How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
This manual is intended for education purpose only.
The information contained herein is the opinion of the author based
on information gathered from many sources but mainly from
personal experience.
Every person has different goals and expectations. This combined
with vast differences in personality, discipline and other traits
means that every person will reach a different outcome.
No responsibility whatsoever is assumed by the author for any
material contained herein.
I get asked questions about writing and writing styles all the
time. I have been asked so many times now that I have
decided to put my knowledge into an e-book. I hope the
information helps you. Best wishes…
© 2010 Gary Simpson & Maurowen Pty Ltd
PO Box 396
Western Australia 6903
v 12.14-170210
© 2010 Gary Simpson. This publication is protected by copyright.
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research,
review or criticism, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may
be reproduced or copied in any form, in any language, whether by
graphic, visual, electronic, filming, audio recording, any method via
the internet or any other means without the prior written permission of
the author.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book.
1.0 - Introduction: ...................................................................... 4
2.0 – Who Am I to Teach You About Writing E-books? ..................... 5
3.0 - Getting Inspiration to Push Through the Labor of Writing: ........ 7
4.0 - What Are You Going to Write About? ..................................... 9
5.0 - How Do You Find a Subject For Your Book? .......................... 12
6.0 - What is the PURPOSE of Your e-Book? ................................. 13
7.0 - PLR – Private Label Rights:................................................. 14
8.0 - Inspiration For Ideas: ........................................................ 15
9.0 - Planning Your Work: .......................................................... 17
10.0 - Blitz it First THEN Edit it to Death Later: ............................ 19
11.0 - The Title of Your Book: .................................................... 23
12.0 - Writing Conversationally – Injecting Your Personality Into Your
Writing: ................................................................................... 28
13.0 - The Length of Your e-Book: .............................................. 30
14.0 - Writing Tips – Making it Readable: .................................... 32
15.0 - Spell Checking and Grammar: .......................................... 34
16.0 - Testimonials: .................................................................. 36
17.0 - Cover Art: ...................................................................... 38
18.0 - Copyright – What Is It and How Does It Protect You? .......... 42
19.0 – AFTER You Have Written Your Book and Edited It: .............. 43
20.0 – Conclusion:.................................................................... 44
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
1.0 - Introduction:
I’ve been holding off writing this book for a long time. But I’ve
relented and decided to do it because so many people ask me so many
questions about writing. Principally, they ask me where I get my ideas
from and how I am so prolific. The answers to those questions really
… Ideas just seem to spring into my head all the time.
I suppose I’d say this happens because I am a prolific reader and
observer. So here’s my first piece of advice for anyone aspiring to
write their own books or e-books – READ!
When you read you are subjecting yourself to all sorts of ideas and all
sorts of writing styles.
In my life I have read 1,000’s and 1,000’s of books. I read technical
manuals, journals, novels, the backs of Weet-Bix packets, signs –
everything. I know, I know… too much information going in.
My head is crammed with ideas. So much so, that if somebody sat me
down with just a pen and a pad of paper and said: “Write an article on
(insert any reasonable subject in here)” then all I would need to know
is how many words that person required and I could spit it out in
approximately 10 to 30 minutes, depending on length. Literally, I can.
And it would be high quality too.
I’m not saying this to be a braggart. I can do this. I have trained
myself to do it. I know exactly how to do it and I know all the devices
and nuances of writing to keep a reader interested. Yes, I could be a
professional article writer for others on the Internet. But I don’t want
to do that. My time is FAR better served creating my own valuable
content. In fact, I have been called the “Content Machine.”
I suppose, at this point, I should give you some qualifications and tell
you about my experience as a writer. Then you will have confidence in
me and believe that what I am going to teach you in this e-book
will be of great value to you. You see, as the title implies, I am
going to teach you how to construct your own e-books and make them
informative and interesting so that you will have your own army of
readers just like I do. So, if you have no interest in reading about me
babbling on about me then just skip the next section.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
2.0 – Who Am I to Teach You About Writing E-books?
Yep, that’s my happy, smiling face in the pic. So…
who am I and what gives me the authority or the
ability to teach you how to write e-books? That’s a
good question and one that I would ask myself. OK
let me lay my “creds” on the table for you…
… I HAVE worked as a proof-reader, editor, speech
writer, Parliamentary Liaison Officer (ie the one who
REALLY writes all those BS letters that politicians “pretend” to write –
you know – “I regret to advise you… blah, blah, blah”), report writer,
technical writer, book writer (I have written several novels that I am
seeking publishers for), magazine writer, newspaper writer, features
writer and a whole bunch of other things. I have been paid for my
writing both by salary and also as a freelancer.
I’ve been published in all sorts of magazines including Women’s
Weekly – yeah I have. I wrote a short story called “The Pigeon Man”
and was paid handsomely for it. If anyone has ever tried to get a short
story published in that magazine then you would know how notoriously
difficult it is – er, especially for a man, I might add.
I know an awful LOT about the best way to write.
Jokingly I often say to other people, “I’ve already forgotten MORE
about writing than you will ever know!” Pretty arrogant huh? Well, I
have the runs on the board. Want a little more proof?
On the Internet I have written hundreds of articles that have been
picked up by thousands of websites and ezines, I have a massive blog
that gets 100’s and 100’s of comments and 1000’s and 1000’s of
visits, I have a huge Twitter following, I have authored a bunch of ebooks that are downloaded all over the world etc, etc. Google my
name if you want proof. You can see for yourself.
Here are just some of the titles of my e-books:
The Power of Choice
Using Motivation & Self Esteem to Excel in Everything You Do
Time in Motion Action Planner
The Internet Marketing Mindset
Profit is a Beautiful Word
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Twitter Muscle – How to Get Noticed on Twitter
Brain Training – Affirmations to Strengthen Mind and Body
How to Beat Your Chronic Back Pain
Net Wealth
How to Stop Wasting Your Life and Start Getting What You Want
Beginners Guide to the Magic Art of Copywriting
By the way, none of these are the usual 5-10 page pamphlets with
double-spacing, large font, “fluffed up” and loaded with pictures that
most people call e-books. U-uh! My e-books (like this one) run in
excess of 30-40 pages and 10,000 words. Some of my manuals are
250+ pages.
As you have probably already realized I am never short of words and I
generally write all my books in a flurry of activity. After the research
and note taking phase, I can usually bash out a piece of work that is
95% done in a couple of days. My Time in Motion ACTION Planner
was the quickest one at a total writing and typing (yes I type them all
myself) time of 6 hours.
I am indeed a prolific writer and very little gives me greater pleasure
than slamming words down on a page. Strange, I know. Weird even!
Oh, I have also written and delivered five eulogies and I can tell you –
there is NO MORE DIFFICULT writing task than summing up a person’s
life in words and keeping all the loved ones, relatives and friends
happy. Hmm, well, yes there is ONE thing – actually reading the
eulogy in front of people who are weeping the loss of that person. Let
me tell you, if you can do that without losing it then you can do
So, moving right along… pretty much, I would pit myself against any
writer on the face of the earth. That’s how confident I am of my
OK, I’m bunging on too much about myself. But I did that to impress
upon you that I have a mountain of writing knowledge and experience.
