Jun 282010
 

writing ebooksAh, writing ebooks. I love it! These tips will make ebook writing and publishing easier, especially if you want to write a nonfiction ebook (but these tips apply to writing fiction ebooks, too). I’ve written two ebooks about writing and making money blogging, and have learned a lot along the way.

Here’s an excerpt from a review of my second ebook, Quips and Tips for Successful Bloggers:

“Most of us who spend a lot of our time blogging would like to be able to make some money from our efforts,” says George, over at Tumblemoose. “You can spend a lot of time scouring the internet for monetizing tips, or you can get Laurie’s E-book and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.”

If you want to write an ebook but don’t know where to start, you’ll find How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days helpful.

And, here are my tips to make ebook writing easier…




10 Tips to Make eBook Writing Easier

Snuggle up to the basic rules of good writing

Even the best writers slip into lazy or flabby writing, which is why publishing houses assign editors to work with authors! Make sure you not only know the basic rules of good writing, you actually apply them to your ebook.

Carve out 30 or 60 minutes a day for writing your ebook

I had to force myself to keep writing both Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse and Quips and Tips for Successful Bloggers – I wrestled with self-doubt and fear (What if nobody buys my ebook? What if people buy it, but don’t like it? What if, what if, what if?) The best way to overcome doubt and fear is to set your ebook writing schedule and stick to it. (Which, by the way, is what Fire Up the Muse is all about: overcoming writer’s block, fear, doubt, self-criticism — and being a successful writer).

Double check the facts and figures in your ebook

Don’t rely on your memory when you’re writing an ebook – your reputation is on the line! You have to be your own fact checker, which means making sure that everything you say is supported by research, expert sources, or solid personal experience. Question every sentence; let no detail sneak by. Learn as much as you can about your topic – but don’t include every last detail in your ebook!

Ask for feedback before you publish your ebook

I sent a draft of Successful Bloggers to several readers before it was ready, which was a mistake. Before you ask for feedback (and before you start selling your ebook!), make sure you’ve spit and polished your rough draft until it shines. Writing ebooks (and writing in general) isn’t easy, but it has to be done well if you want to be successful.

Be specific when asking for critiques

Do you want feedback on spelling and grammar? Flow? Consistency? Smooth transitions? Active voice? Content? Usability? When you give your ebook to people for feedback, ask for specific advice. And remember that ebook writing isn’t easy – it takes time and effort.

Create a cool ebook cover

I found both my ebook cover images on Flickr, and I love them both! It took awhile to find the right images that were also allowed for commercial use (less than 30 minutes, which is a long time to me) – but finding the exact right cover can help make or break ebook sales. To make ebook writing easier, look for your cover image early.

Decide what format(s) you want to publish your ebook in

My ebooks are all in pdf format – which is more or less the standard for ebooks. Fire Up the Muse is in a Kindle format and is available on Amazon; it took me a full day to change my pdf to a Kindle and upload the ebook to Amazon. There are several different publishing formats for your ebook (such as epub and mobi) that make it compatible on various digital readers (eg, Sony, Nook, Kobo, Kindle, etc). When writing ebooks, remember that tables and images may not convert well to digital formats.

Write your sales or landing page while writing your ebook

I spent a lot of time on my landing pages for Fire Up the Muse and Successful Bloggers. They’re tough to write – almost as difficult as writing my ebooks! My best tip for writing your landing page is to develop it as you write your ebook, using your brilliant ideas, excerpts, and research findings. Don’t leave it until the end, when you’re ready to sell your ebook.

Google your ebook writing questions

I had so many questions when writing my ebooks: How much should I charge? How will I market and promote my ebook? Who is my audience? Why am I writing it? How many ebooks can I realistically expect to sell in a month? I found the answers to these questions – and more information than I could absorb – when I asked Google. Another great source for answers is the Absolute Writers forum.

Ask bloggers to review your ebook

This is something I’m very bad at: taking the time to approach fellow bloggers and writers and ask if they’d like to review my ebooks. I’m not worried about The Ask – I just can’t find the time to find bloggers and writers to share the Good News with! If you’ve already written an ebook, read The Publicity Hound’s 26 Ways to Promote an eBook – it’s got some great tips.

If you don’t have any ideas for writing ebooks, read How to Get Published When You Don’t Know What Book to Write.

If you have any questions about writing ebooks, please ask away below!

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (but I wish my name was Rosie Frost!). I'm a bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer. My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher, Mr Merritt, always used to ask me that. And I am happy - despite a difficult childhood (schizophrenic mother, no father, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian.

How is your life unfolding - what do you need? I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion.... Laurie

  9 Responses to “Writing eBooks – 10 Tips to Make eBook Writing Easier”

  1. Hi:
    I am writing ebooks as lead generation tool. Is it okay to write about a topic in general but also have specifics for your particular product by name? Thanks

  2. Thanks for your ebook writing tips, Ellen! I’m sure your link will help writers of all types of books.

  3. These are all great tips, however,if you want to know if your ebook is going to be profitable BEFORE you write a single word (and who doesn’t?) then you need to find what I call your “Profitable Core: first. Otherwise, the rest of these tips won’t help!

    To find your “Profitable Core”, it means doing the research to find out what the best topic is for YOU to write about (not what everyone else is doing but what only YOU can deliver based on your passion, skills and unique perspective to a target market that wants what you can offer)!

    To learn more read this blog post: The 4 Pillars To Finding Your “Profitable Core” to write a profitable ebook every time! http://www.theebookcoach.com/blog I hope this help!

  4. Thanks for pointing me to this link. I think my biggest challenge will be to decide on a topic to write about – since I’ve covered quite a few as a ghostwriter for several clients :-) Still, I expect to do some serious work researching it, and these tips will certainly give me more focus.

  5. I agree that writing the sales letter is more difficult than writing an eBook. When I wrote my first eBook, I left writing the sales letter till the end. I have to say, it was a bad decision. I had to read my eBook (which was over 200 pages!) again to make sure I didn’t miss any of the brilliant ideas I wrote.

    Kindest regards,
    Mouh

  6. Thanks for your ebook writing tip, Davida. I love the idea of breaking long documents (books!) into shorter subdocuments (chapters!). That makes it much easier to write. Less threatening, especially for us writer who balk at the thought of writing 100,000 word books…

  7. Thanks for sharing.

    Just a quick tip for working on long documents. I’m currently writing an eCoaching program which is over 100 pages at the moment. I found it easier breaking the document up into sub documents, working on each part of it, and then bringing the whole book together. it’s saved me a lot of headache.

  8. Thanks for your tip, Susan!

    I know what you mean: I spend a lot of time playing with the formatting of my blogs, instead of actually writing blog posts or new ebooks. Definitely a procrastination technique. But, I like to think that my ideas and creativity is perculating while I tweak away :-)

  9. When I was working on my eBook, I made the mistake of formatting (and reformatting) while I was writing the copy. Big time suck! It’s much smarter to write the copy in its entirety, THEN worry about formatting later. Focusing on formatting was really just a way for me to procrastinate, but I ended up wasting a lot of time as the copy evolved.

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