Video on how to publish to kindle publishing

February 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)


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eBook layouts…thanks for the link katie!

February 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

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Typography research

January 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

Below is a pdf link of some typography research I’ve been doing. It will be of great use to me when I’m deciding upon what typefaces to use, grid systems, and many other tips to clever typographic layouts.

typography research

I’ve also been collecting a few typographic images that caught my eye whilst clicking through interesting websites on

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Gold dust research for my next power point! I’ve so much to do!

November 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

How Much Time Do You Spend ‘Consuming Media’ Every Day?

The answer for the average 8 to 18-year-old, according to an article about a new study, is “practically every waking minute — except for the time in school.” Is this true about you? Are you using a phone, computer, television, mp3 player or other electronic device for the vast majority of your free time? If so, how do you think such heavy media use is affecting you?

In “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online” Tamar Lewin writes about the Kaiser study, the results of which, she says, “shocked its authors” since they had concluded after a 2005 study that media use among young people “could not possibly grow further”:

Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cell phones.

And because so many of them are multitasking — say, surfing the Internet while listening to music — they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours.


How to Turn Your Knowledge into Money

If you want to make more money from your knowledge and skills, whether that’s focused on your working life or your hobbies and interests, a great way to do that is to create your own digital products.

What do I mean by “digital products?”  Quite simply, things like eBooks, membership websites, and software, audio and video are great examples for types of product you can create to share what you’re passionate about.

The Benefits of Creating Your Own Information Products

Of all the products you could sell online, the real money is to be made in the digital products you can make and sell yourself.

Designing your own digital products, that customers buy from your website, opens up the opportunity for huge profit margins, because online sales eliminate many ‘normal’ business expenses you face with running premises or an office. In essence, it cuts out packaging time and shipping cost and in most cases eliminates the need for traditional customer services.

Why Do Customers Like Digital Products?

Digital information products give instant gratification, solving the person’s problem right now. There’s no waiting for the product to arrive in the post.

What’s more, the content can be very flexible for you and the customer. You can start creating what you feel comfortable with – usually an eBook for most people, then learn about creating other types of information. The great news for the buyer is that they’re not stuck with just one format that might have to be used in one location. Audio files are easily transferred to MP3 players, so the consumer can listen on the go. Equally, videos can be watched on a laptop or a smart phone, not just via a DVD player and a TV set.

Always remember, your customers will prefer to learn in many different ways, not only by reading, so the more formats you offer, and the more customers you’ll appeal to.

Getting Started

For your first product, my biggest tip is to design it around some information people want to buy (i.e. not just “know“), that you really understand in depth or have a passion to learn as you create the product.

This makes it much easier and more fun to complete. They say everyone has at least one book in them, writing about something you know, or have a passion for, you can probably create without any prior research at all (apart from market research, of course ). When you get onto your second and subsequent books, then you may have to do a little research on your chosen subject, or you might interview another expert who doesn’t know how to create their own products. In the computer age, everything you need to know is at your fingertips, all the material you need is right there on the Internet.

A wealth of information on any kind of topic can be found online. You can purchase manuals online on any given topic, or find a variety of articles. Once you have gained the knowledge on your chosen subject, write the book or manual in your own words. Viewing other books and manuals, maybe DVDs is a quick and easy way to identify a structure for your product.

The simple key to your product is to make it better than the information you learned from. Improve on what you’ve learned and you will produce a much better (and more marketable) product. Once this simple technique is learned, you will be able to write about anything and everything – and market and sell it online!

Audio and Video Information Products

Audio products are another great thing you can create and sell to a global audience. This can be exactly the same as your manual or book, but read out in audio form, or it can be something else as an added bonus to the product you are trying to sell online. Audio products are wonderful, you can listen to them while driving, working, even cooking the dinner. The real value in these audio products is in the up-sell, making extra money by providing something so simple to create that is extra to your product.


Video products are another way of sharing information and are very popular products. People search YouTube for over 2 BILLION videos a month. There’s no question it’s a popular format.

A wonderful product to create is a classroom style learning video. These are great for any sort of learning material in the form of a portable classroom for the lazy amongst us who prefer to watch and learn. Your video product can help someone learn something, which is an added gold star for you, along with all the money you can make from this. People have different learning styles; some prefer visual learning while others prefer auditory learning. This is all down to the individual so give everyone a chance at learning what you have to offer.

For whatever reason, video products are a great part of the future and can only benefit your online publishing business with growth.

High Ticket Options

Other items which would take more time to create, but will bring in a lot more income per sale, are other high quality products. These high quality products would include membership sites with lots of unique content, boot camps, teleseminars, webinars, coaching programs and one to one assistance.

Go in With Your Eyes Open

It’s best to start with a low-cost eBook to learn the key commercial steps of this process before starting to create a big expensive product. Remember if you struggle to market your products, you’re not going to make any money, so practice your marketing skills with a product that was quick and easy to put together.

In my experience, not every information product created succeeds. That means, when people create products, the first, statistically, could be one of the ones that didn’t work commercially. You could easily assume that you’re no good at creating information products since your first one failed. That’s why focusing on the process is very important, because once you know the process, it’s much easier to put together a new product that will be a commercial success.

Don’t Over-Complicate Things.

I spent 8 months creating a very expensive product I was hoping to sell for $997. It was my first product and I spent far too long creating it. It didn’t go to plan and took 10 months in total to get it to market. It was tough mistake I don’t want you to make. Start small. Start cheap. Get your first product working, and then worry about bigger and bolder plans once you have found your feet. I’m older and wiser now. I have created 4 products in the past two months, and none of them took longer than 5 days work to complete!

