Anna Colibri, SEO, Copywriter, Brand Creative, Digital Marketing

So you’ve decided that you would like to write an ebook but you might not be sure how to turn an idea into a finished product.  It can seem like a daunting task when you consider all the moving parts that go into meeting this goal.

Let me assure you though, it’s well worth the effort.  Breaking this kind of project down using a step by step strategy will make it much more manageable and, yes, even fun.

Writing Your Ebook:  Choosing a Topic

It might seem like a no brainer but the first thing you must do is choose your topic.  What are you going to write about?  Many of us have a plethora of ideas, but are not sure how to translate them into a marketable product. Your ideas are the seeds and they need to grow into something that will capture people’s attention.

Doing a little self-auditing is the first rule of business if you are searching for a topic to write about.

  • What topics are you familiar with?
  • What are your life experiences? Have you done much traveling?  Have you developed a skill that others would love to know more about?
  • What gets YOU excited? Having a passion for your topic is essential if you plan to write a top notch ebook.

Finding Time to Write

Finding time to devote to your writing can be a challenge for everyone.  Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for finding a good time to write.  What it boils down to is setting aside time in your schedule and committing to using that time to work on your book.  The time you commit to writing needs to be non-negotiable and added to your calendar just like you would do with an appointment.

Getting an Editor

If you wanted to see a good movie or find a good restaurant you would probably ask a trusted source such as a friend or family member.  Finding a good editor works the same way.

You can talk to others who have written ebooks, consult with groups you belong to online or even do a search online.  The important part is that you do your due diligence to ensure that you are working with someone that has a good reputation and can be relied upon to get the job done.

Another tip – do not jump at the cheapest editor.  You are putting your baby (your ebook) in their hands so quality work needs to be the first order of business.

Producing Your Ebook

Graphics Done Right

Your book will need a cover and graphics throughout.  As visuals continue to grow in importance, you will want to pay special attention that the graphics in your book are high quality and relevant.  Your ecover is equally important because oftentimes it’s this image that will catch the interest of your reader as he/she is shopping for their next book to read.  It will also help you stand out from the competition.

Fortunately you have quite a few options for having your graphics created.  Let’s take a look:

  • You can outsource your graphics to someone on Fiverr, Odesk or Elance. These sites have many good graphic designers that are quite reasonable.
  • You probably have a mobile phone that has a camera. There is no rule that says you cannot take your own photos and use them in your ebook.
  • There are also many stock photo sites that will sell you images that can be included in your book. Do a search on Google and you will find a ton of them.

Formatting Your Ebook

This is another area where you can turn to an outsourcer.  Just as you searched for a graphic designer on sites like Fiverr and Odesk, you can do the same to find the right person to format your book.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to know ahead of time how you wish to deliver your book.  Will it be a simple pdf that you are going to offer on your website?  Are you thinking of publishing your book on Kindle?  Depending on what you have decided, you will need to let your outsourcer know this before they start working on your ebook.  Different online sellers have different requirements so you will need to research this beforehand as well.

Marketing Your Ebook

Now that you’ve written your book and you have it ready to deliver to the masses, you have to prepare for your launch.  This means getting it in front of your potential market.  So where do you start?

Friends, Family and Followers

Start by thinking about your current followers, family, friends, acquaintances, etc.  They are the first group of people you want to share your news with.  Tell them about the ebook you have written and are about to launch. Let them know where they can get the book and ask them to share this information with all of their friends and family, a.k.a. give you a referral.  This will help to broaden your reach.

Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest should not be overlooked when promoting your book.  There are tons of free groups and pages on these sites that are only too happy to include your book.  Just keep in mind to follow the rules so that you don’t come across as a spammer.  Using social media allows you to reach out far beyond the people you know or the people they know.

You can also ask other authors to help you out and promote your book.  This will mean giving out copies for review. This is par for the course, but well worth it since a good review can create sales.

Traditional Marketing

This method can be a bit trickier but with a little thought and creativity you can get great results.  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Do a reading from your book at your local library
  • Join a writing group where participants promote each person’s work
  • Include a link to your book on your business card
  • Pass out flyers at networking and industry events
  • Send out a press release
  • Contact your local radio station

Promotions can be overwhelming for some writers but one rule of thumb to remember is that you don’t have to use every method available to you.  There is nothing wrong with trying out two or three to get started.

Distributing Your Ebook

How you prefer to get your book into the hands of your readers will depend upon your goals and preferences.  Here is a list of some of the most popular places online for delivering ebooks:

  • Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
  • Createspace
  • Scribd
  • Lulu
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Google Books
  • Apple iTunes Connect

The venue you choose for distribution will depend on whether you are charging for your book or giving it away for free.  Researching your options will help determine what works best for you.

Final Thoughts

Writing your ebook is definitely not a small undertaking but it does bring its own set of rewards.  Upon completion you will have something that most others do not have – a published ebook that you can use to attract followers, generate new income streams and even some bragging rights for doing what so many others are too afraid to try.

(Image Credit: 742680)

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