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Kindle e-book journey: non-fiction only, starting budget $0!

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Selena1, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I've already started a thread in Making Money, but as I don't have 15 posts yet, I can't ask a mod to move it to this section.
    Moreover, my old thread is full of questions and clutter, so I want to do away with it.

    I'm a twenty-something looking for some White Hat money-making opportunities.
    I've tried other money-making schemes before and made next to nothing, so here I am.

    Some basic info about my project:

    1. I have $0 to invest in this project. Zilch. Nada. I can learn the necessary skills on my own (e-cover design, etc.).

    2. This is a non-fiction KDP/e-book writing project. I read lots of non-fiction books/websites, but fiction bores me to death. I don't see myself writing fiction, ever.

    3. I will not be able to post links to my books here, as I want to keep the niches I find for myself, and also because I will be writing in a foreign language (my first language, actually).

    4. I will not be using content writers. I can write all of the books myself.

    5. I do get inspiration from PLR articles from time to time, but I would never use modified PLR content that didn't pass copyscape. I always re-write and combine articles anyway, so that they look nothing like the original article when I'm done.

    What I'll be doing:
    * Writing at least 700 words every week, and 700 words on a good day.
    * Doing my own proofreading, formatting and what-not
    * Using KDP for promotion
    * Concentrating on niches I'm familiar with/have become an expert at

    Feel free to give me advice, good links to downloadable WSOs... I am new and I would love to meet members on here who are also writing e-books the White Hat way, so just say hi!

    CURRENT GOAL:

    -> Publishing my first K. e-book
    Current word count: 3,900 words.
    I'd really like to be done with the writing part of my project before the end of July (hopefully sooner).

    Then:
    -> Learning how to make an e-cover
    -> Learning how to generate a half-decent table of contents in Word

    -> converting .docx to .mobi: this should be no problem, as I've converted my e-book with Calibre before, and it looked pretty darn good in .mobi format. There's a slight issue that I have to sort out, but we will see.
     
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  2. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    How many words are you thinking your book will be when complete?
     
  3. LouisJoliet1

    LouisJoliet1 Registered Member

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    Good luck man! I just finished writing and uploading an ebook to Amazon myself. It's been an interesting experience so far. With dedication it's easy to succeed. Best of luck.
     
  4. DanielLasVegas

    DanielLasVegas Newbie

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    What's your Skype name? I can't pm you cause I don't have enough posts
     
  5. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    I was aiming for around 5,000 words, but I'll probably surpass my target. I don't want to exceed 6,500 words, as I was planning to write a sequel to this first non-fiction book.

    Thank you! I'm sure that with dedication it's possible to do a lot of things. I wish you tons of success with your first book!

    Today's a good writing day. I'm already at 4,300 words, and I'm getting more and more ideas by the minute!
    I should really save this e-book someplace safe. I plan on burning the contents onto a DVD and printing the Word file once I'm done with the final draft.
    My computer is pretty old, and I don't want something horrible to happen to my work...

    I have to start making an e-book cover now. I feel like this is what I'll waste the most time on, especially if I don't find the right software and stock images.
    I'll also have to promote my book somehow... I have no idea how to do that!

    GOALS FOR TODAY:
    -> Getting to the 5,000-word benchmark. It won't mean that I'm done writing the book, but most of the work will be done.
     
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  6. amazingRay

    amazingRay Junior Member

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    wish you good luck in your journey man! hope you will succeed
     
  7. Flask

    Flask Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good luck, why you think people would like to read your books?
     
  8. Creative9

    Creative9 Junior Member

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    Good luck with your journey OP.
     
  9. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Thank you very much! :) I'll take it slow, and things will hopefully pick up as I go along.

    One of my fiction stories was published in a kids' magazine when I was only seven. This magazine was extremely popular at the time, and owned by Disney (I'm serious).
    By age 10, I had a website (made in notepad with old-style HTML/Javascript/CSS). I created my own animated logos with simple gif-making software, and Paint.

    I wrote tons of how to/non-fiction advice from the age of seven. I published my own arts and crafts ideas on my blog, but I must admit I was pretty black hat for my age lol (also, I'm a girl in case you're wondering). I stole stuff from books, magazines and other websites shamelessly, which is not something I'm going to do.
    By age 14, I was using a hacked version of PSP to erase the most obvious watermarks and copyright notices off pictures, and to make my own designs with downloaded brushes.

    Until a few years ago, I was constantly writing (either my diary, or non-fiction, as I got completely sick of writing fiction).
    I tried monetizing my blogs with the big G., but that didn't go down very well.
    I still have some money sitting on my G. account that I can't withdraw yet...

    So, yeah, I guess writing was one of my main hobbies, and I want to get back to it.


    Also, I majored in my native language and three other languages in high school (that's how the European system works: you have to choose something to specialize in pretty early on, for better or for worse...).

