Unless you’ve been under a rock, you probably already know that Facebook has a ton of users.

But why should you care?

Because it’s those users that can make your pockets fill up.

Now I know you’ve probably seen other software showing you how to advertise on news feed ads and put opt in forms there.

But what if you could do that or something similar on your fan pages, groups, or even your own personal status?

And instead of having content post to your groups, fan pages, and statuses, that you have very little to any control over, how about being able to curate ANY content to those places on Facebook?

Even if you don’t own the group?

And place an image that links to an opt-in?

You’re probably getting chills!

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FB Content Pro

With FB Content Pro, you have 11 sources to curate content from and can easily use clickable images to redirect anywhere you like on Facebook.

But don’t take my word for it.

See it in action with the ‘live’ demos and you’ll be glad you took a look at this one.

4 ways to overcome writer’s block

Posted July 12th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Content Publishing

Direct marketing maven Ted Nicholas offers these 4 tips for overcoming writer’s block:

1. Do a non-writing activity so you have a clear mind for creative purposes.

2. Never write when you’re tired.

3. Never write when you’re busy. Says Ted: “I don’t think anyone can write well when watching the clock.”

4. Don’t write in bits and pieces. Once you’ve turned on your creative energy, you need to keep it flowing. “I don’t stop until I complete a draft,” says Ted. “I try not to stop even for meals.”

Full disclosure: I am in total disagreement with the last tip, as was the late Gene Schwartz. But Ted is one of the greats, so I include it for your consideration.

I prefer to work on a job in one-hour increments until I tire of writing that piece. I then put that project aside and immediately turn to another one. I also find it energizing to alternative between short writing projects—like this e-newsletter—and long projects like half-hour-long video sales letters.

Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 4/18/14

Not always, says author Beth Erickson, who suggests that you try new markets, write whatever strikes your fancy, and if it makes you more comfortable, use a pen name when experimenting with subjects outside your primary focus.

I recommend an 80/20 ratio: 80% of your writing projects should be in familiar areas where you have skill, expertise, and knowledge. Doing so ensures you are profitable on a per-hour basis.

But 20% of your writing projects should be in new products, new markets, new venues, or new forms. This keeps you fresh and prevents you from getting bored.

I am probably more 90/10. But I would never be 100/0, for the aforementioned risk of boredom and getting stale.

For instance, a writer whose work I admire, TB, writes exclusively about the silver market.

Yes, he’s enviably efficient, productive, good, and respected. But if I wrote about nothing but one subject 24/7, I would go out of my skull.

Source: Writing Etc., 3/12/14

Rapid Content Wizard

As you know, creating high-quality content is a time-consuming process…

Even if you outsource it, it’s expensive and still takes forever to get back…

Then you have to kick it back for corrections, etc.

It can be a nightmare.

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- Creates Full SILOS, Loaded with Content in 60 Seconds or Less…

It does all this and a ton more, but you have to see Rapid Content Wizard Lightning Edition in action to really appreciate the power here.

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This software is currently on pre-launch pricing and is incredibly discounted right now…

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Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of content marketing—marketing based on dissemination of free information that is useful and interesting to prospects.

I use content marketing all the time for myself and my clients and have been doing so for over 3 decades.

But, in an article from Target Marketing, Craig Fitzgerald writes: “Relevant, meaningful, authentic content is the key to inbound marketing. It’s paramount to attracting customers to your brand and keeping them engaged.”

Really? Content is “the” key? Not persuasion? Not copy? Not salesmanship? Not offers? Not benefits?

Well, in some cases, maybe. But always? No way.

Content marketing is particularly effective in several situations:

1. Your sale depends on convincing prospects that you and your company are the top experts or authorities in your niche or technology.

2. The prospect desires to become a more educated consumer of what you are selling. Example: I have copywriting clients who want to know more about copywriting so they can better judge the copy I and others write for them.

3. The prospect will be more successful if he has a deeper understanding of your product or service. Example: you offer search engine optimization (SEO) services and need to educate prospects so they appreciate what you are doing for them and why you are doing it.

