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Christy Catherine Marshall

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February 24, 2006

Alyice Edrich e-book

We’re back today to finish up chatting with e-book expert Alyice Edrich of The Dabbling Mum, who is telling us how we can write about our passions in an e-book form and build a home-based business — while our kids do their schoolwork or nap.

If you missed yesterday’s interview, you’ll want to read it so you can learn the basics of writing e-books and exploring niche markets. Today, I’d like to learn more details about the selling part (oooh…that word scares me.)

Hi Alyice. Thanks for coming back to tell us more about e-books.

You’re welcome! Glad to be back.

So, if I’ve decided on a topic I’d like to write about, how much do I have to write to be able to sell my ideas as an e-book? How long should an e-book be?

An e-book should be as long as it needs to be to get the point across. Often, people come up with a great title, a great theme, but then leave the readers hanging because they don’t put in the time necessary to write a thorough book.

If you’re writing a book on how to build a tree house, for instance, your book will need to be comprised of things such as: do you need a building permit, how to get a building permit, how to draw up a blue print, how many people will be needed for the project, how to tell if a specific tree is sturdy enough, what types of woods are there and which are best, should you use nails or screws, shingles or cement, etc.

Then of course, you’ll need to decide if pictures should be included and if you use pictures, will they be sketches or actual photos — in which case you’ll need to build a tree house from scratch. Such a book could run 200 pages.

If you’re going to write a book about building a tree house, it does no good to just give a list of rules in 20 pages. People could end up buying too soft of a wood, untreated wood that warps once put together causing a safety issue in the structure, and nails that rust or loosen over time.

So, it looks like writing an e-book is a pretty in-depth process. Is it worth all the time it will take to research?

By taking the time to go into detail, providing more than surface answers, your readers will tell others about your book and you’ll gain more sales through word-of-mouth advertising.

That’s true. If customers are happy, they’ll be the ones telling other people about the product. But the whole idea of selling things scares me!

Marketing e-books is just like marketing any other product. You have to develop a business plan. You have to discover your target audience and then you have to pitch your e-book to that target audience.

You can market your e-book through word of mouth, speaking engagements, published articles, advertisements, press releases, radio interviews, etc.

What about online marketing? Do you have any tips on how we can do some marketing from home?

Sure. Here are some tips I shared with an e-book writer looking to increase sales by promoting from her website:

— Find websites that accept articles about your e-book’s topic and submit articles related to your e-book’s theme.

— Find forums where your target audience hangs out. When someone has a question related to your e-book’s theme, reply with a 250-word answer, then include a brief announcement about finding more answers in your e-book in your tagline.

— Volunteer to discuss your e-book, in an organized manner, in chat rooms that relate to the theme of your e-book. Most authors only think of chat rooms that discuss the secrets of writing and selling their books. While that can be a great place to start, your best bet for converting your time into sales is by targeting your target audience.

What about a blog tour? Is there a way we could do this with e-books?

Yes, blogs are wonderful mediums, and people love hearing from authors. You can visit blogs with subject matter that relates to the theme of your e-book. There are a several ways you can do a blog tour. I’ve written an article about it with more detail.

You can also visit appropriate blogs and leave a comment that truly responds to the post, and then link to your sales page. Or you can ask bloggers to invite you to write short content for their blogs.

And here you are! You’re offering all of us Mom 2 Mom readers useful information in case we decide to try writing e-books as a way to earn extra income for our families. And you’re also helping to market your own e-book.

Well, I feel like we’ve just nicked the tip of the iceberg — and I still have a thousand questions. Is there a place we can visit to learn more?

You can visit me at The Dabbling Mum Press and order a copy of my e-book, Tid-Bits For Making Money With E-books.

Great! We’ll also be sure to check The Dabbling Mum website to learn more. Thanks again for all of your help!

You’re welcome.

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I want to add a couple of things here: I’ve gotten my own copy of Alyice’s e-book, and it’s fantastic — full of practical research and links that would take you forever to find on your own. She also includes a journaling section with questions to help trigger your thoughts about choosing a topic — which would be helpful for couples to work through together. I also learned that Alyice earns a VERY nice income from her home-based business — in fact, she was able to support her family completely for a few years to give her husband the freedom to finish school.

For those of you who have blogs and would like to invite Alyice Edrich to come tour your blog, you can contact her here. She has a wonderful interview with Carmen at Full Contact Christ-Centric Living about how she organizes her office to make sure she stays productive. You can check out the other stops on her blog tour here as well.




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