How to Write an Ebook

So you want to write an ebook, but how? This guide will outline the basic steps of creating an ebook.

how to write an ebook

Writing ebooks has become quite common, but how to write an ebook isn’t so straightforward. By the end of this guide, you will have a solid understanding of the steps it takes to write and publish your own ebook.

This post contains affiliate links.

my ebook story

In April 2010 I decided to write an ebook, mostly as an experiment. I was intrigued by the “launch your own product” process and wanted to figure out how it worked. It was completely uncharted territory for me.

My plan was to finish it by the end of June, publish it in July and then…well, I hoped to sell a few copies.

Things didn’t go according to plan. June came and went, as did July. So did August and September. Then October rolled around and the dark, unfinished project cloud prompted me to make a final push and get it done.

I officially launched Tell Your Time: How To Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free on October 26, 2010. By then, I was so relieved it was done I would have been happy with $10 so I could buy an ice cream sundae to celebrate.

But that’s not what happened.

I made significantly more than $10 that first day (like thousands more) and now, here I sit, 4+ months years later, and people keep buying it. Before this whole thing started, I never thought past the first week of launch.

I did some things right and some things wrong. What follows are my honest, personal tips for writing an ebook.

why write an ebook

To sell for profit

Many people have made excellent money through the sales of ebooks. If you plan to sell your ebook, read my post 11 Things To Do Before You Start Making Money Online.

To give away for free

Perhaps you’d like to use it as an incentive for people to sign up for your mailing list. Or maybe you want to use it to showcase your expertise or establish your authority on a subject. Maybe you would just like to enrich the lives of others, no strings attached. All are great reasons to offer it for free!

To be published

It used to be that traditional publishing was thought to be the only “legitimate” way to get published, but that’s no longer the case. If you long to be an author and don’t want to go through the long process and uncertainty of traditional publishing, self-publishing is great. Check out my series called Why I Turned Down a Book Deal for more.

To get your feet wet in the digital book market

In 2010, digital book sales surpassed hardcover book sales on both Amazon.com and BN.com (Barnes & Noble). That alone is an outstanding reason to dive in. Get in on a trend that’s sure to continue.

It’s quick, easy, cheap to produce and potentially more profitable.

As far as publishing goes, it’s not complicated at all. Anyone can do it.

things to consider

It’s a lot of work

Even though it’s not particularly complicated, writing and publishing an ebook does take work. A lot of work.

Writing is the easy part

Marketing is the hard part. You must have a solid, trustworthy platform from which to launch your ebook. Prepare to spend a lot of time marketing your ebook after you’re done writing it.

Don’t neglect your platform

Don’t drop everything to write an ebook. Spend 10-20% of your time working on your ebook. Spend the other 80-90% of your time building your platform (a blog is a good way to do that). A platform will make selling your ebook incredibly easier since people will know who you are. (This is the same reason you’re unlikely to find a traditional publisher who will sign you if you don’t have a platform.)

Connections with people drive ebook sales

Before you finish your ebook, develop genuine online relationships with others through social media, commenting and other not-scary ways of reaching out to strangers. When it comes time to sell your ebook, these are the people who are most likely to help you spread the word.

choosing an ebook topic

Be strategic about the topic of your ebook. This is not a “write whatever and they will come” sort of endeavor. A little research is helpful, as is some serious thought.

This guide covers nonfiction writing although fiction writers are sure to gain a solid understanding of the process as well. (I don’t have any personal experience with fiction, but I would recommend you check out this post by Michael Hyatt.)

Think PFC

For a non-fiction ebook, choose to do one or more of the following:

  • P – Solve a Problem. Be helpful. “How to” topics are excellent choices for ebooks. Find a hole and fill it. The hole you find doesn’t have to be huge, it’s just gotta be common to a decent-sized group of people.
  • F – Address a Fear. Most of us have fears and we do our best to avoid them. Our fears range from “What are people going to think of me?” to “What if my spouse gets cancer?” to “What if we run out of money?” to “What if I die?” to “What if my children turn out to be tyrants?” and on and on. If you can come up with a topic that addresses a common fear and offers a way to relieve that fear, you just might have a winner of a topic.
  • C – Satisfy a Curiosity. People wonder about stuff. This is why celebrity gossip is so popular and why reality shows are captivating for many. What’s it like to live in a family of 19? How does so-and-so run his business successfully? Who’s going to be wearing what at the Oscars? You get the picture. The bottom line is, we are intrigued by information that’s not readily available. If you have an inside peek into something the masses might like to know (and are free to share that information), it might be a good ebook topic.