But what Craig omits is that there are many marketing situations in which the prospect has no desire to learn more about what you do or how it works and in which their trust in you is generated through vehicles other than content.

For instance, a guy named JM at a firm called Z&Z is my CPA.

They do no content marketing. Or if they do, they have made no effort to target it at me or even show it to me. I have never been on their website.

And if they do produce content, I have no interest in it, wrong-headed as that stance may be.

The reason? Accounting bores me to tears. I prefer to turn everything about my books and taxes over to a CPA whom I can trust—JM—and let him do his work with as little involvement on my part as possible.

My trust in JM comes not from content he may have published…which I have never seen…but from the fact that I have known the owners of Z&Z for decades.

And that they are visible in the local community. That visibility includes a charitable organization in which JM’s partners and my late father were both active.

So I have no interest in content about income tax preparation. And therefore, content marketing won’t sell me your accounting services.

Similarly, think of local businesses like your town pizza joint and neighborhood dry cleaner.

No pizza parlor or dry cleaner I have ever dealt with publishes content on how to make a pizza or how to clean clothes. That’s not what their customers would want. It’s not how those products and services are sold. Content marketing is irrelevant.

My problem with marketing experts like Craig who are evangelists for the flavor of the month (in this case content marketing) is that they think their favorite methodology can be applied with a broad brush to every business, which is not at all the case.

This problem extends throughout the marketing community to every channel that is new, hip, and trendy, including content marketing, SEO, blogging, infographics, mobile, apps, and social media.

The evangelists insist what they have is the next big thing…that it renders every other marketing method obsolete…and that everyone should be using it.

Utter nonsense.

They also act like they invented it—also utter nonsense, as I ran my first content marketing campaign in 1980…and others were doing it decades before that.

We just didn’t call it content marketing. We called it “selling by giving away free information”.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Though e-books are becoming mainstream, you’re missing “half the market” by not publishing your works in real hard books. For many varied reasons, there are still people who would prefer to hold a book, not a tablet, in their hands.

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You will be so glad you do have it.

Are you tired of wasting time writing content? Spending hours upon hours in front of a screen researching, writing and revising your content?

Or maybe you tried outsourcing and learned the hard way by losing hundreds of dollars in expenses.

We all know that we can’t live without content. It’s the life blood of any online business.

But, Why does it have to be SO boring and take up so much time?

Dejan Murko and his team of 6 programmers felt the same way.

They too knew how it felt to waste precious time and money developing content.

And that’s why they’ve developed what is being known as the ultimate cure for lack of content.

They’re arming you with the power to dominate any niche, get more traffic, make more profit, AND spend more time doing the things you love.

Imagine having unlimited content available to you at the click of a button?

Imagine if this resource was a’ Google-Like’ search engine that would allow you to insert your target keyword, hit “search” and it would instantly deliver HUNDREDS of ready-to-publish content that you can use on your sites?

Imagine if this same search engine allowed you to preview the articles, AND download them either as-is OR in Spun format, just in case I wanted to use them across multiple sites.

Imagine if you also had access to over 1,000 e-books that you can easily rebrand to build your list or to sell?

Imagine if this search engine was online based, so that you can use it on a Mac or PC and access it from ANYWHERE in the world?

Sounds awesome, right?

That’s EXACTLY what Dejan and his team created.

And for the next few days you’ll be able to access this amazing cure at a HUGE discount.

Big Content Search

* Big Content Search *

Subscriber SJ asks, “Can you give us your take on the advisability of writing for the content farms like Demand Media Studios (Ehow)?”

A content farm is a business that hires multiple writers to churn out articles that clients post on their web sites to improve their search engine rankings.

In my experience, the writers who write for content farms are for the most part minimally skilled. Often English is not their native language, which shows in their writing.

Articles from content farms are typically produced by writers who are not experts in the subject. They just go on Google and cobble together an article on the topic from 5 or 6 other articles they find online—frequently without giving credit to these sources.

Content farms are famous for the miserable fees they pay writers. One I saw offered $5 per article. How good are those $5 per article writers? Not very.

And I know that from experience: I stupidly hired a content farm writer to write content for my chemistry website.

