I released my first e-Book last week, my #40in240 Intrepid mini-MBA project [you can download here]. And as I always do with executing on a project, I learned a series of lessons from the experience. Here they are:
1. It will take longer than you plan to publish the book. Just count on that.
2. It will drive meaningful traffic to your website. So if that’s your main goal, it is worth it. But it is so much more than that…
3. If you go with guest contributors, you get to work with people of your choice. If there is someone you want to get to know, reach out to them. Great way to connect.
4. You will also get solicited by people you don’t know who want to contribute, which expands your network. This is a great way to meet new people.
5. You will agonize over the look and feel of the product. Don’t. It is about shipping the content. As you see from the book cover above, I am a skilled designer [insert eye roll here].
6. This builds a tight knit community around the idea/cause that you are championing. This is how some people start movements.
7. Publishing/editing an e-book will help position you as a thought leader in your chosen space/subject matter of the book. I am NO expert on inspiring young people. But I am better positioned in that space now than before…
8. Want to find a way to build a tribe? Here is one way. Sounds hokey, but I have a kind of bond now with these 40 writers…
9. You will learn so much about the people who contribute, what they think, what moves them.
10. You also learn who is a lot of talk…
11. Publishing an e-book is a great way to build lists. You can require a name and email address to receive the product. I didn’t do it that way, but if you are sharing the right kind of content, it is a good way to get names. Now granted, you won’t get as many sign-ups and downloads, but those that subscribe are meaningful.
12. Your contributors will help share the work. See Willie Jackson here. See James Ball here. See Stephanie Lloyd here. See Kevin Metzger here. See Erik Wolf here. It can be a great way to expand your reach on the internet.
13. I don’t mind saying, but it is cool when people now refer to you as a publisher. Some have called me an author, but I am not going there yet.
14. Publishing the e-book has, in fact, drawn new people to my blog. Both RSS feed and e-newsletter subscriptions jumped after publishing.
15. Offering an e-book as a free download from your business is a really cool marketing tactic. More on this soon!
16. You feel extreme joy when you ship the product at the end of the day.
17. There is no greater feeling of satisfaction than when someone in the target audience comments that the product helped them. Makes it all worth it. I promise.
So that’s what I learned from this way cool project. Please share some things you’ve learned when you published content (whatever shape that takes for you).