3 days, but I’m not sure all of the hours will accrue during 3 consecutive days — will it still count?

Cheers,

My comment: I hear ya about putting out fires; this week has turned me into a “firewoman.” I’m behind (so far behind it’s ridiculous), but that’s what midnight hours are for, no?

And, as I’ve said to a couple of participants, ole Man Murphy likes to move in when he sees you’re trying to make progress. It’s the devil trying to “slow your roll.” Don’t let him. Go over, around and under his butt to achieve your dream.

And yes, if you finish your ebook and get a sale by the 22nd, it will “count.” Even if you don’t, just by participating, your efforts have counted.

From Participant EbookTourney11

Hi,

Oops, late again.  Thanks for prining out other responses.  The sales page first suggestion was for me a new consideration. 

Today is hard (it’s only 2 pm in Hawaii).  Excitement and more sparkler lights kept getting me up last evening and early this am for written reminders.  Put no complaints as they are brilliant…sorry but I couldn’t resist that pun.

Chapter 4 and 5 left to do.

Thank you again, Yuwanda.  This is so helpful. 

Additionally, watching the success of the Chile mining rescue makes my challenges minor ones.  It also shows anything may be achieved utilizing the right kind efforts with persistence.  It’s astounding and amazing.

Aloha

My comment: First, I don’t even know how you concentrate writing from Hawaii. I had one friend who went there on vacation – and wound up staying for two years!

I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting, but I hear it’s unlike any other place on earth. It’s definitely on my travel list.

As for putting things in perspective, yes, the miner story definitely does that. Glad you’re finding the series helpful.

From Participant EbookTourney9

I’m still participating with my now ‘not quite an ebook’ course project, hope that’s okay. I’m imagining the marketing part when we get to it might be helpful to me, to see how everyone else goes about it.

I have the draft of my preparation/ week one pdf download bashed out, about 30 pages. But what I haven’t done is an intro, describing how the course will be carried out and how it can work for you. I was going to have that on the blog/website where I promote the course.But now imagine it should be part of the body of the first download as well. So that is my goal first thing tomorrow and then editing. 

My comment: Sometimes, you have to see your stuff in print before it makes sense where a certain part fits. So don’t stress about it if you haven’t quite figured out where all the pieces of the puzzle go yet.

From Participant EbookTourney27

First, thank you for your push to get this ebook finished. I’ve had this one in my head for a long while and I can’t believe it will be finished, finished, finished soon. I’m the author of several epublications, but the noose is always procrastination… The challenges have been “starting” and taking time away from other money making tasks to create this new one…

Thank you for the kick in the pants! I’ve completed my outline and have worked on six of the eleven chapters. I think I may need to combine a few of the chapters to give them more meat and to shorten the length so I can finish in time…

I can always do an “updated version” (cha-ching!) at a later date.  Closing up shop now, headed for a good walk. Up early tomorrow and at it again… can’t see getting back on tonight, but if I’m not to pooped after the walk, will do… ’til tomorrow… 🙂

My comment: Nice to have the noose around the neck loosened, isn’t it? And, updating ebooks is an excellent way to “add value” and be able to profit from one publication for years.

That’s why directory-like publications make so much money. Yep, they’re boring and staid, but publishing houses love them because once the initial publication is done, updating is a breeze and you can make money off of it for years, literally.

Nice work!

P.S.: Take a lesson from this fellow ebook writing participants. Is your ebook one that can be updated quarterly, annually, semi-annually? If it can, you could have an evergreen product on your hands. Ka-ching, indeed!

From Participant EbookTourney22

Hi there Yuwanda,

I’m really enjoying this ebook tourney (well, sort of). I am a little behind in the process because my house is being renovated, and right now it’s really noisy and dusty in here. I haven’t accomplished too much as yet because the dust and fumes are driving me nuts. I just go to the library and sit there writing what I can longhand.

My ebook will focus on self-confidence. That’s a broad topic so I need to narrow down to perhaps ‘women and self-esteem’, or ‘how to become self-confident’, something to that effect.

I would like to know, since self-esteem is a personal thing, is it a good idea to write the ebook in the first person? Or should I make it general? Can I include personal stories about family and friends, or just write generically?

Thanks for doing this. I have wanted to do an ebook for a long time but always found some excuse. Because of this tourney, I am holding myself accountable to seeing it through to the end.

Thanks for sharing

My comment: I think you need to narrow down even more, eg, Self Confidence for Women Over 40, or Self Confidence Lessons for Teens. There’s so much in this genre (self help) that it has to be really specific to appeal to an audience in my opinion.

As for writing in the first person, I actually prefer it, especially on a topic as personal as this. Only you can decide how personal you want to be, but it definitely connects with readers better than a third person tome.

As for sharing stories about family and friends – only with their permission if you identify them. If you don’t want to go that route (or if they won’t give you their “written” permission), then make up pseudonyms.

It’s one thing to put your “business” in the street; someone else might not like it, and you have to be ever mindful of lawsuits – even from friends and family.

I mean, what if your book became a national best seller (it could happen)? People change when there’s money involved, so just be careful.

From Participant EbookTourney29

Tuesday 12/10/10 (October 12, 2010)

Still didn’t have a topic. Took Carrie Oakley’s advice and did something else. Around 9pm decided to send a message via Skype to my cousin in London who is more like my sibling, my muse, my third eye and also a writer. I asked her to give me suggestions on subjects she thought I could write easily. She sent an avalanche of topics and one particularly surprising one and in her words “You could also do something on surviving loss – you know more about this than most people who would be writing such articles.” I knew this wouldn’t be one I would touch (I lost my older brother in 2000 and still grieving). Went to bed with still no resolution.

Today: 13/10/10 (October 13, 2010)

Still no topic but if you know me well, when I set my mind to do something I do it. I still have 8 days.

A friend of my mum’s is visiting from Maryland who recently lost her only son. I happened to pass them talking in the sitting room and she stopped me to ask me about my grieving process and what I did to get through it because like her daughter, who was also very close to her brother, she(her daughter) seemed to be having a rather difficult time. So, I stood and chatted with her for a while

At 4pm today as I was sitting waiting for my dad, I had a light bulb moment! Yes, my e-book will be about surviving loss. I shall work on my outline and try to get a chapter in. I may be starting late, but I too shall write my first e-book.

Thanks Yuwanda for this unbelievable opportunity. It’s such a great kickstart for me!

My comment: The great thing is, now you have a subject – better late than never.

My Progress: Shocker!

I haven’t written one word beyond my outline (not. one. word.), which I did day before yesterday. Ole Man Murphy has not only come to visit, he’s moved in with me. But today, I’m kicking his butt out and churning out 10,000 words. I’ll finish up tomorrow.