I know what I’m talking about. You can be very confident that what I
am about to teach you will set you on the path of becoming a good
writer yourself but, even better, you will be able to pump out highquality e-books that people will seek out. In short you will become
known as a quality information provider – IF you follow my advice and
instruction here. But will you? That will be the acid-test!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
3.0 - Getting Inspiration to Push Through the Labor of
Gee, that almost sounded like a description of childbirth, didn’t it? And,
in one respect it is. When you create a body of work and turn it into a
book it’s as though you ARE giving birth to something.
You have created something out of nothing. Your work – your book!
So, where does one get the inspiration for writing? Well, I can certainly
tell you that writing can be a chore – if you let it. If you HATE writing
then… stop writing! Why do something that you don’t like? It just
doesn’t make sense.
And let’s face it – you will never do a good job anyway. So, save
yourself the heartache and grief. If you don’t like committing words to
a screen via a keyboard or by pen and paper then quit. Find something
else to do. But…
… if you have always wanted to write and feel the need to do it and
fulfill that desire then this is for you.
Incidentally, in case you hadn’t noticed, I happen to love writing. It is
one of my two great life-long pursuits.
If there’s a book “inside you” and you keep starting and stopping when
the going get’s a little tough then here’s my advice:
1 – clear the time. There is absolutely NO POINT trying to lay words
down when you are tired or pressed for time because you KNOW you
should be doing something else.
2 – tell whoever always interrupts you that you are closing the door to
your office for an hour or two and NOT to interrupt you.
3 – get some of your favorite music and write while listening to it.
Steer clear of so-called “rap” music. You won’t be able to write
anything intelligent listening to that. If you are really struggling
through a difficult part or chapter then listen to classical music. Yes! I
said classical – like Chopin, Mozart, Strauss – those types.
It has been psychologically and physiologically proven that classical
music enhances the thinking process. I’m not talking here about the
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
booming of the 1812 Overture by the way. Just find something that
will open up your creativity.
I have always found that I write best when I am relaxing to music that
I LIKE. Try it.
Writing and sharing your knowledge and/or research can be so
rewarding. I LOVE it – as if you haven’t already guessed that.
The other thing is this – there is NO better way to getting your name
out there than to write a book. Or, in this case, an e-book. If you do a
good job – and after I teach you what I am gonna teach you here – it
will earmark you as a person of knowledge, credibility and authority.
Nothing will enhance your reputation more than creating a piece of
written work that is well received in the marketplace. And, as usual,
you will also attract a small percentage of critics, knockers, flamers
and general life-haters who will go out of their way to criticize, dispute
and demean your efforts. Pay no attention to those people. They are
out there. I get my fair share of them too. Anyone who ever does
anything worthwhile will attract them. I only say that to warn you that
you will be abused no matter what you write about or what your pointof-view is.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get started…
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
4.0 - What Are You Going to Write About?
Well, ain’t that a great question?
What subject are you gonna write about? It’s the question I get asked
most. And the answer is so darn simple…
And here it is…
Doesn’t that just make PERFECT sense?
I mean, let’s face it – you may be the WORLD’S FOREMOST EXPERT on
Mongolian Highland Macramé Weaving Techniques but – if NOBODY
else is interested in it then who cares? Why would you want to waste
your time writing about it?
HOT TIP: Research what people WANT to know about and write about
that. Merge a list of topics with what you, at least, have some interest
in. Make a short list then just go for it. Section 5.0 will help you so
much with this – make sure that you use it!
You see, there is NO POINT in sitting behind your computer for hours
on end laboriously drudging through a subject for which you hold no
passion at all. The end result will be a dull, colorless, boring piece of
writing that will be immediately recognized as such by your readers.
In short, you will hate it and your readers will too. You will then be
ear-marked as a dull writer and nobody will want to give you a second
I ALWAYS choose subjects that I am passionate about, have an
interest in and have at least SOME expertise in. What I don’t know I
research. And that broadens my knowledge base at the same time.
Now here is a tip concerning research…
ALWAYS triangulate. By that I mean gain at least THREE
INDEPENDENT opinions that all agree. There is so much FALSE
information on the Internet. Some of it is just put there through
ignorance and may be well intended. But some is also malicious and
designed to dupe and defraud people. I don’t really understand that
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
mentality but it would seem that some strange people get their jollies
by doing it. Weird.
Anyway, look for verifiable information on credible sites such as
Wikipedia – and even then – DO your research. Due diligence.
How do you determine what will be a good subject to write
Obviously you want to target a subject that people are keen to know
about. Now here is a KEY…
… Most people are generally very lazy. And most people just do not
want to waste time looking too hard or researching for themselves.
And that is right where YOU come in!
When you make it EASY – ie you do the research and supply all the
information in one convenient place – then people will either give you
their name and email address or even PAY you for that information.
Pretty much it’s your choice which way you want to go – free or paid.
Free will build your list. Paid will build your bank account.
Now I want to address where you can find this information. A LOT of
people ask me that. “How do I find what people are looking for?”
Well, the answer to that is just so easy… LOOK!
Look at the sort of questions people are asking and seeking knowledge
of on forums and in the many chat rooms. Questions that get asked
often make GREAT subjects for e-books.
Another great place to look is Clickbank or Commission Junction. If
people are selling e-books on certain subjects then you can also bet
that there will be a stack of people wanting either free information or
willing to pay you for your version of what others have already written
Now here is a word of WARNING – do NOT breach copyright (more
on this later) and do NOT plagiarize. That is, be ORIGINAL! Do NOT
copy other people’s work. That will get you into a world of trouble. You
could even be drawn into litigation.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
You can always read several books on a subject and then write your
own account IN YOUR OWN WORDS and combining elements of the
best parts of other works. NEVER copy. That would brand you as a
cheat, a loser and a thief. And it will also have you in legal trouble.
Besides, who could take any pride in stealing somebody else’s hard
You may always quote somebody else. That is called attribution. And
it is called that because you attribute the words to the originator. In
other words, you quote them and then put their name and reference
after the quote. This is perfectly acceptable and actually strengthens
your own work by pointing your readers to further information. Just
quote BRIEF excerpts only and all will be well.
Here’s an example of an attribution:
“Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only
you can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself
- no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who your are completely; the good and the bad - and make changes as YOU see fit not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
Stacey Charter.
See what I did? I put the whole quote in inverted commas, italicized it
and appended the author’s name after the quote. Unfortunately, I
don’t know what that quote was taken from. It just landed in my inbox
a few days ago and I really liked it. I thought it was full of merit and
wanted to share it with you so I slapped it in here for my example.
One other thing regarding attribution… only use small selected bits or
quotes. It is completely unacceptable to quote great chunks of
information. Be sensible. Authors like to be quoted. But they don’t like
to be abused by taking their information and putting it elsewhere –
even if you do attribute it to them. Like I said – be sensible and DO
NOT infringe on copyright.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
5.0 - How Do You Find a Subject For Your Book?
I promise you this…
… if you take the time to fill in the questions below then you WILL
come up with a GREAT idea for your e-book. In fact, the subject will
literally JUMP off the page at you.
If you list six possibilities for each question then there is a high
probability that a common theme will be found in at least two of the
three questions. If you are lucky enough to have a common theme in
all three questions then there is the SUBJECT of your book staring you
right in the face!
5.1 – What subjects are people wanting to know about?
5.2 – What subjects interest you?
5.3 – What subjects do you have some expertise in?
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
6.0 - What is the PURPOSE of Your e-Book?
