You have to write your first ebook. You selected the topic to write on.
And you are wondering where to begin. Well, first check this infographic.
For maximum impact you structure your content (green pieces) after considering the purpose (yellow), the goals (blue) and your reader (black).
Your stories matter
Whatever genre you write for, your stories matter. The story is the hook that keeps you, and your reader connected. Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and we can never really resist a good story. Recently I read a beautiful description of stories, in Roy P. Clark's book, Writing Tools, that I'll summarise here.
Stories create experience. Stories transport the reader, crossing boundaries of time, space and imagination. The story puts us there. ~ Louise Rosenblatt, scholar.
If the experience that you create with your writing is authentic, your reader will keep coming back for more time after time. Do you believe you can create such an adventure with your ebook? Absolutely, the magic is in your words and not the paper. Now you probably want to know how. Read on.
One of the strategies in Writing Tools states, 'Stories need an engine, a question that the action answers for the reader.' While a suspense story answers the question what next, a James Bond or a Bollywood blockbuster, where we already know that in the end the protagonist shall overcome the antagonist and resolve her/his conflict, we are driven by a different question - how.
A good story that flows and keeps its readers glued till the end, probably has 'some impressive engines that keep it flowing' and give the readers answers to their questions.
How you tell your stories is equally important. Simple, vivid and evocative language does wonders for the flow of your story as well as the experience of your readers.
Your reason to write matters
Every ebook is written with a primary purpose by the writer.
The purpose is reader-centric and falls in one of the four categories: to inform, to educate, to entertain or to persuade. Sometimes there may be a mixed purpose. Majority of the ebooks that are offered free to download have mixed use of educating about a topic combined with a pitch to buy one product or another.
Your ebook is a wonderful sales and marketing tool with multiple benefits. Different people use it for various benefits. The entrepreneur is probably looking to position a brand or build a contact list of buyers. The writer may want to build her/his portfolio or establish expertise on a subject. Some may be looking to make some money or build additional passive income streams.
A suitable structure makes your content easy to understand.
If you are writing to share how-to instructions detailed guide form will work best. Write step by step instructions, throw in a few beautiful pictures and don't ever skip the precautions.
Find your right fit
Reading habits have changed much. With so much competition for their attention, their attention span has decreased a good deal and many nowadays prefer a quick read. It makes sense to identify who are you writing for and what their preferences are, particularly if you write nonfiction. In my earlier post I have shared notes on using the process of Empathy mapping to identify your readers to read click here.
Fiction writers are artists. And also the Gods of their respective story-lands. I would think many times before I direct even one unpleasant word towards them regarding their writing. But to remain Godly they need to finetune their writing according to the demands of masses of their genre. A good idea would be to check the reviews of published books and guesstimate what connects with the readers. Knowing the latest fad could make or break your story. But just knowing is not enough, you need to know it inside out. Now is when I say do research, more research and then some more research before you proceed to base your plot on any new idea. If you are writing about magic read or refer a couple of popular novels to understand the 'success potion' of magic. If historical fiction is on your mind dig into history books and watch movies about the period you want to write about.
Research can be fun. It means reading good books, watching popular movies about your topic and online research. There are other aspects, I agree, but too much salt affects blood pressure and too much sugar makes you diabetic so having a balanced approach is better.
Points to enhance
The PDF format is common and readable across devices. Convert your ebook to PDF.
Wordcount is just a guideline, not a strict limit. The idea execution is important.
You can refer to any book and add these - about author, acknowledgement, dedication and TOC.
Your book cover is your primary promotional tool, so design it well. Read a good post or ask for help.
Editing is a tricky business. Ask a friend who reads your genre to help you if you would rather not pay.
If you are ready to start writing your ebook, congratulations you decided well. Now all you need is your community backing you and guiding you through the process.
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