So if I don’t get back in touch with you today, that’s why. I’m unplugging to get things done.

Have fun finishing up your ebooks everyone. 🙂

Til tomorrow (or later this evening when I send out marketing stuff),

Yuwanda

P.S.: I’m always looking for good guest posts: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, accepts them. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

P.P.S.:  What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series at http://bit.ly/aPgutY.

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Ebook Publishing: How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days, Market It & Start Getting Sales within a Week — Day 2 of 11

TODAY’S LESSON IN THE EBOOK WRITING AND PUBLISHING TOURNAMENT

Good morning fellow ebook writing participants. If the emails are any indication, you all are working very hard and getting a lot out of this experience. So far, I’ve heard from 16 of you.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that it’s that many. I expected about a third would fall off. Most do when they realize that writing is indeed hard work. So, kudos for hanging in there. As I emailed on participant yesterday, “It does get easier, I promise.” See Day 1 Recap below. Note: Learn what this ebook writing tournament is all about and read all posts in this series.

Now, today’s (and tomorrow’s) assignment . . .

Finish writing all but 1-2 of your chapters. If you can finish them all, then do so. If not, leave a couple. The reason is, I want you to have a “light” writing day tomorrow because you’re going to finish up, then go back and edit and proofread the entire thing.

That’s a lot to do in one day, so write your kahungas off today, ok?

FYI, here in Negril, we’re an hour behind U.S. EST. I didn’t want you guys to think I’m sleeping late and not working in paradise (I am!).

DAY 1: RECAP

ebookSo far, here’s what you all have had to say. My comments follow each entry, as necessary.

From Participant EbookTourney14

A tad late (she sent hers in at 8:14 this morning), but I thought I would do my report for yesterday! I finished my outline and started on the first chapter (looks like there will be 11 if things don’t change) of my ebook on time management. Looking forward to getting more done today!

My comment: 11 Chapters, unless they’re really short can be a long ebook. And while there’s nothing wrong with that (depending on the subject matter), be judicious when editing. Remember, leave out the fluff and get right to the heart of what you want to say.

From Participant EbookTourney20

Hi Yuwanda,
 
I am writing this message, sitting at my kitchen bar, toothbrush in my mouth and wet hair slicked back. I am getting ready to go into work and wanted to send you an update on my part of the ebook tourney. So sorry I didn’t send this last night — I fell asleep on the couch with my laptop in front of me as I worked on it.
 
My topic is rather somber but from recent experience, it’s something that needs to be expounded upon in the internet market place: how to write a eulogy.
 
My brother passed in June from cancer after a short, intense battle. Mom and Dad and my sisters agreed for me to deliver the eulogy at his memorial mass. I was devastated as well as humbled. However, I was also dismayed at the lack of coherent, ‘non-plr’ like information that was available on the ‘net. It was nothing short of intensely distasteful: I was deep in mourning, could not find sufficient eulogy material, and was sickened by the squeeze pages for the few eulogy products out there. This was one point in my life I did not want to be pitched at by a sales page.
 
Anyway, I did my outline and have begun writing to fill in the blanks. My only concern is that this is going to be a relatively short book — maybe 20 pages, tops. Do I need to make this longer? I guess I could provide more examples of different types of eulogy speeches.
 
Thanks for your help in all of this, as well as sponsoring the tourney.
 
Peace and Chocolate,
P.S. Hope tropical storm Paula does not cause you any trouble!

My Comment: First, sorry about your brother. I lost my mom to cancer (breast) 20 years ago, and the pain is still so deep it seems like yesterday. You just learn to live with it; you never get over it.

As for your question of does your ebook need to be longer; nope, not if you think you’ve provided good, solid information.

One of my ebooks (How to Easily Make $100/Day – or More! – As a Freelance Writer) is only 16 pages long, and it’s a consistent little seller which many have told me was very helpful to them.

It’s not the length of the ebook that matters so much, but the quality of the information within. As for providing more samples, ask yourself, would it have been more helpful for you when you were looking? If the answer is yes, then include more. If the answer is no, then don’t.

I always think readers can sense “fluff.” So stay true to the reason you’re writing your book and you’ll be fine, regardless of length.

P.S.: Paula did drop some rain on us last night (which gave me pause about the internet today), but it’s gorgeous and sunny this morning, so I’m a happy camper. Let’s just hope she stays her butt in Cuba or wherever she was supposed to land.

From Participant EbookTourney10

I really appreciate this opportunity. It will be hard work but fun. Some Client (biz plans & resumes) calls delayed my start but I will do my outline and 1st chapter tonite.
 
After reading some of your articles I’ve chosen a title “Outthinking Your Neighbor (Tips for Getting Hired & Promoted).

Then in a later correspondence, “Just dawned on me – how many words on a page. We are developing booklets right?”

My Comment: Glad you’re enjoying the experience. As for how many words on a page, it depends. In publishing it’s about 250 (Times Roman, 12-point type; double spaced pages with 1-inch margins all around).

I tend to use Times Roman and Arial for my pages and I don’t double space the whole page; I put double spaces between paragraphs. The main thing when formatting a page is to leave enough white space and use a big enough font. I tend to like 11 and 12-point fonts (big enough, but not grossly so).

And, you’re writing an ebook; depending on how long it is, I guess it could be called a booklet. IMO, anything under 10 pages is a booklet. Anything longer is an “ebook.”

From Participant EbookTourney4

Yuwanda, I finished outline and four pages. I spent two hours writing today. My ebook will be short – probably 10-12 pages, and considering the obstacles that will be a win. I’m very excited.

My comment: Awesome! Trudge on.

From Participant EbookTourney13

Hello Yuwanda:

I work a full-time day job as a corporate documentation and training writer, but I did manage to put together a pretty robust outline for my ebook today.  Tomorrow, the writing begins!

My comment: Uh-oh, it’s on now; the writing is when the “fun” begins. Yikes!

From Participant EbookTourney12

Hi,

I’m checking in. I did 2655 words today along with the outline. I have to say I usually get more done after the kiddos go to bed. I am writing an ebook about pay per click for google adwords. I’ve done it for a few years now and always have people asking questions, so I figured this was a great time to throw together a book about it.

My comment: I think this will be a great little seller. I get asked a lot of questions about this too, especially when I talk about minisites. This might be one I’d be interested in selling on my site if you’re open to it. We can discuss later.

From Participant EbookTourney11

Thank you for this occasion, it’s an awesome opportunity.

Just read your curfew deadline and I’ve missed it.  Wanted to send my today’s follow-up anyway.  I’ll be on time tomorrow.

