I’m super excited to announce that I just published a book on Amazon Kindle!
As you may have already guessed, this book is all about preparing for exams at the last minute (yes, ‘cramming’). I know. I know. I should know better than to encourage that sort of thing. But let’s be honest, we all do it at some point. I know I did! So why not help people out and show them how to do it right?
Leaving jokes aside, I am happy with the book. I’m actually proud of it. That’s why I put my name behind it (without opting to publish under a pen name). I think it can help students out. But more on that later.
So why did I choose to write a book on exams and studying?
Well, there are a couple of reasons really. The first is that I wanted a simple project to work on, in order to learn the ropes for publishing on Amazon. While I do have a couple of other book ideas that I am currently working on, this one was a project that I could complete in a shorter time-frame. I wanted to take some of the pressure off and get a completed project under my belt before I tackled the other books.
The other reason is that I have wanted to create ‘information products’ for a long time now and I see Amazon Kindle as a wonderful opportunity to do this. So naturally, I wanted to give it a go. I see this book as the first of many that I will be able to produce.
What the heck is an information product?
I thought you’d never ask! First, let me take you back in time. It was back around 2008–a time when we still had a tv–when I first learned about ‘info products’. I was aimlessly flicking through channels and I came across an entrepreneur named Andrew Reynolds. He was being interviewed on the ‘Entrepreneur Channel’. Something made me want to stop and watch (I think its the same ‘something’ that made me stop and watch David Icke too, even though these guys talk about very different things).
Anyway, Andrew was talking about the information publishing business and what he was saying really blew my mind! Forget the fact that he had gone on to bank over 50 million pounds (30 million at the time of the interview, but the man has not been idling since). He was talking about a business that can be launched with almost no start-up costs; be run on auto-pilot; deliver profit margins that are virtually unheard of in arenas such as retail (we’re talking 10x to 1000x markup) and yield passive income for years on end! Did I mention that it blew my mind!?
The man was essentially giving me the blueprint that I had been dreaming of: a way to live life with far more freedom and choice than I had ever dreamed possible!
Here’s the beauty of the model: you create something once and sell it over and over again. The ‘something’ costs next to nothing to produce, but you can sell it for as much as people will be willing to pay. All you need is a hungry market and a way to give them what they want. You don’t even need to make the product. You can hire someone else to do it, or licence it from someone who has already done it.
Info products have been around for a long, long time. Let me give you some examples that you might be familiar with: school and university text books, maps, telephone directories, reference books, instruction manuals, audiobooks, CD-ROMS, recordings of seminars and workshops. Basically anything that teaches you how to do something or serves as a reference guide is an info product.
The internet and the rise of the information publishing industry
The rise of the internet has taken the information publishing business into the stratosphere. Pretty much everybody is now online. And they don’t just use their computers to go online anymore. The advent of smartphones, tablets and laptops means that more and more people are going online more often and for longer. And most, if not a lot of them, are looking for information! So why not provide them with useful information and get paid for it?
The internet and fast download speeds have meant that more and more people are willing to purchase downloadable digital products. That makes the information publishing business even more appealing? Why? Because unlike physical products (even ‘ink and paper types’) digital products are dirt cheap to produce, store and deliver. Think about it, no printing or duplicating costs, no warehouse and storage facilities required (yes, you need file hosting and that costs money, but much less than physical storage space), you don’t need employees to take orders and pack boxes etc. And, you don’t need to pay for postage and packaging. Just perfect for cash-strapped start-up entrepreneurs like me!!
But there are challenges even with selling digital products. You need a website and that means you have to think about design, functionality, hosting. Plus, and more importantly, you need traffic. Yes, you can have the best product with the best website, but you will not make any money without visitors and buyers. But online market places like Amazon and eBay are superb in this respect because you are more or less guaranteed to have tons of traffic. And unlike regular search engine traffic, the folks who visit online market places are looking to buy! They have already signed up with their credit cards and are looking for the right seller or product.
Large market places like these are ideal for people like me who are just starting out. The cost of entry is very low and there is a good chance of making sales, generating some revenue and getting a feel for doing business online. This is why I am thrilled to have made a start with my humble little ebook!
So here’s the thing. You may have heard the saying that there is a book, waiting to be written, inside every one of us. I agree with this for the most part. The only reservation I have is that many people might feel intimidated by the thought of writing a book. They might think that they’re not ‘literary’ or ‘poetic’ enough and be put off by the idea. But we ALL have valuable experience and knowledge to share. So we all definitely have not one but many info products inside of us!! Even us lowly crammers. Which brings me back to my book.
Andrew may have lit the initial fire, but it soon grew into a burning passion. I love the idea of being free to live life on your terms. But usually this freedom can come at the price of financial security (at least, that seems to be the trade off that most people think they have to make). But with what I learned from watching that one simple interview, I was able to believe that you can have freedom AND financial security.
I wanted to learn more. My search led me to learn from so many others, including Andrew’s own mentor, ‘Guerrilla Bill’ Myers, and a host of others including Tim Ferris, Pat Flynn, Noah Kagan and so many more.
This is what has ultimately brought me to writing and self-publishing on Kindle. I’m a book worm, I love to read and write. I also love to help others. It also helped that I loved the idea of information publishing and selling digital downloads. All of this made Kindle a ‘no-brainer’ for me.
So what’s inside this book?
In a nutshell, it has all the tips and information that a student would need to help them pass exams after studying at the last minute. It contains a system that is easy to follow and is based on my personal experience.
But why take my word for it? Why not download and find out for yourself?
You can grab it for free for the next 4 days (until midnight PST on Friday 19th June) from the Kindle Store on Amazon.
My heartfelt thanks go out to Gary Vaynerchuck, Andrew Reynolds, ‘Guerrilla’ Bill Myers, Tim Ferris, Joanna Penn, Nick Loper, Chandler Bolt, and Steve Scott (last but certainly not least!) for inspiring me and for teaching me the skills I needed to pull this off. If you’d like to know more about starting an online business, information publishing and self-publishing on Kindle, you should definitely check these guys out and read their books.
If you are still hesitant and are not sure that you can do it, then please watch this video. It was the first time I ever came across the man and what I saw, instantly endeared him to me.
“There is no reason in 2008 to do sh*t you hate!” Here’s the one and only Gary Vee!
And if that didn’t get you raring to go, then watch this video by the awesomely gentle and unassuming Nick Loper of Side-Hustle Nation. He talks about how so many of us want to take the plunge and why we’re doing it.
“The Department of Labour projects a 600% increase in entrepreneurship by 2025… we’re seeing a return to self-reliance.”
Right, this post is done. It’s time for me to go and wake up my daughter and give her some milk. Thank you for reading. And please don’t forget to go and download my book!
Edit: Since writing this post, I have gone on to retiring the book. It was a fine experiment and it taught me a lot, but it was time to move on.