Jun
18

Tips for Writing a Great Ebook

Writing an ebook

If you are a blogger and have been thinking of writing an ebook for a long time, here are some tips to help you in your endeavor.

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 ? Step by step.

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.

Beginning Steps to Writing an ebook

First, 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.

Next, 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. 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.

Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your ebook. Remember: all chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your book. For example, your thesis 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.

Once you have your thesis, 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 and relevant information?
  • 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.

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.

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?

Then write down your goals in terms of publishing.

  • Do you want to sell it as a product on your website?
  • Do you want to offer it as a free gift?
  • Do you want to use your ebook to attract affiliates around the world?

The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.

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 your ebook “user friendly”

User-Friendly

You must 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.

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 into sleep. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good aid for insomnia!

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. The better your writing becomes, the bigger your sales figures.

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 oasises 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.

Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. 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.

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.”)

Last of all, create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your ebook online, and wait for download request from your website visitors.

I hope you will benefit from this article. I am looking forward for your comments and feedback.

This post was viewed 19,339 times

46 comments on “Tips for Writing a Great Ebook”

  1. Rob Calhoun says:

    Great evergreen article, great advice. I’ve been writing for a while but I’m still learning.

    The most critical tip can’t be assumed, just write the book! It can only get better and having a book that can use some work is better than agonizing over perfection with nothing outwardly to show.

  2. Richard says:

    Great article, very informative and useful advice.

    I also think it’s important to have a great ebook cover designed, which will help promote and sell your ebook. If your spending hours writing an ebook, or invested in a content writer, you want to make sure your ebook is a success.

  3. James says:

    Another tip that we should include is to design a quality
    ecover for the ebook, since this is the first thing that
    get the customer to read the title and the content.

    By the way, We design high quality ecovers, and every week we give
    away free ecover design between our facebook fans.

    Nice post!

  4. andyman says:

    Very informative blog and an enjoyable read…my friend who is a writer/journalist has written a few quite succesful ebooks on investing in gold. He uses this app for iphone/ipad to upload his ebooks: http://59aaf0–zp6-0vdi39i6p79w50.hop.clickbank.net/

    … It does cost a little bit of money but he swears by it :)

  5. ralph parus says:

    I am considering writing an ebook. Should an ebook be more than just condensing all of a blogs posts? When might it be a good idea to just stick to a blog?

  6. Roger says:

    Here’s a site I use when I need information when writing my ebooks. There’s more to writing than just putting pen to paper, so to speak. The reference books I bought where a great help.

  7. Nice article! Thanks! Once you have written your ebooks, don’t forget that about 14% of ebook purchasers buy ebooks by the cover, and another 11% buy ebooks because of the title! You can make a huge difference in how your ebook is accepted or ignored by how you present it. If you’ve taken a lot of time and effort into writing your ebook, you should make sure it has the title and cover that it deserves if you want people to buy it or be interested enough to read it.

    Tres

  8. ????? ????? says:

    Phone books are also dead.

  9. ????? ????? says:

    Very informative.
    I learn something new here.
    Highly recommended to friends.

  10. Pam Britton says:

    Excellent post – just what I needed and great timing..I should have mine written within the next week!

    Thanks again,

    Pam

  11. While everything you said is good advice, you left out a crucial ingredient. BEFORE you write your title, do the research to make sure there is a market for what you want to write about.

    The best topics will be those that resonate with YOU. Pick something you are passionate about, skilled at, and can deliver to a market that wants what you have to offer, has money to spend, and can’t wait to spend it on your products and services!

    Otherwise, you could spend your time writing a great ebook that nobody wants and then it’s just wasted time and energy.

  12. [...] How to Write an ebook | Blog Oh Blog [...]

  13. Lopa says:

    Yes creating an e-book is really very good as a hobby.

  14. Thank you for the tips. I am a newbie ebook writer. I am trying to learn about the subject as much as I can!

  15. Ronald says:

    I wanted to write something different because writing for the web isn’t exactly like writing for magazines, books or newspapers. It’s a different game entirely and the rules are different. After read through this guide, I had learn the way to be a success writer on the web!.
    http://bit.ly/dy6013

  16. Lara says:

    I totally agree. When making ebooks, I think it is possible to design it in such a way that you use digital technology to add to the reading experience. If you’re just going to take text and place it in a PDF, you might as well not bother. A cool example of what can be done with ebooks is the Moxyland ebook. Designed by Electric Book Works, this is the first ebook ever with an embedded soundtrack.

