Getting back to your own product, it is a given that you will need to follow some important guidelines in order to come up with a product that will be enticing, informative, and affordable to your target audience. Here are some tips to help you get into the swing of developing the idea for such a product, actually following through with the creation of the product, and getting everything in order so you can effectively market the product.

It is important to always start at the beginning. When it comes to product development, there is really no other place to get your start. Assuming that you have performed due diligence and settled on the subject matter for your product, it is time to get into the design aspect of the product.

For the purposes of this section, we will focus on the creation of a line of informational E-books that will anchor a web site that also includes access to an online store that sells products related to the subject matter of the electronic books.

The thing to remember about informational E-books is that they have one main purpose or function. That function is to educate and promote further investigation into a specific subject. For example, if you plan on combining electronic books with an online herbal supplement business, then you will want to make sure the subject matter of the E-books is accurate, timely, and relevant to the products that are sold in the store. This will mean doing a great deal of research before you begin to write the first word.

You will want to explore the origins of the use of herbs in various schools of medicine and healing. Find what you can about the effectiveness of herbal remedies at various times and places. Locate research into the claims made for various herbs regarding the treatment of bodily ailments, and provide solid information about your source documents. In short, before you can hope to educate anyone else, you will need to spend some time educating yourself.

Once you have amassed sufficient knowledge and documentation to write effectively on the subject matter, you will need to begin the process of organizing your data. Hopefully, your research will have provided you with plenty of information that can serve as the basis for several E-books. Carefully divide your information into sub-categories, and organize the information in any format that will make it easy for you to retrieve the data.

This may mean resorting to traditional methods, such as the use of index cards. You may be able to create a series of electronic files and save them to your hard drive or on a CDR. The form of the organizational method is not as important as making sure that however you choose to organize the data, it will make it easy for you to locate what you need when you need it. It does not matter if you use a system that makes no sense to anyone else. The system only has to work for you.

Next, use the collected data as the inspiration for an outline of your E-book. Not only will this help to lay the groundwork for your table of contents, but the task will also create a resource that will help prevent you from wandering too far off the main topic. The purpose of an outline it to help create a logical and cohesive flow to the information that is being presented in the document.

Just as with any type of book, you want the thought processes presented in the material to follow a sensible chain of presentation, with each section or chapter logically leading into the following section. Thinking through this process in advance, rather than arbitrarily creating a collection of disjointed sections, will mean a lot less editing on the back end.

At the same time, it is important to not be so married to your first draft of the outline that you fail to include vital information or don't provide enough attention to any one point within the document. Keep in mind that the outline is a guide, not a sacred document that once handed down --- it can never be changed. Treat it with respect, but do not revere the outline to the point that you refuse to change it in any way. Feel free to revise, improve, rework, and in general adapt the outline as you move forward with the project.

One other thing you need to understand about the writing process as it relates to the production of an effective E-book. At some point, the text will begin to take on a life all its own. Do not be surprised if you find that the flow of the book demands that you state information in ways that would not normally occur to you.

In fact, you may find that some of the themes of the E-book are so important to the integrity of the contents that you find yourself repeating those themes in several chapters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach, as long as there is a valid reason for doing so.

To keep the content fresh, make sure that even if you are presenting a point for the third time, keep the verbiage you use different from the other instances. This will help the flow of the document in two ways.

First, it helps to reinforce key concepts when you present them in slightly different settings throughout the work. Second, it provides the reader with the chance to evaluate the theme or concept in a different light each time that you bring up the point. If the first attempt to educate with the theme did not quite click with the reader, there is every chance that by the third attempt, a connection will have taken place.

When creating the text for the E-book it is important to apply a certain amount of self-discipline. The fact is that you may not feel much like writing on a given day. However one of the secrets of writing is that you engage in the task even if you are not in the mood.

All the fairy tales about muses who come to sit on you and provide you with pearls of wisdom that appear as if by magic are just that - fairy tales. Writing is work, and often happens to be hard work.

