How to Write an E-Book
Some people think that you need to be a special kind of person to be able to write a book. In truth, everybody can. You don’t need magic and unicorns, but good knowledge in a certain sphere, a bright imagination, and the power of will, diligence, and good writing skills. If you have all these qualities, it’s time to write an e-book! This article will tell you about steps you need to write your e-book.
Allow yourself to write! Often, the beginner writer comes up with an idea, but starts to doubt his or her own idea. Is the idea popular enough? What if the book won’t be successful? What if all my efforts will be spent in vain? Don’t fall into this trap. Human nature is aimed to save energy, which is why you will need to step outside of your comfort zone.
Why an e-book, you may ask. In fact, even if you want to publish your book in a print version, you will need to make a formatted electronic copy and send it to the publisher. In the following guide you will find out how to write an e-book.
How the E-Book Can Help You
- If you want to be treated as an expert in your sphere – write an e-book.
- If you want to share your knowledge and help people solve their problems – write an e-book.
- If you want to have a passive income, write an e-book.
- If you want to build a trustful relationship with your clients, write an e-book.
- If you want to become a popular writer, an e-book will be a great start.
Most authors who sell their books through Amazon are not professional writers. Usually they are experts in a particular field, journalists, businessmen, professors. They write books for business growth, create a strong brand, attract new customers, and increase client loyalty. Also, an e-book platform is a great start for beginning writers.
If you are thinking about writing an e-book on your own, make sure that writing an e-book is for you.
- You should feel the desire for writing. Book writing should bring your pleasure. If you will force yourself into writing, this is not for you.
- The book business is a specific market with a certain mechanism of demand and supply. Some genres are more popular, others are less popular. Also, there are some genres publishers will not even want to consider.
- A talented writer and best-selling writer are not always the same person. Many professionals like Guy Kawasaki are not professional writers themselves but sell thousands of books.
- If you have an idea to publish your book via internet, get ready to perform the function of proofreader, editor (at the stage of creating a book), marketer, and seller (at the stage of promotion and sale of the book). Or you will need to hire professionals that will do this work for you.
- Be ready to have patience. In order to succeed in this area, you need to have a lot of patience. It can take months or even years to promote your name and your books, and there is no guarantee that your time and money will pay off.
- If you want to assert yourself on the market, be ready to write a series of books. If you don’t have great productivity, this process can take years. Take this point into account.
If after reading these points you are still interested in writing an e-book, then you are welcome to read our guide on how to create an e-book.
Guide on How to Make an E-Book
Step 1. Choose a topic for your e-book.
There are thousands of ideas you can pick for writing a book. But first, answer the question of why you want to write a book. What emotions do you want to create? What information are you ready to share with the readers? If you think that you are a professional in a certain sphere, find a topic that inspires and interests you the most. You can write about your experience, failures, and your path to success.
There is no book in the world that will be equally interesting to everyone. If you don’t want to waste your energy in vain, you need to identify your target audience. Who will be interested in your book? Housewives? Students? Professional marketers? You need to define the prospective group of people. Just browse social networks, forums, and websites related to a particular topic and you will receive an average portrait of your reader.
Follow the steps to find the right topic for your e-book:
- Choose a genre. And your answers to “don’t know what to write about” will be narrowed to the boundaries of novels, science fiction, fiction, detectives, and educational literature.
- Choose a sphere. History, psychology, technical sciences, business, etc. Pick the sphere you are the most fluent in.
- Explore the market. Follow the trends, read the books of your competitors, and study their ideas.
Keep in mind that popular topics may stop being popular by the time you publish your book. Make sure that your topic will remain popular in the future.
Top 10 Ideas for the E-Book
You can browse the best sellers category on Amazon or other sources and find the most searched ebook topics. Look at the categories that are popular and decide where you can apply your knowledge.
- Tell a story of your success or how to make money. How one can save money? What are the best ways to earn more money?
- Tell about universal recipes to stay healthy. You can write about sports, healthy eating, mental practices, etc. If you managed to get rid of a disease, lose or gain weight, improve your physical condition, overcome some psychological problems – tell how you have done it.
- If you have some long-term relationships, you can tell the secrets of happy marriage, or how to find true love or good friends. Reveal the secrets of parenting. What should be considered while raising children?
- If you are in a business, write how to set up a company, find reliable employees, etc. Also, think about a book on productivity and working from home.
- Write a fairy tale for kids. Such books should be illustrated with pictures.
- Collect the stories from your friends, relatives, or just a passerby on an urgent topic.
- Write a how-to guidebook. If you have unique knowledge about a certain topic, write a complete guide that covers step-by-step guides, essential tips to consider, and mistakes to avoid.
- Write a novel. Get inspired by the classical novels and come up with an unusual idea.
- Tell about the methods of overcoming crisis situations in life. With your advice or story you can help hundreds of people that suffer from the same crisis as you.
- Give the answer to the question that people seek over the internet and can’t find the answer. Search Quora and other sources where people share their thoughts for inspiration.