BTW, you breathe life into how you do what you do; that’s one of the many reasons I actively continiue to follow you.

Began at 6:30 a.m. (HST)

Pencil on yellow pad with Gregg Shorthand, post-its and scrap pieces for mind-dashed thoughts.  Currently I’m using the how, when, where, why technique for outlining the telling of a senior citizen journey how-to.  (mine)

Three yellow sheets were somewhat filled before I tweaked to re-focus.  About two-thirds through my writing, I used my mind-mapping software.  Best money I’ve ever spent to catch and hold my July 4th sparkler-type thoughts.  This truly lets my literally grab onto otherwise lost ideas.

Until tomorrow, Aloha

My comment: Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate that. Love the phrase, “catch and hold my July 4th sparkler-type thoughts.” If that’s any indication of your writing style, your ebook will be awesome!

Fantastic start!

From Participant EbookTourney5

First correspondence:

How do I get my personal ID number? 

Update:  Everything is coming along great.  I’m working on the outline and first 2 chapters.

Second correspondence:

Finally, it’s 9:33 pm and I completed my outline and 2 Chapters.   This is a huge step for me because in the past I would keep putting off writing my ebook.

My comment: I’ll be sending you all your numbers so you know who you are. Great start!

And congratulations! That’s the whole purpose of this tournament – to force you to NOT put it off. I tell ya, it’s the only way I can get stuff done; I have to MAKE myself adhere to a deadline, which is why I usually finish most of my ebooks in a week. If it went beyond that, I’d probably never get one done.

From Participant EbookTourney32

Hi Yuwanda

This is my first update on my 10 day ebook challenge. I think I seem to be a bit ahead of everyone else because here in Australia our time zone is completely out of sync with the rest of the world (plus we have summer in December, winter in June and the further north you travel here, the hotter it gets).

I just checked the world clock online and in Jamaica it is now 8.10pm on 12th October. Here is Brisbane Australia it is 11.10am on the 13th October. Holey moley, I’m 15 hours ahead!

Anyway, yesterday (12th) I wrote my outline which was several pages of hand writing and made copious notes as well arrows and squiggles going all over the pages too. I also did a quick few notes for my marketing plan and also outlined my sales page. I like to do the sales page first because it’s useful as a brain-storming session as to what I’m going to include in my ebook. It’s amazing how many new ideas I can come up with when I’m working on my sales page.

Then I started writing and managed to complete the first 2 chapters of my ebook which came in at just over 2,800 words. But to do all that took me 5 hours, which is way longer than it should have.

My book is a 12 month writing calendar designed to get writers off to a flying start, working and earning money for a whole year. Including the intro, there will be 13 chapters plus a small final roundup page.  But if I want to finish it in time I’m going to have to write more than 2 chapters a  day.

Trouble is, we’ve been a bit flooded here the past 2 days (not me personally but all around here) and it has rained really heavily non-stop for over 48 hours day and night which has been very worrying while it lasted and distracting. I saw on the news that they had to open the damns to stop them flooding and now the rivers have risen and flooded towns and suburbs.

Thankfully the rain has now stopped. But dozens of birds were sheltering on our covered back patio during that time. So this morning I had to put off starting writing because I had an appointment with bird s*it and a bucket of hot soapy water to wash down the table and chairs, the hammock the sofa swing, the outdoor gas cooker and the floor. Plus there was about 100 palm fronds to pick up in the garden.

But now I have sat down with a cup of coffee and I am about to launch into my second day of writing.

I don’t mind if you use my name or not on your website for this tournament, or if you quote from my emails or whatever else. Feel free to include whatever you like. I don’t mind if people know what my book is about or not.

I’m looking forward to reading about your progress as this goes along. No doubt I’ll find out tomorrow how you went today (damn this time difference!).

all the best

My comment: Oy vey! I’m amazed you’re able to get any writing done with all you have on your hands.

Re “I like to do the sales page first because it’s useful as a brain-storming session as to what I’m going to include in my ebook. It’s amazing how many new ideas I can come up with when I’m working on my sales page.”

That’s how I like to work as well. I use my outline as my sales page, and so tend to be hyperfocused on that first. Sounds like you jump around a lot – which is not a criticism, by the way. If that’s the system that works for you, go for it. Again, I work the same way.

Good work for just one day. This tournament is going to be a breeze for you (now, if we can just do something about the birds, the water and the palm fronds).

Fingers crossed!

From Participant EbookTourney23

Yuwanda:

Is there any subject limitation, or other limitation, re: this effort?

Thanks

My comment: Nope, none; just that you should aim to finish in three days. So, it can’t be a Moby Dick-length novel.

From Participant EbookTourney9

Hi Yuwanda! 

Well, what a day. It all started when last night I spilled a full cup of hot tea over the laptop. Bye bye laptop, I’m afraid. A bit numb with the shock of it all and hoping it will magically start working again but no luck at all at all. 

But I have a wee little netbook, so down but not out. Then today I ended up getting work for the week. Sod it, I’m in anyway… I’ll do what I can. I only had three hours to use but I managed to get a loose 8 page outline of my eight sections handwritten and ten single spaced typed pages of the first chapter and part of the intro. All before getting your email that that was what you were doing…?! At the end of the day cramped for time I just ended up getting as much done as if I had all day to lollygag perhaps..

Of course I had an idea for a concise contained ebook, but it was not what I ‘Really Want to Do’. I have a goal to get a website with a product close to my heart and life mission up for Jan 1, so I thought I’m going to go for it. I have now realized what I thought was an e book is actually a full fledged eight week course, with each chapter a course with exercises, and it is going to be BIG. At first I thought bummer this won’t suit. Then I thought actually… I can make the first sale item buying into the course, where you thus get sent the preparatory work (intro) and then the first week of the program, the other weeks following as the week arises (buys me time and keeps me going if I start selling!). So all is not lost.

I might still have a “product” of sorts. And at the end of the day, even with what I’ve done already, all those typed pages of something that I have been bursting at the seams to write for weeks, I already feel good. I might fail a little at the tournament, but heck, I’m getting ahead for my New Year’s goal so all is not lost! 

BUT it might be something you want to put in your ebook! A section on “How to Know if your idea is suitable for an ebook” or something like that? As I’m sure I’m not the only one who picked an idea that is perhaps too big or actually a course better sold as such. It might help beginners feel more of that “can do it” buzz if they start with the right ideas. 

Onward ho.

My comment: First, sorry about your laptop. That friggin’ sucks! But, love the way you handled it. Onward ho indeed. Good for you.

As for your comment, “I have now realized what I thought was an e book is actually a full fledged eight week course, with each chapter a course with exercises …”

This has happened to me on more than one occasion, ie, with my two freelance writing ecourses. They started out as books.

