|The Small Business Library|
September 22, 2000
How to Create, Sell and Distribute Your Own Informational Product
Information is the number one best-selling product on the Internet. There are literally hundreds of Internet entrepreneurs quietly making a fortune simply by selling information.
The first step in creating your product is to decide upon a subject. Select a subject in which you have a great deal of knowledge. The knowledge you have within your own mind is extremely valuable. Simply write about what you know and teach others how to do the same thing. It's that simple.
Creating an Outline
Delivering Your Information
In order to deliver your information to your customers, you'll need to compress it into a downloadable file, better known as an ebook. There are different types of compilation methods however, for this example we will focus on HTML compiled ebooks.
Ebooks or electronic books are self-contained "executable" files of HTML. This HTML may be a web site you've created or HTML you've specifically prepared to be compiled into a downloadable .exe file for distribution. When downloaded, this file will self install on your clients desktop.
Your first step in creating your ebook will be to turn your text into HTML. Simply divide your text into sections such as, Introduction, Table of Contents, Chapters, etc., and create a web page for each. Make sure you include good navigational links to and from each page you create.
You can include graphics, live links, and almost everything that HTML 4.0 supports.
Selecting a Compiler
There are many good ebook compilers available on the Internet, but only three that I can personally recommend. Each of the following compilers support almost everything that HTML 4.0 supports and will compile your HTML into a downloadable .exe format. They are as follows:
They are all good compilers and each will enable you to password protect your work however, for features and price, Activ Ebook is the best buy all the way around.
Once you've created your ebook and you're ready to upload it to your server, simply create a new directory where you store your HTML files. You can name the directory "Ebooks" or whatever you'd like. Upload your ebook in binary mode.
To create a download link on your web site, most servers will allow you to simply link to the address:
http://www.yourdomain.com/ebooks/ebook.exeIf this method of linking doesn't work for you, contact your server administrator for assistance.
In order for you to begin taking orders for your ebook, you'll need to have the ability to accept credit cards. Unless you'd like to get your own merchant account, the best way to accept credit cards is to use an online service. The best service I've found is VISAge®. This company will enable you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Eurocard, and Novus cards.
They charge a one-time $49 activation fee, and a 3% fee per transaction. There are no monthly fees. The great thing about this company is that they enable any web seller to automatically pay sales commissions to affiliates. They will bill your customers, pay you, and pay your affiliates a commission. In other words, they'll run your entire affiliate program for you.
There is absolutely no reason why you can't create your own informational product. Think about it... Think about some special talent you may have or knowledge you could share and write about. Creating your own product will be one of the best business decisions you'll ever make.
About the Author: Shelley Lowery is the webmistress of Web-Source.net - Your Guide to Professional Web Site Design and Development. For further information on creating informational products, read her review of Make Your Knowledge Sell.