If you still cannot choose the topic, you can write a short story and find out whether you will be capable of writing about it. This practice can help you find more ideas for your book, or make sure that it will be better to choose another topic to write about.
2. Search for information and create a plan.
Come up with the main idea that you want to describe in the book – it will serve you as the direction of your book. Do you want to solve the reader’s problem? Or do you want to become an opinion leader? This idea should guide you throughout the writing process.
Every piece of writing becomes easier when you have a plan at hand. If you are not ready to write a plan, start with brainstorming about the desired topic. Write down your thoughts and conduct research of information that already exists. You can organize the structure in the following ways: a standard plan with points followed one by one (it may become a table of contents in the future), mind map, or a sequence of events. We advise you to use the following algorithm:
- Write the main issue that your book will address.
- Create a list of paragraphs.
- Accompany the paragraphs with questions.
- Analyze the structure and highlight the parts that need research.
Download available books on the same topic as yours and read what type of content your competitors create. Create a table: book title, short description, keywords, and main points. From this information you can define what content is more popular.
You can use the existing experiments and expert opinions. Don’t forget to use information from reliable sources only. Check facts, dates, names, and events that you will use in the book to give people only relevant and concrete information.
If you are writing a non-fiction book, make sure that the book structure directly relates to the reader’s life, problems, and questions.
3. Save literature that you will use for references.
If you have quoted a number of people in your e-book or retold stories from other sources, make sure that you have referenced it in your book. To be treated as an expert, make a proper list of references. Also, you can make a list of favorite books that you can advise your audience on for additional reading on the topic.
A reference list is an extra value for your e-book. Create at least twenty entries in your reference list in bibliographical format and add a link to the source if available.
4. Write the e-book.
The hardest part is how to start an e-book. Decide who will be writing the book: write on your own or hire a professional writer. If you have money for a good professional writer, you can skip this step.
To become a productive writer, you need to leave yourself time in your daily schedule for writing. If you think that you have no time or appropriate place for writing, don’t be tempted to fall into this trap. Leave these excuses and get to writing.
If you feel that your head is full of brilliant ideas, get to the writing immediately. Try not to pay attention to details, punctuation, and grammar. Your aim is to note every single idea that appears in your mind. Consequently you will rewrite and edit it later.
Come up with an attractive title. Your title should invite the reader to read your book. The title usually is the second thing after the cover that the reader sees. The title should contain the problem, solution, and time limits.
Write the introduction. This section is optional, but it can become an important part of your book if it’s well-written. Amazon offers the reader the ability to look inside the e-book before the purchase and the introduction is the first text the readers see. In the introduction you can tell how you have come up with the idea, and talk about the meaning of the book, your point of view on the topic, and how the reader will benefit from reading your book.
Write the text following the plan. Many authors begin their book from the middle or from the end. No matter what chapter you are writing now, you need to keep your interest and write down all ideas. You will edit your book several times and replace chapters. According to your plan, write two or three points for each paragraph. These will be the main theses of your book.
Concentrate on the main aim of your book – to help people deal with their problems. Additional value for your book will be describing hidden problems and quickly explaining the solution.
Create the acknowledgments. This section is optional and follows the main text. Place it at the end of the book. Here you can say thank you to everyone who has helped you in writing your book: family members, friends, agents, coworkers, advisers, etc. Write the list of people you are thankful for before writing this section. Be sincere and don’t worry about the text length.
Make sure that your text is unique and doesn’t repeat the existing books.
5. Edit and proofread the text.
After writing the text, you still have much work to do. Editing is a big deal and you need to do the best possible job. Perhaps you will see that you need to write one more chapter or split one big chapter into two. Maybe, you will need to rewrite some text to make it more readable. Don’t try to fix everything at once. First, focus on the overall picture of the text (logical sequence, readability) and the detailed overview (fixing grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, typos, etc.).
Even a professional writer will need an editor for his texts, as the author becomes too close to his work. Ask your friends, colleagues, or peers to proofread your text, as you can miss the mistakes. If you don’t know who you can trust with the text, you can use proofreading services or hire a professional proofreader.
6. Format the text according to the publisher’s requirements.
Formatting is an important step on your way to publishing your e-book. Today, there is a wide range of platforms where you can sell electronic books: Amazon, Rakuten Kobo, Apple iBooks Store, etc. The right format will help your readers easily read the text. There is no single formatting style for e-books and the way you format the book will depend on publishers’ requirements. Usually, the text for the e-book has no blank pages and the chapter begins just below the previous one. Think how you can logically place the content. As an example, let’s look at the formatting process for Amazon.
Amazon is one of the biggest platforms to sell products and services throughout the internet. Initially it was created for selling books, but today it has become a big selling platform. With the help of KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) you have the ability to publish your own book. The allowed formats for Amazon e-books are .doc or .docx files.
1. Prepare your text in a word processing program like Word. Apply normal paragraph style, left-align, Pt 12 size, single spacing and standard font (e.g. Arial). Use formatting marks to easily navigate your text.
