Write And Publish A Book Eureka Style!

I had a dream. I wanted to write a book. I have found a neat way to jump over the publishing and marketing hurdles. What do I mean by neat? How about immensely more effective, efficient, and gratifying, for starters?

An Explosive Situation

You see, I love to write. I am also very curious, by nature. That can be a blessing and a curse! Over the years, I have dived into (read “immersed myself”) in a number of activities and fields of knowledge. I have acquired a fair amount of know-how in the process.

That knowledge and know-how, combined with my love of writing, had grown into a very “explosive” situation.

I like to share what I know. It is easy to get me going on a topic that I know and love. I was bursting at the seems to write a book.

Boy! Was I in for a surprise. Quite a number of surprises, in fact.

Gut Wrenching Choices

So, I set off to write a book. I had to do something to relieve this tremendous pressure that was building up inside me.

I was immediately confronted with a very hard choice to make. What should I write about?

All my activities, whether professional or amateur, were like my “children”. I loved each one of them equally. The kind of boundless love we reserve for our children. (If you have children, you will know what I mean. If not, then take my word for it. We love them all so strongly that it hurts sometimes.)

So how could I favor one over the other?

I chose to “solve” the problem the same way I fit things in the family budget. All my children have needs and wants. The family budget can only satisfy a few, at any given time. I have to prioritize.

Likewise, I only had enough time and energy for one book at a time. So I set out to list my favorite topics, as they popped into my head, in no particular order:

· Meteorology and weather services,

· Business planning,

· Amateur radio (Ham radio),

· Radio antenna building,

· Radio wave propagation,

· Speculative trading (stock options and currencies),

· Information architecture for Web sites,

· Computer programming,

· French poetry writing,

· Short story writing,

· RV traveling with my wife,

· Outdoor photography,

· …

See what I mean. My time budget could not satisfy all my “children” at once. I had to choose. (How I actually made my final choice will be the subject of another article, one of these days).

Believe me. I have truly been active in all the fields of activity listed above, either professionally, or as a hobbyist. In fact, I am still active in many of them, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent. My wife would not have it any other way!:))

All my activities are quite a strain on my time budget. I have to reserve some quality time with my family! Therefore, I constantly prioritize.

I finally chose to write about “business planning”. My target audience was to be the small business Web entrepreneur.

The Publishing Wall

Writing a book is only a matter of time, discipline and, above all, passion. Oh! Of course, you do have to love to write! No problem, or so I thought!

My problems began, however, when I submitted my manuscript to a number of publishers. That’s when I hit a solid brick wall!

Publishers typically receive hundreds, of not thousands of manuscript every year. Most are unsolicited. Most are from unknown, never published writers.

Yup! You guessed it. I was an unknown, never published writer. All publishers had very good reasons for turning down my “offer”. Some did not even acknowledge receipt, let alone give any explanation.

The Overpowering Doubts

That’s when the doubts began to gnaw at my insides. I was in a weakened state at that point. The writing task – combined with all my other activities – had literally drained me of all energy. I could not begin to see how I would ever get published.

To get my strength back, I went back to what I love to do most. Write. I soon felt good again. After a few weeks, I was ready to fight back.

The Self-Publishing Siren

I set out to search for an alternate way of publishing my book. Self-publishing looked promising.

Instead of the book publisher taking all the risks, you take charge of them! You put up the money to publish your book. Some self-publishing firms will impose a first printing run of two to five hundred books. Others will supply you with a dozen books or so, and publish the rest on demand, as orders come in.

That’s where you get into trouble … again. How do you get the orders to come in? How do you generate the necessary interest? How do you get people to know about the existence, if not the value of your book?

Most self-publishing firms will offer to market your book … for an extra fee, of course. But, even then, you will only get a “burst” of marketing (press, submitting to magazine reviews, international catalogs, etc.).

What happens after the few weeks of marketing campaign. Yup! You guessed it again. You can either wait for these efforts (over which you have no control) to bear fruit. Or you can cough up some more money for yet another marketing campaign!

Some self publishing firms will be “honest” enough to (strongly) hint that you will have to put in a fair amount of time in self promoting activities, such as organizing signature sessions at local libraries and book stores, participating in book publishing events and shows, etc.

Not exactly what I had in mind. Besides I could not afford it anyway. Not enough time, or money.

Fortunately, my research and planning discipline served me well again. I did not submit my book to a self publishing firm.

Trouble On Marketing Hill

I decided to promote my book myself. Fortunately, I had dabbed in Web site building when I was teaching Web site information architecture to senior college students. I knew that “it was possible” to promote my book with a Web site.

So, I went ahead and thoroughly researched this solution. I soon found out that having a Web site does not necessarily mean that it will be found by roaming Web surfers! Therefore, you cannot count on an automatic flow of visitors to your site.

There was more to Web site building and Web marketing than I thought. Much more. I soon discovered that I knew nothing about Web marketing.

New Tricks To Learn

I got lucky. My research enabled me to discover that I could build an effective Web site, efficiently. All that was required were a few hundred dollars, a Web site theme, and useful content. I was ready, willing and able to supply all that.

I also found that I did not need to have special knowledge of Web technology (such as programming, search engine optimization, Web design, usability, navigation issues, etc.).

Most importantly, I found that I could market my knowledge and know-how without ever publishing a book … at least not in the traditional way, yet. I discovered that I would be much better off publishing … one page at a time!

Here’s how it works.

Each article I write on a given aspect of “web business planning” becomes a page on my Web site.

Each page of my Web site attracts it’s own visitors. And because my Web site is built to be “visible” on the Net, it attracts an increasing number of visitors every day. I did not have the faintest idea how to do that. Fortunately, it is one of the many built-in, automatic features of the Web site building system that I use.

By the way, here is proof of the effectiveness this system. At the time of writing this article, my Web site enjoys an enviable spot on the Web. It ranks within the top two percent! It sits near the top of the hill, and the hill is made up of more than 56 million Web sites. You can verify my Web site’s rank on http://Alexa.com, if you wish.

Each page becomes a revenue generator on it’s own. I can display context relevant Google Adsense adds on them. I can offer links to (topic related) suppliers, as an affiliate. I can even promote and sell my own books, if I ever feel the need to!

The Eureka Rush!

At last! I have found a way to satisfy my craving for writing. As a bonus, I get regular feedback from my Web site visitors, even as I write more content. I have also discovered the intense pleasure of having people express their gratefulness for the helpful information I give them on my site.

Note that I do not sell my information. I give it away! It is part of the give and take of doing business. When I help my visitors, they eventually reward me with their patronage.

I have found a way to generate an income from my writing. I now publish my information in marketable installments, one Web page at a time!

My writing is fast becoming a very enjoyable and rewarding business. I have become convinced that no publisher would ever have been able to match the results I now get by “self-publishing on my Web site”!

Eureka! I have found a way to make my dream come true!

Claude Jollet