You can see the many different types of information products you can create now. I recommend using all of them and working them into your marketing strategy. Video and audio products can be used as promotional sales tools or as an up sell technique to make more money from the same information.

I’ve been creating paid information products for myself and with other people since 2008. I’ve seen what works, and I have seen what’s gone wrong (spectacularly in some instances!). So I’ve decided to create a series of blog posts over the next few days to share what I’ve learned, and to help you avoid the pitfalls I fell into.


Successful EBook Publishing: What You Need To Know

There is more to successful eBook publishing that you might think. Come up with an idea, spend a few days actually creating it, then put it up for sale and relax as the profits start to roll in. It all sounds very easy.

But if that was how things work, then everyone would be writing them, raking in the profits, and retiring to some tropical (and hopefully tax free) paradise. The reality is very different.

But don’t let that put you off writing your own eBook: if you have a bit of common sense, know how to write an eBook people actually want, and market it correctly, and then you can be one of the lucky few that actually publish a successful eBook.

Many of the eBooks you find for sale on the internet are destined to do badly, before they are even published. While it’s true that some people do very well with publishing eBooks, the majority of people don’t. In my work as an eBook cover designer, I’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of eBooks, and eBook sales pages.

Some of these are obviously going to fail, a quick look at the book and sales page shows why. But others seem like they should do well, but don’t.


On this site we look at the steps needed to successfully create and publish an eBook… a few of the pitfalls, and find out what separates a successful eBook from a failure. Some of the things that will stop an eBook from doing well are listed below. Get even one of these wrong, and you’ve wasted your time.

  • wrong topic, no demand for it
  • plenty of demand, but the market is over saturated
  • badly written/formatted, many sales will get refunded
  • sales page is poor quality
  • little or no effective marketing

The two “Golden Truths” of online selling

Rule #1.
No matter what you have, someone, somewhere, is willing to pay you for it.
It could be physical goods, digital products, information, knowledge, services, etc. With an eBook, you are generally selling information and knowledge.

Rule #2.
If nobody knows about it, they can’t buy it.
No matter how good your product is, if it gathers dust in some empty corner of cyber-space, then you won’t be selling much. You have to know how to put your product in front of potential buyers.

You need to learn how to….

  • find a profitable topic for your eBook, and put the right “spin” on it
  • look at the technical aspects of putting it together
  • know what tools you need for the job
  • market, promote, and sell it successfully

Regardless of your area of expertise, it is likely you can sell at least some copies of a well written and well promoted eBook. There are even eBooks written on how to write eBooks

But it’s not a “gravy train”. Don’t expect to create some recycled rubbish, then sit back and enjoy the profits. Each step needs to be carefully thought out – topic, your target market, how you will reach them, payment options, etc. But do it right, and it could become a valuable source of residual income.

The 8 Characteristics of a Successful eBook

Online marketers often want to offer something tangible to visitors and potential customers that offers value, establishes credibility, and makes them want to come back for more. Often an eBook meets those criteria. If you want to offer an eBook as a free incentive or as a product for sale, you should first recognize that creating an eBook does not guarantee success.

To give the eBook you write its best chance for success, learn from the following eight characteristics of a successful eBook.

1. Write about Something You Know

Writing about topics unfamiliar to you does nothing to help your readers and hurts you in the long run if readers complain to the online world. Readers usually want to learn something from an eBook they have downloaded and possibly purchased, so do not disappoint them.

2. Get Unique Material

Let’s face it: anyone can scour the net and get commonly available information. Go the extra mile to make your eBook successful by getting original sources and uncovering new facts. Doing this can be as easy as visiting your local library or contacting a highly respected expert in your field for an interview. Often, libraries have a wealth of material online that you can use, and many experts will gladly be interviewed via email, so you can improve the quality of your work without even leaving your desk.


3. Make an Effort

If you go to the trouble to get unique material, you probably will be willing to make an effort to produce a quality product. Even when writing an eBook that you will give away free, take the time and do the work to do it right. Simple things like logical organization and a table of contents will set your eBook apart.

4. Cite Sources

Some writers avoid disclosing their sources because they fear readers will abandon them for those more knowledgeable. Although that might happen, you gain a lot more because you give readers a chance to delve further into your subject if you want. Furthermore, it really looks bad when a writer resorts to plagiarism to create an eBook. Citing sources also boosts your credibility in that you can prove that other experts support the things you say.

5. Offer a Sample

Rather than rushing to trap readers into buying your eBook, let them read a chapter or two for free. This puts pressure on you to produce a quality product and it assures the buyer that they will get a worthwhile product.

6. Build up Anticipation

Learn from the big companies that hype up their product weeks or months before they become available. Apple, for example, announces its new iPhone versions months in advance and let the news and anticipation snowball to the point where it cannot satisfy the demand for the product. Do the same thing for your eBook. Use your blog, social networking sites, and forums to let people know about your eBook project. By whetting the appetite of your friends, customers, and visitors, you will have a whole customer base ready to buy as soon as the eBook is released.

7. Encourage Comments on Your Download Site

Successful eBooks will have a lot of positive feedback from those who have read it. When prospective buyers see the number of people who are happy with your product, they are even more likely to buy it.

8. Get Third Party Reviews

Find a well respected Web site in your niche and get the owner to review your eBook. This not only creates a new back link, but it lets people know that someone else has read your eBook and likes it. Readers can also learn why the reviewer likes your book, an opinion that may play a part in the purchasing decision.

Online marketers love eBooks because they attract people to a Web site, increase revenue and contribute to a lot to the lives of others. Go get started on your eBook now, keeping these 8 characteristics of a successful eBook in mind.


