Posts Tagged ‘fix em up rent em out start a business’

How to Publish a Book on Real Estate Investing, Part 1

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Let me warn you, writing and publishing a book is like eating a giant piece of beef jerky. It’s rewarding, but it takes more time than you think.

Now that I am in the final stage of this long process, for my book Fix em Up Rent em Out, I can pass along my experiences by writing and self- publishing a book. (As a 2012 update, I have recently published a second book entitled, “Carve Out Your Niche,” which describes how to self-publish and promote a book.)

My initial thought was to write a book about what, to me, was a rewarding real estate experience. I wanted to inspire others to get started in the real estate investing, and to share the shortcuts and to point out the pitfalls of the business.

But, I wanted to do it the same way that I did real estate investing, by learning all aspects of the process and doing it all myself.

The actual writing of the book took 2-3 years in starts and stops. I did most of the writing late at night when my wife and kids were asleep. There were long stretches of time, between periods of writing, when I didn’t think I would finish. At times, doubts crept in and I wondered if I really wanted to publish a book.

What finally convinced me to finish was a book I read entitled “Aiming at Amazon” by Aaron Sheppard. The old way of publishing a book was to print off thousands of copies to reduce the per unit cost, then sell them at bookstores and workshops. The new way, that Sheppard describes, is to sell the books through web bookstores like and to have the printer only print books as they are needed.

Part II of “How to Publish a Book on Real Estate Investing” will follow in the next blog posting.

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How to Learn the Skills to Repair Houses, part 2

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

This of Part 2 of my reponse to a question asking, “My background is not in the building trades. How do I learn the required skills to start a business in repairing houses and renting them out?”

How to learn the appropriate skills:

3. Draw on the Past

After I got more involved in the repair work of our houses, I thought back about how my father had taught me a lot by example. I recall seeing him construct screened-in porches on various houses that we had lived in. I was too young to help out much at the time, or to appreciate what he was doing, but looking back I realize that it required a strong desire to learn the basic principals, and a sense of self-confidence to build it. He had no formal training in construction, and didn’t have reference books like I do, but he learned by observing other porches that had been built in the neighborhood.

I also have a friend who has made a career out of living frugally. He does virtually all of his own house repair and car repair work. If he gets stuck, he goes to the library and finds books to help him. It helps that he has a background in teaching vocational eduction. We have helped each other with house repair projects over the years, and he is a source of practical advice when I need help.
You too may have family members, or friends, that you can draw insight and inspiration from when it comes to making repairs.

4.Create a House Repair Library

I like to scour the fix-up book areas at used book stores for good buys. I buy a book as soon as I see it if I know that it has valuable information. In the past, I have waited to purchase the book only to return later and find that the book I had wanted was gone. The price you pay will literally be a drop in the bucket compared to the money you will save. I have books on almost every possible repair topic, including electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, you name it. Some books that offer information on a wide variety of repairs, such as Reader’ Digest “Fix-it Yourself Manual” and Better Home and Gardens Complete Guide to Home Repair,” are also good to have. See my earlier blog for more infomation on recommended repair books.

When a book is not enough, I can usually get good advice on specific jobs at hardware stores, like Ace Hardware. And, you can sometimes get advice on difficult repairs by doing a Google search.

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