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Benefits of Online Learning

More students at every level have now had experience with online learning. While some of the spring education was patchworked together at the last minute, most teachers did a remarkable job of transitioning from the classroom to the computer screen. Since online learning is likely to continue not only well into the next year through the pandemic but in some cases permanently, let’s look at the benefits of online learning.

Digital Mastery

Today’s students – at every level – need to know so much more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. They need to know how to lead a presentation over Zoom, share their screen, develop great speaking and listening skills, and be proficient at presenting to groups. These are skills they’ll need in the workplace, too.

Time Management

With nearly half of the workforce predicted to continue working online permanently, developing the skills to self-manage, manage time, and work from home are essential. Online learning provides students with the ability to become adept at managing their own schedules, prioritizing workflows, and delivering assignments and projects on time.

Collaboration

Group work doesn’t go away when you grow up – they just stop calling it a group project and start calling it collaboration. And online learning is a great way to improve your ability to collaborate with others, using modern technology and tools to make it happen. From Google, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to Slack and Trello, students are becoming comfortable with the same tools they’ll need in the workplace while developing team playing skills that will be considered essential.

Learn at Your Own Pace

One of the greatest benefits of online learning is the ability to work at your own pace. Individualized education is easier to deliver online, once it’s properly set up. Students can work ahead in the subjects in which they are strong and spend extra time emphasizing and truly learning more sufficiently the subjects in which they struggle. Teachers, too, are able to focus their instruction more clearly and have time to work with students who need the extra help – one on one or in small groups.

Benefits for Teachers and Professors Who Deliver Online Learning

Teachers and professors who provide online learning to students can develop a curriculum that provides the basic lectures, worksheets, and tests in an automated format. This leaves them free to engage more deeply with the students for analytical discussions, remedial work, and fostering students who have a unique talent in the subject.

EditionGuard Supports Teachers and Educational Institutions in their Efforts to Improve Online Learning

Online learning is not going to go away, and the more we are able to embrace the benefits of online learning and find ways to engage students, the easier the shift will be for everyone. Here at EditionGuard, we are doing our part to support teachers and professors, schools and higher learning institutions, many of whom are delivering education online for the first time. We provide a wide array of digital rights management (DRM) services to protect intellectual property and to facilitate the sharing and dissemination of materials online. In addition to our 30-day free trial, we also offer a 25% discount to teachers, schools, and non-profits who employ our DRM. Learn more about how DRM works to protect your publications, tests, and educational materials as you deliver online instructions.

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Ultimate Indie Author Resource Guide Part 4: Publishing Your eBook

When publishing your ebook, you are not restricted to one platform. There are publishers that will try to convince you that theirs is the only platform worth being on, but you have multiple publishing choices for your ebook that can help you reach a wider audience.

Publish on Your Own Website

The ideal way to publish your ebook is to publish it through your own website or ecommerce store. Our DRM integrates with Magento, Shopify, and other ecommerce solutions. The benefit of publishing your ebook on your own website or in your own ecommerce store is that you keep all of the royalties – not just a percentage of them. Publishing on your own website does not prevent you from also publishing the ebook on other platforms.

All Platforms Take a Piece of Your Profits

No matter where else you try publishing your ebook, you will have to pay a premium to that service for listing your book. Some, like Amazon, require exclusivity with them in order to get any visibility; others, like Smashwords, will distribute your ebook to other sites. If you choose to go through a publishing partner, here are some to consider:

Apple Books

Apple has partnered with Oprah to accelerate their visibility. Indie authors can publish on Apple Books. It’s best to use the epub format, since that will automatically create the required book sample for you.

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble offers a publishing service that directly competes with Amazon’s KDP by offering a significantly higher royalty for books priced outside the KDP price range (books on KDP must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99 to get the 70% royalty rate). Barnes and Noble offers a 65% royalty on ebooks priced higher than $9.99 compared to the 35% offered by KDP.

