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The 8 Step Guide to Creating & Launching Your First Ebook the Successful Way

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Today we have a guest post by Moon Hussain.   I like it because it talks about one of my favorite subjects – Writing an eBook.  As you know, I’m always harping on about the importance of offering a free lead magnet.  I recommend reading Moon’s post because goes into a step-by-step action plan for completing an eBook and offering it to your audience.  Enjoy!

It’s easy to assume that people who are offering ebooks on their blogs (paid and free alike) have a lot of experience to have written them.  Most bloggers in their first year of blogging won’t even think of creating their first ebook; I know this because I was one of those bloggers.

Thinking of creating your first ebook can seem daunting.  For instance, I wanted to create an ebook as an incentive for people to join the EIP newsletter list for a long while and before To The Moon & Back, I attempted two ebooks that I never finished.  With the third idea, however, things just clicked.

Whatever topic you choose to write about, make sure that you can write about it from your own unique perspective.  The following is a comprehensive guideline that will help you create your masterpiece of an ebook:

1. Create An Ebook Around a Topic That Is Related To Your Blog And You’re Passionate About!

Launching your First eBook or ReportThis seems like common sense but too many people get this wrong.  If you have started an ebook about a topic that you don’t care for, you’re barking up the wrong tree.  Most likely, if you don’t find the topic interesting, neither will your readers.

Also, it’s ridiculously important that you write about a topic that relates to your blog well.  Why would someone download an ebook about how to treat insomnia in sixty days when the blog is about pet care?

One of the ebook ideas that I started was writing a guide on how to increase your Twitter count with passionate followers.  While this seemed­­ interesting, I wasn’t sure how I could relate the topic of the ebook to the blog in a direct way.  Plus, I was so bored into page 5 that I never got around to finishing it.  If I was this bored writing it, I surely couldn’t expect my readers to put up with that crap!

The ebook that I did finally succeed with, To the Moon & Back: An Honest Guide to Building Successful Passive Income Businesses Online, came very naturally to me.  The idea came to me over an outdoor lunch and had me very excited from the start.  The whole ebook was written in about 4-5 sittings.

2. Write the Ebook From Your Own Unique Perspective

This is a very important point as anyone can write a dry, text-book-like-I-want-to-kill-myself-reading-this type of ebook.

Did you enjoy reading textbooks in college?  Most people don’t.  What I do like reading, however, is content with pictures, videos and case studies.  For my niche, I knew it was incredibly important to show everyone a personal case study based on my niche site experience.  My ebook is all about the mistakes I’ve made with my blog and my mini-sites, so this ebook discusses all these things from a very personal view.  At the end, I also discuss what I did wrong with one of my mini-sites.  My whole angle was to discuss my mistakes so people can save time and not make the same mistakes.

3. Create an “Idea Map” for Your Ebook

Remember how I was just mentioning that the idea for my current ebook came to me while I was eating an outdoor lunch?  Well, luckily I had my notebook with me.  Why lucky?

Because as soon as I got the idea, these little sparks started generating tons of ideas.  I was able to take my initial idea of “write about my blog and mini-site experiences” to more specifically “write about what I did wrong with my blog and mini-sites so people don’t fall into the same traps!”

That mangled piece of paper had my messy writing all over it.  I wrote down ideas in big bubbles, drew lines connecting one bubble to another and was able to flesh out some crazy ideas.

Everyone has a process that works best for them, when things naturally come together.  For me, it happens best when I have a pencil and paper (or my handy, dandy notebook) to work with.  The point is to somehow get all of these things down in an “idea map” that suits you best!

4. Create Sections and General Headlines of Your Ebook Based Off Your “Idea Map”

This part can be drafted when creating your idea map for the ebook if you’re stoked enough.  Heck, I created my headlines straight from the idea map and only refined the sections and headlines when the writing for the section dictated so.

For some of you, the vision might be quite clear so this part of the ebook will come to you naturally.  For a few of you, creating titles before the material might feel unnatural; if this is the case, at least create general sections so you know how your ebook will take form.

5. Start Writing Your Masterpiece Ebook And Don’t Let Up

When you start writing, it’s important that you let the content flow.  If you start fitting the content within the titles, the process won’t feel natural anymore.  A lot of times, I had to adjust the titles of certain parts of the ebooks especially when I felt the content didn’t suit the particular title.

While writing the rough draft, you will end up writing completely new sections you hadn’t thought of before and deleting a couple of sections that don’t flow.  It’s important not to get frustrated at this stage because it can feel as if the ebook will never see completion.

One thing you shouldn’t do is stay hung up on editing when you’re just writing your rough draft.  Leave the editing for later!

6. Don’t Give Up, No Matter What That Asshole Nagging Voice In Your Head Tells You!

No joke!  Halfway through my report, an unexcited voice started making a point for me to quit, to tell me that my ideas sucked and that no one would want to give my “failures” a read.

