How to Turn Your Ideas into e-Books

EbooksInformation marketing is a wonderful business model. It can be quite lucrative as a standalone retirement business and you can also incorporate it into an existing business model for more profits and credibility. However, sometimes taking that leap from idea to e-book can be quite a challenge. Here are a few ideas to get your idea turned into an e-book reality.

#1 Get someone else to write it. No, we’re not talking about hiring a ghostwriter, though that’s certainly an option. Some of the best e-books are actually collections of articles written by industry experts.

For example, if you have a website devoted to dog training and want to write an e-book about training your dog unusual tricks, you could ask ten animal trainers to each contribute their favourite trick to the book. Each dog trainer would get exposure for their business in the book and you’d get a complete, and quite valuable, e-book to sell. You didn’t have to write a single word!

#2 Break it down. Sometimes the hurdle between book idea and actual product is a feeling of being overwhelmed. There’s an easy way around that challenge. Break your main topic into ten to twenty supporting topics. It may be easier to pose them as questions.

For example, an e-book on sales techniques might have the following supporting points or chapters:

  • What are the benefits of better selling?
  • How do listening skills play a role in increased sales?
  • How important is relationship building?
  • Should I network for more sales?

Each of these supporting chapters can then be divided even more into ten or more supporting points. Thus, for a ten chapter book you end up with 100 smaller, almost article size, topics to address. It makes writing a book much more manageable.

#3 Turn to audio. Some people just don’t have the time or the inclination to write a book, but still want the results. No problem. You can create an audio file instead. There are actually two ways to approach this. You can interview people on your topic, have the interviews transcribed, edited and polished. Then compile them into an e-book format.

Or you can simply speak your book and then have someone transcribe it and edit and polish it into an e-book. For some, it’s easier to flesh out their ideas if they’re talking. If this is you, consider recording your book instead of putting fingers to keyboard. Additionally, there is software like Dragon Naturally Speaking that will transcribe your audio for you. This saves you the cost of a transcriptionist, though you may still want to hire someone to edit and polish your book.

Finally, though we did mention it in the beginning, if you do have an idea for an e-book but don’t have the time or inclination to turn it into a reality, then consider hiring a ghostwriter. Look for one who is experienced with writing books. Discuss your needs and work together to turn your idea into e-book profits.

Is it really possible to find lucrative work-from-home positions?

Working from home has become a necessity for many retirees. The economic downturn and its impact on savings income have led many to search for more creative ways to make money. For people who hoped that they'd already said 'adios' to corporate life, a work from home position, either as your own boss or working for someone else, is often appealing. But is it truly possible to find a well-paying job this way?

In a word – yes - it is possible to work from home and make money. If you're short of cash and need a retirement job but also want flexibility, there are definitely opportunities available to you, however, there are challenges associated with working from home that you need to think about whilst you're considering how to go about it.

Avoiding Becoming a Mark

For those who don’t know, a 'mark' is the target for scammers. These people make money by preying on the desperate. When you need money to feed your family or keep your house, even 'too-good-to-be-true' offers seem reasonable if they seem like they'll ease the financial burden. Unfortunately, they only serve to strip you of what's left of your hard-earned money.

Here are a few things to watch out for when looking for legitimate work-from-home positions.

Avoid requests for money – Any opportunity that asks for you to pay them for the privilege is a waste of time. Once you give them the money, they send you information about possible jobs or simply tell you what you already know. But, there's no job waiting for you.

Avoid getting rich quick – If there was a way to make thousands of pounds or dollars a week stuffing envelopes, everyone would be doing it. Consider the source. If it is just a phone number without any other kind of contact, that’s suspicious. Besides, who would pay that type of money for that kind of work? Think realistically before taking the plunge.

Finding Work

Check freelance sites – One way to always make money is to freelance. Website businesses are always looking for writers to provide content for their sites and blogs. If you are a website programmer, designer or an expert in copywriting, you can find opportunities at sites like Elance, Freelancer, Guru, iFreelance, HireWriters and LogoMyWay.

Look in local papers – Companies sometimes hire for customer service jobs that can be done from home. As long as you have a computer and access to the internet, you can have calls routed to you for answering. It may require you to visit the main facility for training but then you can conduct other business from home. In the U.S., medical offices hire freelance medical coders and transcriptionists. If you have the expertise, you can hire yourself out to a number of offices.

