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David Johnson - Strategic Vision
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“So You Want to Write a Book?” – How to Use the Internet to Write, Publish and Promote a Book in Record Speed

Los Angeles, CaliforniaEighty-two (82%) percent of the American adult population dreams of writing a book one day.  (Source: Survey by the Association of American Publishers and USA Today).

Are you one of them?

"If you're one of the millions of Americans who's in the process of writing a book, planning to write a book, or dreaming of becoming an author but don't think you can do it, it's easier than you think,” says Maria Veloso, author of 4 books, and online marketer of over a dozen books, who knows how to do it the easy way. 

Whether you want to write a book to inform, enlighten or inspire people, to make a difference in people's lives, to acquire fortune and fame, or to position yourself as an authority on a particular subject, it doesn't have to be a daunting task that takes months or years -- and a lot of money -- to accomplish.  Here are Veloso's tips on how to use the Internet to get the book inside you out into the world.

Tip #1:  Before you even start writing your book, find out if there's a market for your book.  There's no sense in spending months or years writing your book – only to find out that no one is interested in buying it.  You can start by writing an article regarding the subject of your book, disseminating it on the Internet, and getting indications of interest. For example, if you plan to write a book titled Get More Energy Now, you can write an article between 500 to 800 words on the subject matter of your book, such as “The Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Energy.”  Put a byline or resource box at the bottom of the article identifying who you are, and include a note that says:  If you'd like to be notified when Get More Energy is released, send an e-mail to <Your Email Address>.   Veloso received over 950 reservations for her book, Web Copy That Sells long before she got a literary agent, and the number of book reservations she received convinced AMACOM (the publishing division of the American Management Association) to publish her book.

Tip #2:  If you've written your book manuscript, create a PDF (Portable Document Format) file of the first chapter, and invite people who have large e-mail lists to offer it to their friends and/or list members.  Their e-mail should include the PDF file of your sample chapter attached, or include a link to the webpage where they can download the PDF.  Tell them to encourage their list members to forward the link or the PDF file to other friends.  Over 2,100 people downloaded the first chapter of Veloso's novel, Midwinter Turns to Spring, and this produced 1,639 book sales in the first 2 weeks of its online launch.  This initial flurry of sales led to a second printing of her novel and its companion CD even before the book hit bookstore shelves.

Tip #3:  Consider publishing an electronic (eBook) edition of your book and making it available on the Internet via your own website.  Profit margins on eBooks are excellent (almost 100% after development costs).  There are no printing costs and no shipping costs since you deliver the book electronically.  Veloso sold over $750,000 worth of a $27 eBook for one TV celebrity client, and the profits earned exceeded the profits from all her client's book infomercials combined.

Tip #4:  If you want to write books for profit, consider writing a book manuscript and selling the book rights to entrepreneurs on the Internet. The way to determine what to write about is by skimming through book titles of bestseller lists (New York Times, Amazon.com, etc.) to spot the buying trends and discover what books people are buying.  Another way is to go to Overture.com, visit the Resource Center, and click on the Keyword Selector Tool.  If you want to write about weight loss, for example, type in “weight loss” in the box provided, and the tool will show you how many times the term “weight loss” was searched last month. As of the time of this writing, “weight loss” was searched 345,365 times the previous month. That's a LOT of people looking for weight loss information.  Then, you'll have to consider the competition by typing “weight loss” on Google to see how many websites come up in the search results.  After using these research methods, Veloso wrote a 93-page book titled “Megabolic Weight Loss,” a weight loss book for sedentary people, which took her 4 weeks to write.  She then sold the book rights to a day spa corporation in Florida for $23,000.

Tip #5:  If you want to find a literary agent to help you get your book published, you can do it online.  Most literary agencies accept new author submissions via the Internet. The Literary Agents website (http://www.literaryagents.org) gives free resources and tips for finding agents; a template you can use to write a cover letter to an agent; and links to literary agency listings.  Some agencies require you to fill out an online submission form, and others ask you to e-mail your submission.  On November 23, 2002, Veloso sent 10 identical submissions via e-mail to 10 literary agents.  In the e-mail, she wrote that she had just written a book, “Web Copy That Sells,” gave a bulleted list of topics covered in the book, and said that she was looking for a literary agent.  Less than two hours later, she received an e-mail from Wendy Keller, literary agent to authors such as Jack Canfield of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.  Keller became Veloso's literary agent, and got her a book deal with AMACOM a few months later.

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Midwinter Turns to Spring
by Maria Veloso
Copyright © 2005 Maria Veloso