  17. Carmen says:

    Great points on getting started with your ebook. I especially like the point of writing a thesis statement. It will be easier to stay on subject and not wander off on tangents while writing your ebook.

    Thanks Jai.

  18. Robin says:

    This one is awsome info …

    Thanks Jai !

  19. roro44.com says:

    Really your words are fantastic thanx
    http://www.roro44.com

  20. Paul says:

    good article, very handy and easy to follow!
    thanks a lot!
    by the way, this is a great site with lots of useful resources, thanks again!:)

  21. Jack says:

    Vow a great article, tips for writing an ebook are of great help and also for an ebook conversion. I got my ebook converted to kindle from itglobalsolution.com

  22. John says:

    Great article! It’s always a good idea to have a structure thought out and written down before trying to write that “book” that’s inside you! With your permission I’d like to repost your article on my blog.

  23. David says:

    excellent info on writing ebooks

  24. Jai says:

    @johnz : I only have one ebook to my credit and its got a good response :)

  25. johnz says:

    How many great ebooks have you written…???

  26. Michigal says:

    Great article, so informative. Will pass it along to friends!

  27. Thank you very much. I\’m now in a better position to write an ebook.

  28. Jai says:

    @muhibbuddin : To improve your english, watch english movies :) .. Be in the company of people who interact in english and finally, read a lot of english books.

  29. muhibbuddin says:

    Jai, awesome.
    i’ve been working hard for writing article
    an Ebook? what a challenge.
    Plus i had minor comment in my blog today, which way i must
    correct my sentences and grammar.
    Do you have suggestion jai?

    Muhibbuddin

  30. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the great tip, Jai.

  31. Jai says:

    @Jessica : Its important that you secure your digital goods like ebooks when selling them. On this site, I use e-junkie, which is a website that helps in selling products digitally. So, once you have uploaded your product file to them, they will process a secure download link for your customers. You can even specify how many downloads are allowed before the link expires. So, I think, securing your digital goods through a third party is the best bet.

  32. Jessica says:

    Hi, I found your website through one of your WordPress templates and I’m using it now (on the link in my name). Thanks for making it available. And now I’m finding out what a great resource your blog is.

    I’ve got my ebook halfway written. I intended to make my bibliography, as you suggested, but call it Sources or Resources. One thing you can do with pdf ebooks is make live links. It increases the file size of the final document a little, but it’s worth it to give your readers the convenience.

    In Adobe Acrobat, you can make your table of contents live links, and your resources can also be live links to the web site source. You can even make a little tab on the side of the document called “bookmarks” and link important chapters to it.

    So I’m doing my writing using Adobe InDesign, then I’ll export it to Adobe PDF and make live links there, and reduce the file size.

    One thing you didn’t mention and I’d love it if you touched on this, is which application to use to offer an ebook for sale. I did find Zencart has a “document” portal that allows you to charge for downloads. How else do you manage charging for downloads? How do you manage the security of your document if you’re charging for it?

    1. Jan Coleman says:

      Hi Jessica
      I have a couple of books written, and am thinking of making them into a ebook. I know absolutely nothing about writing a ebook.
      Can you let me know where I will find the WordPress template that you mention in your email. Is this a template that is used to write an ebook.
      Anything else you can advise on, I would be most grateful for.
      Regards
      Jan

  33. e. barrett says:

    I find using MindMaps (I use the FreeMind software)is a useful way to help sort through a lot of thoughts or information. It forces you to start putting things into logical groupings, which is one of the hardest parts of starting a major writing challenge.

  34. Lewis says:

    I was thinking about this just this morning!

    Perfect timing :)

    Lewis

  35. Anthony says:

    Very informative.
    I learn something new here.
    Highly recommended to friends.

  36. Janko says:

    Very nice and detailed article. I might try create one soon.

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