How to create An eBook Using Free PDF Software And Your Personal Computer

EBooks help writers, online merchants and Internet Marketers share their knowledge and profit from the worldwide power of the Web.


EBooks, eReports, eManuals and eGuides in PDF format help readers solve problems, and add knowledge and convenience to their lives.


What is an eBook?

An eBook is an electronic publication readers store and “open” on their computers, using software such as Adobe Reader. Unlike a hardcover book, which uses paper and is manufactured with a printing press, an eBook uses no paper and is produced electronically with a personal computer. An author can produce an eBook with very little or no expense, publish it online with very little or no expense, give it away to readers or charge for it.

Is writing eBooks For You? Qualify Yourself as An Author

Writing requires a commitment of time and energy. One need not have an advanced education to become an author and publish eBooks. If you have desire, focus and care about quality, you can use these assets to your advantage.

Qualify yourself by asking several basic questions:

  • Am I interested in language?
  • Do I enjoy writing and have average skills?
  • Do I enjoy reading?
  • Do I have knowledge I’d like to share?
  • Can others benefit from my knowledge?
  • Do I have a word processor and a PDF creator?
  • Do I have a domain name and hosting account?
  • If I intend to sell what I write, do I have a means of accepting payment and delivering the publication to customers?
  • Do I have a WYSIWYG editor and/or FTP software to upload web pages to my hosting account?


What You Need To Publish Online

All trades have basic sets of tools. A writer’s word processor is the equivalent of a carpenter’s hammer. A PDF creator, meanwhile, is the equivalent of a traditional publisher’s printing press. You’ll need all of these basic tools if you intend to publish eBooks online:

  • A word processor with a built-in PDF creator such as free Open Office or free Sticky PDF Creator. Open Office is free Open Source software. In the interest of full disclosure, Sticky PDF Creator is free, advertiser-sponsored software owned by the author of this Knol. Users will see an unobtrusive ad on the start-up screen of Sticky PDF Creator’s word processor. The ad disappears when users begin to work on a document.
  • A domain name. These generally are available at low cost and also are known as .com (dot com); .net (dot net); .info (dot info); and .org (dot org), for example. In general, eBook authors should strongly consider registering a dot com domain. The author of this Knol uses Netfirms to register domain names.
  • A basic hosting account. Many firms include basic hosting with the purchase of a domain name. For convenience’ sake, it’s often easiest simply to purchase a domain name and host it at the company from which you purchased it. As your webmaster skills improve, you optionally may choose to purchase a domain name and host it elsewhere. You’ll need to understand DNS to do this, which is outside the scope of this Knol. The author of this Knol hosts some domains at Dreamhost.
  • A payment-processing account if you intend to charge for your eBook. PayPal is highly popular. Sign-up is free. PayPay collects a fee if you sell a product using its service. If you intend to sell digital products such as eBooks and eReports, you should register for a PayPal Premier or Business account. This will permit you to add payment buttons to your web pages and to conduct business online.
  • A WYSIWYG web-page editor. These give you the ability to create web pages. Many fine WYSIWYG editors are available free.
  • A graphics program such as free It is not necessary to include graphics in an eBook, eReport or eGuide, but readers enjoy them. Some eBook authors even hire graphic artists to create “covers” for their digital products. Such “covers” provide readers an experience similar to enjoying the cover on hardback book. can be used to create and manipulate graphics.

Why eBooks? Do eBooks Benefit Society?

EBooks can be produced cost-effectively. They serve virtually any area of interest and add to the world’s knowledge base. Because software to create eBooks is readily available at no cost, an author no longer must rely upon a traditional publisher to enter the marketplace. EBooks serve authors by making marketplace access possible. Along those lines, they serve readers by providing unlimited choices — not just the choices offered by traditional publishing houses, magazines, newspapers or websites. EBooks provide marketplace access to:

  • Teachers.
  • Professionals in all occupations.
  • Academics.
  • Hobbyists.
  • Trade experts.
  • Skilled craftsmen looking to add a publishing profit center.
  • Writers.
  • Editors.
  • Designers.
  • Experts and authorities in virtually all disciplines.
  • Work-at-home mothers and fathers looking to produce new income.
  • Retirees looking to supplement income by sharing their knowledge.
  • Merchants of all types.

Imagine more teachers having access to the marketplace through eBooks. Next imagine them sharing their knowledge with other teachers and parents. How about a doctor or lawyer? Increased marketplace access through the publication of eBooks means more specialized knowledge can be shared with more people.

Now imagine a talented person in a Third World country or a country whose population is oppressed gaining access to the marketplace and elevating his or her standard of living. A rising tide lifts all boats. EBooks and digital publishing help create that rising tide.

And what about hobbyists? Do you build model airplanes or play table tennis? Share your knowledge with the world by creating eBooks and eGuides and “How To” manuals..

EBooks help experts from all disciplines share their knowledge outside the local marketplace. At the same time, eBooks help work-at-home parents, retirees and others supplement income or simply share something they enjoy writing about without charging for it.

Writing eBooks can be a business or a hobby — or a little of both. Software and modern computers give virtually any person with the desire to share a story the power to launch a publishing company.

Your Basic eBook Knowledge Base

Begin the process of becoming an eBook author by taking an inventory of your interests, areas of expertise and skill sets. A teacher who has found a long-division instructional method pupils embrace might want to write an eBook that explains the method, for example. Along those lines, a carpenter whose experience has taught him the best way to train an apprentice might want to create an eBook to help train master carpenters on the art of teaching apprentices.

Keep things simple. Use language your intended audience will understand. Some experts advise against using trade jargon. If your audience will not understand your eBook without jargon, by all means include it.

