Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: How to Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit by Robert W Bly

I purchased How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit by Robert W. Bly because I'm interested in creating information products for my membership site, and for other purposes. I wanted to discover tips on how to improve the presentation of information to make it more user-friendly. And I also thought that some of my readers might be interested in knowing if such a book is worthwhile reading.

The book has 18 chapters, two appendices, which include further reading, resources documents and forms (Sample query letter, permission letter, copyright form and much more). And it is structured so that you can start anywhere depending on what your needs are. For instance, five of the 18 chapters are titled, Make an Online Fortune Selling E-Books, Recurring Revenues With Membership Sites, Speeches Presentation and Workshops, Training Coaching and Consulting and Managing Your How-To Information Empire.

While reading How to Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit I often felt like Bly was personally speaking to me and giving me the content I needed to do what I wanted to do. In the past, I have felt frustrated when I purchased a product expecting to learn how to do a certain thing, and was given the "what-to-do" and not the "how-to-do" so I was no further ahead. Bly goes down to the basics, clearly presenting the steps, which I'm sure readers will appreciate. In fiction writing, they often say show and don't tell, How to Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit demonstrates the "what" and the "how".

Bly provides 10 Topics That Are In Demand for How-To Writers to assist you in choosing what how-to topics to write about that will have a good audience.
Saving or making moneySaving timeSex and relationshipsInvesting and tradingCollecting (Art, stamps, coins and so on)HobbiesMarketingSmall business adviceSelf-helpPets

If you'd like to create information products and are not sure how to choose your niche, here are 10 questions to answer:
What do I like?What am I interested in?What am I good at?What do I have the aptitude for?What is my education?What do I know?What is my experience?What have I accomplished?Which of the above areas afford the least competition?Which of the above areas pay high rates?

After you have answered all 10 questions above, possible niches should become clear to you.

There is a lot of information in the book that I knew already, but it was a great reminder, and I like the idea of having all the information in one place. As a researcher I appreciated Bly's attention to detail, and I particularly liked the pricing information that he included. Now that I have read How to Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit, I have a new sense of awareness about the scope of information and information products that anyone can create and sell. When I thought of information and information products, it involved the usual suspects like books, webinars, teleseminars, articles, CDs, DVDs, newsletters - I wasn't thinking about consulting.

There is lots of information out there, but you can differentiate yourself from the crowd by picking out the salient points from the information and creating clear actionable steps for the client. That's the way to add value. I read this book from beginning to end because I am reviewing it, but for those who are interested in creating high impact information products whether it be e-Books or webinars, I recommend that you look at the Table of Contents and focus on the types of products that you are interested in creating.

How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content by Robert W. Bly is a great book which I recommend, but don't take on too much so that you become overwhelmed. And instead of starting off with new content when creating your first how-to information product, take a look on your computer hard drive to see what information you can repackage and sell.

Avil Beckford, Chief Invisible Mentor, has over 17 years writing, research and analysis experience. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to The Invisible Mentor Blog by email or by RSS Feed.

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