So You Want to Write an eBook?
Part 1 of many, I’ll take you through the process I use to write eBooks. Starting with what you should write about, length, figuring out your audience and outline.
Content – what are you writing about, what do you know
First of all, before you successfully put symbols on paper, you need to figure out what you’re going to be talking about. The easiest way to figure this out is search through your memory banks for what you know you have full confidence in doing. If you know how to detail a car, write a book about detailing cars. If you know how to make perfect homemade pizza, write a book about making pizza. If you know how to send professionally drafted e-mails, you guessed it.
I know how to write eBooks and outsource eBooks. At the time of writing, I have over 60 eBooks online. I’m lead to believe I have some sort of idea of what the hell is going on. Are all of those books doing hundreds of dollars in sales every month? Hell no. Some are doing $5 a month, others are doing $300. Some are even doing zero dollars a month, but they haven’t always been doing so badly. But there’s one thing I’ve never done, and that’s put out non-fiction I knew nothing about.
Don’t be a dirtbag who does that. The eBook market is flooded with jokesters who pump out nonsense about curing depression and eating disorders but know nothing about the topic. Not only that but they also create fake author pages posing at licensed professionals. Doing a little bit of research to fully understand your topic and cover sections a bit more in-depth is one thing, but copying an eHow article and padding all the steps to create a 2500 word eBook is another.
Page range/word count – how long and time accordingly
Now that you have a topic picked out, you’re going to need to figure out exactly how long you’re going to want it to be. No one is going to frown on you if your first endeavor is 25 pages long. You just need to set realistic goals for yourself and have a realistic timeframe for when you want it to be completed.
Figure out how many words you can type per hour, and also figure out what your daily max is. I know some people that can only jam out around 2,000 words a day while others can write from their first sip of coffee until their melatonin kicks in. Find your limit, try to break it, but at the same time be realistic in your estimated completion time. Once you’ve figured that out, actually make your personal deadline. If you think you’re going to need help, ask someone around you to keep your accountable, whether daily or throughout the journey.
Answer 5 W’s – who what why where when
Who is your target audience? If you’re planning on writing a kid’s joke book, don’t include jokes about religious figureheads walking into a bar. If you know who your target audience is, you can cater to their needs. A kid reading knock-knock jokes isn’t going to (read: shouldn’t) know what a colostomy bag is.
What are you trying to teach? Pinpoint exactly what you want your reader to get out of your book. Is this information relevant today, or is it meant to be a history lesson? Are you teaching them a new skill? What kind of value are you proving your who with?
Why are you trying to pass it on? What value will it create if someone reads your book as opposed to someone else’s? Will it provide laughs for generations to come or a cheap thrill to whoever buys it? Are you in it for the money?
Where do you plan on releasing it at? Where will you audience find it easiest? You can use Amazon because they have over 3 million accounts on file, or if you have your own website, you can release it on there as a downloadable file. Or maybe you plan on releasing it on every eBook distributor so people with any device can read what you have written.
When do you plan on releasing? If you have a solid plan as to when you will be releasing your eBook, some distributors offer a pre-order option so you can get a few presales before your book comes out. Do you plan on releasing it as soon as possible to get your name out there, or do you have a strategy for release to maximize your revenue as much as possible by releasing in conjunction with other products?
Outline – Go as in depth as possible, make it easier to write than a blank canvas
When I decided to write my first eBook, I dedicated a day to writing up the projected table of contents. This enabled me to already have a game plan set before I wrote up the first paragraph. My table of contents wasn’t just the titles of each chapter either. It was a semi-rough copy of everything I wanted to include in each chapter as well.
Don’t be afraid of skewing from your outline either. What I did was write everything out that I had planned in my table of contents super rough draft, then when I was finished writing up all of that I went back and included more information in each chapter. Even after doing that, I found that I included information that was irrelevant or didn’t really fit in with the topic, so I scrapped it.
You’ll also want to also consider how your book’s format will be. Generally, an easy to follow template is
- Title Page
- Legal Jargon
- Table of Contents
- The Meat of the Book
- Thank you
Obviously, you can do whatever the fuck you wanna do, that’s just generally what I do. In the ending, you can ask them to join your mailing list, telling them when you’ll release your next book or any other offers you have. You can include a list of your other books in the back as well. They just might want to read all of your knock-knock joke books.
You might be working on the next book in the series as well, so you can include a preview of that. That would give people a reason to subscribe to your mailing list.
All you need to do is figure out what you can write about, how much you want to write about it, and who it’s for. There’s also a final step:
Get to writing.
Once you have written your book, check out this post to determine a strong, keyword-friendly title.