let's make an e-book!

Today was the most productive day of writing I’ve had in ages. Thanks for buoying me with your prayers!! (Catch up here.)

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details. First of all:

Why An E-book Instead of a “Real” Book?

1. The timeline. From the minute I submit a proposal to my agent to the time I see my book on the shelf, a MINIMUM of one year will have gone by. And most likely, much, much longer than that.

2. The style. I have a certain vibe I’m going for in this book. Very conversational, at times a little slang-y, and so on and such as. It’s important to me (for this particular book) that I be allowed to write it just like I want it.

3. The money. You might be a little flabbergasted to know that I can sell an e-book for $4.99 and make 2-5 times MORE money on it than I would on a paperback book that sells for $12.99. When you cut out all the middle men (and all the paper and ink), it makes a crazy difference.

4. The experiment. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m having a hard time getting a publisher to pick up my next book (not the Husband Book). One of my biggest obstacles is my previous sales history (two books went out of print). I’d love to sell lots o’ copies of the e-book and “prove” to a publisher that I’m worth taking a chance on.

5. The audience. This is a book for men (husbands) and it’s about s-e-x. I think the topic will encourage them to read it, but not necessarily encourage them to purchase it while other people are watching (other bookstore browsers, cashiers, their moms, etc.).

Case in point: I was chatting with a friend via e-mail last night about the e-book, and she shared these encouraging thoughts:

I think you are DEAD ON that guys will be so much more willing to pay the $4.99 for an ebook and then read it on their phones or iPads or Kindles or whatever. A few years ago I ran into a guy from church in the Christian bookstore, and I knew that he and his wife were having trouble. He looked so awkward and overwhelmed standing in the marriage section of the store, and I just felt for him like crazy. But oh my goodness – can you imagine if he’d been able to download something helpful AND only pay 5 bucks for it? I just think there is a HUGE audience for that.

Here’s What I Need From You Today:

1. Names (and blog/website addresses) for “big-name” influencers. This could be any blogger/person in ministry/whoever that might be interested in the book. I would send them a free copy and pretty much beg them to spread the word if they like it.

2. Names of ordinary people (like me and YOU) who would love to blog/write a facebook post about the book. Again, a free copy would be on the table in exchange for your review/promotion/blasting cyberspace with all kinds of chatter about the book.

3. People to pray. For the writing/strategizing/promoting. I’m hoping to have my final draft finished TWO WEEKS from today. Then have a handful of people look it over for a week. Then set the whole “E-book Blast-a-Thon Coordinated by Gabe Taviano” in motion by the beginning of July. Ambitious much? That’s why I need your prayers.

Last Thing:

This is going to sound a bit outrageous, possibly even ludicrous. But I’m going to say it anyway. I’m asking God to fund the rest of our Cambodia Trip with the proceeds of this e-book. Gulp.

We have $6075 in our Cambodia Fund. We need roughly $12,500 to get to Cambodia in December. That’s $6425 we still need. You do the math (it’s too complicated for me at this late hour). After paypal fees and Amazon fees and Uncle Sam’s fees and whoever else’s fees (plus God’s tithe), I don’t know how much I’ll make per book. I’m thinking 3,000 copies might do the trick. Pray with me?

In the comments: give me names, say you’ll pray, promise to read it, ask pertinent questions, tell me I’m NUTSO. I’m ready. Bring it.

73 thoughts on “let's make an e-book!

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  3. Kaye

    Gosh, I’m a week behind on reading your blog…and you’ve finished a book already!!!! SO stinking proud of you:)
    I will help any way I can …. just give me some direction!
    Praying this ALL comes together for you and your family.
    Miss you all and please know I am praying,
    Matthew 21:22

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  5. douglas

    hey, Marla, I’m in to help you promote the book and get out word. what do you think about a guy’s read-a-long of the book? I would be willing to do the work of rounding up a few guys that would be interested.

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  7. Kathleen

    Will certainly Pray, Marla and be very excited to read it and give feedback. Still working on an email.

  8. Jennifer A.

    Hey Marla,

    I know I haven’t been commenting much lately (though I’ve written several comments in my head that never got typed out- especially on your home schooling posts!), but I am totally interested in reading this book! Not sure how many people still come and check out my site since life has gotten in the way of regular blogging for me, but I would gladly promote this book for you, as I have shared your previous books as well! Maybe I can even get my hubby to read it, too, but no promises on that one! 🙂

  9. Brooke

    I’d read/promote it, although were you looking for a male voice? I could barter with my husband to do a guest post on my blog or something. He’s all the time begging me to ghost blog for his real estate site, so maybe I could trade him 5 blogs for his 1…I can make this work if you would like.