Now I want to ask you a question… WHY do you want to write an ebook? Think about this for a moment. Why are you wanting to do it?
What is the reason?
Are you wanting to write an e-book for the right reasons?
OK. It may be for vanity. It may just be a life-long ambition for you to
write a book. It may be to build a list. It may be for any one of a
number of different reasons. But, in reality, it should really only be for
ONE reason…
And, along the way, you get to sell a little sample of yourself - to show
people that you are a purveyor of good quality information.
When you create a high-quality, informative piece of work it sells YOU.
If you do a good job then it makes people want more. And when they
want more and you can supply more then your reputation grows and
you become known as a leader in your field.
Conversely, if you make the mistake of pumping out junk e-books then
that, too, is what you will be known for. I cannot stress these points
enough. And this leads me to my next point…
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
7.0 - PLR – Private Label Rights:
PLR or Private Label Rights material is, in my opinion, a trap. In theory
it is a great idea. But, in practice, it is just far TOO EASY to abuse the
intention of PLR and simply leave it as is.
Let me explain…
With PLR what you get is a BASIC skeleton of information that you can
use as a basis upon which to edit, add, delete and create something
UNIQUE of your own.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do what they always do –
they take the easy way out. They slap their name on the cover and
they leave it as is. And the danger in doing that is two-fold:
1 – PLR was NEVER intended for that,
2 – so much PLR is VERY LOW quality.
Putting your name on a low quality, poorly written document of low
worth makes you look bad. Why would you want to do that? Huh?
Oh, I can understand why so many people need or want PLR but
(again), in my opinion, it is something that I would stay away from.
Having said that, I know that there are a lot of people selling bundled
PLR packs and making decent amounts of money from doing that. Your
choice, I guess. If that’s your bag, stick with it.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
8.0 - Inspiration For Ideas:
So, where do you get your inspirations for ideas to write about? I don’t
know about anyone else but I get my ideas from virtually anywhere
and everywhere:
something I see,
something I hear a person say,
something I read about (eg could I have done a BETTER job than
an incident,
virtually anywhere.
Ideas can pop into your head at any time. I find that if I do not jot
these ideas down at the time they pop into my head that they can just
as easily pop out again. For instance, this morning…
… As I was awakening I had this really great idea for an inclusion into
my book here. But guess what? I said to myself what I have said far
too often before… “I’ll remember that!” Then I promptly forgot it.
My BIG TIP here is ALWAYS to jot a few notes down just as a memory
I have been known to have dream inspired ideas. Many times I have
woken up in the middle of the night, scrawled a few words on a pad –
in the dark – then gone back to sleep. And in the morning I have been
able to resurrect the idea and expand upon it.
It’s actually quite amazing how this can work. When we are asleep or
near sleep or awakening from a restful sleep our brains are free to
roam – undisturbed by the humdrum of every-day life. At these times
our minds can be very creative and powerful. Don’t waste those
thoughts! Keep a pad and pencil handy.
Another great source of ideas is in the combination of two or more
good concepts to create a product even more powerful than any of the
originals. By taking the good points of several products and adding
them to one another you can easily come up with a superior product
that will be in high demand.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
But again – do NOT copy and do NOT plagiarize! Am I making a big
enough point of this? I hope so.
Your capacity to allow ideas to come at you is only restricted by your
imagination. I’ve had a saying printed on my business cards for almost
20 years. It says: “Imagination Is Infinite.” I believe it is.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
9.0 - Planning Your Work:
It’s essential that you plan what it is that you are going to write about.
The way I do this is with a pad and pen. I find a nice quiet spot and I
just jot down possible headings for chapters and sub-chapters. Below
is my plan for what I was going to write about in this e-book.
Note how this skeleton plan has changed a fair bit during and AFTER I
actually wrote the book. This is the order that it started with. The
order has changed (several times, in fact) and some things were
added, some were amalgamated, some were deleted.
Here’s the original list and order:
Who Am I to Teach You About Writing?
First Thing First - Finding the Right Subject:
Getting Inspiration to Push Through the Labor of Writing:
The Title of Your Book:
Your Writing Style:
Blitz it First THEN Edit it to Death:
Writing Tips – Making it Readable:
Length of Your e-Book:
Cover Art:
Copyright – What Is It and How Does It Protect You?
Quoting Others – Attribution Protocol:
Planning Your Work:
- The Skeleton
- The Flesh
- The Clothing
- The Cosmetics
Spell Checking and Grammar:
Writing Conversationally – Injecting Your Personality:
Sending Out Advance Copies:
Back End Offers:
Writing Technique:
Look at that list above. That was my original list of chapters and
ideas. The end result looks very little like that list, especially the order.
That list was just a rough guide of topics that I wanted to cover.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
After you have made a list of chapters that will be included in your
book then you can assemble them into a logical order. Even after you
have written your book you can re-order the chapters. I have done
this several times here before I settled on the order that you see now.
In the planning stage that is all it is – just a plan. The topics will
simply prompt you to write about those subjects.
If you struggle to get the order correct then try this – write each
chapter onto a card or separate sheet of paper then arrange them on a
desk or bench. Try to make your chapter headings flow from one to
another into a logical sequence. That is what I did. I do that a lot, in
When you get close to finishing your book you may want to insert an
extra chapter or chapters. That’s OK too and, in fact, perfectly normal.
I do it all the time.
Often new ideas will come to you as you write. I scribble those ideas
down onto other pieces of paper as possible extra chapters as I go.
Sometimes those new ideas can be “massaged” into existing chapters.
It just depends on the logical order and/or structure of your book.
Here is how I approach the “construction” of the book:
The Skeleton – ie the outline of chapters as described
above. If you have a good skeletal structure then the
“flesh” will hang nicely on it. Just like a body.
The Flesh – ie writing the chapters from the skeleton
outline and “beefing” out the information to make your
ideas readable. This is like adding muscle to the body.
The Clothing – ie developing the chapters by adding
more information, re-arranging it and even deleting some
sections that are either superfluous or detract from the
rest of your work. This is like dressing the body.
The Cosmetics – ie tidying the work up by extensively
editing it. This is where spelling and grammar is fixed and
the overall presentation is made more appealing. This is
like adding perfume, lipstick, hairspray or aftershave.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
10.0 - Blitz it First THEN Edit it to Death Later:
“Blitz it first then edit it to death.” This is actually an original quote I
use all the time. So, following on from my earlier comments wherein I
referred to attribution, here is how you would quote that:
In his e-book called, “How to Write the Perfect Storm of an E-Book”
Gary Simpson recommends that when you write you should “Blitz it
first then edit it to death.”
OK. Enough said about attribution. Let’s move onto the actual writing
Personally, I prefer to write with a pen on an exercise pad for my first
draft - the old-fashioned way.
I remember reading an interview a long time ago where worldrenowned and prolific author Wilbur Smith stated that he always
wrote long hand using a fountain pen and note paper.
Actually, right at this very moment (in my first hand-written draft that
is) I have switched from writing with a pen at the dining room table to
using a pencil on a pad with a clipboard behind it while I recline on a
lounge at the holiday home down in the south-west of Western
Australia. I’m on the coast in a beautiful two-storey holiday home in a
place called Dunsborough, overlooking the Indian Ocean. The sky is
azure blue, it’s a perfect day (approximately 75-80 degrees
Fahrenheit), the waves are gently rolling in, a gentle breeze is blowing
and the birds are singing. What more could one ask for?
