How to Write That E-Book
Do you have a new year's resolution to finally write that business book you've been planning? Writing e-books is a task that takes time and commitment and if you have been putting it off because you just don’t feel you have enough time, even doing half an hour a day could see you make surprising progress.
Whether you decide to sell your e-book or give it away as promotional material, here are a few tips and techniques that can help you structure and write it.
Choose a topic
Finding a good topic can be the first hurdle to getting started on your e-book. If you are struggling to decide what to write about you can find inspiration from previous blog posts (choose the ones with a lot of views or comments) or common questions that your customers ask. The important thing is that your chosen subject is relevant and appealing to your audience.
Once you have chosen your general topic, make it specific. Don’t try to write a definitive guide to everything in your chosen field, pick a narrow area to focus on and go in depth. This way it is less daunting to write and you still have plenty of potential topics for future e-books.
Structure your e-book
Just because it is called a book doesn’t mean that your e-book needs to be lengthy and dense – you are not writing a Tolstoy novel! As you do when you write a blog post or article, break up information into chunks and sub headings. The best e-books make use of visuals, lists and sub sections to make them easier to read and more visually appealing.
You will need an introduction and a concluding page as well as the main body of the book which should be organised into chapters. It is a good idea to map out a rough structure before you start writing. Think about the main points you want to include and where you will put them. Well-structured e-books break up information into steps which follow logically on from one another and include practical exercises or tasks for the reader to complete at the end of each chapter.
Write your e-book
Once you have a structure you can start writing. The best e-books are clearly and concisely written and avoid using a lot of dense terminology. You want to explain yourself as clearly as possible and make it easy for your readers to find the information they are looking for. Here are some things to remember when writing e-books:
If you have longer chunks of information consider breaking them down into numbered steps or smaller paragraphs with sub-headings to make them easier to digest.
Avoid overly long sentences. As a basic rule if a sentence runs on for more than four lines you probably need to insert a full stop somewhere. By keeping sentences shorter you create a piece of writing that is more dynamic and action oriented in feel and shorter sentences help prevent rambling.
Keep your focus on the topic at hand while you write. It may help to put a post it on your computer with the title of the e-book written on it to help you stay focused while you are writing.
Don’t use your e-book as a way to push your products or services. Focus on what you can provide to your reader. They aren’t going to pay to read a catalogue or corporate brochure and if they feel you are trying to hard sell to them they may lose trust in your brand.
If you have a lot of obscure terminology in your industry consider putting a glossary of terms at the back of the e-book as a handy reference guide for readers.
Writing an entire e-book can be time consuming but if you persist the results can be worth the effort. If you are daunted at the prospect of creating an entire book it can help to break it down into smaller daily or weekly goals. Even spending half an hour a day can be surprisingly productive and you could have your completed e-book in front of you in less time than you think.