How I Created My First eBook

ebookpublishCreating an eBook was a challenge and learning experience. One thing I learned was that it’s all changing very fast. I would research and find websites, and the next time I looked they were gone. The positive side of that is that it’s become much easier to create an eBook with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP.) I found it really simple to upload, preview, and edit in KDP. Here is a nice guide from the publishers of the For Dummies books. David Gaughran has a good post about the basics of publishing.

CONTENT

Of course you want to start by having great content for your eBook. This article at Firepole Marketing has some good advice on that. My first challenge was grabbing content from my blog to use in the book. I used http://blog2book.pothi.com/ for this. Then I did a lot of editing to improve and organize that content.

WORD TEMPLATE

I don’t have the newest version of Microsoft Word, so this was a bit of a challenge also.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Shauna Kelly has a great explanation of How to create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word.

FORMATTING

MS Word tends to put extra “stuff” in that might be visible but looks weird when you publish an eBook. I read a lot about this, and can’t even remember what was most helpful now! It gave me a headache!

COVER

I simply used one of the covers from KDP.

COPYRIGHT

I’m no legal expert, but at Legal Stuff in Ebooks JW Manus says:  “Your written work is copyrighted as soon as it is in tangible form- Nor are you required to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office.”

Copyright Page Samples from The Book Designer

PRICING

  • Do a search of your topic to see the prices of similar eBooks.
  • Read How to Price Your eBook from Mill City Press.

MARKETING

  • Once you are ready to publish, Marketing your eBook is the next step! Find out why, how and tools for getting it done at Checklist to Market an eBook.

Want to see more? I invite you to “like” the Daily PlanIt Facebook page and follow me on Pinterest! My eBook “Get Goaling: the simple guide to set and achieve your goals.” is a clear, concise, step-by-step guide that gives you the tools to learn the skills and get goaling quickly.

Evaluating Ideas and Projects

Are you spending your time on projects that really contribute to your goals? projectfiles

Take a closer look at your activities to see if they support your core value statement (Unique Selling Proposition or Mission Statement) and provide a good return on the investment (ROI) of the resources required to accomplish them. The main difference between projects and goals is the time frame. Projects are the step between goals and daily action. The process of planning is the same for both, and the same tools can be used for planning either projects or goals.magnifyingglass

Step 1. First, describe the Idea/Project: the features and benefits, & why you are interested in it.

feature-benefit

Idea/Project:
Features (distinctive attributes) Benefits (value added by the features)
Describe why you want to do the Idea/Project: Motivation (make money, help others, etc)

compass

Step 2. Then compare the importance of each Idea/Project to your core value statement.

Your core value statement (USP, Mission):
Importance level to core value statement High | Medium | Low
Effectiveness for accomplishing goals High | Medium | Low
Return on Investment (ROI) Do Benefits outweigh Costs?
BENEFITS of accomplishment COSTS of Resources (time, money, etc)

yes button

Step 3. If you decide to proceed, make a plan…what are the steps you need to accomplish next?

PLAN
Action steps:
Inspire/Promote with:
Image (photo, graphic) that conveys the Idea/Project:
Slogan or tagline:

ProjectEvaluation

Free printable Project Evaluation Form (pdf)

This has been helping me understand why it is important to me to continue to spend time researching and writing articles for the Daily PlanIt. The website is a good fit with my core value statement:

“I create tools and share information for developing work and life skills.”

See Also: Evaluate Goals

Project Planning Forms at PEP Worldwide | Project Form (pdf) from Flipping Heck

Learn more: Article at DEG Consulting, Principles of Project Management course at Open2Study.com

see also Delicious Links

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

Game On! The Rules of Setting Goals

After my husband explained the rules of football, it became a lot more interesting. As he says, “If you know the rules, you understand the battle.” It got me thinking that setting goals is similar. You are much more likely to reach a goal if you know the rules.

Stackhouse FGNGP20 Semi-Perm Gooseneck Offset Goal Posts

In football, the goal is to make a touchdown. The team in possession of the ball has 4 chances to advance 10 yards toward their goal. If they make that, they get another 4 chances to advance another 10 yards.

The other team is trying to prevent the advance toward the goal by tackling the player carrying the ball or by intercepting the ball when it is thrown. Players need to change course as they encounter obstacles. Breaking the rules can cause penalties and result in a loss of ground. The reward for getting the most points is winning!

No matter what goal you choose, you need to have a game plan, and it helps to have targets along the way to the goal.

Here are six goal-setting rules:

  1. Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, rewarded, and time bound.)
  2. Goals must be written.
  3. You must have a plan of action.
  4. You must take action to advance toward your targets.
  5. It is important to review your progress regularly.
  6. To be a good player, you must have skills and be determined.

Learn more with the Daily PlanIt eBook, “Get Goaling.”

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

Choosing Goals

Now is the perfect time to review your goals and plan new ones for the New Year! Are you overwhelmed by all the possibilities?

Learn how to choose goals with this short video explaining the Map Your Values exercise from my eBook, “Get Goaling.”

Choosing goals that are your top priority is one of the skills you need to learn to begin setting and achieving your goals.

This simple exercise from my eBook “Get Goaling,” makes it easy.

To get started, you need key values.

The value words I’m talking about are qualities that will most improve your life if increased.

For this exercise, print the Map Your Values pdf from the link above, and there’s also a link to a list of value words if you need ideas.