It’s astute of you to recognize what you had on your hands and run with it. As for “failing a little at the tournament,” no such thing – especially if you meet a goal you’ve had all along. I’m pleased that the tournament has helped you to flesh out your idea and get on track to getting it finished.

From Participant EbookTourney19

Hi,

I have only a couple of hours a day to devote to writing for myself.

I already had notes lying around for an idea I had, so I made a start on that project.

I have compiled an outline – chapter titles, list of subject matter for those chapters etc. I do it this way becuase it is so easy to simply flesh out the subject matter to complete the chapters if I already have them listed.

Tomorrow I will complete the first two chapters.

I hope everyone else is getting on OK.

Regards

My comment: You seem to be ahead of the game. For me, the outline is always the critical part. The writing flows pretty easily once this is done. Good start.

From Participant EbookTourney7

Hey Yuwanda,

It’s 3:30 Central. I have put together my outline. It took me an hour to think through what I wanted in the book and how I wanted it laid out. I had it done by lunch. I’ve got my intro rough draft done. It took an hour- two pages at the moment.

I think the actual chapters will go by pretty fast. I’m going to go outside for a stretch break and start on Chapter 1. Since most of my material has come from work I have already done, I think I can have Ch 1-2 done by tonight.

I’m excited. Thank you for the opportunity.

[From] Waco, Texas

My comment: Another one ahead of the game – cool!

From Participant EbookTourney25

What an experience!   Good experience!

Sweaty palms and tingling feeling in my legs as I can almost pinpoint it slowly rising up to the bottom of my lip.  This is when I thought, “What the hell is going on!”   I took a deep breath, sat down and wrote out my outline.  

I rather weak outline, but it is an outline I can work with and will likely change as a I go.   I did free write, but nothing I can say is good.   So, I decided to try another approach.  

1).  I refuse to let my nerves get the best of me.  ( Decision made)

2).  I will be working on this again tonight.   

My goal is to firm up my outline and write at least one chapter when everyone is asleep.

P.S.   Have you ever started writing an ebook and decide this may not be a good topic?   

I have my topic.  Expanding on it without being wordy or fightning the doubts that I will be able to stretch it into an ebook long enough for others to value as an authority document is causing a block.   Do you have any suggestions to push through this block?

Thanks again, 

My comment: Nerves, schmerves – never let’em get the best of you (good!).

In answer to your question,Have you ever started writing an ebook and decide this may not be a good topic?” Actually have a couple of these sitting on my hard drive. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

I never throw anything away though b/c just because it’s not a good idea now does not mean it won’t be a good idea in 5 years; so keep it.

As for document being long enough, as I told EbookTourney20, “It’s not the length of the ebook that matters so much, but the quality of the information within.”

Even if it’s only 5 pages, if it’s useful information that answers a very specific question, length doesn’t matter. The famous self-publishing guru Dave Poyntner of Parapublishing.com sells hundreds of e-pamphlets that are only a few pages long, eg, 3 pages, 5 pages, etc.

So, don’t worry about length. Concentrate on providing valuable information.

From Me

I finished my outlined yesterday and wrote an article to distribute to article marketing directories. I didn’t do any actual writing yesterday, as I had a client query come in and some blogs to update.

I like “uninterrupted” writing time, so if I have too much on my plate on a given day, I’ll do “peripheral work” on my ebook (eg, writing a promotional piece) until I can devote three or four hours of straight writing time to it (like I will today).

One thing I want to point out is that just when it seems like you can block out time to write your book, something will almost always come up to get in the way of this prescheduled time. It’s Murphy’s law at work.

I haven’t had a client query come in in weeks, and just as I was going to devote a couple of hours to writing, it comes in. C’est la vie. So I responded. But as I’m a fast writer and the ebook is already written “in my head,” I knew I’d be able to make up the time today. That’s why I reorganized my schedule to get the client proposal done yesterday.

Happy writing!

Yuwanda

P.S.: I’m always looking for good guest posts: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, accepts them. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

P.P.S.:  What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series at http://bit.ly/aPgutY.

seo-copywriting-trainingGet SEO Copywriting Training — Earn $50,000 to $75,000 Your First Year. You’ll learn 4 ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills. Get full details on the SEO copywriter training this ecourse offers.

Copyright © 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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Writing Advice: 3 Things Writers Should Know About Inspiration

The following is a guest post by Carrie Oakley.

Much has been said and written about inspiration and the writer, how they must go hand in hand and when one deserts the other, creativity stands no chance. But only writers know the true relationship they share with inspiration; others can only speculate and form their own conclusions.

The truth about inspiration is that it is overrated at times and not given enough importance at others; it can be your bosom pal one day and turn traitor the very next; and it can make you feel like a hero one moment and a complete zero a few minutes later. But no matter the love-hate relationship you share with inspiration, there are a few things you must know when you’re a writer:

Don’t Stop When You’re On a Roll

Inspiration is a state of the mind, and when you’re in it, you just have to write. At this point, there’s little that can distract you and take you away from your computer or notepad.

So to use a few oft-repeated clichés, you must make hay while the sun shines and strike when the iron is hot and continue to write when you feel your creative juices flowing. It’s best you don’t interrupt the thought process and allow it free rein so that you produce some of your best writing.

writing-adviceYou’ll find that inspiration is a strange bedfellow and that it tends to disappear every now and then the more time you spend writing.

So while you’re in command of it, take the opportunity and make it do your every bidding.

Don’t Try Too Hard

When you don’t find inspiration no matter what, the trick to capturing this elusive quality again is to not try too hard. Instead of racking your brains and wasting time staring at your blank computer screen or crumpling up paper after paper because you don’t like what you’ve written, take a break and do something that has nothing to do with writing.

When you completely forget about the fact that you have to write, inspiration tends to come creeping back. It’s like playing hard to get with a lover – when they know you’re not bothered too much, they tend to come back quietly and without a fuss.

Don’t Disregard Hard Work

Writing may be an artistic profession, one that you think is based entirely on inspiration and creativity.

But no matter how creative and skilled you are, without hard work, diligence, determination and dedication, you’re never going to be able to achieve professional success as a writer. It’s these qualities that form the foundation upon which creativity and inspiration build and achieve success. So even if inspiration is not forthcoming, turn to other mundane aspects of your writing like research and editing to keep you busy till you feel the creative juices start to flow again. 

About the Author:  Carrie Oakley writes on the topic of online college. She welcomes your comments at carrie.oakley1983(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

P.S.: Publisher Note: I like this post because, in its simplicity, it underscores what many may be experiencing as the take part in the ebook writing tournament going on now. The part that particularly struck home for me was when Carrie wrote:

 . . . no matter how creative and skilled you are, without hard work, diligence, determination and dedication, you’re never going to be able to achieve professional success as a writer.