Kobo

Kobo promises that “you’re in charge. You own your rights, set your prices, and run your own promotions. We don’t require exclusivity, so you’re free to publish elsewhere, too.” However, their terms state that you will only receive 70% of the royalties on books published over the price of $2.99 and that the ebook “must be priced at least twenty (20%) percent below the SRP of all physical editions of the book, if available.” You also must price Kobo versions of the ebook at the same price or lower as any other platform where you have it published.

Smashwords

Smashwords is one of the oldest self-publishing services around. They not only publish the ebook on their own site but provide a distribution seervice to put the ebook everywhere else. While it’s free and fairly simple to publish with them, the royalty rate ranges from 60-80% depending on where the ebook is sold.

The only way to keep all of your profits is to self-publish on your own site. With any other publisher, you will be forced to pay 20-50% on each sale. Our DRM system helps independent booksellers protect their content from unauthorized use while offering ebooks for sale online in a way that lets you keep 100% of your sales.

Learn more, or sign up for a free trial.

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Ultimate Indie Author Resource Guide, Part 3: Editing Your eBook

If you're an indie author and you want to be successful, you cannot skip investing in editing your ebook. It is an essential step.

As an indie author, completing your ebook is a huge accomplishment. Often, indie authors are squeezing in their writing efforts around full-time jobs and other obligations. It’s not like they have a big publishing company paying them a big advance to write. So just finishing is cause for celebration. But it’s not the time to stop working. A finished ebook is only the first round. Before your book is ready to publish, it will need careful rounds of editing. Author Basics discusses why the editorial process – and investment – is so important.

A Word About Self-Editing

Writing your own book and not hiring a ghost writer can be a good idea. Self-publishing can be a great idea. But self-editing is dangerous. Not only have you been working with the material for so long that you likely see what you want to see and gloss over typos and other errors but most writers have no ability to distance themselves sufficiently from their work to see it through the analytical eye an editor. Editing your ebook is a bad idea. Editors are worth the investment.

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is the first-round editing process. The developmental editor can identify gaps in the story, missing depth, and more and help you finish developing your idea into a fuller, richer, and more engaging story.

Structural Editing

While this service is often combined with developmental editing, its purpose is to help you clarify the structure of the book. For example, you may need to set up a sequence as a flashback to make the story progress more effectively.

Copy Editing

The copyediting process happens once you’ve incorporated the changes made in developmental and structural editing. It’s the part of the process in which grammar, word choice, and point of view shifts are corrected and addressed.

Editing Your eBook: Proofreading

Your spellchecker is not a sufficient proofreader. It will not catch the difference between from and form; it will not always realize you meant their but spelled it they’re. A final proofing of your ebook is an investment with measurable ROI.

Fact-Checking

Do your characters go to real places, eat at real restaurants, or attend real events? Do you include historical information in the book that needs to be cross-referenced? A fact-checking editor will double-check locations, make sure the food you claimed your characters were eating is actually on the menu of the restaurant you placed them at, and more.

Editing Your eBook: Formatting

Formatting your ebook so that it is capable of being read on all types of ebook readers requires the ebook to be formatted in a specific way.

If you’re serious about making money as an indie author, investing in editing is essential.

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Ultimate Indie Author Resource Guide, Part 2: Writing Your eBook

Writing your ebook can be exciting and fun, but it can also be a daunting challenge without the right inspiration, motivation, and tools.

If you’re an indie author ready to take advantage of the shift to digital and the growth in ebook sales, this indie author resource guide is for you. If you are a small publishing house or new publisher, this guide can benefit your business as well. Be sure to read part 1, on marketing your ebook. In this next part, we will discuss writing your ebook and provide resources to help you write your ebook more effectively.

Getting Started

While non-fiction ebooks is challenging, the topic is normally clear. You’re an expert in the topic; it Do you want to write an ebook but don’t even know where to start? Do you feel like you have stories inside you, but you don’t quite know where to begin? Writing prompts are great tools to help motivate and inspire your writing. SelfPublishing.com has 250+ writing prompts to get you started.

