Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Edit a Book Into Shape and Stay Sane

The Route to Producing a Book Requires You Organize to Maintain Your Sanity.

How to Edit a Book Into Shape and Stay Sane - public domain compilation
(Photo: Matt Elwood)

This is always the rub.

Editing is what most writers hire out. It's also known as proofing. But it's a craft on it's own, well worth the time - even if it's never paid what it deserves.

The project at hand is being compiled from 30 essays from other (public domain) author's works.

Those essays themselves add up to a course and hopefully would start a movement.

The book and its course are an answer to the indulgence by our modern media to gratuitous violence as a means to get their ratings and so keep their advertisers.

(What passes for "News" is a lose-lose proposition, built on many false ideas of how the human mind works, with the idea that you want to sell them things in a half-mesmerized state.)

This book is to get them to reprogram their lives to be more peaceful, and so become more abundant and free.

The point of this article is to sort out a working sequence to make it a sensible sequence of actions. After all, the idea is also to produce and sell that book, plus the 30 books those essays are pulled from - and is a lot of work, regardless. What will drive you insane is doing things back and forth because of inefficiencies.

You want to build up to a smooth(ish) launch where you can easily present all the books for sale in a logical sequence.

The book construction

I was going to first get my market research done, buy my domain name, and get all sorts of "really interesting" things done.

Luckily, I wound up editing the book into shape instead.

The problem I had with getting the hardcopy books into proofing is that I didn't really know which ones to pick. I've got about a dozen already published as an ebook in the queue out of the four dozen candidates I could possibly use.

1. So I went back to select the essays I wanted to use. Once I had about 32, then I was set.

Usually, on building a book from public domain excerpts, you simply pull the ones you want and then publish the composite book. But then, you find out that you can also re-publish the books the essays came from, as a collection or by themselves.

In this case, I want especially to publish those books to make an additional income line from people who want to keep going with their lessons after the 30 days. Because reading a book every other week will have you go through 26 books in a year - so it's a natural to send them an offer for a discounted print edition as well as their being able to buy the ebook.

See how that works?

2. Next is then to separate the essays out into their individual files, a LibreOffice doc for each one (technically an .odt file.)

That way, I can edit the essay itself and also add in a short author bio, the buy links and graphics at the end. This will become a lesson PDF (exports nicely out of LibreOffice) and also the content for the landing page.

2a. Create your video script for each book lesson. 3-500 words, just an intro to that lesson, but a synopsis and a teaser. You'll be pushing the video itself out on the day of the release, letting Synnd do as much of the lifting as possible. (But that is a later blog post.)

The point here is that this is a different production line than editing. You should create the 3-500 word script (100 words is about a minute of video) now, while you are editing the lesson itself.
3. Finish up your research for the book. In addition to any work you've done on search engine keywords, the key thing is to research Kindle to see what's already there, so you add a new title.

You also want to find and note (in Calibre) where the links are for the author's death date, and anything that notes the book is in the public domain. These will be put into a prominent place on the landing page, then later moved or removed. Kindle approval may need these.

3a. Now it's time to edit and publish the hardcopy book - at least as far as getting the ISBN's. The point here is to get both the ebook (usually already have this) and print book married up. I do this in Calibre to keep all my meta-data in one spot.

I post all my ISBN/ASIN data in Calibre to keep all my meta-data in one spot
Note the ASIN there as well as the ISBN-10. The ASIN is for the Kindle version, and the ISBN-10 is for the hardcopy version.

You take this data and are able to generate the links via speadsheet for your landing page links. Even if the book isn't published there, yet.

I'd go ahead and set up a lot of proofs so that I can get any discount Lulu has on shipping or otherwise. They'll all come at once (in a couple of weeks or so) and that makes proofing simpler.

The point here is that if you need to come out with another ebook version in order to get one which matches a hardcopy and will also be approved on Kindle - this is where you do it.

3b. Send your Kindle version to Amazon - and to the other distributors if you wound up with a new ebook. This will mean creating a simple page for Amazon with the links they want, all on a single URL. This may take a few days to clear.

Once it clears, then you can re-use that blog post as your book's landing page.

4. Book landing pages can be built in (or returned to) "draft" mode, so that you can get the link, but they aren't live for search engines to send traffic to. I'll probably go ahead and make them live once I have the domain name bought and transferred. Then I'll drop the site/blog on top of it (as a subdomain, but that's another story.) The only reason that these don't go live right away is that I want to be able to promote the new site, not the parked blog backend.