In Tell Your Time, I tried to tackle both the P and the F. I address the fear of living a lackluster life with the how of managing your time in a simple, straightforward 4-step way.

Choose a topic you’re passionate about

Once your ebook is launched, people are likely to ask questions about your topic. If you’re writing to make a quick buck but know nothing about the subject, things will fizzle when you can’t answer their questions. Or, you’ll be frustrated having to answer questions about something you could care less about.

Choose a topic you’re good at

Do others ask your advice about a particular topic? What do you do that people marvel at? What are the questions you get most often? We’re all an expert at something.

For me, I enjoy organizing and most of all, efficiency. So an ebook on time management wasn’t a stretch at all. I also had already gotten positive feedback on the information so it made me confident others might find it helpful as well.

Choose a topic with substance

I read once that an ebook should be at least 25 pages long. That seems reasonable to me. If your topic can be sufficiently described in less than 25 pages, write a blog post, a blog series or a guest post.

Related: My Top Guest Posting Tips

I’m dancing on the line of this one with Tell Your Time coming in at about 28 pages. However, this was somewhat purposeful in that I was deliberately trying to keep it succinct to align with my Unique Selling Proposition (USP) which is a book on time management that isn’t time consuming.

Choose a topic that fits with your established online identity

If people know you as the woman who is an expert knitter, your ebook will be easier to sell if it has something to do with knitting. If, however, everyone knows you as the expert knitter but you write an ebook about investing in the stock market, it’s going to be a harder sell.

Exceptions to this rule:

  • You want to break into the “investing in the stock market” niche and you’re going to use your ebook as a way to do that.
  • For some reason (maybe you mentioned it inadvertently in a blog post at one point), you have gotten a BOATLOAD of questions about investing in the stock market and since it doesn’t really fit into your regular blog, you decide to write an ebook about it so you don’t have to keep answering all the questions individually.

Expand on something you’ve already done

Is there a topic or series about which you get a lot of questions and an ebook would give you the space to dive deeper?

Expand on something the internet is talking about

Is there a hot topic you’re seeing online or in your niche or social media circles? Do you have the expertise to address it in a thoughtful way?

Or, check the bestseller lists on Amazon for ideas. How can you branch out and offer your own angle? (Thanks to Mandi Ehman for this tip.)

Think about your target audience

The ability to put yourself in your potential reader’s shoes will make writing much easier and your finished product much better.

  • Who will want to read it?
  • When it’s done, who will you market your ebook to?
  • What do they want to know? What questions do you get from them repeatedly? What are they asking about your topic?
  • Is there enough of them? You don’t have to appeal to everyone on earth. However, if you’d like to write an ebook about ancient Mongolian tribal burial rituals, it’d be good to know if there are a whole lot of people who share your interest before you dive in.
  • Will they find it? Do they spend time online? Will they know how to access it? For example, ebooks targeting older populations are going to be trickier to sell than those targeting the 18-24 crowd simply because the older crowd (not all though!) are less internet savvy.
  • Will they pay for it?

Create something others can’t easily get for free

Most of the information we come across really isn’t anything new, just packaged differently (“there’s nothing new under the sun”). So, it’s doubtful any of us will ever come up with a completely and totally novel idea. Still, make sure your ebook is unique enough that someone isn’t able to find it for free elsewhere in near-identical form.

And if your ebook content could be found elsewhere, have a solid Unique Selling Proposition (USP). That is, make sure before you get started that you have good reason why someone should shell out cash for your product and not just get the information for free from the other guy.

In my case, time management books and blogs abound. One thing I’ve noticed about them though, is that many are heavy on theory, overwhelming and (ironically) time consuming. In response, I made Tell Your Time short and to the point. I also came up with the tagline “What if you could change your life in less than 30 pages?” I wanted people to see that it was different right off the bat.

writing your ebook

In my post My Top Writing Tips, I share practical tips to get the words flowing, but here are some tips for ebooks specifically.

Use the right writing software

My writing software of choice is Scrivener for Mac or Scrivener for Windows. Other options are Google Drive or Libre Office.

Use the right brainstorming and outlining tools

Use a mind map to get your ideas on paper. Use Pat Flynn’s sticky note method to brainstorm. If you’re more of an linear thinker, use a tool like WorkFlowy to pound out an outline.

Use one spot to capture all your ideas and research

When you’re in the process of writing your ebook, chances are you’ll spend a fair amount of your time thinking about it. Many times, your ideas won’t come when you’re actually sitting at your computer writing. If you’re like me, ideas come in the car, in the shower, while I’m surfing the web, when I can’t sleep at 2 am or when I’m standing in line at the post office. Designate one spot to be your capture spot and stick with it.

