With all the information on the wild, wild, web, as I went through the process of writing and publishing my eBook there was so much I didn't know and I was surprised at how hard it was to find the information I needed.
You Spend a Lot of Money on Consultants
If you are someone reading this who is blogging and social networking, do you ever get tired of all the things you DON'T KNOW about it all? I do. The following story is a very good example:
When I finished that photoshop course last month, I came home and started working on changing the rotating image on the front of my site.
I took the course so I could be more independent and save the monthly maintenance of paying someone to change the images every week. The one thing I needed to learn I could not remember. So I had a meltdown.
In case you don't know this about me, I don't suppress and push down my feelings. I talk (sometimes loudly) about it until I feel better (much to the chagrin of people closest to me). But this time I was alone in the house.
Then I called Brian Liu, my awesome eBook designer and found out that I was using inches to try and crop the image when I should have been in pixels. Crisis averted (well not really, but you know what I mean).
An eBook in PDF format is available for anyone with a computer.
So after my eBook was ready to be laid out, I just assumed that it would have to be sent somewhere to get formatted so that you could turn the pages like the on-line magazines. Then I thought only someone with an iPad, or eBook reader could buy it. We were delayed an entire month because it was only when I had one conversation with an eBook designer that I realized what a PDF eBook is.
It's like any document that you receive that has been saved in PDF. You can't make changes to it. And that's it. It means anyone that has a computer can buy one. It just needs to be laid out so it's pretty and you're done. That's what Brian did for me.
You won't get rich from writing an eBook.
Anyone who wants to get their book published gets this advice, "Start a blog, get a twitter account, build a large following. You are much more likely to get a publisher to publish your book if you already have an established following. Or, if you sell it on your website, you will have a fan base already with readers that will buy it."
And I have all that [a large following] so I thought, "At least I have this part down."
You'll laugh when you read this but I truly thought that once I published my eBook–you know the one that people kept emailing me asking when it would be ready–I would finally have made it! I would be able to buy a house in the city (which has just been named the #1 most expensive city to live in the world) and feel like a normal person.
I naively thought that at least 1% of my readers would buy my book. With 140,000 readers per month I generously rounded it off to 100,000. That's 33 books a day at $30 each, well you can easily do the math. That did not happen, far from it.
Here I have written a book, saying something NEW about colour, with a system no one else in the world has that makes it so much easier to save you and your clients a lot of money by choosing the right colours and finishes in the correct undertones. Well I was convinced the planet would beat a path to my store. Haha, well not yet anyway.
How much should your book cost?
Here again, we were in a dilemma. If the book is too cheap people won't think it has value. If it's too expensive, the professionals would buy it but the design enthusiast or DIY reader might not. Again, we consulted with an ebook professional and he deemed $30 to be a good price. Not too expensive, not too cheap that it would be perceived as not having value.
Also you can charge more for how-to books (we were told) because learning how-to do something you didn't know how to do yourself before, immediately saves you money.
So far 75% of people who have bought my book are professionals so again it became clear to us that $29.99 was probably too much. It doesn't matter that people tell me it's worth every penny.
What about interior design books? They are even more expensive. And I know you get to hold it in your hand, big difference.
But do you know what it costs the designer whose beautiful pages you are looking at? $150,000 on average. They have to pay for the photography, layout, etc, etc. And they sell an average of 5,000 copies if they're lucky for a profit of $2 each. So it's really a very expensive way to show your portfolio to prospective clients.
How much Time does it take to write?
If I had not found Irene to help me I'd still be talking about it. Without her help, 3-4 months of doing nothing but blogging and writing would have turned it out. But I wouldn't have been able to do any other consulting or decorating at all.
Of course it depends on how big the book is, etc. Also you have to own the rights to the photography which means you either have to use all your own images or buy ones you find from istock, etc.
Here's the thing about my ebook. Yes you can probably piece it together from reading my blog but it will take time to read all 700 posts I've written. Information on the internet is largely free but free takes a lot of time and time is money. My ebook takes the system that has taken me years to develop and lays it out in an easy to read, step-by-step process. So even you too can eventually call yourself a True Expert.
Bottom line, if you are writing a book and don't have a blog yet? Start there first.
Download my eBook, It's All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.