Outlining Your eBook

Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, a good place to start is with an outline. Think of it like any other business – you have to have a plan in order to succeed. Since most indie authors would love nothing more than to make enough money to quit their day jobs and write full time, treating your writing like a business – having a plan, being disciplined enough to spend time working on it every day, learning and honing your craft – are all important ways to achieve better success.

Creating Authentic Characters

If you are writing fiction, flat, 2-dimensional characters will slow down any story. Take time to develop and get to know your characters. Write up character sheets that explore where each character – you should know everything about the character. ThinkWritten has a great 160-question development worksheet you can use to more fully flesh out the characters in your stories.

Don’t Let Writer’s Block Prevent You from Making Progress

If you have a tough day writing, it’s ok to step back from it and give your brain a break from story development. Instead, focus on marketing, or start envisioning your cover, or go for a walk and clear your head. Be willing to take a break when the writing gets tough – but then come back and get to work. If you can’t find a way through what you’re working on in a scene or chapter, move to a different part of the outline and begin to flesh that out.

A Word About Motivation

There is one thing that separates the published ebook author from the unpublished: motivation. In this high-tech era where you can literally set up your own website, ebook sales page, payment processing, and DRM, the biggest impediment to your success can often be your own motivation. Whether it is because you lack confidence in your writing skill (that’s what editors are for!), have to keep your day job (spend an hour a day on your ebook and you’ll see progress), or hit a block, don’t lose your motivation. People are starving for ebooks.

Finally, to really publish your ebook, you need to follow through. It’s not just getting the book written but continuing to market, working with great editors and cover designers.

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The Ultimate Indie Author Resource Guide Part 1: Marketing Your eBook

ultimate indie author resource guide - it all starts with marketing

We’re all spending more time at home and getting out less, whether because our favorite stores are closed, or we simply are trying to flatten curves and reduce risk. All this extra time can be put to good use – if you have ever dreamed of writing an ebook, now is a great time to do so.  To help you, we’ll be spending the next few weeks sharing our ultimate indie author resource guide, starting where every good indie author should start – with marketing.

Indie authors often do more than just write the book – they design their cover, choose and hire independent editors, source beta readers, and market the book on their own. While we recommend finding a great indie publisher to work with who can help you with the parts of the process that can help you sell more ebooks, having access to great resources to make the process easier can help. This indie author resource guide has links to great resources – free and paid – that can help you make a better ebook and sell more of them.

Market First, Then Write

Marketing should be a precursor to, overlap with, and continue after the publication of your ebook. Lack of marketing is often the singular failure of indie ebook writers – the one thing that keeps them from becoming successful. That’s why we start with it.

Most likely, you’re already writing or have an idea in mind for your ebook. But the point is, marketing should begin very early in the writing process. Part of your early marketing effort should include establishing an author website and social media platforms, developing a newsletter, and identifying marketing resources and platforms that will help you get the word out. As you begin writing and building your following, you can continue to market your ebook while it is a work in progress (WIP).

Twitter is an especially good platform for this, as indie authors are, on the whole, highly supportive of each other. Using the hashtags #WIP and #amwriting, you can share snippets of your ebook as you write. Twitter is a good source for finding beta readers and early reviewers as well.

Blogging can help you build an audience and generate interest in the book. What should you blog about? It depends on what kind of author you are. If you’re a business leader writing an industry deep-dive, you might want to blog about insights you’ve gained in your industry over the years. The key is to build your credibility. If you’re a romance author, you might write about everything from relationship advice to insights into writing romance novels. The key is to reveal your personality. You can promote your ebook with a call to action at the end of your blogs. If it’s not out yet, you can have people sign up to be notified when it becomes available for pre-sale. Once it’s available, you can transform your call to action into a sales link.

When you have your cover design and your ebook is ready for preorders, you can list it in these places (some paid, some free).

