If you have some free time and are skilled at writing, you need to take a shot at writing e-books. They’re a nice entry point to start your writing career. If they’re good enough, you can end up selling them for an extra income. In time.if you manage to write mind-blowing eBooks, you can make it part of your line of work.
Writing a serious piece of copy you hope to publish and sell can be daunting and time-consuming. Let’s face it, this kind of project is far from those teenage blogs. Feeling lost and confused on what you need and where to start for writing a great eBook is a common thing.
So, here’s a list of useful tips that will take you from coming up with an idea for your e-book to writing your final draft!
Let’s clarify that the list is especially written for nonfiction eBooks, but you can adapt most of these to any kind of writing.
Finding Inspiration (The right way)
A terrible mistake you don’t want to make is picking out and writing an entire ebook about an idea that has no market to sell it. You need to make sure there’s an audience that would praise what you offer them. You need to find that audience. But most importantly, you need to market your e-books well enough to make sales.
Let’s get started!
#1: Don’t just go with Money on your mind
Sure your mouth waters with the thought of the money you can make out of eBooks as others did. What you need to write an awesome eBook and actually making some sales is choosing your topics right. Sure, some topics can look like a great deal because you know for a fact there’s a huge market out there for an eBook about them.
If you want to write an eBook on dieting, self-help, or even cooking recipes, you will need much better reasons other than just making big bucks. You might find some serious competition on those markets, you could say they’re already taken by the horns by established authors.
Here’s how to spot a good topic to write an eBook:
- You have extensive knowledge and/or experience on it
- You think you’d enjoy writing about it
- You’re certain you can do a better product than the ones already out there.
#2: Browse Magazines and Blogs You Follow
A pretty good way to find out about your specialty is by looking at what you read. Check out your frequently visited magazines and blogs. They’re great to find ideas for eBooks!
The minute you have picked a good topic, start a deep research. You might find out several articles on the same topic, go through most popular ones and summarize the best aspects to start building an information base for your eBook. Just make sure you pick an “Evergreen” topic, one that is not likely to drop in popularity.
#3: Tap on the audience from your Blog or Newsletter
If you already run a Blog or have built an email newsletter, you’ll have a head start at promoting your eBook. In addition to that, your Blog is a convenient place to get ideas.
Here are two ways you can take advantage from the above:
- Survey your audience about what topics should you write about and what should you Name your eBook. Use tools like SurveyMonkey for this. Your audience will be the judge of your final work, so their opinion matters for the whole process. You need to make sure they love it and read it front-to-back.
- Check your email and comments on your blog. Find out problems and questions that repeat enough to justify writing a whole eBook to address those issues.
Even if you feel like an Expert, You Must Research
You could even have a Ph.D. on your topic, but you shouldn’t ever overlook the importance of research. That is crucial to check facts, get numbers, and updated information. All, of course, backed up by credible sources and references.
#4: Have a defined research period
You need to know when to end the research stage. You can’t afford to get stuck there. Many promising topics fail to make it to eBooks. One of the reasons is because people can’t tell when they have enough material to start writing. They don’t know when to settle with what they’ve gathered.
Avoid getting caught up on researching by setting up a period of two or three weeks to research. Above all, be sure to respect those limits.
#5: Research your competition
This might sound obvious. But one of the best things you can do to start writing eBooks is reading what’s already out there. Find books and eBooks on the topic. Take notes on the best parts for your eBook. Also, think of what you could add or change to make the content better.
There’s no need for you to read everything front-to-back. Just go through the table of contents or index and look for most relevant subtopics for your eBook.
#6: Double check on Facts and Stats
Don’t assume everyone verifies stats and facts, but make sure YOU DO. By all means, resist the temptation. Don’t go throwing facts and stats at random without checking them before.
#7 When it’s time to Write the First Draft, Come up With a Plan
When the time has come, what you need is to keep the momentum going.
You could well end the initial brainstorm without much trouble. You could even have gone through the research stage easily. But it all would be a waste of time if you get stuck in here. You just need to be confident enough and relax. Understand that writing an eBook is not as difficult as it seems.
You could start by framing an outline that contains:
- A list of chapters with their corresponding title. Make sure to limit your time when coming up with titles here. It’s often better to write 12 or so short chapters than writing around five really long chunks. If you’ve picked a broad topic for your eBook, you might want to consider splitting them into three-five groups.
- Subheadings or inner sections from each chapter. These should include bullet lists with detailed information you’ll cover in them. A good way to depict the list is creating a mind map to come up with new ideas and linking them in new creative ways.
#8: Immerse yourself in the creative process
Writing can take up lots of energy for most people. Getting too distracted is common if you’re not focused enough.
Cast out all temptations: arrange a setup that helps you stay focused. One that at the same time lets you feel at ease to become inspired. Make sure you unplug for real. This means turning off your phone and giving your battery to a friend. Close your email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other thing that pops and sounds.
#9: Write as you would when telling stories to a friend
A conversational style of writing is the way to go in most cases. This is particularly true for blog posts and also eBooks. Make sure to use the most powerful word at generating engagement “you”, drop those YOUs all around. You can also make adequate use of Bucket Brigades for keeping readers involved.
You can go deeper and write subheadings as questions, then, answering them in following sections. That’s as conversational as an eBook can get.
#10: Promote your final product with a marketing campaign
Treat your eBook as it is: a digital product. If you want to make money in the process, you’ll need to market your work really well. Start out in your blog, build anticipation. Follow up on social media, which is huge at generating buzz and engagement. Create and post teasers on social media. Build landing pages for your blog on topics you will go deeper on your eBook.
The sky’s the limit here, you have access to the biggest and most diverse audience on the planet: internet users. So you need to come up with creative ways to make people find your eBook, read it and love it!
So, What’s on your mind? What will the topic for your next e-book be?