19 Quotes to Inspire Indie Authors

16 Apr
April 16, 2014

Nietzsche1882_detailWriting is often difficult work, truly a passionate labor that often bears no fruit for the author. For those times when you want to walk away from your craft, take a word of inspiration from those authors who have felt the same. And then, write on.

Quotes to inspire:

  1. If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. – Toni Morrison
  2. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. – Nietzsche
  3. Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King
  4. Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
    Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window. – William Faulkner
  5. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou
  6. We live and breathe words. – Cassandra Clare
  7. You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children. – Madeleine L’Engle
  8. Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. – Louis L’Amour
  9. To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard. – Allen Ginsberg
  10. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. –  George Orwell
  11. It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it. – Jack Kerouac
  12. Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life. – Stephen King
  13. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. – Ernest Hemingway
  14. Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life. – Hunter S. Thompson
  15. Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King
  16. Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts. – Larry L. King
  17. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw
  18. You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. – Nietzsche
  19. If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. – Stephen King

 

Generating eBook Ideas that Sell

14 Apr
April 14, 2014

ideaThere are many writers who write for the pleasure of writing and who publish eBooks as a form of literature and art. There are also writers (and even those who do not write well – see our series on ghostwriters) who recognize the potential of digital publishing as an income stream. Publishing many eBooks on topics that have the potential to go viral can create multiple streams of income, especially if you sell them from your own website. Determining what eBook ideas to write about requires three things:

  1. Pay attention. Pay attention to what’s being discussed around you. What are your friends and family obsessed with on Facebook? What’s trending on Twitter? What information or entertainment do people always seem to want more of? Example: Hunger Games is a very successful book and movie franchise, and now, books and movies set in dystopian societies are all the rage (e.g., Divergent, The Giver, et al).
  2. Use Google’s Keyword Planner. Google’s Keyword Planner can give you insight into what people are searching for, both words and phrases. You can use their insights about what topics generate the most searches, to determine the topics of your eBooks.
  3. Analyze your most popular blog and social media posts. See what’s trending in social media and on your own site; don’t be afraid to take a peek at what’s going on with your competitors, too.

How do you come up with ideas for your eBooks?

Sell More eBooks on Your Website, Part 2

11 Apr
April 11, 2014

eg webAs an indie author, there is an advantage to selling your eBooks on your own website. Keeping all of the money from the sale of your eBooks is far better than sharing 30 percent or more with Amazon or other publishers.

There are many things you need to do to make your website ready to sell more eBooks. In our previous post, we discussed the need for good security. This week we’ll discuss the need to have a clean, easy-to-navigate website.

People who discover your website through a search engine may arrive anywhere on your site. If it’s not perfectly clear how to buy your eBook, they may never bother. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, with clearly-marked tabs and links. If you have more than one eBook for sale, make it easy for visitors to see everything you have to offer and even easier to complete the purchase process.

Most importantly, make sure your website is visible and functional for buyers using mobile devices. From a responsive web design to a mobile app, the easier you make it for those on the go to access and purchase your eBook, the better, since more than half of consumers now make purchases from their phone or tablet.

Learn more about creating a clean web design to sell your eBook.

Be sure when creating your website that you offer links to your social media pages, to allow your readers and fans to connect with you.

Learn more about using social media to sell your eBooks.

Sell More eBooks on Your Website, Part 1

09 Apr
April 9, 2014

tablet-phoneIf you’ve written an eBook, you may have been shocked to discover just how big of a percentage places like Amazon and other publishers want to retain from the sale of your eBook. If you’ve realized that it’s better to publish your eBook on your own website, where you get to keep all of the money from each sale (and can possibly sell it for less because of this), you need to make sure that your website is set up to encourage purchases. There are four things you need to do to make your website ready to sell more eBooks. Today we’ll discuss the issue of security.

People love to shop online., Most have overcome their initial concerns about online purchasing and have no qualms about buying items online or buying intangible items, such as digital reading material. However, there is one thing that will make people hesitant about buying online more than any other: security. No purchaser is going to hand over credit card information to an unknown or untrustworthy vendor.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to make your customers feel confident about making their purchase from your website:

  1. Make use of a third-party payment system, such as PayPal, where the purchase is secure; you’re not responsible for any of the credit card information and security required to protect it
  2. Use an ecommerce site like Shopify or Magento. EditionGuard has custom APIs for both Shopify and Magento as well as for WordPress, so that you can easily sell your eBooks.
  3. Include a statement on your site that informs customers that the checkout process is secure.
  4. Keep it simple. Do not make your customers create an account (offer that option after the purchase), and do not make purchasing so difficult that they give up before paying.

Want to sell more eBooks and keep the profit? Try EditionGuard free for 30 days!

 

 

Turning eBook Readers into Marketers of Your eBooks

03 Apr
April 3, 2014

eBooks are magic, really. They are more than just words on paper. They are interactive, interconnected opportunities to deeply engage with your readers. You can hyperlink to web pages, detailed research and audio; you can even include a link for your devoted reader to buy your other eBooks. One of the most important things you can do at the end of your eBook is to offer your reader the opportunity to share the news that they’ve read the book.

For this to be successful, you need to make it easy for your reader to share. This means creating clickable images or hyperlinks that prompt them to share your eBook on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, that also include a link to your eBook purchase page.

  1. Create the hyperlinks below, inserting your eBook website where indicated.
  2. Either hyperlink the words that read “Share on PLATFORM” or insert the platform logo button and hyperlink the image.
  3. Encourage readers to share.

facebook logoFacebook

 

Facebook

Bonus: embed this code on your web site for people to share directly from your website:

Facebook Embed Code

Twittertweet

 

TwitterCode

Make sure that %20 is inserted between each word of your book title, and remember to include your call to action.

Bonus:

Embed this text link on your web site:

Twitter Embed Code

Make sure that %20 is inserted between each word of your book title.

googleplusGoogle+

Google Code

Make sure that %20 is inserted between each word of your book title.

 

Do you have a call to action at the end of your eBook to turn your eBook readers into evangelists?

You’ve Written an eBook: Now What? Part Three

31 Mar
March 31, 2014

egYou have written an eBook, and now you need readers. But before you publish your eBook, you should have three types of readers peruse your eBook. The first two types of readers you should solicit feedback from are the preliminary critic (trusted friends and family) and a proofreader. Only after your eBook has passed the scrutiny of those readers’ eyes should you publish your eBook and seek out the third type of reader: the one who will purchase your eBook.

The eBook Reader

You eBook reader is your most cherished fan, someone who will pay you for the pleasure of reading what you wrote. That’s why it’s so important to have the first two types of readers examine your eBook before publication. You want to be sure you are offering your audience the best possible material. eBook readers, if they love your eBook, will be your biggest cheerleaders and least expensive form of powerful marketing.

What You Want from Your eBook Reader

Ideally, readers will read your eBook and love it enough to immediately pick up their phones (or other mobile devices) and call, text and post about the eBook to everyone they know. Of course, you can make this much easier for them by including links at the end of your eBook that allow them to review your eBook, share a link allowing others to purchase your eBook on Facebook and Twitter, and otherwise broadcast their stamp of approval.

 

Next time, we’ll talk about what you can include at the end of your eBook to help foster the support and word-of-mouth marketing of your beloved readers.

You’ve Written an eBook: Now What? Part Two

26 Mar
March 26, 2014

ebookWhat happens after you have written an eBook? In our last post, we discussed the importance of having people read your eBook prior to publishing it. The preliminary critic was the first of these three groups of readers. Of even more importance than the preliminary critic, however, is the second reader of your eBook: the proofreader.

The Proofreader

We are of the opinion that no book, including self-published eBooks, should be published without first being in the hands of a proofreader. Proofreaders look at what you’ve written with a critical eye toward addressing grammar, sentence mechanics and style, ensuring that you put out something professional and intelligible.

What You Want from Your Proofreader

You proofreader should be an expert in the language arts and be someone who can read your material and make suggestions that bring clarity to your work. The proofreader should have an excellent eye for detail and be able to catch spelling errors (particularly those that your spellchecker misses) as well as grammar and punctuation errors. The final version of your eBook will be all the better for the efforts of your proofreader.

Next time, we’ll talk about the most important eBook reader: the reader who wants to buy your eBook.

You’ve Written an eBook: Now What? Part One

24 Mar
March 24, 2014

ebook tabletWhile writing an eBook is a huge accomplishment all on its own, one which should be celebrated with a night on the town or at least a dinner out, the completion of your eBook is, in many ways, only the start.

Unless you have written an eBook for your own personal satisfaction, you’ll want to ask people to read your eBook. There are three distinct groups of readers you should target. In this post, we’ll talk about the reader that successful writers rely on the most: the preliminary critic.

The Preliminary Critic

The first people who should read your eBook are those you completely trust. These people should be honest enough with you that they will tell you when you have lettuce between your teeth or when your shirt really does look that bad. These trusted friends will, therefore, pull no punches when it comes to critiquing your eBook. The preliminary critic is one (of preferably several) who read the eBook before you commence with publication.

What You Want from Your Preliminary Critic

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your preliminary critic is the person who tells you, in a brutally honest but loving way, where the eBook doesn’t make sense, becomes boring or doesn’t transition properly from one part to the next. You want them to read the eBook as if they’d purchased it, giving you thoughts, ideas and feedback that can help you improve your writing and tighten your story.

Next time, we’ll talk about the second-most important eBook reader: the proofreader.

Write Your First eBook, Part 4: Collect Your Best in an Anthology

19 Mar
March 19, 2014

ebook4If writing a lengthy eBook on a single subject is too daunting of a task, consider collecting short stories or poems into an anthology for publication. This can help you get your first eBook published quickly, allowing you to gain experience for subsequent eBooks.

This is part-fourt of our series on writing your first eBook. See part one, part two, and part three for more ideas.

Anthologies are a wonderful way to create eBooks people like to read, and if you’re short on material of your own, you can create an anthology that curates content from a number of different writers. Consider creating an eBook on a particular topic, collecting expert advice from around the globe. You can break up the chapters by topic with multiple contributors (“war poems,” “love poems,” “limericks”), or you can dedicate a chapter to each author. Regardless of how you decide to organize the eBook, creating an anthology with multiple authors can be the start of a long and prosperous series.

There are many different ideas to help you write your first eBook that we have been exploring. If you’re still having trouble getting started, try one of these ideas to help you get moving:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Play word-association games
  3. Create an outline
  4. Create a mind map
  5. Jot down every little thought (even on the back of a receipt) as they come to mind

What are your ideas for writing eBooks? How have you had success?

 

Write Your First eBook, Part 3: Use an eBook Template

17 Mar
March 17, 2014

ebook 3When someone has a story burning inside them that must be told, it can be frustrating when they are unable to transform that story into an eBook. If you are that someone and you’ve tried our free writing exercise and tried recording your story without any luck, don’t worry. We’re not out of ideas yet.

If you’re genuinely having a difficult time getting started but still want to write your first eBook, it may just be the intimidation factor associated with transforming your words into something readable and logical. Sometimes all you need is a template to follow that helps you fill in details as you write. While there is software available that you can purchase to help you write your eBook, you can also turn to companies like HubSpot, who offer free PowerPoint templates designed to assist you with writing and organizing your eBook. A finished eBook using one of their templates can be quickly converted to PDF and be ready to publish in no time.

Even if you don’t use a template, PowerPoint can be a great way to organize your thoughts. Designed as a speaker’s tool, PowerPoint allows you to create an outline of just about anything, with as many drilled-down layers of detail as you could possibly need. It can be a great tool for organizing your thoughts.

Free eBook template resources:

HubSpot

Sage & Scribe

Liam Naden