If you’re a trainer, a management development specialist, a consultant or a facilitator used to delivering workshops, seminars and training days, you’ve probably got a lot of material stashed away in folders and on your hard disk.
The question is: how can you continue to make good use of all of those great materials you’ve produced? How can your business continue to benefit from your creativity and expertise in writing programmes once they’ve been delivered?
I know it’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. I’ve got training programmes going back over more than two decades here in my office.
Well, Wendy Wyatt, of Evviva Consulting has come up with a great solution:
Publish your materials on Kindle.
High Impact Workshops by Wendy Wyatt
Wendy has published several titles under the heading:
High Impact Workshops You Can Deliver.
That’s the point of the series. Wendy is making her workshops available for other people to use. As Wendy says in her the workshop materials:
“Until now off the shelf workshops have been extremely expensive. In these tough times, I believe that a cost-effective solution to the never-ending requirement for high quality training is needed. This is my solution to the problem.”
The titles in the High Impact Workshop Series (as of June 2012) are:
- Objective Setting Mini-Workshop
- Sales Booster Workshop
- Telephone Skills Mini-Workshop
- Performance Review Workshop
- How To Run A Management Strategy Day
- Time Management And Delegation.
Doing business the smart way
Wendy is doing a lot to make good use of the online world to enhance her business. She’s using Kindle to help to get her materials out to new audiences. The High Impact Workshops are available on Amazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com.
More than 1400 copies of her workshops have been downloaded.
Wendy’s taking the education of her website visitors a bit further, too. She reminds – or I guess, in some cases, informs – those visitors that you don’t need a Kindle device to take advantage her excellent offer. The Kindle software can be downloaded for free to a PC, iPhone or iPad.
Wendy had agreed to share some hints about publishing on Kindle with us. Recently I asked her:
Was it difficult to format your materials for Kindle?
Formatting for Kindle is easy as long as your material is fairly straightforward script and doesn’t include pictures or tables. I found that a Microsoft Word document, saved as a web page, translates to Kindle perfectly. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
There are a few things that you need to do to make sure that your work looks good on Kindle:
- Don’t use bullet points. They seem to disrupt the layout. Dashes work fine
- Remove spaces between paragraphs
- Just have one space between a full stop and the beginning of the next sentence
- Remove page numbers
- Centre headings
- Add a table of contents and bookmark it
- Check that everything looks good on the webpage/HTML version before you publish – there can be glitches!
There are lots of books on publishing on Kindle (I have read most of them!).
All have nuggets of useful information but several will try to persuade you to buy software or learn HTML. It is just not necessary. The very best advice available is Kindle’s own.
When you’ve finished formatting your manuscript, you will also need a cover!
That is great fun if you are ‘arty’ like me. I made a collage out of cut out bits of coloured cardboard. I scanned it into my computer and then manipulated it using photo software and added text. I took my logo and banners from this artwork too. There are lots of options. Several people use plain bands of colour. Others use photographs.
Remember that your cover needs to look good as a thumbnail as well as Kindle screen size.
How do you promote your workshop series?
This is the difficult bit – far more difficult than merely writing and publishing a book!
The competition is fierce.
Tens of thousands of new books are published on Kindle every MONTH. With so many of us shouting for attention and, it seems, so few listening, sales are too sluggish for my taste…
Once published I started to Tweet too.
I should have started this earlier as it takes time to build a really targeted following.
And lastly, I have signed up for KDP Select for all six of my titles. It is a Kindle lending library which also allows you to promote your book as a free offer for 5 days in a 90-day period. Offering your book free certainly generates lots of interest and increases sales. The downside is that you have to keep your book exclusive to Amazon for that period.
For experts (trainers, consultants, coaches etc) planning to promote their work on Kindle what advice would you offer to help them get started?
The main thing is to be aware of the limitations of Kindle. I read LOTS of books on my Kindle before publishing and so I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like. I noticed the mistakes people were making – those which jarred and made for uncomfortable Kindle reading.
The most unprofessional were the bullet point problem I mentioned previously and Tables of Contents with page numbers – these of course do not exist on Kindle as you set the font size to your liking!
Great gaps in books appeared when authors put spaces between paragraphs or more than one space between sections.
I had investigated POD publishing – that is print on demand – but Amazon advertises quite a long lead in time for delivery. There were reports that it was killing sales. Although I am a published author, I did not want to go down that route again. Kindle seemed to be my only option.
The big limitation for me was that I want to publish workshops – but who on earth would want to run a workshop from a Kindle? I decided that the solution for me was to put a password in each of my Kindle titles so that readers could access, download and print facilitator notes and workbooks via the reserved area of my website. I’ve set up a lot of resources for free on my website too – some are linked to the High Impact Series of Workshops and some not.
Thanks to Wendy for sharing some of her expert knowledge. It’s great to learn from a business person who is actually publishing on Kindle.
About Wendy Wyatt
Wendy has over twenty years of experience in the field of training and management and development helping her clients to grow their businesses. She’s a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She set up Evviva Consulting in 2008. Her High Impact Workshops are available to download via Kindle on Amazon.