Course Creators February 26, 2020

How good is writing an ebook as a marketing tool?

Alex Martynov @AlexMartynov

I've heard stories about people writing ebooks in one sitting in order to promote what they do.

Does anyone have experience with that and willing to share pros and cons?

I consider doing this myself to promote the community I started (it is about developing coaching skills for tech leaders) and then selling the coaching skills courses.


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    omg. i've done this. i wrote a 10-day ecourse (delivered via mailchimp for 10 days) in one, single, fucking day.

    now, i was knowledgeable in the space (obviously) so i felt very fluent in constructing the content but it was a crazy rush. i'm glad i was done and it's been an amazing boon for the first iterations of our business.

    it grew to 1k subscribers quickly and was a machine for us in the early days. now, it has over 17k subs and still growing:

    launching on product hunt was very useful too:

    we got a good amount of attention and it wasn't monetized... but, it cranked new users into our eventual platform.

    honestly, all upsides. get it done and move on to the next activity.

    and... i just wrote a full bootcamp / course in a day. so, it really does work.

    i guess it's worth sharing that i've done like... fuck, 7-8 ebooks. i even wrote an article where, at the end, i said this:

    Selling eBooks has been a great place for me to experiment with digital goods, getting a feel for what matters in the market and how the market responds. The low-cost and limited requirements makes it a great beachhead to attack. And, to be honest, it’s something that you could, quite literally, pull together in one single weekend.

    Why the hell not?


    .. that was like 6 years ago!! so, yeah. here are some of my other ones, written in a single sitting:

    shrug. i guess i know a thing or two and they work enough to warrant me to keep doing it! go fucking slay queen!

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      Thanks John. Any best practices for doing in a day you can share?

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        timebox. otherwise, you'll sit there all day. nothing like a time-crunch!

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      What tools did you use to create your eBooks?

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        ibooks author. free tool via apple!

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    It works extremely well if you can nail the title and give it away as a lead capture tool.

    I've had plenty of leads from FB for $0.5 giving away free short 7-8 page eBooks. You can put something together in a short space of time for sure.

    I wouldn't risk writing a full book to start, just do something short with enough value then test it, get the title and positioning correct and then you can add to it over time.

    1. 1

      Thanks! That makes sense

  3. 2

    I've been writing one for about a month now, with at least another month to go. Writing in one-sitting is like...super human.

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      It's definitely hard, especially for a non-native Eglish speaker like me.

      But it also depends on how well one is prepared. Say if I wrote some blogs about topics before it's going to be easy to reuse some of them. Also if I ask people around about what they want to be covered it can help to envision the outline ahead of time.

      Plus it can be just 20 pages :)

      And here's an inspiring example

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        It sure can be 20 pages! But I don't think that's a book; that's a series of blog posts.

        Before I started writing I spent a couple days on the outline, and had that before even writing. I'm now almost 20K words in at 80 pages.

        An example of producing something in 24 hrs, IMO, is not inspiring. I honestly don't get what the rush is. What purpose does it solve to finish something as fast as one can humanly finish it?

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          I'm curious about your approach.
          How long do you want your ebook to be?
          How many hours do you expect to invest in writing it?

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          The biggest benefit I see is to have something created quickly and see how much interest does it spur. If there is interest it always possible expand on the first version.

  4. 1

    A book in one sitting? Not if it's going to be good quality. Good writing takes time, and the essence of good writing is rewriting. I've written a 39,000 word book on imposter syndrome (website is here) and I'm on the 4th draft right now. Then I'll send that to an editor to do a read through (costs about $560 for that amount of words) to catch anything I've missed. Here's the link to the website (which has a lot of free content on there).

    Most authors I know of do at least 3-4 drafts, and some do more.

    And having a book can be valuable because it sets you as an authority on the topic "afterall, I wrote the book on X". But is it easy and fast? Not really.

    When writing I can usually write about 1000 words an hour (I type faster than that, but this is thinking and writing speed together).

    Anyway, good luck with your writing.

    Oh, and this post might be helpful to you.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your comment, Stephen

      The recent example of an ebook I have in mind is this It has 90 not very dense pages and 7 chapters. So it's basically like 7 long blog posts.

      For sure I don't mean something like a commercially published book with 250+ pages.

      But even good written 90 pages is hard. Stephen King in his book on writing mentioned, if I'm not mistaken, that he produces something like 20 pages on average daily.

      What I think is that even if I produce say 40 pages of drafty kind of thing in my waking hours it is still a good result. Nothing stops me from continuing work on it afterwards, right?

      And I appreciate the post you've shared.

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        It doesn't matter half as much as how long it takes. What matters is that you finish it and "ship" it to your clients. Don't worry about length as much. Just make an informative book on a topic you are passionate about, and work on it till it's good enough.

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          right, but, this somewhat contradicts what you said in your first comment.

          if "what matters" is that you ship (and i 💯 agree!) then it doesn't really matter if its one sitting or one hundred.

          writing is an intensely personal thing... so i'm loathe to tell someone how to write other than "put fingers to keyboard and keep pressing!".

          i've done ebooks in one day. most of them. but, i've also been writing publicly every single day for 19+ years. and my writing is mostly, entirely, shit.

          i know jeff goins — even shared a stage with him once (i think he went right before or after me...! he is incredible.)

          yup: look, i'm right behind him:

          (FUCK, that was 7-years ago?! jesus... someone captured notes... i was a terrible speaker. i apologize to EVERYONE for listening to me!

          jeff goins is like a "real" writer in the sense of traditional, published works (best-selling!) and also a digital writer as well (he even coaches i think). i'll never be like jeff because i don't even like to capitalize most of my words.

          but, i'm still a writer. and i still ship. it'll NEVER be good enough (and how would you even really know?) — so, just ship. like you said.

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    Do your customers read ebooks?

    1. 1

      Do they read ebooks? Probably yes.

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