Don’t Be Afraid

Once you identify a subject, simply open your word processor and begin to write. Many new eBook authors fear the actual writing process. Scotch those fears. Sit down and start writing. Tell a story that serves readers well. Save your work frequently.

Consider Length

eBooks do not have to be hundreds of pages long. A short eBook, sometimes called an eReport, might have 14 or fewer pages packed with useful information. Meanwhile, some eBooks might have 100 pages or more. Length depends on your purpose. If your audience will benefit from a short eBook, create a short eBook. If the subject matter requires a longer eBook, write a longer one.

Consider using graphics, bullet points and subheads in your eBook. Such devices aid reader comprehension and help make the information more manageable. You may optionally choose to add links inside your eBook to other sources of information. If you are a teacher, your readers might be interested in clicking on a link that takes them to the website of your school, for instance. If you are the author of other eBooks, your readers might appreciate visiting the website or websites from which you distribute your other titles.

Define Your Purpose
Make it your goal to educate, inform and enlighten readers. Imagine the type of publication you’d like to read, and provide it to your audience. Explain who you are inside your eBook. List your credentials. Let readers know how to contact you for more information. Use your expert knowledge to improve readers’ lives. Include tips readers need to know to get the most benefit from your publication.

Your goal in the very first sentence should be to “grab” readers and not let them go. Don’t slave over your first sentence when you begin to write your eBook. Simply start to write. Return to the opening sentence and paragraph later to add some extra punch. Remember to use subheads and bullet points.

Get Free Or Paid Help

Have a wordsmith friend?  Ask your friend to be your proof-reader and editor. Husbands and wives, significant others, brothers and sisters and family members also can serve as your editors, proofreaders and test readers.

If no local help is available, seek editing and proofreading services from a paid professional or a member of an online writer’s forum or business forum.

Many word-processing programs include a built-in spell-checker. Take advantage of it, but don’t use it as your sole editor. Spell-checkers routinely miss homophones, words that are pronounced the same as other words but might have different spellings and different meanings.

Questions To ask when you’re reviewing your eBook

Readers should be your first priority. Many writers have big vocabularies. Even so, using a “big word” when a small one will do the job may alienate or confuse readers. In general, an average eighth-grader should be able to understand your writing. This is not universally true, of course, but it is largely true. Try to use the best “small word,” as opposed to the most impressive “big word.”

Here are some questions to ask when reviewing your work:

  • Does it serve my readers by increasing their knowledge?
  • Does it solve a problem for readers or add convenience to their lives?
  • Is it engaging or dry?
  • Will readers know who I am and what makes me tick after reading my work?
  • Have I been a good guide?
  • Have I done a good job of proofreading?
  • How will readers feel after they close my eBook? Delighted? Better for the experience? Disappointed?
  • If my eBook is designed to educate business people, have I shown them ways to make money or save money or gain efficiencies? Have I thoroughly explained my method and provided examples and definitions?
  • Would I buy this eBook? Would a fellow professional? Would a person interested in learning get a benefit?

One common mistake eBook authors make is to withhold information from readers. This often happens because the eBook author knows the subject so well that he or she skips steps when explaining things.

Adding To Your Skill Set

EBook authors need to have basic knowledge about website design and electronic delivery of products. Information readily is available online. Authors need basic knowledge of html, the language of the Web, and FTP, the process of uploading electronic files to a web server. Some WYSIWYG editors have a built-in FTP capability

It is advisable for eBook authors to familiarize themselves with the key tools of the trade. The task is not as daunting as it might seem. Working with a WYSIWYG editor, for example, is very similar to working with a word-processing program. Although “uploading” is a fancy word, it simply means moving electronic files from a computer to a server from which readers can access them. Virtually all hosting companies provide Help Desks, FAQs and a Knowledge Base to help users master basic tasks.

Think. Act. Write. Save. Check. Convert To PDF. Distribute.

Getting started writing an eBook is as simple as determining what you want to write about, conducting some research and sitting down at your computer and typing the first word. Writing can become a source of great joy. The joy you experience also can result in profits. Don’t permit yourself, however, to have unrealistic expectations. No person is guaranteed profits from his or her writing, something that is true for masters of the trade and beginners contemplating writing their first eBook.

Think of your readers first. Begin the writing process. When you finish the final draft, give it a very close going-over. Ask friends, family members or a professional to help you make it better. Convert it to a PDF, and start the process of sharing your knowledge with the world.

Creating a Successful E-Magazine

Over 1,000 new print magazines are created every year. Out of those, less than 5% actually make it past the first year, and 1% makes it beyond that and become successful. All the rest close up shop with a loss.

It takes at least $15,000 to get the first issue out to stands, regionally or nationally. Chances are, you won’t make a profit from that first issue. As a matter of fact, it can take a magazine a year before they turn a profit.

With those statistics, it’s no wonder why many people choose to publish exclusively online these days. I am one of the people that actually plan on starting a print magazine on marketing. But I am a special case.

What makes emags the way to go?


  • The cost – It’s much cheaper than print magazines.
  • The publishing – It’s much easier and faster to publish content.
  • The marketing – While I always recommend using paid advertising, it’s really easy to drive tons of traffic to an online magazine.

E-Publishing Makes Sense

I am a believer that print magazines will be around for a long time. An iPad or Kindle is simply no substitute for that glossy paper running through your fingers. But there are many good reasons why you will want to go with a web-based magazine instead.

First off, it’s much cheaper. Starting an e-mag costs 10 bucks per month for hosting with hostgator, 10 bucks per year for a domain, and some of your valuable time spent creating and promoting content.

You can get some pretty good subscription plugins using the wordpress platform, and have a money making magazine fairly quickly.