It was harsh but remember, we are our own worst critics.  Thankfully, despite this asshole, nagging voice, I pushed past it and finished my rough draft.

In fact, after finishing my rough draft, the asshole voice came back for another stab: “.. there’s so many others who are doing this better than you are.  Don’t bother and don’t embarrass yourself!”

Please remember that not everyone can and will do what you are doing and that you attract your own type of crowd.  Your audience will enjoy your ebook if you write it from the heart and it follows most of the guidelines mentioned here.  Do NOT give up!

7. Hold Yourself Accountable By Announcing Your Ebook On Your Blog and Submitting Your Rough Draft to Close Friends

Cartoon MoonThank God I announced my ebook ahead of time on my blog and also pushed the rough draft to a couple of good blogger friends of mine!  The feedback was positive and my confidence was on the upswing!

Had I not taken these steps, there was a huge chance I wouldn’t have released an ebook.  Since we can be our own worst enemies, we cloud our own judgment and sadly beat ourselves down to the point where we kill our own motivation.

By taking these actions, I was able to refine my ebook and hire a designer to put on the finishing touches.

8. Create a Buzz By Talking to Other Bloggers & Your Readers

This is quite an important step because not only do you want your own readers to download your ebook but you want to reach as many other people as you can to expose your magnificent work.  This is why I personally reached out to a few bloggers (such as Mr. Steve Scott here) and let them read my ebook before my readers.

The end result was a lot of tweets by my fellow bloggers supporting my ebook; heck, even if it hadn’t reached as many people, the support was overwhelming and it helped me form true connections.  Come launch day, you will find that plenty of bloggers and your readers, alike, are more than willing to help spread the word about your work!

Also, make sure that you create buzz amongst your readers by mentioning the release of your ebook a post or two ahead of time.  This will get your readers anticipating your ebook release and perhaps even tweeting your post to alert other people of your upcoming ebook.  In fact, a few weeks before the release of my ebook, I created a post asking the EIP community to help me name my ebook… the responses were fun and got a lot of people involved.

In Summary…

Writing a good, quality, relatable ebook shouldn’t be too hard and if it seems that way, then there is a good chance that you are forcing the process in an unnatural way.  If you want to join the big boys or girls, you need to rid yourself of your insecurities and take a leap of faith.  As long as you follow the steps in this guideline, you will not only be the proud author of an ebook but you should also have great exposure through your ebook.

Steve’s Note: Moon Hussain loves road trips and wants to set up passive income streams so she can travel to her heart’s content.  She runs her own blog, Experiments in Passive Income, and she recently released her first free ebook, To the Moon & Back: An Honest Guide to Building Successful Passive Income Businesses Online, detailing her successes and failures with her blog and niche site in the last year.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 25 comments }

Lye Kuek Hin

Hi Moon,

It’s one of my goals to write an ebook of my own this year. Reading this post of yours has open my eyes and prepare me what to expect. Thanks for showing us step by step of preparation when writing an ebook. I gained a lot from your post.

Lye

Moon Hussain

Lye, glad you are getting that push from this post. I hope you push through whatever is holding you back and let us know how your ebook is coming along. To your success!

Alex Neill @ super affiliate

Excellent tips for writing the ebook itself, the promotion of the ebook is the hard part.

For that, I normally submit my ebook to as many sites as I can find there are a ton of free ebook sites, or if you have a paid ebook, offer it to ebook membership sites for a ton of free exposure.

Also dont forget ebay, they are a massive traffic source, just burn the ebook onto a cd, barra bing barra boom, tons of sales!

Alex

Moon Hussain

Alex, you have great ideas here. Why not submit it to other sources for more exposure. Promotion & marketing are definitely harder to do but not impossible. Awesome ideas, Alex.

Peggy Baron

Great post, Moon! I found myself shaking my head “yes”a number of times while reading it.

I’ve written ebooks on subjects that don’t interest me that much and subjects I’m passionate about. Without a doubt, the ones written from my interests were the easiest to write and were also better received.

And each ebook I write helps me write the next one better and faster, because I learn from my mistakes. The first one I wrote was all over the place and it was hard to bring it altogether. That’s when I learned to use an outline (like they tried to teach me in school, doh!)

You’re very right about that little voice of doubt screaming inside your head, but don’t let it win!

Thanks,
Peggy

Moon Hussain

Peggy,

Sounds like you have quite the experience there! I’m sure the boring work ends up being just that–boring and hard to finish.

That screaming voice is something we all have, something that tries to discourage us all. Don’t let it win. Thanks Peggy.

Adam Paudyal

Moon!
Awesome guidelines and kick in my rear for me to get my own eBook done!
(O:

Moon Hussain

Glad you loved it Adam and I hope you’re still feeling the burn underneath your rear 😉

Alex

I wasn’t goingto comment, but then I saw tip 8 and felt it deserved a ‘good point’ as well as a ”oooh, chance to utilise post to increase MY ecourse Buzz 🙂 ”

so go to BuildRankProfit.com and sign up today (LOL)

Great post Steve (Am I just saying that to get my comment approved? – we will never know 😉 )

Moon Hussain

Hey Busy Alex,

You missed it; this is my guest post 🙂 You’re quite the opportunistic fellow, aren’t you?