Use your creativity – Some work from home positions can stem from your talents and interests. If you can sew, set up shop as a seamstress. If you have a passion for gardening, you could provide your services to people who like to have a nice garden but don't have the time to keep it looking good.  People have been setting up stores on eBay for years now.  If you're into 'making things', sell your creations via an online store or auction.

It is possible to find ways to work from home and make money. Watch out for scams but be diligent in pursuing opportunities and gaining the knowledge to expand and take advantage of other lucrative propositions.  You could discover you have entrepreneurial tendencies that you never dreamed existed!

Buy Less and Be Happier!

No stuffThe notion of buying less and being happier runs contrary to the more popular concept of 'more (and bigger) is better'. As more and more people become disillusioned with all their 'stuff', the idea that buying less can actually make you happier is beginning to take hold. (And, let's face it, with what's happened to pensions and interest rates over the last few years, some retirees just don't have a choice!) 

Here are some suggestions on how you can buy less and be happier:

1. Distinguish between needs and wants. Before making a purchase, ask yourself why you're buying it. How will your life be better with that particular item in your home? Can you afford it? Does it have a practical use?

2. Spend time, not money, with your family and friends. This is the key to being happier with buying less - you will cultivate more meaningful relationships instead of spending money on stuff. Think in terms of relationships, not things. This may require a shift in priorities and, for some, may mean learning to put people ahead of material items. If you accomplish this, life will be much more fulfilling.

3. Learn (or relearn) to refurbish and fix used items, and learn to create and build. Often, these times of creativity can also be times when you come together with friends and family to get a job done. In other words, DIY can help you be happier! 

4. Pay cash or write a cheque whenever you buy something. This is a safeguard against debt, which is, of course, one of the biggest robbers of happiness there is. You'll be much happier buying less if you can also look at it as way of incurring less debt.

5. Change your perspective about the role of stuff in your life. Think about the big picture before making purchases - will owning this item make me a better person? If I buy this electronic gizmo, will the world (or even just MY world!) be the better for it?

6. Take time to find out what true happiness means to you. When you're not trying to fill some imagined void with material things, it gives you some breathing room to figure out just what makes you tick. Accumulating stuff is probably not what really makes you happy. Dig deep and learn something about yourself. Keep a journal, meditate, spend time alone...

When you begin to cultivate relationships instead of buying more and more stuff, you might just find that you become much happier.


If you're due to retire in the near future, my free eCourse, The 6 Stages of Retirement, will give you a birds-eye view of the retirement process so you know what to expect. It includes a list of the major pitfalls at every stage of the process and self-coaching questions to help you avoid those pitfalls...

Retirement Business Ideas beginning with 'C'

From the list of 1000 Business Ideas, here are the all the ones that begin with C.  Hope you'll C one you like!  (Sorry, couldn't resist it!)

