Writing an ebook can be a fantastic form of passive income. It takes a bit of work up front, then you simply set it and forget it (except for the marketing of course), and watch the passive income flow.
These 10 steps will show you how to write an ebook that sells in 7 days or less, heck some even complete it within 24 hours. It all depends on the time and effort you are willing to put in. My goal though is to help you organize your thoughts, and give you a step by step process that guides you to a well written and high selling ebook.
10 Steps To Writing An Ebook That Sells
These steps laid out are to make the process easy for you so you can focus on creating great content. Follow them exactly and it will make the process much easier and smoother for you.
1 – Determine your topic and target audience for your ebook
Before you even begin, it's important that you write to a market that actually has an audience, otherwise your efforts will result in a book no one reads.
First brainstorm a list of 15-20 ideas. Include in this list anything from your favorite hobbies, your passions, activities you do in your spare time. Ask yourself “what am I really good at?” and include the answers in the list as well.
Is there a topic that you want to learn more about? Many authors begin writing a book about a topic they aren't very familiar with, but have a strong desire to know about. This may take some more time to write a book in this manner due to the added research you need to do, but is a great starting point for some.
2 – Brainstorm your content ideas
Once you have your topic and target audience for your ebook, start asking yourself what questions your audience would typically have. Think of questions such as:
- How to do…?
- What are good resources for…?
- Where do I start if I want to…?
- What are the steps to creating…?
You get the picture. Include in this list a list of examples, stories or personal experience you have with the given topic. Your audience likes to read content that they can relate to, and there is no better way to do this than personal experiences, stories and examples of your topic.
3 – Create a rough draft outline/table of contents
Now that you have a list of topics within your niche, begin making your outline or table of contents based on the topics that are most relevant to your book. Relevance is very important. Someone looking for a book about health and nutrition doesn't want to read something about gardening.
Organize your table of contents in a progressive and organized fashion. Some topics might need to be explained before moving onto another topic. It's a good practice to get the input of close friends and family, or even your audience if you have a blog or website.
4 – Research your content & use your expertise
If you are writing about a topic you are passionate about, chances are you probably have a wealth of knowledge in that area. However, it's still important to do some research to get different perspectives.
If you are writing about a topic that you don't know a lot about but are very interested in, this part can be the most focused and longest portion of writing the book. It's said that 80% of the time writing a well written book is done in the research portion.
Begin sourcing your content from other industry experts. Use major search engines like Google to search for questions, research, case studies, etc. on your topic. Read books or blogs from other experts in the industry. Don't rush this part of the process, as it can make or break the success of your ebook.
5 – Just start writing
Many get in what is often called “analysis paralysis”. Don't let this be you. The trick is to just start writing. Sometimes to get started you may even write a few things that have nothing to do with your niche, that's OK because this will be edited out later. But getting in the habit of speaking your mind onto the paper or computer will help you keep a good flow of content creation.
A good exercise is to put a timer for 30-60 minutes, and turn off all distractions around you, then just write the entire time until the timer goes off. You will be amazed at the amount of knowledge your brain has floating around!
6 – Begin marketing to your readers via social media or blog
If you don't have an audience yet, that's OK. The important thing is to simply start creating a buzz about your book. This could be posting once or twice a day about your coming ebook about [your topic].
Whether you have a website or blog, create a landing page or basic website with a few posts or pages with snippets from your book, and include a form for people to submit their email to be sent an invitation when it's published. If you have the money, put a bit of money into Google Adwords to drive traffic to your landing page or website targeting people that have an interest in that topic.
If you do have a website or blog, use this as leverage to get the word out and offer a free or discounted copy to your readers.
7 – Take breaks
This is very important. Sitting down to write for a few hours can cause a foggy brain. Sometimes it's a good idea to take a day off or sleep on a few things to give yourself a rest. When you wake up or come back from the break, your mind will be rested and ready to get back at the grind again. Take consistent breaks throughout the process.
8 – Review & edit
Once you have the bulk of your book written, it's good practice to review and edit what you have at least 2-3 times. We want a well written and organized book that will sincerely aid people, not one that was quickly put together. Be patient and trust the process.
Start with asking friends or family to review your book and get their thoughts and ideas about good things and bad things within the book. If you have a blog or website, ask your readers if anyone is willing to give you their input on a few chapters you have written.
9 – Brainstorm attractive and enticing titles
I saved this part towards the end on purpose. Now that you have your book mostly finished, you have a better idea of exactly what is included in your content. This will give you a better idea of an attractive title. Make your title relevant to your content.
The idea is to spark curiosity to your readers and make them want to open the book and read more. Easy places to start is to brainstorm a list of verbs (or action words), followed by an attractive phrase. If your book is in the health and nutrition industry, an example might be:
- “Convinced by Health – how I went from a couch potato to a healthy lifestyle in 3 months”
Follow the strategies listed in the first few steps of creating lists, asking questions your readers may have, and then determine a catchy title that creates curiosity.
10 – Complete final draft & publish your ebook
After all that work you've come to the end…FINALLY! Lastly you will want to do a few final reviews to make sure your grammar, content structure, organization is how you want it to be presented. The more peer reviews you can get the better.
Once you feel good about the content and structure of your book, head over to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. You can set up your free Kindle Direct Publishing account to begin listing your book on Amazon Kindle, and even allowing Amazon to publish paper copies as orders come in for you.
You keep up to 70% of the royalties and get access to the world's largest book library and marketplace online. See the video below on how to set up your Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account.
Publish Your Ebook on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
If you'd like even more information on how to write an ebook quickly, take a look at internet millionaire Stephen Pylarinos' #1 Amazon Kindle publishing course to making 6 figures publishing and selling ebooks on Amazon Kindle. You might also like his course on “How to publish an ebook in 24 hours on Kindle” as well.
I sincerely hope this helps give you some direction on publishing an ebook. Post your questions and comments on best practices you've found helpful to publish an ebook below!
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Great article on “how to write an e-book that sells in 7 days or less”! I have often pondered creating my own e-book for lead generation or as a free giveaway for signing up to my website but I never thought I had what it would take to do so. What I like about your article compared to others I have read is that you lay out actionable items that I can do to today to write my own e-book! I especially like specifically your suggestion to “Just start writing” and to “Brainstorm attractive & enticing titles” these are both great tips for me specifically and I appreciate you simplifying how to write an e-book! Looks like you may have inspired me to get my hands dirty and start writing my e-book!
Best of luck, Chris! Glad you found it helpful.
Hi Cameron! In visiting your site and reading about writing an eBook, I gained a thorough understanding of the steps it takes to write one. I’m a children’s author and web designer by nature and profession, and I must say that your brilliant description of organization is key to set the pace! I truly enjoyed reading and clicking around your captivating site and wish you continued success! Happy writing!
Thanks! Best of luck to you.