How to Write an Ebook
By Steve Gillman
I know a little bit about how to write an ebook. In fact,
I've written more than twenty of them in the last few years.
If I was only as skilled at marketing an ebook I would be making
some big money. The ten that I currently sell do okay, and we
do have other pages on this site about some of the different
ways to make money with ebooks, but this page is primarily about
the first steps - writing and publishing.
First, let me assure you that the mechanics of this process
are pretty easy now. I have trouble with almost any software,
but even I can easily publish an ebook. Write an ebook using
MS Word, MS Works, or just about any other word-processing program,
and you can quickly convert it into a PDF book. There is a link
in the resource below for a free converter that is better than
the paid ones. Once you have it in your computer, you simply
hit "print" when you are done with your book, and then
select this software instead of your printer. In a few seconds
you have a PDF ebook.
At that point you can upload the ebook to a website just like
you upload any page. Or you can attach it to emails if you want
to send it out that way. To see how you link to a PDF book from
a "Thank You Page" or download page, see the example
in the resources below (you just link to the file name, such
Now to get started on the book. It is much easier to write
a book on a subject that you know and love. If that happens to
be information for which there is a good market, then you might
have something to sell. If not, look for a market that is closest
to your area of expertise (we are all experts on something).
Otherwise, you might just play reporter and research and write
on whatever is most likely to sell. Either way you need to start
with a bit of keyword research.
Search "keyword tool" in Google or another search
engine to find a free tool that will show you how many people
search various keyword terms every day or month. You want to
see at least a few thousand searches monthly. Suppose, for example,
you know all about dogs. You find that there are over 8,000 searches
monthly for "healthy dog food," which is good, but
then you discover that over 55,000 people search the keyword
term "dog training" every month. You are going to write
a dog training book.
Time to start writing. Believe it or not, it is possible to
write and publish an ebook in less than a week. I have done it
a few times. But even if you need more time than that, it will
be nothing like the time investment required for a paper book.
In this case, let's assume that you know very little about dog
training. Where do you start? Right here - online.
There is a ton of information on dog training online. Your
future audience needs you to gather it together in one place,
so they don't have to spend hours doing the online research themselves.
That's why ebooks sell. They provide valuable information in
an easy-to-read format that saves them time.
Aim for two types of information in an ebook. First, you should
cover the basics. Again, your readers could get this online for
free, but you make it easy by having it all in one book. Then
you will want to have some "insider secrets." If you
know the subject you can provide this easily. Otherwise you will
have to dig deeper, and possibly even consult off-line resources.
The goal is to provide something that the average reader would
never find on his own.
Finally, always look for better ways to present information.
For example, in an ebook on how to increase one's IQ, it is nice
to know that mental activity of a certain type help, but why
not have specific exercises for the reader to use? Also, when
you reach the limits of your own expertise, or when you reach
the natural limits of the subject for this ebook, and yet there
is still related information that the reader is likely to need
or desire, provide resources. Of course I have resources linked
to on a short page like this, but even in a lengthy book you
can't say everything there is to say about a subject. Point the
reader to the best additional sources of information you can
How Much Can You Make?
Who knows what the profit potential of an ebook is. Of course
it depends on the market, and an ebook on dog training has a
much bigger market than one on growing orchids. But even in a
huge market your success depends on how well you learn to promote
and sell your book. That is a topic for another page (and there
some others in the resources below).
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
If you like to write, but don't have any interest in marketing,
you can write for others. There are marketers out there who know
how to sell, but don't want to do the writing. Sign up at Elance.com
or other freelance sites and you can watch for opportunities
to write ebooks for others. You sell all the rights and typically
get no ongoing royalties, so be sure to get paid decently.
Qualifications / Requirements
If you can write you can publish an ebook. If your writing
skills are poor, you can get editing help. Others will tell you
that you have to go where the money is and forget you interests,
but this is dangerous in my opinion. Having some interest in
the subject makes it much more likely that you'll actually follow-through
and get the job done. Just look for places where the market potential
and your own expertise or passions connect.
List ten things that you either have knowledge about or are
interested in. Then do some keyword research to see which related
markets are best. Pick one, list ten questions people in that
market want answered, and start researching and writing. That's
the basic outline of how to write an ebook that has profit potential.
How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and
Profit, by Robert Bly - Linden Publishing 2010.
- I sell my ebook You Can Make Money Writing here. It
has some information about how to write an ebook, and provides
an example of a sales page (I'm no copywriting genius, so it
could be better).
Download Page - This is
an example of a download page, where customers arrive after paying
by credit card. Such pages are often more secure than this, but
I just change my download page URLs from time to time rather
than complicate things for the customer with passwords, and such.
While you're there feel free to download a copy of the little
ebook I used to sell for $3. Once you have an ebook to sell you
can use this page as a kind of template if you wish.
- A free chapter from my ebook You Can Make Money Writing.
- You can get a free PDF converter here, and its much easier
to use than any of the expensive products.