Writing a book and getting it published used to be a daunting task. However, thanks to e-books and popular online bookstores like Amazon Kindle, now just about everyone can get their own book out there. While you can reach an international audience with an eBook, challenges remain.
You have to write the book and market it to a specific audience, and that part is never easy, no matter the technological advantages. If you are committed enough, you can definitely get your eBook published and make some money. Read ahead for a brief guide on how to write your first eBook:
Choose a Topic
First of all, you will need a topic to write about. Broadly speaking, you can write a fiction or a nonfiction book. If you are a fiction writer, you can write just about anything you want. You can try genre writing like sci-fi or romance, two of the top selling genres in publishing. Or you can create your own unique story. It’s up to you. Non-fiction authors can write autobiographies, how-to books, or address a topic under a particular subject. If you are stumped when it comes to choosing a topic, try to do one of these: solve a problem (“how to sleep better”), address a concern (“dangers of UV rays”), or satisfy a curiosity (“truth behind UFOs”).
When choosing a topic, what’s really important is that you choose something you are good at and is passionate about. Do not try to force yourself to write something just to make money. It won’t work. Also, if you already have an online audience, write something that matches your online persona. For example, if you are a popular travel blogger, write an eBook about travel, not construction.
Take Notes and Get Organized
Choosing a topic can take some time. But once your mind is set, it’s time to prepare to write your eBook. Whether you are writing fiction or a nonfiction book, you will have to write an outline, brainstorm and take down notes, and so research. In general, now is the time to get organized to write the book. This is the step where you choose your preferred word processor. You can choose an app like Evernote to keep track of your ideas. Keep in mind that books rarely get written from Chapter 1 to the Finale. You will have to take copious notes in order to plot the story smoothly.
Get Down to the Writing
Once you have a basic outline, you can get down to the writing. You can start writing the book and continue to take note of ideas at the same time. It’s not unusual for authors to do a course correction midway writing a book. Don’t romanticize the process of writing. It’s much harder than what most people think it is. The content of your eBook will not flow out of you just like that. You will have to refer to your notes and stick to the topic you have chosen.
It’s helpful if you can do a chapter outline in advance. Some authors can do this, and others do the chapter outline after starting writing. You will need a solid foundation to build your book on, and the outline is crucial in this regard.
Different authors have their own way of writing. You could be one of those people who prefer to set apart a time of day for writing. Others write whenever they feel like it. It depends on your needs, style, and other commitments. What matters is that you are determined to finish the book. Otherwise, you will have to spend years writing just one eBook.
Have Your Book Edited and Proofread
Once you have finished the book, hold the celebrations. What you have in your hand is just the first draft. You will have to go through everything you’ve written and the perfect the draft into a manuscript. Professional authors have editors and proofreaders to go through their manuscripts. You can first self-edit the book. But it’s highly recommended to have someone else read through your manuscript and fix any mistakes.
Come up with a Title and a Blurb
If you don’t already have a title in mind, now is the time to come up with one. It should be catchy and match the content of the book. If you wrote a nonfiction book, coming up with a title would be easy. Fiction writers may have to spend some time coming up with something good. Make sure the title you choose is not similar to any other published book.
You will also have to write a short blurb for the book. This is the summary that readers consider before buying the eBook. The blurb has to be concise and reflect what your book is about without spoiling the content. It should also be very compelling so that people actually want to buy your book.
The final step is to format your eBook and design a cover. The above steps reflect only the writing process, which is strenuous enough. Once the book is written, you will have to get to the marketing part, which can sometimes be even more difficult. But always remember that you first need to have a written book to market.