Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Veggie Queen on the Challenges and Rewards of Ebooks and Online Marketing

Jill Nussinow (aka The Veggie Queen) is one of the first people I virtually met on Facebook . I've followed Jill's healthy plant-based lifestyle and quenched my thirst with all the helpful information she finds and shares on Facebook and Twitter. Jill is simply amazing. She's a freelance writer and cookbook author of these two books:
  • The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment
  • The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes (currently available as an ebook dowload).
Jill also stars in the DVD Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look: Delicious Dishes in Minutes. Jill has been a culinary educator and Registered Dietitian for the past 25 years. Her website is http://www.theveggiequeen.com.

I'm always amazed at how often Jill finds and shares useful news stories and when her book The New Fast Food was recently released, I knew Jill would be a whiz at online marketing.

Here is my recent interview with Jill about ebooks and online marketing.

1. Why did you choose to do an ebook over traditional publishing?

The ebook was part of a traditional publishing deal where I would get to sell the ebook prior to the print version release. It was a way for me to make more money.

What I have discovered is that a PDFD download book is an easy way to deliver a book. It's almost an automated process and once the book is written, I had very little that I had to do. Also, if you find there are any mistakes or typos they are easily spotted.

2. How long did it take you to write this book? How did you fit it into your busy schedule?

It took a number of months. It's really hard to say because I develop the recipes for years as I go along so the actual writing of the book goes rather quickly. I am constantly developing new recipes so I can continue writing books, but I mostly do recipe development so that I can have more fun at my cooking classes.

There is no way to fit writing your book into a schedule but if you want a book somehow you make the time. I said no to things when I could and curtailed my involvement with other groups for awhile to free up time. I also let my husband know that he might see less of me for a few months.

3. What is the biggest challenge of an ebook?

I don't have a physical product to sell when I am teaching. I think that I am going to remedy that by putting the PDF on a thumb drive (a computer memory stick) and sell it that way. I plan to bundle with with my first book which is also now available in PDF downloadable format.

Also it seems hard to market an ebook. And if you want to sell the ebook for various ebook readers, you need to have the "book" formatted differently for each type of reader.

4. What is the biggest surprise about your book?

How easy it is to sell with the help of other people. I can add on to the ebook anytime I want. Currently I offer a bonus ebook of recipes from other cookbook authors and bloggers. The process happens so easily and I think that I get more emails and comments from those who purchase the ebook. Maybe it's a friendlier format.

5. What are your five best tips for online marketing?
  • First is perseverance.
  • Second, play with various ways to market your book through your own social media, blog and newsletter. Always work on building your list and growing your platform.
  • Be public about what you are doing. Tell people that you are selling a book. Don't be obnoxious but let them know. Put it in your email signature, mention it any time that you can.
  • Be strategic about how you market. I have Google Alerts for my name, pressure cooker, pressure cooking and The Veggie Queen. I review what I get back to see what's happening with the topics that matter to me. I like to spend at least a few minutes each day mining for ideas online. When I'm very busy, I don't always get to it, but I make it a goal.
  • Collaborate and network with the people with whom you feel most aligned. I post on other blogs when appropriate. I reach out to people on Facebook and Twitter and engage in conversations via email.

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