Many people use Evernote.

This way, when you sit down to write, you’ll know exactly where to find all your brilliant ideas. If you don’t have one spot for such a purpose, you’ll either have miscellaneous and extraneous pieces of paper here and there and everywhere, or you’ll just plain forget all the great stuff that was about to make you millions. Poof. Gone. That would be sad.

Block out scheduled writing time

I don’t recommend squeezing “writing an ebook” into the cracks and crevices of your life. Unless you’re a master at project planning and follow through, dedicate a chunk of time every day (or several times a week) to your ebook project.

If there are days you have more time to spend on it, excellent! If not, at least you’ll see steady progress, even if it’s only 15 minutes at a time.

In my case, there were days and sometimes weeks when I didn’t touch my ebook. It was discouraging and a bit defeating. It also caused undue stress toward the end of the project when there was a deadline looming and I had to make up for lost time.

Once this ebook is done, you can keep that chunk of time in your schedule to start on your next ebook or project, ever increasing your income streams.

Keep track of your time

I did not keep track of how much time I spent working on my ebook. I wish I had. Why? Because I like to know which of my income streams are generating the most money based on an hourly rate. I wish I had kept track of my time so I could determine whether or not it has paid off…and if it’s worth it to write another one.

Eliminate distractions

When it’s time to write, do nothing else. Turn everything off knowing you’ll be able to get to those things as soon as our writing window is over.

If noise bothers you, make sure your writing window happens when there’s little of it. Otherwise, put in ear plugs or ear buds. If you need to clean up around your writing spot first, do that too. I’m amazed at how significantly more productive I am when my writing surface is clear of stuff.

Save, save, save…and in multiple places.

Before you begin, create a spot on your computer in which to save all ebook-related material. Unless you are using software that automatically saves things for you, you’ll be saving every 2 minutes. There’s nothin’ like spending forever writing something only to lose it because it wasn’t saved.

I also recommend you set up an alternate place to save your work, preferably not on your computer.

Dropbox is a free cloud storage solution. Another suggestion is to copy and paste your draft into an email and send it to yourself. If you’re using Gmail, just archive it and you’ll always have a copy not on your computer too.

Pretend you’re your target

The ability to see things from the perspective of your reader is key. Sometimes we know a topic so well we forget that others may be seeing it for the first time.

Do some serious thinking about who your target market is. Define them. Picture them in your brain. Anticipate their questions. Pretend you are them and think about what would most connect with you. Then, write that.

Pick a ship date and hook

Once you start writing and get into a rhythm, you’ll likely be able to estimate how long this thing will take you to complete.

Next, pull out a calendar.

Determine a “ship” date. In other words, what day will you launch your ebook? The reason I suggest you pull out your calendar is to make your launch date coincide with calendar events on which you can “hook” your launch.

For example, you may remember me saying I originally had my launch date set for July. The reason I chose that date was because July is when things start ramping up for back-to-school sales and events. It’s a time of year when people are in the mood to get their schedules in order. Therefore, I had a hook for selling an ebook about time management.

Lots of people (i.e. potential affiliates) are writing about back-to-school things in July and August, so they would be more likely convinced to promote my time management ebook at the same time too.

In my case, July came and went, so I had to think of Plan B. The next logical time of year when people are thinking about time management is the new year. That would have been fine, but I launched in late October instead. Doing so had several advantages:

  1. One message I used for promotion was “Get your schedule under control before the holiday craziness hits. Enjoy the holidays this year, eliminate stress and get a head start on the New Year.”
  2. It allowed me to take advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend which was a huge selling weekend for me. (Everyone’s looking for a sale that time of year, so I discounted the ebook and pushed #1 above.)
  3. I was able to promote it to a captive audience of potential affiliates at a blogging conference (along with the huge help of Crystal from MoneySavingMom.com).
  4. I still had another sale the first week of the new year. The benefit was that plenty of people had read the book by now so I had testimonials to bolster my sales pitch.

We’ll talk more about selling and promoting later, but my point here is to set a “ship” date. Give yourself enough time to get the ebook written, prepared for launch and launched, but challenge yourself to get the thing done in a timely manner as well. Setting a “ship” date gives you something to work towards instead of just letting the project drag on indefinitely.
editing your ebookOnce your ebook is written, do the jig. Then, obviously, edit it. Read and reread it.

If you’re the type that tends to be wordy, eliminate everything that doesn’t contribute to the main idea of your ebook. Ebooks are often read on computer screens or other digital devices, many of which are not ideal for reading. So, if you can get your information across in a more concise way, do it.