I was just telling my sister that I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard as I have these last few months (I’ve been putting out an inordinate amount of material – literally writing for six- or seven-hour stretches at a time). But, when you have a vision (which I’ll talk about in next Tuesday’s post here), you must do more than what you ever thought was humanly possible to reach it.

At least that’s been my experience.

Thanks Carrie for reminding us about what inspiration is – and isn’t.

What Has Inspiration Done for Your Writing?

How has old-man inspiration helped or failed you? What did you do to turn it around? Tell us in the comments section below.

P.P.S.: What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series at http://bit.ly/aPgutY.

seo-copywriting-trainingGet SEO Copywriting Training — Earn $50,000 to $75,000 Your First Year. You’ll learn 4 ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills. Get full details on the SEO copywriter training this ecourse offers.

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Ebook Publishing: How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days, Market It & Start Getting Sales within a Week — Day 1 of 11

First, let me say, welcome to Inkwell Editorial’s Ebook Writing and Publishing Tournament.

Note: The tournament is closed to participants, but feel free to follow along in the daily updates that will be provided from now until October 22nd. Learn what this tournament is all about and read all posts in this series.

What to Expect during this Ebook Writing & Publishing Tournament

Here’s basically how it’ll work: I’ll email you every day twice; once to let you know what I plan to do, and two to let you know what I actually accomplished. As writers, you know, even the best laid plans don’t work out.

Along the way, I’ll also dispense some tips that work for me when I’m writing an ebook.

One final thing: As I’m working from Jamaica, if you don’t receive an email from me by 9:30 am EST U.S., then assume that the internet is out. It’s been fabulous since I’ve been here, but it is still hurricane season here and those rain storms come out of nowhere and can last from a few minutes to a full day (eg, it rained all day this past Sunday).

Ok, to the day’s first lesson.

Day 1 of Ebook Writing and Publishing Tournament: Prepare an Outline & Start Writing

ebook-publishing-how-to-startRemember when you first learned how to do an outline in about second grade? Oh, how I hated it. But, it’s a skill I’m glad I learned, for it is the foundation of my ebook writing process.

As I’ve usually thought about an ebook for months before I actually sit down to write it, I usually have a pretty good idea of the outline in my head.

Now when I start writing, this usually gets revised. But, it gives me a jumping off point.

When I actually write my outline, I fill in ideas as I go along. For example, the name of my ebook is How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days or Less, Market It & Get Your First Sale Within 7 Days.

So I know at some point I’m going to have to discuss marketing. One of the methods I use to market my products is article marketing. I’ve written tons of stuff on this, so I know I’ll have to go to some of my previously written material on this to revamp and revise and put in there (eg, the article marketing tutorial).

The bottom line is to fill in as much info as you can when you’re writing your outline. I leave little notes to myself on, for example, an article that I may have read on another site that I want to reference, a stat that I want to quote, a comment someone sent in I want to dig out and expand upon, etc.

If anyone ever came across my outline, they’d probably think I spoke Pig Latin because it makes sense to no one but me.

The point I want to get across is this is not your second grade, has to be perfect, 1-2-3 step outline. Fill that sucker up with info cuz when you finish it, you’re going to start writing – today.

Yep!

After you finish your outline, finish one to two of the chapters.

Following are some additional notes for today:

Don’t worry about proofreading, editing or making it perfect. Just write.

My outline usually consists of 5-8 chapters and the chapters are usually 3-10 pages long. Hence, my ebook can be anywhere from 15 pages (they’re never this short) to 80 pages. Usually my ebooks are in the 40-60 page range. This is a good range to shoot for because ebooks are designed (in my opinion) to cover a very niche subject succinctly.

Hence, leave out fluff – get to the meat of the subject quickly.

Ebook Writing Tip: Stuck, Need Inspiration, Writing Too Slowly and Feel Like You’ll Never Get Done?

Read, How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes. Without realizing it, this is exactly how I write and now I understand better why I’m able to churn out so much stuff on any given day.

Ebook Writing & Publishing Tournament: Reports at the End of the Day

Send me an email letting me know how you fared. I’ll spend the evening (boy these are gonna be some long days) uploading it to a page on InkwellEditorial.com. You’ll be sent a link.

FYI, let me know how you want to be referred to, eg, by initials, a moniker or by first name only. If you want, you can give me details of your ebook, but you don’t have to. Just send me info on what you finished, the difficulties you encountered and/or anything else about the process you experienced that day.

I’d really like to know how much time you spent that day accomplishing what you did.

Feel free to send me questions. I’ll do my best to answer as many as possible (if they are general enough to be helpful to everyone).

There are 32 participants (including me) in the tournament, in case you’re wondering.

That’s it – and good luck!

Now, I’m off to write my outline – and start writing.

Yuwanda

P.S.: I’m always looking for good guest posts: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, accepts them. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

P.P.S.:  What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series at http://bit.ly/aPgutY.

seo-copywriting-trainingGet SEO Copywriting Training — Earn $50,000 to $75,000 Your First Year. You’ll learn 4 ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills. Get full details on the SEO copywriter training this ecourse offers.

Copyright © 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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Ebook Publishing: How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days, Market It & Start Getting Sales within a Week

Think ebook publishing is hard? Want to write an ebook but can never seem to make time to finish (or start)? If so, Inkwell Editorial’s Ebook (Writing) Creation Tournament is for you?…

Read more.

Freelance Writing for Profit: Skills You Need to Profitably Publish Your Own Line of Information Products

 

If you’ve been a reader of this blog/site for any length of time, you know I’m a rabid advocate of the fact that freelance writers should have multiple streams of income. One of the ways I do this is by what I call “writing for self,” ie, producing my own informational products.

It’s something every freelance writer can do. My feeling is, why not use the skills you obviously have to produce and/or promote products you believe in. Trust me, it can be quite lucrative.

Note: Wanna write your first information product and get a sale within the first 10 days? See info at end of this post on writing tournament (totally free; nothing to join!) coming up next month here at InkwellEditorial.com. Join me in finally getting that first ebook outta ya – and getting some moolah in your pockets!

Now, to continue with today’s post.

QUESTION FROM A READER

The idea came from this post when I received the following email from a reader recently. He wrote:

From your experience . . . after buying and reading the ebook [Backpage Sales Guide], how long do you think it will take me to start making a minimum of $100 daily? Please kindly let me know if there are other skills I may need to acquire in order to quickly reach this target income?

