This is mostly aimed at Kindle/Ebook authors and entrepreneurs but creatives and entrepreneurs of all kinds may find it relevant.
Things are changing. Fast. I want to make sure that you’re prepared for those changes.
These changes are going to be highly profitable for those who embrace them, and detrimental to those who don’t.
- times are changing(how)
- technology is changing(how)
- readers are changing(how)
- who’s going to write the new classics?
- good news/bad news
- long-tail legacies
1 the new classics
2 the future & the future of ebooks
What has been, what is and what will be.
MAKING THE CASE:
TIMES ARE CHANGING
- the beginning of ebooks…
- Writing cheap quick eBooks was a gold mine. Every new topic could be written about and potentially earn an author money.
- Since this was a whole new format, it was an open market, every subject imaginable could potentially make money
- But now… times are changing
- Technology is changing
- Ebook sales are falling flat
- Rich Content
- Loyalty will matter more
- Slow builder books will do better
- Long form 100-120,000 words
- more and more people will be writing (bad) ebooks
- Book sales, discoverability, and sales paths will be tracked more accurately by publishers(authors)
- Each year, indie authors become smarter, more sophisticated and more adept at implementing professional publishing best practices. Best practices are what separate the indie author amateurs from the indie author professionals. Bestselling indie ebooks are indistinguishable from traditionally published books (aside from indies’ more reader-friendly pricing) with brilliant cover designs, great writing, professional editing, and creative marketing and promotion. – Quote
- Readers will demand more from the books they buy
- Books are only going to get more interesting and beautiful
- Readers are going to expect more from books in the future. — No, that’s not quite true… the truth is, they already do expect more.
& someone is going to give them what they want.
- Will that be you? Because, trust me, if you don’t, someone is going to give them more.
- These new books will become the New Classics.
- These new classics will be seen as the ‘one book to buy’ in each subject.
- Who’s going to write the new classics, will it be you? Or someone else?
- Someone will
- Who’s going to tell a better story?
- Who’s going to tell a more compelling story using visual graphics and design?
- Who’s going to be the most compelling?
- Who’s going to explain things in the most palatable way?
- Who’s going to have the most beautiful book in terms of both writing and visuals?
Times are a’changin’ The good news and the bad news are the same news:
- Like every entrepreneurial endeavor, if you, the kindle author embraces these changes, not only could you exponentially increase your income and influence, you could create a real legacy for yourself. Authority, celebrity, wealth, fame,
- if you ignore these changes, your business model will one day fail and your work will fall flat time after time, and you may not even know why.
IF you embrace these changes
- You can recycle ideas and present them in a better way and make money all over again.
- You have access to technology that allows us to make things better and make smarter decisions
- The good news is that if you learn what it takes to make a classic, we will profit from our books for the rest of our lives, not just for a year.
- The good news is that this is yet another gold mine, one that’s perhaps exponentially more lucrative than the old one.
- The good news is that, if you work a little bit harder, you will see an exponential increase in
Influence, importance, legacy, how many people you help
and how much money you make.
The good news is that writing these kinds of books will also do far more for the author than writing quick and easy ebooks.
- They will put us into a higher Authority class.
- Give us a much larger audience, one which will follow us from book to book.
A pretty good eBook, properly promoted with enough momentum,
might pay you 2,000 a month for a year and then drop off.
A great classic book might pay you 2 million dollars a year for 30, 40, 50+ years.
A Typical eBook
$ 45,000 (very rare)
A book like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
$ 60,000,000.00 over time
We will take a look at
- The differences between quick & easy books and classics.
- Defining the aspects of a classic book
- what it takes to create a classic,
- How to design a book to be most effective,
- what types of books are going to be the future
- what makes that type of book stand out and differentiate itself from everything else and
- how we can create classics that will last through the ages.
- It’s going to be harder, but it’s going to be more profitable, make us feel like we’ve actually done something we’re proud of.
The Future & the Future of Ebooks
In The Future We Will Have
– big data tools that can measure and quantify and teach us about all kinds of things
– consumer behavior
– user experience
– what books would be profitable
– tools at our disposal that will allow us to do more with less.