159. Cabin Rental
160. Cabinet Making
161. Cake Decorator
162. Cake Making and Decorating Supplies
163. Cake Shop
164. Call Center
165. Calligraphy
166. Campground
167. Camping Equipment
168. Candle Making
169. Candle Making Equipment and Supplies
170. Candy Store
171. Candy Wrapping
172. Car Accessories
173. Car Alarms
174. Car Detailing Service
175. Car Insurance
176. Car Racing
177. Car Race Track
178. Car Rental
179. Car Sales
180. Car Service
181. Car Wash – Full Service
182. Car Wash – Self Service
183. Cardiologist
184. Care Packages
185. Career Counseling
186. Carpet Cleaning
187. Carpet Installation
188. Carpool Service
189. Cartography
190. Cartoonist
191. Casino
192. Cat Breeder
193. Catalog Publishing
194. Caterer
195. CD Duplication
196. Cell Phone and Accessories Sales
197. Cemetery
198. Ceramic Tile Equipment and Supplies
199. Ceramic Tile Installation
200. Ceramic Making
201. Ceramics Store
202. Charter Flights
203. Chartered Accountant
204. Chauffer Service
205. Child Identification
206. Child Proofing Service
207. Childbirth Instructor
208. Children’s Book Author
209. Children’s Party Planner
210. Children’s Camps
211. Children’s Day Camps
212. Chimney Cleaner
213. Chimney Contractor
214. Chiropractor
215. Chocolate Shop
216. Christmas Ornaments
217. Christmas Tree Farm
218. Christmas Tree Sales
219. Civil Engineer
220. Clipart
221. Closet Organization
222. Clothing Alterations and Repairs
223. Clothing Design
224. Clothing Store
225. Clown
226. Coffee Shop
227. Coin Dealer
228. Coin Laundry
229. Collection Agency
230. College Application Service
231. Comic Book Shop
232. Commercial Building Inspection Service
233. Comptroller
234. Computer Animation
235. Computer Programmer
236. Computer Repair
237. Computer Sales
238. Computer Support
239. Computer Training
240. Concrete Construction
241. Concrete Repair
242. Consignment Store
243. Construction Services
244. Contact Lenses
245. Convenience Store
246. Convention Center
247. Cookie Shop
248. Cooking School
249. Copy Editor
250. Copy Service
251. Corporate Gifts and Baskets
252. Corporate Trainer
253. Correspondence School
254. Cosmetics Shop
255. Costume Maker
256. Costume Rental
257. Costume Store
258. Coupon Books
259. Courier Service
260. Craft Business
261. Craft Classes
262. Craft Kits
263. Craft Supplies
264. Credit Counseling
265. Crematorium
266. Cricket Farming
267. Crime Scene Clean Up Service
268. Crochet
269. Cafeteria Services
270. Cross Stitch
271. Cupcake Store
272. Custom Bird Cages
273. Custom Car Art
274. Custom Jewelry
275. Custom Mailboxes
276. Custom Pet Bowls
277. Custom T-Shirts
278. Business List Service
279. Customs Broker

A is for... inspiration

I recently acquired a list of 1000 business ideas.  I'm not sure what, if anything, I'm going to do with it yet but it's, literally, an A to Z of ideas.  If you're in the market for a retirement business but you're stuck for inspiration, here are 82 ideas that begin with the letter A for you to consider...

1. 3D Artist
2. Accessories Store
3. Accounting Auditor
4. Accounts Payable
5. Accounts Receivable
6. Ad Copywriter
7. Adult Daycare
8. Adult Entertainment
9. Adult Toy and Novelty Store
10. Adventure Tours
11. Advertising Agency
12. Advertising Sales
13. Aerial Photographer
14. Aerial Seed and Spraying Service
15. Aerobics Studio
16. Affiliate Manager
17. Affiliate Marketer
18. After School Care
19. Agricultural Consultant
20. Air Charter Services
21. Aircraft Design
22. Aircraft Engines
23. Aircraft Parts
24. Airport Transportation Service
25. Alarm Equipment Sales
26. Alarm Installation
27. Alarm Monitoring Service
28. Allopathic Physicians
29. Amphibian Breeding
30. Amusement Park
31. Amusement Park Equipment
32. Anesthesiologist 
33. Animal Breeder
34. Animal Hospital
35. Animation Services
36. Announcements
37. Answering Service
38. Antique Dealer
39. Antique Locator
40. Antique Restoration
41. Apartment Building Maintenance
42. Apartment Cleaner
43. Apartment Rental
44. Appliance Rental
45. Appliance Repair
46. Appliance Store
47. Appointment Reminder Service
48. Appointment Scheduling Service
49. Aquarium Maintenance Service
50. Aquarium Sales
51. Aquarium Set Up Service
52. Arbitration Service
53. Arcade
54. Archaeologist
55. Architect
56. Architectural Engineer
57. Architectural Supplies
58. Aromatherapist
59. Art Broker
60. Art Gallery
61. Art Restoration
62. Art School
63. Art Supplies
64. Article Distribution Service
65. Article Writing Service
66. Arts and Crafts Classes for Children
67. Assistance Dog Training
68. Astrologist
69. Astronomer
70. ATV Park
71. ATV Rentals
72. ATV Sales
73. Auctioneer
74. Audio Visual Equipment and Supplies Rental
75. Audio Visual Equipment and Supplies Sales
76. Auto Body Repair Shop
77. Auto Customization
78. Auto Detailing
79. Auto Painting
80. Auto Part Refurbishment
81. Auto Parts
82. Auto Repair Shop