This is the third post in my How to Write Your ebook series. In case you’ve missed the previous posts you can catch up here.
In this post we look at getting started and writing your first chapters.
For many, getting started is the most difficult thing to do when writing their first ebook, but it doesn’t need to be.
Most books (ebooks or real) start with some kind of introduction or preface. So you can start with that or in fact any section that you feel most comfortable with. Start with the section you find easiest. The more difficult chapters or ones requiring more work can be written later, when you’ve got more confidence from writing the easier chapters.
Top tip: write each chapter or section as a separate file based on the outline you created in part 2. As you complete each section, don’t forget to tick it off your ebook outline. That way you’ll see exactly how much you have left and you’ll have a real sense of achievement from ticking things off.
This way all you’re ever doing is writing a series of blog posts. Think of it like that and it will become a whole lot easier (promise!).
When you’ve finished them all you can easily pull them together into a single master file. (oh yes, and don’t forget to save them all in the same file folder. You don’t want to be searching all over your hard drive for the wackly titled introduction which you can’t for the life of you remember what you called it)
To make the files easier to find save the file name with the prefix of the section number. For example 01_introduction.doc, 02_firstchaptertitle.doc
What do you write them in?
Chances are you won’t have some fancy desktop publishing software (I don’t) so that leaves you with your wordprocessing software. I personally use Microsoft Word for the Mac because I’m familiar with it and it has some really good features, but you could use Pages, Open Office or even Google Docs. (the later has the advantage of you can work with it anywhere and you don’t have to worry about loosing it on a USB stick!
Know your audience – the 3 biggest mistakes to avoid
#3 not knowing who your audience is
You can’t solve someone’s problem if you don’t know who your someone is!
A great tip I found on problogger.net is to write a profile of your typical reader.
You can create an imaginary person, but I picked an actual reader called Tom:
Tom is a mid 30’s Internet entrepeneur, who works for himself but has limited experience in running a business. His typical problems are growing his business and making the business less reliant on himself.
In fact I actually picked 2 readers because they have different types of businesses, here’s Ali:
Ali is early 30’s who runs and owns his own letting agency. His business has grown massively in the last year going from a team of 3 to a team of 10. He operates out of high street premises, but markets extensively on the Internet, his problems are typically managing his team, growing the business and managing his expenses.
When I’m writing a post, I think of both Tom and Ali and think how would this post benefit them?
You should do exactly the same with the ebook.
But don’t guess who you think it is. I thought my typical reader was male mid 30’s own business or aspiring entrepeneur. According to Alexa i discovered it’s actually an 18-24 year old female!
#2 assuming Everyone’s an expert
Have you ever been on holiday and switched on the TV and had a local TV programme on? Really difficult to follow if you don’t know what they are saying isn’t it? It’s the same with writing your ebook. You need to talk in a language the reade will understand.
Spend time on not only what the audience wants, but how best to present it to them.
#1 it’s about you
The single biggest mistake. The reader is everything, you don’t matter.
My ebook project
Now, where am I am with my ebook? Well most of the chapters are now written in draft and I’m in the process of editing to ensure the sections flow and contain no obvious errors, this week I’m working on the launch plan. Launch date 19th May…oh boy.
So what do you think?