 MY RESPONSE

As for how long it will take you to make $100 per day in affiliate marketing, there is no concrete answer to that because it depends on so many factors, eg, product you choose, marketing methods you use, how often you market, your skill as an online marketer, price of product, etc. In short, it depends entirely on you.

Even though I’ve discussed this subject before, I wanted to expand upon this answer a bit. All of the factors listed above are important in achieving success –whether you’re creating and marketing our own line of products, or acting as an affiliate marketer for someone else’s.

But if you’re a freelance writer with limited time, there are two critical skills that I think you need to really succeed.

Create a Writing Schedule

Many freelance writers want to create their own information products to sell, but they simply never get around to finding the time to do so. I can’t tell you how many times freelancers have written in to me and/or lamented on their own blogs how they have to “sit down and find time to start on that book.”

I know the feeling all too well.

Writing for clients can be all encompassing. If you’re lucky enough to be busy as a freelance writer, then that just means that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, ie, marketing consistently, meeting deadlines, following up on referrals, etc. This is a FULLTIME job. 

So how do you carve out time for your own projects? I’ll tell you how I do it, by way of a little story.

How to Find Time to Create Your Own Line of Information Products to Sell  

In addition to creating my own ebooks, I also co-author ebooks with my sister for her real estate information product line. 

I’m the “crack the whip” appointee of the two of us. Whenever we get an idea for an ebook we want to co-author, she’ll create the Table of Contents and give it to me. Usually, she lays out who’s responsible for writing what part.   Then, I’ll create a schedule of completion for us, ie: This is when the writing needs to be done, this is when the editing will be done, this will be the proofing stage and this will be the “Upload Day.” We love “Upload Day.” 

Usually I create the sales page (tends to be a specialty of mine); she creates the graphics; and then we both start our own individual marketing campaigns. 

It works beautifully and the reason it does is that when I set the schedule, it’s set in stone (barring a family crisis). This symbiotic working relationship between us goes back to when we owned Inkwell Editorial together and it was a staffing/editorial outsource agency. 

We were known for never missing a deadline – ever. And my sister will tell you it’s because I’m somewhat of a slave driver. One night, we stayed in the office until 5 am to meet a deadline. 

She said:

Wanda, we could just ask them for one more day; you know they won’t mind.”

And they would have (it was our previous employer, who gave us tons of work – and tons of leeway to get it done).

BUT, this was not the point. The point was that we’d given them a firm deadline and I was determined that we were going to make it.

My point in relaying this story is that if you want to create your own line of successful informational products, you’re going to have to put yourself on a schedule to do it – and stick to it.   This may mean getting up an hour earlier each day to write, or writing two hours in the evening after the kids go to bed. But it always starts with creating a schedule and sticking to it.

Create a Marketing Plan

After you create your information product, you have to market it. A lot of ebook writers (including myself) fall down on their sword here.   Usually, I’m so exhausted and tired of looking at the material after I’ve created the ebook that I tended to let it sit on my hard drive for a couple of weeks before I even got around to creating a sales page.  

Can you believe it? You put in all that work only to do nothing with it. As I said, I used to operate this way when I first starting writing ebooks before I realized that this was a bad habit I’d fallen into and needed to stop it. 

Now, I live for “Upload Day.” I psyche myself up for it, which means that I don’t stop when the ebook is done; I know that I’m only halfway there. 

I create a marketing plan for every product I produce. Usually, it’s a combination of article marketing, marketing to my list and free classified ad marketing. I have it down to a science where I can pretty accurately gauge the number of sales I can expect.  

Ebooks Sales: What You Can Reaslistically Expect 

Sometimes, I’m surprised by the numbers, ie, I’ll make a few sales on “Launch/Upload Day,” then they’ll tail off to a few a week. I may have a day where there’s a “tsunami”, eg, I’ll get 10 or 12, but usually sales are more of a consistent 2-5 or 6 a day. And this has gone on for years. 

The more products I add, the more this is going up so it keeps me motivated to continue to produce. And this is what should stand out to anyone who has an interest in doing this. 

Retire on Income from Your Own Information Products Empire

To be honest, I think I’ll always create informational products to sell. I love the autonomy of it, and the consistent income. You can write from anywhere and if you build up a cache of 20, 30 or 40 products, it can provide some nice “retirement income. 

If Social Security is still around, great. If not, you won’t have to worry about money in your old age.

And the great thing about info product is they don’t have to be long – 30 or 40 pages is good. Most of mine tend to be a bit longer, but the point is, you don’t have to “write a book” to be successful as an information seller. 

What you do need is to provide products that solve a problem for people – and market it consistently. 

Create Your First Information Product to Sell

Now, if this really interests you and you want to create your first ebook to sell, I want to extend an invitation to you.

Join me in Inkwell Editorial’s “October Ebook Creation Tournament” 

What is this? Because I want to prove to you how easy it is to get that ebook outta ya, the week of October 12th, I’m going to write an ebook, write its marketing plan, upload it and get a sale within 10 days — and I challenge you to do the same. 

The title of my ebook is, “How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days or Less, Market It & Get Your First Sale Within 10 Days” 

I’ve been wanting to write this ebook for a while (it’s on my list of 75 titles, a tally I keep of all the subjects I want to write about). This is the perfect opportunity to get this sucker out of me – finally! 

All you have to do to take part in this tournament is let me know you want to participate. I will act as your “accountability partner” of sorts. I’ll email you every day letting you know what I did on my book, and you can email me back letting me know what you did. 

You don’t have to tell me the details of your book or anything else; just that you’re making progress on a daily basis, and will complete your ebook – and its written marketing plan within 3 days. Then, you’ll implement the plan and let me know when you get your first sale (the goal is within 10 days). 

The tournament will run October 12th thru October 22nd. I’m going to keep a live page on InkwellEditorial.com detailing who participants are (you can remain anonymous) and the progress they’re making. That way, we can all become accountability partners to each other. 

Don’t Start Writing Now!  

Note: I’ve been thinking about writing this ebook for going on two years now. But, I’m not going to “cheat” and start before October 12th (not even an outline).

I want you to see that it’s totally possible to start – and finish – and ebook in 3 days or less (I wrote the highly popular Backpage Sales Guide in only 8 hours), which is why I want you to start thinking about what you want your ebook to be about now. BUT, don’t write one word until October 12th.  

Scouts honor, ok? 

Your Success as a Freelance Writer Is Important to Me 

Readers like you give me so much encouragement day in and day out. Really, you make me feel smarter than I am, wiser than I am and more successful than I am. But you can do the same thing. I’m blessed to be a self starter. I want you to reap the fruits of being one as well. 

