How many times have you sat and contemplated writing an eBook, only to feel overwhelmed by the prospect? Chances are, that’s why you’re reading this post. You’re head is full of awesome ideas and stories that you want to put down on paper, but you just don’t know where to begin. Maybe the thought of writing enough content to be considered an eBook is what scares you. Well the good news is that you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how long an eBook should be as well as tips and tricks to help you start writing some awesome content.
Why should I write an eBook?
There are so many reasons I’d encourage you to write an eBook. Personally, I find the process of putting all my thoughts and ideas into coherent sentences, paragraphs and pages to be quite therapeutic. I’m sure there are times when your head is spinning with ideas. The best way to get those ideas out, build on them and turn them into plans is to write them down. Some topics are just too broad for a blog post. What’s the one subject you could go on about for days? Where does your expertise lie? What wisdom do you want to share with your audience? Make a plan to write a valuable eBook, for yourself and your audience.
So what’s the benefit of going to all this trouble? It will help you on a personal level, to turn ideas into plans and feel empowered by the fact you have been able to produce a killer piece of content. Writing an eBook can also help your business. If you can produce a truly outstanding eBook, filled with valuable information then there will be an audience out there who wants to read it. But how can this help your business? A lot of businesses use eBooks as a way to build on their email list. So, you don’t put a monetary value on your eBook, instead, you ask for people to submit their email address in order to access the download. By building on your email list, you can run email campaigns that target the audience that is already interested in the kind of content you’re producing. Email campaigns can help you turn leads into clients and paying customers. Using an eBook in this way is referred to as a ‘content upgrade’. The other option is to sell your eBook. Small or large, the value is up to you.
How long should an eBook be?
There is no right answer to this question. I have seen eBooks that are only 3,000 words long, but padded out with fancy design and enticing images. I have also produced eBooks that are 15,000+ words. It all depends on the topic your writing about, the audience you’re writing to and the aim of the eBook. If you’re planning to give the eBook away in exchange for email addresses, then you might want to make it shorter then an eBook that you’re expecting to get $10 a pop for. If an audience is going to pay for something, they’ll expect it to be rich in detail and a pretty comprehensive account of whatever topic it is that you choose to base your eBook on.
A good rule is to write what feels natural. Don’t set out with a specific word count in mind. This can have two negative effects on your writing.
- You could end up waffling on and going off topic, just to achieve a certain word count.
- You could end up culling your content to make it a certain length.
If you can write 15,000 words on one topic without having to think about it, then chances are that the topic deserved that much content. Equally, if you can only write 5,000 words, you’re not writing just for the sake of writing. Content that rambles on and goes off topic is really off putting, as is getting to the end of an eBook and wishing there was more to read. Chances are, you’re writing for an audience similar to yourself, so whatever length eBook seems right to you, should also seem right to your audience.
What tools do I need to write an eBook?
As a ghostwriter who has produced eBooks herself, I can tell you that I don’t use any fancy equipment. I have a MacBook, pen and paper. I make notes on the topic of the eBook, a ‘braindump’ and then I get to typing. I don’t even use Microsoft Word. Google Docs has got me covered. The awesome thing about Google Docs is that you have the ability to export the content in your desired format. For eBooks, I strongly recommend using a PDF format as it will make it easy for your audience to download.
The only time you’ll need any fancy tools in the process of creating an eBook is if you’re adding design. Photoshop would be my go to tool, as it’s become an industry standard in the design world. The capabilities of Photoshop exceed my knowledge, and I strongly recommend outsourcing design unless you’re already pretty hot with Photoshop yourself.
How to start writing an eBook
Sitting down and starting to write an eBook can be the most difficult part. You have all these ideas swimming around your head, but you have no idea how to transfer them into coherent sentences and a structured eBook. I recommend sticking to the following process.
Get some good old fashioned paper and a pen and brainstorm around the topic of your eBook. What different angles can you take on it? What expert knowledge can you impart? What are your personal experiences? Once you’ve finished brainstorming, find the largest and most solid points you have to write about and put them into a chronological order.
Writing an introduction is always the hardest part about producing an eBook, but you need to get the ball rolling. You need to place a lot of importance on your introduction as it sets the tone of the eBook and tells the reader what is to come. You should include the following in your introductions:
- What is your eBook about?
- Define any key terms and phrases you’ll be using
- Tell the reader why reading the eBook is going to benefit them
- Tell the reader what they can expect to learn
This is the meat of the eBook. Remember the chunkiest points you picked out of your brainstorm and put into a chronological order? This is where they come into action. Use each point as its own section in the eBook, like a chapter. If you’re used to writing for a blog, then just think of each point as it’s own blog post. This should help you stay on topic. By breaking the eBook down into smaller, post sized chunks, it seems less daunting and more achievable.
This is possibly the easiest part of an eBook to write. You’ve created this awesome content, now all that’s left is to sum it up. Use each of the points from your eBook to produce a sentence or two summing up each sub topic that you covered.
Look at that, writing an eBook doesn’t seem so daunting now, does it?
How to promote and make the most of your eBook
Once you’ve created you’re eBook, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan for promoting it and making the most you can from this awesome chunk of content. Unlike blog posts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t come into consideration for the content of the eBook as it’s going to be in a downloadable PDF format. Using social media to promote your eBook is without a doubt going to be the best plan of attack. You can use all your social profiles to promote the eBook after it’s been released release, but you can also create a strategy for pre-release of the eBook. You can create blog posts that hint at the content of the eBook, tease your audience and get them thinking about you’re eBook before they even know it exists. Use your blog posts to create questions that you answer in the eBook. This way, when you do release you’re eBook, your audience is going to jump on it.
Writing Might Not Be For Everyone
This is only a brief overview of the eBook creation process. Writing an eBook can take weeks, if not months. There are also literary techniques that can be implemented to enhance an audiences reading experience. At the end of the day, there is a huge difference between writing and writing well. If you’re considering creating an eBook, first ask yourself these questions:
- How quickly do I want to turn this around?
- How confident am I in my own writing ability?
- How will an eBook benefit my business?
For those who are not experienced writers, creating an eBook is a mammoth task. Sometimes outsourcing is necessary. If you’re not a web developer, chances are that you’ll hire one to create your website. It’s no different with producing content. If you’re not a writer, if you’re super busy and don’t have the time, and if you want to put your eBook in the hands of someone who understands literary techniques and how to keep an audience captivated, then consider outsourcing to a ghostwriter. If you have any questions about topics covered in this post, then feel free to contact me. Equally, you can check out my prices page to get a feel for the cost of awesome ghostwritten content. As with anything, you need to look past the initial expense, and think about the long term benefit. I look forward to answering your questions and assisting you in any way I can!