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Let me tell you a little about my story. As the Internet began taking over the world, dollar signs flashed almost constantly in the back of my mind. I did some research to see who was making money from this evolution. I ran across import companies, search engines, web-site-development/hosting companies, and auction sites. That was a year ago. Now, more than ever, the Internet is starting to define business. People are actually paying for and downloading songs for their listening pleasure. People are researching, planning, and booking entire vacations online. People who love information are inhaling the Internet. Information is everywhere.
Of course that presents a bit of a dilemma. Information overload. Part of the problem with researching the Internet is the information you glean during your surfing is highly if not completely unorganized. You do a Google search. You notice there are thousands of pages relevant to your search terms. So, you narrow your search by adding a word or two. Now you're down to several hundred pages. And you start clicking on them, one after the other.
On to the next problem of up-popping popups. Darn those things. By the time you close all the windows, you may have very well forgotten why you sat down at the computer in the first place.
Even on sites without pop ups, you really don't know what exactly you're going to get or whether or not the source is reliable. So, the Internet is like a feast with some of the options being spoiled. Yuck! But the buffet is intriguing, so most of us tend to return to try our luck again and again.
Anyway, all this got me to thinking, what about eBooks? Yeah, sure, you can read Charles Dickens on a computer, but I'm talking about eBooks that teach, in a nonfiction sort of way. If I could put a few good eBooks on the web, then maybe people who wanted to learn about a topic could read an entire book from a reputable source online.
So I tried it. And guess what? At first I didn't have much success. But I dusted myself off, studied, tried again, tried again, and tried again. Eventually, through trial and error mostly, I stumbled on a formula that worked!
This book was born well after all of that, but I think it's high time I share my experience. There's plenty of room on the Internet for everyone. Climb aboard!
Chapter 1 --How to select a great topic--
It couldn't be easier to select a topic for an eBook. People are hungry for information, and people are looking to the Internet to feed their hunger. After you've read this chapter, you will feel confident enough to choose your own topic, or you can literally pull your eBook topic directly from this eBook and use it! How's that for a deal?
Observe what's going on around you
If you're smart enough to read this book, you're smart enough to look around you and determine what interests you and those around you. Think of what problems you've recently solved, and what kinds of problems others have had and solved. Any problem that has been solved in your world could easily be the subject of your next book. People love to read how other have solved a problem that they currently have.
So, brainstorm a list of problems in your life and in the lives of those around you. Your friend Bob lost his job? Your sister's child had chicken pox? How did they cope or find solutions? While you're at it, start another list of unsolved problems evident in your corner of the world. Write down problems you wish you had solved. Aha! These are subjects that people will really be interested in! How to lose the last ten pounds. The truth about UFOs. The straightest path to becoming a millionaire. From your personal corner, your step-granddaughter is pregnant at age 14? Your grocery bill is double what it used to be? Your roof leaks? These are problems waiting for eBook solutions!
These unsolved problems would also be great eBook topics. Remember, you don't have to know the solution, just the topic. You're going to get someone else to do the research and write the book for you. You will not actually be writing one word.
Spend a few minutes Googling
The Internet is a great way to find out what people are looking for at any given moment. You can search for almost anything. Google™ is a popular search engine you can use, or you can try any of the others like Yahoo!® or Mamma.com. Type in phrases like "top concerns of Americans," "best-selling nonfiction topics," or "popular how-to manuals." Common worries of 2005.
And while you're on the Internet...
Find out the most popular nonfiction books from the New York Times bestseller list, Amazon, and a Google search for eBooks. Your findings will tell you exactly what book subjects people are buying right now.
Try this. Go to www.amazon.com. From the tabbed menu running along the top of the Amazon home page, click "Top Sellers."
I did this one day in September 2005 and found a Harry Potter book, several other fiction books, and titles such as Natural cures "they" won't tell you about, How what you wear can change your life, How to profit from the demise of the dollar, and The official SAT study guide. I've paraphrased to some degree, but you get the idea.
Here's what I learned just from spending a few minutes on Amazon that day. People are reading good fiction from already-best selling authors (Da Vinci Code, the Harry Potter series, and others). Secondly, Amazon buyers, buying over the Internet, are interested in nonfiction topics such as improving their lives and making more money. For these books, just about any author will do, even virtual unknowns or people who went to prison for lying to the American public.
And that quick visit only confirmed that the straightest route to eBook profits is in the nonfiction eBook market. This is for a number of reasons. Fiction readers tend to like to curl up in a chair with an actual book. Some of them attend book clubs where the physical books are brought around someone's kitchen table with wine and cheese. Fiction readers tend to purchase from authors they're already familiar with. Fiction can be more difficult to write and deliver well. Also, many of the classics in fiction are available as free eBooks. A reader interested in fiction could just download those. So stick with nonfiction unless you're feeling particularly bold and experimental.
Here is some more good news, and if you didn't already know this then you are going to be smiling big. Drum roll please... ideas are not copyrighted, therefore any idea you see, hear, or read anywhere anytime, is yours to use for an eBook! You can create books around the same ideas that are covered in the Amazon best seller list, and turnaround and create an eBook on the exact same subject!