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Issue #15: June 6, 2003
Publisher: Mind Like Water, Inc.

Hello everyone,

Michael Williams has managed to take flight from Mind Like Water for a few weeks. He and his family set off on a summer road trip to California, with plans to visit several national parks along the way, as well as some of the city sights. Michael wanted me to ask all of you for your patience if you are trying to correspond with him during the first two weeks of June. He will work his way through his email as quickly as possible when he returns.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy his feature article below, "Building Your Electronic Sales Page," as well as our interview with Australian author Chas Adlard and our profile of author Mary Trimble.

Don't miss our incredible offer to make 75% selling one of Mind Like Water's ebooks! Information about our Partner (Affiliate) Program follows our feature article.

Until next month,

Diane Faile
Content Manager

Table of Contents
1. Feature Article: Building Your Electronic Sales Page
2. eBook Author Interview: Chas Adlard
3. Library Initiative Update
4. eBook Author Profile: Mary Trimble

Feature Article: Building Your Electronic Sales Page
With your ebook or other product in hand, your task is to create an electronic sales page. This task is probably more important than anything else you do. If your sales letter doesn't work, you won't sell anything -- it's that SIMPLE.

The best way to learn how to write a good sales letter is to follow proven examples. Junk mail, late night infomercials and unsolicited e-mails (aka Spam) are a great place to start. Read these sales letters and you are bound to find some that make you feel like acting. These are often the winners. If you doubt these sales pitches work, talk to Ted Nicholas, author of "Magic Words That Bring You Riches." He made $24 million selling information in direct mailings. Study these sales pitches and you will start to see a lot of similarities. This is because billions of dollars have been spent over the years testing and retesting what words and approaches sell.

Now having said that, people resist sales efforts. Think about it. If you smell a sales pitch, you'll probably run away as fast as you can. On the Internet there's an even faster escape -- it's called a click of the mouse.

So what do you do?

Answer: Provide content and build your credibility with each visitor. Gradually weave in your sales letter and at the end close the sale. It sounds simple, but it's not. That's why it's important to view other sales letters and ask yourself whether you felt comfortable and trusted the author, and whether you were considering buying. If the answer is yes, then save the sales message and use it to model your own. (Please respect other web sites' copyrights and don't copy verbatim another sales pitch.) There are five keys to writing great sales pitches:

   (1) Attention Grabbing Headline. Have a short (16 words or less) headliner (at the top of the page) in bigger font that grabs the reader's attention. If you can, in this headline use the words "you," "free," "discover," "secrets" and other powerful words. These words have been proven to be attention grabbers. Putting your headliner in quotes can be effective as well. Also, be sure to include your primary keyword or keyword phrase in the title for the benefit of standard search engines.

   (2) Compelling Copy. Use compelling copy that gives the reader some valuable information just for reading the web page. Weave into this free information text that emphasizes the benefits of your product. If possible, provide some real life examples of success. Sentences should be short and contain one idea. Use bulleted lists when possible. Grammar and spelling must be perfect. Extensive testing by Internet expert and self-made millionaire Corey Rudl indicates that long sales pitches work the best; and recently, Internet guru Ken Evoy proved the same thing through extensive testing.

   (3) Testimonials. Most late night infomercials are nothing more than an introduction to the product, a few long testimonials from satisfied customers, and the closing sales pitch. Testimonials work because they establish credibility. Your first few testimonials can be by a friend or peer. Then, as your product sells, you can request testimonials from customers who have purchased your product. At the end of each testimonial, include as much vital information as needed to convince your audience of the authenticity of the recommendation.

   (4) Free or Bonus Gift(s). Find a good sales letter and you will find a free offer or a free bonus gift. Make the free gift something that compliments the type of product you are offering. Include more than one free gift if you want. Free gifts help close the sale.

   (5) Close the sale. At the end of the sale, list the price and write a few short sentences that make the sale even more compelling. Add a link or button that the potential customer can click on to buy your product. Make the purchase process easy to understand, and provide only one option for action. An example would be to say, "Click Here To Purchase." Add a P.S. and a P.P.S. to throw in a few extra reasons for purchasing the product. Studies have shown that people read the postscripts.

Include very basic graphics that make the sales pitch look sharp but not cluttered. Link to pages that, for example, (1) introduce the author, (2) assure a secure transaction and provide detailed instructions on how to buy the product, and (3) provide, if you have time, some free information about your subject area. You can also include an autoresponder that sends potential customers a free report or newsletter when they click on a link.

Build credibility and make your potential clients feel comfortable with you, your store and your product.

** Are We Crazy For Giving Away Up To 75% Of Our Profit? **
Are you interested in making money selling one of Mind Like Water's ebooks? Well, maybe...right? How about if I told you that you can make 55 percent profit from each sale? Now you're talking. How about if I throw in five levels of commissions (20% more) so that you can refer the program to someone else and you still make money off of their sales? Sounds better, huh? You don't even need a website.

