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Obsessed with books, eBooks, marketing, & chocolate.

6 eBook Tools That I Can’t Live Without

June 25th, 2012 . by Peggy

Part of my job is to try all sort of things that help Authors. Here, I’ll show you six things that I’ve personally tried, and that are really helping me with various things related to online marketing and eBooks.

1) Evernote is great for;

- web-based research, saving web pages

- take a pic of a white board, it saves it as searchable text

- recording audio notes to myself (using the associated FREE Android app)

- my to-do lists and perhaps even dictation on the go

2) Smashwords is great for;

- reviewing an excellent style guide when formatting your eBook for almost any platform

- uploading an eBook to multiple platforms at once, including Kindle and others

3) Audioboo.fm is great for;

- quick podcasts using only my Android phone

- interviewing Authors and Experts with no prep or notice

- immediate, no editing, low-tech

- finding other 5-minute podcasts to listen to, both at home and on-the-go

4) MailChimp is great for;

- growing and managing my email list

- designing and sending out really nice-looking newsletters

- pay only as I need to and my list grows

5) MindMeister is great for;

- outlining before I write eBooks, white papers, audio products, and blog posts

- setting goals and outlining the tasks I need to complete to achieve them

- org charts, planning websites, and even illustrating processes to clients

6) Visual Thesaurus is great for;

- the obvious (an interactive thesaurus like no other)

- brainstorming domain names, eBook titles, products, and keywords

- try changing the settings and watch things fly around!

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The 5 Most Stupid Things People Do With Their eBook Business

June 8th, 2011 . by Peggy

I’ve often said that it is our duty as entrepreneurial publishers to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Like our Mothers in the 1960′s and 1970′s, we are paving the road for those who come after us. If we make eBooks and entrepreneurial publishing look cheap, unprofessional, or just plain awful, what are we doing to the next generation?

Here are the mistakes I see all the time that make me crazy.

1. We seek out the ugliest possible cover design.

Please, I’m begging you, hire a designer. A professional. A person that has done this before. A person with training. Have them do a few different samples (not complete designs) and run them past your creative circle. Remember, you’re looking for readability, a graphic theme that clearly states the book’s intent, and no half-faded images. And remember, NO CREEPY FONTS. I will find you.

2. We don’t make use of affiliate marketing.

These things don’t sell themselves, people. I always endorse a self-operated affiliate program first, but if your book is on Amazon, set yourself up as an Amazon affiliate. Using their simple automated system, create banner ads and other affiliate links for your own products. Push these links out through your Twitter stream, your Facebook page, your podcasts, your iTunes content, your blog, your charitable fundraising connections, your reviews, your classes, your signage, on your business cards, your newsletter, etc. Be a little pushy. (But not too much.) Create a URL that you can promote that links directly to a page with your own products. (See the next post for how to do that.)

3. We think we’re going to make $120,000 a month.

Around these parts, here on Vancouver Island, there was a story about a woman in Cedar, BC, that did over $120k per month in nothing but Kindle eBooks. While I doubt the truth of that, even if it was the case, she doesn’t do that in her sleep. She’s working – probably really, really hard. Or at least, really, really consistently. She runs it like a business, which means she has specific things she does over and over again, and on a predictable basis. She meets deadlines and hires help. And, we’re not talking about one eBook. We’re probably talking about hundreds – possibly thousands. So, until you’ve gone through the ramp-up phase, don’t expect to be buying anything more than a Friday night round at the pub with eBook revenue.

4. We don’t get off our high horse.

I not too proud to know I’m not a literary giant. I make my money writing marketing stuff, for the most part. I’m a small fish in a massive ocean, but I work it. I have no qualms about promoting my stuff when it’s appropriate (vs. when I would just be harassing people).I consider most of what I do as a writer is marketing work, not great writing. No, my mom doesn’t think I do a very good job on some of it. But I know that I’m meeting the objectives of my clients. I don’t write romances or the next Great Gatsby or children’s lit, because although that sort of lit comes into my house on a daily basis, I have no illusions about myself as some great fiction writer or novelist. Yes, it would be nice to make my living doing that, but I still have the screenplays in the bottom drawer, and the novel that I peck away at when I can. It’s more like an extremely enjoyable hobby. And even if I did ever offer anything like that for sale, I wouldn’t have any snobbery about where I placed ads, or where I was “represented”. I’m here to sell. Show me the money.

