How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content by Robert Bly. The book not only earns its long title through a plethora of detailed information on each topic covered; it over-delivers on the reader's expectations.
The author knows his stuff, which is clear from reading the book and from the fact that he makes over $600,000 a year through his writing and has earned six figures as a freelance writer consistently for several decades. He's weathered the transition from print-based freelance writing to online content and multimedia (audio CD's, DVD material, software and more).
He gives an excellent overview about becoming an accomplished how-to writer and an expert in your chosen niche. It's important to specialize and become well-known in one niche or a small handful of related ones, he says, given the nature of today's information-hungry climate and the social nature of the internet. Rather than spread yourself over many different subjects, it's better (and arguably more profitable) to learn one area very well and to share information in that specific topic.
Chapters most relevant to my interests were those on writing and selling books, ebooks and articles. My plans for future residual income generation include Kindle self-publishing as well as a traditional hard copy book. Bly's advice in this book has been invaluable, and I'm keeping his book on my shelf to reference as I go.
The only topic he didn't address that I think would have been within the scope of his book is publishing how-to information on your own website and earning money from ads and other monetization methods, while giving the information away for free. I imagine this isn't something he focuses on, but he does have a section on membership sites as a method of earning money from how-to writing.
Have you read any books pertaining to freelance/ web writing or internet marketing lately? I'd love to get your recommendations -- please share what you think in the comments section, below.