I’m supposed to be relaxing and I am. You see, I am one of those
weird people who actually likes to write. I love to express myself
through the written word and I love to create.
Incidentally, I am using pencil (with a pencil sharpener at my side)
because – as you probably know - a pen is useless when it’s angled
downward like my pencil is right at this very moment.
Anyway, getting back to the subject of this chapter – just write. Write
freely and without inhibition or correction. Don’t feel as though you
need to make sense of everything or get the correct spelling or
grammar or tense. That can always be attended to later – on the first
edit. (The first of MANY edits).
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Let your creativity come through first. Just write. If you are always
reaching for a dictionary to check the meaning or spelling of a word
then you are taking unnecessary mental detours that will take you off
your creative freeway. Just write. Let it all flow. Let it come freely.
I’m now going to tell you something that I have found to be true for
me through years and years of experience…
… your FIRST effort will always be your best effort. So let it
come. Don’t hinder it. Let it flow. Just write. Get it down on paper. Or
if you prefer to use a keyboard and screen then do it that way.
OK. Just a little update…
… I’ve just come back to the kitchen table now and reverted back to
the pen. I was getting tired of propping up the clipboard in between
constantly sharpening that ever shortening pencil.
And just in case you might be interested, I have a lot of other people
just over in the adjoining room watching Michael Jackson’s “This IS IT”
video. They are across the other side of this very large living room that
is adjacent to the dining room and kitchen on the first floor here. I’m
sitting here with a very cold glass of my favorite beer – Sapporo.
[SIDE NOTE: Oops! I just broke my own rule here and corrected
some spelling. But I’m in the typing phase here now. I’ve already
written the content, so this is the mechanical and boring part of
transcribing what I have already hand-written. I could have outsourced this task but I doubt whether anyone could read my scribble.
When I write I write very fast. Now, back to the original handwriting…]
Half an hour ago I had an hour long hot bath followed by a gradually
cooling shower finishing off with a very cold shower. So I am also very
relaxed right now as I write this. I think that is important. Get yourself
relaxed and in the mood. While I was laying in that bath I was
mentally going through all that I was going to write about and I had a
small pad upon which I was making a few notes.
Now why did I just tell you all that? Because you will write so much
better when you are relaxed. OK. I repeated myself. But it’s a big
point I am trying to make to you here. If you try to write when you are
anxious or stressed then you will not be at your best.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
When you are relaxed and not worried about external stimuli or other
people hassling you constantly for things or being distracted by
telephones or emails then you will be far more creative.
After you have finished your first major draft then you can start to
polish your work. I usually denote this as follows:
What that means is that my work has had 12 main sittings where I
have added content. This may be an extra chapter or two or additional
information to previous chapters or paragraphs or whatever.
The 14 denotes minor revisions. I consider an edit a minor revision.
The “v” merely denotes the word “version.”
So, v12.14 essentially means I have added 12 major sections and
revised them either partly or wholly 14 times. If you do this then your
work will always be of a very high standard with no errors.
Of course, the very first draft is always v1.0.
Now some people may think this is excessive or unnecessary or even
fanatical but the truth is this – there are so many poor quality e-books
out there that are shoddily written, poorly researched and have
obviously had NO editing, checking or revision. They expose their
authors as people who are purveyors of dubious and careless
information. I will NEVER allow that of myself. Neither should you!
My reputation and pride as a writer is far too important to me than
that. In fact, you may think me bombastic for saying this but MANY of
my readers (approximately one quarter) go to my websites and
download EVERY e-book that I write. That is POWER! When you can
achieve that level of following then you know that you are appreciated
not only as a writer but somebody who provides quality information.
Just to put you in the picture, I am presently writing so fast and
furiously that my hand and wrist and my entire arm is aching. It’s like
when we used to do exams as kids and we wrote so fast to get all our
answers down. I’ll bet you remember those days, huh?
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
I need a rest but the words are now coming so freely and effortlessly
that I am forcing myself to keep going. Every 20 to 30 words I am
putting my pen down and shaking my wrist very vigorously. That is
how fast I am thinking and writing. But my writing speed can never
match my thinking speed. And, just looking at the last page, my
writing is becoming less and less legible as writing fatigue sets in. No
wonder I cannot out-source the typing!
Yes, I know, I could use a dictation recorder. I’ve tried this in the past
and found it almost impossible. So I write free-hand.
I have just circled the number 21 at the top of my page - so I have
been writing non-stop now for 20 A4 sized pages.
The Michael Jackson video is still on and the rest of the family and
friends keep turning towards me and asking what I am writing about
and when I will stop and how many pages I have written. This is less
than an ideal situation because they are interrupting me constantly.
But I’m on a roll…
I’m telling you all this so you can envision the process and what I am
doing, how I am doing it and how relentlessly I am slamming these
words down. I’m really in the zone now, despite my physical fatigue
and their bewilderment and constant jibes. I don’t care. I’m doing
what I want to do. They are doing what they want to do. In the end,
they will have relaxed and done nothing of value. What I am creating
here will earn me money and enhance my reputation. My time is being
better spent than all of theirs combined. I think so anyway.
So, the lesson in all of this is… WRITE! Just keep writing. Get it all
down. Get all your thoughts out. And only then should you pause to
read it, re-read it or edit it. Correcting it for clarity and readability can
come next. For now, all of those secondary and polishing processes
can wait.
For now – just WRITE!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
11.0 - The Title of Your Book:
The title of your book is just SO important. In reality – in copywriting
terms – it is the HEADLINE. Along with the cover it is the single thing
that will determine whether people will be tempted to want to read it.
Allow me to give you a few examples from a genre that is very popular
and one that is a favorite of mine – motivation.
The first is: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Think and Grow Rich. Look at that title! See how “rich” it is in itself?
Let’s take it apart and see why it works so well.
First: “Think” – something that not enough people do. (Sorry, I just
HAD to say that). There is intrigue in that one word alone. It actually
makes you think – “and Grow Rich.” Well, who DOESN’T want to be
rich? Notice also the word “grow.” This evokes a feeling of getting
bigger and bigger. Or, in this case, richer and richer. So, put it all
together and it works on several levels. Intrigue, expectation,
continuum. The title is simply so FULL of promise. “Think and Grow
Rich” – a BRILLIANT title.
Here’s another one: “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” by
Shad Helmstetter.
Taking that apart – the first bit… “What to Say…” that invokes the
immediate question – “well, what DO you say?” So there’s intrigue
right there too. Right from the first three words.
And then to the second part of the title – “When You Talk to Yourself.”
What? Talking to yourself? What’s that all about? So, again we have
MORE intrigue – questions that need to be answered. The title makes
us WANT to know more. ie what is IN the book! It’s a BRILLIANT title.
And the book doesn’t disappoint either. I have read it many times over
the years. In case you haven’t picked it… this is one of my all time
favorite motivational books. You should read it. You WILL learn a lot!
Now… moving along…
Here’s a title that absolutely STINKS – “Psycho Cybernetics.” This is
a book by revered plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz. I can hardly recall a
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
WORSE title! What was he thinking when he dreamed that garbage
up? What was the editor thinking? What about the publisher?