In an article on careers in chemistry, she actually wrote “People interested in a career in chemistry should study chemistry.” Duh.

Unbelievably, she also wrote in the same article “Chemistry is a good career for those who are fond of atoms.” I am not kidding. This at least gave me a good laugh.

Writers have a long tradition of getting started in their freelance careers by writing for low pay or no pay.

Back in the day, it was mainly for small magazines that paid writers in contributor’s copies. Today, the articles are for websites, and they are written more for search engines than human readers. The content farms seem not to care much what’s in the article or how well it is written as long as it contains the right key words.

Subscriber MZ, a freelance writer, notes, “An infinite supply of low, low, insultingly low paying outlets have cropped up like an unkillable fungus. It’s made a lot of writers very angry. Not only do we refuse to work for these absurdly low rates, we feel deeply offended that our work could be valued so poorly.”

“But I am a beginner,” you object, “I need to get some writing samples to launch my business.” However, if the samples are articles published by content farms, good clients are unlikely to be impressed.

A better option than working for peanuts for content farms is to get hired by real clients for smaller, noncritical assignments until they get to know you well enough to try you on a bigger project.

For instance, a newsletter publisher might not hire an untested writer to write a full-length promotion for them. But they might hire you to write an article for their free e-newsletter, a special report used as a subscription premium, or some banner ads. And they will pay you a fair rate for the work.

So my advice to SJ and all other freelance writers is to avoid content farms like the plague. They are truly the cesspool of the freelance writing profession.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I reached the conclusion that the #1 difference between good writers and amateurs is as follows.

Many writers who are amateur, mediocre, bad, or just not worth reading write mostly about their personal opinions, thoughts, stream of consciousness, and feelings—in other words, whatever bubbles into their minds.

This is why so many blogs are utter crap: Bloggers can write whatever they want. There is no publisher or editor to say, “Hey, this isn’t good; don’t publish this!” Indeed, they can and often do publish everything that pops into their head. Exceptions? Of course.

Good writers—those worth reading—have something unique, valuable, or useful to say. And what they say is not just whatever they think. It is a distillation of wisdom produced by experience, observation, study, and activity.

In other words, good writers are good because they know something and can offer value by sharing it with their readers.

Average or bad writers don’t really know anything, and so their writing is vacuous, without valuable or hard-won ideas, wisdom, or knowledge.

“Write what you know” is old advice. The problem is a lot of people who write don’t know anything, or at least do not know anything that other people also want to know. And so they have nothing to write about.

Therefore it follows that if you want to be a good writer instead of an average or bad writer, you must gain knowledge, wisdom, or experience so you have something of value and interest to write about other than your feelings and thoughts.

Here are some suggestions for acquiring the base of knowledge that can transform your writing from low value to high value:

1 – Read widely and constantly. As insurance billionaire Arthur Williams once observed, most of humankind’s knowledge can be found in books.

2 – At work or in your personal life, take on a difficult task or project that no one else wants to do. If you succeed, you can write your own ticket selling your expertise to others both in your writings and as a consulting service.

Example: My old college friend EG led his company in an early SAP (software) implementation and then made a handsome living as a SAP expert.

3 – Have more experiences. Instead of watching TV, be on the board of a nonprofit like my colleague BK, or buy and run a bar like my writer friend CF. Or be like my friend DY who built a shack in the middle of the woods, lived there for a year, and then wrote a novel about it. The more you do, the more you have to write about.

4 – Associate with successful people. Soak up their knowledge and experience. Ask questions to find out what they know that others don’t. Then distill what you learn and pass it on to your readers.

5 – Take or teach a course.

For instance, in my early days in NYC, I took some Learning Annex courses on various career options such as music and business. I then wrote about what I learned in my John Wiley & Sons book “Dream Jobs: a Guide to Tomorrow’s Top Careers”.

I had been a technical writer at Westinghouse in Baltimore, and when I moved to NYC, I taught a technical writing course at New York University. The course became the basis for my McGraw-Hill book “The Elements of Technical Writing,” which I wrote in 1981 and is still in print today.