If you’re the type that tends to be lacking in words, make sure the vital parts of your ebook are sufficiently explained. If a reader has a question about your ebook, they will have to go out of their way to contact you for clarification (unlike the ability to easily post a comment in response to a blog post, for example). Make it clear so they aren’t frustrated.

Ask people close to you — you know, the ones who will tell you the truth and love you no matter what — if they will read your material and give feedback. (I don’t recommend approaching fellow bloggers or other business or networking acquaintances for feedback at this stage. More explanation on that to come.) Take special note of any clarification questions they ask or confusion they express; these are the areas you’ll definitely want to go back and modify. Then, take your loved one out for lunch as a thank you. Just a suggestion.

Strive for excellence, not perfection

Having just told you to edit until you’re blue in the face (practically), don’t get stuck trying to make it “just so.” Do your best but accept that it’ll never be perfect. You still want to make your ship date, remember?

Choose a great title

Now is a good time to choose a title. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Editing makes the content of your ebook fresh in your mind. Reading it from start to finish provides a perspective you didn’t have when you were in the thick of writing.
  2. Now that your content is mostly finalized, you might realize that over the course of writing, you took some twists and turns you didn’t anticipate. If you chose a title at the beginning, review it to make sure it accurately represents what your final copy communicates.
  3. If others are reading/editing your ebook for you, take the opportunity to toss around title ideas with them too.

The ideal title (plus an alternative)

The ideal title is one that encapsulates the main idea of your ebook in just a few words. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to come up with such a title. In that case, find a catchy title and then create a subtitle which provides further explanation. In any case, a potential reader should have a good idea of what your ebook is about simply by reading the title.

Choose a title with an available domain name

Other than choosing a title that actually fits the content of your ebook, if possible, choose a title with an available domain name. Then, register that domain.

This is likely to make choosing a title a bit tricky, so take some time in doing so. You’ll have to weigh all the possibilities and perhaps spend a fair amount of time searching. But if you can snag the domain name of your ebook title, it’s a major bonus when it comes to marketing and promotion.

If you can’t find an available domain name, you may need to get creative. For example, if your ebook title is already taken, you might decide to tack on “book” or “ebook” to the end. (Check out my post How to Choose a Domain Name for more ideas.)

formatting your ebook

Once you’re satisfied with the content of your ebook you’ll need to format it so it looks good on a page.

The following tips are for PDF formatting. If you want to format your ebook for Kindle and Nook, I highly recommend checking out the Kindle Direct Publishing Help and Nook FAQ & Support Resources Page (Nook).

Choose a page size

I recommend formatting it to fit a standard page size (8 1/2 by 11 inches here in the States). This will make it easier for you to set it up and for your readers to print (if they do). You can choose either a “portrait” or “landscape” setup. However, if you go with landscape, I suggest you break up your text into at least two or three columns across the page to make reading easier.

Use generous margins

I think a 1-inch margin all the way around is a safe bet. Not only does this make reading easier, it also eliminates the problem some printers have which is to cut off a larger portion at the bottom (portrait) or on one side (landscape) when smaller margins are specified.

Whitespace is your friend

Whitespace refers to the parts of the page which are empty and not filled with text or other content. Large margins create whitespace, as does a wider-than-normal line height (like 1.5), a larger font (I used 14), bullets, lists etc. You want reading to be effortless and whitespace is a key factor in making that happen.

Decide if you’re going to get fancy

If you’re so inclined, you might consider inserting captions, pull-quotes (highlighting special portions of your text in a larger font or box somewhere on the page) call outs (like labels for illustrations; similar to captions for images), etc. (You can find examples of how these look here.) It’ll be more work, but done right, it could add a nice touch to your finished product.

On the flip side, it might cause formatting issues, so I’d recommend checking on several digital devices to see how it renders before you make it a definite go.

Clean, simple and uniform formatting is best. Don’t go crazy with a wide array of font sizes, colors, underlining, etc. If a reader turns a page and thinks, “Wow, that heading is large,” or “Bright font color!” you’ve gone too far. A reader’s attention should be on your content, not your formatting. Only format enough to make your ebook more easily readable.

Pay special attention to images

If you’re using images, make sure they are well done and proportioned correctly so they aren’t skewed. If you’re not a photographer yourself, consider purchasing professional images from a site like Dollar Photo Club. If your photos are only average and you don’t want to spend the money on professional ones, I think it’s better to leave them out altogether. Low-quality images can diminish the perceived value of an ebook.

