This week’s theme is “ebook in a week”. We’ve looked at turning your blog’s content into ebooks. Today, we’ll look at writing what you know… YOU. 🙂
Someone once said that if you’ve survived your childhood you’ve got enough material to write for the rest of your life. Looked at the right way, your entire life is a goldmine of material.
Here we go. If you haven’t yet started your ebook, try one of these tips.
1. Think “Chicken Soup”: inspire others
Chicken Soup for the Soul is an industry. From the website:
We have been helping real people share real stories for twenty years, bringing hope, wellness, inspiration and love to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Pay attention to the book titles. These are topics which sell. They can sell for you.
Now, using these titles, brainstorm some experiences (your own, or others’), which you could turn into an ebook. Your ebooks don’t need to be long screeds, you can write some funny stories about your dog in ten pages, and you’ve got an ebook.
(Be careful not to plagiarize of course: you’re looking for ideas, and there’s no copyright on ideas.)
The Chicken Soup for the Soul books are successful because they inspire. Your stories of happiness and sadness can inspire others too.
2. Make a list of what you LOVE
Here’s what I love: dogs (Jack Russells and Poodles), gardens, pizza, beer, chocolate cake… What do you love? Could you write a short ebook about it?
Maybe you love to travel. When a friend came back from Europe a few weeks ago she kept us laughing at her experiences. I said: “That’s a book – you couldn’t make that stuff up.”
Make a list of things you love. Write about them.
3. Get an opinion? Share it
Everyone’s got an opinion. Don’t keep it to yourself – share it. Write an ebook.
4. A long time ago, in a land far away… (write family history – or a long-ago scandal)
If you’re into genealogy, you’ve got a mass of material to turn into ebooks. Write about a couple of scandals on the family tree. Tip: tell family members what you’re doing. You don’t want anyone to be hurt by what you write, and they can provide you with additional material.
5. Who knows what? What hobbies do family members have?
Got a hobby? Maybe a family member or a friend has an interesting hobby.
Write about it. Maybe you enjoy antiquing, or collecting postcards. If your hobby’s profitable, all the better. You can write about how you buy old postcards on eBay and at garage sales and resell them.
6. See it for the first time: see your town as a tourist would
Heather Lende’s book, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska is on my To Be Read list. It sounds wonderful.
Where do you live? No matter where it is, people who don’t live there will be intrigued. So look at your town the way a tourist would: take us there, via your book.
7. You helped yourself: looking good, feeling well, habits you’ve broken
Have you had a makeover, run a marathon, or recovered from an illness? Maybe you’ve broken a habit.
Tell us how you did it. We want to know. We’ll buy your ebook.
Which takes us to…
8. Write how-to: it sells
“How to” books always sell. Tell your readers how to do something that you know how to do, and they’ll buy your book.
9. Collaborate: two (or more heads are better than one)
Maybe someone you know has a story that’s worth telling. Collaborate on the book – or you can write your friend’s story as a ghostwriter.
Tip: ghostwriting takes time and energy. When you’re doing it as a collaboration, you don’t get paid unless the book sells, so be careful. Make sure that your collaborator is as committed to the project as you are. Set deadlines, so that the project doesn’t drag on forever.
10. Fictionalize it: true confessions
You’ve uncovered some scandalous doings on the family tree. Family members are likely to come after you with pitchforks if you tell-all, naming names.
You’re frustrated because you’re sure the ebook will sell. You can write it and sell if you fictionalize it. Change the names. Change the location. No one will ever know that your story really happened.
Your memories sell. Use them.
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