You also go ahead and build your sales page -you'll be able to sell the ebooks via them, regardless - since these have already been out there, this is to match up the hardcopy with the ebook. Again, you only need links to give to Ganxy - who can sell both your ebooks and hardcopy books for you.

Even if that book has a landing page somewhere else, I'd go ahead and create a new one here. This one is different, since it has the actual essay on it - so there's no "duplicate content penalty." The idea is to have the link-love go to this new site.

The reason for draft mode is so that you can use the new page as a release feature. Like I had earlier, release one book a day, 5 books per week - then you have a content factory ready to roll for 6 weeks worth of content. This is better than batching your books out and setting up several landing pages for the same day. While you can set the pre-publish date on these, it's simpler to just visit and activate it one per day - so your auto-G+ will work right (won't do it if you pre-date it.)

5. Author Landing pages are also needed, to build some additional authority for your site/blog. They simply link to the book landing pages, as well as any collections you've put their book with.

Your site design has navigation built in for all the author and book landing pages, so that every page someone visits has these links for the search engines to find.

6. Generate the PDF's from Libre Office. These will become both lessons for your opt-in subscribers and also promotion via Slideshare and other doc-sharing sites - which the search engines love, and which really do get your traffic.

You don't post them yet, as all the links go to your site, which isn't live. That will just confuse the search engine bots.

7. Once all the lessons are done, create you opt-in script via your autoresponder. Add this into your blog template, so it shows up on every page.

Then double-check your blog look and tweak it for anything you may need.

With all the landing pages done, you can hard-code a drop-down navigation for these in your template - so that they are linked from every page.

- - - -

Once you have all your books though proofing, or mostly through proofing - and your ebooks are all live (especially on Kindle), then it's time to start...


8. If you haven't already, buy your domain.The reason for doing a new domain is to make the whole scene into something fresh, to give it more marketing coins to spend. For this project, the domain name is designed to be a hashtag as well. While I could do [hashtag] - that is a bit lengthy to type out compared to [hashtag].com - see?

While you could make it live right away with the blog on top of it, another concept is to have the domain redirect to that subdomain on your earlier domain anyway - as the original domain will have more authority with Google, et al. Meaning you can build your site at the new and then buy the new domain as a marketing scene. (The .org and .net you buy would also then just redirect, as they would anyway.)

9. Post PDF's to Slideshare and all the major doc-sharing sites. Then embed the Slideshare or DocStoc one onto your site - one for each relevant book landing page (as these two are most linked by the search engines back to your blog.) This is a convenience for the viewers, who can download it from your site - and it gives your PDF better ranking on Slideshare when they do.

While your hardcopy book isn't through proofing, you are continuing along with all these books to simply get them all ready.

10. Create and post your videos. Use Synnd for the syndication.

Embed the best one (YouTube) into the book landing page.  Make sure they use plenty of text in the description and a hardlink to the landing page.

This should go something like
  • Book Cover
  • Video
  • Blog Text
  • PDF

on every page.

11. Create Goodreads, OpenLibrary, and  LibraryThing book pages.

12. Get your Membership homework done and set this up ahead of your demand for it. Add in all the free library material you can. Leave some later to expand your content, but you want a lot to begin with.

13. Get your Ganxe launch campaign worked out and budgeted for. This can also include free giveaways on Goodreads and LibraryThing.


14. Each day of the week:
a. Turn a book landing page live. Turn all the author and other pages live.
b. G+, LinkedIn, and Flipbook about the book. Flipbook should update twitter and Facebook. Have an IFTTT recipe send your post to Tumblr (and Wordpress.)
c. Pin your bookcover with text and link.
d. Synnd that page with bookmarks and social news campaigns to Stumbleupon and Reddit.

In this way, you keep ahead of your opt-in's so that they get the lesson as it goes live. You have one lesson per day - one a week wouldn't put you into this crush. You'll  want to turn the page live the night before, or early am (before breakfast.)

Post Launch would include all sorts of analytics review. As well, I'd then add to the opt-in ecourse sequence to either give them the option or simply start giving them offers every two weeks about a discount hardcopy from Lulu or special offer (like buying multiple ebook versions from Ganxe - which could be done at a hidden landing page for a sizable discount.)

- - - -

Again, this is figuring that you're doing an internal launch with no list and no JV's. Once you build this up and have sales analytics, etc. then you can expand on this.

Looks like we have it all covered. I'll update this as I can.

Stay tuned - Subscribe upper right hand corner.

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