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Mining The Treasure Chest

By B.G. Holte
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2005

So you’ve sat down at the kitchen table, wrote some ideas for an ebook down on paper, found one you liked and thought “Where do I go from here?” The answer is simple, visit the forums that relate to your subject. Now don’t get all excited yet young grass hopper, there’s proper protocol you must follow! You can’t just go into a forum and copy and paste the information from other peoples post and call it your ebook. That’s a big no, no. “Well than how do I go about it you ask?” How do I get the information for my ebook that I need if I can’t just use other peoples knowledge? The answer is you can use other peoples knowledge, but only with permission. When you visit the forum get a feel for how everyone posts and the “hot topics”. Read and pay attention to the hot topics and note the major complaints of posters (there’s always people complaining). Approach the moderator(s) of the forum and ask them for permission to use their forum to gather the information needed for your ebook. All they can do is say no, when you approach them tell them the idea for your ebook, your real name, address, and telephone number. The majority of operators will appreciate your honesty and will give you permission and may be willing to help you out even more. Once you get their blessings, you have a lot of information that you will be privy too and that you can actually use. Just talking about this technique makes me drool and you should be drooling too. Can’t you feel the excitement? Close your eyes and think about the huge opportunites that could open up for you. Not only will you have more than enough information to create your original info product but you should be able to create your backend product as well. If you have the information available to you why not get the consumer from both ends? Your helping them and their filling your bank account, what more could you ask? I used this approach recently with an ebook that I’m creating. Let me explain, the moderator appreciated my honesty (I even told him and all the other members of the forum that I would be charging for the ebook.) But before I did this I made one key mistake, one that I learned from. The key is to not just sign up for a forum, ask for information and explain that you would be charging for the ebook using only your screen name and nothing about yourself. I did this, call it paranoia or whatever. I did not know who I was dealing with, but neither did the moderator or the members. I completely understood where they were coming from. The internet is so much different than the offline world, I find people to be much more trusting in the offline world. Gaining trust on the internet is liking asking your dentist not to cause you any pain, difficult to do unless he puts you under. Anyways, my first approach flopped big time. One forum member even replied “Oh great, another one who wants to profit from our hardwork.” The forum moderator contacted me by email and explained that they “may” be willing to help me if I gave a little more information about myself such as where I was from etc. God...I felt like such a bonehead. I couldn’t fault him for that though, I explained to him that I was vague on my posting of personal information because you never know who’s looking over your shoulder on the net...such as hackers. In the end I told him my real name, address, and phone number. He emailed me back and said thank-you, he stated he felt much more comfortable in dealing with me and gave me permission to use his forum to gather the information I needed. After receiving that email from him, I went back to the forum and felt I needed to defend myself a little with the one sceptic. I explained very diplomatically to the poster that he was entitled to his opinion, but at least I was being honest about charging for the ebook. So the moral of the story is honesty is key to using forums (I was being honest, just vague...duh!!), introduce yourself properly...not like I did the first time. From that mistake I made I learned another valuable lesson when it comes to using forums, instead of just emailing the moderator I will now take it one step further...I will call the moderator via telephone if possible. When I do complete the ebook all contributing members will get a free copy of the e-book and will be credited with any info they give me in the book. And the one member that had a problem with my first post apologizedfor his comment and actually is one of the major contributors of information for the ebook...go figure eh?

Learn from my mistake, good luck in all of your upcoming projects.

About the Author
Brian is a freelance writer and owner of ( He provides visitors quality free ebook downloads. He also has a survey on his site that allows you to request info products that you are having a hard time finding and he publishes a newsletter called The Ebook King Chronicles.


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