AskDavid

AwesomeGang

Choosy Bookworm

Pubby

The more time you have to market your ebook and gather a following, the more successful your launch will be. Next we’ll talk about the best resources and guidance for writing ebooks.

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Digital Publishing Is the Future

digital publishing is the future

According to a recent report, the digital publishing market and it is poised to grow by USD 64.83 billion during 2020-2024. This is an enormous level of growth and one of the few industries that is actually booming during a growing economic and health crisis. Authors, publishers, and businesses all have the opportunity to position themselves for success in the next few years.

Digital Publishing Is the Future for Authors

Whether you are already a writer or have wanted to be, consumption of digital books is growing. Now is the opportunity you have been waiting for to either self-publish or partner with a digital publishing agency. While it’s not as simple as just putting a book out there and raking in the money, with effort, some marketing savvy, and a touch of luck, you have a big chance to get in front of more readers right now.

Here are some resources to help you:

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/marketing-self-published-book/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/creating-an-author-website-designed-to-sell-ebooks/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/ingredients-authors-great-book/

Digital Publishing Opportunities for Small Publishing Companies

Small digital publishing companies may also enjoy success from the growth of the digital publishing industry. Whether you specialize in a specific type of book, offer hybrid services to authors, or simply publish your best bets to be bestsellers, now is the time to grow and expand your publishing company. These resources can help you:

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/how-to-become-a-digital-book-publisher/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/how-drm-helps-book-publishers-remain-profitable/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/digital-publishing-industry-poised-for-growth/

Digital Publishing Is the Future of Business

Whether you use digital publishing for lead optimization or to promote the leaders within your business as thought leaders in the industry, digital publishing can be a boon to almost any business. Create resource libraries that get people to sign up on your list. Publish a book by your CEO to help him get offered speaking opportunities. Or use digital publishing as a way to establish and build your business. Here are some resources to help:

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/benefits-of-ebooks-for-business-lead-generation/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/the-power-of-the-business-ebook/

https://www.editionguard.com/blog/using-ebook-lead-generation/

Whether you’re an author, publisher, or business, these stats are great news. Digital publishing is the future – and you can be a part of it.

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Best Practices in Digital Publishing

best practices in digital publishing

Best Practices in Digital Publishing: Securing your Content

There are two primary forces at play when securing your content: Encryption and Access Rights. Encryption significantly reduces likelihood of unauthorized access by encrypting the actual data of your ebook so it can only be read by authorized applications. Access Rights enable you to control the ways in which people can access your content so it’s always fair and reasonable.

It’s important to secure content because:

  • It’s difficult to monetize digital content that can be freely shared
  • It’s impossible to track usage of your content that has no restrictions

Our best practices in digital publishing: 

  1. For highest security (but sometimes less flexible user experience) always use Encrypted DRM for content that is highly value or has licensing contracts that require it. The trade-off for high security DRM is that customers will have a fixed set of apps that support Encryption and won’t always be able to use their app of choice. At EditionGuard, we utilize Adobe DRM which comes with Adobe Digital Editions reader app for free. Adobe Digital Editions is globally distributed and localized for more than 12 languages. EditionGuard also provides end-user support for this app so your business doesn’t need to scale a support operation.
  1. For modest security but high flexibility we suggest using a watermarking feature. At EditionGuard, we offer EditionMark  as a method for delivering your content. This feature watermarks the customers personal or business information across the PDF content. This reduces the likelihood of unauthorized access but keeps flexibility to a maximum. Since the content is not encrypted, your customer can use any PDF reader they prefer.
  1. For the least security, but ultimate flexibility: EditionLink. EditionLink is a simple way to distribute content that you may not want protected. In fact, this is a great method for sharing content that is ad-based where sharing will help your business. We include EditionLink in our service so you only have to manage 1 single catalog for your books and decide how each is protected.