Add a header & footer

Use the footer option to insert page numbers (done automatically) as well as a link to your website. Read your word processor’s Help section if you don’t know how to insert page numbers.

Include front matter and/or back (end) matter

  • Copyright Information. This is something I did not pay a whole lot of attention to and will certainly update in future editons. Because I’m a bad example, I’ll send you over to Dave Taylor’s site where he discusses this issue and gives you some examples.
  • Table of Contents. This is just a good idea. Make it better by linking your Table of Contents to the actual sections in your ebook.
  • About the Author. A bio at the end of your ebook gives you the chance to tell a little bit about yourself but more importantly, it gives you a natural opportunity to insert a call to action, such as inviting your reader to visit your website and sign up for your email list.
  • Acknowledgements, End Notes, Bibliography, etc. If your ebook calls for any of these pages — particularly credit to anyone quoted or referenced — by all means, include them. However, keep in mind that they are likely only going to be glanced over. So, be accurate, but don’t spend untold amounts of time getting them “just so”.
  • Printables. If you are providing printables, they could be included within the body of the ebook or at the end. My recommendation is to put them where they fit naturally and cause the least amount of reading disruption. Require readers to sign up for your email list to download the printables.

Get an ebook cover

Unless you are exceptionally talented, I highly recommend you get a professionally designed cover. The cover will set the tone for your whole ebook. If you get someone to design it for you, ask if they can also make matching banners and graphics.

If you’d like to find a designer, you have a ton of options. A few resources I have not used myself but have read good things about are oDesk and 99designs — both allow you to find people you can outsource projects like this to (as well as things like Virtual Assistance, logo creation and all sorts of things). Please do your homework and be sure to read up on anyone you might work with, but an ebook cover might be a great and cheap way to test one of these services out.

Save your document as a PDF

The software tools mentioned above will allow you to this easily.

Check the links

One your ebook is saved in its final form, go through it and check all links.

Print it out

Once you’ve put everything together, be sure to print out your ebook to make sure it prints correctly and as you intended. Also, check it out on digital devices to make sure it renders properly.

Other posts in this series

How to Write an Ebook
How to Write an Ebook: Pricing
How to Write an Ebook: Distribution
How to Write an Ebook: Creating a Sales Page (or Site)
How to Write an Ebook: Preparing for Affiliates
How to Write an Ebook: Taking care of your affiliates
How to Write an Ebook: Paying your affiliates
How to Write an Ebook: Marketing

How to write an ebook. My tips.

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Comments

  1. Kat says

    This is awesome, but what website did you use to publish your ebook? I’m almost done with my book, but I don’t know where to post/publish it. Thanks!

  2. says

    Thanks for the great article. I’m going to sit down and read all the posts (I’ll put it on my ‘to-do’ list). I’m just tossing around the idea of putting my paperback “Crime Beat, Murder, Mayhem and the Mundane” in an ebook format.

  3. says

    Thank you very amy for sharing this. Writing an ebook is always tough but once you had finished writing it then it can be a source of passive income. After reading this post am inspired a bit for writing my first ebook. Hope it will also turn into a great source of income for me .

  4. says

    Nice content, Amy:) I was thinking of writing an ebook for another site I have in mind and was looking for a few pointers and your site popped up, so here I am. I scanned your posts and found some great value in them. I will definitely be back to move through the stages as I begin writing my first ebook. You may have answered this in one of the posts already, but I’m wondering if 1 page in a word doc equals the same as 1 page in an ebook?

  5. says

    The first time I wrote an eBook, it was challenging. Of course, new experiences are. I have written so many, that I can almost write an eBook in my sleep. The real challenge is getting it to the people who you want to read it. Great article. Thank you, Amy.

  6. says

    Hi Amy
    I stumbled on this part of your website from a twitter link to a post on customising a WordPress theme. I am currently writing an eBook under Liam Naden’s eBook Mastery course (which I recommend). So far I have only read your intro post on eBook writing & I hope to view the other parts later.
    Great to hear you got the success the work deserved for your eBook-making a quality eBook is not a trivial process. I hope to emulate this with my eBook (Programming for success for non-programmers) which I’m also hoping will be finished within the next week. Keep enjoying the blogging & writing :-)

  7. says

    Great post Ali. I’m already a professional writer (newspaper, magazines, website copy, etc.) and my real challenge is knowing what platform/format to use. Which e-book creation platforms or methods do you recommend?

  8. says

    This is a fantastic website Amy-Lynn. I am just starting my Blog and really like all your help. This is exactly what I have been looking for.

    Thank you!!!!

