Write A Book, Write A Course, And More

Young woman sitting on park bench deep in thought

Most writers are obsessed with the idea of writing books. Not surprising perhaps, when we remember that, historically, that's what writers do — eventually. However today, writers have many more options open to them.

For example: you can write a 10-chapter book to sell for perhaps $27 or $47 or $97 (yes, I admit, I do like the cosmic number 7).

Or you can use the core information in that same book as the starting basis for a 10-part training course that sells for $377, $577, $777, or more. You can experiment or play with the numbers to determine what works best for everyone.

You simply build on each chapter — perhaps rearrange the chapter sequence to provide a flow that is more consistent with a training course, then expand on the information offered. Drill down to the details; include insights and build in incredible value.

The key points are however:

  • By converting a book to a training course, you've probably already done 75% of the work.
  • Yet your customers understand and appreciate that a training course costs more than a book, so the vastly increased price perception is acceptable.
  • In whatever form you decide to deliver your product, always make sure you provide at least three times more value than you're asking your customer to pay. Why? This is just good business and gets you noticed fast.
  • You'll sell fewer copies of your training course compared to book sales, yet you'll probably earn more money. Usually, less effort and resources are needed to sell a higher cost product to a relatively small group of well targeted people, than to sell a low-cost product to a larger untargeted group.
  • Those customers who buy your training course demonstrate an unusually keen desire to learn about the topic. Their investment decision shows that they have the courage, desire and determination to learn and the disposable income to match.

However, also remember, in addition to the options above, today writers can communicate their topic in a wider variety of ways, including:

  • Web sites: you can learn how to create a web site, or even a specialist website like this one. I highly recommend creating a website that you own and manage for a variety of reasons — including: you can free up enough time to get a life. Choose your field of interest, find your target customers and you're in business. Or, you can display your stories in password-protected pages on the web, then refer publishers and agents to these pages, providing a new avenue in which to promote your books and bypass the traditional publishers' slush pile.
  • Animations: some years ago, Flash technology was also used in many web sites, and could provide entertaining displays. However today, website Flash animation has fallen out of favour. Web browsers may soon not display Flash, so Flash may disappear completely. There are lots of alternative software products that use modern Javascript that can also offer engaging animation possibilities.
  • E-books: if you create your own electronic books, you can self-publish without having to spend thousands of dollars or Pounds on paper, printing and graphic design. However, the applied skills of smart professionals can help your book to soar. You can then make your ebook available for sale on the web from multiple sources. If you want, you can also password-protect your ebook to reduce piracy. In this way, you drastically reduce risk. Or you can simply publish and distribute through established channels like Amazon Kindle, Apple store, and other ePub format distributors and publishers.  
  • Video: for the first time ever, you can create and display videos both online and off-line for a relatively low cost. You can publish your own videos, but be aware that web videos use more "web juice", so you will have higher web bandwidth / website hosting costs. If you publish through services like YouTube, then you won't have bandwidth costs, but you need millions of views to make a good living on YouTube today.
  • Audio files: writers can also create low-cost audio MP3 downloads, and make these available from one or more websites. Often, these can be installed more easily when using a web content management system like Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal. Podcasts can also be created and published quickly and cost effectively using a variety of distribution channels, for example: the Apple iTunes store. 
  • Apps for Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, and Android-based smart mobile phones. The worlds is continually changing and today, writers can create their own apps using a variety of third party web resources, or they can learn how to create an app from scratch. Be wary of development costs if you use outside developers.

Development of the Internet is the best news ever for writers and non-writers alike. For writers, I recommend that you take the time to learn about the new options open to you and don't feel limited to just writing books.

For non-writers, there are hundreds — thousands even — articles that have already been written that, with the right licence, you can modify or add to, then make as your own.

The area of resell rights can also offer interesting possibilities. There's a whole new world emerging in which you, the writer, can maintain control of what you create and produce.

Key point and a word of caution: be careful when you use resell rights articles, templates and software. Do it incorrectly and you'll most likely not see any search engine benefits — at worst, your site could get penalized. Do it the right way, and your site can benefit in a range of ways.

Most important: remember, whatever your plans, make a start today, for tomorrow becomes today soon enough, and today seems to turn into yesterday even quicker still.

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