As a title, “Psycho Cybernetics is about as bad as it gets and yet the
book itself is truly wonderful and has sold millions and millions of
copies. But there is much more at play here. Maltz was a brilliant
plastic surgeon and his information truly was ahead of its time (nice
cliché huh?). I rate it as one of the very best books that I have
ever read but I NEVER would have been attracted to it unless
somebody I respected had not recommended it to me.
Psycho Cybernetics is a title that I would take zero notice of if I were
just browsing through as bookshop – favorite haunts of mine. I
wouldn’t have looked twice at it. In fact, I may have only paused and
thought “what a stupid title” and moved right on past it.
So, there is a BIG tip for you – don’t be obscure. And don’t be too
clever either. It’s not very often that obscure titles or “plays on words”
or puns work.
Psycho Cybernetics only worked because of the reputation and
brilliance of the author. Another example – flavor of the century
(sometimes) English football player David Beckham could use ANY
title, slap a picture of himself on the cover and his book would sell. But
you can’t do that.
Make your title:
Now look at the title of this e-book: “How to Write the Perfect
Storm of an E-book.”
Well, I could have just used: “How to Write an E-book” and that would
have worked OK because it’s a topical subject and I also have a pretty
decent reputation as a writer. It’s topical because it really is something
that a LOT of people WANT to know how to do. Gee, I’d like $1 for
every person I have heard say “I just don’t know where to start” or “I
don’t know what to write about” or “I can’t write.” On the last one they
then go on to write about how they cannot write. Duh!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Anyway… what if I spiced it up a bit? … “How to Write a Perfect Ebook.” Hmm. Better. The addition of the word “perfect” denotes
excellence. People would want to read an excellent book, wouldn’t
they? Well… maybe. Depends what it’s about, of course.
So, making it even better… inserting the words: “the Perfect Storm.”
See what that does?
First, the “Perfect Storm” is the title of a very popular movie. Almost
everybody reading this now who has seen that movie or even the
trailer to it will envision that small yacht riding up the face of that
enormous wave. Can you see it? I’ll bet you can hardly get it OUT of
your mind now huh?
That scene is the most powerful one in the entire movie – no wonder
they used it in all the promos! It shows the extreme force of nature
and man’s quest to survive a colossal assault from it. And that was the
feeling I wanted when people saw those words in my title.
[SIDE NOTE: I have had SO many people ask me when this book will
be ready. So I already know it will be a winner. There’s a big HINT
for you right there. Note I said they WANT it. They don’t NEED it.
People need all sorts of things – it doesn’t mean they want them.
There is a HUGE difference between those two words – WANT and
NEED. Make sure you fully understand the difference. Because it will
make ALL the difference…]
Secondly, regarding the words “Perfect Storm,” I wanted people to
think… “Huh? What does THAT have to do with writing e-books?” So,
there is an intrigue factor working right from the moment people lay
eyes on the title.
Third, I’ve drawn two popular things together and joined them as one.
So the e-book title has become “super-imposed” with the storm.
Now, having due regard for all of that …
Such a technique can EASILY backfire on you if you try to be TOO
clever. There needs to be some subtlety. And, having said that let me
tell you this…
… yes, I have somewhat “ripped off” the title of a movie, though
“perfect storm” is a term that has long been used elsewhere. If you
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
were to use the same title in a slightly different way then you would be
seen as a copy-cat. For instance, if you were to use: “How to Create
the Perfect Storm of a Video,” then you would be seen as a mere
copier of an original idea. Can you see what I am saying here?
People would refer to you as the person who ripped off Gary Simpson
and your reputation would be tarnished by it. You would appear pretty
stupid to others if you did that. No doubt somebody will want to
chance it. For the sake of your reputation – just DON’T. Trust me
on that.
I have seen this with other popular titles. For example there are now
so many copy-cat titles using the core of “Think and Grow Rich” that it
has become very unoriginal, dull and extremely boring. I see them all
the time. I also see derivatives of Wallace Wattles’ “The Science of
Getting Rich.” The science of this, the science of that… yeah, yeah.
So, in summary, be original, be interesting, be intriguing but having
said all that – BE RELEVANT!
Your title can make or break your entire project.
Here’s another tip – write out a dozen or so proposed titles and rate
them all on merit before you settle on one. Put your titles through
these integrity tests:
Is it original?
Is it interesting?
Does it have intrigue?
Is the title RELEVANT? (is it misleading? Mislead and you will be
Will it be understood? (ie not too “cute” or obscure)
[SIDE NOTE: ** like all those idiots who use “Notification of Payment
Received” in their email subject lines and then go on to say: “Now that
I have your attention blah, blah, blah” – DO NOT DO THAT! It’s
suicide. If you do that with your book title then it is tantamount to
EXACTLY the same thing! Do NOT mislead!]
If you are struggling for a title then you can always use the tried and
tested base of: “How to blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.” Just fill in
whatever your book is about after the words “How to.”
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
If you get your title correct then you are half way there. Get it wrong
and it won’t matter how good your information is because it will be
pre-judged from the outset. Unless you are an exception like Maxwell
Maltz – which I HIGHLY DOUBT - or you are an international celebrity
like Mr Beckham or some rock or movie star whose name precedes
If you are just Joe or Josephine Normal then just do what I have
outlined here. Get yourself off that first base of publishing success by
nailing a good title.
Oh, one other thing… you can have a “working” title that can change
many times as you flesh your book out. As you take different
directions you may want to “slant” your title differently. Be flexible and
make your title relevant to your content. Your readers will trust
you for that.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
12.0 - Writing Conversationally – Injecting Your
Personality Into Your Writing:
The biggest thing that will set your writing apart from everybody else’s
is your unique way of expressing yourself. Don’t make the mistake of
trying to be too technically correct (sometimes I should take my own
advice more on that - LOL!). If your writing is too stilted then your
readers won’t relate to it so well or enjoy it so much. Be
conversational. Write as though you were talking to an old friend.
That’s another BIG TIP!
I can write very correctly. I know all about correct grammar, tense,
split infinitives (yeah, that will make most people’s heads spin), syntax
and all that other technical stuff. In general, I observe all these
protocols but you will also see me using the occasional vernacular
term and even short cutting words like “coz” for “because” and
“wanna” for “want to” and various other conversational terms and
short cuts.
I do this deliberately. When you know the rules then you can
BREAK the rules – IF you are careful. But even if you don’t know
the rules then just writing as you would speak will have people
thinking you are a half decent writer.
So, the lesson here is to inject your personality into your writing.
Just write as you would speak. Talk WITH people, not AT them. If you
do that you will have your own style and people will relate to it.
Now, having said that, I tend to swear a bit in general conversation.
Most people do. DON’T swear in your writing. Despite the general
trend for movies, sit-coms and TV shows and even general society to
sprinkle their conversations with four letter words you should NOT
commit those words to print. If you do then you will be considered
crass and vulgar and you WILL LOSE readers – even those who swear
themselves. Like me.
I can tell you I am no prude – not by a long shot but when I see
swearing in general written prose I just get turned off. There is just
NO NEED for it. It shows immaturity. Mostly it is done for shock value.
