Look….a Playbook to Write Your eBook

Look….a Playbook to Write Your eBook

I have received numerous questions on how I put together all the eBooks that I provide.  It seems like a daunting task, but let’s unpack the process and start…. well, at the beginning.

The hardest part of writing is the first sentence.  When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task. That’s why you have to break it down into manageable tasks. Think of climbing a mountain.  You are standing at the foot of it and looking up at its summit vanishing into the clouds. How can you possibly scale such an immense and dangerous mountain?

There is only one way to climb a mountain? Step by step.

Now think of writing your eBook in the same light. You must create it step by step, and one day, you will take that last step and find yourself standing on the summit with your head in the clouds.

The first thing you have to do, as if you actually were a mountain climber, is to get organized. Instead of climbing gear, however, you must organize your thoughts. There are some steps you should take before you begin. Once you’ve gone through the following list, you will be ready to actually begin writing your eBook.

Beginning Steps to Writing an eBook.

First, figure out your eBook’s working title. Jot down a few different titles, and eventually, you’ll find that one that will grow on you. Titles help you to focus your writing on your topic; they guide you in anticipating and answering your reader’s queries. Many non-fiction books also have subtitles. Aim for clarity in your titles, but cleverness always helps to sell books, as long as it’s not too cute. For example,

Remedies for Insomnia: Twenty different ways to count sheep. Or: Get off that couch: Fifteen exercise plans to whip you into shape.

Next, write out a thesis statement. Your thesis is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem.

All chapters spring forth from your thesis statement. Once you’ve got your thesis statement fine-tuned, you’ve built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.

Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your eBook. Remember: all chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your book. For example, your thesis statement could read: We’ve all experienced insomnia at times in our lives, but there are twenty proven techniques and methods to give you back a good night’s sleep.

Once you have your thesis, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?
  • Will you book positively affect the lives of your readers?
  • Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader’s attention?
  • Does you book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you can feel confident about the potential of your eBook.

Another important step is to figure out who your target audience is. It is this group of people you will be writing to, and this group will dictate many elements of your book, such as style, tone, diction, and even length. Figure out the age range of your readers, their general gender, what they are most interested in, and even the socio-economic group they primarily come from. Are they people who read fashion magazines or book reviews? Do they write letters in longhand or spend hours every day online. The more you can pin down your target audience, the easier it will be to write your book for them.

Next, make a list of the reasons you are writing your eBook. Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website? Do you want to enhance your reputation?

Then write down your goals in terms of publishing. Do you want to sell it as a product on your website, or do you want to offer it as a free gift for filling out a survey or for ordering a product? Do you want to use the chapters to create an e-course, or use your eBook to attract affiliates around the world? The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.

Decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. Perhaps you plan to use an introduction to your chapter topic, and then divide it into four subhead topics. Or you may plan to divide it into five parts, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.

How to make your eBook “user friendly”.   You must figure out how to keep your writing engaging. Often anecdotes, testimonials, little stories, photos, graphs, advice, and tips will keep the reader turning the pages. Sidebars are useful for quick, accessible information, and they break up the density of the page.

Write with a casual, conversational tone rather than a formal tone such as textbook diction. Readers respond to the feeling that you are having a conversation with them. Break up the length and structure of your sentences so you don’t hypnotize your readers into sleep. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good aid for insomnia!

Good writing takes practice. It takes lots and lots of practice. Make a schedule to write at least a page a day. Read books and magazines about the process of writing, and jot down tips that jump out at you. The art of writing is a lifetime process; the more you write (and read), the better your writing will become. The better your writing becomes, the bigger your sales figures.

In an eBook that is read on the screen, be aware that you must give your reader’s eye a break. You can do this by utilizing white space. In art classes, white space is usually referred to as “negative space.”  Reader’s eyes need to rest in the cool white oasis’s you create on your page. If your page is too dense, your reader will quit out of it as soon as their eyes begin to tear.

Make use of lists, both bulleted and numbered. This makes your information easy to absorb, and gives the reader a mental break from dissecting your paragraphs one after the other.

Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. Find a font that’s easy on the eyes, and stick to that font family. Using dozens of fonts will only tire your readers out before they’ve gotten past your introduction. Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen on a computer screen. You will have to experiment with this to find the right combination.

Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. You are judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don’t mess up a great book by tossing out semicolons randomly, or stringing sentences together with commas. (By the way, that’s called a “comma splice.”)

Last of all; create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your eBook online, and wait for download request from your website visitors.


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Your Own Products? Recognize you can specialize.

Your Own Products? Recognize you can specialize.

YourProductI received a lot of positive feedback from the affiliate article.  Promoting other peoples products as an affiliate can be very lucrative, but have you ever thought about creating your own info product?

I personally am a fan of both affiliate marketing and creating my own information products. I guess when it comes to figuring out which one is best, it’s all a matter of what your goals are and what you want to accomplish.

Creating your own information products will without a doubt give you more control over the amount of money you make. When you are the product creator, you run the show. One reason you should have your own products is that your business doesn’t depend on how any one company treats you.  You set your own price and you determine what will be paid out to affiliates.  You also control your reputation.  When you are creating information products yourself there will often be much less competition in a market. Many affiliates scour markets to find products to promote but they don’t want to be bothered with actually creating them. But product owners who are willing to go the extra step and make a product will find that there are fewer product creators out there than affiliates, so you will have an easier time establishing yourself in the market.

So yes, a great way to make money online is to create your own information products. If you are serious about being in internet marketing for the long haul, I definitely think product creation should be a part of your business at some point.

Firstly let’s discuss information products. What are they? An info-product is simply a collection of knowledge, assembled for distribution, and designed to be consumed by its users.

