Info Product Creation: 3 Tips to Create and Sell

Info Product Creation: 3 Tips to Create and Sell

Many writers have an ambition: create their own info product, and SELL it. They want to get out of the daily writing grind of trading hours for dollars. If this sounds like you, here are three tips which will help you with info product creation.

1. Start Simple: Create a Small, Easy Product

If you’re entering NaNoWriMo, more power to you. :-) However, if it’s the first time you’ve ever tried to create an info product, start small. Create a 20-page report, or write a short story. Look on your info product creation as an experiment — you’re just trying something new. (This is a psychological trick. Telling yourself it’s just an experiment calms your inner editor.)

2. Set a Deadline for Completion, and Schedule Your Writing Time

Important: set a date by which you’ll SELL your info product. Take the date very seriously. Tell yourself that by ____ (a date) your product will be available for sale.

Selz makes it very easy to sell digital downloads, with no hassle about delivery, or anything else.

3. Get It Done! Sell It. Ignore Your Doubts

You WILL have doubts. That’s your inner editor for you, always kvetching about something. Tell your inner editor “thank you for sharing”, and ignore him.

Once you’ve edited your info product — if it’s short, you don’t need an outside editor — give it to someone to proofread it, and offer it for sale at Selz, or another payment processor. A disclosure: I use Selz, and enjoy their service, but I have no other connection to the company.

Then do it all again… create your next info product, and sell that. Have fun. :-)

Enter the “8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours” Giveaway

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours helps you to create info products in just eight hours. Want to be entered for the 8-Hour Wins giveaway? Here you go. Enter the your details into the Rafflecopter widget.

Learn more about 8-Hour Wins here.

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, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

EASY Kindle Publishing in 5 Simple Steps

EASY Kindle Publishing in 5 Simple StepsIf you’re befuddled by Kindle publishing, relax. It’s super-simple. I’ve created a little slide deck for you, so that you can memorize the steps. Scroll down to the end of the page, and save it to your computer. 8-Hour Wins will help you if you want to make a career of Kindle publishing.

The key: keep moving forward. Your first five ebooks will take longest. After that, you’ll speed up. Amazon gives you all the tools you need. They even provide you with a Cover Creator.

Here are the steps.

1. Fiction? Nonfiction? Get an idea, and research it quickly.

Will you write fiction or nonfiction? Choose. Next, brainstorm. I like to brainstorm away from my office. I settle down in a coffee shop, or in a quiet spot in a soft chair in our local library.

You can set a timer if you like. Whether you set a timer or not, aim for 20 ideas within 15 minutes. You’re limiting the time you spend, so that you get it DONE.

Got 20 ideas? Great. Don’t worry if your ideas all seem like junk. You’ve cudgeled your brain, kicking your sleepy subconscious mind awake. Within the next 24 hours, you’ll come up with a new, excellent idea, or you’ll choose one of your junky ideas and will make it work.

Leave 24 hours between this step, and the next. I usually wake up the next morning with a good idea — or at least, a good-enough idea. :-)

2. Clear time in your schedule. How many hours will you need?

You’ve picked a idea: mediocre, excellent or brilliant, it doesn’t matter. Ideas are everywhere. They don’t matter — what counts is what you do with the idea. At the moment, your sole aim is to keep moving forward.

How long will it take to write your idea? I recommend you create a short ebook, of 5,000 to 10,000 words. Your choice, short nonfiction ebook, or short story.

Look at your schedule. Clear time to write. You may need a week, you may need three, depending on how much time you can steal for your writing.

Block out the time: this is the time you’ll spend writing. I recommend you write daily, even if you can only find 20 minutes.

3. CREATE! Unlock your creativity.

It’s time to write. Do it. You’re writing first draft material, which can be as junky as you please. Your writing is your creativity. It’s handled by your subconscious mind, which hates structure, demands, and pressure. Think of your subconscious mind as a recalcitrant eight-year-old.

Charm it. Have fun with your writing — it’s the only way to unlock your creativity. My eight-year-old likes nice paper, fountain pens, and colors. My grandmother gave me an elegant fountain pen when I was eight, which accounts for it. What does your eight-year-old like? Give your eight-year-old whatever he/ she likes, and write.

4. Edit and revise. Get someone else to read it.

All done. Kudos to you! Leave your writing for 24 hours. Then, save it in PDF form, or print it out. Read it straight through, and then revise. You can follow the revision process here.

Once you’re done with your second draft, give it to someone else to read, preferably a writer, or a keen reader of the kind of material you write.

5. Publish and promote. Tell eager readers.

Final step. Upload your new ebook to Amazon. Don’t forget the meta data: your description, etc. Promote your new ebook anywhere you choose.

