How To write Your First Ebook

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Have you been dreaming about writing your first electronic book, aka eBook? But why just dream? If it is what you want to achieve, whether it be for fame or fortune, do not procrastinate! Outline your goals and timescales, and move forward, one step at a time but guided towards your ultimate dream...

Break it down into manageable tasks. The hardest part of writing is the title, first sentence and a potential ending line. The first step is to write down several possible titles, first sentence and ending line. Don't worry about the grammar, how the sentence is worded or if says what you first expected. The key is to get the words on paper and then you can come back and throw away bad ideas and leave those that look good. When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task, but if you can get the project started, maybe not perfectly, but it is more important to get the words down. 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 - step by step.
Organize your thoughts. 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 as follows.
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. Titles and subtitles are usually separated by a colon (see examples below).
Write out a thesis statement. Your thesis is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem. Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your eBook. All chapters spring forth from your thesis statement. Once you've got your thesis statement fine-tuned, you've built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.
Once you have your thesis, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book, a niche for it to fill in society. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you can feel confident about the potential of your eBook:

  • Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?
  • Will your book positively affect the lives of your readers?
  • Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader's attention?
  • Does your book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?

  • 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. The more you can pin down your target audience, the easier it will be to write your book for them.
    • What is the expected age range of your readers?
    • What about their typical gender?
    • What are your readers most interested in?
    • What socio-economic group do 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?

  • 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?
  • Write down your goals in terms of publishing. The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be. 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 attract affiliates around the world?
  • Decide on the format of your chapters. Try to 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.
  • Figure out how to keep your writing engaging. 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.

    • Don't let anyone tell you how hard it will be or that you can't write. Some of the most famous writers couldn't put a period or comma in the right place. Always remember, it is more important to put those words where they can become more real to you. This one step may seem simple, but is the biggest step you can take.

    • Make backups of all work and if you have anyone read it, make sure they initial a hard copy. This provides some confidence that if the book is ripped off you will have some record of who it might have been.


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