How to Write an Ebook: A Step-by-Step Guide
Updated: 2 days ago
Have you ever thought about writing a book but just got shy a few minutes after? All those thoughts of the time needed for it and all of the processes after the writing is done, such as finding a publisher, printing it all out, putting the book for sale, and so on, seemed too scary?
In today's world, the need for paper, publishers, and all of those 'scary' things is no longer there. You can start easily and without any experience by writing an Ebook. Follow our guide, and let's get through this together!
Table of Contents
Why should you write an ebook?
Step 1: Come up with the ebook idea
Step 5: Structurize and make the ebook cover
What is an ebook?
First things first. In case you did not know, an Ebook is an electronic book. You might be more familiar with the terms 'E-reader' or 'Kindle.' An Ebook is simply a book that you can read on any of those devices, but also on your computer, tablet, or phone.
The advantage of ebooks over regular paper books is that they are much cheaper and easier to produce. You don't need to print anything or have any inventory, which means that you can start selling your book as soon as it's finished. Also, considering the vast amount of online ebook marketplaces, there should not be any headaches in making your ebook visible to everyone.
Why should you write an ebook?
If you have a creative mind or just happen to know a lot about a certain field, you should write an ebook because it's a great way to share your knowledge and connect with people who might be interested in what you have to say.
It can also be a great self-promotion tool, especially if you are looking to grow your personal brand or business. By writing an ebook, you are automatically seen as an expert on the topic, which can help you attract new opportunities.
Last but not least, it can be a great source of passive income. Once you have written and published your first ebook, you can keep selling it over and over again without having to do anything else. Of course, you will need to market it properly in order to make sure that people actually find and buy it, but once you are done with that, money should be flowing for quite a while!
Also, when it comes to software, there is really no matter what you use. You can use Microsoft Word or just Google Docs if you are looking for a free alternative to writing a successful ebook.
Now that we have all of this out of the way let's proceed to the step-by-step guide on how to write an ebook!
Step 1: Come up with the ebook idea
Nothing can start without an idea. This is true for literally anything, ebooks included, needless to say. The first step in writing your ebook is coming up with what the ebook is going to be about.
A good way to begin is to simply sit down and start writing down everything that comes to your mind. This could be just a few sentences or thoughts that pop up in your head or anything very abstract. It could be a start to a creative story or some key points that you would like to touch on in a field that you are proficient at (for example, how to start your business), or the general ebook topic that you would like to touch.
In the first step on how to write an ebook, abstract thoughts are the best. They should not be absolutely bare-bones like "a story about a girl" but just abstract enough for you to generate further ideas and sentences (think of the "big picture" of your ebook). If you come up with a really great sentence or thought, try to work it into the ebook as a whole.
If you have trouble coming up with ideas, try looking online for inspiration or talking to people who are knowledgeable in the field that you would like to write about. For some, reading others' work helps massively, though, for others, it may be something that creates more obstacles. As in, 'poisoning' your mind with other ideas, blocking your own thoughts. It is a trial and error process to figure out what works better for you.
Now, after you write down a few ideas (hey, even if you wrote just one, that is not an issue!), pick out the one that feels the most feasible and best-looking for you.
Step 2: Outline
Once you have the idea that you wish to go for, it is vital to start creating an outline for all of it. What is an outline, you may ask? Simply put, an outline is your general ebook idea expanded. It means taking your idea and filling out the big picture details of it. How to write an ebook without an outline? It is not possible, unfortunately.
Outlines come in different shapes and sizes, so you should find the one that works best for you. One way would be to use beat sheets. There you would outline every section of your book separately. Or you could use a visual map of how your story progresses throughout chapters, in a similar vein to how video creators use storyboards. In general, it is up to you how you outline your book. The key thing is that it helps you since you will be the only one to use it and see it.
As for the content of your outline, it should have everything. What scenes happen in your book? What are the key points of interest? How does your story progress? This is all vital information that you need to know beforehand since it will make writing the actual book much easier.
Some people like to write their outlines in great detail, while others prefer to keep them more general. It is again up to you what you feel more comfortable with. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as it works for you.
Step 3: Write the first draft
Once you have the outline of your book ready, it is time to start probably the most important (and, frankly, fun) part of your ebook - writing it! After all, you can not ask yourself 'how to write an ebook' without writing it, right?
Since you already have the outline, you should start filling up the details within it and start writing. This is where all of your creative brain cells should start going to full power.
Remember, even though you have an outline, your book does not have to be completely linear. If you feel like a certain part would fit better somewhere else, by all means, change it! This is your book, and you should write it the way you want to.
There are a few things you should keep in mind while writing, though. Firstly, try to be as clear and concise as possible. Secondly, make sure your book flows well and is easy to read. Thirdly, keep in mind the overall structure of your book.
