The hardest part of writing is the first sentence. When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task. That’s why you have to break it down into manageable tasks. Think of climbing a mountain. You are standing at the foot of it and looking up at its summit vanishing into the clouds. How can you possibly scale such an immense and dangerous mountain?
There is only one way to climb a mountain.
Now think of writing your ebook in the same light. You must create it step by step, and one day, you will take that last step and find yourself standing on the summit with your head in the clouds.
The first thing you have to do, as if you actually were a mountain climber, is to get organized. Instead of climbing gear, however, you must organize your thoughts. There are some steps you should take before you begin. Once you’ve gone through the following list, you will be ready to actually begin writing your ebook.
Before You Begin:
It’s a good idea to decide if you’re going to sell your ebook or give it away as a freebie. Your choice here depends on what your ultimate purpose is in creating the ebook – a quality freebie ebook can go a LONG way in growing your email list, which increases the reach of your blog and puts your content in front of more readers.
On the other side, if you already have a quality freebie in place to grow your list, creating an ebook that solves a specific problem for your readers and selling it for an affordable fee can also go a long way in boosting your blog’s earning power.
If you haven’t written an ebook before, I would start with creating a quality ebook to give away as an opt-in freebie for growing your blog’s email list. Build your authority with your audience by making the ebook top quality.
Then, once you have one ebook under your belt, think about creating another one to sell!
Beginning Steps to Writing An Amazing E-book
Step #1 – Figure out your ebook’s working title.
Jot down a few different titles, and eventually, you’ll find that one that will grow on you. Titles help you to focus your writing on your topic; they guide you in anticipating and answering your reader’s queries. Many non-fiction books also have subtitles. Aim for clarity in your titles, but cleverness always helps to sell books, as long as it’s not too cute. For example, Remedies for Insomnia: twenty different ways to count sheep. Or: Get off that couch: fifteen exercise plans to whip you into shape.
Where To Find Inspiration:
- Pinterest – Search for pins on your potential ebook topic – see what wording is popular and pay attention to which pins catch YOUR eye.
- Amazon – Take a look at what ebooks are already out there on your topic. Look for phrases and words that make an ebook stand out to you.
Always, remember, of course, that it’s not a good idea to copy someone else’s title word-for-word. Instead, do your research to find inspiration for your own unique ebook title!
Step #2 – Write out a purpose statement.
Your purpose statement is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem. All chapters spring forth from your purpose statement. Once you’ve got your purpose statement fine-tuned, you’ve built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.
Your purpose statement will keep you focused while you write your ebook. Remember: all chapters must support your purpose statement. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your book. For example, your purpose statement could read: We’ve all experienced insomnia at times in our lives, but there are twenty proven techniques and methods to give you back a good night’s sleep.
Step #3 – Know your reason for writing.
Once you have your purpose statement, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book. Ask yourself some questions:
- Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?
- Will you book positively affect the lives of your readers?
- Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader’s attention?
- Does you book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you can feel confident about the potential of your ebook.
Step #4 – Determine your target audience.
Another important step is to figure out who your target audience is. It is this group of people you will be writing to, and this group will dictate many elements of your book, such as style, tone, diction, and even length.
Figure out the age range of your readers, their general gender, what they are most interested in, and even the socio-economic group they primarily come from. Are they people who read fashion magazines or book reviews? Do they write letters in longhand or spend hours every day online. The more you can pin down your target audience, the easier it will be to write your book for them.
Step #5 – Know what you want to achieve.
Next, make a list of the reasons you are writing your ebook.
- Do you want to promote your business?
- Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website?
- Do you want to enhance your reputation?
Step #6 – Set some goals.
Then write down your goals in terms of publishing. Do you want to sell it as a product on your website, or do you want to offer it as a free gift for filling out a survey or for ordering a product? Do you want to use the chapters to create an e-course, or use your ebook to promote affiliate links to a larger market? The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.
Step #7 – Decide on a format.
Decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. Perhaps you plan to use an introduction to your chapter topic, and then divide it into four subhead topics. Or you may plan to divide it into five parts, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.
How To Make Sure Your E-Book Makes A Lasting Impression On Your Readers
In order to keep your reader interested, you’ll need to figure out how to keep your writing engaging.
Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way:
- Often anecdotes, testimonials, little stories, photos, graphs, advice, and tips will keep the reader turning the pages.
- Sidebars are useful for quick, accessible information, and they break up the density of the page.
- Write with a casual, conversational tone rather than a formal tone such as textbook diction. Reader’s respond to the feeling that you are having a conversation with them.
- Break up the length and structure of your sentences so you don’t hypnotize your readers to sleep. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good aid for insomnia!
- In an ebook that is read on the screen, be aware that you must give your reader’s eye a break. You can do this by utilizing white space. In art classes, white space is usually referred to as “negative space.” Reader’s eyes need to rest in the cool white oasis you create on your page. If your page is too dense, your reader will quit out of it as soon as their eyes begin to tear.
- Make use of lists, both bulleted and numbered. This makes your information easy to absorb, and gives the reader a mental break from dissecting your paragraphs one after the other.
- Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. You are judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don’t mess up a great book by tossing out semicolons randomly, or stringing sentences together with commas. (By the way, that’s called a “comma splice.”)
- Find a font that’s easy on the eyes, and stick to that font family. Using dozens of fonts will only tire your readers out before they’ve gotten past your introduction.
- Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen on a computer screen. You will have to experiment with this to find the right combination.
Good writing takes practice. It takes lots and lots of practice. Make a schedule to write at least a page a day. Read books and magazines about the process of writing, and jot down tips that jump out at you. The art of writing is a lifetime process; the more you write (and read), the better your writing will become.
What Do YOU Think?
What is a topic that you could write an eBook about? Have you already written an eBook? What process did you use? Share your thoughts in a comment below!