5. We don’t write another book.

I have recently completed eBook number 155. That sounds like a lot. I can tell you, it feels like even more. Many of them probably don’t get read, like, ever. But I am not offended by this. They are often given away as free reports or client gifts. Remember the volume principle: one book makes $1 a day. Ten books make $10 a day. And so on. The eBook business is a template business – you do the same thing over and over again. There is an expression in the book business: the second book takes 1/10th of the time to create and makes you 10 times the money. In eBooks, it might be 100 times the money.

Plus, I now have a reputation. I can write almost anything, because what I am is a good Technical Writer – I specialize in breaking down complex topics and making them easy to understand. I’ve proven my template, and it works to meet my clients’ objectives. They won’t always pay for originality, but they will pay for what makes them money.

Topics that I’ve researched and then written include WWII weaponry, high-speed Italian cars, and ancient Egyptian enbalming techniques. But most of it is things like how you can buy stocks, how to get a mortgage as a single mother with no money, how you can sell a business in Illinois, how you can buy a house in Mexico, how you can amalgamate all your debts with a second mortgage, how to start a business in Nevada, and other incredibly dry topics that make my hands shake when I think about them. But, it’s about continuity. I get the work regularly because I’ve done it before.

The eBook business is about business – not always about literature. It’s about creating a community about your book. It’s about connecting through your marketing, not just pushing, pushing, and pushing. We all make mistakes – I discover new ones every day that I’m making – but taking things in perspective helps me stay grounded and keep working. “Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing…”

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I’m Going To BlogWorld Expo 2010 #BWE10

October 10th, 2010 . by Peggy

I’m heading to BlogWorld Expo (#BWE10) this week, this year to focus on podcast and blog syndication. I’ll be live tweeting (@peggyrichardson) from the conference, including a mixed bag of speakers and conference sessions.

Last year, I had a similar mission, to learn about video blogging. But this year, having changed some of my podcasting approach to be more spontaneous and less edited, I’m now eager to learn more details about things like syndicating my podcasts, expanding my audio podcasting efforts, and learning more about the relationship between blog content and the various types of RSS syndication.

This year, BWE has slightly changed their approach as well. They are now the largest social media conference, and they’re actively promoting the social media aspect of the show. The speaker list reflects this, and @AngelaCrocker will also be livetweeting from the sessions. She and I often have different takes on these issues, so it may be of interest to compare her notes to mine. We may be in man of the same sessions, or we may not.

If you have any questions or things you’d like me to explore while I’m there, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to answer your queries.

If you’re also attending, please introduce yourself! I’ll be the tall geeky chick hanging around with the other tall and slightly-less-geeky chick, @AngelaCrocker, one of my fellow @TheBookBroads.

Tweet you later!

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Blog World Expo Video Wrap-Up

November 3rd, 2009 . by Peggy

Here’s my short video spilling some of the great items I found on the show floor (figuratively, not literally…) at Blog World Expo 2009.

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Going to BlogWorldExpo.com

October 10th, 2009 . by Peggy

I’m heading to Blog World Expo again this year for some educational fun. Speakers this year include Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and Chad Vader.

OK, I admit I’m most excited about seeing Chad, the internet video sensation created by Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda. Everyone’s favourite grocery store night manager, Chad has captured more than my own heart. (Even George Lucas gave it his thumbs up.) My main mission at the Expo this year is to go to sessions about podcasting, and the brains behind Chad Vader’s viral video success are two that I wish to pick, if only from a safe distance, down there, in the audience. Perhaps I can sit next to Chad’s girlfriend Clarissa.

What’s your own podcasting mission for your enterprise? Lately, I’ve become more bipolar in my own approach, as I created a more polished set of videos for TheBookBroads.com’s YouTube channel, and yet streamlining my “joie de le moment” approach for certain cell-phone generated video content. (Soon to be released.) There are advantages to each approach, and I enjoy doing both.

I will be interviewed and interviewing all weekend at the show, October 15th through the 17th, from the show floor and various locations around Las Vegas. You’ll find any new videos at the Wizard of eBooks’ new YouTube channel at YouTube.com/wizardofebooks.

I’ll be happy to do my best to honour any special requests for specific blog or podcasting-related info from the show made via email, Twitter, or comments on this blog.

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The New Wizard of eBooks

September 3rd, 2009 . by Peggy

You’ll notice that I’m no longer primarily referring to myself as Humanus Publishing, but now by my nickname, the Wizard of eBooks.

