Distribution: Just putting it out there

You’ve created a book, you’ve proofed and edited it, and everything looks fantastic. Now you need to help your audience find your book and read it.

CREATE A LANDING PAGE
Having a specific web page or URL you can point people to can be very helpful in marketing campaigns. Being able to consistently say something like “Just go to ‘my-website.com/book’” will help people to remember where to find it and allow you to keep that content rich, relevant and updated with quotes, reviews and any download links you might be tracking. 

A landing page like this one allows you to offer a marketing site for your book, something that shows perhaps a summary or some book reviews as well as up-to-date links for customers to purchase your content either via your site or through marketplaces like Amazon or Apple. 

Here’s another example of a useful landing page:

For publishers offering a web-based version of their book, the landing page could be the entrance to their paywall site as well, something like this one:

One other thing having a landing page allows you to do is get some analytical data on how many people are clicking through to purchase, where they’re coming from, if they used search terms to get here, etc. If you are selling content on your own site, you might want to track downloads as well to see which versions are downloaded more often or if there are any clear purchasing patterns to keep in mind. 

SELLING VIA KINDLE
Kindles are widespread for good reason: the devices are a joy to read on. Selling to Kindle owners is a good idea due to the popularity of the platform as well as the ease of purchasing through the platform. We’ll have a future article on selling through Kindle, as there are many factors to consider, but to get started a good idea is to go ahead and register yourself here on Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, as an author or publisher, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the different programs and pricing models offered via Kindle. 

SELLING VIA IBOOKS
Apple devices continue to grow and their marketplaces are no exception. iBooks market share isn’t as strong as Kindle, but it is growing. While registering and distributing free content via iBooks costs nothing, you may need a US Tax ID and a paid books account through Apple. 

You can read more about their process and requirements on their FAQ page here

SELLING YOUR BOOK YOURSELF
Many authors are seeing fewer and fewer reasons to pay a middleman like Amazon or Apple and want to publish and sell their books themselves. There is no shortage of success stories of authors doing this, and it’s easy so why not have a way to let your readers give a larger percentage of the purchase price to you instead of a retailer? 

Easy-to-use merchant services for authors and publishers include Stripe and Gumroad, and there are many easy WordPress themes that incorporate sales templates (we have used and recommend MemberPress, especially if you want to do subscriptions or membership sites).

WHERE TO START?
A good landing page might be the first factor to consider as it allows you to build a marketing campaign with your link ready, and you can always update or modify that page to add new links, change wording or design, or update linked download files.

Woopie customers receive free custom landing pages for their first publication – get in touch if you’d like to try out Woopie and get your own beautiful & responsive landing page!

WHAT’S NEXT?
Next week we’ll be looking at some interesting and creative revenue ideas for your content. If there are any particular revenue methods you are curious about, email me and I’ll be sure to cover them.

How to create a book out of your blog posts

In our last blog post, we discussed reasons to reuse articles or content for yourself, your publication or your company. Today we’re going to take a deeper dive into one way to do exactly that. We will cover how to create a book out of a blog. (You can see examples of books like these here on our samples page: http://woop.ie/samples.html.)

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You’ll need a Woopie account, if you don’t already have one.
Click here to sign up for an account.

START WITH YOUR BLOG

Simply use Woopie’s “Create from Blog” button. Add the URL of your blog and click “import.” It’s as easy as that!

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FILTERING RSS FEEDS
Perhaps you want to focus the content a bit more. If you don’t want the last ten posts of your blog, you can also import a custom RSS feed or one sorted by tags or categories. 

As an example, here’s the RSS feed from Inc.com with only the “startup advice” posts: 
http://www.inc.com/feeds/channel/start-up

Here’s an RSS feed from Woopie with only the “epub” posts: 
http://blog.woop.ie/tagged/epub/rss

Using WordPress for your blog? Getting a specific RSS feed from WordPress is really easy. Just type your URL plus either “category” or “tag” followed by the word you want and then “/feed/“. 

Some examples: 
http://www.talkingnewmedia.com/category/magazines/feed/
http://blog.readyforzero.com/category/money-saving-tips/feed/

Tumblr is just as easy. It’s just the URL followed by “tagged” and the category name. 

Some examples:
http://scribnerbooks.tumblr.com/tagged/books/rss
http://stanfordbusiness.tubmlr.com/tagged/Leadership/rss

ADDING INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES BY URL
You’re all set to publish your book and then a new article is posted to the blog, which you’d like to include. Do you have to start over? 

Nope. You can simply import that extra article right from its URL. Go to the article listing. At the top right, you’ll see a “New Article From URL” button. Click that and paste in the URL of the article. Woopie does the rest. 

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TO IMPORT IMAGES OR NOT TO IMPORT IMAGES: 
Creating a self-contained ebook for Amazon or iBooks requires us to import your images or they will appear as broken links. However the image importing takes a bit more time than just the text. 

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As a rule of thumb, you can skip image importing if you just need a web version of your book or the content will always be online. If you need it to be available offline, it is safer to import the images. 

PUBLISH – VOILÀ!: 

You can now simply click the “Generate” button on the article listing page to have Woopie create your book. Simple!

Next week we’ll cover previewing and publishing your work through Woopie. In the meantime, be sure to check out our ebook samples at http://woop.ie/samples.html.

Woopie’s simple RSS import function means it’s a snap to pull in your best blog posts and turn them into ready-to-sell ebooks. Try it for free for 30 days at http://woop.ie/

Responsive or Separate – how you build is how you’re built

There’s been a lot of great debate about whether it’s best to build responsive sites or separate mobile sites. Like most things, it depends. Here’s a theory – the approach you take (or take with an agency) is an outward manifestation of your company’s personality.

If your org chart looks like this, you can build a site like this (or this… or this…):

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How does the responsive design process work? It’s fast. It’s flexible. It requires trust & compromise between everyone involved. The designers & developers need to have the responsibility & permission to make decisions about content and layout as they go. Changes can happen fast. ‘Finished’ isn’t in the scoping document. If your company is fluid & flexible, then a similar web development process will work for you.

If your org chart looks like this, you can build a site like this:

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How do separate sites work? They’re about silos and chains of communication. Team A takes on the mobile part, Team B does the website, and Team C handles feedback. Status meetings, scoping documents, Gant charts. Here’s our new app that does something similar to the site. Come to the launch party.

Of course, structuring your website to match your org chart has never been a good idea…

Talk to me about this article @irishstu

update: This is an example of Conway’s Law – thanks Dermot Casey for pointing it out