Making Access Fair and Easy

It’s important to understand customer expectations. Most consumers now use a mobile device as their primary computer. The next most popular segment is people with a mobile plus a desktop or tablet (for work or study).  The rest of the population is made of of special cases where there are 3 or more devices needed to access secured content.

Our Best practices suggestions

Consumers expect digital access to be somewhat flexible. Our default device access setting is 6 devices per unique person, per eBook. This covers the majority of users, as users will inevitably upgrade their devices over time and need to have continuous access when they do so. However, we allow this device restriction setting to be changed to a value of 1. So if you have a customer with different expectations or have a legal reason to reduce this device limit you may do so.

Instant fulfillment

Customers expect to receive digital content immediately after the transaction has completed. This is why EditionGuard offers multiple ways for your content to be automatically fulfilled.

Turnkey Integrations
EditionGuard has developed a handful of simple plugins for your existing ecommerce site or app, including popular platforms like Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify. These are simple to get started with and require virtually no coding.

These integrations do most of the heavy lifting and provide an instant fulfillment link to your customer right at the time of transaction.

API Integration
Our robust API is architected to be flexible and powerful. It’s built under the REST architecture which means it will be high performance and easy to integrate with any modern or legacy system.

When is it best to use the API? When you have an existing or complex system that needs to deliver books in a unique way. Or if you use a digital publishing e-commerce system that requires custom integration and isn’t currently on our turnkey list.

Peace of Mind with usage reports

EditionGuard Dashboard tracks all fulfillment usage* for encrypted content that is sold and accessed. This allows your business to know and report accurate, authorized access to your valuable content.

As the demand for digital content grows, and the expectations of consumers to have instant access to content they pay for increases, EditionGuard is there to support your investment in developing best practices in digital publishing. We’ve removed the costly licenses and setup fees usually associated with such systems from our product, giving our customers the ability to protect and fulfill their content with low risk and high reward.

*Please note that EditionGuard does not track analytics usage at the user-level of content for privacy purposes.

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Launch Your Speaking Career with an eBook

We’ve been talking about the benefits of publishing ebooks for businesses and business professionals. Publishing an ebook can bring credibility to your brand, generate leads and higher revenue, and it can launch your speaking career.

Why Are Speaking Gigs So Important?

If you really want to stand out in your industry as a leading expert, you have to be the one giving people the knowledge, guidance, and inspiration they need to do their jobs better. Not only can speaking gigs put you in front of your colleagues, but it can make you visible to companies who might need your expertise and hire you. You can also make a great deal of money if you become a sought-after public speaker.

A Book Is Like a Golden Ticket

Being a published author in your field sets you apart from others. When event professionals are booking people to speak and they have to choose between someone who has writing credits and someone who does not, they will almost always choose the person with writing credits to their name. It not only makes you look more professional to have a published book but it also elevates the caliber of the event at which you will be speaking.

What Kind of eBook Works Best for Landing Speaking Gigs?

The ebook you choose to write should reveal insight into your industry, offer solutions people need, or give readers a plan of action to be successful. It can be challenging to find a topic that no one else has written about, but if you focus on a very specific piece of your industry or a pain point that has not been solved, you may find it easier to gain the attention of the event professionals who do the booking.

How Do I Get Started as a Public Speaker?

Since most events right now are virtual anyway, it’s easier to get started because you don’t have to afford travel. Instead, invest in a good background for your Zoom or Skype; reach out to event professionals as well as to local SCORE offices, and look for related industries that host things like podcasts or YouTube channels that might be interested in having you on their program. Be sure to share every event before, during, and after so that you gain visibility; you’ll find that once you do a few speaking events, more people will be comfortable inviting you to participate.

An ebook opens doors for business professionals. From helping you build credibility in your industry and land a better job to making your brand stand out, ebooks for business can be portkeys to success.

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The Power of the Business eBook

There are several benefits ebooks offer for businesses, including driving leads and improving sales, but the biggest power of the business ebook is in giving its author credibility and authority in the industry. Whether you’re a customer experience expert like Shep Hyken or a startup expert like Matt Heinz, ebooks pave the way to bigger successes.

