Have you ever wanted to know how to write an eBook? Publishing eBooks can have many advantages and serve multiple functions for your business.
Your eBook can also serve as material for future content, including social media posts, blog content, articles, and emails. To write an eBook, it is best to create a plan and road map before you start.
How long does it take to write an eBook?
The truth is that it could take a long time, but it does not have to. It depends on the content, the length, quality, how much research you need to do etc. If you are planning on writing an eBook on a subject that you know nothing about, then it certainly could take you much longer if you need to do research first.
You are already an expert on your topic, and you know what you want to communicate to your audience. You have probably already written a few blog articles, maybe created some videos, or a workshop etc. If this is the case, then you can create a cohesive and compelling theme to pull it all together. If you have not, then your eBook will help you to create other content further down the line.
In this article, we are going to break down the process of how to write an eBook in an easy to digest and simple road map to follow.
Once you have created your first eBook, you will have a blueprint and system in place that you can follow to create your following eBooks in much less time.
Step one: Choose a topic that matches your audience’s needs
Who is your target audience? What are they interested in? What information are they looking for? If the goal of your eBook is to generate leads, then you want to pick a topic that resonates with that audience. If your target audience is abused women, then writing an eBook about 10 ways to decrease your golf handicap is probably not going to interest them. Rather consider a topic like “10 Ways to stop domestic abuse.” The idea is the get people to download your eBook and to start a conversation with them.
Step two: Identify your topic
What is it you want to write about? Choosing your topic is the single most important step in the process. Your topic, will dictate your overall approach, including any existing content or resources you leverage. It also is the start point for the structure of your eBook. Example, an eBook about the “10 Steps to create abundance in your life,” would logically have at least ten chapters. Each chapter being a step, plus your introduction and closing.
How to get ideas for your eBook topic
• Start by brainstorming your topic ideas. You could use post it notes. Different colour ones for different chapters. Then write some keywords for each chapter on each individual chapter post it note. Mind mapping also works very well for brainstorming. You can always come back to your list and write eBooks on some of the other ideas you come up with.
Are you an authority on the subject?
Do you have a skill or information that others wish to learn?
Do you have specialized knowledge or unique experience on the subject?
Have you created a process or system that can help others?
Do you have a desire to tell a story, share information or teach others?
Can you talk about your subject?
Do you already have an abundance of information published on your topic (i.e., video posts, blog posts, interviews etc.?)
• Look at some other industry leaders or eBooks that have been published. Search for eBook topics in your niche. Example, as a business coach, I would search for business coaching eBooks. If I wanted to write about mindfulness, then search for mindfulness eBooks. Make a list of the ideas that others have already written about. Note what is interesting and exciting to you and that you think would offer value to your audience. Look at the contents of the eBooks you identified and note what you would like to write and expand on.
• Read industry blogs and articles to see what topics are being discussed.
• What is your competition creating content about? Do you have a different spin or opinion on these topics?
• Review discussions, questions and comments on forums, FAQ’s, social media, blogs, etc. Consider how you could answer those questions or challenges in your eBook. Example, as a wealth coach, if you note people saying that they can’t make the type of money they want; you might create an eBook on “10 Important steps to generate wealth.”
• What questions do your clients commonly ask? What problems do you help your clients to solve?
• You could ask your audience what they would find really valuable. It is best to offer a few ideas for them to choose from, rather than to leave it open-ended.
Once you have a list of your potential eBook topics, you want to fine tune it. Example, “How to lose weight” is too wide a subject. “How to lose an inch this week,” is much more specific. Narrower topics provide much greater value to your audience.
Super Target Your Topic
Time to look at your topic ideas and ask the following questions:
• “10 Steps to create abundance in your life,” is a good start for your idea, but your subtitle should further identify the benefit of reading the eBook. What will the reader gain from creating abundance? A potential subtitle might be “A Handbook for Happiness, Harmony, and Higher Profits.”
• If there are already eBooks about your topic, consider how you can make your eBook unique and more valuable. Example, if there is already an eBook titled “10 Steps to create abundance in your life,” you might change the name to “10 Success habits to create abundance in every area of your life.” You can also make the eBook’s topic unique with your personality or brand. Example, “10 Steps to create abundance in your life,” is different from, “The abundance coach’s guide to creating wealth.”
• Consider different potential titles and ask some trusted friends, family, or associates for their opinion.
Step three: Outline and plan your eBook
You have your title, so now it is time to start planning the eBook. Outline each chapter. So, grab a pen and paper or blank document on your pc and let’s get cracking.
• The introduction of your eBook should give an outline of what the reader can expect to gain from reading your eBook.
• Identify chapter topics. What are the main points of your eBook? For example, if your eBook is titled “10 Steps…” then your main points are going to be those 10 different steps, with each being a chapter. If you are not working with this type of framework, think about what the major points are that you want to talk about. If you have ever written blogs, think of each chapter as an article in and of itself. At the same time, the articles should also flow from one to the other. Consider all your chapters and how you can write them to logically flow from one to the other.
