Writing an ebook as a lay person?

by Cybria
22 replies
I have an idea for an ebook that I want to write on relationships, because I have some experience in that area, I've read a lot on the subject, and I'm rather observant when it comes to human behavior. The thing is, I've heard the advice to basically just write about what I know, but if I wrote this book under a pen name with no credentials to back it (like in marriage therapy, relationship coaching, etc.), would it be taken seriously? I know one can do this in the printed book world if they know enough about the subject, but does it work for ebooks too?

Also, what would I do after the ebook? I know I am suppose to have products on the "back end" to sell but honestly the ebook is the only idea for a product that I have. I want to start a relationship blog too but that doesn't count as a back end product.
#ebook #lay #person #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Elmar
    Cybria,
    If the book provides value and solves real problems, do not worry about your credentials. With good copy you can sell anything.
    If you dont know how to write good copy try giving away 1 or 2 chapters of the book for free as "try before you buy".

    Dont overwhelm yourself with a backend. Just start selling the ebook first. You can offer high price coaching to your list (phone or Skype) as well as marketing affiliate offers after you make the ebaook sale.

    Also these days all digital merchants have a solid 30-60 day refund policy, so if anyone does not like what you have to offer they can return it and everybody is happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinBuckley
    Cybria,

    Just use relationship related products from clickbank for back end sales and on your relationship blog.

    To your success,

    Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Just get it done and launch it. Worry about the rest later.

    I also advise you make it as high quality as possible, but don't spend too much time on it. You never know how well a product will sell so once the first product is done, you can begin to work on the next one.
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Cybria View Post

    Also, what would I do after the ebook? I know I am suppose to have products on the "back end" to sell but honestly the ebook is the only idea for a product that I have. I want to start a relationship blog too but that doesn't count as a back end product.
    The lack of expected credentials is going to be a problem, so you'll need to write the book from a unique perspective. That will get you some recognition as a respectable authority on the subject. And when I say unique, I mean really, really unique because this topic has been done to death (what topic hasn't?). Go where no writer has dared to go before and you've got yourself a seller. Throw some shock value in there and you might even have yourself a best seller.

    Never-the-less, good back-end products for books are private forum access, private consultations, paid radio interviews, etc. You can find more ideas from John Kremer's "1001 Ways to Market Your Books." Book marketing tips and book promotion ideas from expert John Kremer
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  • Profile picture of the author Flores
    Everyone is better than someone at something Even if you do not any credentials, you can still write something from a unique vantage point that no one else can. Draw from that! Do not worry about your back end product right now, focus on making what you are doing right now as good as possible. Once that is done, you can worry about your back end stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Not being an "expert" has it's advantages too! For example, I know I'm in for a great "read" when it's coming from an academic who has something in the preface or introduction along the lines of "I wrote this book because I wanted to know more about it." Very few of them are great writers - the dissertation process usually kills whatever interest that managed to survive Miss Thistlebottom's class in elementary school.

    Unless this is a "one and done" with no intention of following up or following through, it's nothing but a diversion - and maybe a convenient excuse not to get started on the real deal.

    On the other hand, "relationships" is one of the top evergreen niches, so maybe a little brainstorming is in order. Do you think this is something you would want to become expert in, one of the acknowledged authorities? Is this something you can envision yourself doing for the next 20-30-40 years?

    As far as the back-end, you can follow up with other types of relationships - if that's the way you want to go - or focus on the one at various levels ( complete basket-case though complete mastery), price points and formats (entry-level e-book through more advanced, more expensive products, package deals, memberships, home study courses, CDs/DVDs, live seminars, etc.

    If any of that appeals to you, I can a quick 10 dollar investment in your future - Brendon Burchard's The Millionaire Messenger. (Ironically, the paperback is actually cheaper than the Kindle version.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Perry
    Hey Cybria,

    I would worry about the back end at the start. I'm assuming that this is a free information product to start building your list. I would suggest providing solid content to your list once they have downloaded your free report.

