As 2016 rapidly draws to a close, so does my journey to become a published author of an ebook.
Only a few close friends and my family even know I wrote an ebook.
Is authoring an ebook part of the rollercoaster world of blogging?
I don’t know since this is the first ebook I’ve ever written.
My journey becoming a published author certainly has been met with bumps in the road.
This post seeks to explain how to author an ebook and point out the pitfalls I experienced in order to help you avoid them and have an even more successful journey to become a published author.
Step 1: Think of a Topic for Your Ebook
- Think of a topic that solves a problem for the reader.
- Go to your dashboard; find posts you’ve published that might do this. Then, organize those posts into groups.
- Organize those groups into sections of your book. Sections within sections could be chapters.
According to the CoSchedule blog, the best day to publish is Tuesday. That is the day you want to plan on launching your book to the Amazon Kindle program. (Note: there are other places to sell ebooks, but this post is based on the methods of CoSchedule which has you uploading to the Amazon Kindle Program.)
Step 2: Find People to Preview Your Ebook
You are going to need reviewers before the book gets to Amazon. Publisher Lois Hoffman advises 20 to 30 reviewers.
- Send them questions about your ebook using Google Forms.
- Go to Google Forms and create a new form.
- Title it and type a short blurb at the top explaining why you are sending them the form, you would like them to review your upcoming ebook.
- Ask questions that will help you determine who you want your beta readers to be. You will find a variety of questions you can ask. I asked four yes or no questions.
- Click “Send” and type in their emails. You can also ask your social media followers for help.
- Once your respondents agree to be your beta readers, the question becomes when to send them your ebook.
- My publisher Lois advises right away. The goal is for them to critique the book before it goes to the Amazon Kindle Program (AKP). This way the beta readers can apprise you if there’s an aspect of your book that needs improving. If you need to tweak anything before publication, you can.
Step 3: Put Your Ebook Together
The Different Sections That Make Up Your Book
The sections you will need are as follows:
Book Copyright Page: This is a page that is normally used for writing down all the important information that helped your content get published. Your name, the publisher’s name, the editor’s name, the designer’s name, the website name, your copyright, and the year of publication. Here is a great guide on how to build a copyright page.
Dedication: This is a great place to dedicate the book to someone. It usually shows up in the first few pages.
Foreword: Once you’ve written your book, reach out to someone you’d like to write a foreword for your book. It helps if you’ve gotten to know them.
When you are writing your book work on building connections with people who you might want to write the foreword.
Intro: The intro is what hooks your readers. You should incorporate some of that into your book description on Amazon.
In the case of my ebook, the introduction served as the foreword to the book.
Conclusion: Your conclusion is what rounds it all up and ties everything together. You show your readers what they learned throughout the entire book or at least a glimpse of the most important things you want them to remember.
Acknowledgments/Thank You Page: This is a great place to share thank you’s with the people who helped your book become possible. Think editors, designers, and other writers.
At The End Of Each Chapter: Make sure you write a couple of sentences that will lead your readers into the next chapter. Your goal is to make your readers keep reading.
Step 4: Promote Your Ebook
In How to Make Money in 2016 and Beyond as a Beginner, guest author Anil Agarwal explained how to make money blogging. One of his tips included making a product and finding people to sell it for you. They are your affiliates. They get a portion of the money from the sale, you get the sale, and everybody wins. An ebook is a product you could sell and have your affiliates sell.
CandidWriter.com recommends selling your ebook through affiliates in order to get what’s called additional passive income. “Each website that you put your ebook on is another road back to your website. It’s another road that a visitor can find your website through… thus leading to more traffic and promotion for your blog.”
Before you publish and attempt to sell your ebook, you need to promote your book in order to generate interest in your product.
Build up your potential readers’ excitement before publication. Your promotion should precede the actual publication of the book. Do NOT ask them to buy it. Instead, in blog posts and emails, offer background information about the book.
For example, I never thought I had a book in me. My publisher Lois had more faith this day would come than I did. I felt it was a dream I’d never see realized.
Now that the day is getting closer, I am over-the-moon excited on a variety of levels. First, it’s a dream come true, and not everyone gets to see their dreams come true.
