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Cleaning House and Creating the Perfect eBook

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

creating the perfect ebookWelcome to another Steve Scott Site Saturday link post.  Today’s post will be a quick discussion on some “housekeeping” items as well as a quick discussion on writing eBooks.

With Memorial Day just around the corner, Summer seems to be bearing down on us like an inexorable horde of zombies (Happy Zombie Awareness month!).  While Spring is still here, it is time to start our Saturday chat with a little bit of spring cleaning.

Dofollow

First of off is a little change of business.  Thanks to this nofollow/dofollow post by Ana, I decided to make a small change to my nofollow policy by using the nofollowfree plugin.  What does that mean to most of the comments on here?  Probably very little.

Right now I give away up to two links for each comment.  The “name” block, which has Keywordluv enabled and the commentluv block.  This new plug-in does nothing to change the commentluv block.  It is still dofollow and will be for the foreseeable future.

There is, however a slight change in the “name” (keywordluv) block.  This additional plugin makes it so that a specific “name” has to be used 3 times before it becomes “dofollow”.

For people that have commented in the past, this will be no difference.  Your links will be dofollow.

For brand new commenters, get those three comments in and your links will be dofollow.

And finally for people who use the @yourkeywords from keywordluv, you just have to ensure you get have three comments from each @yourkeywords to make sure that link is dofollow.

Also, regardless of the “name” block, all commentluv blocks are fully dofollow.

Steve Scott Site Blog is now on Kindle

Back in late March, due to a post from Brankica describing how get your blog published on Kindle.  I promptly kept forgetting to mention this for the ensuing two months.

>>>>Check Out the Kindle Edition of the Steve Scott Site<<<<

Since the “customer reviews” on the Amazon page is a cold and lonely place right now, I would greatly appreciate any comments the Amazon members might be willing to leave.  (Comment here)

The great eBook debate

Early this week I did a guest post for Tristan, “Why you already have a money making eBook”.  While I hope the content was good, Tristan asked a few questions in his initial comment, that set off what I think was a lot of interesting comments that may have discussed the topic of eBooks better (certainly more thoroughly) than the post itself.

First off, hats off to Tristan’s followers for a great reception.  The comments were in depth and as soon as I was done with my 3rd or 4th lengthy reply, I decided.  E-Books will be my Saturday “round-up” topic this week.

The first thing I want to point out is for people who do not like eBooks.  I can understand it.  I have a love of paperback books myself, but it doesn’t stop me from reading a ton of eBooks also.  You may not like them and maybe you never will, but they are not going away.  In fact eBook sales have begun to consistently outsell print books.

Next up, Lesley addresses some reasons why you should write an eBook.

Morgan then gives us an interesting idea of turning your Ebook’s into an audiobook.  This is actually something that I have been thinking of doing with my upcoming eBook.  Perhaps paying someone with a good, “voice” to “read” it into an audio file to give it that, “professional” feel, and offering the  audio file as a small, “upsell”.  I am still in the planning stages on this, but of course let me know what you all think.

Finally, Paul is working on creating a free guide to creating eBooks.  (Knowing Paul, this will be something you will really want to get).  His article is short, he simply asks for questions on creating ebooks, but the comment section has some vibrant answers to some great questions asked.

I failed this week – But you won’t

I usually let the articles I read over the week shape my Saturday topics.  This week I desired to write on a specific topic only to find that very few articles I could find, were on topic and “made the cut”.  I spent nearly two hours this morning doing fruitless “this week” Google searches on topics about eBooks and came up with little.

I debated making this a comprehensive, “best of all time” article about eBooks.  Since I know I have read quite a few good ones over the years.

But then I thought about another trend this week; Great discussions in the comment sections.  So I am going to kick this one out to you, the readers.

Do you have any worthwhile articles you have read (or written) that are associated with creating an ebook?

Do you have strong ideas or opinions about eBooks?

What I would like to hear about specifically is articles/comments on:

eBook pricing |  Putting eBooks on Amazon | Tips for making eBooks | Tips for marketing/promoting eBooks |  Finding ideas for eBooks | Beating “writers block” for eBooks | eBook “art” (cover/internal graphics and “offer” art) | How to utilize eBooks you have made | Why someone should want to make eBooks

Please comment and link any articles you have written or bookmarked from others that give some great tips on making eBooks.

I have failed this week in finding a huge depth of articles to go with the few good ones I linked.

But  I know you all will not fail.

If I get enough quality links, I will re-edit this article later in the week (or perhaps write a follow-up) including some of the best of the links to make a comprehensive guide on “how to eBook”.

