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EBookWriMo: Yay, or Nay?

2012 October 30
by Cordelia

As if I don’t already have enough on my plate (but when has that ever stopped me?), I’ve been considering putting some passive-income-generating products all up in here to push myself ever closer to the goal of full-time freelanciness.

Having much on my plate as it is, I’ve been pushing the idea to the back of my mind and the bottom of my project list.

Until I read this post over at Copyblogger.

And my Cordelia senses started tingling…


Why This is the Perfect Time to Write an Ebook

  • Because I’m straddling that line between too much work for my 2 freelance days/week, but not enough to justifying ditching the office job altogether.  An ebook, written once and paid for (hopefully) on a somewhat regular basis, would be a lovely addition to my monthly income (and much easier than taking on more weekly-deadlined clients).
  • Because I love the community of participating in something like this.  Although NaNoWriMo, when I tried it in 2010, was a failure in terms of word count, I had a ton of fun doing it and learned some valuable lessons in the process.
  • Because writing my first (free) ebook was a ton of fun when I finally sat down and did it, and I’m super-proud to have it in my portfolio.
  • Because an ebook in 30 days is a lot more doable than a novel in 30 days, especially considering the idea for this one has been marinating in my mind since I wrote the first ebook.
  • Because it’s a topic I believe could be honestly helpful to a good number of people.
  • Because I need a kick in the pants (and some serious external accountability) to get a project of this scale started.
  • Because there will never be a “perfect time” to write a paid ebook—or anything, for that matter.  You make the time for what matters.


Why This is Not the Perfect Time to Write an Ebook

  • Because I am a big, fat, chicken.  (Bock. Bock.  Bock.)
  • Because I’m afraid no one will actually want to purchase it once it’s written.
  • Because I’ll have to learn to hone down my priorities even more sharply to make room for EBookWriMo.
  • Because I am a big, fat, chicken.  (Bock. Bock.  Bock.)


 How Vote-eth You?

So, dear readers:

Given the above, who says I should go for it, and who says I shouldn’t?

And, more importantly, who’s crazy enough to join me…?  :D


(I’ll give you a little teaser to help you decide how to cast your vote:  The current working title for the paid ebook is “The Hustler’s Handbook: How to Stay Motivated, Stay Productive, and Stay Sane While Leading the Day Job/Dream Job Double Life.”)

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  • Rob F.

    Agh. Damn it. Was keen, but I just started that freelance writing course, plus the podcasts, sorting the scooter out AND my wife would actually like to see me at some point.

    I think this year I just have to learn to say No.

    • Cordelia

      No worries. You’re more than welcome to live the craziness vicariously through me. :)

  • Beth

    I say go for it. You will learn some things in the process, whether you finish or not! (And if you don’t finish, you’ll have a bunch of serialized blog posts to publish…)

    • Cordelia

      I like the way you think!

  • SuperTeala

    I would be all over that!

    • Cordelia


  • Melissa

    If you can do it without driving yourself crazy, doooo eeeet! I got talked into doing it by a friend who I’ve been writing with since high school, and since what I’m writing is most likely going to end up an e-book, I’m all for encouraging others to join me in the madness! ;)

    • Cordelia

      Hooray! Yeah, I have yet to nail the “doing things without driving myself crazy” skill, but that probably won’t stop me…

  • Keisha Douglas

    Do it, do it, do it! I saw the same article and thought about doing it even more because my best friend always does NaNoWriMo. I’m tempted to join you. I’ve never done a writing challenge before.

    • Cordelia

      Do it, do it, do it! :D

  • Cordelia’s Mom

    Do you really have to ask? I notice your list of cons is much shorter than your list of pros. You know you’re going to write that ebook no matter what anyone else thinks, and that’s the way it should be.

    • Cordelia

      You know me so well.

  • Michelle Gower

    1 – You fix the fear of “who’s gonna buy it?” by examining if there is a demand for your ebook. If not, you want to find out what people are looking for and currently buying to give you an idea of what to create an ebook around. I know there’s a link on that CB article about it – but that’s the dead honest truth. Start with keyword research and look for keywords that get good activity to indicate that folks are looking for and/or buying this info. Check Amazon for similar items.

    2 – do you have a marketing plan? Simply posting it here on the sidebar won’t automatically equal sales. I have displayed two of my ebooks in my sidebars on three sites for well over a year, and I’ve sold exactly 4 of them, because that’s their only marketing plan. I just don’t have the time for SEO and social media on it right now. Those little buggers require daily feeding. :) Those who DO have the books love them like crazy – but I may have to create an affiliate program here soon to help reduce the burden on me to promote all the time. (I wrote the books from desire, not from research to establish a market.)

    3 – do you have price points in mind? See #1. The more you see others paying for like items the better idea you’ll have as to what they may pay for yours.

    4 – is the book worth writing if you never sold or delivered a single one of them? If yes, then go for it. If not, perhaps you should wait, or find another topic to write about, since you talk about hoping people will purchase it and increase your income.

    I would consider creating a few blog posts about your proposed title in your teaser, and at the end of those posts, ask people to leave a comment indicating their interest in a full ebook on that particular topic.

    But you can also – and often should – sell the book first, and then write the book. Create a sales page (and a marketing plan), add that pre-order button, and state the delivery date that the books will begin going out (or emailed). If you only get a few orders, you can decide to cancel and refund. If you get a ton of pre-orders, then get that book written – people want it.

    Now get to it!! :)

    • Cordelia

      I feel like i just got an awesome lesson in ebook marketing 101. I am so bookmarking this comment for future reference. :)

  • Dana Sitar

    Love it! I’ve been thinking about using NaNo to write a free ebook I’ve been considering, but I was afraid that would be just blasphemy. Now that I know I’m not alone, I’m totally in!

    • Cordelia

      Rock! I am in good company, then!

  • Cat

    I must say that I have mixed feelings on the whole eBook thing. It’s just that so many good bloggers go to pot once they have an eBook… I guess they figure they shouldn’t give it away for free if they can get somebody to pay for it – so the once delightful blog turns into nothing more than a marketing ploy for the eBook… which generally annoys me to such a degree that I never come back.

    As long as you don’t go that route, I think it would be a wonderful idea!

    • Cordelia

      Dear, dear Cat…Do you think I would ever do something like that?! :P

      CCIQ is my baby. The ebook would be be a really focused exploration of one particular topic for those who want to delve a little deeper into the “how tos” of side hustling. But I would never stop writing about that topic on the blog or turn the blog into a sales machine. I’d rather chop of my own panda-hatted head first. :)

  • Rob F.

    Oh, screw it, Cordy. It’s not an eBook, but it’s NaNo and I just want to have some freaking FUN!

    • Cordelia

      Fantastic! Just added to my subscriptions list!