  9. says

    great information for starters thank you very much i also discovered a free eBook and it helps too free download windowsfolder.info

  10. Gregg says

    Hi Amy,

    What a great site you have (seems I’m not the first to say this).

    My question is this: Any thoughts on joining Clickbank?

    thanks-
    Gregg

  11. says

    This whole series of posts was very helpful. I want to start writing ebooks and I wasn’t sure how to start. Thank you so much for this post, your blog is great.

  12. says

    I actually just wrote my first ebook about 6 months ago. It was an incredible learning experience and I actually made a decent profit, which was awesome! But hey, even if you don’t make much money, if you had fun writing something you have a lot of passion about, then that’s important. Not to mention, you can add, “Author” to your resume! :)

  13. Ashwin says

    Dear Amy , Hope All is well ..,, I just visited your site today, for first time .,, and I was just reading n reading , found so many interesting posts and the language is so simple and clear . I wish why didn’t I find your site months/years back ??? Anyways, I am enjoying reading it , Good Luck !!!!!

  14. says

    Thanks for this info. I have been working on an online program and feel that an ebook would help support it. You have just confirmed this for me. Thanks so much!

  15. says

    Great stuff. I got here looking for information, for my father, 88, on how to publish an ebook and saw all the stuff you have on blogging, particularly on gaining traffic. My business and blog are dead in the the water but I’m continuing, hoping to gain traffic and get the business moving. AwareNewJersey is intended to be a directory of unique, small, local independent businesses in New Jersey in a handful of niche markets: wellness, spirituality, wildlife and animal welfare, natural and artisan foods, and more. Stuff that’s not mainstream. I love all the great little businesses I’ve found but haven’t had any traffic. I’m hoping your tips will help. Thank you.

      • says

        You know, when I filled in the form, I assumed that my website url would appear in the comment. It wasn’t until I’d hit the post button that I realized that I missed the opportunity you’d mentioned in your blogs on site traffic to link back to my site, so I’m leaving this comment as well to do that. I’m at http://www.awarenewjersey.blogspot.com and hope and intend to use the tips you’ve given here to try to increase traffic to my site.

  16. George says

    Amy, thank you for your information. I have finally stumbled upon a website that I believe is truly honest about writing ebooks and blogging. I am in the process of writing an ebook. I was not sure about its publication, but since I came across your site by accident, I believe I will go forth with the ebook. I have read so much about ebooks and blogging and finally I found your website that I believe will be able to help me with my endeavors. Thank you so much.

  17. says

    Thank you so much for your helpful guidance about ebooks! I may just give it a try! (I have been itching to go to the next step, after writing a blog for over a year. This is just the encouragement I need!

  18. Tania says

    Can a person make money from an e-book without doing a blog? I want to write anonymously and am not savvy enough to try blogging anonymously so I thought I would just do an e-book alone. Recommendations?

  19. says

    Writing ebook is really important.Lot of bloggers are making huge money by selling e-books.This post will help me lot in writing e-book.

  20. says

    This is fantastic! Writing an e-book is one of my 1-2 year goals. Thank you for your excellent and comprehensive guidelines. I have bookmarked this post to come back to again and again as I set out to achieve my goal. P.S. I lvoe your site…it is very visually attractive and clean.

  21. says

    Recently started blogging and constantly looking for ways to improve. Decided today that an ebook is something I’d like to look into writing. Thanks for sharing your advice!

    Gary

  22. says

    Another tip that we should include is to design a quality
    ecover for the ebook, since this is the first thing that
    get the customer to read the title and the content.

    By the way, We design high quality ecovers, and every week we give
    away free ecover design between our facebook fans.

    Nice post!

    • Amy says

      Hi George, if you read the posts in this series, you’ll find a lot of tips regarding getting your manuscript into ebook form. If you want to sell it on Amazon and BN.com, read this post.

  23. says

    You offered some very awesome tips and you have inspired me to keep at it though it get’s discouraging at times. I’ve written a few so far and this just gave me an idea for another ebook! Thanks so much!

  24. says

    Amy,

    I’m just starting into the series as I found your site tonight in a Google search. I am impressed and a bit intimidated by the quantity of material here. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all … just a lot to consider. I appreciate that you start the series with a frank statement of what lies ahead in the ebook writing process and whether it’s worth it or not.

    One thing that isn’t spoken about in the media’s gushing over ebooks is the fact that there isn’t much money to be made in most cases. I like your recommendation to spend more time on blogging. You’ve given me much to think about. Thank you.

