How to Write an eBook in 2021 – The Ultimate Guide

| | August 20, 2021

Perhaps you've been engaging in one form of small-scale writing or the other and now you want to take it to the next level, I applaud your decision. Writing an eBook is taking a huge step into growing your online business or enhance your career as a writer.

Whether you're a blogger, small business or an author, writing an eBook can help you expand your audience reach.

You can use eBooks:

  • To move your potential customer down your sales funnel to grow your email list or increase sales 
  • Establish yourself as an industry-expert
  • To earn passive income by selling your eBook on digital platforms like Amazon Kindle

This article contains a summary of how to write an eBook. Read on to discover more!

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What is an eBook?

You probably have an idea of what an eBook is that’s why you’ve decided to write.

To broaden your knowledge, an eBook is also known as an e-journal or e-edition. It is a book in the digital publication. Meaning that you can read it at any time as far as you have your smartphone or laptop with you.

It is similar to printed books except that it can only be accessed only on smartphones, digital computers, and tablets.

Why You Should Consider Writing an eBook?

Most people get scared of writing eBook, perhaps because they feel their writing skill is not well polished or they don’t have enough experience to do it.  

The good news is, the reasons for writing an eBook outweigh the reasons not to. There are many reasons for writing an eBook. Here are a few.

1. An eBook Does Not Need Too Many Chapters

There is no straightforward answer for how many words an eBook should contain.

However, following the word count for standard book print, studies have shown that the maximum word count for a typical eBook is approximately 80,000-100,000 words or more.

Although the word count depends on the genre and plot of your eBook. 

The juicy part of it is that the longer your eBook, the more the cost. Meaning that your word count may determine the price of your eBook – in most cases. 

Alternatively, if you're considering offering your eBook as a lead magnet to your audience for free in return for their email addresses, then an eBook of around 10,000-20,000 words would suffice.

2. You Don’t Need a Publisher, an Editor is Enough

Unlike standard prints where you need a publisher to market and distribute your book, writing an eBook does not require a publisher.

There are many platforms available for self-publishing your eBook. All you need is an editor to format your eBook and check for errors. You are good to go!

3. You Gain Status as an Author

Writing an eBook is stepping into the authors’ zone. Once you can get your book successfully written and published, congratulations! You've earned an author's badge.

You do not necessarily have to write a world-changing book to become an author, an eBook is enough to make you one.

4. You’d be Considered an Expert in your Field

Not only will you gain an author's status when you write an eBook, but you'd also be thought of as an expert in your field.

How?

When you write an eBook – especially non-fiction, you make your knowledge available to your readers.

If you are good enough, your book will be cited in other writers' work, hence, you become an expert.

One way to tip the tide in your favor as a writer is to make your knowledge available to your potential readers. 

5. It’s Another Source of Income

Yes! Just as you’ve read it, writing an eBook is a way to make money. You can also make a living out of it, especially if your publication is in high demand.

Studies have shown that there is a steady increase in the market value of eBooks. According to statistics, an average of 191 million eBooks units was sold in the United States in 2020.

If you are publishing an eBook on a topic that has great demand among your target audience, think of how much you get to earn. However, there are some requirements for enjoying royalty.

Steps Involved in Writing an eBook?

So far we have learned how publishing an eBook can help you establish as an expert. You can even earn online passive income by selling eBooks on different platforms covered later in this article.

Below I have mentioned some important steps that are crucial in writing an eBook.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

Before writing an eBook, you need to first answer this question, who is the book for?

You should understand that you are not writing the eBook for yourself but a specific set of people. You should note that your writing niche determines your readers.

For example, if you want to write in the medical niche on infant care, your target audience will be women of childbearing age, soon-to-be moms, or new mothers.

You should also keep in mind that besides potential readers, other people may also read your eBook. For example, anyone doing a form of research relating to infant care may also read your eBook.

In case you need help identifying your target audience, here are some tips.

  • Determine your genre. Fictional books are mainly read by teenagers, while non-fictional ones are read by those who are likely to benefit more from them.
  • Search out books related to your genre. Read books similar to what you want to write on to get an idea of the audience the author has in mind. This will have you narrow down the list of your potential readers.
  • Use your imagination. Since your readers are not there to tell you about themselves, you are free to get creative with your thinking. Imagine their age range, their sub-region, their educational level, and their social class. All these will further narrow down your audience.

Step 2: Identify The Problem You Want to Solve

The next step after identifying your target audience is to aim at solving a problem with your eBook.

The best way to understand your readers and see what they want is to put yourself in their persona.

