Beyond Traditional eBooks – 3 Cool Self-Publishing Ideas

The self-publishing revolution changed everything.

In the past, writers had to beg, plead, and pray their work would be published. Rejection was a common badge of honor and success was few and far between

Now, writers, bloggers, and businesses have the freedom to create any kind of digital work they want. No one is limited to traditional eBooks unless that’s what they want. They have the ability to try different types of communication, media, packaging and pricing structures. There’re a million paths to self-publishing success, which makes it both challenging and incredibly exciting.

In Do You Really Need Amazon? Sell Your eBooks Directly from Your Site, I discussed the options available for today’s self-published writers and how independent writers have to be savvy business people, as well as, amazing writers. Digital media isn’t limited to one form so you’re free to create a wide range of products.

Plus, self-publishing increases your authority, builds your brand and can be a great new profit stream. Here’re a few non-traditional ideas to inspire you to make your own leap into self-publishing:

Multimedia Packs

Digital communication includes PDFs, audio and video files. Podcasting and video platforms like YouTube (which has over a billion users) has created a new way for people to digest information. Reading (and it almost kills me to say it) isn’t the only way to communicate your message. Multimedia packs are a great way to tap into this growing popularity by giving consumers many different digital options.

Business expert Tara Gentile offers several different multimedia packs, including Quiet Power Strategy, on her website using a Selz plugin. This plugin allows her to bundle multiple media files into one product for sale. After purchasing, the customer only has to download one zip file containing all her digital products. 

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Guides

Everyone loves a how-to-guide that helps solve a problem or teaches something new. These guides take the reader step-by-step through the process in easy, bite-sized chunks. One of the best things about guides is they share information that can be overwhelming and allow the reader to go at their own pace.

Health guru Jessica Sepel sells a variety of how-to guides, including Nutrition 101: A step-by-step guide for optimum health. This particular type of guide is a PDF that can easily be sold from any blog or website as a digital download, again using a sales plugin or directly from an eCommerce platform.

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Patterns, Recipes, and Templates

Beauty, crafts, and food blogs are three of the most popular sites thanks to social media platforms like Pinterest. Many bloggers entice readers with free knitting patterns or cookie recipes then save their best stuff for their shops.

Food blogger Ann Reardon, from How to Cook That, has a great sales process. She has a huge Pinterest following where she shares her creations. From Pinterest, her readers can watch a video tutorial on how to make this amazing (pun intended!) Spiderman cake:

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The directions also have a link to where to buy the Spiderman Cake Template you need to actually make the cake using eCommerce software that takes multiple payments including PayPal:

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A Million Ways to Self-Publishing Success

There is nothing wrong with writing and selling eBooks, whether you’re a blogger or more traditional writer. However, today’s self-publishing comes in many forms and some may work better for your blog or website than others. The idea is that you’re not limited to one type of digital product. And you're not limited in how you present, market, or sell your digital product. You have the freedom to make any unique digital product that best showcases your awesome work.

Hopefully, these diverse examples will get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to build a new self-publishing profit stream for your own business.