Saturday, February 11, 2012
Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook: A Testimonial
Disclosure: I received a copy of the ebook for review. All statements and opinions below are my own.
Last January 2011, I took an on-line course offered by "Sister Diane" Gilleland of the Craftypod all about writing and publishing crafty ebooks. Recently, Diane has turned the very same course into a jam-packed 84-page ebook entitled: Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook. I've read the ebook from cover to cover and it is essentially an updated, written version of the on-line course.
Today I want to talk about my experience with the course/ebook, what I learned, and how the course helped me. Does that sound fair? Okay, here goes.
To begin, I want to direct your attention to the author's own ebook repertoire: here and here. Yes. Diane has written and published a goodly number of ebooks. As you can see, she's been there. She has stared the blank screen in the eye. She has survived the technical trenches. So I ask you: "Who better to tackle the subject of writing ebooks?" Probably no one.
So what ever did I learn from Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook exactly? Um... well... that's a big question with a large answer.
But okay... I learned that there are things you should probably explore before you jump into an ebook project. Like, who's your audience, how much will it cost you, has your ebook already been written? I learned about the numerous skills required to rustle up an ebook document. For instance, I found out that there are different types of editing, there are different types of writing, you may have to become familiar with new types of software such as layout software, photo-editing software, pattern-making software to make the ebook you want to make. She touches on all of these things.
I learned oodles of new and practical bits and bobs. I found out how to get more out of Google searches through Google Blog Search. I had never heard of it. Now I use it constantly. I learned about ISBN numbers and why they may or may not be useful for ebook authors. Diane also provides a pricing formula for your completed ebook and discusses the vagaries of print book pricing versus ebook pricing.
Through the course I found out about the many ways in which one might sell an ebook. For example, I learned all about E-junkie, a company that provides you with "the stuff" for selling downloads. E-junkie hosts your large documents and offers you shopping cart technology, you see. This information has been essential to me.
And Sister Diane is nothing if not thorough. At every turn, she lays out the options and shows you the possibilities. For example there are copious strategies to help you market your ebook: the electronic press kit, engagement marketing methods, and storytelling partnerships to name a few. She provides examples of each, explains them in detail or links to outside sources that do. I hadn't a clue about any of these before I took the course.
Diane offers up some really solid advice in the book. To get your feet wet in the on-line publishing world, she suggests starting small with a single tutorial. An exercise like that could teach you a lot. Not only could it get you comfortable using all the ebook-making tools, it could also give you insights into how much time certain tasks might take, what skills you will need to work on... etc. In fact, writing a tutorial is exactly what I did to start. So far I've written several PDF tutorials and have decided to write some more before I kickoff any large ebook projects. I expect, by the time I get to the ebook stage, I will be more confident, more knowledgeable and better organized, which will make birthing an ebook a somewhat less laborious task.
I think Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook is a great ebook. What makes it great is the fact that Diane holds up her own ebook writing and publishing experiences as an example. She shares her own stories, statistics and real-life adventures to illustrate where she's gone wrong and what she's done right. She does that in order to pave a smooth road for her readers, one that avoids some of the bumps she's encountered. She shares her very own tried-and-true process for making an actual PDF ebook document. That is pretty cool of her, don't you think? It's real, and it's darn useful too.
I went into the course empty-handed. I had NO idea. But I feel like I left the course with a trunkful of power tools. It took me a while to work up the nerve to actually use them, mind you. Some of them were intimidating, it's true. Eventually though, I bit the bullet and revisited the course materials. And over the last few months, that course has had a huge impact on me and my work. As you may have noticed, last September I went into business for myself. From my blog, I quietly opened my very own on-line shop where I sell PDF downloadable tutorials. I'm learning so much from my shop experience. Having a shop would have been impossible without Diane and her course/ebook.
So by now you probably get it. Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook has been an invaluable resource to me. If you're considering self-publishing, this ebook contains everything you'll need to get started.
Click on the above link to check it out!
And Diane. Thank you. I think I might owe you.
Note: All photos in this post by Diane Gilleland from the ebook Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook.
Note: I want to take a moment to extend a special thank you to Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes for the lovely and unexpected feature post on Thursday. Thanks so much Pam!