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Inbound Marketing  |   Content Marketing  |   Marketing Resources

A Quick Guide to Writing Your Ebook in 8 Easy Steps

Brett Casella

By Brett Casella

Jun 21, 2013

A Quick Guide to Writing Your Ebook in 8 Easy Steps


A Quick Guide to Writing Your Ebook in 8 Easy StepsNo matter what it is you do, you should have an ebook.

Whether you are a stone mason or a data miner, own a small music store or a chain of bakeries, an ebook would be beneficial to you.

Ebooks are the perfect way to deliver in-depth content to your target audience, and can provide a huge return on your time investment if done well.

Here are Some Benefits of Writing an Ebook: 

Gain Email Subscribers: There are few better ways to build your email list than to offer an ebook. This is one of the highest preferred forms of content, and visitors will gladly give you their email address if they perceive it as valuable.

Give Your Audience More Value: As a business, you must give before you can get. This is just another piece of valuable content you are giving your prospects as you move them down the sales funnel.

Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader: Bottom line, writing an ebook makes you look influential  It shows your customers that you are knowledgeable in your field and ensures them that they are dealing with a reputable business.

Generate More Traffic: In addition to the added searchable content, a good ebook will get linked and shared numerous times through social media. Every additional link is another chance for a new visitor to land on your page.

Writing an Ebook in 8 Steps

1. Come Up With an Idea

This can be the easiest or the most difficult step of the entire process. Many times you already have an idea in mind, but sometimes you have to seek one out. While brainstorming ideas, think of a common question or problem in your industry or a previous blog post that you can elaborate on.

Remember: The more concise your topic, the better! 6 Great Tips to Improve Your Bench Press is much more focused than 6 Ways to Get Stronger.

This idea will likely be your title. Because of the time commitment required to read an ebook, you want to display the value up front.

2. Develop Your Outline

After you generate your idea, producing an outline will ensure that your writing stays concise and on topic. To get started, take five minutes to make a mind map. Write your title in the middle of a blank piece of paper and jot down supporting ideas on the edges. Connect everything that is related, then place the main points in a logical order; this will serve as your outline. For every main idea, list a couple of bullet points to make sure you talk about in your ebook.

3. Write, Write, Write!

This is what many people find to be the hardest part, but with your outline already done, you are essentially just turning bullet points into sentences and filling in the blanks. Your ebook should be roughly 3,500-4,000 words long and cover about 25 pages.

3,500 words is nowhere near 25 pages if you write it like you would a research paper. You want to make your ebook appear longer than it is; so use large font, bullet points, and magazine-style box cutouts. Don’t forget to make use of your white space!

4. Add Your Graphics

Now that the hardest part is over, it’s on to the fun stuff! Add graphics to help get your points across and make your book more aesthetically appealing. Examples of appropriate visuals include charts and graphs to display data, complementing pictures, and small graphics to highlight important tips or quotes.

Stop here and rest, you earned it champ.

5. Edit

With your rough draft in the books and a fresh mind on your shoulders, it’s time to make revisions. A good approach to this is to edit for structure first and style second. When editing for structure, pay close attention to headings and subheadings, and skim the bodies. If topics seem out of order or you missed a point that you wanted to make, now is the time to fix it. Now, you edit for style. Read every single word of your ebook out loud to yourself to make sure it flows well and your tone is consistent. This is also the time to correct any grammatical errors.

6. Format

This is where your ebook really comes together. Take your time with this step and make sure everything is consistent. Make your headings and subheadings large and easy to read, break up long chunks of text, and create your headers and footers. This is also the point where you will design your cover. Allocate some time to take photos. No wants to see the same stock photos in every ebook within your industry. Make sure the image isn’t too complex, as you still want it to look good as a thumbnail.

7. Convert to PDF

Converting your file to a PDF will be an almost instant process. If you created your project in Microsoft Word, you can directly export it as a .PDF. If not, there are many software options (some free) that will convert for you. Now, it’s time for your final proofread. Don’t be too thorough here, just make sure your graphics look good, all of your links are clickable, and there are no typos! You’re so close!

8. Publish and Promote

The last, and most satisfying step. Upload the bad boy to your website, and promote the crap out of it. Place calls-to-action on your website and social media outlets, give it its own landing page, email the announcement to your subscribers, or dedicate a blog post to it.

Additional Tips

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Aesthetics

Your cover, format, and images are just as important as your content. The visual appeal will make people start reading your ebook, the content will make them finish it.

Too Much Proofreading Isn't Enough Proofreading

I can’t stress this point enough. I probably proofread this article six times before I published it. Take a break from writing and come back with a clear head, get someone else’s opinion, and read it out loud to make sure everything flows.

Make Things Clickable!

Use technology to your advantage. Make your table of contents take you to its specified section when clicked. Place social sharing buttons and your website’s URL in the footer of every page, and make sure they work.

Place a Call-To-Action at the End of the Ebook

what better way to move a potential customer through the sales funnel than to place a call-to-action at the end of your ebook? Don’t make them guess what to do next, tell them!

Be in a Distraction-Free Environment

Ebooks are nothing to sneeze at; they require extreme focus and concentration as well as a substantial time commitment. Remove yourself from all distractions, especially when writing your first draft.

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