Ideally, you’ll start promoting before you write. You can do that with future ebooks. Look on this first effort as a way to get comfortable with Kindle publishing. Pat yourself on the back, and give your inner eight-year-old a hug. You did it. :-)

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 HoursWrite ebooks in just eight hours. Step by step, from Hour 1, to Hour 8, with lots of tactics and strategies along the way. New writer? You’ll love this. If you’re an established writer, this is your guide to making more money this year. And next year.

More information here.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

NaNoWriMo Novelist: 5 Tips to Stay Inspired

NaNoWriMo Novelist: 5 Tips to Stay Inspired

You’re entering NaNoWriMo, or you’ve found this post because you’re hoping for some inspiration to write your novel.

Writing a Novel? Keep Writing!

In my other life as a ghostwriter, I’ve written more novels than I care to remember. At some point, with almost every novel, I found myself contemplating a way to end it all. The novel, not myself. :-) I managed to keep writing. You will too. Here are five tips which will help when you’ve lost your inspiration and need to find it again.

1. Send for the Cavalry.

I love the “send for the cavalry” trick. The cavalry were mounted horsemen. You don’t need a troop of them. Just introduce one other character. Anyone will do — imagine a character, and drop him in there.

Let’s say you’re writing a romance. Easy. You bring in an old flame. Writing a mystery? Drop in another prime suspect. Or give the sleuth a wife or husband who’s decamped.

Your trooper can be an unborn child, or a ghost, if you like.

2. It Must Be True. I Read It in the Newspaper.

I love mysteries which start with a newspaper story. From memory, PD James started one or two of her mysteries that way. For inspiration, read your local newspaper. If you live in an area where all the local rags have folded, look online. Does anything spark an idea? Something will; check the classified ads.

Alternatively, your main character reads something in the newspaper which makes him doubt himself, or one of the other characters.

3. Kick the MacGuffin.

A MacGuffin is a plot device: something somebody wants. Or lots of somebodies. In Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number (a very funny novel) there are two MacGuffins: one is her engagement ring, and the other is her mobile phone.

MacGuffins are wonderful, because they’re kickable. They’re real. If you’re new novelist, you may have a lot of people having conversations about nothing in particular. A MacGuffin gets them arguing, and fighting — ideally in lots of different locations.

Jenny Crusie’s novel, Tell Me Lies, begins with:

One hot August Thursday afternoon, Maddie Faraday reached under the front seat of her husband’s Cadillac and pulled out a pair of black lace bikini underpants. They weren’t hers.

A wonderful MacGuffin.

Check your novel. Got a MacGuffin? No? Excellent. Toss one in there. You’ll get inspired all over again.

4. Same Story, Different Eyes.

You’re telling your story in third person narrative point of view (POV). Your POV character is your main character.

Switch it up. Bring in another point of view. If you’re writing a mystery, give the killer’s POV for a couple of chapters, or for several scenes.

If you don’t want to switch points of view, have your main character write in a journal, or write a series of emails, or tweets.

5. Here, Doggy!

If you haven’t got a pet in your story, get one. All the best novels have a pet or two. (I’m kidding, but not really… the pet ploy works.)

You can make your pet odd, if you like. I typed “Regency novel hedgehog” into Google, and out popped the novel, Midsummer Moon. I read the novel years ago, and don’t recall the characters or plot, but I remember the hedgehog.

Similarly, I’ve read many Stephanie Plum novels, but remember nothing at all, except Rex, the hamster.

Pets are fun in novels. Not only will your readers remember your pet, the pet will inspire you too, and that’s the point.

Another benefit: your pet makes your main character sympathetic. Consider giving your evil villain a pet — it will make him even scarier.

Get inspired to write your novel

So there you have it. Try one or several of these tips when your inspiration for your novel flags. It surely will, at some point, but you can get it back. Have fun. :-)

Writing a Book? Do It FAST

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours works for fiction, and nonfiction. If you’re writing fiction, you can use the process for short stories, novellas and full-length novels too. 8-Hour Wins ensures that you not only start your novel, but you FINISH it… and publish it.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Make Money Writing: Your Content Bonanza (or Not)

Make Money Writing: Your Content Bonanza (or Not)There’s never been a better time to be a writer because there’s no ceiling on your income. You don’t need to write for others, you can sit on your sofa and make six figures. But… there’s always a but. :-)

As I say in Creative Content Secrets: Create Six-Figure Content in 2015, many writers write and write, but it’s as if they have “all the pieces for a car engine lying on their garage floor, and can’t fit those pieces into their Alpha Romeo 4C.”

Writing Is a BUSINESS; Content Is a BUSINESS

In 2014, and most certainly in 2015, content is a business. Large companies are pouring millions of dollars into content, because it works for them. They get sales and customers. There’s a tsunami of content pouring online. Forbes for example, posts 8,000 pieces of content a month:

D’Vorkin called this a “distributed authorship” model, one which churns out 8,000 pieces of content a month including text and video. And an increasingly lucrative slice of it, he added, was paid content via Forbes’ Brandvoice platform.

