You’ve got a great idea. You’re going to write an ebook – perhaps your first! It’ll grow your business, bring in money, and help establish your expertise.
And to keep yourself accountable, you tell all your readers to expect the ebook by the end of the month. Sure, that might mean a few caffeine-fuelled, late-night sessions … but your ebook will be done, dusted, and out the door.
Heck, if you really knuckle down, perhaps you can knock out a short ebook in a single week.
Maybe you can.
But that doesn’t mean you should.
Writing an Ebook isn’t a Race
It’s easy to feel pressured to knock this out fast. Maybe you wish you’d written your ebook a year ago. Perhaps everyone else in your field seems to have an ebook – or several. You might feel like you’re already behind.
But writing your ebook isn’t a race.
Yes, at some point, you need to ship it out. Taking an extra few weeks (or even just an extra few days) isn’t going to kill your business, though. In fact, it might well be the best decision you make.
Your Ebook Should be Your Best Work
Whether your ebook is a paid product or a freebie, it needs to show you at your best.
If customers need to pay for it, they’ll expect an ebook that’s complete, carefully structured, and well-written. If buyers get an ebook that’s error-ridden, badly structured, and obviously rushed, they’re never going to buy from you again.
And if your ebook is a freebie, you still need to make it as good as you can. Those readers are potential customers, but if they download your free ebook only to find that it’s full of typos, badly formatted, and confusing, they’re not even likely to buy once.
So what should you do? Here are 4 simple ways to create a well-written ebook:
1: Follow the Writing Process
Every writing project goes through the same stages:
- Idea Generation
Sometimes the stages overlap; you might do some research while sorting through ideas or revise your plan during the writing stage. Sometimes the stages take next to no time at all, and you might come up with an idea within a couple of minutes.
But when you rush through the stages with an ebook, though, you waste time.
If you don’t have a strong idea of what readers would love, then you’ll wonder what to write.. If you don’t take enough time to plan, you’re going to get stuck partway through. If you rush the writing, you’ll spend extra time going back to fix it up later.
2: Set Aside Time on a Regular Basis
You might have great intentions for your ebook, but if you don’t get into the habit of spending time working on it regularly, you’ll end up rushing things to meet your launch deadline.
Big chunks of free time aren’t just going to magically appear. You need to carve them out of your schedule.
Put ebook-writing appointments into your calendar at regular intervals. That might mean spending the first hour of every day on your ebook (yep, before you check emails) or it could mean blocking out a couple of afternoons each week.
3: Involve Readers during the Process
The good news is that you don’t have to tackle every stage of writing your ebook alone. If you have a blog, email list, Twitter account or Facebook page, you’ve already got at least a few readers or potential customers.
Get them involved from the start.
When you’re coming up with ideas, look at the questions your existing readers typically ask. Do any topics come up again and again? Or if you’re not sure, you could run a survey to find out what readers want or need.
When you’ve finished the first or second draft of your ebook, ask if any readers would be willing to take a look and give you some feedback. (In return, you’ll give them a copy of the finished ebook in due course.)
They might not be expert writers, but they can tell you when you haven’t explained something clearly enough or when you’ve gone off on an unnecessary tangent.
4: Get Help from Professionals
If you’re short on time but have a bit of money to spare, then consider paying for help. You could hire an editor to improve your rough draft, for instance, or you could even hire a ghostwriter to do the bulk of the work for you. And when you get to the publishing stage, you might want to involve a paid ebook designer.
Not only will you save time but you’ll also end up with a higher-quality finished product – which helps make the time you invest more worthwhile.
An ebook can be a huge asset to your business. If it’s a freebie, it can bring in lots of new customers; if it’s a paid-for product, it can become a very nice income stream. But you can’t just sit down and rattle off ten thousand words in a spare afternoon or two.
You need to put time and effort into your ebook if you want it to be a success.
Don’t let that put you off, though. Right now, take out your schedule and look ahead a week or two. Find some time that you can block out to work on your new ebook.
And let us know in the comment section what you have planned – so we can help support you!