Why Write an eBook?

It’s not true that everything that has been said has
already been written. Since that unfortunate axiom
came into use, the whole universe has changed.
Technology has changed, ideas have changed, and the
mindsets of entire nations have changed.

The fact is that this is the perfect time to write an
ebook. What the publishing industry needs are people
who can tap into the world as it is today – innovative
thinkers who can make the leap into the new millennium
and figure out how to solve old problems in a new way.
Ebooks are a new and powerful tool for original
thinkers with fresh ideas to disseminate information
to the millions of people who are struggling to figure
out how to do a plethora of different things.

Let’s say you already have a brilliant idea, and the
knowledge to back it up that will enable you to write
an exceptional ebook. You may be sitting at your
computer staring at a blank screen wondering, “Why?
Why should I go through all the trouble of writing my
ebook when it’s so impossible to get anything
published these days?

Well, let me assure you that publishing an ebook is
entirely different than publishing a book in print.
Let’s look at the specifics of how the print and cyber
publishing industry differ, and the many reasons why
you should take the plunge and get your fingers
tapping across those keyboards!

Submitting a print book to conventional publishing
houses or to agents is similar to wearing a hair shirt
24/7. No matter how good your book actually is, or how
many critique services and mentor writers have told
you that “you’ve got what it takes,” your submitted
manuscript keeps coming back to you as if it is a
boomerang instead of a valuable mine of information.

Perhaps, in desperation, you’ve checked out
self-publishing and found out just how expensive a
venture it can be. Most “vanity presses” require
minimal print runs of at least 500 copies, and even
that amount will cost you thousands of dollars. Some
presses’ minimal run starts at 1,000 to 2,000 copies.
And that’s just for the printing and binding. Add in
distribution, shipping, and promotional costs and –
well, you do the math. Even if you wanted to go this
route, you may not have that kind of money to risk.

Let’s say you already have an Internet business with a
quality website and a quality product. An ebook is one
of the most powerful ways to promote your business
while educating people with the knowledge you already
possess as a business owner of a specific product or
service.

For example, let’s say that you’ve spent the last
twenty-five years growing and training bonsai trees,
and now you’re ready to share your knowledge and
experience. An ebook is the perfect way to reach the
largest audience of bonsai enthusiasts.

Ebooks will not only promote your business – they will
help you make a name for yourself and your company,
and establish you as an expert in your field. You may
even find that you have enough to say to warrant a
series of ebooks. Specific businesses are complicated
and often require the different aspects to be divided
in order for the reader to get the full story.

Perhaps your goals are more finely tuned in terms of
the ebook scene. You may want to build a whole
business around writing and publishing ebooks.
Essentially, you want to start an e-business. You are
thinking of setting up a website to promote and market
your ebooks. Maybe you’re even thinking of producing
an ezine.

One of the most prevalent reasons people read ebooks
is to find information about how to turn their
Internet businesses into a profit-making machine. And
these people are looking to the writers of ebooks to
provide them with new ideas and strategies because
writers of ebooks are usually people who understand
the new cyberspace world we now live in. Ebook writers
are experts in Internet marketing campaigns and the
strategies of promoting and distributing ebooks. The
cyberspace community needs its ebooks to be successful
so that more and more ebooks will be written.

You may want to create affiliate programs that will
also market your ebook. Affiliates can be people or
businesses worldwide that will all be working to sell
your ebooks. Think about this? Do you see a formula
for success here?

Figure out what your subject matter is, and then
narrow it down. Your goal is to aim for specificity.
Research what’s out there already, and try to find a
void that your ebook might fill.

What about an ebook about a wedding cake business? Or
an ebook about caring for elderly pets? How about the
fine points of collecting ancient pottery?

You don’t have to have three masters degrees to write
about your subject. People need advice that is easy to
read and easily understood. Parents need advice for
dealing with their teenagers. College students need to
learn good study skills – quickly. The possibilities
are endless.

After you’ve writtten your ebook

Getting your ebook out is going to be your focus once
you’ve finished writing it, just as it is with print
books. People will hesitate to buy any book from an
author they’ve never heard of. Wouldn’t you?

The answer is simple: give it away! You will see
profits in the form of promoting your own business and
getting your name out. You will find affiliates who
will ask you to place their links within your ebook,
and these affiliates will in turn go out and make your
name known. Almost every single famous ebook author
has started out this way.

Another powerful tool to attract people to your ebook
is to make it interactive. Invent something for them
to do within the book rather than just producing pages
that contain static text. Let your readers fill out
questionnaires, forms, even crossword puzzles geared
to testing their knowledge on a particular subject.
Have your readers hit a link that will allow them to
recommend your book to their friends and associates.
Or include an actual order form so at the end of their
reading journey, they can eagerly buy your product.

When people interact with books, they become a part of
the world of that book. The fact is just as true for
books in print as it is for ebooks.

