If you’re still figuring out how to write an ebook, we can help. You’ve got your ebook topic sorted and have come up with a dazzling title. It’s compelling stuff and you’re feeling pretty smug, envisioning hundreds of daily downloads and new customers queuing around the digital block. And then you remember – that while you may have the general subject matter under control – you still need to write the actual content.
We’ve written quite a few ebooks. In fact, as an inbound marketing agency that knows the pull-power of great content, we’ve gone so far as to publish an ebook about how to write an ebook.
What all our experience has taught us is that an ebook requires careful creation and deliberate design. It’s not just a matter of copying and pasting some existing words into a new format. Once you’ve hooked the reader in with the topic, you need to give them some helpful and entertaining information.
It sounds harder than it is.
Here’s how to write an ebook – 3 simple steps to get you started
1. Gather your team
Creating a good ebook is never a one-person job. You’ll need a bevy of good, talented and trustworthy people. Make sure you round up some wordsmiths, ideas people, illustrators, marketers to promote the final product and of course – a project manager to set and manage all the deadlines.
And don’t forget to include someone from sales in the mix! It’s no good putting together an ebook that your customer facing colleagues can’t engage with.
2. Review existing content and research new stuff
No doubt your sales and marketing teams have already generated a repository of good content. Pull out these old blogs and byliners and give them a good look over. You might find some interesting ideas and paragraphs that you can reuse. You don’t want to copy and paste, but neither do you want to reinvent the wheel.
Of course, if you don’t find the angles you’re looking for in the archives, time to crank up the internet, pester the sales team and get creative.
3. Think visually
When thrashing out ebook copy, you need to keep the look and feel in mind. Dense, word-heavy ebooks are difficult to digest and people zone out quite quickly. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and make sure you include an index, chapter outline, headings and subheads in the word draft. If you think a section or sentence would make a good quote or box-out, highlight it with those instructions.
Always draft the copy first – before starting the design template. It’s much easier to spot any spelling or grammatical mistakes in Word than in say, InDesign. Plus, if you use a system like Google Docs, you can share the copy for team review, without creating multiple versions. This speeds up the drafting, editing and approval process and gets the copy ready for layout in no time.
Now that you’ve done your research and set your deadlines, it’s time to get writing. Avoid long-winded explanations and try not to jump all over the show. Keep it simple, clear and relevant. Include practical examples that the reader can relate to and write for your audience – not your boss, or your dog – but the people you are trying to win over.