Over the years, I’ve written more books than I care too think about. It’s lucky that I like writing – and that I have a mania for processes. That’s helped me to beat crushing deadlines.
In the mid 1990s I was writing business books for Prentice Hall, as well as ghostwriting books. During those years, I discovered that when I looked at a book as if I were building a house, it helped me to stay on track. Not only did the writing, and the revision, proceed smoothly, it was fun.
Once you learn this process, you’ll find that writing ebooks is not only stress-free, it becomes highly profitable for you too.
Let’s look at how you build an ebook. We’ll talk about nonfiction books, but you can use the same for fiction. If you’re writing fiction, focus on genre.
Create a blueprint
Your first step is to create a “blueprint” for your new book.
Creating the blueprint starts with finding a topic. Do you have a topic?
If you haven’t, go to the Kindle Store bestsellers page. This is the Top 100 Paid and Free ebooks. See what’s selling.
The top sellers may give you some inspiration. Or perhaps you have an idea of the topic for your ebook already. If you don’t, here’s how to get ideas for your ebooks.
Let’s say you browsed the “Popular” section of Pinterest, and decided to write an ebook on tattoos.
I know less than nothing about tattoos, however, I do know that they’re popular. There are thousands of websites, and many magazines, devoted to body art. So, if you write a good ebook, you know that your ebook on that topic will sell.
Go to the Kindle Store, and search on “tattoos.”
Click on one of the ebooks.
Let’s say you clicked on:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Look for: “Look for Similar Items by Category.”
This particular book is in two categories:
Books > Arts & Photography > Other Media > Body Art & Tattoo (the print edition)
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks (the ebook edition)
I’m not sure whether the ebook is in the right category, there could be a better one. Just make a note of the ebook category for now. Categories are vital. Once you’ve written a few ebooks, experiment with categories. You may find that your sales explode, when you change an ebook’s category. (Keep that in mind for the future.)
Your next step is either to do some research, or think about what you already know about your topic.
Staying with our example of an ebook about tattoos, let’s say you’ve got a couple of tattoos. You know that people are interested in tattoos with certain symbols. So you decide to write an ebook about tattoo symbols. (Remember, I know nothing about tattoos, so take this with a grain of salt. It may be a dopy idea. Come up with your own. )
Make a few notes about how you might approach your topic. Research on Amazon. Which tattoo books are selling? What’s missing? Can you come up with an ebook with a tattoo-topic which hasn’t been covered?
Develop a title, create an outline
You’ve got a topic. You’ve done some research.
The next step is to come up with a title, and write an outline.
Just start writing titles. Make a list of 50 titles. The more titles you write, the greater the chance of coming up with a great title.
Your outline needn’t be complicated. Just make a list of areas you’d like to cover in your ebook.
Will you need to chat with anyone to get more information? You may decide to talk with a couple of tattoo artists, or with people who are knowledgeable about tattoos.
Your outline can be as long, or as short as you like. Just create one. It will change as you write – it’s meant to change. An outline prevents procrastination.
OK – you have enough material to go on with for now.
Our next article in this series will cover writing your ebook quickly. Watch for it.
Did you miss the first article in our writing and selling ebooks series? Here it is.
Bonanza: TWO offerings this week
Why TWO offerings? It’s a long story and concerns a group of writers I’m coaching, so I won’t share it. Julia suggested that since we were offering the two programs to writing students anyway, we should offer them to our loyal readers because you deserve it, and that’s so true. Thanks for reading — I truly appreciate YOU. Enjoy.
Important: please be aware that every writing guide and class we offer is DIFFERENT – there’s no rehashed material. We need to make this plain because we always receive questions about programs which are on similar topics. Read the program descriptions, and if you’re not sure which is right for you, ask – we love to hear from you.
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