Business eBooks Build Credibility

If you’re an expert in your field, the best way to make sure people know that is to share your knowledge – and the best way to share your knowledge is through an ebook. Just being a published author with a title that showcases your knowledge in the industry can function as a key that opens doors for you. A well-written ebook that includes your insight can make people more likely to hire you, get you invited to speak or chair a panel at a conference, you will get more exposure.

Business eBooks Can Launch Your Speaking Career

Being a keynote speaker at a highly visible event (even a virtual one) can raise your profile enough to be included in major conferences across the country. That is a level of marketing you simply cannot purchase. When you’re invited to speak at an event, the event hosts typically put a link to your website as well as your photo and bio on the conference page. The number of leads this will generate can keep you very business and make others aware of you who would not otherwise have known you.

Business eBooks Can Drive Revenue to Your Business

When people trust your expertise, they are more likely to hire you. Having an ebook cuts down on the time it takes to close a deal because you’ve already established a level of trust. If you spend less time trying to hustle the sale and more time closing deals, your revenue will grow.

A business ebook can mean more power, more credibility, and more profit.

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Benefits of eBooks for Business Lead Generation

Are you trying to drive more leads to your business? Do you need to establish yourself as a credible leader in your industry? Do you want to create an enticing offer to get more people to sign up for your marketing emails? There is one way you can do all of these things: write an ebook. We’ll be exploring the various ways ebooks can help you grow your business.

eBooks for Business Lead Generation

What is lead generation?

To stay in business, you have to have someone to sell to, right? Lead generation is a method of attracting potential clients or customers and encouraging them to take an action, such as schedule a consultation. Generating leads is the step that comes before selling. Once you have the lead, there are many steps you can take to convert the lead into a customer – but what we’re focused on here is generating the lead itself. One of the most effective ways to generate leads is to get them to sign up for your emails, where you can share content, offer sales, and highlight your services. But people don’t just go around signing up for emails – we all get enough already. So you have to make it worth it by offering something that compels them to give you their email address. That’s where ebooks for lead generation comes in.

Whether you offer an entire library of resources or simply have a single, enticing offer that compels people to schedule a time to talk with you, an ebook can be an effective way to drive more leads. The most common question we get about ebooks for lead generation is, “What should I write about?” There are a number of answers, but consider one of these lead-generation powerhouses:

  1. Answer a question or provide a solution to something that demonstrates your expertise that someone might typically have to pay for. The cost? A name and email address (where they can, of course, unsubscribe any time, but won’t if you’re giving them great content).
  2. Provide insight into your area of expertise with tangible steps the reader could take to achieve success.
  3. Share some inside secrets that will help your reader get ahead – it could be a marketing secret you use, a method for calculating ROI that helps you justify worthy investments to your boss, or an inside track to better networking to build the right relationships.

In the end, you can write about anything that both showcases your expertise and gives the reader a valuable takeaway. The point is to drive the leads to you, where you can further showcase your experience and expertise or highlight the services offered by your company.

Here are some examples of ebooks used as lead generation tools for businesses that might inspire you:

IT Company in Ohio that offers a library of resources for people when they sign up for the monthly newsletter. Each of the ebooks provides the person with in-depth guidance on IT topics and are of value on their own.

A business coach who offers a single, in-depth guide to pivoting your business. The ebook itself is of great value and gives them an opportunity to showcase their coaching service.

Hubspot, the king of lead generation, offers a series of lead generation ebooks to help you move your business forward, where they of course collect your email address for further marketing of their services.

What do these offers all have in common? Even if you don’t purchase the services they offer, the ebooks themselves are a treasure trove of useful information. It should be your goal to do the same – offer something useful, even if only a small percentage of people actually convert, because you never know who will come back a year later to hire you when they’re finally in the right space for it.

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