Nicholas Baker: “If you think your writing furthers life or truth in some way, then you keep writing. But if that feeling stops, you have to find something else to do.”

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

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The 4Rs Of Content Management by Bob Bly

Posted September 13th, 2013 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Content Publishing

Subscriber DK asks, “Bob, do you fear duplication? Triplication of your work? 30+ years and mountains of books, articles etc. How do you keep it fresh without dusting off and repackaging old efforts? Perpetual originality is very impressive.”

What DK really is talking about is the shelf life of content and whether (and how much) you have to continually come out with new stuff.

I think the solution to managing and “curating” your content lies in the 4 R’s of content management: recycle, refurbish, reject, and replace.

1. Recycle: DK is partially incorrect in suggesting that you should not dust off and repackage old efforts. On the contrary, you should.

It takes a lot of time and effort to create good content. If you only use it once, you are wasting it. Why not get maximum usage out of your investment? You should look to repackage your content in multiple media and forums. I know of one writer who made thousands of dollars selling and reselling the same short article on travel to India to 37 different magazines and newspapers!

One of my mentors, the late Howard Shenson, was a consultant, speaker, and information marketer. Howard told me a secret: customers will buy the same information in a variety of formats: speech, seminar, audio CD, special report, article, etc.

In the 1980s, I wrote numerous articles on marketing for a trade publication called Business Marketing. When the articles were published, I shoved them into a file cabinet and there they sat, ignored and unused.

Many years later, when I put up my first website, I learned that websites should have a lot of content. So I dusted off those articles, scanned them, and posted them on the articles page of my website.

Result: an instant library of content for my site with no additional effort on my part. No one has ever said anything about the articles being recycled.

2. Refurbish: this means to make significant updates to your writings so that they are current. For instance, I wrote a book on copywriting, The Copywriter’s Handbook, around 1985. Of course, it had nothing in it about online marketing.

Fortunately the publisher asked me to update it for the 21st century. So I added sections on e-mail marketing, websites, and other online marketing for a revised 3rd edition that now sells on Amazon.

There are 2 categories of updates for content: (1) cosmetic (e.g. the original Copywriter’s Handbook referred to typewriters, which we have changed to PCs, and we had to update the price of a postage stamp for the new edition) and (2) substantial.

Make both when updating content. If a reader finds even one dated reference in your writing, they will assume the entire document is out of date.

When you update, indicate the current year for the copyright date of the new edition. And note that it is a revised edition on the cover.

Today’s Internet-spoiled readers assume anything with a copyright date older than 24 months is out of date. Ridiculous, but that’s what they believe. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was published in 1936 and still sells well today.

3. Reject: alas, some things you write become so dated and stale that they cannot be saved and should be discarded.

An example is a book I wrote decades ago on producing brochures called Create the Perfect Sales Piece.

It was written before the advent of desktop publishing, so the production methods are obsolete.

But more important, so few marketers use print brochures today that the subject isn’t important enough to justify a new edition. So the publisher and I have let it quietly die.

4. Replace: I also wrote a book on direct mail, but when e-mail marketing began to replace direct mail as a preferred outbound marketing tactic, I wrote a book on e-mail (one of the first) called Internet Direct Mail. So rather than refurbish my direct mail book I replaced it with an e-mail marketing book.

3 key pieces of advice for managing your content:

1. Have a good filing system for all your content on your hard drive. Use descriptive subdirectories so you can quickly locate the files you are looking for.

2. Look at the content you already have every now and then. You’ll find gems you’d forgotten that deserve to be recycled or refurbished.

3. Create some regular mechanism that requires you to constantly write new content. That way, you’ll always have an ample surplus of content for products and promotions. Be sure to retain all rights to content you have written.

My content-creation mechanism is this e-newsletter and my column in Target Marketing magazine. For you, it might be a blog, articles for the business section of your local newspaper, or updated content for your website.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

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Subscriber JC recently asked me a question that I get asked quite often.

It has to do with how much information to give away when marketing with content.

“Conventional advice says never to give away all your secrets through your blog and social networks,” writes JC.

“So how do you distinguish between educating consumers and giving away personal trade secrets?”