Print editions have massive costs:

  • The content is usually created by employees who have to do lots of research before it reaches newsstands. Employees are expensive.
  • The printing costs themselves are pretty much out there…
  • Mailing to subscribers is a hefty expense.


Print editions have more work:

  • It takes a lot more research for print because the laws are quite different. Freedoms are less free when it comes to print.
  • Contacting and managing advertisers is a job in itself. On top of that, you have to get graphics approved before the print date.
  • Print requires a larger marketing budget in order to get a minimum 100,000 subscriber base which attracts national advertisers – the same amount of subscribers can be had in e-mags with totally free marketing methods.

E-Mags Are Easy

Consider the fact that I am writing this entire article from my Blackberry as proof that’s it’s easy to publish content on the web.

With a print magazine, you will spend a lot of time researching content, placing it with graphics and layouts, and trying to get all of the advertiser’s setup in time for the printing.

The Key to Successful E-Magazines

Just like blogs, e-mags require you to choose a niche. With magazines, it’s actually more important to take this step and drill it down. Consider what you want to write about and stick to it!

Your niche will eventually make your magazine stand out because it’s going to become the industry mouth for all things relevant in that chosen niche. It’s what makes your magazine worth reading. Just because you are drilling down to a niche doesn’t mean it has to grow old and boring. Many topics can be written about within your chosen niche. Everything from industry news, to reviews, to opinions can be written about.

Become an online publisher.

Creating an e-magazine, or an online publication, is a lot like creating a print magazine — with some technical modifications, of course. For an e-magazine to be successful, it must attract and retain readers with relevant content that is engaging and entertaining. If you do everything you are supposed to on the technical side and neglect your content, you’re in for a long and bumpy ride. So, start by knowing what you want to write and who your audience is.


  • Create your content. Before you build the website that will house your articles and other content, you must know what that content is. Is your e-magazine about movies? If so, what kind of movies? Science-fiction? Space opera? How niched is your online publication? Just about Star Wars? Just about R2-D2? Pinpoint exactly what you are going to write about, who your audience will be, and how they like to consume content. Then get started on your editorial calendar.


  • Build an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars are used by editors and other professionals to chart what content they are going to create over the course of several months. It allows editors to plan ahead and assign stories and becomes a roadmap for the magazine so it never gets lost as it grows. Sit down with a regular calendar and plot each week’s stories. Look for special events you can tie content to. Also, look for events within your genre or annual events — like Halloween and the Fourth of July — that you can reference.


  • Learn about SEO. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of building your site in such a way as to give it the best change possible to appear at the top of search engine ranking pages. The higher your site is in search, the more eyeballs will land on your content. SEO stresses keywords and keyword phrases, but is about much, much more than that. It includes building quality links between your site and another site, how you build your site’s navigation and the way you categorize your site. A simple Google search for SEO will bring up thousands of great educational articles on the topic.


  • Build your site. Depending on how detailed your site will be, you might want to hire a website designer and developer to craft the look, feel and structure of your site. Of course, some people will want to learn how to do this part on their own, and that’s a noble effort. But if you are pressed for time and need — or want — to launch your site sooner rather than later, a designer/developer is the way to go. They’ll help with SEO, navigation and wireframes (outlines of how your site will look from a structural point of view). And after your approval, they’ll piece it all together.


  • Write those stories. While the technical side of your house is being built, you’ll want to be writing frantically so that you have new content ready to go when your site launches. While your viewership might be low — even non-existent — at first, it’s the act of writing and publishing relevant, timely and SEO-enhanced content that will lift you in search and attract readers. So keep at it.


  • Launch your site. Once all the pieces and parts are together, it’s time to launch your site. Make sure you’ve done all your due diligence: read your stories for context, coherence, grammar and style and tested your site by allowing friends and strangers to dig into it and look for mistakes or difficulty navigating the site. If all checks out, then make it live for the entire world to see.


  • Track your metrics. After your site has launched, you will want to track your results. You can do this with simple, free programs like Google Analytics. Once you’ve mastered the tool — and it doesn’t take long — you will know how many people have visited your site, how long they stay there and where they go after they land on each page. You can analyze this data to determine what tweaks you might need to make and what content is popular.
    • Don’t get discouraged with minimal traffic at first. It takes time to build an audience.
    • Consider using social media to promote your site.

Tips & Warnings



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My book research

October 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm (Book research)

I’ll upload all my comments on what I’ve learned from each one when I’ve finished them and scans of pages with useful information.


To be perfectly honest, only the first forty pages of this book were of any interest to me; perhaps because it summarised in reasonably clear language what the book would explore. The scans I’ve uploaded below are mostly clear cut diagrams of the path of evolution to homo sapiens which I’d like to illustrate in my own way for my book…

bones, stones and molecules notes


I’ve uploaded a pdf of the notes for this book as they are 16 pages long. My personal opinion of this book is a good one. My only qualm would be that I’d like to read a book like this but with more relevance to the present day. Alvin Toffler wrote this several decades ago and while he has very modern views…alot of the book is very dated in terms of what science and sociology have come up with since its publication.

future shock notes


The first forty pages of this book were of most use to me. I learned more about how evolution began back when the earth was a swirling mass of gases and liquid chemicals…the ‘primeval soup’ of life so to speak! Learning about replicator molecules and lethal genes etc. has helped me understand the tree of life on a more microscopic level.

the selfish gene notes


Sorry Richard Dawkins, but you could have put an insomniac to sleep with that book! I don’t even have notes to paste up for this one. I read it, it was boring…complete opposite of what I want for my book…so maybe it was worth reading for that reason alone.


