How To Write An eBook, Part 1: 8 Steps From Idea To Launch

The New York Times recently reported the results from a book publishing survey, which discovered that 81% of the population plans to write a book in their lifetime. That’s somewhere around 200 million people!

I know you, too, dream of one day writing a book and publishing it. A printed book you can hold in your hand.

But that doesn’t mean you should discount eBooks as a way to make a name for yourself, and to earn some money.

Many traditionally published authors also write eBooks. In fact, some started out writing eBooks and that’s what helped them eventually find a publisher.

One day soon we’ll talk traditional publishing versus eBooks, but for today I just want you to consider eBooks as a way of getting your writing out there and earning money from it.

That is, after all, a goal of yours, isn’t it?

What Makes eBooks So Great?

eBooks are great because they allow you to get the information you have to share out there for readers to obtain and use, and you can do it in a much more timely manner (most traditional books take at least a year to go from accepted to published). eBooks can be a major platform for your writing.

Best of all, you can create and publish an eBook yourself, so you get all the profit, minus the cost of putting the book together (design work, setting up the download process, etc).

Sounds pretty great, right?

8 Steps to Creating Your First eBook

I’ve written two eGuides so far, and each time I write one, I feel more and more confident in what I’m doing. You will feel the same way.

It takes time to get really good at this stuff, and you might look back later when you’re five eBooks down the road and think that your first one sucks. But the point is your writing is out there and you’re using it to build your audience, teach people something important, and make some money too.

Remember, progress, not perfection.

Here are 8 steps you can take to create your first eBook:

  1. Come Up With A Topic—before you can write your eBook, you need to know what to write it on. What information do you have to share with the world? What topic(s) are you extremely knowledgeable in or consider yourself an expert in? These topics make great eBooks.
  2. Brainstorm—once you have several ideas, you can narrow it down by brainstorming on each one separately. Once you’re finished, see which topic you were able to come up with the most information and ideas for. Which one jumps out at you and says “write me?” Choose your first topic (you can write the other ones later).
  3. Create An Outline—now that you have a topic, you can create an outline for your eBook. This will help guide your writing process and make it easier for you to stay organized and on task.
  4. Start Writing—when your outline is finished, it’s time to sit down and start writing! This is the best part because you can really shape your book and make it exactly how you want it.
  5. Clean Up Your Draft—after you’ve completed your first draft, sit on it for a few days. Then come back with fresh eyes, ready to clean it up. Get the draft into a final form.
  6. Pull Together Your Team—if you have design skills you can do this part yourself, otherwise you should find someone who can design your eBook and make it look really professional. A professional design is important, especially if you plan to use this as an income method. You’ll also want an editor, to make sure the book is grammatically correct and has good structure and flow.
  7. Put Together A Launch Plan—how will you market your eBook? How will you spread the word? When will you launch it? Come up with a plan to get your book out there for the people who need it now.
  8. Launch Your Book—get your book out into the world and in the hands of those who need it. Market the hell out of it and you’ll start to see dollars roll in. It might be slow at first, but keep at it and keep writing, you’ll get where you want to be.

This is a simplified list of what it takes to create an eBook and use it as an income stream. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be diving into the details of each of these steps, so when I’m finished, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to create, write and launch your own eBook.

A Final Word

Now you won’t always want to sell what you write. You may also want to create eBooks you give away, as freebies on your website or as rewards for joining your email list. Or maybe you just want to create an eBook to get a bigger message out there and spread the word.

Whatever your reasons for writing the eBook, these 8 steps will get you from idea to product.

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Have you ever written an eBook? Are you interested in writing one?

Image courtesy of spykster

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