Ideas and Niches for an eBook
The first thing you need to do is to come up with an idea for your eBook. This in turn means identifying a target audience and your niche. In other words: what is your book going to be about and how are you going to market it? These are the most important questions to ask yourself as they will determine every step that follows!
The most popular niches are:
Create the eBook table of contents
Next, come up with your table of contents. This means thinking about the structure for your book and a good outline we looked at in the main book was:
2. Overview of the subject
3. Unique perspective/ideas/philosophy
4. Take-home action plan
5. Take-home action plan
6. Take-home action plan
7. Additional tips and discussion
8. Resources and appendix
Be flexible with this though and especially if you plan on outsourcing the writing.
Next you need to start writing the book. Fight writers’ block by:
When formatting your ebook, you will use MS Word. This will allow you to:
Selling an eBook
Now you’re ready to start selling, in which case you have numerous options:
Finally, you need to market your ebook and drive as much traffic as possible to your sales page or your ecommerce store. Use:
How to Make Your eBook Exciting and Interesting
When creating your ebook, it’s important that you approach it with the right attitude. A lot of marketers, business owners and writers will think of an ebook as an opportunity to make something cheaply and easily that they can sell. This is a tried and tested formula and all they have to do to make it sell well, is just to emulate that method.
This is why there are so many ebooks on the market with titles like ‘Making Money Online Made Easy’ and ‘Muscle Building Mastery’. And it’s why so many of these titles are also… well rubbish.
If I had to describe these titles in one word, it would be ‘generic’. Sure, they might sell a few copies, but ultimately you’re competing with thousands of other similar titles and you’ve done nothing to make yourself stand out.
What’s more, is that your book itself is not going to be contributing anything new to the market. Unless you happen to be the world’s leading authority on building muscle or making money (which I’m willing to bet you aren’t), then creating a ‘complete guide’ is simply going to mean retreading old ground without providing anything new.
Instead, how about offering something different? How about approaching your book with the intention of creating something you’re proud of? And what about writing because you have something to say?
Dare to be Different
The problem is that a lot of marketers think the only way they can sell e-books is to use the same kinds of titles that everyone else does. They don’t think to branch out by offering something that only they can offer.
The reality though is that the market out there is getting savvy to all these ‘make money’ books and is looking for something a little different.
Does that mean that you can’t write about making money online? Of course not! It just means you need to write about it differently and you need to have something interesting to say on the matter.
This might mean writing about how to leave your job by gradually transitioning to online work using a method that worked for you. Or maybe it means writing about how to get your new lifestyle just right once you’ve adapted to your working online. Make sure that you convey this in the title and the description and you’ll find that your ebook gets more attention out of curiosity alone!
How to Format Your Ebook to Look Beautiful
When you create your ebook it’s important to view this as a product. This is not just a large Word document that you can sell – it should be something beautiful that people will love to flick through and that will feel premium and special. That’s how you get the emotional reaction for your product that will make it desirable and lead to good reviews. And that’s how you make sure that you strengthen your brand in a positive way.
The main method you have for accomplishing this is formatting. How do you go about formatting your ebook in order to look as amazing as possible? Let’s take a look.
The first and most important step is to invest in a copy of MS Word. Today, that means signing up for Office 365 but that’s a very savvy investment for any internet marketer and really any business person. This is still the industry standard and it’s a tool that will come in handy time and time again.
Better yet, Word contains a lot of specific features that will come in very handy when formatting your ebook. For starters, Word allows you to create headings by selecting ‘Styles’ at the Home tab. Choose ‘Title’ for your page title (and Subtitle as necessary) and then use Heading 1 for your chapters. You can also use Heading 2 for headings within chapters, Heading 3 etc.
What this will then allow you to do is to skip to any part of your book. Click Ctrl+F and then select headings in the pane that opens up on the left hand side. Now you can jump straight to any section in your book.
You can also use this to very quickly and easily create a table of contents. Just select the References tab and then choose ‘Table of Contents’ to insert a contents made automatically from those headings!
