Why and How to Write an E-Book

Nowadays, it is simpler than ever to be old-fashioned. Nope, I am pretty sure that you don’t want to be an outdated designer but this is the cruel reality. Take my example, I have been guest blogging for three years now and, until a few months ago, I disregarded the idea of responsive design or the utility of any gadget but I should probably change my opinion to continue blogging. The online environment is quickly changing and we almost don’t have the time/instinct to see the effects.

Willing or not, basic documentation is a must for everyone involved in web-related activities and even if we “waste” precious time reading various books or articles, it should not consist in a decisive impediment. In order to keep the same rhythm with the Internet and also with the web design “explosion”, it is mandatory to read, find out new ideas and techniques and practice in order to form new skills. If you are part of the web design high-class group, it’s enough to neglect your self-preparation for some months in order to get the status of “rookie”.

Fortunately, there are tons of modalities of finding out the news in web design world and much more, everyone is encouraged to actively participate in making the online world better. First of all, there are countless blogs and the information provided is usually highly qualitative and it is totally worth it to spend some time reading the new posts on a daily basis. Second, there are the “old” books that will never die and the designers know that by reading some very good ones, the money invested, and the time spent on reading them will guarantee a very good return of the initial investment. Third, the magazines that are specialized in the domain- I check them on a monthly basis – it’s amazing to read what the best designers are doing and how they solve the most important aspects of their projects.

The last modality, but not the least is to read e-books, some people consider that these may be easily included into the same category with the printed books but it is wrong because between these there are major differences:

  • The e-book is usually only in the electronic format (else why we will name it “e-book” and not simply book);
  • The format isn’t necessarily very important but the information from a book is complete and it is presented into a medium to long format while an e-book tries to compress a wealth of information into just few pages. The format isn’t necessarily very important but the information from a book is complete and it is presented into a medium to long format while an e-book tries to compress a wealth of information into just few pages.

Note: please make a clear distinction between an e-book and the electronic format of a book. These are different even if both of them are “immaterial.”

In the last year, the statute of the e-book has evolved a lot and due to the latest technologies, it seems that the e-book industry must be taken into account. The next scenario is happening very often and it is the fundament of the huge expansion of the e-books: you need very quickly to find out some information but the time is very limited. Consequently, you don’t have time to bone the subject at work and you prefer to stay in bed and use your tablet. An e-book is the perfect format for this activity: you download it and by reading just few pages, your complicated task seems to be easier to solve. Willing or not, the revolution created by the huge growth of the handheld devices create the perfect context for the e-book boom. Anyway, there are some obvious and important advantages of writing and selling an e-book.

1. Promote Someone/something

Many people haven’t gotten yet used to the new style of advertising. The times when promoting just meant to make your name known to people are dead, or anyway don’t guarantee the best results. Instead, nowadays to promote means to educate people, explain your perspectives and the ones that understand and agree with you surely will be converted into loyal clients.

The same treatment must be applied when writing e-books- it’s a waste of time to write about yourself and how talented you are (even if you really are). I may bet that no reader will be attracted to your service if you write an e-book presenting yourself and your past projects. A better approach is to write about responsive design and convince people that the mobile users can’t be ignored and any website owner must redefine the strategy. In addition to some examples of the greatest brands and showcasing some of your projects may be the perfect recipe to make people interested in your services.

The conclusion is simple: if you write an e-book to promote yourself try not to intoxicate the readers, instead make them better prepared for future and let everyone know that you are available.

2. Financial Reward

Paradoxically, because e-books are pretty cheap, a good one may bring a reasonable financial compensation for the readers. Usually, people aren’t too avaricious when it’s about few bucks but for the creator, two-three dollars from thousands of people is the equivalent of a nice reward.

instantShift - Financial Reward

Unfortunately (for the e-book writers), people don’t buy e-books with no reason, they need information and unless your work satisfied their necessities, surely they won’t recommend it. On the other hand, by offering the best tips it is quite possible for the ordinary reader to become interested in other works written by you.

I hope that you get the idea; the profit strictly depends on the value of the e-book, it’s impossible to write only stupidities and obtain a lot of money.

3. Exposure

Another potential advantage of writing e-books is the possibility of gaining the recognition of the community or of the readers. It’s a long time achievement but overall, it’s very important; once your name turns into a brand, the situation is clearly more favorable when publishing another-book.

Becoming a famous e-book writer isn’t a very simple process and it requires a lot of time, therefore don’t expect to turn into a superstar in just a few weeks.

4. Possibility of Being Hired

instantShift - Possibility of Being Hired

By publishing an e-book you can’t have full control over your readers, but it is better to offer some modalities of being contacted… the better the creation, the more people will want to get in touch with you. It is no surprise to be contacted by someone that is interested in your writing services. It doesn’t automatically mean that you get a new/another job but is fantastic to have countless opportunities to select from.

I am almost sure that from now, you will have a more detailed opinion about what an e-book requires and quite probable you have started to consider writing such a work. It’s wonderful and, in order to help you, I have create here a brief plan of writing an e-book; you shouldn’t take it as a fixed plan but it’s useful to read through. I welcome anyone involved in this industry to offer his opinions, feel free to use the comment form to impress us and help people ready to write a new e-book.

