E-publishing (or electronic publishing) is a means of distributing content without creating something tangible like a newspaper, book or magazine that someone can hold in their hands. Instead, readers buy "electrons—an electronic file that is presented in the form of a web site, blog, audio or video podcast, ezine (online newsletter), ebook, Kindle or Nook or iPad book or special e-report. In this article, we'll talk about the various types of e-publishing and how to get the best possible start in your chosen venue.
Although you may start with one form of e-publishing, keep in mind that you can re-purpose your content and create multiple income streams. This is a smart way to make extra revenue from one product. For instance, you might write an ebook, repurpose it into an audio book and repurpose it again into a series of short and inexpensive e-reports. After sales have been exhausted, you can post the same information on your blog to entice visitors to purchase a more in-depth or up-to-date e-book. You could also use the same information for publishing articles that get syndicated online. Or you can record the same information and offer it as a downloadable mp3 (for iPhones and iPods) or record it to CD. Re-purposing your content allows you to wring as much profit as possible from a given title.
Now that you have an idea about how you can profit from e-publishing and provide valuable content to your readers or listeners, here are my recommendations for the best products to get you started in this field. Keep in mind that I've been building web sites and writing content (books, articles and videos) since 1999, so I've used everything I recommend. Although you can weigh features and benefits, I recommend that you go with my recommendations because this will allow you to get started with creating your product.
The quickest and easiest way to get started in e-publishing is to create
a web site or blog. I've been building web sites for almost ten years
now and have tried a lot of tools and services. In order to get targeted
traffic to your site (web visitors who are looking for what you have to
offer), you need to learn how to build a web site that will place high
in the search engines. Hands down, here are the best tools for building a
In addition to getting all the tools you'll need, you'll be able to use
these resources to create a site blog, publish a newsletter,
automatically submit new web pages to the search engines and even create
Content 2.0 type pages where your web visitors submit comments and
questions that help build content and traffic to your site. In addition,
you'll get access to forums where experienced webmasters answer your
questions. Best of all, you don't need to be a techie to build a
beautiful, functioning web site. If you can type text into boxes in your
browser, you can build a site.
If you are committed to building a standalone blog, software like
Wordpress and Blogger are free, but you'll still need a template and
tutorials, so you can build a blog that attracts visitors and competes
successfully with the millions of blogs out there. The best, easiest to
learn and use blogging template and tutorial
system out there allows you to customize the look and feel of your blog
in about 5 minutes and easily post content. It comes with a series of video
tutorials that teach you everything you need to start a blog, even if
you're a newbie. Best of all, you can change the look and feel of your
blog just by clicking on the menu. No need to know any code. It really is an excellent system.
Using this software, I've built two blogs, one of which was
number one on Google in its niche just two weeks after going live. And,
of course, the other also gets lots of traffic. Make sure to buy the
site license version of this blogging software
because it allows you to reuse the template for as many sites as you
want, easily customizing the site each time. Once you see how easy it is
to use this software, you'll want to put up another blog. This is the fun part of e-publishing: one success naturally leads to another.
(Note: the difference between a blog and a web site are that a blog usually has short, frequent posts on a timely subject, while a web site has longer articles that are generally considered evergreen and are focused around a central theme like colon cleansing or child obesity. Remember that the web site building package I recommended above will also allow you to create a site blog.
The next type of e-publishing allows you to make ebooks
from text or Word documents. This can be in the form of an ebook (a pdf
file which customers can download after purchasing from your web site),
an Amazon Kindle book
(which can be viewed on the new book reading device by Amazon called the Kindle or an e-report. Besides ebooks, (what is an ebook?),
you can also make your content into an mp3 file for download to your
customer's computer, phone or mp3 device (such as an iPod or Nano) or
burn onto CDs or DVDs. To learn everything you need to know about this
facet of e-publishing, I recommend you read this free ebook Make Your Knowledge Sell which will teach you everything you need to know to get started, whether your final product is an ebook or an mp3 or both.
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Our recommendation for the quickest, easiest way to produce a professional-looking paperback or hardcover book:
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