Copyright 2006 Jeff Smith
Having created dozens of ebooks and infoproducts in many different markets, run a popular ebook product development blog, private members site and ezine and having coached dozens of successful ebook developers – we’ve assembled 5 of the most asked questions on creating an ebook.
If we didn’t cover your question and you still are wondering about something to do with creating your own ebooks – then jump over to our Infoproduct Developer’s Blog (http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/blog/) and chances are, the answer is there.
Create An Ebook Question #1: What Topic Do I Choose?
Start with your interests and passions, choosing your best ebook topic opportunity based on a combination of proving demand and seeing evidence of information selling into your market.
Use a combination of market research tools including keyword popularity tools such as http://inventory.overture.com to discover high demand keywords while looking for evidence of marketability through researching Amazon.com, eBay, and offline magazines using the techniques outlined in this article on the topic: http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/articles/market-research.html
Create An Ebook Question #2: Which eBook software
This is definitely a case where too much choice confuses the issue. Your ebook minisite can be created by using standard HTML development software such as Coffee Cup, Dreamweaver or HotDog from Sausage.com.
Another option is to use an all-in-one, automated website builder that focuses on both design, but more important, structure your content to be attractive to the search engines. My personal favorite is XSitePro over at: http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/part/xsitepro
The best part is that you don’t need to spend a fortune these days. It is worth the effort to learn some basic html. You may not always develop your own sites, but its good to know the basics so that you can make changes and understand what is possible.
Create An Ebook Question #3 How Many Pages Should An eBook Have?
While you can argue that an eBook can be any length as long as you have unique information in high demand right?
Problem is that we have been trained for many years to expect non-fiction books to fall within a set range of pages – typically between 150 and 300 pages. In most people’s minds, an ebook is no different in terms of expectations.
Deviate too much from your customer’s expectations and you will run into trouble. Create a 40-page ebook and you will no doubt upset a portion of your audience who expect a certain volume of content.
You can easily get around this requirement AND even increase the perceived value of your product by calling it something other than an ebook such as a special report, manual, booklet, or course. Many of these formats can reach much higher price points per page of content – a benefit of re-packaging.
Create An Ebook Question #4 How Do I Protect My Ebook Content?
1. Start by putting a clear, large Copyright Statement on the 2cnd page of your ebook. This won’t deter thieves obviously – but in two of the only cases I’ve found my ebooks being pirated, both were (I’m convinced) unaware that they were not ebooks they had acquired licenses to and immediately removed them – funny story – one of them was a lawyer! Fact is, there are so many resell rights packages floating around today that people can easily mistake your product as one that they have licensed rights to resell, or even worse, re- package. So – make it clear right up front that this is NOT a resell rights product and that the material is copyright.
2. Password protect your download directory – sending the password via automatic email. If you use a fixed password, change it at least once a month (anymore often and you risk increasing substantially your support burden.) If you use this approach, you should send your customer to a page that clearly outlines that they will receive an email in the next few minutes with the password – email delivery what it is – this won’t always happen and you want them to contact you asap so they are not left waiting.
3. You can also explore eBook compilers that compile your content into protected .EXE files – my experience has never been great with these products though given the support problems they tend to create (both in terms of unsupported operating systems and in people not being able to do certain things such as fully scroll, print out pages, etc…)
Create An Ebook Question #5 What About eBook Covers?
You may wonder what is the value of ebook covers and banners when marketing your ebook? Does it really matter, isn’t it more important that the content is solid?
When you market digital products, your cover is often the only visual clue your market will have regarding your product. Professionalism does matter – more than ever now that there is more competition in the eBook market.
You want your product represented in a professional, high- quality way. I still can’t figure out why many ebook writers spend weeks or months writing their product then scrimp on getting their cover developed. It just doesn’t make sense.
The difference between a poorly designed cover and professionally designed ebook cover is often less than $50 – investment you can make back on the first few sales of your ebook. Its not even worth considering, get a professional cover designed. You can find a great deal over at: http://www.infoproductcreator.com/part/killercovers
You may come up with many questions when writing your ebook, at least you now have answers to the top 5 questions that are likely to come up. Most of all, enjoy your writing experience – its a fun, exciting and very lucrative way to make a living.