    Once you have their trust and you share honest information, you will become a trusted authority and they will listen to what you have to offer from this point forward. If you don't have any ideas on other products, Clickbank is a great place to find related products as stated above.
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  • Profile picture of the author olavlind
    Here is one idea for you:

    - Find the top 5 relationship experts that you can think of.

    - Ask them for a one hour interview asking them questions about common relationship problems.

    - Create slides in powerpoint, openoffice impress or a similar tool.

    - Record a screencapture video of the slideshow while each interview is going.

    - Have someone transcribe (or do it yourself) these interviews, make them into an ebook.

    - Sell the ebook on the front end, with the videos on the backend. Also give them the slides as a quick reference guide and a bonus.

    - Hire a copywriter here on WF to do the copy (or read all the free material you can find by John Carlton and do it yourself).

    - Hire someone else on here to create a site.

    - Give away 20% for free to get people on a list and hit them with auto responder sales messages.

    Just a suggestion...

    ~Olav
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  • Profile picture of the author davejug1
    Ok I understand the problem and as it see it there are 4 solutions:

    1) Launch it and hope for the best. Invest in advertising
    2) Launch it through an affiliate network and try to involve affiliates
    3) Take the time to position yourself as an expert by social marketing
    4) Publish the book under someone else's name and take the profits but no brand awareness.

    Each has benefits and drawbacks though.
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  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    You can create a free 1 week e-course where you provide 1 or 2 chapters of your book in a series o 5 or 6 emails. At the bottom of your email, provide the link to the purchase your book. Your conversion rates would be so much higher than if you just pitched the book to them right away.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
      Originally Posted by O0o0O View Post

      You can create a free 1 week e-course where you provide 1 or 2 chapters of your book in a series o 5 or 6 emails. At the bottom of your email, provide the link to the purchase your book. Your conversion rates would be so much higher than if you just pitched the book to them right away.
      Nice idea. I was thinking of writing an ebook and this is something I think might work.
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  • Profile picture of the author WhiteDove
    Give a chapter for free, want to know more then click here.
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  • Profile picture of the author jenn1
    I have an affiliate product that I will be promoting and as far as I know this person does not have credentials. It is a really well written book, so it can be done. It was just written as you said about yourself...you have experience in this area, and what would be better.

    Is it possible to outsource it if you don't have the experience so write a book?
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  • Profile picture of the author theebookcavern
    Originally Posted by Cybria View Post

    I have an idea for an ebook that I want to write on relationships, because I have some experience in that area, I've read a lot on the subject, and I'm rather observant when it comes to human behavior. The thing is, I've heard the advice to basically just write about what I know, but if I wrote this book under a pen name with no credentials to back it (like in marriage therapy, relationship coaching, etc.), would it be taken seriously? I know one can do this in the printed book world if they know enough about the subject, but does it work for ebooks too?

    Also, what would I do after the ebook? I know I am suppose to have products on the "back end" to sell but honestly the ebook is the only idea for a product that I have. I want to start a relationship blog too but that doesn't count as a back end product.
    Hey Cybria,

    If you've read a lot on the subject and are observant about human behavior but worried about your credentials then why not start a related blog? You could do articles based on your observations throughout the day. It won't give you credentials but it should solve the problem of people not taking your ebook seriously because you could market yourself as "Cyrbia - The Expert Author Of XYZ Relationship Blog".

    As for what to do after the product, affiliate promotions and coaching are all good suggestions. However, what's stopping you from doing more research and releasing a followup? There's plenty of angles to go at in the relationship niche e.g. keep your relationship strong, get your ex back, friend to girlfriend/boyfriend.

    Hope this helps,

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author AC21DJ
    I don't think that the average person really knows who is an expert and who isn't. Whenever you come across a website do you immediately try to figure out what the persons credentials are? I know that I don't. If the article or squeeze page is written properly, looks professional, and has general reasons to keep reading, I will decide on whether or not they know what they are talking about myself.

    Many people follow this formula:

    1) Pick your niche. Sounds like "relationships"
    2) Create a ebook about your niche.
    3) Make a squeeze page and give your ebook (or maybe a chapter) away to those who sign up to be on your list.
    4) Sell an affiliate product or if your ebook is long enough sell the book itself. This is the only spot where being an expert may come into play. It's hard to spend 29.95 on someone you have never of and can't research. With that being said, I would go for an affiliate on relationships (DVD, ebook, seminar, etc.)
    5) Learn to drive traffic to your site.