2. Create a unique layout: use bold characters and italics to highlight necessary points, and paragraph indentations to make your text more readable.
- Create the title page, copyright page, dedication (optional), preface (optional), prologue (optional).
- Add headings and subheadings (H1 and H2). Make sure that you have used standard fonts and headers, so your file will properly be converted to Kindle format.
- Use page breaks to separate chapters. At the end of the line, use the key combination Shift+Enter so the line breaks are the same.
- If you plan to add images, use JPEG, GIF, BMP, and non-transparent PNG formats. The minimum quality should be more than 300 ppi and 1200 x 1800 pixels. Use the insert function to place the image in the right place and apply central alignment. If you need to add a diagram, text boxes, and other shapes, insert them as an image.
- Create a table of contents using the built-in Table of Contents tool in Word. This will ease the reader’s navigation in your book.
3. Then you need to register on Amazon or sign in using your login and password. Go to KDP Bookshelf, enter the details about the book, upload your manuscript, set your price and distribution rights, and publish your book.
As an option, we advise you to read the text from an e-reader or use software like Kindle Previewer. Convert the text into the file type that is supported by your e-reader and read it out. Does the text look good on the screen? Do images accompany the text? Are the chosen fonts correctly displayed? Are there any formatting mistakes?
7. Create an e-book cover.
The book cover is the face of your book. Hundreds of books are published every year and it can be hard to stand out in this crowd. A great book cover can dramatically influence whether your book will appear in the list of bestsellers or get to the bottom of the discount list. People are visual creatures, so make sure that the book cover doesn’t look like you created it in Paint.
You can use any graphics editors or other services to create the cover. For example, in Amazon KPD you can find a cover creator that provides you the option of cover design. The finished cover must consist of two parts: the front side and the back side.
- Create a clear and readable title design. The title should be easy to read in the thumbnail size. Make sure that the font color contrasts with the background. Make the title large, and add effects like drop shadow and bold font to make the title stand out on the cover.
- Add photos and illustrations to draw the reader’s attention. Use your own illustrations, royalty-free photos from the internet, or buy it on photo stock. Use only high-quality photos with 300dpi size quality.
- Link the cover style with your existing business branding. If the aim of the book is to express your business, consider the fonts, company colors, logo, images used on your website, and company products. Show the readers that you are the expert in your sphere.
Make sure that the cover is both attractive as a thumbnail and in full size.
8. Promote the e-book.
Help your target audience find your book. There is no need to spend much money on promoting your book for the first time. Use the following methods:
- Social networks. Tell your subscribers that you have published a new book and give a link. Briefly tell what the book is about and for what kind of audience it is aimed. You can organize a contest or just give your book as a present for a certain number of clients.
- Blogs. If you have a blog, don’t hesitate to write a blog post about your book. Search for blogs related to your topic or websites that place book reviews. Ask them to make a review of your book.
- Podcasts. Think about podcasts and YouTube blogs where you can be invited to make an interview about your book.
- Start an advertising campaign for your target audience in Google, Amazon, etc.
To make your e-book popular, you will need to go deep into SEO. To become popular both on Amazon and Google, search for the keywords related to your topic in Google Keyword Planner. Include them in the book description, author’s bio, landing pages, blog posts, etc. Help people find your book over the internet to get the answer to their question.
It’s better to see once how an e-book looks than to read numerous how-to guides. We have collected several e-book examples to help you write your own book. Note the author’s style and how the ideas are organized. Look at the comments made by our expert in the ebook template to gain a deeper understanding of peculiarities connected with writing an e-book.
Tips on How to Make a Digital Book
- There is no need to write a long e-book. Ten pages of interesting information or story will be much better than a hundred pages about nothing.
- People like to quickly learn something. Help the reader to reach the goal step by step, supporting your instructions with examples from personal experience. Accompany your guide with illustrations to make them clearer.
- Don’t try to write the book in the shortest time possible. Set the finish date and the number of pages you need to write every day/every week/every month.
- If you have a blog with written articles, you can use them as a basis for the book.
- To write interesting texts, make your story more personal. Tell about your own experience in story form. Avoid formal language and cliches. Create your own images and style to attract the reader. Use plain language to make your text readable.
- Write your text in simple words. Try not to use professional expressions and abbreviations, unless you are sure that your target audience knows them. If you need to use complex terms, don’t forget to include their definitions in footnotes.
- Don’t think that you need inspiration for writing. Think that your book is your work. Don’t wait for inspiration, as your writing can be delayed for years. People say that walking can help you generate new ideas. Talk with people, visit new places – do everything that helps be more productive.
Generally speaking, a detailed instruction for how to write a e-book deserves a whole book. An e-book is a great tool for business, but only the target audience will find it useful. Working on the e-book takes time and patience. If you like to write, conduct research and find out what the audience needs at this time, and then write a book! Think about hiring a professional designer and editor if you feel that you can’t do it on your own. Care about your readers and don’t hesitate. Hopefully, our advice will help you create the best selling book ever!