That’s why ebooks are so essential. Not only do they
provide a forum for people to learn and make sense of
their own thoughts, but they can also serve to promote
your business at the same time.

How To Make It In The Music Business, 4 Important Factors

Important Note: This is not one of those guides with no substance that says “Work hard and you’ll achieve it”. Have a read to see what I feel you need to give yourself the best chance of success in the music industry. If you find it helpful, please share with other musicians and band members.

Making it in the music industry isn’t an easy task at all. If anyone’s ever told you it would be, they were lying!

That said, it’s not impossible to get where you want to be either. Want to make an additional part time income from your talent? Or want to play sell out tours by yourself or with your band? There are acts out there that are doing this as we speak, so it definitely is achievable.

But what factors are needed in order to succeed in the music industry? What should you be doing to ensure you hit your aims and objectives? This is exactly what we’ll be looking at today.

Below I’ve shared 4 key things which I feel are all important for hitting your goals.

4 steps to succeeding in the music business

I hope you find these incites useful, and get involved with any additional things you thing are important at the end of this guide. But first:

Early Disclaimer 1: I’m not saying these are the only factors needed to become a success in the music business. That said, these are what I feel are the most important, and will give you the best chance if you put them all into practice. All of the below 4 factors are broad overviews, as going into any level of real detail would require bring the length of this guide up to book level at least. Thankfully, a lot of the needed finer details can be found scattered around my site and Music Industry How To.

Early Disclaimer 2: Everyone’s has a different idea of what ‘making it’ is. Some would be happy with an additional part time income from the music business, for others making it means being both commercially and financially successful. Whatever your idea of making it is, these tips will still be relevant. All are good practices, and traits which generally encourage success.

Now I’m not saying it’ll be easy or happen within the next few months, but get these things in place and you’ll be on the right path. With that out of the way, let’s get into it. Here are the four factors your should be striving towards:

1: You Need To Have Undeniable Talent

Musician with undeniable talentThe first thing you need in place, is a good level of talent. Without this, your music career most likely won’t be very long lived. Sure if you have a strong marketing team in place and they spin a good angle on why people should like you, you don’t have to be the most talented musician in the world to see some level of success. That said, do you really want to be that person who has more people disliking them then supporting them? My guess is you don’t, even if you are financially successful.

Talent comes before all else. Until you’ve got a good level of talent, you shouldn’t do anything to promote your music. You want people’s first impression of you to be a good one, as it’s not a easy job relaunching yourself to a group of people who have heard you but weren’t very impressed. Chances are they won’t try and listen to you the second time around, even if you tell them that you’ve improved.

As you may notice, I didn’t just put “you should be talented”. I mentioned you need undeniable talent. There are lots of levels of talent, and while you can be quite successful with a ‘good’ level of talent, if you’ve undeniable talent (combined with the other factors in this list), it’ll be hard for you not to have some sort of financial success in the music industry. In all honesty, there are a ton of talented musicians out there who make really good music that will make their target audience very happy. That said, there are a lot fewer musicians whose talent is generally undeniable. If you can get your talent to this level, you’re going to be a lot closer to your music career goals.

2: Drive And Motivation Should Be Flowing Through Your Veins

Stay motivated to succeed in musicNext up, you need drive and motivation to push your music career forward. This is just as important as the above step, as without drive, your talent isn’t going to count for much.

You could be the world’s best singer, rapper, or bass player. If however you haven’t got the motivation to get your music recorded, to promote it in any way, or to generally do the things needed for a successful music career, then you might as well be talentless. Because you won’t make a success of yourself in the public eye. If you’re only interest in making good music for yourself, that’s fair enough. But I’m guessing as you read my site, you want more then just that.

Making it in the music business takes a lot of hard work and effort on your behalf, so if you aren’t willing to invest the time needed, don’t expect to get very far at all.

Now I know someone in the comments is going to say that not everyone has a lot of time to dedicate to their music career, and I understand that. That said, do what you can. If you’ve the other factors in place and you dedicate as much time to your music as humanly possible, you can still have some level if success. It may take longer to achieve then it would for someone who has 7 hours a day to dedicate to their music and who has more disposable income. Furthermore, you might not even reach the same heights they achieve. But if you dedicate a few nights a week after you’ve finished work and put the kids to bed, as well as half a day on the weekend to what you need to do, there’s no reason you can’t make at least an additional income from your music. It is possible, but you need to put the work in. Now the question remains; Do you want it enough?

3: You Need Good Marketing Knowledge

Good music marketing knowledgeThe third factor you need in place is the ability to market your music in the correct manor. In the same way having talent won’t help you get out there if you don’t have the drive to push yourself, if you spend 35 hours a week doing the wrong kind of marketing, you’ll find it very difficult to make much progress; both in terms of building a fanbase and gaining recognition.