So if this is the kick in the pants you need to get that darn ebook done, then I hope you’ll join me in this tournament. Your success as a freelance writer is very important to me. I want to do everything I can to help you reach whatever your goals are in this arena.

So if you want to sign up, just let me know on/before October 12th and we’ll (in the words of the rocker Pink), “Get this party started!” 

P.S.:  What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series (http://bit.ly/ctuM4K).

Subscribe! To do so, simply look for the subscriber box to the top right-hand side of the page. There’s one on every page of the site. Of course, your contact information is protected — it is never sold, rented, leased or compromised in any way.

Yuwanda

P.P.S.: Submit a Guest Post: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, now accepts guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

free-classified-ad-sales-thumbWant to avoid freelance writing dry spells and try your hand at affiliate marketing with a proven product? Learn how you can market the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites, and keep 100% of the profits.

Copyright © 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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Freelance Writers: Could You Be Hurting Your Career by Using/Not Using a Pen Name? How to Determine When and When Not To

Last week, I received the following email from a fellow freelance writer about pen names. She wrote:

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Medical Editing/Copyediting: An Overview

As a long-time freelance writer (since 1993), I’ve done many kinds of writing, eg, sales letters, web copy, SEO content, etc. One niche I never got into though was medical. As the owner of an editorial staffing agency in New York City though(1996-2004), I’ve recruited for positions in this niche (eg, medical editors, copy editors, proofreaders, etc.)….

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The Freelance Writer’s Bookstore

If you’re looking for opportunities in freelance writing (ie, how to become a freelance writer), you’ve landed in the right place.

You can find listings of all Inkwell Editorial products at https://inkwelleditorial.com/start-a-freelance-writing-career. We add new products frequently, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.

If you like what you see, follow us on Twitter.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com

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How to Make Money Online as a Freelance Writer – Beyond Writing for Clients

If you’re a regular reader of my articles, blogs, websites, etc. you’ve probably read where I discuss making passive income online as a freelance writer. I’ve been doing it – in earnest – since January of this year and on some weeks, my “passive” income exceeds what I make writing for clients.

What do I sell online? Mostly I sell my ebooks and a few affiliate products that teach newbies how to make money online.

Note: Passive is in quotation marks because I do put some marketing muscle into it; it’s not automatic money. But, the effort I put in pays much more dividends than say what I make writing for clients.

This is a real comfort mentally because I don’t rely so heavily on client projects to make a living. In fact, I really don’t do any real marketing anymore as an SEO copywriter. I take what comes my way, but the majority of my time is spent promoting my own products and other affiliate products.

Today, I want to discuss a couple of the tools I use to do this.

How I Make $100-$150/Day Promoting Affiliate Products Using FREE Classified Ads

Forever a fan of free and low-cost methods, I stumbled across the free classified ad site Backpage.com while I was promoting an affiliate product. I got such great results from it that I started using it almost exclusively.

Then, I ran across a software that allowed me to post more ads quicker using this site. So, I bought it and used it. It has allowed me to keep my income the same, but cut down on the amount of time I spend placing ads (which to be honest, can be a real drag).

You can learn more about how I use the free classified ad site backpage.com to make money.

Putting My Free Classified Ad Marketing on Steroids: The Classified Connection

Update: December 2014 — the info below is no longer relevant. I leave it here to keep the other relevant info in some kind of context. I no longer recommend any particular backpage auto posting software.

One day while surfing for new products to promote on Clickbank, I ran across the free classified ad posting software, The Classified Connection. I was intrigued because I knew that posting ads on free classified ad sites worked from my experience with Backpage.

Make Money Placing Free Classified Ads Online

Make Money Placing Free Classified Ads Online

But instead of placing hundreds of ads, this software allows you to place thousands, in minutes. I tested the demo, which made it seem so easy.

So even though it was a little pricey, I thought, let me buy it so I can really see what my results will be. FYI, when you buy a product from Clickbank, you have a 60-day window to return it, so I knew it was “risk free.”

I bought The Classified Connection software on September 8th. A couple of days later, I finally revved up my brain to open it and place some ads. I say this because most technology befuddles me. I hate learning new software programs it always takes me a few days to gear up my brain to learn  something new.

The Classified Connection Software: A Review – The Specifics

Once you know what you’re doing, the software is easy to use. But, you do have to figure out some things for yourself. I don’t know why but many software developers can’t give clear instructions to save their lives. This program really could use a straightforward Step 1; Step 2; Step 3 instructional guide.

But again, once you know what you’re doing, it literally does place thousands of ads on hundreds of sites in less than 5 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to key in an ad (less if you pre-write and cut/paste them), then you hit the submit button and it shows you exactly where and how many ads it’s submitting in real time.

THEN, after the program finishes running, it generates a report that tells you how many sites accepted and rejected your ad. And, you can click on the site to see your ad – the proof that it got published.

FYI, you have to check the sites soon after you place your ads because they disappear pretty quickly from the first page (because many others are placing ads as well).

What I Don’t Like About The Classified Connection Software

1. Unclear “How to Use” Instructions: As I mentioned above, it could use some detailed instructions on how to go about using it. Because I’m computer literate and can figure out most things, I was able to figure some things out that weren’t patently obvious.

If you’re online a lot, you will be too.

2. Ad Delay: Sometimes, there’s a delay when you place your ads. For example, one night around 10, I placed some ads, but couldn’t find them. I looked for like half an hour, then gave up. But, when I logged on the next day, I found them.

I don’t know if it’s a system delay or a delay by the classified ads sites themselves but so far, every time I’ve placed ads, I’ve been able to find them sooner or later.

Both of these are minor things when you consider the advantages of this software, ie . . .

What I Like About The Classified Connection Software

1. It’s Quick! The software says you can. . .  eliminate thousands of hours of manual work and expose millions of internet users to your products within minutes (emphasis added).And it’s so true.

2. Promote Multiple Products: You can promote as many products as you want using this software. To do this, simply create different profiles (you’ll see what I mean if you try the demo or buy it) and you’re off and running. So far, I’ve used it to promote 4 products.

Again, the time consuming part is creating/writing the ads for each product.

3. Works Internationally: The Backpage free classified ad posting software only works from the U.S. and Canada. For example, I can’t post to the site from Jamaica, where I am now. I’ve been able to use The Classified Connection software from here with no problems.

Making Money with Free Classified Ads: Conclusion

I want to conclude this post with two final observations:

Spend Money to Make Money: I started making more money online when I started spending money on tools that allowed me to work smarter, not harder. I still do a lot of what I think is “stupid stuff,” because I am notoriously frugal I (years of living a “feast or famine” existence as a freelance writer, I’m afraid).

But when you invest in something that really works, you’re like, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” I’m starting to loosen my purse strings a bit, especially once I have proof that something works.

