Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to something I've not been looking forward to

Starting to write the book.

Seems simpler in planning than in execution.

I've got about 4 overlong text files where I've dumped everything interesting on this subject. Some are paraphrased works, some summarized, some raw texts I'll have to paraphrase or summarize.

Idea is to separate these out by subject into smaller text files. Then make an ebook out of each text file and package them with other ebooks which back up the information I wrote.

Each of these packages becomes a kit, which can be sold separately. Perfect for both autoresponder action and affiliate work.

Once I have all these packages ready, I also have complete high-dollar course to offer. Strip this back a bit and I have an ecourse. Take out all my personal ebooks and those public domain works I can publish - and I can package all these up into a single book.

Nice idea, anyway.

But the heavy lifting is in that initial editing. Article marketing, for one, has just tons of work written on it by, surprise, authors who love to write. The basics are few, but they need to be weeded out.

Another idea is to use these PLR articles as need be to build these books. However, 1) I don't have PLR articles on everything, 2) PLR articles only cover the broad strokes and frequently miss the underlying principles which make it all work.

Editing, editing, editing.

The bright light at the end of that tunnel is that once this is done, I'll be able to get to what I truly love. I should be hard at selling my work to my list and growing it - but this work is following the line that whatever is distracting my attention from that needs to get handled. As well, this product is exactly what I'm going to offer to that list of authors I've been accumulating.

Current strategy is:
  1. Strip those long files down into shorter ones.
  2. Take those sections and write my own articles about them.
  3. Compile these articles into logical sequences and set up that ebook. Some of the longer sections will probably require several ebooks.
  4. Package those ebooks with the relevant affiliate ebooks and tools.
  5. Once I have all the ebooks written, then set up the course, ecourse, and book as above.

Every ebook will be both blogged and squidooed.

After I get everything posted to my server, I go back and update the links on everything, along with opt-in forms and links to squeeze pages.

- - - -

Looks like I'm going to have to review these pages and then write an outline. I've read and done so much in this area now that I can tell you what's valuable, what's not, and what you have to learn and when. That is the sole reason for writing a book - offering someone the chance to learn from your experience.

Reviewing these pages of "dumped" text shows I've repeated the same data several times. Means it is speeding up as I go.

A review of each section will then tell me what I need to factually use and what needs to go where.

Then, as I write the article, I simply cut/paste under that outline section heading. The headings which don't have articles need some (or aren't needed) - those which have tons of non-repeating articles might have to be subdivided to organize the presentation better.

Oh - and if I'm missing an article, I'll simply search my blogs to find if I've already mentioned it. That's why I've been having my Blogger blogs email me, and Gmail simply file those. So Google Desktop Search can find them for me. Ready for my own acid test. (And there are also all those PLR articles I've recently accumulated - some of which might fill that missing link.)

This is the general theory of building this book.

Again, I'll be doing this section by section, so it will speed up as it goes along. There is alot which has been written about articles and article marketing. And there is a lot to be said about running a business from home.

Once I'm through those large-ish sections, the rest will go pretty smoothly.

Such are the tales of getting a book written.

Oh - nearly forgot. I've got to get a press release out about this plan and how I'll blog/squidoo this blook? into life. And how I need people to review my project for accuracy.

- - - -

This process is evolving. When I get all the text files filled up, then I'll open these up with OpenOffice, which gives me much better tools for formatting - and it has a great ability to organize by applying headings that keep me organized.

Then I'll be able to see my progress and also export directly to PDF.

And I'm going through all these PLR articles to see what I have available for use. Some are duplicative, some too simple, some pandering. But many are very good. Styles vary all over the place, so my "editor's highlighting pen" will be ever-ready.

- - --

Intro written, into the first chapter. Found I hadn't specified what was my own writing (which I can recognize) and what I had saved from someone else - for later paraphrasing.

But interestingly, I've found that all these ebooks and special reports are far more authoritative than I am in this. I know what I've studied. So why should I need to reinvent the wheel?

Essentially, I should do what I am really, really good at: directing people to where someone has already been, already left their trail for others to follow - I make sense of things and then draw the map that leads to all the stars' homes.

So my book has taken on a "Web 2.0" scene. A book which is actually a composition and collection of others' books. But since I can't republish most of these, they must exist as an online or downloadable version.

The book I've already written is nearly 200 pages, which is more than sufficient. It is, however just one book. Following that is a guide which tells what to read when. Essentially, I'm writing a course. We lack the terms needed for this.

If I had the time or space (or bandwidth), I'd host a forum on this particular point. But simply, this project ends with my writing this "course". I'll have learned what I have needed to market my books.

The course itself will be offered though an online scene - but I won't particularly be pushing this one. I'll in fact, just cut to the mustard and rename it instead of translating it into another genre - Add the subtitle: Marketing your Lulu book - one writer's journey.

