It’s time to let the cat out of the bag! For a while now I’ve been hinting that my next big extra income project will be to officially release an eBook.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Quite frankly I’m way overdue and should have tried it a long time ago. As a matter of fact making money writing eBooks was on the table as one of my next projects as far back as this post in 2013. Better late than never though, right?
If you remember, I actually did experiment with writing a whole eBook back over the summer. But I got cold feet about taking the next steps and investing the time it takes to edit it, find a cover, etc. And so I ended up releasing it as just one really large epic post on one of my niche websites.
Then in December I got the itch again! I really feel like this will be good for diversifying my online business portfolio. So I started brainstorming some new ideas for book topics and got the ball rolling again.
My book is going to be my best of the best advice on saving for retirement and building your financial fortune. Much like the tone of My Money Design, there will be a lot of details and practical examples. But I’ll try to break down the information in a way that anyone will be able to follow along.
So far it is approximately 20,000 words over 11 chapters. The first draft is complete and I’m now in the process of wrapping up the big second-draft re-write. I say “big” because what I’m finding is that I’m re-writing anywhere from 50 to 90% of the first-draft content in the second go around. Hopefully that won’t be the case in the third and final read-through!
So Why Write an eBook?
Why not another niche website? Why not freelance writing? Why not taking on several consulting clients for money management or blogging? There are a hundred other things I could have taken on to make more money and try to expand my extra income streams. But I’m confidently going to choose an eBook, and here’s why:
- I’ve always wanted to be an author. That was actually one of the main reasons I started My Money Design. Back in 2011 when I was just getting started with blogging, I figured it might be a good gateway into old-fashioned publishing.
- I also enjoy teaching. I truly do believe the content of this book will really help people! It really brings me a lot of joy when people write me or leave comments saying how they learned a lot from my posts. My hope is that I can bring that level of value that the reader gets and bring it to a whole new insane level of usefulness.
- It will help build my financial authority portfolio. This blog, my other sites, and now this eBook will all play a role in helping people to take me seriously as far as giving money advice even though I am not a true financial professional.
- It could help lead to future coaching or speaking gigs. Someday I do plan to get out there in front of crowds or one-on-one to help work with people to achieve financial success. Being published will only help clear the path towards making that happen.
- It will be somewhat independent of Google rankings. Unlike my niche sites, I won’t have to worry about how many links I’ve got.
- It somewhat doesn’t rely on organic traffic. Amazon buyers find books based on sales and relatedness, not necessarily from Google searches.
- I’ll have all of Amazon as my potential customer base. Using a mega-giant like Amazon is by far one of the best ways to sell your ebooks online. Instead of being limited by whatever number of visitors I get here or on my niche websites, I’ll be selling at virtually the biggest marketplace in the world. How cool is that?
- The content was already there (mostly). The first draft of my content was written almost entirely by weaving together 10 of my favorite posts from across my multiple sites. Though they were all each heavily re-written in the second draft, having that content already available did help to accelerate the process greatly.
- It will be a very low cost investment. Writing an eBook basically costs nothing but your time. If you’re writing all the content yourself, then the only expenses I’ll be looking at are graphics, editors, and formatting. That’s probably less than $100.
- I’ll only have to put in the work once. Once the book is written, that’s it. It won’t be like a website where you constantly have to update it every week. After publishing the work will be done.
- The revenue will be truly passive. Once the book is up for sale, I won’t have to do much of anything to earn the residuals from it. Won’t it be awesome to still be receiving truly passive income checks from something you wrote 6, 12, or even 24 months ago?
- It’s been a proven business model. I’ve heard a number of podcasts and read posts about people that are earning quite a bit from just their eBooks. Steve Scott is a good example. His portfolio of eBooks earns a decent five-figures consistently each month. Check on his income report here.
- An eBook will further diversify my income streams. Rather than try to chase after higher affiliate income, I’d like to go “wider” by adding yet another type of way I earn income from my efforts.
- I’d like to get better at this process. I don’t believe this will be my last eBook or even eProduct. Just like with my whole niche site initiative, I’m exciting about the process of learning how this whole process works.