If you are having a little trouble getting started, stop thinking about the five thousand words you planned on writing today. Instead, focus on creating one good paragraph. Once that is done, it will be a little easier to convince yourself to write just one more. In a short time, you will find that the entire page is filled and you just got some great ideas on how to expand on the subject matter on hand.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that creativity comes and goes. It is always present. But sometimes it is necessary to drag creativity to the surface, kick and screaming. Don't be afraid to do just that.

Once you have the first draft of the content for your E-book, set it aside for a day or two. This will allow you to refresh your mind and be able to go back and edit the draft with eyes that are fresh and capable of being balanced in the way you read the document. There is an excellent chance that you will find sections you want to rework slightly, or perhaps change a word here or there to make the section a little more cohesive or clear in its meaning.

By all means feel free to do so. Just as the outline was not to be considered above reproach and change, your manuscript, though a work of art, is also subject to revision and improvement. Make one round of edits and put the manuscript away for another day or two. Then try a second round of edits. You may find very little to correct the second time, which is a sound clue that you are just about ready to begin the formatting process.

After the text for your E-book has gone through editing, the time has come to begin formatting the material from a manuscript into a workable E-book format. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent software packages that can take a basic word processing document and easily format it for use in an electronic book format. Most will allow you to set the page sizes, arrange major headings, create a Table of Contents, and then import the text of the manuscript into the program.

You can also use the tools included with the software to create a cover, just as if you were publishing a hard copy of the work. In fact, that is the look and feel you want to set as your goal. The only difference between your electronic book and a "real" book should be that one is a collection of images on a screen, and the other is a tangible paper document.

Don't hesitate to experiment with different formats for your E-book. There is nothing that says you have to pick the first format and stick with it. If you find have images that are original and belong to you will enhance the text, then include them. Should flow charts or diagrams that you have created be helpful in illustrating points, then by all means work them into the body of the E-book.

Keep in mind that at the end of the process, you want to have a product that is high quality, and everything that you wanted it to be. If you are not proud of what you have created, it will make it much harder to interest anyone else in purchasing your product.

Before you actually place the E-book for sale online, you may want to provide one or two trusted individuals with an electronic copy, and get their feedback. You are looking for not only comments about the text. You also want to get their impressions about the organization of the material, the effectiveness of any images or charts you chose to include in the information, and the general look of the E-book.

This type of feedback may be very helpful in getting some idea of the reaction you can expect from your target audience. Little things, such as noting that the cover or images take too long to load on a dial-up connection may be important, if you plan on marketing the E-book to an audience that is more likely to still be using that technology.

This will give you one last chance to make some changes in format that will make the E-book more user friendly, and increase the chances that people who actually buy the book will recommend it to their friends and acquaintances.

Developing your own information product can be an exciting challenge. There is a lot of ground to cover before you ever begin the actual process of creating the product.
During those early stages, it may seem as if there is simply too much to do. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with the details and don't set up some sort of deadline for completion that is not reasonable.

If you are creating the product in your spare time, realize that chances are you will need to devote the equivalent of several days or a week to the effort at the very least. Unless you are working with information that you have a strong relationship with, you will not be able to research and write content for an informational product over the weekend.

This means you will need to focus on turning out quality work, and realize that it will take as long as it takes.

At the same time, do not use the process as a reason to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. While you may reach a point where you feel frustrated or intimidated, don't let a day go by that some sort of progress is not made with the project. Even if it means only doing a little work, get that much done. You may be surprised how easy it makes the task of picking up and continuing on easier to face.

Above all, be realistic and don't expect to create a finished product in one simple round. Edits are your friend, and will only serve to make the informational product all the more useful. By exercising patience, an ample amount of discipline, and being open to correction and improvement, you will soon have an information product that you can market with full confidence.

To Your Success

Tony Markx

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