Digital Publishing Trends for Online Entrepreneurs [audio]

Digital publishing in all its varied forms, is the currency of the Web and the means by which you boost your visibility, enhance your credibility and attract the right prospects to your business.

Recently, I was interviewed by MaAnna Stephenson of about the trends in digital publishing I’m seeing and implementing.  You can listen online or download the MP3 to your preferred listening device.

Your Blog As Centerpiece of Business on Kindle FireMP3 File
( 50 minutes)

Transcript coming soon.

MaAnna and I talked about various tools you can use to easily create and repurpose content that will help you expand your reach and drive more traffic to your primary home on the Web (guess what that is!).

Guy-Kawasaki-quoteFor most clients I recommend starting with an ebook created from your existing blog content. The purpose is to demonstrate that it’s easy and you don’t need to recreate the wheel, start from scratch, and can get published on Amazon’s Kindle site quickly.  Here’s a list of some of the tools I use and recommend for getting started.

To fast track your digital publishing education, check out the inaugural Digital Publishing Online Intensive. It’s not too late to join and get replays from the Digital Trends Panel discussion, keynote by Guy Kawasaki on How to Publish a Book, and training webinar on The ABC’s of Creating Digital Content by Sue Painter. 12 more training webinars are being presented throughout the month of March.


The Future of Ink Needs You

As you may, or may not know, one of my other big projects is an online publication called The Future of Ink which was launched recently with co-founder Ellen Britt. Dividing time between two sites requiring constant attention has been a challenge, and fun, and exciting.

Yesterday, The Future of Ink kicked off a big contest and we need your input!

We are looking to create a Top 10 List of the Best Self-Publishing Blogs and are seeking nominations from everyone we know.

Here's the deal:

You're invited to make a single nomination of your favorite self-publishing blog by commenting on the TFOI blog, and including why you like the blog (only your first nomination counts). Be sure to include a link to the blog.  The blog can be about self-publishing for digital and/or physical books.

To make the cut, a blog must be nominated by multiple people. Post your nomination by November 16, 2012.
The judges: We are thrilled and honored to announce that author, speaker and co-founder of, Guy Kawasaki will be one of our three judges.
Former Chief Evangelist of Apple, Guy is a prolific digital publisher, focusing on marketing, enchantment, social media, entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital, science, and photography. 
As we confirm our other judges, we'll let you know.
Winners will be selected based on:
1) the quality of their content 2) the frequency of their posts 3) reader involvement and…
4) their blog’s ranking (in that order).
The judges will decide the final winners.

How to Build Visibility for Your Big, New Project

You've got a great idea for a new project (product, service, website, book, etc.). You've tested your idea and you know there's a market or audience.

Now, how do you build it out so you get maximum visibility before, during and after the launch?

This week, I launched a new project with Ellen Britt…The Future of Ink: Digital Publishing for Online Entrepreneurs.

In a nutshell, here are the steps we took to build visibility and anticipation for our project.

Digital Publishing Survey

1. Created a survey on SurveyMonkey to gather information about our target audience and their burning questions about how to take advantage of digital publishing opportunities. The most important question was open-ended, asking about the number one question they wanted answered about digital publishing.

2. After closing the survey (promoted via email and social media to our networks for about 3 weeks), we analyzed the responses from over 1000 people. This was a fairly long process and involved reading nearly a thousand responses to the open-ended question and assigning each to one of ten broad categories.

3. Created a report of our findings. Since our long-term goal is to build credibility and authority in a new niche for both of us, this report needed to look good and provide useful information. The finished report met our goals: 2012 Digital Publishing Industry Report.

4. From the survey, we invited people to opt-in to a list to get advanced notice when the report was published. Over 50% of respondents did so.

5. The report needed to be delivered online so while we worked on the report, a site was being built on WordPress where we would offer the report as a free, no-optin download. Once the download page was complete, we sent emails to the early bird list as well as our own lists. Within two weeks, we had nearly 2000 downloads and the we promoted the report heavily on social networks. Many of our colleagues helped us get the word out. A press release also boosted our visibility tremendously.

Get the Digital Publishing Industry Report 2012

6. While the report was the first step to provide us with rich information and content, the site was intended to be the main event. The goal was to build the go-to site for online entrepreneurs to get information about how to integrate digital publishing – all forms of rich media – into their marketing mix. Essentially, the site is meant to be an online magazine and the prime focus of our project.

We intend for The Future of Ink to become THE authority site for online entrepreneurs who are looking for information about digital publishing. The primary focus is on digital ebooks, AND any and all forms of digital content publishing, including (but not limited to) videos, audio and interactive media.

