9 Key Benefits of Writing a Short eBook

Publishing a high-quality book of any kind is a great thing to do. It showcases your expertise so you can attract people to your list and find new clients. Somehow, putting something in writing – and doing it well – instantly conveys the message that you are knowledgeable, capable and confident in yourself and your topic. If you believe writing a book has to be a time-consuming and slow process, I am here to show you that there is another way, and it’s called an eBook (Kindle, Nook, Kobo or iBook).

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5 Secrets of Successful Authors

There are probably more than 5 secrets of successful authors, but these five secrets are critical and if you do everything listed here you will publish with far greater success. There are exceptions to every rule, but there are also patterns that recur. When it comes to success in publishing, there are always stories of authors being rejected time and again who go on to be multi-million bestsellers. J K Rowling and Agatha Christie are two names that spring to mind. Publishing isn’t always logical; there are often surprise successes – and failures. That’s what makes it exciting.

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Someone else has written your book

The fear that someone else has written your book is one that holds back many aspiring authors from writing their book. The only way to discover the answer to this question is to go and do some research (see my blog posts on online and bookshop research). Once you know the answer to this question, you can move forward. In the meantime, let’s look at some of the main triggers for that fear that someone else has written your book.

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How to handle a major competing book title

Books on the same topic are being written all the time. It is nuances like the design of the cover, the content, style of writing, expertise of the author, length of the book – and a whole slew of other factors that makes one book more appealing than another to a particular set of readers.

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How to do online market research for your book

The Internet is a vast ocean of information and it is easy to drown in it. That’s why, whenever you set out on the high seas of the Web, you need to have an idea of what you are looking for. Before you begin doing online market research for your book, you need to know what you are looking for and how to find it. I can almost guarantee that whatever your book – or indeed your business – is about it will have already been done by someone else; it is a crowded marketplace and if you expect to be alone in it, you will probably be disappointed. Given that you will find that someone else has already written ‘your book’ it is important to remember that no two people can write the same book, even if the title and topic are the same. You will always bring your own unique perspective, knowledge and personality to a book and it is this that will make your title stand out. What market research can do is to help you to see how you are different so you can emphasise that difference and use it to differentiate your book from others. That said, I know it can be demoralising to go snuffling around out there only to find someone has already done what you are planning to do. Do not let that get you down. Seeing that someone else has already done it can tell you a lot if you know how to interpret the information you get. How to do online market research for your book The obvious place to start looking for information about what other books are out there is, of course, Amazon. The second place is Google. What you can learn on Amazon: Amazon’s search results will tell you if there is another book with...

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How to do Market Research for Your Book in a Bookshop

Back in the day, when I was a commissioning editor, market research was pretty basic. It consisted of visiting a variety of carefully selected bookshops in London to see which, if any, books they had on their shelves that were on the same subject as the book I wanted to publish. To get the most comprehensive picture of the market, I always went to stores of differing sizes and locations around central London. I would also visit my local bookshop at the weekend and go to a bookshop in a suburb of London if at all possible. As I couldn't easily do research outside London, I would sometimes ask our sales reps for feedback as they spent a lot of their time visiting shops in smaller cities and towns. Our reps had often been in the business for decades and they were always useful sources of information, and opinion! As an aspiring author, you would probably expect to do most of your market research online because this gives you far more information than can be found in a local shop. That said, there are still some important lessons from my old-fashioned market research that may make you want to consider visiting a few shops. Here is what the shelves could tell me: If a bookseller stocked a book, it meant that it was selling (otherwise it would not have got shelf space). If there were more than two or three copies of one book on the shelf, it meant it was popular. If there were a lot of books on one subject area and on related subject areas, it meant that it was hot topic. If there was one book and it had been published a few years ago, it indicated a gap in the market (the book was stocked so it was selling but there...

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