In practical terms, this does mean some changes. Our mission is now more closely focused on creating, editing, and marketing what we call “next generation” books and eBooks. I’m also going to indulge myself in more professional podcasting in the form of interviews and corporate messaging, and coaching for WordPress (the blogging platform on which this site is built), both of which have been particular passions of mine for some time now. You’ll notice that both of these will be featured shortly on my Services page, which is the next thing on my long list to be re-vamped.

We still hold a special place on our bookshelves for the Self-Published Author: a symbol of independence, and the new wave that is sweeping the publishing industry. If you were worried that we had forgotten about you, please don’t! But perhaps we should change the term to be “self-empowered” – if you’d like to know what that feels like, give us a call toll-free at 1-866-907-4084.

May I say Thanks to my wonderful clients, friends, and mentors for all of your assistance as I make this shift. I’m extremely grateful for your honesty, your knowledge, and your faith in our alliance.

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The Ghost CEO Chris Flett

December 3rd, 2008 . by Peggy
Chris Flett - Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

Chris Flett - Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

Tune in LIVE this afternoon when I’ll be interviewing Author Chris Flett. His book What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business is published by Wiley in Canada and the USA, and he’ll be here to talk about marketing, especially for female entrepreneurs and authors.

To listen LIVE, click to:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Peggy-Richardson/2008/12/03/Women-Authors-Interview-with-Ghost-CEO-Chris-Flett

I invite you to call in to the show with your questions from Female Authors at (347) 205-9352. This is a great opportunity to ask a well-respected speaker, author and entrepreneur about your own business.

If you don’t want to dial in live, you can also submit questions via the live chat window available at the link above, or via skype at my user ID: “peggy.richardson”.

See you on the air!

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OOPS – The Grinch Stole My Podcast

December 2nd, 2008 . by Peggy

My apologies to anyone who was listening today to my BlogTalkRadio.com Christmas special broadcast when we hit dead air about 1/2 way through. There is a “dead zone” in the middle, but if you hang in there, I do actually pick up again not far from where I left off.

It’s a good thing nobody heard my bad language when I realized that the switchboard at BlogTalkRadio had crashed – this is a family show, after all! We did have callers that were cutoff while waiting on hold, and I have no way of finding out who you were. If you comment below and identify yourselves, I promise I’ll make it up to you with a free book from one of my authors, shipped to you just in time for Christmas. (Limit to the first 5 people who comment, please.)

Join me the day after tomorrow when I return to my regular schedule, as Author Chris Flett will be my guest. Chris’ book is published with Wiley, and is titled, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening up the Alpha Male Playbook”. We’ll be talking to Chris about female authors and marketing / positioning your book business.

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Blog Talk Radio – The Christmas List

December 1st, 2008 . by Peggy

Here are the the cool Christmas goodies that I have on my advance list for the show that was broadcast today, December 1st on BlogTalkRadio.com, “Christmas Gifts for Bloggers, Writers and Podcasters”. If you missed the show LIVE, you can listen anytime for free using the player in the blue and black box in the column at right.

These links are in no particular order. Thanks again to all those who took the time to respond and send me links to great products. I’m truly sorry that I didn’t have time to talk about all of them on the air.

Thanks for listening! More great shows about publishing and marketing air every second Wednesday at 3:30 pm Pacific Time. Check us out next on December 3rd, when we will have co-host Chris Flett, the “GhostCEO”, on the show to talk about book marketing from a female author’s point of view.

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Thanks again to KimPossible

November 19th, 2008 . by Peggy

Thanks so much to Kim Plumley for being my guest on BlogTalkRadio.com today. She gave us all sorts of free advice for publicity and book / small business promotion, and lots of laughter to boot. (I just love a quirky show!) My apologies for all the technical glitches, but thanks again to anyone who sent in their question via email or the chat room. I hope that we were serious long enough to give you quality answers to your questions.

The next regular show is on December 3rd, where I’m fortunate to have Chris Flett, founder of Ghost CEO as my guest. Chris is the Author of the book What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook. [ISBN: 978-0470145081] Chris is an expert coach for women in business, including female authors. Again, we will be taking your calls live on the air, and via email or comments to this blog.

Aside from our regularly scheduled show, I’ll be hosting a 30-minute Christmas special on Monday, December 1st, where I’ll share all sorts of amazing goodies with you! My topic is Best Gifts for Bloggers, Writers and Podcasters, and there are all sorts of incredible items on my shopping list, believe me.

See you on the air!

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