Editor’s Note: We’ve invited Heather Hetchler to be a regular guest contributor to the BookBaby blog. Heather is the creator of the popular blog Café Smom, a website devoted to the joys and travails of being a Step Mom. (www.cafesmom.com) In her own words, her vision of Café Smom is “to serve up a hearty cup of uplifting words, encouragement and support, and to connect you with other stepmoms around the world going through exactly what you are going through.”
Now Heather is creating an eBook through BookBaby and we’ve asked her to help document the process in our blog. Without further adieu….here’s Heather:
If you blog with purpose and passion, you have an eBook waiting to be written. Actually, if you have an established blog, your eBook is probably already written and you just don’t realize it. In the beginning of my journey into writing and publishing my first eBook, every time I would think about writing the book (because I always wanted to and felt I had great stuff to share), I would often get intimidated by my own fears. I kept asking myself:
What will I write about?
How long does it have to be?
How much will people pay for it?
How do I do it, because I’m not that tech savvy?
These questions were gnawing at me. But in my heart, I knew an eBook was brewing. I came to realize that all I had to do was look at my blog. What posts received the most comments and/or questions? What posts seemed to spur the most dialogue? Was there a theme for these types of posts?
As I started to really look at my blog and my audience’s interaction with it, I realized I have quite a few eBooks in my blog already and I’m sure that all bloggers would find the same thing to be true.
While I was wrapping my head around the content portion of my soon-to-be book, I realized that in writing advice, tips, and encouragement on a topic, my book didn’t have to be 200 pages in length like a “traditional book.” My eBook could be 30-40 pages and that would be more than sufficient. I thought about myself and what I look for when searching for serious non-fiction books.
If I am looking to learn something on a topic, I want to get the information in a clear, concise way. I don’t want it to be cluttered, and I want to pay a reasonable amount. If I’m looking for how to get my toddler to bed easily, paying $3.00 for a mom’s tried-and-tested method is money well invested. My time is precious to me and I would rather spend a few dollars to download an eBook where all the information I’m seeking is in one place rather than scouring the internet for hours reading different sources and/or different blog posts on the same blog.
Each fear I addressed gave me insight into another. In selling my eBook, my hope is to reach the masses. The best way to do that is keep the book concise and targeted and price it low. The great thing about an eBook is that you get the profit with none of the distribution worries. I don’t have stacks of boxes in my garage waiting for the next order and/or the next time I speak.
When Will I Find the Time?
Make time. Put it on the schedule to work on your eBook. As discussed earlier, take time to go through your blog and/or your emails and see what topics garner the most interest. Pick one topic and start pulling your posts on it. You can easily re-purpose some of your posts as chapters and/or at the very least use those posts as springboards to write on the topic.
Once you get yourself organized and make an outline of how you envision your book, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the process goes.
Get a Co-Author
If you have a fellow blogger that you trust and admire, ask if they would like to co-author an eBook with you. Co-authoring has many benefits. You have a built-in accountability partner as you can set dates on the calendar and send chapters to each other on specific dates to keep you moving forward.
You can proof and edit each others’ work. In terms of splitting the profit from the book, BookBaby makes it so easy to monitor your sales that there is no question about the amount earned to date.
Social Media Maven
If you are a blogger, then you are a built-in PR firm for your book. Once the book is launched, tweet about it, post on Facebook. Create a separate account on Facebook for the book. You could do the same on Twitter. Contact those you’ve met through Social Media and ask to be a guest on their blog, talk radio show or web show. Hosts are always looking for guests and once you have a book to promote, you will automatically become more credible and attractive to online talk show programs.