And, like you, I don’t need to be shocked. You can watch a movie for
that. Or you can just walk past the local shopping center or school to
hear it. Leave swearing OUT of writing!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Oh, Jacko (Michael Jackson) is now into my favorite Jacko song – Billie
Jean – so I’m putting my pen down for a little rest while I watch and
enjoy that…
… Back again. That was a MUCH needed finger, wrist and arm rest…
Having said all of the above, I will, on occasion, especially on my blog,
say “effen” or “FN.” But, like I said, I do this mainly on my blog when I
am in what I call “rant mode” but I will never use the “F” word in a
book – unless I am quoting somebody verbatim – but even then I
would think three times about doing so. And I would use the first letter
and the appropriate three asterisks. It’s just not necessary and it WILL
lose readers. So, when it’s all said and done, why bother?
I hope these comments will enable you to infuse your own writing with
your unique personality. There is NOBODY in the entire world who is
the same as you. You are UNIQUE. You have unique talents. You
express yourself in a unique way. Use that “uniqueness” to your
[SIDE NOTE: Note also how I have been infusing my writing with
observations about what was happening during the actual hand-writing
phase of this e-book? As I type this up from my notes I can actually
remember all of those things. You can do this too – but do it sparingly,
as I have. Giving a blow-by-blow description of all that goes on around
you while you write is over-the-top and distractingly BORING. Practice
and get the “balance” right.]
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
13.0 - The Length of Your e-Book:
Ha ha! Here is something I could go into a mini-rant over. A book is
just that – a BOOK! Not a pamphlet. Or a report!
In my opinion, the absolute MINIMUM size for an e-book should be 20
pages. Anything less than that is not a book at all! It’s either a report
or a pamphlet.
The preferable size for an e-book (again – ONLY MY opinion) is
between 25 and 50 pages. And that is 25-50 pages of single spaced,
full margin, 12 to 14 point sized font. Those pages can have up to 5 to
10 half page pictures, diagrams, screen shots etc but – they HAVE to
be relevant and they HAVE to ADD to the meaning or understanding.
Pictures just for the sake of pictures smack of irrelevance and “beefing
up” a smaller than expected book. In other words, you will be “short
changing” people.
Well, I just had to take a 15 minute break for my fatigued fingers,
hand, wrist and arm to recover [that was in the physical writing phase.
The typing phase is pretty much the same though. I am steaming
through this!]
Anyway, this is fairly irrelevant (especially in view of my “blow-byblow comment in the last section) however…
… I had to come back because one of the women in our circle of
friends decided to get out a pair of nail clippers and clip her damn
toenails which are flying off in all directions and landing all over the
floor – near where I was taking my rest. I find this particularly
repugnant so I am now back in the other room where I can get away
from all that. Incidentally, everybody else seems to have vacated that
room also. I wonder why? (SOME people!)
Back to the size of your e-book…
… don’t short-change people. If you say or you are advertising that
you have an e-book then make it something that a standard stapler is
gonna struggle to pierce.
I have seen some people advertize “e-books” and when I sign up for
them and look at the damn things I feel so cheated coz they are only 4
or 5 or 6 pages long! And they are junk!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Quite often they are nothing but a hotch-potch collection of affiliate
links – DON’T do that! Let the con-artists and losers trick and cheat
people like that but don’t you do it.
Actually, the WORST I have seen is 3 pages of double-spaced 14 point
font! That is NOT an e-book. That’s a con. If you con people like that
then they will pay you back and the standard payback for a substandard e-book is an UNsubscribe.
A book is a book.
A report is a report.
And a pamphlet is… well…
Be honest. I tend to say that a lot.
When you write or advertize just be honest. If you are honest and
helpful then nobody can legitimately attack you over it. (Well, some
will but there’s little hope for them).
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
14.0 - Writing Tips – Making it Readable:
14.1 – Use lots of white space. Paragraph. Do NOT bunch 1,000 words
into one massive text block. If you do that you might as well delete
everything you have written because no-one and I mean NO-ONE
will read it. Look at the way I space everything out so that it is not
confronting to read.
14.2 – Use bullet points or numbers to make your points – perfect
example here!
14.3 – Never use a big or difficult word UNLESS that word has specific
meaning that no other word will convey.
14.4 – Don’t write in all capitals as it looks like you are shouting. I
have people send me emails like that and I delete them without even
reading them. It’s just rude.
14.5 – If your writing is going out to a mixed language or mixed
country audience (eg on the net) then realize that different people will
interpret things differently. There are words that can have vastly
different meanings in different countries. If in doubt attach a LOL
(laugh out loud) appendage.
14.6 – Check your work to see how it looks. Lots of people don’t. They
just rely on the good old computer to do its thing and we all know
about that, huh? Don’t just press save and release you dog’s breakfast
(sorry) on the unsuspecting world.
Story Telling:
Everyone LOVES a good story. You do, don’t you?
Tell little stories but DON’T overdo it to the point of becoming
obsessed with a persona or theme. Be real and remember… someone
else has to read it.
I have been doing a little “story-telling” throughout this work. I have
done it deliberately to teach you this writing device. When done subtly
(and I am right on the border with how I have done it here – but
again, it has been deliberate) it can really bring your writing and
personality to life.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
I do try to practice what I preach. See how I have woven some short
stories and anecdotes through my writing? For example, disgusting as
it was… the toe-nail clipping incident? And the Michael Jackson stuff?
And, earlier, the location of where I was sitting while I was writing my
I didn’t set out to add those bits but they did influence me – either
positively or negatively – enough for me to make mention of them. I
felt they were interesting enough to mention. OK! I admit that the toenail stuff was gross.
See how that makes me a REAL person? With REAL observations? With
likes and dislikes? Just like YOU!
Remember that it is your WORDS that compel and it is your WORDS
that will sell. They say that every picture tells a thousand words but
try selling anything with just pictures. Good luck if you think you can!
Long copy (story) versus short copy:
This is such a contentious area of writing. But here is my take…
People will read what interests them. If you tell an utterly boring long
story nobody will read it. But millions of people read 200,000 word
novels. They will hang off every word if your work is interesting.
Conversely, even very short stories will not be read if they are dull.
Always have in your mind the interests of your readers.
The most powerful thought for a reader is this… “What happens
next?” OR “What is he or she gonna say next?”
If it is long and interesting it will be read. Well, maybe it will be
skimmed first and then read. But if it is short and dull it will get the
flick real quick.
[SIDE NOTE: Just in case you don’t know… writing is referred to by
journalists and editors and professional copywriters and other writing
afficionados as “copy.”]
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
15.0 - Spell Checking and Grammar:
Goodness gracious me! I could really go off here…
I simply CANNOT believe that SO many people do NOT even bother to
run a spell-check through their work. This is INEXCUSABLE!
Most people use Microsoft Word. So, to perform a simple spell-check
just go to TOOLS then scroll down to SPELLING and GRAMMAR and
then follow the prompts. Every spelling error will be flagged up for you
to scrutinize – along with suggested alternatives. All you need to do is
place your cursor at the very front of your title and start from there.
Simply look at every word that the program highlights and FIX the
obvious errors. Naturally, there are alternate spelling options (eg the
American version of the word “favorite” versus the UK, Canadian, New
Zealand and Australian version of “favourite.”) And a spell-check will
not necessarily flag up the incorrect use of words such as “too,” “two”
and “to” or “four” and “fore.” But the grammar checker will take care
of that anyway.
Really, this could NOT be easier!
I often get asked to edit or give an opinion on other people’s work and
it NEVER ceases to AMAZE me when I read the very first page – or
even paragraph – and it is littered with spelling mistakes. Duh! In fact
DOUBLE duh! How stupid is that?