  10. Leigh

    Marla, that’s a great idea! It makes perfect sense on several levels. I don’t have any ideas for you, nor am I qualified to read it but I’ll be pondering if there are other ways I can help. I’ll certainly Tweet and FB about it once it’s available!

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  12. LS

    marla. . .i am an ordinary gal but would LOVE LOVE LOVE to promo your book on my blog! just let me know if there is anything i can do. . . 🙂

  13. Elizabeth

    Love, love, love the idea, and I think it will be very effective! My hubby hates to read, but ever since he did your survey he’s totally interested in what you do with all that info. I know he’ll want to read it.

    Also, you know I’d promote it to the 3 people who read my blog, but we currently don’t have internet (boo!) and the process I have to go through to check e-mail, facebook, blogs, etc. is so ridiculous that I haven’t even tried to. I am SO frustrated with that situation. But if (big IF) we do get internet I will start blogging again and I will tell everyone I know to buy and read your amazing book. Cool?

    Look for a package from us soon. I found some good stuff for your girlies! Love you!

    1. Marla Taviano

      You tell A. that he gets a free copy for letting us crash at your place on our Zoo Trip. 🙂 I’m so sorry about your internet. 🙁 Love you!! And sooooo excited about the package!!

  14. Gini

    Praying for you and this process! I would love to read it and spread the word, though like many have said my blog is small. 🙂

  15. Greg

    Dr. Brown (President at Cedarville) obviously has some significant sway amongst your target audience. He’s on twitter at @drbrown231 and I think has a blog too, though I’m not sure how much he still writes.

    I don’t have a blog, but I’d be willing to post about it on Facebook!

  16. Sara

    You need Carlos on board with this: http://www.ragamuffinsoul.com/

    He has a HUGE following on Twitter and he will just about talk to anyone he is SO cool.

    I’m praying for y’all. When life settles down I have a question for you and would love to talk to you about a vision I have and I need professional advice from a real pro :o)

    Thanks Marla,

    In Christ


  17. Jen Hanson

    I don’t have a huge blog audience, but I will totally read it and talk it up on my blog and my facebook!

    P.S. I forgot to comment on your fb question last night, so I figure I’ll do it here and not get a bazzillion notifications when other people comment on your status as well. 😉 I feel most loved by my husband when he is physically affectionate to me in public (holding hands, arm around the waist, a quick kiss on the cheek). While he’s a pretty affectionate person, he is not big on PDA, so when he does show affection like that in public, I know he’s doing it solely for my benefit and that makes me feel loved.

  18. Sharon W

    Marla, you should contact Courtney from Women Living Well. She has recently written a post or two on p-o-r-n and I think she’d be a great person to read your book and promote it on her site. Here’s her website: http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/

    The other person who comes to mind is Joy Eggerichs. http://www.joyeggerichs.com/

    I don’t know either of them personally, but from what I’ve seen on their blogs, I think your book is right up their alley.

  19. Jennifer

    Marla, I think God is totally in this e-book and I am praying for ya sister! I will continue to pray, will promote on facebook and twitter, and would love to review the book. I have two sons that I’m trying to train up in God’s ways, and every little bit of info that I can glean would be great. Also have a hubby too 🙂

  20. Mandy

    Here are some ideas I had of people/organizations to contact:
    CCEF (I think it’s Christian Counseling Education Foundation or something like that) http://www.ccef.org/
    Dr. Bob Barnes of Sheridan House Ministries and Parenting Today and his wife Rosemary Barnes – he writes books on marriage and parenting. http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Authors/Author.htm?ContributorID=BarnesR&QueryStringSite=Zondervan
    Fireproof My Marriage: http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com/
    Dr. Kevin Leman: http://www.drleman.com/store/
    David and Claudi Arp: http://www.marriagealive.com
    Ted Roberts of Pure Desire: http://www.drleman.com/store/
    Iron Sharpens Iron: http://www.ironsharpensiron.net/
    Dr. Tim Gardner author of Sacred Sex: http://www.drtimgardner.net/Christian-Sexuality.html

    My husband and I are looking forward to purchasing and reading the book and I would love to review it on my blog even though probably only 2 or 3 people will read it. I will also spread the word on facebook and to the people at my church.
    Praying for you!