This book was pretty good, perhaps a bit long winded but Pinker has a nice style of writing so he just about held my interest through most of it. Below are the notes from it I found useful.

how the mind works notes


This, unfortunately, was a painful one to get through…not really anything of great use to be…more theoretical than what I’m aiming for. No notes, nothing of real use to me…sorry Pinker!


This was an enjoyable read. Although not the angle I’m going for in my quest to explain the facts of evolution; derogation of religions and the beliefs of people, it opened my eyes to the power religion has over so many people. I’m not condemning faith, I’m just hoping to open people’s eyes to some logic and exciting science.


This was a very enjoyable read. This book confirms, through careful studies, that as a whole; the human race has become less violent and cruel over time. Although we have instinctual urges for violence and cruelty, it’s our acceptance of discipline and morality that we generally cooperate well with each other. I will be devoting a good chunk of one of my chapters to this subject, it’s fascinating!


I’ve started reading this bad book, over 500 pages long! why so long, but it looks so damn interesting!


This book didn’t hold much interest for me. It had no particular theme in my opinion and I skimmed through most of it, not intending to waste hours of my time on a book that I wouldn’t take any notes from.


Like ‘River out of Eden’, a boring read. Only read the first third before skimming through the rest and giving up. No notes taken from it.


Very good book. I learned alot about typography and interesting layouts

book 3 notes


It was the introduction to this book that I liked most, so that’s all I scanned into the pdf below

book 2 notes


Excellent book. I think I can learn alot from some of the exciting approaches typographers have used in magazine design and apply it to my book to keep it fresh and innovative

book 5 notes


Typography is a science and an art, this book is proof of that!

book 4 notes


This was a brilliant guide on how to write effectively and to not waffle your words. I’ve learned a great deal about typography layout, what words and phrases to avoid and general tips on the composition of my work.

book 1 notes


Excellent book, full for great tips for how to layout text nicely


Like ‘thinking with type’, this book has been a great help to me.


Robin, my design style mentor, lent me this one. It is my new bible! Full of excellent guidelines on how to layout a book in a clever way. Thumbs up!

elements of typographic style notes


Fantastic book, helping me to decide on the grid that will work best for me.

the grid notes


This is the book that’s going to help me conquer the fears on online digital publishing! Full of great advice and quick tips.

making digital type look good


I’ll upload the notes on the following books as I read them

Art of the Start -Guy Kawasaki


It was a good book..but not really suited to me at all. I prefer the madness and creativity in ‘Rework’ and ‘Linchpin’, so no notes to upload on this one


Incredible, fantastic, unputdownable!!! Love this book and everything that it represents.

Rework – Jason Fried


Like ‘Rework’, this book has become my new bible. So well written and every page is bursting with fresh new advice.

seth godin – linchpin


the element by ken robinson.epub


BORING BORING BORING!! I’d rather stick my head in a washing machine full of sweaty clothes than read more than 3 chapters of this book. That’s all I managed before I realised that I wasting my life looking at these words! Did I mention it was BORING???!!!


indesign type book



Great book I’m going to read on how to set the right price for my eBook to sell online. I didn’t realise the amount of psychology behind the pricing of a book but there’s plenty to learn. Here’s the free eBook if anyone wants it!

The masters course on how to make your price sell


This looks hilarious! Might help me intertwine some humour into my own writing. No harm laughing at ourselves sometimes:)


Some content on this page was disabled on March 31, 2018 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Penguin UK. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

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I have so much to read!!!

October 20, 2011 at 9:31 am (Book research)

I’m nearing the end of this fantastic book…”The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Richard is a famous evolutionary biologist…probably most famous for his extreme atheist views and his debates with religious leaders.

This book, in particular, has really opened my eyes to the human need for belief in a higher entity…something mysterious and very powerful. Dawkins makes some excellent points on the power of control it has over peoples’ behaviour and the downright insanity of some of its beliefs. I have learned some very valuable information on the science of ‘memes’; units of knowledge and information that has accumulated at an astonishing rate through the last 300 years.

Dawkins points out how memes are very similar to genes in that they copy and mutate over generations. Knowledge is built upon knowledge to create more discoveries and information. I will upload a list of valuable points I’ve learned from this book when I’ve finished it fully.

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Some useful data on book sales…

October 19, 2011 at 11:25 am (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

Book and E-Book Sales Data for the United States

Freelance writers, book authors, and creators
of information products should pay attention to book sales. The data for both
print books and e-books tells us what consumers are paying for and gives indications
of future trends, trends we can take advantage of.

2010 Sales Figures for
Books and E-books

The Association
of American Publishers provides monthly
statistics on sales figures. The latest report includes information for all of
2010. Here’s the AAP
press release:

AAP Publishers Report Strong Growth in
Year-to-Year, Year-End Book Sales

$11.67 Billion Sales Mark +3.6 Percent
Increase vs Calendar Year 2009,

December Sales Rise +2.4 Percent;

E-book Sales Continue to Break Records with
+164.4 Percent Gains for 2010


New York, NY, February 16, 2011— US
publishers’ book sales across all platforms increased +2.4 percent in December
2010 vs December 2009 and +3.6 percent for the full year vs 2009, it was
reported today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Virtually every book publishing category
showed growth in one or both comparisons, with the phenomenal popularity of
E-books continuing.

“As more formats have evolved and are served
by the publishing community, consumers have more choices. These strong sales
numbers reflect the efforts of AAP publishers and the response of book
audiences,” said Tom Allen, President and CEO, AAP.

• Educational book sales saw full
year-to-year increases: Higher Education grew +7.8 percent in 2010 (to $4.58B)
and K-12 Elementary/High School posted a +3.2 percent gain (to $3.59B). K-12
El/Hi also hit a +1.4 percent increase for December 2010 (to $147.0M) while
Higher Education reached $890.2M for December (-3.6 percent).