– tools that will make creating thtings easier and easier.
– tools that will allow us all to do things like graphic design easy and for free.
Books will be written using
- User Experience
- Content Strategy
- Interaction Design
- Visual Design
- Information Architecture
- User interface
Content can be highly satisfying but not useful,
It can also be highly useful but not highly satisfying.
The future of ebooks
What will books look like in the future?
- A hybrid between a magazine a textbook & a novel
- Immersive, 3D — audio, video
- High aesthetic value
- Author as brand
- Slow boil=better
- The fine art of explanation
What makes a mediocre how-to book?
- It’s too introductory without providing any depth of understanding
- It explains how, but not why.
- Has a sloppy cheap feeling to the cover, the writing, etc.
- Not formatted well
- No pictures
- Doesn’t have a well thought out balanced design
- Is simple in a bad way
- Nothing new and extremely basic
- Offers one way of doing things
- Has no deeper idea, uninspiring
- Has no real ‘voice’ — feels cold and impersonal.
What makes a Great Book?
Great books make us laugh, they make us smile, they reveal secrets to us, they surprise us. They confirm our assumptions and they challenge our assumptions. Great books give us fresh perspectives on common ideas. Great books inspire us to greatness, they tell us that life is short, remind us that dreams can come true, they inspire us to action. They have a mission, they give us faith to believe in bigger things. They remind us of overlooked or forgotten fundamentals.
What makes a Legacy Book?
- Lennon/McCartney — A Balance of Opposites.
McCartney’s music on it’s own was mainstream, cheesy and inoffensive. It was too safe and ordinary. So ordinary that it may not have ever had much chance for real success if Lennon had not pushed McCartney to have an edge.
Lennon, by contrast, was acerbic, sarcastic, abrasive, and revolutionary. He wanted to do challenge the norm, to do things differently, he wanted to do things ‘the wrong way’, he wanted to experiment. McCartney reigned him in.
Austin Kleon’s book A”Steal Like An Artist” has a similar dichotomy; offering interesting new ideas “All artist’s steal” but also rehashing classic advice ”
- A legacy book acts as a perfect ‘introduction’ to the topic
- It offers the reader everything they need to know on a subject that is timeless
- expertly and elegantly balances
- original new ideas
- classic ‘overlooked’ basics.
- new twists on old ideas
- It strikes a balance between specific and abstract — the book could be about the principles of graphic design, but it’s broadly about design and creativity in general, and anyone who wants to be more creative in any aspect of their lives could benefit from the book.
- Repetition — a theme tied together
- A legacy book has a deeper ‘whole idea’
- It’s not just informative, it’s a movement. It’s a mini manifesto.
- Usually has an ideology, a new theory/mindset, a philosophy, principles, and a system
Manifesto: A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus and/or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual’s life stance or worldview. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.
The New Gold Rush
A new ebook gold rush is on the way. Remember when ebooks were just becoming popular? There weren’t that many out there, and suddenly entrepreneurs figured out it could be very lucrative to create books of all kinds, especially non-fiction how-to books, and books of the self-help variety in general. Maybe you were there, maybe you were one of the ones who made it big in that first ebook gold rush.
Why was it such a gold mine anyway?
Well, think about this; when ebooks were just becoming popular, there were so many subjects that hadn’t been written about yet in that format. The books that had been written before ebooks came out were long and expensive. They usually were fairly general and only offered one point of view, or were more advanced books for experts.
When Kindle books came along, that all changed.
Short, cheap books could be made that gave the reader exactly the kind of information they were looking for.
Books on all kinds of niche subjects could be written and could be profitable.
It was easy to compile a lot of how-to information from the internet and synthesize it into a profitable ebook.
That particular gold rush is coming to an end, and a new one is just beginning
– Ebooks aren’t going anywhere, they’re going to become more and more ubiquitous
– But Ebooks are changing and authors must change to survive.
DESIGNERS MAY BE THE AUTHORS OF THE FUTURE