Invariably, when I have the audacity to ask these people if they have
run a spell-check through their work – knowing, of course, that they
haven’t – they say, “oh, this is just a rough draft.” Well, you should
NOT send a rough draft to anyone. What is the point?
So, spell-check your work and run a grammar check for good
measure. Often the recommended grammar suggestions will be wrong
but at least they will show you where you need to do more work to
clarify your words and meaning. You can then go back and re-write or
re-phrase that section so it makes better sense.
Only after you have done your best should you submit your work to an
editor for him or her to give their opinion. Or a confidante.
OK. I KNOW that I have committed grammatical errors in this book.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Please don’t write to me and point them out. I have done it for a
reason – casual readability. Remember I said I was committing some
errors by using words like “wanna” and “coz?” Well, I have also
written sentences that aren’t real sentences. I KNOW that all you
English teachers! I have broken some rules.
I know the rules. And I break them according to my intended audience
and the TYPE of project I’m working on.
And I believe I also said that it is better to write-in your personality
and for your prose not to be too stilted – ie as if you were writing a
technical journal.
And here’s another TIP…
… If you are so in LOVE with your own work or so precious that you
want to dispute EVERY single recommended change or correction that
an Editor highlights then don’t bother wasting his or her time – or your
I’m sorry if you thought that last comment was harsh but I have seen
it SO MANY TIMES that I just felt the need to say that here. Actually…
come to think of it… I’m NOT sorry at all.
Polish your work BEFORE you present it to anybody for a critique.
OK. OK. OK. I just KNOW that somebody out there is going to scour
my e-book and try to find some word with which I have inadvertently
made a spelling error. THANK YOU in advance to that person or
persons. You won’t find too much but if that’s what floats your boat
then be my guest. I think I have made my point.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
16.0 - Testimonials:
Testimonials can be handy for the purpose of letting your potential
readers, customers and clients know what others thought about your
People are more inclined to want to read your stuff if they know that
others have found the content interesting, informative and/or
Bland testimonials are valueless and should be avoided. They are just
a waste of space.
Here is an example of a valueless and completely WORTHLESS
“I read your book and I loved it.”
C.M. – South Africa.
In fact, testimonials like that are worse than useless. They can actually
be harmful to your cause. Why? Because even if they are real, they
look false and contrived.
The testimonial above gives no reason why the (highly suspicious) CM
(allegedly) of South Africa “loved” your book. It is unspecific and, let’s
face it, CM could be anyone. Even you!
NEVER use “testimonials” like that.
Here is an example of a nice, juicy testimonial…
"Hi Gary, I just wanted to send you an email and tell you how wonderful your
affirmations are. They are helping me in several areas of my life. I would
recommend your Brain Training manual to anybody wanting to improve their
health, finance, motivation, positive thinking, stop-smoking, general fitness and/or
weight problems, overall happiness - it's all covered. And you even showed me how
to write my own customized affirmations. I can't thank you enough for the positive
changes your affirmations have made in my life. You honestly DON'T know the
difference you and your books are making in my online (and offline) every day. I am
so grateful to you. You're a great teacher and motivator!"
- Collette Jones of www.collettejones.com
See the difference? See the reasons? See how specific the second one
is? And note also that the person is identified in such a way that
everybody knows this is a REAL person.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
So, how do you get testimonials? It’s easy. You ASK for them.
Send a copy of your finished e-book or report to some people whose
opinions you respect and just ask them for the testimonials. Bear in
mind that if you ask 10 people you may only get 2 or 3 who will
respond. So, if you want 5 or so testimonials then be prepared to ask
15 to 20 people. And don’t get lousy or hound people for them. One
reminder is enough and if you don’t get a testimonial after that then
just MOVE ON.
People are busy. You may have caught one of your “prime targets” at
a REALLY, REALLY bad time – they may be busy or they may be
engaged in any one of a thousand things more important than your
urgent need from them at that particular time. I know. I’m a PRIME
TARGET for people wanting testimonials. I try to do them but I am
very busy myself. I simply cannot drop everything I am doing, read a
30-90 page e-book then craft a testimonial. That can take hours. Often
I DON’T have hours! It ain’t coz I’m uncaring or not wanting to do such
a thing. It’s just that the timing is bad.
Testimonials should only be about 5-10 sentences of one or two
paragraphs. Any longer and it’s too much for people to wade through.
They should state SPECIFICALLY why the person liked your work.
One LAST comment about testimonials…
The FTC (Fair Trading Commission) is cracking down on false or hyped
testimonials and also testimonials from people who are in privileged
positions – ie ABnormal people who make out as though they got
results that anyone can get. For example, if Usain Bolt said he won the
100 meters Olympic sprint by drinking Your Brand of Jungle Juice then
that would be an abnormal “testimonial.” I mean, he’s ALREADY the
world 100 meters champion!
It’s like all these ripped and cut athletes that are shown on TV using
the latest exercise fad and attributing that machine to their buffed
look. It’s false. The testimonials have to be real and from “normal”
If in doubt consult the FTC rulings on testimonials.
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
17.0 - Cover Art:
You no doubt have heard the famous catch-cry: “Don’t judge a book
by its cover!” But… I’m here to tell you that is EXACTLY what people
do on the Internet.
If you want your e-book to be read then it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE
that you add a nice eye-catching cover. On the Internet you want to
attract “eyeballs.” A nice e-book cover will do that for you.
Unlike a book-store where people can physically pick up your book and
browse through it, the only thing you will usually have to get
somebody’s attention or interest is to have an inviting cover, a good
headline and a short description, also known as a “blurb.”
Most people wanting to build a list – which is the SINGLE MOST
IMPORTANT thing in Internet Marketing – will do so by offering a free
e-book or report in exchange for their potential readers’ names and
email addresses. The list is most often started by offering the e-book
in an online event called a Giveaway.
Once an initial list (seed list) of several hundred names and email
addresses is built, other list-building techniques can be used such as
“ad swapping.”
[SIDE NOTE: For more information on “Adswapping” see my e-book
of the same name – available at my blog – free, of course].
To emphasize the importance of an eye-catching cover just consider
the following: In a Giveaway event you can only really use two things
to attract people’s attention:
1 – the cover (with the title)
2 – a short description – usually limited to 300 characters only.
The very FIRST thing that will attract attention is going to be your
cover. When you are competing against 50 or 100 or even several
hundred other e-books then you are going to want to put yourself in
the most advantageous position possible.
I have read great e-books, full of wonderful information literally hiding
underneath poor covers. Some people make the mistake of not even
having a cover. BIG mistake!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
When it comes to cover artwork you have a few choices;
1 – make the BIG mistake of not even having a cover – DUH!
2 – use a cover generating piece of software (ie do it yourself) or,
3 – use a professional.
I have already mentioned that not having a cover is foolish so I’ll
confine my next comments to options 2 and 3.
Yes, there are all sorts of free and cheap pieces of software out there
that will create “home made” covers but that is precisely what you will
get – a “home-made” looking cover.
In my opinion, the ONLY way to go is to get a professional Graphic
Artist or Designer to do your covers. Yes, it will cost you some money
but IT’S WORTH IT! Believe me.
I have used Michael Ottman from www.simpleecovers.com many
times and I am always impressed by his talent. Mike did the cover for
this e-book. It’s brilliant, isn’t it?