Hope we can play catch up soon! Oh and I’ll take that as “Great post Moon” 😉

Peter J

If you’ve got a good enough idea of what your doing, an idea map is not always the best option. The more you think about what you do the more you can loose your interest in it – just get on and do it!
That could only work for small projects, but still, i do agree that idea maps are valuable ways of getting your ideas down for when you jump into it, and that planning can always help.

Moon Hussain

Peter,

Of course, if you know know what you want to do, then go in for the kill. But for me (and I think a lot of people), the more you put your ideas down, the more they evolve and become refiner ideas, headlines, etc.

Anne Sales @ Coupon Codes

Writing an ebook would be a dream come true for me. I have just been brainstorming for my new blog and I’m going to add this to my goal. Thanks for the great tips.

Moon Hussain

Anne, it doesn’t have to be a dream. You just need to commit yourself and get it done. Good luck and update us soon!

Bryan@Work From Home

Hey Moon,

The asshole nagging voice is giving me a problems these days. I’ve created one and showed some close blogging friends and still I have this nagging feeling telling me, “nahh… that book is too simple,” Anyway, I’ve been fighting that voice in my head and put it down to rest. I think I’ve got to work on #8 Got to create more buzz and spread the word even further.

Moon Hussain

Bryan, first, congrats on finishing your first ebook. Second, is the feedback good from your friends? Is there something you can add or edit to make your ebook better?

If you are done, then it’s definitely time to build the buzz and set a release date for it. Good luck!

Patricia@lavenderuses

Hi Moon and Steve

Congrats on the Guest Post Moon and I really enjoyed reading your book 🙂 Some great points here too. Cos you are writing about something you have done yourself it hold more weight. Keeping it real. Love it.

My ebook has been started but this is one of a few posts I have read lately about writing our own ebook, so better get on and finish mine. I put it up in a post on my site as one of my attainable goals so my regular readers I am sure will hold me accountable 😉

Now to go do some writing. And thanks for such a detailed account of the steps you took to produce your ebook Moon. Appreciated.

Patricia Perth Australia

Moon Hussain

Patricia, sometimes the universe is giving you signs everywhere 😉 Looks like it’s time for you to set a deadline for your rough draft.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Alex@Jocuri

Hey Moon,

Thanks for sharing your steps of creating your ebook, I am sure many will find them useful.

I would never create an ebook just because I would never think that people would want to read what I have to say (although I have some experience with seo, programming and some internet marketing – something like 5 years or so ).

So I think the first thing you have to have when starting an ebook is self-confidence and to believe that you really do have something to say, then we would just follow your steps and there goes the ebook 😀 (this may seem easy, but of course it isn’t).

P.S. LoL@Alex

Moon Hussain

Absolutely Alex or that ebook would never happen! I think ebooks can be a way for you to not only produce amazing content but to also connect with your readers and make impressions.

Self-confidence is only the first step!

Keywords Blogger

Great post, Moon!

Your last point (spreading the word) really resonates with me. My ebook (“Finding a Niche, It Doesn’t Have to Be a Bitch”) sat gathering virtual dust on my blog until I did two guest posts on the Clickbank blog.

The flood of traffic that ensued got hundreds of people to download my ebook in a matter of weeks.

Never underestimate the power of a guest post on a good blog!

Moe Muise

Marlon @ productivity bits

Steve/Moon,

This should be part of a “eBook Publishing How-To Reading List”. If you are a blogger chances are you have thought of writing a book, or actually working on one by now. The only eBook that I’ve created so far is a 20-page productivity book. That was my first taste of writing a book! I have attempted to write a longer piece, 200-300 pages, but failed every time I tried. I just simply run out of ideas. The passion and experience are both there but I couldn’t go past beyond the obstacles.

After reading this post by Moon, now I know what I’m doing wrong – “forcing the process in an unnatural way”

Rojish

Excellent Post Moon, the point 6 “Don’t Give Up, No Matter What That Asshole Nagging Voice In Your Head Tells You!” was a wake up call to me. I had experienced it many times. May be at the halfway mark my mind tell me “will any one read my ebook, it looks too simple, does it have enough quality?” and atlast I will lose my focus and stop writing. Thanks for the tips!

Mark of Success

Hmm… I see that Moon didn’t come around to reply to the lovely comments that all the lovely people left for her above.

Anyway, I hope she comes around and sees this (leaving out the fact that I might actually go around and leave another comment on her site too).

Moon, I raced through your book and I’d like to congratulate you on your accomplishment. I think you did a good job! Well, why? I think you did a GREAT job. You actually got that book out!

Congratulations once again!

Cheers,
Mark

Shane Ryans

Great tips on launching your first ebook and creating passive income. Thanks

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