Readers – Help Me Pick a Book Title!
I need your help! In the comments below let me know which of these titles you think is the best! Remember the book is about (much like this website) tricks for saving better for retirement. Even though the content could really help people of any age, it will mostly target young savers in their 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s.
Here are the book title ideas I have so far:
- Save BETTER! Use the Secrets of the Wealthy to Save More Money, Retire Early, and Achieve Financial Freedom
- The Wealth Opportunity – 10 Tricks You Can Start Using to Save More for Retirement and Create a Lifetime of Passive Income
- The Financial Freedom Formula – 10 Simple Ways to Save More for Retirement, Build Your Wealth, and Create Passive Income for Life
- The Wealthy Strategies – 10 Easy Ways to Save More Money, Enjoy an Early Retirement, and Achieve Financial Freedom
- Make Yourself Rich! 10 Secrets the Wealthy Use to Build Their Wealth and Enjoy a Lifetime of Passive Income
- Passive Income for Life – How to Build Your Wealth, Retire Early, and Achieve Total Financial Freedom
- Hack Your Retirement! Break the Code That the Wealthy Uses to Get Rich, Generate Passive Income, and Enjoy Financial Freedom
Readers – How many of you have started or already successfully making money writing eBooks? Any advice for those of us just getting started?
Image courtesy of Jonas Tana | Flickr
The Money Spot says
#5! The word “Secrets” is definitely intriguing and will get you more customers.
Thanks! I wasn’t sure whether “secrets” would sound too cheesy (like a bad marketing move) or was simply the perfect word to use.
[email protected] says
First of all, excellent job on your progress! I would also like to write an e-book one day but cannot imagine a scenario where I would have time.
Second of all, I like Title #1!
Thanks Holly! That’s one vote for #1.
I like #5. I have no desire to write and ebook, but I enjoy reading them by other people!
Thanks for the vote Kim. That’s 2x for #5 so far.
I like title #6.
Thanks for helping me choose Amy. That’s 1x vote for #6.
Abigail @ipickuppennies says
I think #1 is best. People already think they’re saving, so they get indignant when you imply they’re not. But I’d shorten the subtitle if you can.
First of all, you can remove the word “money.” It’s implied. Also, you don’t need the Oxford comma after “Retire early”
You may want to consider deleting “Use the” but that could really go either way.
Speaking of which, you can always contact me about editing. I was trained by my mom, Donna Freedman, who used to write for MSN Money and who has been a journalist for 30 years. I even edited her a little on her writing course’s first draft. (Only a little because, well, she’s a professional.)
Wow, thanks for the advice Abigail. And I’ll definitely keep you mind for editing. So to sum up your tips, the title would be: “Save BETTER! Secrets of the Wealthy to Save More, Retire Early and Achieve Financial Freedom”
Donna is your Mom? That’s awesome! What a small world. Before I started blogging I used to read a lot of MSN Money and other big media finance articles.
Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents says
I think #3 and #5 are your best bets for getting readers.
Thanks for the vote Taylor. I believe that’s 1x for #3 and 3x for #5 so far.
So great to read your health update in the previous post. An eBook is so exciting! I vote for #3 or #1 if you can add the words passive income to the title somehow.
Thanks Kristen. I think that can be arranged somehow!
[email protected] says
I’ve thought about making an Ebook as well, especially since it is a low costly investment that can have a great outcome. Mine would be based around fitness and budgeting, but I think I want to wait awhile until I have more information.
It’s good and all to have the right amount of content, but I think you might be surprised at how short a lot of eBooks are. And they seem to sell well!
Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says
I am excited for you MMD! Everyone of us dreamed to be an author when we were kids. Surely, I will be one of the first readers of your ebook. Good luck!
Awesome! It’s good to know I’ll have at least one sale 🙂
I love “The Wealth Opportunity” That sounds like the title of a book I’d buy 🙂
I liked the sound of that one too. Unfortunately it only has one vote so far.
