Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Publish an Ebook, Audiobook, Video Ecourse at the Same Time

(photocredit: andrewmalone)

You may feel like a one-man-band, but it's always better for an indie author to work smarter, not harder. (Pays better, too.)

In researching podcasting, I came across some resources you should know about. This gives a slightly different workflow, but will earn you more income over the long haul.

While you are writing  your book, you also record the audio book and create the video series for a later ecourse. (Applies more to non-fiction books.)

It goes somewhat like this:

1) You blog your book. Every chapter or sub-chapter starts out as a blog post. (When you start a new book, set out a new Blogger blog or equivalent.

2) Once you have it the way you like it, then use the age-old editing method of reading it out loud - fix anything that doesn't read easily, as it's not the way you'd speak it. And similarly, old advice says to write like you talk.

3) When it reads well, then post it live.

4) Now, as you've practiced this a few times by now, go ahead and record it. Fix it up with Audacity. Now - after taking advantage of Podiobook's Mentorship program - submit it there .

5)  Come back with the hosting link and then include it as an enclosure link on your blog post so people can pick it up from your blog's RSS feed.

6) You go to Lean Pub and give them the RSS link, so they will auto-create your ebook from that blog. (Yet another learning curve, but a nice one.) [Update: best method is to scrape the individual pages and assemble in LibreOffice. Import to Leanpub if you are writing an original (for PD or PLR you should export with Writer2Epub plugin and proof in Sigil.) Preview it and put it up for sale on Leanpub (see notes on Leanpub below).

7) Since you have the audio and text, go ahead and make a slideshow/powerpoint of your post. You can make a slidecast on, or simply create images out of the slides and use Camtasia or other program to make a video from the slides and audio. Post that to YouTube or similar if you want, linking back to the blog and Leanpub.

Time for your next inspired post.

What have you accomplished with all this?

If you're doing long blog posts (like my unfortunate habit) you'll have a chapter of your book ready, plus the audio chapter, plus a video for an ecourse.

As you continue to build your book, you are creating quality content in multiple formats.

When your book is ready, you then have an ebook already created by Leanpub, a collection of audio ready for uploading to ACX for Audible, and a series of videos which you can offer on an exclusive subscription basis to your readers - meaning you just created three potential income streams from one set of work.

What this saves you is having to drop everything to record the audio, or pay someone to do it for you. Same for videos, which can get tedious - so neither gets done. Most authors just publish the ebook and skip the rest. But readers like different formats - and all those digital versions can cross-link with each other, making it possible for you to Search Engine Market your book easily.

Every review of the data will make the book tighter (creating an outline before you start, particularly if you make the outline into a powerpoint can speed your writing as well.)

The feedback from your Leanpub audience will also help you improve the book as you go.

This assembly-line scene helps you work much smarter, instead of going back to rehash the old stuff once more. Again, you wind up with products which can be utilized on multiple platforms, each bringing you a separate income stream.

- - - -

I'm actually planning to use this line to revise a book I published last year. I'm going to add some chapters to the start of it, and clean up the content right through.

So it will go:
a. Set up a new Blogger blog.
b. Post the existing content in the order it currently is in. You could work at setting arbitrary dates for it such that there are two or three days in between in case I want to add more material, but this is probably unnecessary. Go ahead an publish it via Leanpub, putting it up for sale.
c. Start writing the new beginning material and use the assembly-line approach above:
  1. Outline
  2. Text
  3. Audio
  4. Video
d. Once the new material is complete, then take up each earlier blog post/chapter and put it through 1-4 above, which will tighten the prose.
e. When the book is complete,  you get it re-imported into Leanpub and they'll create your epub and mobi files. With the epub file, you can then publish anywhere.

Of course, you could get a Markdown editor (until you know enough to use a straight text editor) and so you could publish to LeanPub as you go - but the RSS feed arrangement is probably the simplest.

This is all simple theory at this point, but come back in a couple of months and I'll have put it to the test (and updated this blog post.)

The scene I'm working on here is to add value and publish to multiple formats with the least possible number of steps.

Note: you can also scrape your Firefox-viewed blog-posts, then cut/paste into Libre/OpenOffice to export to PDF. But Leanpub say's you'll also have that PDF file. I like my PDFs in trade paperback size (6x9) as they are closer to what most ereaders see, and will display better. Meanwhile, that 6x9 format makes your book ready for hardcopy publishing via Lulu...

Work smarter, always. Multiple streams of income from one set of writing.

Sounds like it should work.

If you have other ideas, leave a comment.

[Update: Notes on LeanPub -

Overall, a very, very nice site which is maybe 4 years old (started sometime in 2010.) However, it uses Markdown, which is a simple markup language to learn. Different from having a full GUI in front of you like LibreOffice.

Right now, it's easier for me to scrape each page and paste into Libre Office than it is to import and tweak the result in LeanPub. Doesn't mean it will always be that way. I've got a Markdown editor now, and the wrapping has just come off, yet. (Still has that "new app smell.")

The reason I'm sticking with this is to be able to bundle my books. Probably sole and only reason. I know that as I keep at this, I'll work out a decent speed on re-publishing these books through this distributor. Still, this is far more straightforward than Smashwords and the arcane rejects which iTunes and B&N hand down.

My advice would be for someone to start here, particularly if they are using a text editor anyway. Markdown is simple to learn, and this gives you a very fast route to getting published. You wind up with a pdf, epub, and mobi file - all can be readily used with various distributors.

It's just another learning curve.

If the other distributors would enable bundling, this wouldn't be necessary. However, LeanPub is improving daily (shortly to have an affiliate function) so this is well worth the effort.

The other thing, like Wattpad, it's a way to write with reader input. So they have a say in what the book ends up like. That may really be the most invaluable part of this.]

[Update 2: Leanpub doesn't do public domain books. Gets you canned.]

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