    I've been told that I have great spelling and grammar in the two languages I speak fluently. While I don't know if it's true, I can certainly make this whole book-writing venture work with a spellchecker!
    Also, I learned tons about my languages while I was majoring in English. I do have part of a Master's degree in English, which will surely help me with writing.

    Finally, I have done some translation work before, and even proofread a magazine that ended up being sent to over 10,000 households (serious stuff). In both cases, my employers were thrilled with my work. Sadly, these were temp jobs or internships, not permanent positions to be filled...

    One last thing: I love, love, love reading non-fiction.

    Thanks a bunch! I appreciate all the comments I get here. They keep me motivated.
     
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  10. jr_sci

    jr_sci Senior Member

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    Use Google Docs to write your book. YOu can directly download it as .docx and upload it on Kindle. no formating required. Moreover, you can easily go to Insert --> Time table and get a ready-made time table without any hassle.

    Good to see people writing. If you have any queries, let me know.
     
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  11. jr_sci

    jr_sci Senior Member

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    I think it's a wrong approach to see at things. If people start thinking, why would people read my blog, every blogger would procrastinate. Same is the case with self-published authors. Get your voice out there first with absolute determination.. Let the readers and sales do the judging.
     
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  12. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Thank you very much for your advice and kind words. I'll try the timetable option soon, as my book is almost finished.
    You're right about blogging: when I was 10 years old and said I wanted a website, my parents let me learn everything on my own, but they didn't judge me or tell me I was crazy.

    Blogging/writing is a lot of work, and even if it doesn't always pay off, I was lucky enough to get nice comments on my articles, and that kept me going.

    Of course, now that I'm much older, I'd like some money too!
     
  13. afi023

    afi023 Newbie

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    Haven't seen many Ebooks journey lately. Hope everything works out well! Good luck!
     
  14. trish1

    trish1 BANNED BANNED

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    Best of luck OP
    even i have uploaded my 1st book on fiction and running 5 days promotion , according to stats 250 sales in 2 days :D
    Also i have buyed 22 verified reviews for my book , would like to get 100+ reviews till the promotion period ends and lets see if my sales goes up ...
     
  15. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your story with me!

    Can someone give me a drum roll? Okay, I'll do it myself.

    * DRUM ROLL *

    I'M DONE WRITING THE E-BOOK! IT'S FINISHED! Oh yeah.
    For those of you who are wondering, it's a 5,300-word non-fiction attempt at cracking the market.

    I'm not sure whether I'll go for a lengthy conclusion or not. I mean, I'm done with the text for the conclusion, but I would like to get a way to contact my readership or maybe create an author page.

    What do you think? Should I whip up a quick blog for the fictitious pen name real fast before clicking the big submit button?

    Now, I just need a little online presence, a few minutes to create some kind of table of contents and... an eternity to make a cover? Haha. I'm so bad at making any kind of image it's laughable. I just hope it won't take me as much time as writing a book.

    Do you have any suggestions regarding promotion or making e-book covers?
    Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  16. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Good luck with your journey. Will follow.
     
  17. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your message nightbat, and for the friend add :)

    Quick update:
    After reading another member's thread (in which he said he published his non-fiction books once he hit 3,500 words), I've decided to keep some of the content of the first book for the second one.

    While I don't see myself publishing an e-book that's under 4,700 words or so, I think I should keep some of the "gems" for the sequel.

    I'm so excited to publish it that I'll probably skip the "let's make a blog for the pen name" part haha. All I need is a cover and hopefully, I'm golden.
    And if this book doesn't take off, I can always write another one on the same topic, because I know the niche is good.
     
  18. I-marketer

    I-marketer Regular Member

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    So you are writing a series? Have you thought about publishing first book for free and monetizing the rest?

    Also if you are serious about writing, you should try Scrivener (just google it), it is good for writing long books. I honestly don't know many writers that use Word.
     
  19. Selena1

    Selena1 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your input, but I'm afraid I disagree.
    I can't really call two books a series. While I'm fairly sure I have enough interesting material for two short e-books, I probably wouldn't be able to write a third one.

    I will let people download my book for free through KDP, but I won't promote it like crazy either. That's also why I want to release two monetized books: they can "help" each other get more popular in the long run.

    As my first language is not English, I've decided not to write e-books in English for now.
    Scrivener won't work with a European language, and moreover, it isn't free.

    Of course, I have high hopes for my books, but realistically, I just want to sell around 20 copies. I know it's not much, but I see this as a long-term income opportunity.

    Moreover, I'm currently unemployed (I got my umpteenth rejection letter in the mail this morning). Even if I do find a job, it will pay minimum wage.
    So, in case you're wondering, yes, even a couple of sales a month would help me.
     
  20. I-marketer

    I-marketer Regular Member

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    Well, I am curious about your progress even more as you want to earn money without any investment (for cover at least).
    You may have probably heard that people are buying name of the book and cover.