• Sales of University Press Hardcover books
decreased 8.2 percent in December (to $6.0M) with a 0.5 percent decline for
2010 ($57.8M). University Press Paperbacks grew for 2010 by +1.3 percent (to
$61.6M) and fell 2.5 percent for December ($8.9M).

• Professional books sales increased +5.0
percent for 2010 over 2009 (to $812.9M); for December, they fell 3.5 percent
(to $108.9M).

• Religious Books showed 0.5 percent decline
for 2010 vs 2009 (at $585.4M) and -11.8 percent for December ($49.9M).

Analyzing the 2010 Book and
E-Book Sales Data

The Print Book Isn’t Dead

Note that total sales of print books for 2010
was approximately the same as sales for 2009 when sales of e-books are
subtracted. This shows that there is still strong demand for physical books.

E-Books Sales Show Strong

Sales increased 164% to $441.3 million year
over year. That’s a lot of money, and it shows that there’s potential for
authors to make serious cash from e-book sales. And note that these figures are
for sales from mainstream textbook publishers: they don’t take into account all
the information product e-books sold by individual entrepreneurs from
individual sites. This site and the products I sell are just one example, and
there are tens of thousands of other writers selling their own e-books. (Note:
see my post on why
traditional publishers should pay a 50% royalty on e-books.)

Educational Textbook Sales
Are Also Strong

I’m a freelance writer who creates supplements
and ancillaries for college textbooks, so it’s good news for me and other freelance writers in the same
niche. More sales of textbooks means more profits, which means more money to
pay us

Half of all books sold in Europe by 2015 will be electronic

The Western European e-book market
grew 400pc in 2010 to exceed 10m paid-for e-books, but this will more than
triple in 2011 to 32m e-books sold this year. By 2015, half of all books sold
in Europe will be electronic.

“During the last 12 months, there has been a notable change in the
industry’s attitude towards e-books,” says Fiona Hoy, market analyst at
Futuresource Consulting, “with publishers and retailers alike underlining the
importance of a digital revenue stream to help offset the slow decline of the
previously stable Western European physical book market.

“And despite all this rapid growth in demand for e-books in
Western Europe, the market is still in its infancy, representing less than 1pc
of total consumer spending on books. Moving forward, there are enormous
opportunities within the market and our forecasts show Western European e-book
revenues will reach €1.6bn by 2015, accounting for 15pc of total book spend and
representing one out of every five books sold in the region,” Hoy said.

The UK continues to dominate the European market and generated
close to half of all Western European e-book spend last year, this despite only
accounting for 15pc of the region’s physical book spend. The country is on
track to achieve sales of stg£100m this year and more than 5pc of total UK
consumer spending on books.

“The introduction of Amazon’s e-reading device and Kindle Store to
the UK during August 2010 was a key catalyst behind the UK’s strong growth,”
said Hoy.

“Within a five-month period, Amazon sold close to 400,000 Kindle
devices and achieved e-book sales in the region of £20m. Amazon not only
launched a premium brand e-reading device into a market which had previously
been fragmented with unbranded dedicated devices, but also provided an
extensive catalogue of e-book titles at loss leading price points from key
publishers. In addition, aggressive aspirational TV and print advertising
campaigns continue to drive demand,” Hoy added.

In Germany, which has the highest per capita spend on books in
Western Europe – more than twice that of the UK – the opportunity for e-books
is highly favourable, although local book pricing laws will restrict companies
from replicating the loss leading pricing strategies that have been implemented
in the UK and US.

With the installed base of dedicated e-reading devices in Germany
currently below 1pc and the market relying heavily on the tablet as an
e-reading device, the country is primed for both hardware and content

The future for e-books in Europe

“By 2015, the tablet market will account for close to half of
all paid-for e-book sales in Germany, compared to around one in three in the UK
and France,” said Hoy. “The Kindle store launched into the market
during the first half of 2011, though consumer demand for devices and content
has so far been relatively low, in part due to low consumer awareness. However,
strong promotional campaigns in Q4 will help stimulate demand and convert the
market potential into real revenues.”

For many countries across the region – including Italy and Spain –
2010 was the first full year that e-readers were readily available at retail.
However, a lack of local language titles and limited paid-for e-book services
acted as key obstacles to legitimate paid-for e-book market growth. Since then,
local language content and demand has started to develop; and combined with the
strength of Amazon and Apple’s iBookstore for both the iPad and smartphone
market, the significance of the Western European market on the world stage will
continue to develop.

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How to grab reader’s attention

October 14, 2011 at 11:57 am (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

to Capture Your Reader’s Attention

Getting attention is the most important part
of online marketing.

No matter how brilliant your ideas are, you
can’t even offer them to your prospect unless you’ve made them look in your
direction first.

You have to get your prospect’s attention before
you can turn them into a reader, let them know how wonderful you are, or sell them

Do I have your attention yet?

Good. Now I’ll show you how to get someone

Your reader can’t pay
attention to everything

The brain is funny like that — in order to
understand, the brain has to focus on specific information.

Attention helps us screen out the irrelevant
and choose which information will enter, and stay, in our awareness. Our
attention decides what to “pay attention to,” because human focus is limited,
and we just can’t give our attention to everything.

Your reader’s minds are very selective. So we
have to give them a reason to pay attention to our content instead of
everything else out there they could be listening to.

There are many obstacles in
the path to gaining your reader’s attention

Even if you have the best product, service,
or information on the planet, it’s still difficult to get people to give you
the time of day. Here are some common obstacles to getting your prospect’s

  • The relentless proliferation of available
    products, services, and information
  • Increased and increasingly better competition
  • The multiplying methods of distribution
  • Buyer sophistication
  • Information overload
  • The desire for instant gratification

These are all roadblocks you face in the
attention-getting game, so you’ve really got to be good at showing readers why
their limited attention should be directed to you.