I appreciate those comments both here and on Amazon.

To get you all started, here are the posts that I have written on writing ebooks over the past year.

Thanks for your time

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 33 comments }

paul wolfe

Steve

I think eBooks are becoming a hot topic. With the ability to quickly publish to Amazon Kindle format – plus the other epub formats too, there’s never been an easier time to get your stuff out there.

A good, free resource which is a basic guide to eBooks is Pat Flynn’s eBooks the Smart Way. If you sign up for his mailing list you’ll get it, and you should sign up because he delivers some great content.

Thanks for mentioning the course that I’m working on for my Opt-In Bonus. I’ve written Module 1 and am hard at work on Module 2. When they’re both in PDF format I’ll send you a draft over….once I get to about Module 4 or 5 then I’ll officially change my opt-in bonus and make this course what you get for subscribing. And yep, it will be totally free. And it should cover eBooks from Idea to Publication and Promotion.

If anyone has a question on eBooks they could post them here – I’ll be watching the comment thread closely – or use the link and hop over and post the question there.

Have a great weekend.

Paul

Christian Hollingsworth

Instantly anyone can become a published author – and it’s working. Everyone’s stuff is out there available to the public. I think a problem we’re running into though; is quality. Quality generally lacks in an eBook vs published book.

Steve Scott

Sure Quality can be an issue. In fact Paul here did a post talking about that.
http://www.onespoonatatime.com/an-open-letter-to-jeff-bezos-please-stop-the-kindle-spam

But I also see it as a good thing. Obviously every Kindle book is not done by a professional. When really bad ones are made, it makes you cringe.

But professional writers are often not really “professionals” in there topics.

The proliferation of ebooks also allows people to really disseminate some powerful ideas that might never otherwise make it into print.

It is definitely a good/bad situation. I see the “dark” side with more low quality stuff. But there is also a good side of the ‘ease’ of publishing ebooks.

Peter Joseph

Nothing harder than managing to actually get someone to publish your book physically. I actually think in ebook’s, it’s better to get someone’s experience than just to hear them blurting out content that you could find anywhere. Quality isn’t always an issue as long as you know what your looking for.

Steve Scott

To a point I think quality really does matter. Lacking a little “polish” is fine, but it should show they at least “attempt” to edit.

You are right, though. The real important part is the information. Not being something read and regurgitated is important. People may not think they know something, but just relating personal experiences and lessons learned can be something that a lot of people would love.

Steve Scott

Thanks Paul,

Appreciate your comments and glad to have you join in here! Your comments both here, in your articles and in the article on Tristan’s site were a large part of the reason I thought this might be a good idea for a Saturday topic.

…So it it fails it is all your fault

J/K 😉

-S

Heidi

I do not dislike ebooks even when I’m a staunch supporter of the printed book. eBooks bring a lot of convenience and keep books from piling up on the floor, and I think it’s here to stay.

Steve Scott

I hear you there. I have been going on another minimalization kick. A big part of that is getting rid of a ton of books. With all the used book stores and such going out of business, it is hard to even GIVE OLD BOOKS away to libraries and such.

Fran the Online Writer

Hi Steve:

Loved your blog post, as it is very popular trend of 2011. I am glad you started your blog at kindle. Next step is to eBook, as this is the right time to take over the Kindle market. ipad market is even more popular than that, because it sells more than Kindle and takes more types of information to read. But I feel because Amazon is more influential, to share their piece of the pie will work better in the long run. I did write a report on 40 years of eBook, that starts from the
Birth of eBook to the Google’s plan for e reader and more Ebook stores. Did not publish it as I just did not feel up to.

Keep up the good work.

Fran A

Steve Scott

Fran,

YOu make some great points. The market for ebooks (and electronic blogs, etc.) is only growing. IPADs, Kindles, Iphones etc. are only going to get MORE popular as ways to read books with time.

Even Amazon is coming out with tablets to compete against the IPAD sometime this year. SO it will only get MORE important with time.

(Amazon is my “can do no wrong” company. Some people are crazy about Apple. Some people use every tool google comes out with. For me it is Amazon, I have been a fan since the days they ONLY sold books.)

Morgan

Hey Steve!

First of all, thank you for mentioning me!

Second, super fantastic that you’re developing an entire eBook on the subject of eBook’s! =) There was this really great article on Hubpages: http://hubpages.com/hub/ebook-creation-software

This just covers software, but it could be a good start? Just looking at all the suggested titles you give there makes me want to write a few more articles of my own on my website. 🙂

Anyway, I look forward to your eBook when you get it all together!

