A few days ago, I wrote 6 Launchers Launching as part of the 12 Days of Blogging 2010 – and that post was all about getting your product out there for the masses. For many bloggers, that first product is an ebook. It doesn’t matter how awesome the launch advice you read may be if you don’t know where to start when it comes to writing an ebook in the first place…which leads me to today’s post.
I’m a freelance writer before I’m a blogger, so I’ve bee writing ebooks for several years now for clients. I also have done two ebooks of my own at After Graduation (one free and one paid) and am currently working on a third. I love ebooks!
Before highlighting some awesome bloggers who have written posts about how to write ebooks, I wanted to give you my three best tips on the process, since I’ve done this before (multiple times actually):
1. Just do it. Because you can! Too many bloggers can overwhelmed by the thought of writing something so long, but instead of thinking about it as a 50-page ebook, think of it as a really long series of blog posts. Write your outline and then tackle each chapter. It really isn’t any harder than blogging.
2. If you’re not a designer, hire someone who is to format the book and design the cover and graphics. Having a professional-looking ebook makes a boatload of difference when it comes to sales.
3. Use plenty of links. Since an ebook will be read on a computer, notebook, or other such device, most viewers will be able to connect to the Internet. In print books, you want to stay away from too many links, especially if they’re long. In ebooks, they add a ton of value.
Ok, those are my three favorite ebook tips – what are yours? Check out the following three posts from some super smart bloggers and then comment below with your favorite ebook tip and/or a link to your own post about ebooks!
1. How to Write Your First Outrageously Awesome Ebook by Henri Junttila at Wake Up Cloud
If you’ve never attempted ebook writing before, this is a nuts and bolts guide to doing it! I agree with every bit of Henri’s advice, from the advice on how to choose a topic to the advice on how to design and covert the finished product. From the post:
Remember to keep it simple. What helps me get things done is that I don’t get caught up in worrying about stuff that I’m not good at. This doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it, because I do, but I keep going.
For example, when writing my first ebook, I knew that it wasn’t going to be perfect. I accepted it, and created it anyway. It turned out fine, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, which just goes to show you that what you think is perfect, may not be what other people even want, or need.
Check out Wake Up Cloud for more great advice and follow Henri on Twitter @henrijunttila.
2. 101 Ways to Make Your e-Book Sexy by Logan Zanelli
Woah. I mean, woah. I think in compiling this 12 Days of Blogging series (with over 100 bloggers featured at this point), I’ve become slightly immune to awesome content. It’s sade, but true; I’ve read so much awesome stuff over the past few days that awesome I’m on awesome overload. Yet here’s a post that slaps me in the face with awesome. In fact, it’s a level above awesome. Whatever that level it called. ONE HUNDRED AND ONE tips. And I’ve read through them all – they’re all good tips, not crap that Logan used to boost the number. After you’re done writing, this is a post you need to read to get you ebook out the door and looking its best. From the post:
Well, now that the writing is done, you need to pull it all together in a nice layout and get it ready for distribution. But what’s the best way to do that? Is there any “tricks of the trade” when it comes to eBook design? How do you create an eBook layout that’s both appealing and easy to navigate all at the same time?
OK, first of all B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Repeat after me: “it’s going to be OK.”
There, feel better? Cool. Now on to the good stuff…
The good stuff is all at Logan’s blog. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @LoganZanelli!
3. It’s Not The Products You Make, It’s The Lives You Change by Jonathan Wondrusch at By Bloggers
By Bloggers is pretty much a one-stop shop if you’re looking for advice on ebook creation. Not only do they give great advice on that site, but they also promote awesome ebooks from other bloggers. This post isn’t ebook exclusive – it is an important read for anyone, whether you’re creating an ebook, compiling a course, or even just blogging without a product in mind yet. It’s one of those posts that really has lit a fire under my digital tushie. Writes Jonathan:
As you’re creating your product, realize that it has a very different significance to you than it does for your audience. For you, your product is a gateway into a better future, where you have more cash, more attention or more readers in your life. For your readers, it might be a source of inspiration, truth and education, but they have no way of knowing that until they crack the pages; unless you give them one.
Do yourself a favor and check out the full post on By Bloggers and follow Jonathan on Twitter @bybloggers.
BONUS: Because I think you all need one more awesome post about ebooks, here’s a final blog post to check out: “How an eBook Becomes an eCourse” from Kelly Kingman (@stickyebooks) at Sticky eBooks. If you want to take your ebook to the next level, this post is a great place to start!
Ok, your turn – leave a comment with your best ebook tip or link to a post you wrote/read about ebooks!
Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:
12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)
Excellent post! Having just gone through this whole process literally from beginning to end with our own novel we can tell you that producing an ebook is not for the faint of heart. Nor should any corners be cut if you want to look like the professional you are when all is said and done.
If the task turns out to be more than a blogger can chew, or if any of your readers want a pro to handle it right from the start, they can definitely give us a call at Blue Sun Studio (http://bluesunstudio-inc.com) We’d love to hear from them and help them get their dreams in print.