Next, I can’t express the joy I get, the fulfillment, from helping others succeed. I completed my Master’s Degree in Education so I could empower teachers. Who would have ever thought I would be empowering bloggers! I have found this journey so rewarding for the last two years, my plans to pursue college teaching have dropped by the wayside.
Of course, none of these joys would be possible without the support of my husband as well as my publisher, my children, my blogging friends who helped me on my journey, and my supportive community of readers. What No One Tells You About Blogging explains the fulfillment I experience from being part of this amazing community.
When you promote your ebook, offer your first readers a special incentive for preordering early. This could be anything relevant to your niche from cheat sheets to exclusive articles.
People have already written me asking how to order a copy. It will be available soon. Once it is, my first customers will get bonus material, not available in the book, as my way of saying thank you.
People might ask why they should buy my ebook when they can read my blog posts. People want the convenience of having the downloadable material together as a reference instead of 500 disparate blog posts on a variety of blogging-related topics. My book, An Insider’s Look at Creating a Successful Blog, focuses on blogging and social media tips.
Step 5: How to Get a Cover For Your Ebook
Covers can be expensive.
The Virtual Assistant agency that contacted me tried to help me find a cover for a resource I wanted to sell. They sent me this link with cover choices: https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/ but I found them far too expensive.
My Ebook Cover Revealed
Are you wondering how long all this took me? I have been pursuing becoming an ebook author since this year started, and it is now October.
Afterward, the bumps in the road were fewer. Also, I didn’t work on the ebook consistently. Therefore, another potential author might finish an ebook quicker than I did.
Who Should Write an Ebook?
Writing an ebook is not for everyone. According to my publisher, Lois, “It is for bloggers and writers who are looking to expand their business and build credibility.”
We All Get By with a Little Help from Our Friends
2016 seemed to be the Year of the Ebook. Many of my friends were publishing ebooks at the same time I was putting mine together.
This was a happy coincidence since I could take advantage of the knowledge they gained by pioneering the road before me.
I repeatedly picked the brains of my friends Terri Webster Schrandt, Gary Jefferies, and Mark Newsome. In addition, my friends Debby Geis Kaye and Julie Syl Kalungi, who had authored ebook before me, inspired me.
When my publisher recommended I start the book with an introduction, I was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a cruise ship. Internet was costly, and I had no idea had to introduce an ebook.
I turned to my friend and cross-promotion partner Mark Newsome. Since he is a marketer, Mark excels at copywriting and wrote a glowing introduction to my book.
As I’ve already explained, my publisher Lois Hoffman gave invaluable advice for many months. She gave me sage advice on marketing strategies and timing for promotion, resources, and she went over and above when it came to being generous with her time.
For example, she helped me with the timing of finding beta readers for my ebook, the right book to read about how to launch an ebook, a title that more accurately matched my content, formatting, and cover design. She also taught me the difference between traditional publishing and ebook publishing. For example, she explained books in the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) don’t require an ISBN, so you don’t need to buy one. These are just a few of the ways Lois helped me. I was lucky to have her in my corner.
No post about how I wrote an ebook would be complete without my giving my amazingly talented and knowledgeable publisher a shout out:
Lois is a teacher like I am. Combining her life-long passion for teaching with her expertise in self-publishing, Lois founded The Happy Self-Publisher to encourage writers to become authors and aspiring writers to put their thoughts on the page. She teaches writers to overcome writing, publishing, and book marketing obstacles through workshops and on her blog.
My goal in writing my ebook which contains blogging tips was to inspire others to experience stress-free blogging. The book takes away the challenges by explaining how to easily and productively reach your blogging goals.
The goal of this post was to inspire people to try to pursue their dream of becoming a published author.
Many people aspire to be an author. If you are one of those people and decide to pursue the dream, hopefully, these tips will be of assistance.
My blogging friends and publisher assisted me. Hopefully, my experiences and these tips can assist you.
Readers, please share, so other writers aspiring to be authors know the steps to take. I recommend bookmarking this post, so when your turn comes to be an ebook writer, you can have this guide handy.
Have you considered ebook writing? When do you think the timing will be right? Have you already authored an ebook? Any additional tips for those who are considering it? I look forward to your views in the comments section.