Here is a sample list of some different types of information products that are simply the digital offspring of the more common physical product.




Books EBooks
Magazines E-zines
Newspapers Online news
Newsletters Email newsletters
Reports Digital reports
White paper Digital white paper
CD’s Digital audio, MP3’s
DVD’s Digital video
Blu-ray HD streaming video
Seminars Webinars, Tele-seminars
Workshops Membership website

Actually, any combination of the above can work.  As you can see there are many different types of information products: e-books, online courses, videos, audio files, and membership sites.

Information products can be quite short (my favorite, I’ll tell you why later), for example there’s no need to write a 200 page eBook if the information you want to convey is just as easily conveyed in five pages or 10 pages. You could create and sell a half-hour video within 24 hours. It all depends on what your market is looking for.

For you, there are lots of benefits. First of all, you can create an information product from scratch free or very cheaply. The only costs would be software or outsourcing certain tasks, but it’s completely possible to make high quality products for nothing at all. Like everything in sales, quality counts, so it is very important at the start to gain extensive knowledge of your product and if possible spend time branding yourself as an expert before trying to sell.

Creating information products can be a very profitable exercise. However, often people spend a lot of time creating a product that nobody wants. They have an idea and then decide that it will be very useful to create that idea and end up creating a product that nobody needs.

You have to be more scientific in your approach to create information products. When I’m creating information products, I like to think of myself as a problem solver, helping others with the knowledge I have in some specific areas.  (Refer to Discovering Your Niche, the process is similar.)  The other thing in our age of specialization and alacrity is keep it to the point and focused.   Identify a problem, researched the solution, and sell information to the people who need it. Look around at the people and situations you encounter on a daily or regular basis. How can you create your own information product that will help others to solve their problems? Again, you do not initially have to be an expert in the field already, as you will become more knowledgeable as you research your topic.

The most effortless type of information product to create can be an audio recording; a screen capture video; or a web cam or flip video (with no editing).  However, the type of product you create is dependent upon simply what your target market prefers to consume.  You must consider what format makes sense for your product and how it fits into your overall business plan.

You have to realize that the amount of effort that you put into an information product does NOT dictate the price that your market will pay for it. There is a lot of money to be made by creating small, 7-15 page reports on PRECISE topics.

As I suggested, most consumers would rather not sift through 100 pages of information to find out how to do something they are interested in, nor would they like to pay for 200 pages of information when they only need chapters 1 and 2.

With more and more products available on the market, consumers are becoming demanding and selective. They want what they want and only what they want.

I believe that perhaps the biggest untapped information gold mine lies in this concept of creating small reports on precise topics.

  • 13 Ways to Find New Affiliates Using Facebook
  • How To Walk Off 10 Pounds in 10 Days
  • 3 Ways To Take Your Next Vacation Free Of Charge
  • The 15-Minute Guide To Training Your Dog
  • Top 5 Ideas For Starting A Christian Community Group


Specialized, expert, and specific information.

Beyond satisfying the consumer, the benefits of creating these small reports are overwhelming.

  • You can write a small report in just a few hours.
  • The profit per page ratio is high – 10 pages for $10 is a dollar per page per customer.
  • Small reports are a great deal easier to write than full-length courses.
  • There is a never-ending supply of topics for small reports…just keep your eyes open!
  • A series or set of your small reports can be bundled into premium-priced lessons over time.
  • When “hot topics” emerge (almost daily!) you can quickly crank out a small report to strike while the iron is hot.
  • Watch, and when other marketers are seeing success with their products, you can create a complementary report to offer for sale as a supplement.
  • Many people can’t afford to buy (or refuse to buy) high-priced courses – but virtually anyone can spend $10-$15.

Let’s look at how to create your new info product fast.

1. Set a Deadline

Until you set a deadline for its completion in your new info product is just a dream. Make the deadline a little shorter than you’re comfortable with. For example if you think it will take you three days to write your report set a deadline for two days.

If you make the deadline too long you will tend to procrastinate. Your deadline should be short enough so that it eliminates procrastination, and not so short that you don’t have the time to complete your work.

2. Divide Your Work into Tasks and Create a Plan with Tasks for Each Day

Once you’ve set your deadline, take out your calendar program. Block out the time you’ll spend working on your product every day. Make the time you spend working on the product non-negotiable.  Don’t forget that writing the EBook or report is only part of the process.  Depending upon the length you may divide the writing into tasks.  There is research, format, a sales page, etc.

But what if you’re very short of time?

If you don’t have very much time, outsourcing is a solution to helping you to get your product online and selling fast.

3. Use Outsourcing: Let Others Do What You Can’t Do, or Don’t Want to Do

You can outsource much of the work of creating your info product.

For example, writing the sales page for your information product might be something that you can do easily and are looking forward to, however if copywriting is hard for you, hire a copywriter. The same thing applies to creating the graphics or e-covers for your website sales page for your product — if you don’t enjoy creating graphics, hire somebody to do it for you.

You’ll find that you can outsource almost anything to do with your information product and it will be reasonably inexpensive.  This need not be as scary or expensive as it seems. There are writers who work for very low prices.  Places like Elance, Freelancer.com and Odesk to name a few are also great places to ask people for quotes.

And as for mini site graphics and eBook covers, there are always people on Fiverr.com who are willing to do these tasks for only yep Five Dollars.

The process of developing your product can be in and of itself very rewarding. The other bonus is that you will be establishing yourself as an authority in your niche. A good long- term goal is to become a known expert in your field. By releasing high quality eBooks or digital courses, you brand yourself. This paves the way for future money -making endeavors.

Find a need, solve the problem, and keep it precise.


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