Question from a blogger: “How do I write an ebook?” These writing and self-publishing tips are based on my experience – I wrote four Quips and Tips ebooks in six months.
It’s easy for me to write, format, and self-publish ebooks. Marketing is the hard part! I know how to market them and I’m not afraid of self-promotion, but I’d rather be blogging. (Time to hire a publicist, you say?).
“I need to hear that [ebook writing] is doable,” says this blogger, who self-published a book and CD. “I tend to procrastinate when I don’t know how to do something. But, when I hear firsthand another person’s experience, it makes it easier for me to take my next step.”
Reminds me of Sir Isaac Newton’s quip: “If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” If you want to your writing career to succeed, fellow scribes, you need to learn from those who have gone before. You don’t necessarily need to seek out the most successful, famous, wealthy, or productive writers. You can learn from little writers like me – or books like Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book.
Okey dokey, let’s dive in to this blogger’s questions and my answers…
Tips for Writing and Self-Publishing an eBook
How long does it take to write an ebook?
It depends on the topic and how much material you’ve already written. Some bloggers convert their blog posts to ebooks, which allows them to write an ebook in less than a week! But, all of my “Quips and Tips” ebooks are original material. That is, I didn’t collect my Quips and Tips for Successful Writers articles and publish them as 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse. Instead, I interviewed dozens of freelancers, authors, and journalism professions. In every ebook I’ve written, I share tips from experts.
On average, though, each ebook took less than five weeks for me to research and write. This includes creating the landing or sale pages.
What is the easy part of writing ebooks?
Getting the email from ejunkie that says, “You received a payment of $9.95 from Happy Reader.” Then, it’s super duper easy (and fun) to scroll down to see which ebook was sold. Then, it’s almost as easy to go to my eBook Sales Page and make a tick under the appropriate ebook, for my records.
And, it was relatively easy to find Creative Commons photos for my covers, come up with ebook titles, and create my landing pages from WordPress blog themes.
What is the hard part of writing ebooks?
Finding the motivation to write! The worst one to write was 75 Ways to Make (More) Money Blogging, because I figured Darren Rowse of ProBlogger and Chris Garrett of CopyBlogger had the market cornered. I kept asking myself, “Should I write this ebook? Who am I to write about making money blogging??” And I kept reminding myself that my tips for making money blogging represent a different perspective. Readers need different books on the same topic – I know I’ve read hundreds of books about writing and blogging!
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I’m not a six figure blogger yet; I earned $4,000 from my blogs last month. My blogging tips are for bloggers who love to write, who deserve to earn money for their efforts. In that ebook, I help writers who want to learn how to make hundreds of dollars a month – eventually thousands – which is a realistic and achievable goal for any blogger. That’s how I motivated myself to keep writing my ebook.
I also kept reminding myself that my “Quips and Tips” ebooks pack a lot of punch. I’ve learned to cram a ton of information into a single tip, and I’m proud of the width and depth of information in all my ebooks. If you’re writing an ebook, keep remindng yourself of your strengths as a writer!
One of my best writing and self-publishing tips is to write it even if you’re worried it won’t sell, anxious that your writing will suck, or scared to create a landing or sales page. And, keep reminding yourself of how cool it is to get those emails from ejunkie, informing you of a new sale!
How did you learn how to write ebooks?
I read a few articles about writing ebooks – mostly about formatting (eg, font size, font type). I didn’t do any tutorials – but I did read books about self-publishing and marketing your book. I learned by trial and error, and I share my ebook writing tips in the links below.
What is the name of the company you use to sell your ebooks?
I’m with ejunkie, which is a terrific “shopping cart” affiliate program. They charge $5 a month, for up to 10 products. They also have an affiliate program, so you can entice bloggers to sell your ebooks.
I also listed my ebooks on Smashwords, but haven’t made any sales. 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse is available on Amazon in a Kindle version. I’ve sold three copies, and made .70 cents each. I like ejunkie better!
My other two ebooks are:
If you’ve written an ebook, I welcome your tips below. And if you have any questions, ask away…I (and hopefully other self-publishers) am happy to answer…