I gave JC this advice on how to determine what content to give away: Share with your prospects what you do, but not how to do it.

This way prospects will view you as the expert in your skill set but not be able to do it themselves. And so they will perceive that they need to hire you.

But now I think my answer to JC was too restrictive. Fact is, I give away lots of how-to in my content. And by doing so, I further solidify the impression that I know what I am doing.

However, even if you do give away a lot of how-to, your prospects will then theoretically know how to do what you do…but will not have your years of experience in actually doing it.

So their skill level will be a fraction of yours, and they will still turn to you, the expert, for your services and advice.

My overriding philosophy is that it is better to give away more secrets rather than fewer in your content marketing. In this, I am in opposition to the conventional advice JC refers to.

Marketers fear giving away too much content for two reasons: First, they overestimate the rarity of their content.

You may think what you are giving away is your own secret sauce, invented by and known only by you.

But more often than not, the same advice has already been posted in many places online…and it is not the secret you think it is.

Second, marketers do not realize that the majority of prospects, while wanting to become better educated, do not actually want to do the work themselves.

The reason they want to become better educated in your skill area is so they can know enough to select the right vendor…and more effectively evaluate the work you do for them.

As Sims the retailer says in their radio commercials, “An educated consumer is the best customer.”

Here are some of the channels where I commonly share content with my prospects and subscribers:

1. My e-newsletter.

2. My books.

3. My e-books.

4. My column in Target Marketing magazine.

5. Articles.

6. Blog posts.

7. Facebook and LinkedIn posts, tweets.

8. The Articles page of my website: http://www.bly.com/newsite/Pages/articles.php

9. Special reports.

10. Presentations: seminars, speeches, webinars.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Thomas Edison said “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”

I am the first to admit there are many things in modern marketing that I know I should do. I know how to do them, too. And I do them. But I don’t always understand why they work.

This new idea of transparency is one of them.

Transparency is the notion that your readers don’t just want content about your area of expertise, although they do want it.

They also want personal stories about you and your life, and for you to reveal your personality, beliefs, and philosophy of life to them.

That is why I do not restrict this e-newsletter to pure marketing advice, but also present my ideas on a variety of topics related to success in both business and your personal life.

(In a few months, a collection of the best of these essays will be published as a paperback book by Morgan James.)

From the correspondence I receive from my subscribers, many of you approve of and like this kind of essay.

My primary copywriting mentor, the late Sig Rosenblum, would have scolded me for my transparency. Sig said, “The reader doesn’t care about you. He cares about his needs, wants, fears, and desires.”

Sig was right in the 1980s when I first connected with him, but his advice seems to no longer apply today; readers apparently do care about you.

But I am not sure why: I lead a pretty dull and ordinary life.

I am not a karate master like Dr. Andrew Linick or an amateur Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter like Mark Ford. I don’t collect fine cigars like Ken Roberts or own exotic cars like Joe Vitale.

I am not adventurous. I don’t go on expeditions to Peru like Dr. Al Sears, or bungee jump and skydive like Fran Capo. I don’t even like to travel, although I will do so to give a seminar. I much prefer to stay at home writing, reading, and spending time with my family.

If I had to guess why transparency works, it’s that human beings love stories, and in transparency, writers tell a lot of personal stories. So transparency captures the reader’s interest.

On social media, I may tell just the story, and that can generate many comments.

In my e-newsletter issues, which are lengthier, I usually incorporate a lesson—often about business or human behavior—into transparency stories.

Writers have been integrating lessons into stories since before Aesop, so it’s a well-established writing technique.

A few closing facts about the way I practice transparency:

1) I am not embarrassed about anything. I hold almost nothing back. The exception is when the story would violate someone’s privacy.

2) I always tell the truth. I don’t exaggerate. If I say a mailing generated a 3% response rate, it did. As Christopher Reeve tells Lois in the first Superman movie, “I never lie.”

3) I don’t make an effort to make myself look good. The truth I tell is unvarnished.

These things you can take as the gospel truth.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Just wanted to give you a heads up on this revolutionary new software called Kudani. It’s the future of organic traffic and to be honest the only path you should tread.