7. On another track, we drew up a list of experts on digital publishing and invited them to be part of our core group of writers and part of the launch. Every one said "yes." We provided writing guidelines and due dates to receive their articles.

8. How do you launch a new site? We decided to host a free webinar, presenting the findings of our survey and answering one huge question most entrepreneurs have: can I really make money with digital publishing. At the end of the webinar, we would announce the new site which was populated with the first four articles.

9. We shifted our promotional efforts to the webinar. Event notices were posted on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Ellen and I sent two email invitations to our lists as well as to the list of people who had signed up for early notification of the report. 876 people registered for the webinar and 260 attended live. 

10. Once the site was live, we began promoting the individual articles by our first four writers. And that's where we stand today.

From the time Ellen contacted me about her idea to our launch on September 5, 2012, was about five months. And every step of the way we have carefully planned how to keep things buzzing about The Future of Ink. A twitter account is active and a Facebook page will be coming soon. 

To create awareness and build visibility, you need a plan and patience to follow it.

The Future of Ink has been built from zero to an entity with 12 core writers, a list of nearly 600 people (so far) who are eager to know more, and a vision for growth over the next several years (more on that down the road). This is just the beginning and I hope you'll join us on the journey by visiting The Future of Ink and checking out the articles.

Got a project you want to launch with a splash? I know you can do it. Make a plan, tap into your network for contributions and assistance and stick to it, no matter how long it feels like it's taking. I admit, we could have moved a little faster on this project, and, both Ellen and I have our own businesses to run and clients to serve so The Future of Ink occasionally had to take a back seat. In fact, we pushed back the launch webinar date three times due to other priorities and schedule conflicts. 

And, I'll tell you a secret. While both Ellen Britt and I have many years of experience with online marketing and creating massive online visibility, we wanted to create something big that will have a long life and serve a lot of online entrepreneurs. We decided we wanted to create the Social Media Examiner of Digital Publishing.

I was a member of the core "firestarters" for SME in 2009 and I know what it took and what Michael Stelzner has done to achieve the astounding success he has built in the last 3 years. So, we know we need to be committed to this for the long haul. [By the way, you can read about Stelzner's launch process in the book he published last year, Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition.]

As a business owner and entrepreneur, to do big things, you must be committed to doing everything possible to get your big idea off the ground. And when you do, people will notice and they will follow you and support you and want what you offer.

Want to create something big? Let's talk.

Your Golden Ticket to our Digital Publishing Webinar

Digital Publishing Webinar

If you haven't noticed, digital publishing is THE hot, hot topic right now…

seems like just about everyone is talking about how they are using digital publishing to promote and grow their businesses…

So, to help you out, my colleague Ellen Britt and I would like to give you a free golden Ticket to our very special (and quite unusual!) webinar…

(more about the unusual part in a second)

How You Can Profit from Digital Publishing: 3 Simple Steps…

Wednesday, September 5th at 4PM Eastern, 1PM Pacific…
(if you can't attend live, you will get the recording)

You will discover:

~ What exactly is digital publishing (you may be surprised!)
~ New statistics on digital publishing for the online entrepreneur
~ 3 easy ways to profit from digital media
~ 7 powerful Bonus tips for promoting your ebooks, and…

here comes the unusual part…

we'll have a surprise announcement on the webinar…

and no, it's not a sales offer…yes, you read it right…

Ellen and I are NOT selling anything…

this webinar is our way of giving back to you some of the things we've learned about using digital publishing to promote and grow our own businesses…

and we'd like you to be able to do the same in your business…

so join us, won't you, on Wednesday, September 5 at 4PM Eastern/New York time (1 PM Pacific…)

just click the link below to get your Golden Ticket and reserve your free seat:

If you haven't done so yet, pick up your free, no optin copy of the 2012 Digital Publishing Industry Report (for online entrepreneurs).

Top Questions Online Entrepreneurs Have About Digital Publishing

Digital publishing is so hot, it's not surprising that online entrepreneurs have many, many questions about how to integrate ebooks, podcasts, and multimedia content into their marketing strategy. 

In the survey we did to produce the 2012 Digital Publishing Industry Report, Ellen Britt and I asked one open-ended question:

What question about digital or traditional publishing to you most want answered?

We categorized more than 750 responses into ten topics that came up over and over and included many subtopics.  In the list below, you'll see the ten major topics. To get the details and much more about how online entrepreneurs are using and considering digital publishing, download your own free copy of the report (no optin required).