• Identify the supporting subtopics under each main point. These can be listed as bullet points where appropriate. Example, if your first step to mastering your finances is to look at expenses, then you might have subtopics like:
Fixed expenses vs Non-fixed expenses
Necessary vs Unnecessary expenses
Wants vs Needs
• Consider framing the subject as a question as it is much easier to answer a question. These questions could potentially be found by seeing what people search for in Google. Thus, you are speaking directly to your intended audience.
Once you have your outline the next step is to start writing.
Step Four: Create your eBook
Now it is time to start writing your eBook. Here are 5 main approaches you can take.
Sit down and write it
This would be the traditional approach. You have your idea and plan and now it is all about putting pen to paper. You may choose to write one chapter a day. If you have 10 chapters, that makes 10 days.
You might prefer to write for a couple of hours nonstop or to break it up into smaller pieces. Regardless of your preference, set a schedule and writing goal that works for you. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This is also true for writing your eBook. If you spend too much time on writing content, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Do it in bite size pieces that work for you.
There is a saying, “If you can talk about it, you can write about it.” Well written eBooks are often conversational in tone as the reader feels as if you are talking directly to them. If writing does not float your boat, you can dictate your eBook instead.
You can use speech to text software like “Dragon Naturally Speaking.” This can be a great time saving tool as you simply speak, and the software converts your voice to text that you can edit in a Word document. Please note that it does take a little time to set up as the software needs to “learn” recognize your tonality, speech patterns etc.
Once you have dictated your content, you could then ask someone to transcribe, clean it up and format it into an eBook. If you have a virtual assistant, you could get them to do it for you as well.
You could outsource some, or all, of the content creation. Example, you can outsource the eBook plan and research process to a virtual assistant. You can then take their plan and create the eBook yourself. You can also outsource the writing to a ghostwriter. They can manage the entire process from plan to completion or you can send the writer your eBook plan and let them do the rest. You would be surprised to know that many well-known authors have actually had ghost writers write their best sellers.
Get others to write it for you
Get 5-10 people to contribute chapters to your eBook. You can fill in the gaps. write the forward and even add a couple of chapters if you choose.
You can also interview people and use the content from the interview as chapters for your eBook. For example, the “10 Steps to financial freedom.” You could do 10 interviews with different people and ask them each for their top tip and advice. You then pull the material together into an eBook.
The downside to this approach is that the credibility and authority you receive from publishing the eBook is dispersed amongst the other contributors.
Another example might be to purchase a PLR. Then simply add your spin and content to it. Take out what you do not like or agree with and polish it up. Please be aware that many PLR’s are not all that well written. So, you will have to do a lot of editing to make it flow in the way you would like it to.
Re-purpose your existing content
You may already have enough content that you have previously created, that you can re-purpose to create an eBook. Simple review your existing content, add to it where necessary and polish it up. There is a fabulous piece of software called Designrr. Designrr takes your content directly from your Website, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Google Docs or any Editor and converts it into a stylish, beautifully designed eBook ready for you to use to publish. It is a once off fee of only $27 for lifetime membership. This software makes things really easy. The advantage of this technique is that you should save a lot of time.
Step five: Final polish
Invite beta readers to read your eBook before you publish it. They can provide feedback and point out ways to improve it. They can also provide testimonials or reviews, which you can then use to promote your eBook once it’s published. Whilst spell check will help to catch many spelling mistakes, having other people read your eBook, will help to test its flow.
10 Things to remember when you create your eBook.
• Use keywords in the title and body of the eBook. This can help with search engine optimization if you use the eBook in other formats later.
• When appropriate, make use of formatting like bulleted lists, bold text, italics, and font size changes; to emphasize certain points you want readers to remember.
• Use images and graphics that highlight your content.
• Use call to actions and hyperlinks to your website where appropriate. This helps people to find your website later if they downloaded the eBook and cannot remember from where. It also drives traffic to your website.
• Make your eBook available to download in PDF. Preferably non-editable.
• Use quotes by well known people. Highlight the quotes so that they stand out.
• Check your work. Look out for confusing sentences, spellings mistakes and jargon.
• Add a header and footer. Use your logo and branding colours.
• Create a folder on your PC where you save all the related research, materials, etc for your eBook. Make sure you regularly save your work. You do not want to spend a whole day writing only for something to go wrong and lose it all.
• Strive for excellence, not perfection. There is no such thing as perfection. In fact, perfection often leads to procrastination and fears of not being good enough.
You should now have an eBook to be proud of and ready to publish. Once you have this blueprint, you can repeat the process over and over. You probably have many eBooks inside you, waiting to see the light of day. Sharing your knowledge and becoming a thought leader as you inspire your audience.
I hope you found this information useful. Please like and share it so that other people may find value in it also.