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Writing Your First eBook?

Here's a Checklist of 7 Dos and Don'ts

A decade, or even two decades ago, they might have seemed like a task that only the highly experienced publishers took on. Today, eBooks are on trend as a marketing tool, and many content marketers are using them very successfully. You don’t have to be a big company or one with deep pockets to venture into this type of content writing.  Once you write an eBook, you have an asset in your content marketing toolbox that you can use for a long time. It’s like trying to bake a cake for the first time—it looks hard because the recipe has so many steps, but once you get started, it’s not that difficult. And you may end up wanting to bake again, frequently! If you’re writing your first eBook, here are some tips that can help you be more successful.

1. Choose a Topic that Fits You

If you don’t know a lot about your topic, writing an eBook is going to be a chore. Instead of targeting a ‘popular’ category, choose a topic that you enjoy and that you know a lot about. In addition, it should fit your brand and resonate with your audience. A niche topic that doesn’t have a lot of competition can be more effective and successful compared to a lot of knockoffs. That first cake you try to bake should be a flavour that you love!  

2. Think Like a Publisher

If you’re planning on publishing your eBook yourself, you will need to wear multiple hats. You’re the writer, publisher, and marketing expert. Think about how you’re going to get your book into the hands of your audience. You’ll need to think about packaging your eBook. Plan to find a graphic designer to make your layout and design look professional. Hire a professional editor to find any mistakes. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Just like you will use your cake mixer, the oven, and the icing gun to take care of different steps in your process of cake making.

3. Outline Your Book First

Professional non-fiction writers often start with an outline to drive their book. This can help you break your book into sections to stay on topic. Start with titles for each chapter. There’s no reason to agonize over the wording; just break your topic down into manageable chunks. You can also list subsections under each chapter. A good recipe for a cake is written much the same way, with sections for Ingredients, Serving Size, Baking Steps, Decorating Ideas, and so on.

4. Set Yourself Up for Success with a Plan to Write

Writing a book sounds easy in theory, but when it’s time to put down words, you’ll be distracted by every shiny object unless you consciously avoid distractions. Block out time for writing in your schedule. This will also help you decide how much time you want to invest in total. Set up a place to write where you can focus on your eBook. You wouldn’t want to mix your cake ingredients in the living room, when your oven is in the kitchen, correct?  

5. Don’t Edit as You Write

A lot of writers get bogged down in editing before they even have a complete first draft. Don’t let proper grammar, spelling and the right words get you off-track. You can always go back and make changes. Work to get a first draft. Polish it up later. When you do start editing, save a draft of your work each time. That one section you delete in chapter 2 could work very well in chapter 5. If it’s your first time, you will be tempted to open the oven several times during the baking process to see how your cake is doing. And that would be a mistake! Keep the heat inside and wait for it to bake smoothly. 

6. Write According to Your Plan

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. It will likely strike at the least opportune times. You’ll be more productive if you write based on your goals and objectives and stay on schedule. If you get ideas during non-writing times, jot them down in a notebook or in your phone. You’ll be more productive when you keep pushing forward, regardless of inspiration.  You’ve decided you want to try baking a cake, so set a date and time and do it.

 7. Don’t Give Up

Writing an eBook isn’t like writing a blog post in one afternoon. It might take a few weeks to get your first draft. Don’t abandon your eBook because it ends up being more challenging than you imagined. Find a good editor who can help you develop your ideas more fully and polish up the structure. Even if that first cake doesn’t turn out super impressive, you will have taken yourself past that initial anxiety. Plus, you’ll be equipped with useful insights—such as, dry and wet ingredients need to be mixed separately, or that it’s easier to spread butter cream icing on the cake if you heat the knife over a flame for a few seconds.    
Browse through our content marketing eBooks to find ideas on improving your marketing content reach. Talk to the MintCopy team about your content or producing an eBook for your brand. We offer professional copywriting and editing services to grow your online presence. Contact us for more information—about writing eBooks—we really don’t too much about baking cakes!

Use our online form to get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest content marketing trends.

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