Click here to learn more: http://www.mindlikewater.com/partner_program.html

Sign up now right here: http://www.mind-like-water.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/signup.cgi. 

eBook Author Interview: Chas Adlard
Diane: The following quote appears on your website (http://www.chariot.net.au/~cadlard/chas.htm): "Chas Adlard should be a thousand years old -- he's been there done that." Tell us a little about what you've been doing during those "thousand years" and how you became a writer.

Chas: Born in England in 1947 I was destined for a difficult childhood, inevitably due to a befuddled mind and not any obvious circumstances. I was extremely nervous and more than a little bit hyperactive. My attention span was non-existent and I developed a form of dyslexia known then as "mirror sight." Unfortunately, this set back my overall ability as a student and the cause went undetected until a few weeks before I left school while in my early teens.

My parents parted in the early fifties and we children -- my sister and brother and I -- remained with my mother who was given the sole responsibility of guardian. After attending two junior schools I was enrolled as a student at the Royal Wanstead School in east London (now the Snaresbrook County Court). I never shared the view held by many that Wanstead was a desirable place of education and a leading Boarding School. Five years later I left Wanstead a bit wiser, but only by the smallest margin. However, my extracurricular activities had expedited that period when a boy becomes a man.

During the last school holidays I was lucky enough to travel extensively through Europe. Not contented with that glimpse of the world, I joined the Merchant Navy and attended the National Sea Training School at Gravesend. After a very brief training period I went to sea as a steward with P & O Orient Lines. The early sixties were exciting years and the great liners were employed as luxury ferries transporting thousands of emigrants to a new life abroad.

I met Barbara on board the SS Himalaya. She was a passenger heading from Australia to England. Later, a maritime dispute brought the entire shipping fleet to a halt and like many shipmates I found work ashore and never returned to the sea. Barbara and I then had time for each other and in 1967 we were married. I had experienced travel and furthermore a phenomenon not known in England -- a place where the sun was an abundant part of everyday life.

A year later Barbara and I moved to Adelaide in South Australia. I joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1969 as an Airfield Fire-Fighter. It was a good life and a great career. We spent two and an half years in Penang, Malaysia, while I was stationed at RAAF Butterworth and then spent time in Victoria and South Australia. With two children to educate I decided to leave the Air Force in '81. Sadly, after a long and debilitating illness, Barbara died in 1985.

I have had many jobs including fire-fighter, swimming teacher, life guard, recreation centre manager, ambulance officer, first aid instructor, small business manager, carer, driving instructor and driving license examiner, driving development officer, security officer, clerical officer, silver service waiter, caterer, salesperson, heavy vehicle operator, Bobcat operator, brick-paver, landscaper, and owner builder -- to name a few. Oh, and a writer....

My second wife, Christine, and I were married in 1986 and suddenly we were a family of four -- a boy and a girl each. We have grown and prospered together over the years and live on a few acres of bushland paradise next to a national park. During this time in the early nineties I started writing. 

Without the family knowing I taught myself to touch type. Well, let's say I have developed a new approach to typing -- fifteen words forward and then twenty back - but I get there. Why did I start writing? I don't really know the answer but like many writers my first work THE BORN AGAIN AUSTRALIAN was definitely cathartic.

Diane: The quote continues, "His stories always reflect the love he feels for Australia and its people." Do you feel that you have a uniquely Australian writing voice? What are the qualities that comprise your voice?

Chas: I spend considerable time each year traveling through Australia's outback, and although the corrugated dirt roads have largely disappeared due to the progress of the Highways Department the overall splendor is still there. This is an arid country that is unique in its flora and fauna but the drawcard for me is the unknown history that dates back millions of years. In the red of the outback I feel totally insignificant. I know full well that my short visit on earth is as memorable as a solitary hiccup. Do I feel a connection to Australia? Yes! From the first time I saw this country I loved it. Over the years, friends have suggested that I should write less about Australia to make my novels more marketable for a worldwide audience. I don't agree. This country Australia is my voice.... We use the term "an Aussie battler" for those hardworking people who don't strive for glory but nevertheless do their best in a manner that is unassuming and honest. The "battler" is best summed up by a line I once wrote -- "His shadow, like most of all, was short of tall." My voice in literature is, I hope, honest, with a mixture of warmth, sadness and humor.

Diane: You have written two full-length novels, THE BORN AGAIN AUSTRALIAN and SILICA (http://www.chariot.net.au/~cadlard/chas.htm). The first is a yarn about life in Australia, while the second involves the sudden death of a miner and the disappearance of valuable opal. Where did the ideas for these stories come from? What did you enjoy the most during the writing process? What did you struggle with the most?