The structure should be imagined as a bell-shaped curve. The beginning should be for the introduction of characters, the setting, the overall background, and so on. It should take up some space in your book, yet it should not be the key element of it. As you are approaching the story itself (and, presumably, the conflict in it), you should expand more and focus on it, since it will be the main part of your book.
Lastly, once the conflict is resolved, the ending part should be a conclusion, which should take a similar amount of your book as the beginning portion, or even a bit less. The same rules apply if you are writing a non-fiction book. Let's say the book is about teaching English: you should start with the introduction of basic concepts, proceed to exercises, and end it all up with a conclusion and concluding tasks.
Needless to say, the writing process itself is never easy; you need to know that. Whether it is your first ebook or not, each and every writer has some struggles in this stage. The key tip would be not to give up. You can and will make money after you sell your ebook. Thus, go through the struggles and write your ebook!
Step 4: Edit your draft
Alright, we will not sugarcoat this one: editing your draft is by far the most difficult part of writing your ebook. It is difficult because you will have to go through the whole text again, looking for mistakes, checking out the flow itself, and you may need to rewrite some things or have completely new ideas to insert.
What should be noted is that new writers tend to have a fear of deleting sentences or whole sections of their text. Bear in mind that removing and rewriting is a completely normal process, and we would dare to encourage doing so!
When you finish editing and are happy with the draft you have got, try sending it out to a few friends so they could take a look. It is helpful before going all-in with the publishing since your colleagues might notice some mistakes that you had made or have some fresh ideas that you could add.
Remember, if you decide to use those ideas and insert them into your book, make sure to read the whole thing once again and edit it again. Merely inserting something is not good enough, especially if it does not work too well within the whole context of the book.
Step 5: Structurize and make the ebook cover
Now that the text is fully done, squeaky clean, and makes you happy, it's time to get down to formalities, such as the structure itself.
Of course, the story structure and all that is already done. What we mean by 'structurize' is checking (and, if needed, spreading) out the chapters, parts, the table of contents, spacing between lines, paragraphs, and so on. Basically, all the things that are more visual, such as the format itself, rather than informative. In other words, just create an ebook itself.
A good idea here would be to check out how other ebooks look and mimic them. Usually, they have the casual structure that works for most ebooks, be it fiction or non-fiction. All of the other things mentioned previously are solely up to you: whatever spacing looks best for you, whatever font looks the coolest, and so on. Creating an ebook is not a very difficult task, considering all the examples available.
Once you have that out of the way, start to make the ebook cover. There are plenty of tools online that help you with that; however, if you have some experience in design, feel free to make the cover from scratch using all the equipment and software that you have got. Just as with checking out other ebooks for structure, it would be wise to look for inspiration for covers from other ebooks too. If you are completely lost, look for a template online that suits your needs.
Step 6: Publish the ebook!
The last step in the journey of ebook writing is, of course, publishing your ebook. When it comes to paper books, you would need to find a publisher, make them like your book and agree to print it, sell it, go on tours promoting it, and so on. If you decide to go for self-publishing, more expenses will come your way. None of this is true for ebooks, though!
First off, if you wish to make money, you should look online for viable ebook publishing websites and find out which one suits you best. We would recommend going for the Kindle Direct Publishing platform owned by Amazon. It allows you to upload your ebooks for free, and they would appear in the Kindle Store for device owners to buy. This means that you can make money without any expenses, reach a bigger audience of readers, and make more sales.
When it comes to profits there, you will get to keep 70% of the revenue that is made from your ebook sales, with Amazon taking just a mere 30%. And since Kindle Marketplace is one of the biggest ebook marketplaces all over the internet, it is a great choice for your first publish. You can set the price for the ebook yourself and make money rather easily. The audience reach means that you can put less focus into marketing your ebook (not saying that you shouldn't, but this makes it easier in case this is not your thing at all.)
Of course, there are other options to go for. Some of them offer extra payments for providing an audiobook recording of your ebook, too, thus giving you double the money. All in all, you should do your research in this regard. There are a lot of tips to help you all over the internet, provided by both readers and writers.
Also, do not forget to market your ebook using social media, blog posts, and engaging with the target audience (possibly a niche one). This would make you seem professional and trustworthy. This will help you make money easily with your ebook. Remember, a simple thing such as a blog post can help a lot.
Once your ebook is published, you can sit back, relax, be proud of yourself, and watch that passive income trickle into your account. Although the journey was long, fully writing an ebook is a big achievement that not most people can boast about!
With some success, your ebook could bring you loads of passive income, but if you are not too keen on writing one after reading this how to write an ebook tutorial, you can always go for the effortless way by using Honeygain. It helps you gain extra cash without any activity!