Cheers!

Steve Scott

Morgan,

Glad to have your article! I agree with you 100% (and as I said it is something that I am looking at doing myself) Adding an audio file to your ebooks is something that can only help.

Specifically it just adds extra value and may appeal to a completely different group of people.

I checked out the article on Hubpages it does look like a good one. Pretty in depth and while a big part of it was the software, I thought it went a lot further than JUST that and had actionable tips inside too… so thanks for the addition! 🙂

Brankica@Blogging for beginners

I officially hate WP 🙂 I have not received like 75% of trackbacks for link people give me.

Steve, thanks for the link love and I sure hope you are rocking with those subscribers.

I don’t think you failed and it is hard to find too many awesome posts to share.

When it comes to e-books I actually blindly follow you and Paul W. But I ran into this “challenge” the other day, and it is happening this weekend.

This blogger is going to create an e-book and make it available for sale in one weekend. It might not seem much to you, but it takes me some time to do stuff like that so I was a bit amazed 🙂

I believe this is the post where he announced it and he is on it as we speak 🙂
http://www.bybloggers.net/ebook-in-a-weekend/

paul wolfe

Hey Bran

You can’t blindly follow me! I blindly follow you! That will end up with us going round in circles 🙂

I checked out the post you linked….and the blogger in question is going to create an eBook of 7000 words or so. That’s totally doable for anybody in a weekend if they’re not doing anything else. (I reckon that if the kids were somewhere else I could do it in a day – in about 15 hours maybe!).

The best way to get your eBook done is to outline it, divide it into managable chunks (blog post sized chunks works well for this), and then knock the chunks off one at a time.

Paul

Steve Scott

“You can’t blindly follow me! I blindly follow you! That will end up with us going round in circles”

LMAO!

I agree with your idea for developing ebooks. Only thing I do differently is that I do each chunk in a series of editorial drafts.

(IE first time very rough, 2nd run though gets comeplete sentences and the basic completed version, 3rd run through is typical edit for grammer, spelling punctuation (my nemesis), 4th run through may be a “proofread” by a third party)

Steve Scott

Brankica,

Don’t worry, I woke up this morning, read this comment, and then went to check my “spam bin” for other comments ( I fly through mainly looking for avatars…I often find 1-2 real comments mixing in my spam) And noticed a trackback from YOU mentioning ME in your roundup.

so ditto! LOL sometimes I to hate askimet/WP

My first thought reading that was “no way could you make a quality eBook in 48 hours” I have been working on mine for months after all, struggling to make it really top-notch.

Then I read his write up. 5-7K words. My “free reports” are longer than that and some of my blog posts are nearly that long.

so I changed my opinion. You could come up with a good and tightly focused idea, do a little research, get a title idea, plot it out, write and edit, find a cool cover and even make a landing page in 48 hours.

If your topic is interesting enough and something that really “appeals” to people it could even be something that sell really well.

Thanks for the link, that certainly is an interesting topic and certainly worth peoples notice!

Zengirl @ Heart and Mind

Hi Steve,

It has been awhile, so I thought of dropping by to learn more, changes to site are always good. Are you still traveling?
Ebook is sure way to go, as I heard digital books are overselling compared to paper one, plus it is bit greener (i.e. not cutting down tree!)

Good to see your progress.

Preeti

Steve Scott

Zengirl!

Nice to see you again! It has been a while! Yes, I am back from traveling, got a place, went on another (quick this time) trip and I am planning another 2-3 week trip for later this summer.

I doubt I will do any months long traveling in the near future. I had that experience, and it was awesome, but time for me now to do the shorter travels.

Ebooks certainly are beginning to outpace print books. There have been a lot of “months” this has been true, but it is getting to the point where it is becoming steadily true.

Being a fan of books I see this as good and bad. On one side you can get just about ALL of the classics 100% free on something like a kindle.

That is great

But sometimes i still do love the feel of a ‘real’ book in my hands.

I guess every bit of progress is a step back in “something” 🙂

Avraham HTC

dear Steve: I have a position about the books, they are saturated, there is a large of junk, repetitive, titles such as get money, make money online, affiliate marketing, and doesn’t look to me they are selling at all, everyone is one after the other trying one more way to make an extra buck online. Nevertheless specific fields, it’s possible to find quality content.

Steve Scott

Avraham,

There is certinaly a lot of junk out there. But I also think there’s a lot of room (as you stated) for more quality ebooks.

