Today I’m excited to share with you the ideas and wisdom of 14 successful ebook authors.
This advice is gold and I highly recommend you take notes.
When I started this ebook project, I was just going to write all the lessons on my own, but I realized that there are a ton of people who have successfully written and sold ebooks.
These people have gone through the research part of ebook creation. They’ve battled the blank page. They’ve written thousands of words and they’ve sold their guides to their audience.
We have a lot to learn from them and, fortunately for us, they were kind enough to offer their advice. I believe in learning from those who have gotten the results you’re looking for.
…and these people have gotten great results.
14 Invaluable Tips For Writing Ebooks That Sell
1. Lisa from Niche Website Success:
“Take the time to survey your core audience to ensure your book meets their needs. We often assume we know what people want, but you never really know unless you ask.
Prior to writing my Book, I used my email list to survey my subscribers. The feedback was invaluable and inspired much of the content in the book. Not to mention, it’s a great way to win over your readers. They ask. You deliver.”
2. Steve from Steve Aitchison:
“Ask your audience what type of ebook they would like before writing one word of your ebook. I have made the mistake of writing an ebook, thinking, this is a great idea my readers will love this, only to find that they didn’t love it. The ONLY way to find out what type of ebook your readers will like is to ask them. You can do this in a blog post, an email to your subscribers, or use social media better yet ask them using all three.
Another thing is, make your book look fantastic. Presentation is everything and you want to give a professional looking ebook with a great cover. A lot of ebook creators write their book in a word document and turn it into a pdf without much thought for presentation. In this day and age of information overload, you need a great cover to catch the readers eye, a great title to capture their imagination, and a great presentation on the inside. It’s well worth spending a few hundred dollars to get a professional to design your book once you’ve written it.
One last thing, get someone to proof read your ebook. Again, I’ve made this mistake of not getting an ebook proof read only to find I get lots of emails pointing out errors in my book. If you don’t get it proof read it shows you’re not willing to invest that little extra to make it look and read great, and this will come across to the reader.”
3. Farnoosh from Prolific Living:
“I have written 7 e-books to date with contributions to many others. Some are free for download, some are for opt-in and others are for sale on my website on my own site and also on on the Amazon Kindle store, thanks to my husband’s professional help with formatting and producing them for Amazon and my excellent designers help with some of the books. My advice to you is not technical. It is deeper.
Why are you writing your book? What is the core purpose? Do you have a compelling message to tell the world? Do you want to make money and have an extra source of income? Do you want attention, notoriety, or the ability to tell others you have written a book? Do you want a sense of accomplishment?
Get seriously clear on your purpose so that you work to meeting that end goal and not be chasing every other reason out there to write an ebook that may or may not speak to your true reason. When you are clear on that, you will write your very best book. If you need a nudge, come talk to me. I’ll help you get clear. All the best and happy writing!”
“I’m sure others will talk about how to create the ebook or get the sale. I want to talk about what happens after the sale because of course you will sell SOMETHING. So here it is:
Focus on buyers, not freeloaders and not tire-kickers, but buyers. Buyers have already told you they like you and trust you enough to part with their money for your product. Make them happy and keep them happy and they will continue to do so, plus they will refer others to you.”
5. Scott from Scott Young:
“The best piece of advice I can give is to develop the book around a benefit the reader will receive, not the topic you want to write about. A classic mistake many bloggers fall into is trying to repackage their free articles as an ebook, or write an ebook on a pet topic and hope it will sell.
This works some of the time, but a more effective strategy is to figure out something your audience members need help with that you can solve, write that book and explain how the book solves their problem.”
6. Tyler from Advanced Riskology:
“Don’t write a single word until you’ve done your research and made sure your audience 1) actually wants what you’re about to create and 2) is actually willing to pay for it.
Let the research guide your direction, but don’t let it make every decision because you also have to create what’s interesting to you. There’s a delicate balance to strike.”
7. Amy from Blogging With Amy:
“Don’t wait. If you have any thoughts of publishing an ebook, dive in as soon as you can. The publishing landscape is changing very quickly. Self-publishing will only become more common. Better to get in on it now.”
8. James from Men With Pens & Damn Fine Words:
“The most common mistake I see with book writing is the slap-together approach. Some people think, “Hey, I have a bunch of great blog posts I wrote… I’ll just slap them together, call it an ebook and offer it for sale!” Big mistake. Huge. Cheap out on your ebook and you’ve just lost potential customers.
People might buy your ebook, sure… but will they read it, think you’re a credible expert and come back to your business for more? Will they become loyal clients? Repeat customers? Huge fans? That’s what really counts… and shortcutting the process is detrimental to your goals. So my advice is to plan properly, prepare for this large project (because it IS a large project) and do it right so that you reap the rewards.”
9. Ali from Aliventures:
“You need to have a specific topic, and stick to that topic. This is particularly crucial if you’re creating a free ebook, or a low-priced one. Don’t try to throw in everything and anything about your area; don’t shoot for the “ultimate” guide. Just pick one straightforward, popular, topic and stay on track.
This makes the writing itself easier, and makes your ebook a more attractive prospect for the reader (who might be overwhelmed or unconvinced by a more comprehensive guide). It also leaves you plenty of room for the next ebook.”
10. Kristi from Kikolani, who’s also a Freelance Writer:
“The one piece of advice I would give to someone creating their first Book is to not get overwhelmed by it. It’s easy to get obsessed with details, trying to make everything as perfect as possible. While I would suggest getting an outside editor to read your work and catch any little grammatical things that you might miss, I wouldn’t get too caught up on other details.
You may not have the best cover graphic, launch promotion, mailing list, etc. as other eBook authors you have seen. But if you wait for everything to be absolutely perfect, you may never publish your book at all. Or worse, someone might beat you to your topic!”
11. Kelly from Sticky Ebooks:
“Avoid kitchen sink syndrome. Most first-time ebook authors are tempted to include every single thing they know about a subject, but this can backfire. Instead of seeing this as added value, readers can become overwhelmed with information.
No one likes to read 400 pages of anything that isn’t War & Peace. So zero-in on a topic you know your audience is hungry for, and go deep on a specific slice of it.”
12. Marc from Marc Cournoyer:
“If the goal is to create an ebook that will make money, then my advice is to test the market first before you invest your time in it. The simplest way do to this is by collecting emails with a squeeze page, making it clear you will be charging for it and how much.
Once you’ve collected a few emails, mesure conversion rate and decide if it’s worth it. Personally, I’d shoot for 5% or above.”
13. Tia from Your Life Your Way:
“Jot down your ebook ideas, pick one to turn into an book, then give it a dedicated block of time to do your writing – whether it’s an hour a day for 2 months, 4 hours on the weekend, or 3 days straight, you’ve got to eliminate distractions and do the unsexy work of writing to get the shitty first draft. THEN you can go in and clean it up, make it pretty, etc.
But don’t forget that your most important work is to sit down and do it first. Yeah, sounds so simple right? Failing to do this = you’ll do what I did and talk about your idea for a YEAR, make half hearted attempts and
then sit down for 3 days and knock it out. Don’t waste that year, amigo. Start now.”
14. Henri from Wake Up Cloud:
“I have so many things I think are extremely important, but if I had to pick one, I’d say it’s to outline before you start writing. I use a mindmap to flesh out each chapter and subchapter, so I know everything fits together, and with a mindmap it’s extremely easy to move things around.
When I finally start writing, the process is confusion-free, because everything is already in the outline. All I have to do is fill it with text.”
Check out the Infographic: