Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Saturday, October 29, 2005

eBook Creation & Sales

Informational Products are the greatest product since sliced bread. People love to purchase information. And eBooks are great because they are easy to write, easy to produce (no printing costs), and easy to distribute (download or by email). What could be better! In this blog message, I'm going to show what to write about, and what to do after your eBook is written...and also 1 extra "trick of the trade"...as well as some hints on protecting your work! As I posted on Rich's Blog, it's my belief that everyone has at least 1 eBook in them. What subjects are you knowledgable on - what have you done in the past that you can explain for people - have you travelled the world? Tell us about your adventures. Had an interesting job? Tell us! Your eBook can be about anything! I can't really help to write your eBook, all Ican do is offer ideas on what you could write about... Once your eBook is written, you need to sell it. No point in writing up a Book and then not AIS'ing it. Unless it's going to be a loss leader for other products or services, but let's assume you want to sell it..and I'm going to explain to you how to set up an AIS site on a budget... You'll need to convert your document to PDF I write my documents using Open Office - this has a built in PDF maker. Just click the PDF button and you'll be able to save your Documents as PDF! Cost: $0.00 1/ You'll need a Domain Name Simple. namecheap.com sell .info domains for $2.88. Running Total: $2.88 2/ You'll need a website hosting account I use & recommend sitehq.co.uk - one of their "Personal" accounts runs at $55 (actually £29.50 or so, but we're working in dollars for this blog) for the year. Running Total: $57.88 3/ You'll need a website Again, simple. TemplateMonster.com or TemplateKingdom.com sell websites templates from $5 upwards. Let's say you choose one for $30. Once purchased, all you need to do is amend the text and upload to your webhost! Running Total: $87.88 4/ You need a Paypal account! I'm assuming you already have one of these, but if not go to paypal.com and open up an account. It's free! Running Total: $87.88 5/ You'll need a digital download script These scripts work by automatically setting up a download link which is emailed to your client after they pay by Paypal. This makes selling eBooks a true AIS, as you do not want to be manually sending eBooks to your buyers, and your buyers will not want to wait for you to send them anyway! I used dotwidget for downloads which costs $39. Running Total: $126.88 And that is all that you need. Obviously setting up a website and enabling downloads is quite challenging for Joe Public, but should not take more than a couple of days. And once you've set the first one up, any more are plain sailing. So you can see that for the small outlay of $126.88 and some time, you have an AIS that can pay you for years to come - all you need to do is update your eBook now and then and keep on promoting it! If you search Google for "oscommerce ebooks", my sites (or my affiliate's sites occupy the majority of page 1 results)! So, let's assume that you've written the eBook, you've got the domain name, website and script all set up and ready to rock and roll! You've linked the dotwidget to your Paypal a/c and are waiting for orders...now you can use your own knowledge of Promotion and Search Engine Optimisation to promote your product....I'll leave that for now as it goes beyond the scope of this message... One more "Trick of the Trade": Get your readers to write your eBook for you! People who buy your eBook will go on to do more research, or will already have done research. They are a fountain of knowledge. In your eBooks, add a paragraph asking people to contact you if they have problems with your eBook (so that you can make it clearer), or if they have anything to add that you might have missed. In return, offer them a free updated copy of your Book! This works stunningly well. My own osCommerce SEO eBook went from 12 pages to about 22 pages using this method! And finally; when you have your eBook finished, send a copy to the British Library (you do this by email, it's on their site) - if you have any future copyright battles you can always then prove your copyright easily. You don't have to do this, but I think it's a good idea. What you MUST do is sign up to the eBay VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) program - as this will allow you to email the legal team at eBay when you see people selling your eBook...

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!


At 10/29/2005 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

And remember, if you are on a *really* tight budget, you can find cheaper hosting, send the products by email (making it a non-AIS, but saving cost on dotwidget), and make your own website design...

It's in your hands - who will be the one to write an eBook and set up a site...if any of you do, I'll offer one hour of my time for helping set up the dotwidget or the website for free (to the first person who sends me their completed eBook).

At 10/31/2005 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Hi burt,
Tom from DDN here. Been following your blog with interest and am thinking of taking you up on the challenge of writing an ebook. Have even started drafting some content!

Just wondering a couple of things:

- Do you have any advice for the layout/style of an ebook? i've never actually used or bought one before - do you need to include pictures etc? Does it matter if it looks like it was created in something simple like MS Word?

- Not really an issue at the moment - but presumably income from an ebook-based site counts as income, and therefore should be taxed? How do you deal with this issue for earnings from AIS?

Many thanks


At 10/31/2005 01:47:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Do you have any advice for the layout/style of an ebook?

I write mine in Open Office, as a normal "word" document. Some of my book s have iamges, others don't. My eBooks are all just laid as per a Word document...

but presumably income from an ebook-based site counts as income, and therefore should be taxed?

Unfortunately so - would be nice to not pay tax :D

How do you deal with this issue for earnings from AIS?

This is a question better asked to someone with more understanding than me. All I do is fill out a spreadsheet showing my income and outgoings. It then goes to my accountant & he tells me what to pay..

Good accountant: James Smith - hope this helps!

At 10/31/2005 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Thanks burt - I'll keep you updated on my progress!

At 11/01/2005 09:47:00 PM, Blogger richandzhaoyan said...


Just a quick thanks for another informative post.

Alas, the day(/night) job is going to be all consuming up till xmas now. Hopefully I will be able to put some serious time/effort into some of your AIS suggestions in the new year.


At 11/06/2005 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous jared said...

Gary, I am seeing a lot of sites now that look like the 2 linked here: http://www.knowledge-download.com/demo.html

What is your opinion of them?

At 11/06/2005 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Hi J,

The service offered there looks OK - I am not sure of the quality of the website (in terms of SEO/Code/Accessibility etc)...

What it seems to be is exactly as I've posted in my original post, but instead of paying up front (as I've suggested), they supply the script etc for $14 a month...

I think if you want the easiest solution, but be tied to their own product it would be OK to use this sort of deal.

But, if you wanted flexibility to do as you please, it's best to plough your own furrow...

What say you?

At 11/07/2005 07:56:00 PM, Anonymous jared said...

I just think that their websites look terrible. The fonts are too big, the layout is a slick glossy, the whole thing just makes me think "ewwwwww. yuuuck."

To be honest, I really hadn't looked very closely at how good of a service they provide. Their website templates just turn me off. [shudder]


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