Tips for Becoming an Online Entrepreneur: Creating eBooks and Curricula

Today’s “I Want to Be” Series features Kathy Hutto, who writes and sells eBooks (91 so far!). Kathy is a homeschooling mom to her two kids who are in 6th and 3rd grade. Kathy has a long love of teaching children; she has a B.A. in Elementary Education and has an active role in educating the children of her church. Find out how to connect with Kathy at the end of this article. 

How long have you had your business? 

I sold my very first eBook in 2007.  The title of that eBook was A to Z Toddler and Preschool Curriculum.  It remains one of my best sellers.  I wrote it as a free giveaway to people who bought my Toddler Bites food cutters during a homeschool convention in order to make those products a bit more relevant to that type show.  Toddler Bites sandwich and hotdog cutters were eventually licensed to Price Products. (Editor's note--Toddler Bites cut sandwiches and other foods into 9 uniform, bite size pieces.)  I have continued to write eBooks.

What led you to pursue it?   

The main reason I wanted to begin a home business was so that I could have the financial freedom to homeschool my children.  Before that time I was a school teacher.

Are you full time or part time?  If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time? 

At first, Toddler Bites was a full time business for me.  I had to put in a lot of hours (mostly late at night) taking the product through the processes of idea conception, design, manufacturing, and wholesale marketing.  Now that those products have been licensed, I focus on writing eBooks on a part-time basis.  I mostly write the things that meet my own homeschooling needs and then share those ideas with others in the form of eBooks.

How do you market your business? 

I market via my blog, Twitter, and am occasionally a guest blogger on other sites.  I am a contributor on the blog Mentoring Moments each Friday, where I write In His Presence articles.  I also use the built in marketing tools found at CurrclickTeachers Pay Teachers and Teacher’s Notebook, where my products are sold.  For example, through Currclick, I can send email to customers letting them know about new products.  Most of my sales are made that way.  It took some time to build up a solid customer base, but today I have over 12,000 past customers. 

What is your favorite part of the business? 

 I love writing eBooks.  It doesn’t even seem like work.  Since most of what I write I use with my own children, it’s gratifying to see them learning using products that I’ve created.

What one question do you get most from people about your business? 

 A lot of people aren’t aware of just how easy it is to write an eBook.  I hear, “I wish I could do that”, and I always respond, “You can!”  It isn’t at all hard to put together an eBook.  I think for most people coming up with an idea is the hardest part. 

What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about the work you do?   

I think that most people don’t realize the time investment involved in running a home business.  It takes a lot of work, and often in the wee hours of the morning.  I’d also like to remind people that family should always come first.  It can be very easy for your priorities to get shifted, especially in the early stages of establishing a business.  I always look to the Proverbs 31 wife as an example.  She is a godly woman who makes sure her family is priority.  Her relationship with her husband is important.  Finally, she helps her family financially  by making and selling linen garments.

What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?    

Pray about any decision you are contemplating.  Time is precious, and our children won’t be small forever.  I heard Pam Tebow, mother of Tim Tebow, speak at a church event recently, and she made the statement that “if you have young children, you know what your mission is.”  There will be seasons when running a business may not be a good thing for your family.  When the time is right, remember to keep your priorities in order.  As mothers, I believe our number one job is to raise our children.

What is the first step?  

The first step in writing eBooks is to determine what you will write about.  You can go to the sites you hope to sell your eBooks through to find out what types of eBooks are selling.  I recommend Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for works written for general audiences such as fictional stories; Currclick for products written for homeschoolers;  Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher’s Notebook for products written for teachers in general; and The Ministry Market for faith based products.  

What websites or books do you recommend for tips?  

I’d love to send anyone who is interested a free copy of my eBook, Writing and Selling eBooks the Simple Way.  Just click to follow my blog and I’ll send this free resource to you via email.

To learn more about Kathy, stop by her blog, Kathy Hutto. You can also follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

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