(That was in 2013; heaven knows what they publish today.)

Individual writers can’t hope to compete with that — or can we? You can’t out-do Forbes, and similar content behemoths. What you can do however, is realize that you, sitting on your sofa, in your jammies, can write, and make money. If you know how.

Making money from content doesn’t mean that you type your fingertips to the bone for $10 an hour: “Blog writing, Article writing, Compose tweets, Create taglines for memes, Compose emails”. I copied that directly from a project posted on an outsourcing website.

You can, if you wish, of course. No judgment here. However, the mere fact that you’re reading this tells me that you almost certainly want to do better than $10 an hour.

To repeat, writing content is a business. I revamped Writing Genii, hoping to help you to turn your writing into a real business. If you’re writing content, have a blog, are writing ebooks, are doing your best with social media, and so on — you have the good sense and ability to make a killing from content.

You Need Goals, and a PLAN

Big companies do not act stupidly, generally speaking, of course. :-) If major companies are pouring millions into content, the crumbs from the table can feed you and me.

But only if you have goals, and a plan.

I work with writers every day, and most have goals, but very, very few have real goals, and real plans to achieve those goals. I’ve often told you the story of my goal to publish a novel. This was in the early 1980s, ancient history, in a very different world. I set a deadline: ten years. If I hadn’t had a novel published in ten years, I’d give up writing for good. That was my deadline.

I made a plan: I’d write a book proposal (three chapters and an outline), a month. For ten years, if necessary. Long story short, it took six months, and I had a multi-book contract.

When you set a goal, with a deadline, and create a plan, you will succeed. I’ve yet to meet a writer who said: I WILL DO THIS, and didn’t succeed.

In a nutshell, you will SUCCEED, if:

  1. You have a goal;
  2. You have a non-negotiable deadline to achieve that goal, and there’s a penalty for non-achievement;
  3. You create a plan;
  4. You’re willing to work your plan, and do what it takes to achieve your goal — as long as it’s legal. :-)
  5. You will not take NO for an answer. You’ll keep writing in the face of temporary setbacks, until you either achieve your goal, or your deadline  runs out.

Your Sales Funnel: the Secret to Turning Content Into Your Personal Bonanza

A sales funnel looks like this:

  • An intake system (the wide part of your funnel);
  • The neck of the funnel (someone takes an action);
  • The resulting payoff: cash from your content.

Every piece of content you create needs a goal. The content can be: an ebook, an article for a website, a blog post, a posting on Facebook, a tweet… there are many different kinds of content. Each piece needs a goal: a reason for existing.

However, getting people who hear about what you have to offer to take ACTION is something else again. It takes more than a tweet. More than a blog post. More than a WISH that people will buy.

Writers always have choices. You can go the $10 an hour route, and get paid. There’s plenty of writing gigs everywhere, at that rate of pay. If you want more, you need to create a goal, and make a plan. Then you need to persist. And you need to burn your boats. That is, create a penalty for non-achievement. My penalty was giving up writing. I was serious.

Today, you can make whatever money you choose. From your sofa. In your jammies. But only if you have a goal, and a plan. And are willing to do what it takes. Granted, $10 an hour is easier — so it’s up to you. :-)

New — Creative Content Secrets: Create Six-Figure Content in 2015

Creative Content Secrets: Create Six-Figure Content in 2015Write and succeed, with creative content. YOU can do it, whether you’ve been writing for a month, or years. Creating your own content funnels isn’t complicated. All you need to do is set goals.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Write a Novel in a Month: 5 Tips for Making NaNoWriMo Worth the Effort

Write a Novel in a Month: 5 Tips for Making NaNoWriMo Worth the Effort

A couple of my writing students have asked me about glorious NaNoWriMo, in which you write a novel in a month.

They wanted to know whether it was “worth the effort”. I told them that for them, no, it wasn’t worth it. They’re not playing around, they want to make money. Neither has written a novel before. Even at 50K words, a novel can be hard to manage. By “manage” — I mean end up with something that’s worth publishing, and is likely to produce an income.

If you want to make money from your writing, investing a month and writing 50K words without knowing what you’ll do at the end of it is (probably) a mistake.

It all depends on your goals for your writing. Of course, if you just want to have fun, and explore your creativity, go for it — NaNoWriMo will teach you a lot, about yourself, and your writing.

Will NaNoWriMo Help You to Achieve Your Goals for Your Writing?

That’s the big question. Both of my students have financial goals they need to meet. To “win” NaNoWriMo, you need to write 50K words in 31 days. That’s around 1,600 words a day. On average, I can write 1,500 words of first draft material in an hour. So theoretically, it’s only an hour out of my (and your) day.