  21. Sheree

    I’m am praying for you Sister!! I just love your heart and the guts to do what God has set before you. I feel I am standing on the edge and the place where God is leading me is so overwhelming from where I am. Passports in hand but our travel/mission fund is LOW with no visible means to grow it. You are an amazing encouragement for me and I am so praying.

  22. Cheryl Pickett

    Definitely in full support of what you’re doing. I’ll have to give the “big name” list some thought. One that comes to mind is I am personally connected with the professor who teaches/heads family life ministry at Concordia University Ann Arbor. I know I know, it’s Ann Arbor… :-). As an alum, I spoke about my book last fall to his class. Maybe he’d consider you & maybe you could arrange enough other stuff in the area to make the trip worthwhile. I/we would be glad to review it, recommend to him as well as post either a FB link or review on Amazon.

  23. Rebecca

    Hi Marla! I will pray and will gladly review a copy of the book if you would like. I have an ordinary blog with a few readers and will gladly help you spread the word.

    Praying for your success in the ebook and the success in marriages around the globe!


  24. Anonymous

    Mckmama’s blog has a large following and based on some of her posts, she would probably greatly support this e-book. Praying for you in the process.

  25. ali

    I’ll work on names to send you . . . and you know I’ll review it, of course. And I am praying like a mad woman! So proud of you.

  26. beth lehman

    Marla – I thought immediately of the Family Life Resource Center in Harrisonburg, VA, where my husband and I went to college and lived for years. Their staff does marriage counseling, couples counseling, etc. Harvey Yoder specifically has come to various churches to provide “marriage encounter” type weekends. Here is their website: http://www.flrc.org email: services@FLRC.org I don’t know anyone personally and am not connected here with these kinds of services other than our very small church. I will be praying for you and this venture!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Michael Hyatt is DEFINITELY on my list. I’m thinking if I can get 100 people to comment on his blog or send him a tweet about the book, he’d feel like he HAS to read it. 😉 I’ll let you know the plan when I have it!

  27. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    You are the best kind of crazy. THE BEST.

    I am so excited for this project. (selfishly, also excited for you to walk through the e-book process so you can hold my hand if/when I take the leap to write one as well)

    You already know lots of great influencers, but someone I don’t see in your sidebar who could be great is Sally Clarkson (I Take Joy). She and her husband Clay are super devoted to growing strong, healthy families. She would be a great person to connect with.

    I’ll think on it and let you know if I think of anyone else!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Okay, I’m officially taking the IF out of if/when. WHEN you write an e-book. And the SOONER THE BETTER. Getting ready to e-mail you in a sec (oops–typed “sex” instead!) about a FAVOR. 😉 Love you!! Thank you!!

  28. Conny

    You’re a good kind of crazy!!! 😉 Praying for you! Excited for you …

    I’m an ordinary person … have an ordinary blog … in fact, it’s “The Life of an Ordinary Hausfrau” … have a few followers … would be glad to review/blog about your ebook!

  29. Kelly S

    I think this is great! The e-book rationale sounds brilliant, in terms of the timing and especially the “standing awkwardly in Family Christian Stores” element.

    In terms of people to promote this to – I went to the D6 conference a couple years, which is all about family ministry. Much of it is focused on parents/kids, but there is certainly the inclusion of some marriage stuff too. A few people I can think of who are connected to that in some way:
    – Matt Markins http://www.mattmarkins.com/
    – Brian Haynes http://legacyblog.org/
    – Rob Rienow -http://visionaryfam.com/ (he is the most marriage connected one, with a book on Visionary Marriage)

    I don’t know any of those guys personally or anything, just know who they are!

    I’ll read it! And I’ll have my husband read it! And I’ll probably talk about it on my blog/fb (probably regardless of a free copy, but that doesn’t hurt!)

    This is exciting!

    P.S. I haven’t commented on here in awhile, and then I changed my blog address, but I used to post from thesipanfamily.wordpress.com – just so you don’t think I’m some nut who has never commented but is now enthusiastically responding! Although on second thought, maybe that’d be better! 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thank you, Kelly!! That’s AWESOME!! And I immediately thought “Kelly Sipan” when I saw Kelly S, so I didn’t think you were a nut at all. 🙂 Thaaaaaaaank yoooooooooou!!!

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