Marketing is what you need to do in order to raise awareness of you and your music. Without marketing, people won’t know you’re a musician, let alone hear any of your material. That said, not all marketing is made evenly. In fact, some types of marketing are pretty much a waste of time, as it’ll stop you doing the things that would really benefit your music career.

For example, let’s say you read somewhere that Twitter is a great way to promote your music. So you go on to build up 23 fans (You’re following 106), and you spend all your time sending Tweets to these fans thinking it’ll increase your exposure. In reality, it won’t.

Now I’m not saying you’re personally going to do this, but I’m using this example to illustrate my point:

If you don’t promote your music in the RIGHT way, you won’t go very far at all!

If you want to learn more about music marketing, check out the free music marketing ebook. It’ll get you on the right path with regards to raising awareness of your music, so give it a read.

4: And You Need… Luck (?)

Do you need luck to make it in the music industryOk, so I wasn’t sure if I should put this one in. I myself have mixed feelings about how big a factor luck plays. Sure you can get lucky and be in the ‘right place at the right time’, moving your music career forward faster then it would have gone otherwise. But if you’ve the above three things in place, it’s going to be pretty much impossible for people to ignore you for very long.

If you’ve an undeniable talent, you will make fans. If you’ve the motivation to get your sounds out there and the marketing knowledge to know how to effectively do that, you will get more people hearing you. That effect will snowball, and you will gain more opportunities and money if you market things right.

It’ll be silly for me to deny that luck doesn’t play any part in a lot of musicians careers. That said, I’m a firm believer that you make your own luck. By putting into place the previous three mentioned points, you will have made yourself more ‘lucky’ then a lot of musicians out there.

If you’re lacking in one of the above three areas, you’ll need luck to play a much bigger part in your music career. If you’ve the others in place to a good level however, you won’t have to rely on this factor quite as much.

How To Make It In The Music Industry Conclusion

So there you have it, four things that will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in the music industry. Regardless of what your definition of success is, if you put these things into place you’ll give yourself the best chance possible of getting where you want to be.

While all of the above are important, marketing your music is the only way you’ll get people to notice you enough to make a difference in your career. If you’re not 100% sure what music marketing involves or how to do it effectively, you may want to check out these 130+ guide from Music Industry How To. They cover everything you’ll need to know about making it in the music industry, from how to get people to listen to you, to how to get your music on TV (and everything in-between)! Ok that’s it from me, until next time.

Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)

Artist: Bessie Smith
Album: Essential Bessie Smith

“Any bootlegger sure is a pal of mine,” blues singer Bessie Smith declared in her 1928 recording “Me and My Gin,” and in the last several years of her life, she was intimately involved with one. Recorded a few months after Prohibition formally ended, “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer” bustles into the party and immediately commands attention. It features an exuberant solo from lost-legend trumpeter Frankie Newton, and in its concluding lines a demand for “reefer” as well as gin. (Bessie Smith wanted a new drug 50 years before Huey Lewis.) Smith herself continued to exercise a preference for moonshine even after the constitutional ban on liquor was lifted, saying that “anything sealed” made her ill. Sadly, the recording session at which “Gimme a Pigfoot” was made would prove to be her last; she would die four years later from injuries sustained in a car accident. The song would later be recorded by Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln.

Knockin’ a Jug

Artist: Louis Armstrong
Album: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

When Pops met Tea: This was Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden‘s first recorded encounter, and by some historical accounts one of the earliest meetings of black and white musicians documented in a studio. The session came about at the behest of the young banjoist and guitarist Eddie Condon, after an all-night party welcoming Armstrong back to New York City. Condon is credited as the tune’s co-composer, but he doesn’t appear on the recording itself; he had passed out, done in by the gallon jug of whiskey brought along for artistic camaraderie. Guitarist Eddie Lang offers laid-back single-note accompaniment, Teagarden sets the relaxed, morning-after jam-session mood with his blues-soaked, in-need-of-a-shave trombone solo, and Armstrong delivers the payoff with two exquisite choruses and a shimmering cadenza that punctuates the proceedings with a good-time-was-had-by-all proclamation. When the studio staff asked Armstrong for the title of the tune, he noted the now-empty gallon of whiskey and said, “Man, we sure knocked that jug… You can call it ‘Knockin’ a Jug’!”

Black and Tan Fantasy

Artist: Duke Ellington
Album: Early Ellington: The Complete Brunswick Recordings (1926-1931)

The black-and-tan drink existed when Duke Ellington recorded what would become one of the most frequently performed Ducal standards, but the connotation here is racial — a reference to speakeasies that permitted or even encouraged interracial mingling. Driven by trumpeter and co-composer Bubber Miley’s spellbinding performance, Ellington’s composition captures the strange, ominously dreamy atmosphere of 1920s decadence; in retrospect, its famous concluding Chopinfuneral-march quote seems to portend the end of the decade and the coming of hard times.