Chas: In THE BORN AGAIN AUSTRALIAN I took my weaknesses and strengths and made two characters out of them -- Charlie Windzor and Toby Carrington. I then let them lead me through the story.

Although I chose an appalling title for a non-religious book (I wouldn't listen to the warning given by Chris), the first published paperback run of 1000 copies sold out within a few months. Although I wrote a few short stories I didn't really believe that I was the type of writer who could produce another novel. I have friends in Coober Pedy, the South Australian Opal Town, and during a visit I stumbled over the true situation which I used as the opening gambit of my second novel SILICA.

I get excited when I write as I'm intrigued by the next line sentence and paragraph. I genuinely don't know what is about to happen until I touch the keys.

I don't suffer writer's block but I do struggle occasionally with inadequate knowledge of English Language, and were it not for Chris's guidance my knowledge would have stayed stagnant. Making a sentence was, and still is, difficult -- I just ramble on.

Diane: What has been your experience with becoming e-published, and what marketing strategies have you found to be most effective for selling your ebooks online?

Chas: With the exciting medium of the World Wide Web my wife and I believe that ebooks will be the next online "happening." When SILICA was finished OzAuthors published it as an ebook online, together with an ebook version of THE BORN AGAIN AUSTRALIAN, and Chris spent innumerable hours promoting my stories. The strategy we have used is to get my website high ranking in the search engines -- it is always number one or two on Google for the keywords "Australian author." My website gets lots of visitors -- I find that my short stories attract plenty of attention and I get messages and feedback from all over the world. However, the sales of the ebooks have not yet been comparable to the success I experienced with the paperback format. I think that people at the moment still want to curl up in bed with a paperback rather than their laptop. However, as hardware devices on which ebooks can be read get smaller and smaller, I think this will change, so I intend to hang in there.

Diane: What can we look forward to reading next from you?

Chas: I have just written a narrative, "Bites of Fright," that will be on my website shortly. This story, although my own work, follows the diaries written by my father during the First World War and his wartime experiences, including service at Gallipoli.

-- Chas Adlard, Australian Author
Email me at cadlard@chariot.net.au
My website: http://www.chariot.net.au/~cadlard/chas.htm

Library Initiative Update
The Open eBook Forum (http://www.openebook.org), in a May 2003 press release, announced an OeBF Library Special Interest Group. According to the press release: "The group was formed to enable publishers, eBook resellers, DRM, software and hardware companies to communicate directly with librarians to better appreciate the opportunities and challenges of service for libraries and their patrons." Thanks to Michael Williams' efforts, OeBF listed Mind Like Water as one of the group members in the press release. The full text of the press release is available at http://www.openebook.org/pressroom/pressreleases/librarysig.htm.

The eBook Catalog has been revised to reflect the expanded genre options. Many of you have not yet responded to my request to choose new subgenres, and I will be getting in touch with you again. Thus, the catalog is in a transitional stage until all the profiles have been updated.

For more information and to get your ebooks in our catalog, visit https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html or email me at dino@mindlikewater.com.

More next month,

Diane Faile

eBook Author Profile: Mary Trimble
Mary E. Trimble, a Northwest writer, draws on personal experiences including purser and ship's diver aboard the tall ship Explorer; Peace Corps in West Africa; sailing 13,000 miles throughout the South Pacific; extensive overland RV trips; and her involvement locally and nationally with the American Red Cross. Her 350-plus articles have appeared in national and local publications. Her first novel, ROSEMOUNT, is published by Atlantic Bridge.

ROSEMOUNT, a young adult contemporary western released by Atlantic Bridge Publishing, has received high acclaim. MCCLELLAN'S BLUFF, released November 2003, also with Atlantic Bridge, continues where ROSEMOUNT leaves off. Both books promise to bring pleasurable reading to both young adults and adults.

genre: Young Adult: Coming of Age
Alone and frightened, sixteen-year-old Leslie Cahill learns that running away has not solved her problems, it's only added to them. Eastern Washington and Oregon's wilderness and wide-open ranch country are the settings for this coming-of-age contemporary western. Based on Leslie's determination to resist her rancher father's wishes that she attend an exclusive girls boarding school, ROSEMOUNT is action-packed with modern ranch scenes, wilderness adventures and family dynamics.

genre: Young Adult: Coming of Age
In MCCLELLAN'S BLUFF, Leslie Cahill, now seventeen, falls in love with an "older" man, twenty-eight-year-old Sloan Stroh. She's flattered by the attention of this neighboring cowboy and is swept along by her strong emotions. Sloan dominates Leslie's every moment, albeit in her mind at least. Her father and brother strongly object to the relationship not only because of the considerable age difference, but because they do not trust Sloan's intentions. Leslie learns Sloan's dark secret, which dates back many years to her mother's death. MCCLELLAN'S BLUFF takes place in Washington's ranch country.

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