Writing an eBook can seem like a daunting task. With the recent popularity of eBook readers such as the Kindle, Kobo and Cover Story, among others, it seems as if the advice is clear – “if you want to make money in publishing, write an eBook.”
It’s a sound philosophy: how else can a writer keep around 70% of the royalties for themselves, have complete control over what they write about, and how they write it, and keep all of the rights?
An eBook can be sold, used to generate sales leads, or simply used as a vehicle for affiliate sales, depending on the needs of the writer.
But it all has to start somewhere, and although picturing the finished product can help, it can seem like a long road to the finish line!
How to Plan an eBook
An eBook needs to be planned:
- the content needs to be researched;
- the structure needs to be outlined;
- market opportunities need to be analyzed.
Before any writing can take place, the content has to be researched so that the end product is something that the market is actually hungry for. To do this, enter the words ‘How To’ plus one of your favorite hobbies, in the Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool, and look through the results.
The chances are good that one of the phrases that comes up is something that has a reasonable amount of traffic (around 10k hits monthly) and a ‘Low’ or ‘Medium’ competition indicator.
Having narrowed it down to one aspect of your favorite hobby, the next thing to do is to look at the market – find books on Amazon that cover the same topic, and look at their Tables of Content. This should give an idea of where the pain points are.
Next, the structure must be outlined. For beginners, try starting with 5 main headings. They need to take the reader on journey from the problem to the solution, and need to contain keywords that trigger interest.
Then add 3-5 subheadings for each heading. This should become the skeleton onto which the eBook itself will be hung.
Finally, for each of the subheadings, look for a product, service, or resource in the market that can be sold from the eBook, or used to research part of it. Other ideas may well come up at this stage, and you should stay focused and ignore those that don’t directly relate to the eBook in hand.
How to Write the eBook
With the skeleton in hand, the eBook needs to be written. Many writers tend to write 3-5 short sentences for each of the subheadings that describe what that point will be about. Once this is done, it’s just a case of expanding and explaining – and that’s the easy part!
- use lists wherever possible, they’re easier to read;
- keep to the point, with usable information;
- images are good, but they need to be on-topic, high quality and royalty free;
- at first, don’t think, just write!
The book will need to be written a bit at a time, on a daily basis, without spending much time editing. The flow of ideas is as important to the final copy as the grammatical structure – that can be fixed later, often key ideas are fleeting!
Once the prose has been written, edited, and tightened up (and it’s a good idea to get a friend to help with that) the front and back matter can be added, along with a Table of Contents, and Author’s Bio.
Congratulations, you now have a unique, researched, money generating How To style eBook.
What Do I Do Now? Making Money with the eBook
This is probably the reason you’re reading the article. Everyone wants to know how to make money from eBooks, and there are many ways that the content can generate a solid income for the writer.
The first way is to simply sell it on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. They’ve made it incredibly easy to convert a PDF or Word file into a Kindle eBook, and will pay generously to have the book on their catalog.
The only real drawback is that, as a Kindle eBook, it can only be read on Kindles. But, you do get Amazon’s reach, and a healthy royalty.
For those who’d rather keep 100% of their profits, the next possibility is to put their eBook up for sale on eBay, on a web page, and list it in Google Books.
Of course, in this case, the author needs to make sure that the market sees the book in the first place, and that means a healthy dollop of SEO is needed.
Another way to make money from the eBook is to list it at a very low price point (or even for free) and use it to drive traffic to an affiliate based site. For those who don’t want to maintain such a site, actually linking through to affiliate partners from within the eBook itself is a final option that can be lucrative.
The wonderful thing about a ‘How To’ eBook is that it lends itself to selling goods related to solving the reader’s problem, and as such can be monetized in any of the above ways.
This has scratched the surface of the wonderful opportunities offered by writing How To eBooks, and now it’s up to you to take action and start making money online today.