And this makes it possible to write the "book" this week. Then wrap up the "course" next week, along with ecourse and other peripheral products. Post it all on the autoresponder and move on. Start excerpting the book for articles and submitting them. Go back into my blogs when I run that out. Then move on into my real work, which is art and philosophy - both of which appreciate things that work well.

- - - -

Just ran across a very poorly edited PLR ebook. No named author, no copyright notice. Searched on the web and found it showing up all over the place in various sales pages - nothing has the whole thing in one place. Nice, personal style, but the copy I have has been edited down from a longer piece and hacked together into a shoddy free ebook (with "Resell Rights").

The original author offered a nice piece, teaching the rules of pricing strategies. Then some hack came around and hacked it up in the editing. What was nine rules became seven, leaving out rules three and four.

But I have found two incredible tools for getting data: Adobe Acrobat Search and Google Desktop Search. Acrobat is able to search within all the PDF's on any drive or computer you have for a given term. Google Desktop Search is able to do it for any different type of file you have. So when you simply download and save to your computer, these two will then go through and find everything you have on a given keyword or phrase.

- - - -

Still working on this one. Having a great time educating myself as I go along. Like the old saw, "Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, write the textbooks." You learn as a student, then you learn it all over again when you teach someone else how, then you learn a third time when you work to get it into print.

There is another scene I need to check into. Imagine videoing a teleseminar and then being able to transmit this automatically over the Internet on demand. You could sell a course and then deliver it via auto-responder. Of course, it's time-limited - but if you worked out the details, you could offer this course over and over on specific dates and not even have to be there (except the first time). Production values would have to be high - but you could also sell DVD's (Lulu can produce them) of the teleconference if people want to review what they witnessed.

Strictly high-end stuff - and worth a proper penny for that.

I've got podcasts going as a lower step to radio interviews. You could also package these as part of your ecourse, along with email access to you.

- - - -

As I blog and edit, I'm also sending out articles. Now this has gotten easier as I do more of it. I keep a pad close by to note down the sites which continually give me problems. And every four or five articles, I "unregister" that site so the program doesn't send articles to them again.

Initially, I just sent to PR4 and above sites. Then I started sending to PR3 and above sites. Today, I went whole-hog and sent it to the entire list (now down to just over 200). Doing this in such a fashion has pulled off maybe a dozen or twenty sites each time. (Domain expired, won't accept a login, "Bandwidth Exceeded"). It takes a couple of days for my program to get through 200 sites with the hang-ups. I can do the PR4 and above (about 40) in a few hours and get three articles submitted in a day.

But if I can get the hang-ups out of the system, I could submit to 200 in a few hours, which would be ideal.

The next setup is to get a second copy of that program running on another machine, so that I'm submitting twice as fast. I've run two programs on one machine, but they compete for bandwidth internal to that machine. I figure that two machines will play more friendly through the router as they compete to submit articles.

- - - -

Interestingly, Article Marketer continues to send me more articles and authors. I haven't had the time to approve many of these articles, but they keep coming in. I'm up to nearly 700 authors, which is what the key metric I'm looking at.

Once the Online Millionaire Plan is moving along, I intend to give these authors a chance to opt-in. That puts them over onto my A/R where I can turn them into customers.

Oddly, this isn't a scene which is being taken advantage of. I have two article directories which email me on a regular basis. But I'm subscribed to several hundred, so this is an undiscovered resource. Probably won't make it into my book, as then it would become too popular and disappear (even though I found it through Google Search - it's posted on a Squidoo lens in pretty accurate detail).

Just checked my other mail account (which is where I login to my article directories). Approved article emails out-number rejects two to one. Going through the rejects and finding that these also run with the 80/20 rule. Most of the websites will approve your article if it works in the article submission program.

Frankly, the picky ones lose out. I'll take them off my list and send to the others. The only valid ones are lack of length (not over 400 words in the article). The others have mixed reasons for rejecting (I'm not female, I give more than one link in my resource box, generic reject message).

One new one was to only submit to sub-directories, not top directories. That's fairly easy to fix in most cases.

I did see one case where I was enrolled in a list from one of these Article Directories - but that is one of my better directories, so no problem.

I've also seen an uptake in spam - apparently spammers are able to either pull or buy email addresses from some of these article directories. But that's again easy to fix - just alert the email program(s).

But aside from these irritations, you build your article directory list by weeding. Keep to the Article Dashboard sites and those which conform to their standards - and then you can have high-speed and fairly large volume submissions.

- - - -

Saw a critical review of Lulu the other day. Said they have some hundreds of thousands of books uploaded and the average books printed are 1.8 - of course this doesn't take into account the paid downloads, which far outnumber the printed books. I've had some 600 plus free downloads and a tenth of that in paid downloads and printed books (mostly after dropping all but key free downloads).

Not surprising that they get the scene wrong. People are after information - and would rather have it in a downloadable format. Some people like books - but it's a proven statistic for me that I can write, re-publish, and sell books, MP3's, CD's, and downloads.

Traditional publishers don't get it - and this is why they are shrinking in general.

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