So you’re going to write an e-Book. Good for you! It’s a great way to generate passive income and to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Make sure you get to know your reader before you start writing. Find out what they need or what they want; the problems they face. The style of your writing as well as the tone and length will depend on your reader. Do a little research and determine your reader’s age range, gender, interests, socio-economic group and whether or not they’re computer literate. The more you know about your reader, the easier it is to reach them. The original Chicken Soup series sold many more copies when they began addressing specific segments of the market – for the pet lover’s soul, the Veteran’s soul and the gardener’s soul to name just a few.
The first sentence is often the hardest part of writing. Break it down into steps and the first sentence of each paragraph will come to you. Start with a title. Brainstorm different titles to help you focus your writing on the topic. You can also add a subtitle especially if it adds to the marketability of your e-Book. You only have eight seconds to hook your reader and compel them to buy. Once you’ve come up with a title and/or subtitle, write two or three sentences or thesis statements that describe the problem you are addressing and how your e-Book will solve that problem. Next put together an outline of what you want to include. Each section should relate back to the topic and your thesis statements.
When you’re putting together your outline, decide how you want to form your chapters. Keep the format from chapter to chapter consistent. Make each chapter a main heading on your outline and add as many subtopics as you can think of. Don’t worry if they really belong or not at this stage, just brainstorm areas to include in each chapter. Think about how to divide your book. Perhaps you’ve decided that you are going to concentrate on five specific steps in your book and you’ve included that in your title, you would likely have a different chapter for each step. You will then probably also have an introductory chapter and a concluding chapter. So your outline would include seven chapters.
Once you’ve decided how you’ll divide your book and you have listed areas to include in each chapter or section, it’s time to decide what stays and what goes. Eliminate anything that doesn’t directly relate to your thesis statements. Keep the rest. Write the introduction to your book next. Include the problem you’re solving, why you wrote the e-Book and the benefits for the reader. Explain how the book is formatted. Keep the introduction to one page.
As you’re writing, remember that you need to keep your reader interested. Be sure to include current and relevant information as well as anecdotes and real life examples. Use photos, advice, tips and testimonials throughout your e-Book. You can use sidebars to increase white space and break up text blocks. Try using a conversational tone as people seem to enjoy it more than a formal tone. Pretend you’re having a conversation with someone when you’re writing.
Use lists and bullets because it’s easier for your reader to absorb the information and it gives their eyes a break. Make sure to use a font that is pleasing to the eye – not difficult to read. Experiment with font sizes and spacing to find the best combination for the majority of your readers.
When you are done writing, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is your book informative and is the information current?
2. Will your book positively influence the life of your reader?
3. Will your book keep your reader’s attention?
4. Does your book answer the questions your readers have?
If you’re wondering how long your book should be, the answer is – it depends. There is not a page number requirement nor does size necessarily imply quality. The main thing you want to do as an author is completely and comprehensively cover your topic. Think back to all the research you did before you started writing and make sure you’ve answered all the questions you thought your audience would have. Also, make sure you’ve covered areas that you felt other authors missed. Regardless of whether you end up with 25 pages or 125 pages, the only thing that matters is the quality of the content. Make sure you deliver on your promises to solve your reader’s problems or make their lives better and you’ll be writing wisely.
Laurie Dart, author and owner of Writing Wisely, author of The Everyday Guide to Writing Wisely provides writing and editing services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. To learn how to write your own e-Book, visit: http://www.writingwisely.com