    • Amy says

      I’d be interested to know how much a typical ebook author makes as compared to a typical traditionally published author. I know the vast majority of traditional authors don’t make much at all considering the time they put into writing. Have you seen my series about why I turned down a book deal? I share more thoughts there.

  25. says

    You brought up an interesting point. We need to be spending more time trying to cultivate those relationships and less time trying to sell. Listening to the relationships will provide us that opportunity to see where the real needs lay!

  26. Jamaule LM Hall says

    I actually am starting to write a story and I thought about writing a book, until I received an email from a marketing expert I follow that said that “Print is dead”. So I read the article and he talks all about writing e-books. So I went on Google to search how to write e-books and your blog was #2. I just read your 1st entry about writing your e-book and I’m looking forward to going through your series. Thanks for sharing Amy.

    • Amy says

      So glad it was helpful, Kacey! I’ll look forward to meeting you as well. I’m really looking forward to it.

  27. says

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site again. An ebook is a definite goal. I can’t wait to follow your steps. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  28. says

    You make it sound so easy! And I’m really impressed with how popular your blog is. I’m just starting out (with both the blog and the eBook) and I feel a little overwhelmed right now, but I shall look to you for inspiration :)

    • Amy says

      Liz, I completely understand the feeling of being overwhelmed (I was there too!). But really, I think you’ll find it makes sense as you go along and as long as you take a step at a time, you’ll do great! You can do it!!

  29. Helen says

    Jehovah bless you for sharing this.
    I am homebound with a disabled husband
    and I really did not know how to do an ebook.
    Now I can write about my passion, and make
    a little extra income.

  30. says

    I’m glad I found your site! I’ve been thinking about writing an ebook and now I have the instructions! Some blogs don’t tell the whole steps meaning do’s and don’t’s. Thanks for making your site easy to read and understand. I try and do that too on my blog.

  31. says

    Thank you Amy…today my eBook launched! (still not on Kindle as it didn’t format correctly once uploaded there, but as a PC download, we are set. Thanks for your help with the process, the recommendations, e-junkie help and more…now to figure out how to fix my Kindle issue.) :) Seriously, had you not gone before me, I might never have attempted this. Thanks!

  32. says

    I read your whole series in one sitting. I’ve decided to take a dip into the ebook pool and am doing tons of research before I start. Thanks for this great advice. I have had a blog for a few years and freelance for Huff-Po, AOL etc. but this ebook thing has got me excited about writing something different.

  33. says

    Well, tomorrow is your 1 year anniversary of completing your ebook! I would love to be the first to congratulate you. :)

    I have a couple ebook ideas rolling around in my head. So thought I’d look up how to write an ebook and you came up first! Yay! So now I need to just get started (after I read you series on them though… )

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • Marc says

      Very helpful Amy. I’m looking at a layoff soon. Your site came up first (I’d like to know how to make that happen) and an ebook sounded like something to work on while I’m looking for work. Your input is excellent!

  34. says

    Amy,

    I have been writing a book over the past few months, and using your guide. Thanks so much for all of the helpful tips!! I am so excited that it will be coming out soon. I will definitely be sending you a copy! I was wondering if you have any tips about copyrighting? I know that it takes 3 months to register & copyright with the government, and I am hoping to release it next week, so I don’t think that I can do that? I know that there is already an automatic copyright once you have written it, but I was not sure if I should do more or not? Also, did you get an ISBN number? Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks!! Rene

    • Amy says

      Thanks Rene. I’m glad it’s been helpful! I have researched copyright very little and ISBNs only a little more. I have not pursued either. I can’t say that’s the most education or well-researched conclusion, but it seemed clear to me that my little ebook would not be detrimentally impacted at this point. Not sure if that’s helpful at all…just my $.02. :)

  35. Rebecca says

    I have been mulling over the idea of writing an e-book for sometime now, but I only just recently began seriously researching the idea. I was wondering what your opinion is of Smashwords and CreateSpace, and you see value in pursuing one of these avenues instead of this method. I’m kind of overwhelmed by all the options available!

    • Amy says

      It is overwhelming. CreateSpace is not for an ebook as much as it is for hard copies. I have not used Smashwords, but I would recommend researching exactly how much of a cut they’ll take so you can determine if it’s a good road to take!

