This is a guest article by Ashley Kimler. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
When you want to build your authority as an expert in your niche or create an incentive for new fans to sign up for your newsletter, ebooks are your saving grace.
As an author, you should know that consumer and educational ebooks account for $14.55 billion in annual spending across the globe – you deserve a piece of that pie.
eBooks are common, yet you’re not quite sure how to write and promote one to meet your needs. Here, that’s precisely what you will learn.
Step 1: Set your objective(s)
Before you write a single word of text, you have to be clear on why you’re writing an ebook in the first place.
- Are you hoping to entice readers to buy your next book?
- Do you want people to sign up for your newsletter?
- Would you like people to see that you’re an expert on a certain topic?
- Are you going to use your ebook as a backlink-building technique?
- Do you want this book to help you earn revenue?
Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish will make you more productive as you move into the next steps.
Step 2: Create a strategy
It’s almost time to write your book, but don’t jump the gun just yet. Next, create a plan that will help you meet your goal(s) as defined by step 1.
If you will leverage your ebook as a tool to entice readers to buy your next book, for example, you may want to plan an introduction to the book or story to include in your ebook.
If you are going to utilize the power of the ebook to earn revenue, set an ecommerce strategy for sales.
The plan should be relevant to your objective(s).
Step 3: Compile your research
After the plan is set, it’s time to compile the necessary research to show mastery over your topic. This might include information sources, an outline, images, sketches, etc.
As you gather research, be sure to keep links to external sources to use later. eBooks aren’t like traditional books – a bibliography isn’t required – you can link directly to your information sources from your body text.
Tip: Find free images for your ebook on websites licensed under reative Commons Zero (CC0), “No Rights Reserved.”
Here are 14 websites that offer images you don’t need to cite:
- Public Domain Archive
- Stock Free Images
- Wikimedia Commons
- Freerange Stock
- Free Images
- Negative Space
Step 4: Write the eBook
This is the fun part – you get to be creative here. As you compile your book, keep your goals and strategy in mind.
If your goal is to get readers to buy another book, give them a taste of what they’ll find later without revealing too much.
If your goal is to use the book as enticement for signing up for your newsletter, make sure the information you provide is worthwhile so that they don’t immediately unsubscribe.
If your goal is to establish yourself as an expert, provide information that can’t be found anywhere else.
If your goal is to build backlinks to your website, include powerful statistics, charts, and real data that readers can link to in their own blogs and on social media. Include powerful calls to actionthat guide readers to share helpful information.
If your goal is to earn revenue, make sure your book shines, use creative wordplay, and encourage readers to leave reviews.
Step 5: Proofread and edit
When an author takes their book to an editor for the first time, they typically expect that about ¼ of the content will be removed from the body text. This is because editing requires more than just proofreading and fixing grammar mistakes.
If you plan on editing your own ebook, you need to be aware of catching contextual spelling errors, correcting verb tense, avoiding cliches, using the most effective words in context, and more.
To aid your efforts, use a tool like Grammarly (which knows there are over 250 contextual writing errors that can be made) that will help you edit in real time and teach you how to avoid mistakes in your writing.
Step 6: Publish in the right place
If you’re giving your ebook away for free, you can host it nearly anywhere. But, if you’re selling it, you need to optimize the ecommerce process.
You can sell your ebook on a popular sales site like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Alternatively, you can host it on your own website; if you do, be aware that you should use a content management platform that is specifically designed for ebook sales.
Step 7: Promote to a targeted audience
Promotion, like all of the other work that goes into the ebook creation process, needs to be executed with your primary goal in mind. This includes a primary target reader.
Who is most likely to want to read your book? Where does this person hang out online? How can you make your ebook visible to this reader?
Social media, of course, is a great promotional tool, but don’t spam everyone with your new ebook. Tactfully include a link to the ebook somewhere on your profile or page, and interact with people organically.
Try posting a sneak preview of your ebook on SlideShare.
Find forums where your target reader spends time and use a strategy similar to what you’re doing with social media.
Join relevant groups, and be helpful.
Now you have a guide to write and promote your next ebook. Set your goal and plan in advance. Compile research and images, then write your book. Put serious effort into editing, then publish on an appropriate platform and promote to a targeted audience.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for writing and marketing an ebook? Please share them in the comments below.
About the author:
Ashley Kimler is a full time communications specialist and content marketing dynamo at Heroic Search. She is also an aspiring authorpreneur with one title currently available on Amazon. To see what she does next, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.