Back to Writing

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!

Terry Didcott

13 thoughts on “Back to Writing”

  1. We all got bitten by the bug didn’t we?

    Good stuff Terry, and that is great that you will be publishing your own fiction too.

    I have often thought about writing a novel and I may just do it one of these days. But right now just publishing some informative information in book form is a great feeling.

    First one to sell a million wins 😉

    1. Ha! I’ve got a ton of content to put into non-fiction ebooks and I suppose I should concentrate on that first as it’s easiest.

      But I have some short stories already up on another of my websites with a few more ready to go that will make a nice collection for my first fiction book.

      I think that its a case of throw enough mud and see what sticks. 10 books might do ok, but 100 or 1000?

      The sky really is the limit!

  2. I think its quite interesting that there is just us tight 4 who seem to be doing anything about this – to me the upside is never ending – but you’d think someone else would notice LOL !

    1. Hi Lis,

      Oh, I think they’ve noticed! But they won’t do much about it.

      From what I see, the “Warrior” types that are jumping on the bandwagon are putting up PLR crap and thinking they’ll get rich… um quick! All doomed to failure, of course.

      Then there’s the other side of the coin where my email is getting spammed with assholes wanting to sell me the greatest ebook on how to use public domain content to make into kindle books. Like I care. Again, doomed to failure.

      Nope, there will only ever be a few who will really go at this from a writer’s perspective and write real books. With our combo of writing ability and marketing knowledge, we should do very well at this. Quick riches is ain’t. But it should grow gradually over time, like all the best things.

  3. Lis I think people don’t want to go to the effort of actually WRITING a book. Sounds too much like work. 😉

    Hey thanks for the linky love Terry. Will tweet out your post soon (it’s scheduled in my buffer). Good luck with the sales!

    I think 0.99 cents is a good starting point. I’d even create a ‘set’ with all 5 together for, say, $2.99 or $3.99 and put that up as well.

    The more stuff you have up, the more people can find you. 😉

    t xx

    1. Hi Tracey,

      You’re welcome. ‘Bout time I sent you a link!

      I’m already on the “set” idea. Once the five books have been live for a decent while, I’m releasing the “Editor’s Choice Collection or all 100 Tips” or something like that for an very affordable price…

  4. That’s a cool idea re the Editor’s choice thing Terry – I am seeing a whole future of travel tips selections in my future LOL

  5. Sweet, Terry – and Lis, it’s not just you four. I’m just taking my time. 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to publish short stories for a long while, actually long before there was an internet (if you discount ARPANET).

    But I did have a question, may seem silly but you lot seem the ones to ask at present: have you all considered releasing the same book as a print-on-demand at Amazon?

    I mean concurrently with the Kindle version? I know the market trends being what they are would cry foul of that idea, but not everyone has hopped aboard the Kindle bandwagon.

    1. Hi James, to be honest, I hadn’t considered that option. There are still plenty of people who prefer to read dead tree book, me included. To my way of thinking, my eyes are assaulted by a computer screen for countless hours every day so its nice to get away from electronic visuals and read a real book!

      But plenty more people read stuff on android devices, iPads, mobile smartphones etc who don’t own a kindle and that side of the market is catered for by smashwords.

      I’m not sure I’d go that route for the reconstituted web content non-fiction, but for “real” fiction, I just might have to check that option out.

  6. James, yes i plan on doing print versions through createspace.

    It’s on the to-do list. Will get to it one of these days 😉

    Layout and everything is a little more complicated however, so it’s not as ‘easy’ as just putting it up like you can with ebooks.

    Plus my main issue right now is that the ebook is kind of short for a ‘real’ book, and therefore it’s not big enough for a spine so I’m wondering if it would look weird on not.

    But I’d definately like to.

  7. Its the length thing that I have problem with as far as DTBooks are concerned – shorter is better for online reading – but fatter makes a better looking “book”

  8. Well I am going the young children’s book route, which I have wanted to do for a long time, and now all of a sudden it is simple and cheap to get them published! Mine will prob be ready in few weeks, as have to sort out the illustrations. But am SUPER excited, thanks again all of you! Of course, we will have to see how my little ebook is received I guess before getting too excited, but we’ll go with the good energy!

    1. Hi Abigail, that’s an interesting idea. I have no idea how kids books sell for Kindle, but I imagine plenty of parents would be interested considering the often over-inflated price of paper books for kids.

      It amazes me how much can be charged for a book containing a dozen or so pages each containing maybe a sentence or short phrase of something really simple plus a big illustration. The “Maisie” books spring to mind – cost a fortune and my 20 month old daughter loves them (more for the pictures, I hasten to add LOL).

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