The port things that people to make e-books do not make the repetitive spammy type e-books.

In fact I am making an ebook on affiliate marketing. It is huge, it has 80k words of really actionable info and is something I have been working on for months. I think it is/will be really good.

But you bring up a port point. That niche is so crowded with Junk and crap, it could be hard to get it noticed. many people have bad preconceptions that the ebooks there will be wasted filler.

Hopefully I will change that opinion… But We shall see

David@Flowers by mail

Ebooks are great because they save you a lot of time, but with the developments technology has made in the last few years, i think that videos has taken away books, ebooks and audios all together. The reason behind this is that they are more interactive and memorable. I personally read ebooks a lot and i can’t remember the last time since i purchased a real book!

Steve Scott

YOu make a great point on videos. I have been starting to put videos on YouTube for this exact purpose. Personally I’m old-fashioned I would rather read it than watch it.

But you are very right… I would say that I am in the minority on that. Many of the people especially the younger generation thrive on videos.

polly@Pole Dancing Poles

I really like the idea that you can change to dofollow/nofollow of one part of the comment and keep it separate from the other part.

This is particularly good because I do fell that keywordluv has a tendency to attract spammy comments, whereas the commentluv has always seemed a lot more genuine to me.

And a note on ebooks – I think that the traditional route of writer, editor, publishing house, reader made sure there was a minimum quality promise. That dose not mean that it is impossible to have quality in self-published ebooks, just that there it isn’t always there.

Steve Scott

Polly,

Thanks. My thoughts exactly on keywordluv.

I agree, there are certain, “checks” that ensured standard level of quality with the old publishing method. There certainly a lot more crap that gets published these days.

It is a strange and delicate balance. It is nice that it is easier to get everything published. Speed in which you can get access to some of his ideas and information is timely.

But there is also no denying there’s also a lot of spam and junk you have to filter through

Mk Akan

Steve,
For naming e-books what i do sometimes is go opposite especially if the e-book is in a popular niche with many other e-books.
for example , instead of writing an e-book titled ” how to make money online ,i will write an e-book titled “How not to make money online” or “Big lies about making money online”.
This make the e-book look different and will pique peoples interest.
And it can be used in any niche…

Steve Scott

MK,

You make a good point. There is certainly a desire to attract readers with your title.
Something like your:
“Big lies about making money online”
Is definitely a title that would draw people’s attention is give you a chance to get your foot in the door with quality content.

-Steve

Matthew Needham

Hi Steve, great idea for a links round up keep it on one subject. That way it becomes a useful resource (and destination in searches).

I’ve just started reading ebooks in any great quantity since buying my iPad 2, I’m slow to see the advantages. Having over 600 books in my office, I’m not wanting to give them up. But there’s certainly some benefits.

I’m going to check out Branka’s post, that sounds really useful for me.

Thanks Steve, Matthew

Steve Scott

Matthew,

OOOO IPAD 2. Nice. Having a kindle and a “smallish” laptop, I haven’t quite seen the “need” to get a IPAD yet, though I admit I am jealous, because they really look, “cool”

I agree, there is still need for -some- books on hand and in paperback, but ebooks do have a great convenience factor.

Fedrick

Hi steve

It was very learning expereince from you esp. about the dofollow and nofollow. I am a newbiee and though i have understood a little about them both, i am yet complete reading your article which i will try to read and come back with questions

Thanks

Steve Scott

Thanks Fedrick,

Hopefully you got some good info from this. The Blogging series under “start here” tab may be a good place for a beginner to start.

I don’t claim to be a “superstar” blogger, but I think those posts have a lot that can get someone starting out up to speed.

Thanks for the comment and hope to see you again

Matthew Needham

Hi Steve,

just wanted to follow up and say this advice about getting blog on the kindle is great.

I submitted my blog and I’m delighted that it’s been accepted!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Big-Red-Tomato-Company/dp/B0052DMGIO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1307082949&sr=8-1

danial karag

Steve,
For naming e-books what i do sometimes is go opposite especially if the e-book is in a popular niche with many other e-books.
for example , instead of writing an e-book titled ” how to make money online ,i will write an e-book titled “How not to make money online” or “Big lies about making money online”.
This make the e-book look different and will pique peoples interest.
And it can be used in any niche…

Read more: http://www.stevescottsite.com/creating-perfect-ebook#ixzz3NlMI4v00

Steve Scott

I like that angle too… You’re right…sometimes going against the grain can get you visibility in a crowded marketplace.

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