September 24, 2018

Writing an E-book | Part Four

Make the e-book “user friendly”. It’s essential to keep your reader engaged. Spicing academic content up with short anecdotes, testimonials, stories, photos or tips will keep the reader turning the pages. Sidebars are helpful graphic devices that provide quick, accessible information, and they also break up word density and make a page appear more inviting.

Try to cast your writing in a casual, conversational tone rather than in the formality of a textbook. Your reader will respond more positively if he or she feels that you are having a conversation.

Don’t be discouraged if you get stuck. Good writing takes lots and lots of practice. You may want to make a personal commitment to write at least a page a day. Research the art of writing by reading relevant books and magazine, and jot down tips that jump out at you. Writing well is a lifetime learning process, and the more you do it, the better your writing will become.

Writing an e-book that will be read on a computer screen requires additional thought. Don’t forget to give your reader’s eyes a break. This can be accomplished by planning the white space, or “negative space.” If your copy is too dense, it will be hard on the reader’s vision. Bulleted and numbered lists can be very helpful and reader-friendly. This helps to make information easier to absorb, and will also give the reader a mental break from absorbing paragraphs one after the other.

Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. Choose a font that’s easy to read, and stick to that single font family. Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text that is large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen at once. Finding the right combination will take some experimentation.

Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. The validity of your content may be judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don’t detract from great content by using semicolons incorrectly, or stringing sentences together to create run-ons.

Last but not least, create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your e-book online, and wait for download request from your website visitors.

Writing an E-book | Part Three

Before you start to write, ask yourself some additional questions:

  • Does the book present useful information and is the topic relevant?
  • Will your book positively affect the lives of your readers?
  • Is the concept dynamic and will it keep the reader engaged?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then your e-book has potential for success.

A key ingredient for success is the ability to determine who makes up your target audience. This is to whom you are addressing the book, and knowing who they are will dictate many elements of your book such as style, tone, and length. What is the age range of your readers, their general gender, what areas of interest do they tend to have? Are they from a specific socio-economic group? The more you know about your target audience, the better you can write for them.

Now list the primary reason you are writing your e-book. Is it to promote a business? Do you want to drive traffic to a company website? Is it for the purpose of building your reputation? Write down your publishing goals. How will you sell the book — as a standalone product on your website? Or will it be offered as a gift for filling out an online survey or for ordering a product?

You may want to break up the book into sections and offer it as an e-course, or use it to attract business affiliates. The more you can determine before beginning to compose the book, the easier the actual writing will be.

It’s important to decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. You might employ a short introduction to each chapter, and then divide the content into four subhead topics. Or you may write each chapter as four or five separate sections, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.

Read More: Writing an E-book | Part Four

Writing an E-book | Part Two

Set the stage. This is a simple concept,  but it’s often overlooked. The first step in writing a book of any kind is to decide on the book’s working title. Take some time to contemplate what your topic will be, and then jot down several titles that come to mind. As you write, you will probably find that one of the ideas will begin to grow on you. Deciding on a working title will also help you to focus your writing more specifically on the chosen topic.

Titles help to guide you in anticipating and answering your reader’s queries. It’s common for non-fiction books to have a sub-title as well. The title should clearly communicate what the book is about, but don’t forget that a catchy and clever title is very useful to help sell an e-book! The title should get a reader’s attention without being overly “cute”. A good title might look like this: Cure Your Insomnia: Fifteen Ways to Count Sheep.

Next, write out a thesis statement. The thesis is a concise sentence or two that states what you believe and how you will prove your position. Once you’ve crafted a thesis statement and it’s fine-tuned, then you’ve got a strong foundation for the rest of the e-book. From there your book will grow, chapter by chapter.

Return to your thesis often. This will keep you focused during the entire writing process. Don’t forget that all of the chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don’t, then they should be re-written or thrown out. Going back to our original example of a working title about insomnia, your thesis statement might be: Nearly everyone suffers from insomnia at times, but there are fifteen proven techniques to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Read More: Writing An E-book Part Three

Writing an E-book | Part One

You have decided to tackle a writing project. But how do you start? The most difficult part of writing is figuring out how to begin the first sentence.

It may also be overwhelming to think about writing an e-book when it is not broken down into manageable tasks. A good analogy for comparison is that of hiking up a mountain. Imagine that you are standing at the foot of the mountain and staring at the summit as it disappears into the clouds. It seems like an impossible task. How is it possible to scale such an immense and dangerous mountain?

The answer is that there is only one way to climb a mountain, and that is to climb it step by step. Now think of writing a book in the same way. Take it one simple step at a time, and then one day you will write the last paragraph and will find yourself standing on the summit!

If you were planning a mountain climbing expedition, the first thing you would tackle would be the planning and organization. Writing a book doesn’t require any actual gear other than pen and paper or a computer. But it’s imperative to organize your thoughts. So let’s look at some of the steps that a writer must take before he or she actually begins to put pen to paper. Once you’ve gone through the following list, you will be ready to actually begin writing your e-book.

Read More: Writing an E-book | Part Two