Sometimes, an ebook is all you need to open up new opportunities for your business and give that extra nudge to your target customers to choose you over your competitors.
Over the years, you’ve showcased your expertise in blogs and videos, and now, the next logical step is to create an ebook where you can share more of your vast knowledge and experience.
Companies use ebooks as a part of their marketing strategy to educate consumers, capture leads, convert, and retain them. By imparting what you know and what you’ve learned more extensively, you get your audience to believe in your brand and recognise the value of what you offer.
Now more than ever, businesses are utilising ebooks to engage their audience and generate leads. But with so much competition, how do you ensure that you have an idea that can successfully capture the attention of your desired readers?
In this blog, we’ll show you how to write an ebook: from developing a concept that resonates with your readers to ensure its content is cohesive from start to finish.
Why most ebooks fail
Business owners tend to get too excited when they know they have enough content to put together an ebook. They think that by having all this information, it will be a ‘bestseller’. But that’s not always the case, particularly if the business owner doesn’t consider if their customers actually want to read it first.
Most ebooks fail to entice readers for this reason. They forget that as much as it has to showcase their expertise, it also needs to be relevant or else it’ll be drowned out in an already oversaturated market.
Here are common mistakes that you need to avoid when writing your ebook:
Having a topic that isn’t relatable
Generating ideas that you can talk about in-depth is the first step in figuring out the best ebook topic. Once you’ve narrowed them down, identify which topic interests your target market. People won’t read an ebook that has nothing to do with what they go through or the problems that they face.
To avoid going in the wrong direction and producing an ebook that your market ignores, validate your ideas.
Consider who you are as a business and the goals you aim to achieve for your clients. What problems do they encounter that don’t have a clear solution? You can also check on what your clients typically search for online to identify any pain points that you can write about in your ebook.
Lack of proofreading and poor grammar
Many authors fail to hire an editor and proofreader to spot errors in their ebooks, and this leads to a poor quality final product.
It’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes review your work. Don’t settle for just a professional-looking ebook because what’s written in it matters more, and nothing turns readers away faster than bad spelling and terrible grammar.
The ebook is nonsensical and hard to follow
An ebook lets you discuss complex concepts at length, but you also need to break them down into understandable chunks.
It’s common for authors to fill in their pages with excessive fluff to make them sound like experts at their craft. But this doesn’t have any significance if your audience doesn’t grasp it.
Good ebook content will wow readers and make them eager to share the resource with others because of how much depth and insight they’ve received from it.
The amount of ebook competition (i.e. good books are hard to find)
Anybody can publish an ebook, and this has ushered in a swarm of publishers and authors flooding the market with material that lacks substance. There’s a lot of competition out there, but most ebooks are unoriginal and only provide basic information that’s easy to find elsewhere.
Don’t assume that just because you have an ebook to offer, it will sell.
How to write an ebook from start to finish
Instead of making the mistakes listed above, follow these steps when writing your ebook.
1. Ebook content strategy
To make an impact, your ebook should pack an emotional and rational punch. But it’s hard to make any connection if you don’t know who you’re writing for.
Your ebook content strategy is vital to have a clear purpose and intention before you start writing. This helps you avoid deviating from the topics you need to discuss.
Start by identifying your goals: do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or both?
Then, build the profile of your readers. By knowing how to capture the attention of these people, you’ll know how you should approach creating your ebook. It will dictate the style (i.e. educational, entertaining, thought-leading, or polarising).
2. Decide on an idea/topic you’re an expert on
When you survey the best-selling ebooks that exist, it’s easy to become too eager to stand out. Instead of sticking to what you know, you may want to choose a topic that’s more current in the market. But are you in the right position to discuss that?
Your edge among your competition is your personal experiences because that’s what has helped you grow in your work.
A smart ebook author understands that they need to write about topics they have experience in.
When you talk about the situations you’ve faced and the problems you’ve solved, your content becomes more relatable to your audience.
When they see you’re an expert, you’re more likely to be listened to and regarded for your skill.
3. Break your idea into chapters
Now that you’ve decided on the topic of your ebook, you should create an outline to help break it down into different chapters.
As the author, you can use each chapter as a chance to write focused information that supports your overarching theme. When you have a detailed outline of chapters, you’ll experience more structure when writing.
