Well, well, well. How things go full circle. I came into Internet Marketing in 2006 after trying my hand at writing short stories and even got three quarters of the way through a full length novel but not getting anywhere with them. Well, now I’m going back to writing and this time around, its a lot easier.
Easier in the publishing department, at least. I can now publish books electronically via Amazon so people can download them onto their Kindle readers for a fair price. I can also publish via Smashwords to get the same book formatted onto just about every other kind of electronic reader in existence.
So it doesn’t matter whether you own a Kindle, iPad, Android powered tablet or an old fashioned (!) laptop PC or Mac. You can download my books. If you want to read them, that is. Maybe you will, may you won’t. Chances are this will start slowly and gradually build up over time. That’s fine by me, as I’m not in any hurry.
Oh, before you read too far down, this is not going to be a “how to” post, there are some really good blog posts that explain and discuss the mechanics of self publishing electronic books (see below for the links). Ok, you have to read further to get the links, so you’ll just have to put up with my ramblings to get there!
Where was I? Oh yes, the reason for switching back to writing. I still make my living from Internet Marketing, so its not as if I’m desperate to claw money to me. I do just fine with what I already have. But for me, its just not enough.
I have a short attention span and am always trying new things. I get bored with old things fast and want to inject some new interest juice into my life often. Internet Marketing was (and still is) interesting to me because its constantly changing. It takes a lot of continued learning to stay on top of things, which is good for me.
Several days ago, I got a fire lit under my backside when my good friend from New Zealand, Lis wrote on her blog a post that talked about HubPages is a Train Wreck – And The Next Big Thing, the next big thing being publishing ebooks on the Kindle and how it was possible to use my own existing website content to reformat into books. She has since written several more posts to explain how this is all done, which you can read on her blog: Passive Income Online. Lis has also published her own travel ebook (check out her blog for more details).
Around the same time, the other Brit ex-pat Internet Marketer living here in Sunny Spain (and up a mountain, too) Dave wrote his post on the same subject at Inspiration: Publish Books On The Kindle, which also brought another friend from Australia into the discussion, Tracey Edwards, who it turns out had beaten us all to the starting gate and is already a published author.
All of that, in the space of a few days was just too much for yours truly to ignore. My first thought was to grab a set of weight loss articles that I have on a certain website of mine and put them all together into a massive 50k+ word ebook with 100 weight loss tips.
Why not? The content is already written, I own it because I wrote it. But conversations with the others made me rethink and I took Lis’s suggestion that it would be better to split the book up into 5 volumes. Marketing tactics would come into play by putting the first book up either really cheap (99c) or even free to get some interest moving and then to price the other 4 at maybe $2.99 each. So that’s what I did. Or am doing.
The first book is now live on both Amazon and Smashwords for 99c. I think that’s pretty cheap for over 10k words in 20 chapters worth of solid, useful weight loss advice and tips. Um, you may have noticed the shameless plug over on the top right of this page… that’s the book cover and the link to both Amazon and Smashwords if you have an inkling you might just want to grab a copy to see what its all about!
The other 4 books are going to be drip fed out a week or so apart to let the momentum build slowly.
So that’s where I am right now. The plan is to put out some more non-fiction in the weight loss niche, since I just so happen to have rather a good, in-depth level of knowledge in that area, what with spending several years as a qualified hypnotherapist in the UK specializing in weight loss as well as anti-smoking and hypno-analysis (psychoanalysis).
I also want to get back to the fiction I was writing a few years ago and jump start that side of things. Its another avenue of potentially good revenue plus its something that interests me, I enjoy doing and I’m pretty good at (ok, enough of the smug conceit).
The only dilemma for me was what name to publish under. Most writers use a pen name and I have been wrestling with how to do this. I’ve spent 5 years branding myself with my real name, so I don’t want to waste that. At the same time, I have a crappy surname that doesn’t really instil a sense of “coolness” that a good fiction writer must portray. The solution?
I’m going with a pen name, at least for my fiction books and short stories. Name to be announced when I’ve dreamed up a suitably “cool” one. For the weight loss and other non-faction, I’m publishing under my own name.
There, a whole post about writing and not a single “how to” in sight. S’there!