Try these
attention-grabbing strategies

Help them see what you see. You might be focusing on yourself when creating messages about your
business, thinking that everyone sees things the way you do. But they don’t.
People won’t “hear” you, or pay attention, until they perceive what you
perceive. So you’ve got to make your position crystal clear — help them to see
what you see, using storytelling, description, personal experiences, case histories, and anything that
will put the prospect in the right position to understand your message.

Make it personal. When you make your writing personal, you make it important. Personally interesting or perceptually
meaningful information can grab attention, bring clarity, and help it slip
right into your prospective client’s awareness. You don’t have to do a lot of
explaining to tell someone his house (or his hair) is on fire — because it’s so
personal to him. You immediately get attention.

Use emotion. Emotion is a great way to bring clarity to your business messages while
making them personal. Emotion also comes with the triple bonus of adding
clarity, giving clients a reason to talk about you and your business, and
triggering the circuits in the brain that activate behavior and decisions —
emotion is much better at that than logic is. Emotional
messages get attention.

Don’t take chances with

You only have a few seconds to capture
someone’s attention, so don’t take chances with clever, cute, or insider
language or visuals, which are often lost on people. Don’t use inside jokes or
industry terms, either, unless appropriate for narrow niche marketing. These tactics
only tend to confuse audiences, if only for a few seconds, which is all it
takes to lose them — and a confused mind does not pay attention.

Follow up with a strong

Once you’ve managed to capture your reader’s
attention, don’t waste it. Getting your reader’s attention is like the first
strike of a One-Two punch — if
you don’t land the second part, you’re not going to knock them out (and I mean KO in the good way).

Make sure your second punch, the actual
information or message for which you grabbed her attention in the first place,
is worthwhile.

If it’s valuable, you’ve paved the way for
easy entry into her attention with future conversation.

If it isn’t, it’ll be that much more difficult
to capture her attention the next time, as your prospect’s brain has already
filed your information under “not worth our attention.”

Sticky Ways to Hold Reader Attention

Your copy might focus on
benefits instead of features, have the right balance of emotion to logic, and maybe you’ve even
snagged the reader’s attention with an arresting headline. But after your reader clicks through, does your copy hold her

If you can’t keep the reader’s attention,
nothing else matters. And the online world demands your best techniques to hold
reader interest, because tempting distractions are always just a click away.
All writers and marketers have their favorite tricks to glue reader attention
to their content, so here are three of mine.

1. Pair your copy with an
arresting image

Some images create a strong emotional
reaction in your reader, which creates a much more receptive mindset for your
persuasive copy.

Strong images are strong because they inspire
strong emotion. Whether that emotion is lust, tenderness, awe, sympathy, or
just plain curiosity, a powerful image alters your reader’s consciousness for
just a few moments. That split second of emotional transformation allows your
message to sink in much more deeply.

2. Use questions to capture
and keep reader attention

Smart copywriters use questions to get the
reader’s train of thought moving in the right direction. Ask questions that
uncover pain points or explore insecurity.

Ask questions that enlarge your readers’
dreams, questions that get them to paint a mental picture of the fantastic
rewards your product can bring.

We humans are the most curious animal on the
planet, and questions are irresistible to us. When we hear a question, we want
to answer it. Keep your readers’ interest up by setting their curious minds in
motion with questions about how they can solve their problems with your

3. Get nitty gritty

Abstraction is boring. Ever read a psychology
textbook in college? The theoretical discussions and clinical descriptions made
for an excellent sleeping aid. But the case studies–real-life stories of crazy
people and how being crazy affected their lives–woke you right up again.

Content with lots of specific details will hold reader attention much better than content that waffles on
about general concepts. Vague, abstract generalities are hard to relate to. But
when you get down to nitty-gritty specifics–exactly what goes into a
technique, or the scary details about how you were almost homeless before you
discovered this new business strategy–your reader wakes up again.

Use details and narrative to show the reader what really happened. Get nitty-gritty with
your reader and she’ll reward you with her sustained attention. And that
attention can be profitably turned into sales.

What are your favorite attention-holding

White Space to Hold a Reader’s Attention

Resisting the urge to include extensive
detail when writing a screenplay as you would when writing a novel is a
difficult challenge for a screenwriter to overcome. Most writers who choose the
screenwriting field do so because they think in film — they imagine their
stories unfolding shot by shot, scene by scene, image by image.

The job of the screenwriter is to convey
those vivid images and scenes to the reader. This is often confused with the
director’s job of determining how certain scenes should be filmed. Deciding
where to place the cameras, which actors to focus on, and when to pan or when
to include a close-up are all factors that will be up to the director, not the

So the question remains. How can you, as the
writer, direct the reader’s mind to imagine your film as you envisioned it,
shot by shot and image by image?

The answer — through the use of white

One immediately noticeable difference between
script format and manuscript format is the amount of white space included on
every page of a script. In a screenplay, the ratio of blank space to text is

White space is the screenwriter’s ally.

How does the use of white space help you?
First, breaking your action and description into smaller sections makes the
script seem as if it reads quickly, giving the reader the effect that your
story also moves quickly. A story that moves quickly is more likely to hold a
reader’s attention.

Smaller sections of action draw the reader’s
eye down the page. Screenwriters should make their best effort to limit
sections of action and description to a maximum of five or six lines. Several
consecutive smaller sections of action will appeal to a reader more than one
large paragraph of action.




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Research on creating a successful book

October 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm (How to create a bloody good book old chap!)

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