Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why Ebooks Don't Get the Respect They Deserve ... And How to Ensure that Yours Does

Ebooks don't get the respect they deserve. In fact, many frown on self-publishers - especially ebook publishers. I know, I've published six of them, and one course.

This may have been a well-deserved reputation in its infancy, but, ebooks have come a long way. Following are three reasons why, and how they can help you achieve your goals.

NOTE: The following refers mainly to "how to", nonfiction ebooks.

Work from home! Our work-from-home ebooks contain all the information you need to get started right way! Log on to order. It's fast, simple, safe and secure.

P.S.: All e-books are written from first-hand experience, or are told from first-hand accounts. So, you get concrete advice straight from those who have been where you are -- and are now where you want to be.
1. First-hand Knowledge: Most ebooks are written from first-hand experience. Usually, by the author.

My mother used to say, "If you want to know how to do something, ask someone who is already doing it." For this reason, ebooks are great tools for first-hand, "been there, done that" knowledge.

An Example: A few years ago a friend of mine wanted to start a painting business (residential/lite commercial). He had experience painting houses, but didn't know the ins and outs of what it would be like to have a full-fledged business doing it.

I logged onto the Internet and ordered an ebook for him. It was written by a guy who had almost 30 years of painting experience. My friend said it covered everything from marketing to pricing jobs to problem clients.

And, he said it went over things he hadn't even thought about - simple things that cost money. He said that unless you'd have first-hand experience with some of the examples given, you wouldn't even have thought to ask them -- never mind know how to plan for them.

This is why I like first-hand accounts. You can usually cover and plan for the biggies; it's the intangibles that come from first-hand accounts that make them invaluable. Also, the intangibles are those little pesky things that you will have to deal with daily -- things that may turn your like for something into a dislike.

As a matter of fact, this is exactly why I wrote my first e-book, How to Really Make a Living as an Editorial Freelancer. I was asked so many questions about freelancing --- and how to make a go of it -- that I wrote the e-book to (1) save me time from answring the same questions over and over again, and (2) to spell out to others how I did it.

2. Easy Reads: Ebooks are usually, short, easy reads because their purpose is to relay information in a straightforward, factual manner; not tell a story.

I have read them from 7 pages to over 200 pages. They tend to move pretty fast and give you the information you need in a pretty concise manner.

3. Burning the Midnight Oil: Like those infomercials on TV in the middle of the night, I gravitate towards ebooks for information I want because I can go online at 3am and be reading by 3:05 am.

Sometimes, when you want to know something - you want to know now, not when you can make it to the bookstore or for a delivery.

3 Tips for Writing a Successful Ebook

a) Professional:
I think ebooks have a bad reputation because many are not written professionally. I've learned to overlook this if the information is good. But, if you are writing one, have it edited and proofed by a professional.

You want readers to form a favorable impression, as many are not forgiving if there are typos, spelling mistakes, bad grammar, etc.

b) Tightly Focused Topic: One of the things that ebooks have going for them is that they are usually niche specific. As in, they cover one topic in detail.

Don't try to cram too much into your ebook just to create extra pages. Give readers what you claim they will get from your ebook. Give it to them straight, honestly and with examples/samples.

This will be sufficient for the majority of readers (you won't be able to please everybody, so don't try).

c) First-hand Information: As mentioned in the beginning of this post, this is what most readers want - and what will set your ebook apart from others.
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