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Home » Business Owners

How to write an e-book

Many people look to e-books as a source of passive income. After all, what could be better than having something available to sell 24 hours a day 365 days  a week.

In this series of 7 articles I’m going to document my story about writing my e-book and how you can write one too.

Why e-books?

Having an ebook establishes your credibility both as a site and as a leader and authority of your niche. It allows you to stand out from the crowd.

In the days before the internet, establishing your credibility would have been a long drawn out process and your reach would be limited.  It would have involved a lot of work writing, finding an agent, an editor and a book publisher. It would have taken you months, with no guarantee that your work would be chosen or you would earn an income from it.

With the internet however, you literally have a shop window to the world, and if you have something of use to people, then you have a potential market for your product.

As I said in the introduction, an ebook differs from a book in a shop in that it’s available to purchase 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You’re not limited to store opening hours to generate sales.

An ebook differs from a normal book in that once you’ve done the hard work and written the pages, changed it about, edited and designed, written a sales page – that’s it. There are no paper costs, production costs or shipping costs.  There are no fees to agents or profit sharing with retailers.

The costs of selling each ebook are virtually nil and you, the author, gets to keep the majority of the sales price i.e. almost  a 100% of the price you sell your ebook for.

Plus what’s more, having an ebook allows you to plant little ‘seeds’ giving your the chance to grow income for many years to come and guess what? If someone buys from you once and they like it,  they are more likely to buy from you in the future.

Passive income journey

For the last 2 years The Big Red Tomato Company has generated all it’s revenue from offline activities, but over the next year I want the mix to change to include online revenue sources too.

I’m writing this series of posts to show how your business can turn your knowledge into a profitable revenue source.

With my own ebook, I’m creating a workbook for people who want to achieve their business goals.  It will take the reader step by step through the creation of their own goals to delivery and achievement of success  – it’s the same method that we use with our coaching or business clients to achieve their goals and objectives.

Many people think that writing an ebook is a daunting task, and it can be, but it’s really no more than a series of blog posts and if you think of it like that, then it’s a lot easier to get it written. For sure, setting out and writing an ebook straight off would be a difficult task, which is probably why many people either never get round to writing one or give up before it’s finished.  But like many problems facing us, breaking into small chunks makes it much easier to achieve.

With my workbook, it will consist of about about 15 chapters, so far I’m three chapters in and I’m trying to complete a couple of chapters each week.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to get motivated and you spend time commenting on other sites or doing ‘research’ on the internet but it’s important to focus on your site as a business if you want to earn an income from it.

Next week we look at how to choose a topic for your ebook.

So what do you think?


  • Mo "Mad Dog" Stoneskin said:

    Thanks buddy I found that really helpful. I’m working (slowly) on some material for an ebook and your statement about establishing “your credibility both as a site and as a leader and authority of your niche” is one of the driving reasons behind it.
    .-= Mo “Mad Dog” Stoneskin´s last blog ..I’ve never seen a badger move so fast =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi Mo. I know what you mean about working slowly its a hard slog but worth the effort. I thought I’d go public with my intentions to keep me on the track of doing my own ebooks! Thanks for your comment!

  • Ryan Hanzel said:

    Matthew, great post man. I have been wanting to get started on an E-Book but I can’t find the motivation to follow through wholly. Recently I have been thinking about putting aside the idea of making an E-Book from a how-to stand point and make something up. Maybe a story or something, not saying I am going to sell it but I think it would be fun to see what kind of feedback I would get from it. Keep it up man and I will be looking for your post next week to maybe help me with a topic.
    .-= Ryan Hanzel´s last blog ..Keep it simple =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Absolutely Ryan, next week’s post is all about getting inspiration, so hopefully you’ll find it of use. Hope the posts inspire you to get started.

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire said:

    E-books are the way to go. So far I operate 11 of my own, and although each book alone is not a goldmine, once you add them together, you can make a pile of residual income.

    Information products are a great way to develop your own INTERNATIONAL small business that operates 24/7/365. I think that I have customers from about 12 different countries and counting. There is NO WAY I could have done that with any other business model.

    Of course there is no free ride. You will have to put in a lot of time if you want to be successful, because there is a price for everything, even the business ideas that you can start for free.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire
    .-= Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire´s last blog ..3 Small Business Growth Secrets From a Karate Master =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hey Joshua, wow 11 books! That’s really great. You’ve clearly got lots of ‘seeds’ planted which will hopefully grow into a nice money tree for you.

    You’re absolutely right, there’s no free ride. Whatever your field it’s a hard slog to get rich. The internet certainly exposes you to markets you’d never have been able to cover off before. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • Moon Hussain said:

    Matthew, I’m definitely interested in this as I think it’s time for me to work on one. Depending on the content of mine, I’ll have to decide whether it should be free or not (probably will be) so that readers can get a taste of my style. That should help with any other e books I’ll write and sell in the future.

    Keep it churning!
    .-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Why You Shouldn’t Stick to Your Schedule =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hey Moon, thanks for your comments. Over the next few weeks I’ll share the process for taking it from no book to ebook. So If you do a bit each week, you’ll have one up in no time!

  • Alex said:

    Brilliant Matthew. A pillar article series I am seriously looking forward to reading. Thanks mate, you’ve really reminded me to get my own butt into gear, heed my own advice and JUST START WRITING.
    I like your ‘manageable chunks’ approach as it takes the overwhelming feeling and throws it out the window.
    You are making great progress Mr Big Red tomato, now it’s time for me to….ketchup
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Google releases 2010 edition of Monopoly. =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi Alex. Thanks for the comment. I’m really pleased that you’re looking forward to it. Hope you manage to find inspiration to write your own!

  • Steve Scott Site said:

    Popularity of ebooks is on the rise, so more and more people know what they are and are willing to read (and possibly buy) them. They’re a great way to retain loyal blog visitors and earn passive income, too, if you opt to charge for them. Nothing better than earning money while you’re away from your desk all day, right!
    .-= Steve Scott Site´s last blog ..From Google, With Love… =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    I think you’re right Steve. Popularity is really on the rise. But so is th quality. I read the other week that it’s really difficult to give away stuff, so if you’re charging for it, it has to be top notch. Thanks for the comment Steve.