Here are a few more examples of Mike’s creativity:
See how I like to use the same general look and feel? It’s all part of
my branding process.
Now, here’s another little tip for you. The MORE you can tell your
Designer the better will be your cover, the happier you will be and the
faster you will get it back.
Think first of what general design you want. If you have a piece of
licensed clip-art or an uncopyrighted picture of an image or a photo or
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
image of your own that you want included then send that. Tell your
Designer where and how you want it positioned and displayed.
Next, decide on your color scheme. If you can tell your Designer about
the general look that you are after then he or she will deliver you
something that you will be happy with. If YOU don’t know what you
want then how can your Designer possibly know? Give him or her as
much information as you can and do BOTH of you a favor.
Next, I will look at cost. Let’s look at both the REAL COST and the
“OPPORTUNITY LOST” COST. At the current going rate a good
Designer will charge you approximately $25 to $35 for artwork in
several sizes from thumbnail size (suitable for direct import into the
Giveaway software scripts) right up to a full size flat cover image that
can be used as the first page of your e-book. (Like you see on the
cover of this e-book).
Now, it’s generally been stated that every name and email address
that you can get on your list is worth approximately $1 per month to
you over the length of time that those people stay on your list – ie
remain subscribed. So, when you look at a cost of about $30 in that
light then, theoretically, at least, the first 30 people will virtually pay
for that cover in month 1. In reality, it doesn’t work quite like that but
it’s a general “rule of thumb.”
What I will reveal to you now might make you envious OR (hopefully)
it will INSPIRE you. Jealousy and envy are such negative emotions
so I’m hoping that this will give you some motivation and/or
In March 2009 I spent some time at a very short family get-together
in an isolated rural setting (back of NOWHERE basically) where I had
no internet connection. There were “in-law” relatives and friends of
those relatives at that function who I had NO desire whatsoever to
trade pleasantries or clichés with. So, I exiled myself for about 3 hours
and while they all drank themselves to oblivion and back-slapped each
other over how much they could all drink and who was the fastest and
best drinker and all that crap I wrote (cover to cover) my “Time in
Motion ACTION Planner.” Yes, I did!
When I finally got back to my office I spent another three hours
furiously typing and formatting it. So, all-in-all, I “invested” 6 hours of
my time in creating it. Yes, when I’m in a creative mood I am very
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
fast. I even managed to get a very nice cover slapped on that planner
at no cost. Here’s a picture of it…
You can get that ACTION Planner and a bunch of other valuable free ebooks on my blog at www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk - it’s a VERY
valuable resource and will help you plan your e-book and all your other
online AND offline activities.
Now know this…
… in the ensuing 10 months that ACTION Planner e-book has been
downloaded (as at today’s date – 13th February 2010) 10,321 times.
There have been those who have come in, grabbed it and immediately
unsubscribed (the cretins and the freebie-hunters will do that to you
too) but I still have almost 9,000 people on that ONE list!
Even if I had paid $50 for that e-cover, do you think I’d be moaning
about it?
That one e-book, given away, has made me a lot of money through
swelling my list (to which I can sell whatever I want to).
So… last word on e-covers – DON’T cheap out! Get a nice e-cover for
every e-book that you write. It’s WORTH it!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
18.0 - Copyright – What Is It and How Does It Protect
Have a look at the bottom of page 2. That is a copyright warning.
Essentially this means that I am the owner of this work. I get to decide
what I do with my creation, who can use it and under what conditions
it may be used.
One of those conditions is that you may not use MY book to build
YOUR list. Nor can you offer my book free to others UNLESS I give you
permission to do so. That is my prerogative and privilege as the
A standard copyright stipulation is that NOBODY can copy my work or
your work or anyone else’s work and claim it for themselves.
There are unscrupulous people out there who will do this but to those
people – BEWARE! Copyright theft is an international crime and it is
punishable by hefty fines.
Basically, copyright conventions protect the author of a piece of work
as the owner.
Copyright exists from the date of creation and is denoted by this line
of protection…
© 2010 Gary Simpson.
There is a considerable amount of information all over the Internet
that you can read to understand more about copyright convention so I
won’t bother too much about adding anything more here other than to
… protect all of your work by adding a similar copyright notice at the
very front of your book. You must also place the copyright symbol – ie
© and then the year of your creation – in this case – 2010 and then
your name just as I have done.
As an author I also like to mark every page with that notice. See it?
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
19.0 – AFTER You Have Written Your Book and Edited It:
AFTER you have written your e-book, edited it, run a spell check
through your work, corrected any grammar or poorly worded areas,
re-arranged it, added a Table of Contents and generally done ALL you
can to make it as professional as possible then, and ONLY then –
PRINT a copy.
Then, with your copy in front of you take a red pen and attack your
work mercilessly. Your goal here is to make one final sweep.
Ensure that:
the chapters flow logically and naturally,
any anomalies are fixed,
any reference pages are consistent (ie if you say refer to page
12 for blah, blah then make sure that blah, blah is, in fact, on
page 12!),
all other things are consistent,
the paragraphs and sentences have a LOT of white space around
them (a REALLY good idea – taught to me by one of my writing
teachers many, many years ago - is to put every page at your
feet then stand up and look at how much white space surrounds
your prose),
remove superfluous information,
cross-reference and check your Table of Contents,
add any necessary extra information to explain a point better
generally ensure that your work is 100%!
So many people just don’t do this and it shows. A physical (printed)
page can reveal things that on-screen pages don’t. It WILL give you
a better perspective. Trust me. And, if your book is good then quite
a few people will want to print it. So, shouldn’t you see what a
printed version looks like FIRST?
When you have done that then do the final type, check every page
to make sure it is EXACTLY how you want it and…
… you are DONE!
Now you are ready to turn that document into a PDF and share it
with the world!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
20.0 – Conclusion:
In this e-book I have provided you with all the information that you
will ever need to write a good quality, original e-book from scratch.
(So, why bother with PLR? Unless you are selling it to make money –in
which case it serves you a purpose. I only even mentioned PLR in this
e-book for completeness in the information I am providing you.)
Now that you are armed and equipped with all this knowledge then
you, too, can write the PERFECT STORM of an e-book! So, what are
you waiting for? Research your subject and start writing!
All the best,
Gary Simpson
PS: I REALLY, REALLY recommend that you do these things:
1 – PRINT this e-book so that you can refer back to it time and time
2 – Go through it with a highlighter pen and highlight the things that
you want to remember or make notes in the margins or on the back of
3 – If you are one of those people who says: “I don’t know what I can
write about!” then MAKE SURE that you fill in those question boxes in
sections 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3. If you do – problem solved. If you don’t
then you will always be one of those people who says: “I don’t know
what I can write about!” (If that sounds like you then leave the writing
of e-books to those who are prepared to take ACTION)
4 – I’m not going to wish you “good luck” because with the
information that you now have you won’t need luck. It’s not about
luck. It’s about knowledge and ACTION. And remember the old saying:
“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” So make your own luck.
5 – You now have the knowledge. Take ACTION. Write your fabulous
e-book. Go! Start NOW! Sell it or use it to build your list!
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk
How to Write the Perfect STORM of an e-Book by Gary Simpson
Do You Want to be the BEST that You Can Be?
Then it’s time to create your DESTINY!
Click the link below or copy and paste the URL into your browser:
© 2010 Gary Simpson
brought to you by: http://www.motivationselfesteem.com/talk