Chapters are also practical for your readers. They can use it as an opportunity to take a breather from reading to digest everything that’s been said within that section before moving on.
4. Write the first draft of each chapter
Even the most experienced writers don’t make excellent first drafts. But what matters at this stage is getting your creative juices flowing and putting a structure in place.
Approach each chapter with its own story to help you avoid rambling. It’s helpful to write your chapters in sequence to ensure you’re keeping the content within its themes. It will also help you establish natural transitions, so there’s a clear progression when read.
Each chapter needs its own pace, so its length may vary. If you’re going to unpack an idea, you’ll need to make longer chapters, but what’s essential is simplicity and clarity in conveying each point. Readers get overwhelmed when they’re presented with lengthy sentences, so use bullet points to help break the monotony.
It can get tough carving out the time to work on your ebook regularly, even if it’s a high-priority project for you. To stay on deadline, set a consistent time each day, or allow a certain number of hours each week to work on your ebook.
5. Write an introduction and conclusion to your ebook
There are advantages to writing your introduction and conclusion after the body of your ebook.
Because the introduction sets the tone and draws people in, you need to know the content of the rest of your ebook. This way, you’ll be able to tailor a few paragraphs that will hook your readers without giving away too much. An effective introduction sets their expectations by building enough intrigue to encourage your audience to keep reading.
The same can be said with the conclusion. You know what you’ve discussed in the earlier pages, so you can create a comprehensive recap at the end. Powerful conclusions use a call-to-action that tells your readers what to do next. The CTA should be as gripping as your headline, straightforward yet simple.
Don’t underestimate the importance of these two sections, as there are readers who only read these parts to get a quick summary of your ebook.
6. Proofread and edit your ebook
If you skip proofreading and editing, your ebook is doomed to fail.
Consider this: you have been emailed an ebook from a brand that’s unfamiliar to you. You decide to read it to know more about them, but its pages are littered with spelling errors and terrible sentence structure. What does the lack of quality in their ebook say about the standards of their products and services?
A fresh, professional perspective will help spot any mistakes that may have slipped through the cracks no matter how great of a writer you are. And it’s better to have an external person to do the job for you – someone who isn’t too close to the project.
Editors will correct any issues such as language clarity, readability, and the tone of the copy, while a proofreader will look for misspellings, incorrect/missed punctuation, and any inconsistencies in the text.
Thankfully, you can find excellent proofreaders and editors online through freelancer websites. You can hire them on Fiverr and Freelancer without spending too much or you can acquire the services of a professional editor who will work directly with you until your ebook is ready to be published.
7. Format and design your ebook
The secret to making images and graphics fit well into your ebook is to ensure they complement your writing and enhance your audience’s understanding of the material. They should serve as a means to highlight important points or help your readers visualise concepts easier.
As you design your ebook, take it as an opportunity to personalise your work by using your brand colours, logos, and icons.
Consider how your content will be formatted and how it will play into its readability. Use a consistent font face all throughout and only vary its size when writing headings. If you’re using quotes or statistics, put them in bold to help them stand out.
8. Finalise and publish
You’ve now made it to the final step of the process! You’ve made it this far, writing your ebook, getting it edited, adding images, finalising its design, there’s only one last thing left to do –and that’s getting it ready to be published.
First, you need to make sure you format your book properly. The most common for ebooks in business is .pdf which protects your work, as it cannot be edited.
Next, you should think about how it will be distributed. Will you be selling it or will you give it away for free? The easiest way to distribute your ebook is by creating a dedicated landing page for it. Regardless if you’ll sell it or not, you can use it as a designated space on your website where visitors can access your ebook.
Most companies also use this webpage to collect their customers’ information to grow their email list.
Lastly, think about how you’ll market your ebook. Your launch day is exciting, and you can use it to enlarge your audience further. Aside from announcing your new ebook on social media and on your website, set up some activities to promote it.
You can host a Facebook live event and discuss what your ebook is about or hold a giveaway contest on your social media pages for engagement.
Creating an ebook requires significant time and energy, but done well, the payoff is tremendous. By following each step above, you can produce a successful ebook that will further establish your authority in your industry and generate more business for you.