Not Everything on the Net is a Scam: I’ve received quite a few emails about the backpage ad posting software along the lines of “Does it really work?” or “Can I make money promoting this product?”

What I believe underlies a lot of these types of questions is fear that “it really can’t be that easy to make money online;” it must be a scam. Well I’m here to tell you, it IS that easy, especially if you know the “secret tools of the trade.”

I no longer turn my nose up at ads that say, “Make $500/day doing X, Y or Z.” I know, because I’ve hit this mark several times – and come close to it many more times – and I’m still a newbie to internet marketing.

Now, I’m still very skeptical of outrageous claims of making say, $50,000 a week. But you know, this probably has more to do with my skeptical nature and the limitations I place on myself than the claims of “known” gurus.

The reason “known” is in quotation marks is because if you do your research, you can always find out who is legit, and who isn’t online.

I stumbled onto making money placing ads on free classified ad sites – and boy I’m glad I did. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to do now that I know this is a system that works.

I hope this provides some insight into how you can get a sideline, passive income going as a freelance writer.

A Note about Affiliate Marketing: A lot of success in affiliate marketing depends on the product or service you’re promoting. No matter which techniques you use, if the market is too small for a particular product/service, or the product/service is no good, or  you’re a terrible ad writer, then you’re not going to make sales. A lot of it is trial and error, so if the first product doesn’t work, try something else. The key is to keep testing until you do find a product that does sell.

Along these lines, in a future post I’ll give some ideas about WHAT I think sells online – and why.

P.S.: Want to train for a recession-proof freelance writing career? Get the FREE Report, Learn SEO: 6 Reasons SEO Copywriting Is the Ideal High-Paying, Work-from-Home, Recession-Proof Career (pdf file).

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How to Make Money Writing Meta Tags for Websites

How would you like to make $100 for a couple of hours of work? You can with this service!
An E-Book Excerpt
[See all Inkwell Editorial Work-from-Home Titles Here]

FREELANCE WRITERS: HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING META TAG WRITING

3 Benefits of Selling Meta Tag Writing to Clients

1. Brand Yourself as an SEO Expert: When you say the phrase “meta tags,” most clients’ eyes glaze over. They have no idea what you’re talking about. But once you explain the simple concept to them, they’re like, “Oh, now I see; yes, I want that!”

And, this is what sets you up as an search engine optimization (SEO) expert. When you know something that clients don’t know, and you explain it to them in terms they can understand, you immediately become a “knowledge source” for them. They will value your input more – across the board – and will purchase more for you.

So while your ultimate goal may be to simply make more money as a freelance writer, you’re really gaining so much more from offering this simple service. You’re setting yourself up as an SEO expert, which means you can charge more for other services you may be offering, eg, SEO article writing, press release writing, website analysis, etc.

2. Get More Work: As mentioned above, when you are considered the expert, clients tend to look to you for more than just one service. So for example, because you wrote the meta tags for their site, they may also ask you to do a series of SEO articles, or blog posts, or an SEO press release.

After all, YOU have a grip on this “SEO stuff.” They don’t. It just makes sense for them to use you for all of their SEO needs.

I can’t tell you how many times one simple little meta tag writing job has led to SEO article writing, then later on a press release, then later on an ebook explaining their service, etc.

3. Add a Lucrative Income Stream to Your Freelance Writing Business: Meta tag writing is very lucrative because it takes so little time to do it. And, it is a value-added service that – once explained to clients – they usually hire you for right away.

In this ebook, I explain exactly what meta tags are. Once you know what they are and how easy it is to write them, you’re going to be amazed that more freelance writers don’t offer this service!

How Much Should You Charge for Meta Tag Writing

When I first started to offer this service, I charged $10 per page to write three tags – the title, keyword and description tags (the ones we will be discussing). Then I upped it to $15, then $20. Now, I have a five-page, or $100 minimum for writing meta tags.

So if a client has a three-page site, I still charge $100 because for me, it’s all about using my time wisely as a freelance writer. I have so much going on (writing and promoting my ebooks, blogging, client projects, updating my websites) as a freelance writer that it’s not wise for me to schedule a $20 job. But, it is well worth my time to schedule a $100 job.

Each freelance writer is different though. If it only takes you a half-hour to do the job – and it will once I show you how – then it may be well worth it to you to charge by the page instead of having a minimum page/job rate.

The Web Designer Who Charges a Flat Rate

I have a good friend who is a web designer. She charges $125 to do meta tag writing for the simple sites she builds for her clients. Most of the sites she designs are two to three pages. I point this out to illustrate that rates for meta tag writing – like most freelance writing – are all over the map.

Feel free to use my pricing as a guideline. Charge more or less, depending on what you feel comfortable with.

WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS IN-DEPTH E-REPORT

What Are Meta Tags?

The Purpose of Meta Tags

Why Meta Tags Are Important

What Do Meta Tags Look Like?

Types of Meta Tags

How to Conduct Keyword Research for Meta Tags (FYI, I have a client who charges $795 for a 1-day class on how to do this; this is extremely valuable info every web (SEO) writer should know)

How To Sell Meta Tag Writing to Clients: After we cover what meta tags are, how to conduct research for them and how to charge for this service, you may be thinking, “How do I sell this service to clients if they don’t even know what it is?” Good question.

I walk you through three ways to easily sell meta tag writing to clients. FYI, I have about a 50% close rate selling this service. You probably will too if you use the methods I outline in this e-report.

3 Ways to Sell Meta Tag Writing to Clients: Selling to the Unaware Client; Selling to the Aware Client; and Selling to the New Client (Who May Be Aware or Unaware)

How to Properly Conduct a Free Meta Tag Assessment: In my experience, this is why I have such a high close rate offering this service; I tell you exactly what to look for, which makes it easy to sell this service.

CONCLUSION: META TAG WRITING

Writing meta tags is an excellent service for any freelance writer to add to his or her web writing service list. Knowing what meta tags are and how to conduct research for them is something that every web writer should know. It improves your effectiveness as a web/SEO writer, which means you grow your knowledge base.

Becoming more knowledgeable is invaluable to landing high-paying clients, which is something all freelance writers can use more of, no?

P.S.: Want more info on how to make money as a freelance writer? Access Inkwell Editorial’s complete line of freelance writing ebooks and e-courses.

Length: 22 in-depth, informative pages on what meta tags are, how to write them and how to easily sell this service to clients.

x-click-but22 $9.95

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Creating a Blog: How to Publish a Profitable, Popular Freelance Writing Blog

An In-depth Look at 8 Components Every Freelance Writing Blog
Needs to Make Money & Build a Large Subscriber List

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