I like #3 of 6. Anything with the terms “financial freedom” and “passive income” would definitely attract me. I think most people would be weary of anything with titles like “Make More Money! I’ll Teach You To Be Unrealistically Rich”. Those sort of shock titles scream BS (or would attract people looking for get-rich-quick schemes) and just don’t come off as relatable. But financial freedom and passive income give everything a more down to earth “you can do this too” feel.
And writing an ebook is a fantastic idea! Especially since you won’t be at the mercy of Google, worrying about building backlinks, searching for keywords, deciphering all sorts of crazy website stats, etc. You can write and just worry about WRITING, not website building. A friend and I are looking to write an ebook about dividend growth investing, but I worry that it’s been done to death. I’d actually like to write an ebook myself (I don’t know if it would be an ebook or a regular book, actually)–a children’s book rather than any sort of instructional or personal finance book. I just have to figure out how to write a children’s book without having the material either be too advanced for them so that it goes over their heads or too patronizing and babyish so that kids can’t enjoy it.
I noticed that on this site and your niche sites, you take care to avoid putting down any personal information. When you publish the ebook, will you do so under your real name, or under a pseudonym? Or will you publish it under the name “My Money Design”? Because if you publish the book under your real name and then advertise the book on your blog or vice versa, people will put two and two together really quick.
Good luck with your endeavor,
ARB–Angry Retail Banker
Thanks for the vote ARB. It seems #3 is in the lead. As I was crafting together these titles the thought of avoiding any BS How to Make a Million Dollars Overnight type of crap was on my mind. Hopefully none of these suggest that to anyone…
You might think that the whole dividend investing topic has been done to death, but I wouldn’t shelve the ideas too quickly. There’s always room for someone to write something better or explain things in a different, easier to understand sort of way.
I’ll probably use my real name when I publish. After all that writing its time I get a little credit! 🙂
Jack @ Enwealthen says
Sounds like you’re on your way.
Titles are good, bit when it comes to books, distribution is key, so spend some quality time planning your launch and distribution strategy.
Haley over at Disease Called Debt just finished a series on eBook publishing that would be a good read if you haven’t caught it yet.
Thank you for the post referral. I’ll be sure to check out what Haley has to say about the process.
Jon @ Money Smart Guides says
#3 or #7 are my favs. Great job one getting down to business! I know for me I wrote my books and then got cold feet too. By the time I get the nerve to publish them, I had to re-write most of them because they were outdated! So frustrating.
Since I’ve published them, I have re-written one, but it was fun this time because I already had published it.
Thanks for the vote Jon. I feel like my next biggest challenge will be how to market and distribute the book after its published.
Prudence Debtfree says
I vote for #3 “The Financial Freedom Formula – 10 Simple Ways to Save More for Retirement, Build Your Wealth, and Create Passive Income for Life” The alliteration in the title is catchy, and “financial freedom” is more enticing than “retirement”. Your subtitle could benefit from the other possibilities you offered. “tricks” works better than “simple ways”. “Save More, Build Wealth” – 4 words makes it more punchy than the 7 you have. Looking forward to hearing news about this book being ready to go!
Thanks for the vote! What’s funny is that as I was writing this post I really wanted to have a way to mix and match the main title with the subtitles. I was afraid someone might pass up a good title because they liked a particular subtitle better.
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
I don’t know if you’re still tallying votes for the title of your eBook but if you are… I vote for Abigail’s edited version of #1 or #6.
I like #7 but I wonder if ‘hack’ is becoming a bit ‘hackneyed’?
Excellent work on the eBook. I’m researching mine now, so I’ll be watching your progress with great interest.
Thanks for the vote, but the book is already published. You can check it out here. We ended up going with #1 with a few modifications.
Book #2 goes on sale on Amazon for free next Monday July 20th!
Randolph Hoover says
I suggest “see to end the needless spend, to spend ’til the end.” At least give incite to the readers where to invest your time correctly on where it would matter most. Writing ebooks can give you a good headstart online and you can get initial profit but in writing itself, the level of gratification of having published work being distributed as a hardcopy can be more gratifying than aving ebooks.