Before you finish up, you should think about choosing your font (something big and readable) and inserting large images. You can find free images from sites like FreeImages.com, or you can buy/make them yourself. You can also choose different ‘Styles’ on the Home tab, which will alter the layout of your book slightly.
When you’re finished, just choose to save as a PDF. If this is an ebook for Kindle, then save it as a HTML file. And with that, you’re ready to go to market!
How to Find Your Writing Style
If you’re going to create an ebook, then of course you’re going to need to handle rather a lot of writing. Ebooks are typically at least 10,000 words and anything extra on top of that should be considered a bonus. The problem is that many of us aren’t quite Shakespeare and don’t have a lot of experience with writing.
We have the ideas. We have the audience… We just need a way to convey our points on paper in a way that that audience will find interesting and engaging! This post will help you do that…
What is Good Writing?
The first question to ask is: what is good writing? What makes a piece of writing good while another piece is considered sub-par? This comes down to numerous factors but perhaps the biggest point is that good writing is efficient in conveying meaning.
In other words, your most important aim is to ensure that the person reading your content understands the point you’re trying to make. And seeing as you’re being efficient with words, that means you’re going to try and convey those points in as few words as possible. This way, the reader comes away with the maximum ‘value’ for their time investment.
The question you might now have is why you should ever bother writing with flamboyant language. Why add extra vocabulary and why use decorative expressions if you’re simply trying to be as efficient as possible?
In this case the answer is that you’re trying to convey as much meaning as possible. That means there should be subtle nuance to your sentences and implicit information that the reader can take away.
How to Engage a Reader
At the same time, your aim is also to engage the reader and make sure that they keep on reading to the end of your book. There are numerous ways you do this. One is simply to use a narrative structure with ‘cliff hangers’ that will keep them moving from one sentence to the next. Another important tip is to ensure that your writing isn’t confusing or verbose (which ties into the last point).
What’s also crucial though is that you get your tone and style right, which is one of the more difficult aspects of this process. The tone must sound conversational enough that it will feel as though you’re speaking but at the same time it needs to match the topic/niche that you’re writing about. In other words, a book on business should sound a lot more professional and less conversational as opposed to a book on knitting!
How to Edit Your eBook
You’ve done it! 20 days of constant writing and you’ve polished off a whopping 10,000 word ebook. It has pictures, it has headings and overall you couldn’t be more pleased with what you’ve created. You’re done.
Exceeeept you’re not. Writing an ebook is not enough you see. If you’re going to make something that will sell well, get good reviews and make you feel proud, then you need to ensure that your book has been properly edited as well. That means you need to proof it and make sure there are no mistakes and it means that you need to double check the style and the grammar. So how do you do that? And how do you not make it a nightmare?
Grammar and Style Guides
One thing that makes proofing and editing an ebook hard is the simple fact that there often is no official ‘right answer’ when it comes to grammar and style. That is to say that some people will tell you one thing while others will tell you something else. Take the Oxford comma for example. This involves using a comma at the end of a list, whereas many people maintain that commas should never come before the word ‘and’. What’s the best answer?
It actually doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you stick to one solution and don’t variate from that. At the same time, make sure that whatever you decide serves the reader first and foremost. Is your solution making it easier for them to read or harder? Clue: it should be the former! Write your rules and stick with them while you read.
In terms of proofing, one thing you can do is to run through the spell-check on Word. This will allow you to sift through all the text for obvious mistakes and it should be relatively fast. Even if you have highlighting on, it’s worth doing this as you can easily miss the odd underlining otherwise.
Next, get a friend, family member or colleague to read over your work. This is very important because you can never be completely objective about your own work. You know how it’s meant to sound and thus you will end up hearing it differently in your own head.
Of course some people don’t have the luxury of a friend who’s willing to do this. So if you don’t, try proofing by reading out loud instead. This gives you a good idea of how your writing is going to flow when read.