The E in ebooks should stand for easy. With their portability, clear layout and accessible length, they’re easy to read. And the good news for you as a person in business with something to say is that they’re easy to write. It’s just like any other aspect of your business: you create a product, you put it in place, you identify your audience and you promote it to them on the channels they use.
I’ve created The 5 Ws of Writing an Ebook, to take you step by step through the process of putting your ebook together. We’ll begin with that classic question that’s fanned many a flame of genius.
Anyone can hand out a business card – giving people an ebook makes a real splash. They give you an opportunity to promote your brand and the products and services that you offer to your customers. Ebooks also give you a chance to share your expertise with your customers. Your generosity and the value of the information you’ve given them will enhance your reputation. And if you’re a frustrated writer, they can make your writing dreams a reality.
Before you start writing, you need to know what to say. Every book has an angle, an element that makes it stand out. Knowing what you want to write will help you structure your book and to decide what to leave in and leave out. This will prevent you from drowning in a sea of information. You’ll also need to consider what kind of ebook you want to write. Will you concentrate on giving tips, or will you share experiences from your own career that you think will be helpful to people?
Before you begin your ebook, you’ll need to know who will read it. Do you want to aim it at people in your sector, to build your reputation as an expert in the field? Or do you want to target a particular group of customers? Just like when you’re developing a product, you’ll need to consider factors like age, income bracket and level of social media usage, so you can decide how to market the book.
Which brings us to:
When you’ve finished your work of genius, you’ll need to decide how to spread the word about your book. The best thing to do is use a mix of channels. Start with the people you know. Let them be your ambassadors. Then pick the social media channel that’s most relevant to your book. And don’t neglect traditional media. People love to hear the latest news on their local radio station or in their local newspaper. But no matter what you do, the important thing to remember is that a book will create its own buzz. If your book is good enough, people will talk about it.
When you’ve finished your ebook, you’re only halfway there. You’ll need to decide where to publish it. You’ve got three options. You can put it directly on Amazon yourself. You can use a specialist Internet publishing platform like Lulu, CreateSpace or Smashwords. They’ll format the book and place it in a number of ebook stores, like Kobo, Nook and Amazon. Or you can go for a combination print/ebook deal. A lot of printers and self publishing companies offer these.
You’re a busy person and it’s going to take a bit of juggling to figure out what times of the day you’ll be able to write. But it can be done. Snatch a half-hour before the rest of your household gets up. Write while you’re on the bus or train to work. Record your favourite programmes and write some of your ebook instead. Aim for a target of 300 words a day. That’s doable for even the busiest person.
This will be the first post in a monthly series called Ebooks: Telling the Story of Your Business. The next post will cover the nitty gritty of content, in other words, what to write.
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