However, writing takes energy. Time really is money, for a writer. If you’re making $100 per hour, you’re investing $3,100 in NaNoWriMo. Is that a wise investment for you, at this time?

Let’s look at some tips which will help to ensure that NaNoWriMo is worth the effort for you, if you’re taking the plunge. :-)

1. Create a Publication Plan

You’ve decide to go ahead with NaNoWriMo. I have one word for you: plan. You know that I’m big on planning. You may not know that when it comes to fiction, I’m a pantser by nature. So planning fiction doesn’t come easily to me. However, it needs to be done.

Come up with a story-starter, and plan your scenes.

In addition, decide where and how you’ll publish. Think about things like: is this book the start of a series? Could you serialize it? How will it affect your Amazon catalogue? Who will edit it? Who will do the cover? Etc.

2. Create a Promotions Plan (and Start Promoting Now)

Yep. Plan that now. Create a sales page for your upcoming book, and start promoting it, with a mailing list.

3. Get Creative, Have Fun (Drop Your Inhibitions)

I write fiction first thing in the morning. I can’t relax after the day has started, and I’m staring at my schedule. Fiction is all about emotion — feelings. You live with each character. Find ways to drop yourself into your story, so that you feel it.

Fiction isn’t “writing” in the sense that you worry about word use etc. That comes much later. FEEL IT is the best advice I can give you. :-)

4. Schedule Your Writing

Decide when you’ll do your writing stint. First thing in the morning? After dinner? In your lunch hour? Jot it into your calendar.

5. Know Your Conflicts, and Your Ending

Before NaNoWriMo starts, know:

  • Who your characters are, and what they want;
  • Who’ll stop them getting it?
  • How?
  • Your setting, and some of your locations;
  • Your ending. (Vital.)

A little planning won’t kill your spontaneity. It makes it more likely that you’ll end up with $50K words which are a story, rather than a bunch of characters in search of one.

5 Tips for Making NaNoWriMo Worth the Effort
5 tips to help you to write your novel

Whether you’ve written a novel before or not, NaNoWriMo can be a wonderful experience. It’s up to you to make it worth the effort. :-)

Fiction or Nonfiction: Use the 8-Hour Wins Process

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 HoursYes, you can use 8-Hour Wins to write novel-length fiction, as well as nonfiction.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Free Content: New Writing Genii’s Library

Free Content: New Writing Genii's Library

Thank heavens, our newly revamped Writing Genii is now live. It’s been a frustrating exercise to get it off the ground. We hope you enjoy its free content library for creatives, called oddly enough, the Free Content Library. Currently we’ve two free ebooks for you to download, and more are coming.

Why a free Content Library?

Basically, because the Web has changed. Our Fab Freelance Writing Blog launched in 2006. In those days, the Web was very different. Professional writers looked on Web writing as… odd. Beneath contempt. Not worth a professional’s time and attention. Well, times change, and we change with them.

All the “Web writing’s not real writing” writers are now writing for the Web. Some are doing a great job of it, others not so much.

My primary goal in all my teaching has been to help writers to make a career of writing — to make money. It’s always seemed unfair to me that writers who create the words usually make the least money. They write for magazines in which a full-page ad costs $10,000 and make $300 for their article. Or they write the content for a website which pulls in $100,000 a week, and make $100 a webpage.

Not to put too fine a point on it, writers get shafted because they’re babes-in-the-wood when it comes to business. I created Your Creative Business to help writers to get a foothold on business. Over 12 years ago, my first ezine was called Creative Small Biz. The first of several years of weekly issues was published on September 14, 2002. The ezine’s tagline was “Make money, have fun and get creative with your small business.”

Very apt.

New Writing Genii: Make money, have fun and get creative with your small business

So, in a very real sense, new Writing Genii is a reiteration of Creative Small Biz. Same aim: to get creatives to pay attention to business, while they’re writing. Ideally, to have their business sense inform their creativity, and vice versa. And have fun, of course. :-)

Today, 30 MILLION pieces of content flow onto the Web, each and every day. That’s a LOT of content. You, I, and every other writer has to compete with that for attention. As we said in Professional Writing Going Forward to 2015, professional writing is changing. If you want to make a great income from your writing, you need to become much more entrepreneurial.

The Free Content Library helps new writers to get up to speed on the world of writing as it is in 2014, and in 2015 and beyond. Eventually, we’ll have many ebooks in the library for you to download, and put to use. You can download the first two ebooks now. My hope is that they’ll arm you to develop a real writing business.

Going Forward: New Opportunities for You With Our Affiliate Program

Writers keep asking for an affiliate program to promote our products, and that’s coming. New Writing Genii gives us the framework to put that in place; we’ll announce the affiliate program when it’s ready to be launched.

Enjoy Writing Genii — join, and download your free ebooks.:-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.