    The most important part of this is to build your list. You will hear this repeated time after time here in the WF.

    Aaron
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    I just finished writing and ebook. It was published on Amazon as a Kindle book -just yesterday! I used OpenOffice which I really like. Amazon makes it quite simple to self publish.
    Also remember that the word authority is related to the word author. Once you are an author on a certain subject, by definition that makes you an authority!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Grant
    Hi,

    This is my take. I tend to write short ebooks that are in bite sized informational snippets. People can get in and out again, act upon the information and value the experience then move on or wait for the next.

    I will then maybe gather three together and create the kindle version which delivers more value at a price of course.

    The ebooks can be leveraged as bonuses for product releases or squeeze pages to attract people into your blog and because they are short, you are not giving away the crown jewels.

    The books, if in chapetrs could also become blog posts at a later date and give you plenty of data to expand on.

    More than anything though, keep it unique, keep it in your words as your followers will follow because they like your style. Don't go for mass impact as mass impact most often doesn't work. Just build up bit by bit and leverage the hell out of everything.

    HTH

    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Originally Posted by Cybria View Post

    I have an idea for an ebook that I want to write on relationships, because I have some experience in that area, I've read a lot on the subject, and I'm rather observant when it comes to human behavior. The thing is, I've heard the advice to basically just write about what I know, but if I wrote this book under a pen name with no credentials to back it (like in marriage therapy, relationship coaching, etc.), would it be taken seriously? I know one can do this in the printed book world if they know enough about the subject, but does it work for ebooks too?

    Also, what would I do after the ebook? I know I am suppose to have products on the "back end" to sell but honestly the ebook is the only idea for a product that I have. I want to start a relationship blog too but that doesn't count as a back end product.
    If I recall, several of the best selliing authors on how to have a happy marriage have multiple divorces and one has a degree that is not really a degree.

    So yeah I think you can write the book. If you title the book correctly and post it on a site like Amazon, some of the promotion will be done right there with their internal marketing. Of course you will want to promote also.

    One idea might be to start your blog now and see what your readers are thinking and feeling and also build up a solid fan base. That would be a great start and help kick off your book sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Everyone starts out as a lay person. Write your book and you are on your way to expert status. With every piece of work you produce you become more of an expert. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cybria
    Wow, there is a lot of golden information here...thanks everyone. I think if combine my personal experience, some research, and a unique twist, I can come up with a quality product that I can leverage in more ways than one. Thanks again guys...I can move forward with more confidence now.
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    - Tiff

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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Originally Posted by Cybria View Post

    The thing is, I've heard the advice to basically just write about what I know, but if I wrote this book under a pen name with no credentials to back it (like in marriage therapy, relationship coaching, etc.), would it be taken seriously? I know one can do this in the printed book world if they know enough about the subject, but does it work for ebooks too?

    Also, what would I do after the ebook? I know I am suppose to have products on the "back end" to sell but honestly the ebook is the only idea for a product that I have. I want to start a relationship blog too but that doesn't count as a back end product.
    The most important thing in the internet world is to establish your self as an authority. This you can do by blogging. People will follow if you prove your worth.
    You can put his book (this is a product) on clickbank and get affiliates to market it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daystar11
    I agree with the idea of starting a blog. Put an opt-in form on it, giving away a free report, which is related to your initial product, the ebook. Once you have your list, send them a mini-course over a series of emails, and link to your product. You can also have links in these emails for related products that you recommend- there are many excellent products on Clickbank, in the relationship niche.

    Study the internet marketing emails that you receive, there are many excellent examples of how to do this well- assuming you are on some good marketers' lists. If not, do a bit of research, and get on some lists specifically for this purpose- to see how they do it. Don't copy, of course- but reference the ideas.

    On your blog, you could write articles and blog posts on specific themes, which encourage user interaction and storytelling (THEIR story). You can then compile this, or use as reference, for your follow-up product(s).
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