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The 3 Rs Of Content Optimization

Posted June 7th, 2013 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Content Publishing

What do you do when your content becomes out of date? You have 3 options:

Reorganize - take existing content and restructure it in a way that is more useful to your prospects.

Rewrite - companies often find it useful to rewrite content when it is either dated or has been exhausted due to a high level of previous consumption.

Retire - every piece of content has a shelf life. You cannot use the same content indefinitely.

Source: Marketo white paper, Creating Content That Sells

When I wrote my first book in 1981, book publishing was pretty simple and straightforward: you sold your book to a publishing house, and they published your book.

Today, the array of publishing options available to authors is dazzling. Here’s a quick overview of the 5 basic categories of book publishing to help you choose the one that’s best for you:

1. Mainstream publishing

“Mainstream publishing” means selling your book to a traditional publishing house.

I have done this with all of my 80 books. My publishers include McGraw-Hill, Henry Holt & Company, John Wiley & Sons, HarperCollins, Prentice Hall, and Career Press.

One advantage of traditional publishing is that the money flows from the publisher to the author—as advances and royalties—rather than you paying them.

If you are writing a book for the prestige of being a published author—which can help establish you as a thought leader in your field—mainstream publishing is by far the most prestigious of the 5 publishing options listed here.

People are impressed when you show them a physical book that looks professionally produced—and when you tell them your publisher is Random House or John Wiley.

On the negative side, traditional publishing is a business in decline (it has been for decades) and these books have been selling fewer and fewer copies. Exceptions? Of course.

Despite this, I like mainstream publishing because someone else (the publisher) does most of the grunt work and I make money from the get-go.

2. Self-publishing

“Self publishing” means paying a printer to print your book. You are also responsible for marketing and distribution.

Instead of the 8% royalty a mainstream publisher would pay you, you can earn 40% or more of the cover price per unit sold, depending on method of distribution.

Because you have a higher profit margin, self-publishing is a great option for speakers who want to sell their books at the back of the room.

Bottom line: self-publishing can potentially be more lucrative than mainstream publishing, though frequently it is not.

As for prestige of being a published author, self-publishing is less prestigious than mainstream publishing but more so than e-book publishing (see #4 and 5 below).

I have never self-published a real book. Decades ago, I self-published a book-length work as a typewritten, bound manual for a course I taught—and a small publisher picked it up and published it as a traditional book.

3. Publishing services

There are companies that are not “real” publishers but rather offer “publishing services”. Examples include iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris.

Typically these publishing services produce and publish your book for an up-front fee, and then pay you a royalty per book sold. But deals vary.

I have no experience with this category of book publishing. It seems to be an option for people who are looking to self-publish but want someone else to handle all the details.

The prestige is equal to or maybe a little above traditional self-publishing as described in #2 above.

4. PDF e-books

You can produce your book as a PDF and set up a website where people can purchase and download it.

There is very little prestige in writing an e-book. But the profit margins are close to 100% and so you can make a lot of money with this option.

Writing and selling PDF e-books is a good publishing option for authors who either want to maximize their revenues or get their ideas into published format quickly.

I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling e-books that are either collections of my previously published writing (columns, articles) or updates of my out-of-print paperback books. It is very lucrative.

5. Kindle e-books

A variation of #4 is to publish e-books for Kindle and sell them on Amazon.

Although there are rare stories of fortunes being made self-publishing e-books for Kindle, many Kindle authors have
limited sales and do it more for vanity. I don’t think having a Kindle e-book on amazon.com is terribly prestigious.

I have never self-published a book for Kindle, though many of my regular publishers sell e-book versions of my paperback and hardcover books for that platform.

To summarize:

* If you are writing a book to become a recognized expert in your field, go with a mainstream publisher (option #1).

* If you want a physical book to sell at the back of the room when you speak, self-publish a paperback (option #2).

* If you want to make a lot of money from book sales, publish PDF e-books and sell them online (option #4).

* If you want your work to be available for purchase on Amazon.com and you don’t want to write or publish a traditional book, publish it as an e-book for Kindle (#5).

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

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