It’s pretty easy to pick a word to answer the question: “What will fill my life with value?” for each life area.

For example, in the physical area, the word “health” might come to mind.

If your health is good, you may think of words that add more value, like “strength” or “energy.”

Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which shows that once basic needs are met, we move up to higher needs.

Look for a word that is realistic, and doesn’t limit you too much.

Once you have a word for each life area, mark the current level of each value, and you quickly see which areas to focus on.

The good news is many goals are already known to increase some values, so there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

If you choose the word “health” for the physical area, clearly that value can be increased by following a healthy diet and increasing the amount of exercise you get. Make your goals SMART.

Find ideas for some commonly chosen goals, many with SMART plans, at dailyplanit.com under the Goal Plans tab.

Some goals may be uniquely your own and require more planning.

Learn how to do this and more with the Daily PlanIt eBook, “Get Goaling.”

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

Are Your Resolutions SMART?

New Years Resolutions are usually not SMART. If you’ve read anything about goals at all, you probably have seen that they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.

SMART-GoalsLook at a list of common New Years Resolutions, and you’ll see something like this:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Quit smoking

top-10-new-years-resolutions-300x300

Nope, they just aren’t SMART. They are not worded in a way that is specific and measurable. They provide no guidance, no concrete plan of action. It’s no wonder we so frequently fail to keep them! So how do you turn a vague resolution into a SMART goal?

Here’s an example of a formula to set a SMART goal for losing weight from the Daily PlanIt eBook, “Get Goaling.”

I will [do what] lose weight [how much] ____ lbs by doing [what] aerobic exercise [when] every morning [for how long] 30 minutes [measured by] target heart rate [by when] by target date of two months from today.

You can use this formula to make any goal SMARTer. Some goals are more abstract and downright hard to measure. Usually a rating scale can help.ratingscale

USA.gov has a list of common New Years Resolutions, with handy links to resources to help you accomplish them.

smokefree.govFor example, if you click on “quit smoking,” the link takes you to smokefree.gov, which is packed full of detailed helpfulness, including apps and a texting service. It helps you with specific steps you need to take to accomplish the goal, like:

  • Choose a method to quit smoking
  • Buy any tools (nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes) you choose
  • Get rid of all cigarettes
  • Make a list of reasons you want to quit smoking
  • Avoid environments that will lead to cravings
  • Distract yourself w/other activities

With the tools on this website and the formula for making goals SMART from the Daily PlanIt eBook, you can be on your way to “Get Goaling.”

Learn more:

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

Get Goaling!

GoaleBookI’ve gathered all the information you need to set and achieve your goals into my eBook “Get Goaling: the simple guide to set and achieve your goals.” This clear, concise, step-by-step guide gives you the tools to learn the skills and get goaling quickly.

Here’s the Table of Contents & what you will learn:

  1. Why Goals – why it is important to set written, measurable goals.
  2. Map Your Values – a simple exercise to map your values makes it easy to see where to begin.
  3. Goal Ideas – ideas for commonly chosen goals.
  4. Generate Ideas – ways to generate (and capture) ideas.
  5. Evaluate Goals – how to choose goals that will add value in each life area.
  6. Make Your Goals SMART – how to develop a plan to make goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time sensitive) I’ll share a formula that makes creating SMART goals a snap. An example shows how to break big goals down into doable steps.
  7. Plan Goals and Projects – how to plan goals and projects, and make time to work on them.
  8. Rewards – how to choose a reward to match the size of your goal.
  9. Target Dates – The difference between long and short range goals, how to set target dates.
  10. Keep Goals Visual and Visible – ideas to keep goals visible and visual.
  11. Take Action and Maintain Motivation – tips to inspire you to get going on your goals. There’s even a goal music playlist.
  12. Monitor Progress – how to monitor progress with a weekly review, how to plan weekly and daily to make progress toward your goals.
  13. Setting Work Goals – how to set work goals.
  14. Develop Goal Skills – eleven Goal Skills to master.
  15. Conclusion – summary of the steps for setting goals.
  16. Appendix A – Goal Charts And Goal Master List-tools to track your progress and keep your goals visible.

timetargetAs the new year approaches, it’s the perfect time to review and plan. Get Goaling now!

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

Personal Branding for a Purpose

Gain a clear understanding of the projects that are most important to you by investing the time and effort to reveal your personal brand. Read my article, “Personal Branding for a Purpose” at Productive Magazine to learn more about the process.productivemag

The process of discovering your personal brand clarifies what you are passionate about, how you want to add value, and how you will communicate that.

A Networking Game Card

Yesterday I read “Hate Networking? Turn it into a Game” by Minda Zetlin on Inc., and I just couldn’t help myself: I made a game card based on the post.

The Networking Game ↑-↓(thumbs up, neutral or down)
 Your Quest:Have three different conversations  1__ 2__ 3__
Three Conversation Topics Review Results
1
2
3
Five Quests: Event/Date Review Results
1
2
3
4
5
http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/hate-networking-turn-it-into-a-game.html
 stop-sign1-299x300 How would you quantify your goal for Internet Networking?

Facebook and other social networking tools can be a great way to reach out to others, but can take up a lot of time. Do you limit the amount of time you spend using these tools?

Do you know when to stop and go work on something else?

By dailyplanit Posted in goals