  1. Documentation- it is the base

    Before you start writing an e-book it is better to think twice. Even if an e-book is just a few pages of length, the work invested is enormous and no one may guarantee that it will be a best-seller or even a profitable affair.

    If you are still convinced that an e-book is a solution for you, then it’s alright. The next step is to set up clear the title of the e-book and make a clear plan. It means that, barely at a superficial level, you have some knowledge about, but by sure, it won’t be enough. A quality e-book must incorporate a high volume of information in a short format and this isn’t possible if you aren’t an expert. Clearly, no matter your experience or talent, the research is mandatory and usually, the time spent on researching is directly proportional to the success of the creation. Even Albert Einstein said that it’s impossible to explain something clearly as long as you don’t fully understand the respective matter.

  2. Read other e-books

    Another key element into the final equation of the success is the news and the unique pieces of information provided. If your e-book has nothing original, it’s almost sure that no one will be interested in and in the end, all you work will be a fiasco. The single action to avoid such an unwanted final is to read as many e-books as possible that treat similar subjects.

  3. Find a new idea and strive for being the best e-book ever

    The next phase supposes that you already have read tons of information about the subject and you should clearly delimitate the writing plan. Yeah, you already have a draft from the step no.1, but now you are more prepared and it’s normal to change some aspects. It’s not necessarily a mistake to change even the title; everything must be done to satisfy the readers. Many people neglect the planning phase; it’s instantly associated with laziness because there not even a single line has been written. It’s true but you should be aware that any mistake in the beginning phases it very hard to correct at an ulterior phase. Conclusion, never hurry, to plan is as important as the effective writing in this activity.

  4. Additional study – optional

    You may change the title, the main topic or whatever you do, surely there is nothing wrong but every change must be followed by a complete study, therefore I have inserted here an optional aspect, the additional study. Depending on your decisions, you may repeat or skip this step.

  5. Effective writing and tips on how to write

    Finally, we are doing what we expected, writing the book. The essence of a book is to offer a complete and useful approach for something in a very short volume. More pragmatically and generally speaking, it is all about presenting an algorithm in an accessible language using the minimum number of words.

    Another must-have feature of the e-books is the originality. As I previously mentioned, without something unseen on other similar creations, people won’t have any reason to buy your work. Fortunately, you read very much and you are familiar with almost any e-book treating your subject and you are able to offer a fresh perspective. Does it make sense now why I emphasized so much the planning and documentation phases?

    An e-book must be to the point, any divagation, unless strictly necessary, must be deleted. In order to be appreciated by the readers, an e-book must be written in a logical enhancement, in this way it is way easier to understand the message and apply the ideas presented.

  6. Proofreading

    instantShift - Proofreading
    Think you don’t need a proofreader? Think again. (Image: withassociates)

    It really doesn’t matter if you write the e-book in your native language or not, you should pay close attention to proofreading. People will appreciate as a professionalism sign the lack of any type of mistakes and you want to be respected, don’t you? A proofreader is welcomed, the more he has nothing in common with the subject of the e-book, the better. It’s obvious, if he has no idea about it and understands your advice, for the ones that were superficially getting in touch with the respective matter it will be a nice and useful lecture.

  7. Final review

    This step supposes that you already finished your e-book and it was revised by the proofreader. Now you should once again check any details and notice if there are any disaccords that my harm your work. You shouldn’t hurry, you must be very patient and attentive, and in this way the possibility of not remarking a mistake is almost zero.

  8. Create the marketing plan

    Many authors consider that their job is done when the last page of the e-book is revised. It is a very big mistake (but very common) and you shouldn’t follow this wrong pattern. If you really want to have some advantages from this e-book or even profit then the marketing plan is mandatory.

    Setting up this plan isn’t an easy job and there are some steps. The first decisions consist in determining the price of the e-book, is it for free or people must pay few dollars. The former choice supposes that you may email it to an existent subscribing list and expect for the results while the last one means that you should have a selling strategy. Some writers sell their e-books on Amazon, e-bay, on their websites or on other markets. According to the style of the e-book you must decide which solution is the best for you. Another important factor in making this plan is the price, would the book be very cheap expecting to be bought by many people or would be expensive thinking that the quality will attract the readers no matter the price?

Another front where you must “fight” is the effective promotion of the product, try to write or hire other people to do reviews; never forget the power of social media which is the perfect tool in letting people know about your latest creation. Finally, don’t expect to immediately have sold thousands of copies in just few hours, it’s about patience, experience and willing or not, good luck.

What do you think, would you write an e-book? Is it interesting enough for you?

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One Comment

  1. Well two weeks ago I started writing my own eBook just of nowhere. After writing few pages I stopped, thinking about how stupid might it sound and how crowded is the actual niche. So I lost motivation and quit it. I could see myself writing eBooks, but currently I struggle finding a topic to write about. Choosing something that users will like and have common knowledge about it is hard, and when you add that mostly the topic is covered by many good authors you just stop it. At least for me.

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