  36. steve gan says

    Good morning!
    I am asking (begging) for your help! I have searched everywhere but get confused with all the “help” on the web. (besides the fact I’m a 63 yr old man LOL)
    I cannot seem to find the code for a blog button to post on my website that will allow visitors on my web to follow my blogs. All I know is I want the “B” from blogspot.com and just get frustrated trying to find it!!
    Can you please email me the code with instructions (I do know copy and paste lol) or tell me the url where I can get the code I want.
    Your help will be appreciated.
    Thank you
    Steve Gan

    • Amy says

      Hi Steve. Glad you stopped by…

      I think what you’re asking is for people to be able to subscribe to your Blogger blog’s feed. If you go to “Design” in your Dashboard and click on the “Add a Gadget” link in the spot on your page you want that button to appear, you can choose the “Feed” option from the list.

      Does that help?

  37. real blogger says

    I’m a little confused as to why people should listen to you or take you seriously?

    Per your bio…

    “Hi, I’m Amy. I’m just a regular gal who wondered if there was a legitimate way to work from home. I’ve done it, and you can do it too. Here’s my easy peasy, step-by-step guide. You might also like the quick tips I share on Facebook. And here are my blogging tutorials. Skeptical? I get that. Check out my FAQ for my take.”

    And yet the second sentence you write states that “This was completely uncharted territory for me and given that writing is not my favorite thing to do, I”…

    I guess you really have to love the internet these days where anyone and EVERYONE is a self proclaimed “Blogging EXPERT” or a “Social Media GURU”…just for fun I am going to proclaim myself “Lord King of all Things Blue”

    That is all.

    • Amy says

      Oh my goodness, I wasn’t calling myself The Guide, I just put together this step-by-step guide which includes the steps I’ve taken as I’ve walked through the process of writing and launching an ebook. Of course the process is still not finished so I’ve definitely got more to learn. Nope, I definitely don’t consider myself a guru or expert by any means, I’m just passing on the info I’ve gleaned over the years in the hope it’s helpful to others. :)

  38. says

    OMG, it’s a series. This is almost like stumbling on an encyclopedia on ebook writing. At the risk of sounding like a spammer, I’m bookmarking this particular page for reference as I try my best to accomplish my goal of writing my very first ebook. Amy, you got a neatly designed blog here., I like it. :)

  39. says

    Well, I’ve gotta say that you’re doing a great job of building up suspense over this series. I’m dying to read what you’ve got to say on this ebook venture.

    I’ve typed up 2/3rds of the second draft of my ebook. I love writing, but it’s still hard. Those self-doubts creep in. Making something worthy of selling puts your writing in a different category than just slapping it up on the blog, take it or leave it. As I write, I come up with more ideas and more ideas. This thing could become another War and Peace if I don’t cap it off!

    • Amy says

      “As I write, I come up with more ideas and more ideas. This thing could become another War and Peace if I don’t cap it off!”

      LOL!

  40. says

    Thank you so much for this guide! I just started contemplating turning part of my book into an ebook so I don’t have to be consumed with waiting on the uncertainty of publishing. I didn’t know where to start, though, so I’m thankful for the perfect timing … and especially your willingness to share what you’ve learned.

  41. says

    I’ve been asking for tips and suggestions from people regarding starting an ebook, but noone seems to want to share. You can’t imagine how helpful this is to me. Thank you so much!!!

  42. says

    I, for one, am so happy that I bought your e-book. I haven’t finished it yet because I won’t let myself read it all until I do the steps in the e-book.

    I didn’t think I’d ever purchase an e-book, but I’m thrilled that I did.

    Every time I think I should write something, I see that someone else has already written about that subject. I like your idea though – spend 10% – 20% of your time on it. Maybe I’ll try that.

    • Amy says

      Thank you Johnlyn. You are crackin’ me up about making yourself do the steps. :) That’s awesome!

      And regarding your ebook(s), no one sees it like you!

    • Amy says

      So, don’t be afraid to write something in your unique voice, even if it’s a topic that others have covered. After all, there’s nothing new under the sun.

  43. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your walk with an ebook. I have been thinking of writing one of my own, but I wanted to wait to see how your process has gone. Lol Everytime I want to start something else comes up! I am thankful for being busy but I also want to get this off the ground. You are an inspiration and I love reading your blog. Thanks again for sharing!
    Brooke

    • Amy says

      Thank you Brooke. That is very kind.

      Everytime I want to start something else comes up!

      That has got to be the story of my life! :)

    • says

      Amy, OMG, since stumbling onto your website a few days ago, I have been just amazed. I have been searching for ‘just the right’ information . I love writing, have always loved writing, have created several blogs and written a number of articles trying to figure out just the right thing ~~ your site has done it for me. I now know the direction I need to take my writing (I have an ebook that has been in the making forever) Thank U, Thank U. Your website has been an absolute God-send for me…….. God Bless U for your willingness to share (will keep you posted).