You should know that every publication is written with a purpose in mind, even fictional novels solve the problem of boredom. So when writing an eBook, you need to have that in mind.

Step 3: Craft Attractive Cover Titles and Headlines

Choose a title that will appeal to your readers and will be in line with the content of the book. Some words are attractive to people and can be added to your title.

These words act as a silent salesman and promote your book sale when added to the title. In case you are still out of ideas, there are tools to help you generate titles and headlines.

Step 4: Add Something New to Your eBook

Your readers want you to tell them something they don’t already know, so when planning on what to write, you should take the time to explore what other authors have written.

Find out what they lack in their book and make your research on it. Establish facts around the missing information and add it to your eBook.

Step 5: Outline Your eBook

Before writing your book body, you need to first draft your book. Creating a draft for your book makes it easier to write. What you need for the draft is a title for each chapter and subheadings if necessary.

Each chapter should contain a new idea and should be broken down into subsections. You can add keywords too for organic search. Most readers don’t have a particular book in mind, they search for books with a particular phrase or keyword.

Step 6: Create Your Content

The content is the most important part of any book. After identifying your target audience and choosing a title for your book, the next step is to create your content.

Content creation requires a lot of research, creativity, cohesion, and correlation to develop your theme and plot.

It is common to hit a roadblock when developing your content. You can overcome that by thinking of similar books you've read and how ideas were formed.

You can also do that by thinking of the book as a one-sided conversation you are having with a friend (your readers) to give them details about a subject matter (Your book title).

Step 7: Make Your eBook Attractive

Another thing that appeals to readers is the book design. Take a printed copy for example. When people walk into a book store to buy books without any particular one in mind, they tend to go after the ones with attractive front covers.

The same can be said for eBooks. Here are some ways to make your eBook attractive.

  • Use the appropriate font. The type of font you use, the style, and the size go a long way in portraying your book's aesthetics. Popular fonts use for eBook writing include Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, and any other font with legible prints. The font size is usually 12 but in exceptional cases of title, subtitle, and cover page, you need a bigger font.
  • Use the appropriate colors. Colors go a long way to add beauty to your eBook, especially the cover. You can customize the color to suit you, but preferably, use secondary colors – colors other than red, blue, and yellow.
  • Add visuals. People get bored most of the times when they read books without visuals to hold their interest. Images and diagrams should be added to your eBook to brighten your book. These visuals also complement your writing and give further explanations to enhance reading.

Step 8: Check for Errors

After you’ve completed your writing, the next step is to check for errors. There are several errors related to writing such as grammar errors, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and syntax. You need to check for each of these errors. Below are some useful tips to check for errors.

Check for one particular error at a time.

To avoid oversight, you should check for a particular kind of error at a time. For example, you can start by first checking for syntax errors. When you are done with that, you can then check for spelling errors, and on and on.

For grammatical and spelling error, you can use free tools like Grammarly.

Check out these punctuation checker tools, if you want to make your content free from punctuation mistakes.

Don’t rush through your reading

Your eBook may be voluminous, but that is not a good reason to rush through it when reading for errors. You should take your time reading line after line. Also, you can divide your pages into days and set target pages per day. However, you should take occasional breaks from your edits to give your brain some breathing space.

Readout loud

Reading out loud is not always ideal, but when it comes to editing, it helps you identify errors quickly, especially punctuation and syntax errors.

Reverse reading

You may think it is strange, but reverse reading has been an effective editing trick.  You should start your reading from the last sentence towards the starting sentence. This trick is effective for checking sentence structures.

Step 9: Proofread From a Third Person

After editing from your end, you should engage the service of an editor. This is because some of the mistakes will remain hidden to you no matter how many times you scrutinize your writing.

You also need a beta reader. This reader will give reviews and comments after reading to help you make changes to your book.

Best File Format for an eBook

After you are done writing, you cannot upload your file without converting it to supported formats. There are file formats appropriate for publishing. The most accepted formats are;

Portable Document Format

Portable document format commonly known as PDF is the most widely accepted file format. It opens on all devices, both smartphones, and computers, whether Mac or windows, as far as a PDF reader is installed.

.ePub

ePublication (ePUB) is a typical electronic book format. It gives readers a sense of physical books with the page swipe interface. It also has features such as earmark and bookmark.

.Mobi

Mobipocket (MOBI), just like ePUB, has physical books features, only it is electronic. The back and forth page swipe are similar to book turn. With this format, readers often think they are reading printed books.

iBook

This file format is similar to ePUB and MOBI format, only that it is exclusively for Apple uses. Also, it can only be opened by Apple or Mac devices.

Tools for Creating an eBook 

There are software tools to help you create an eBook after writing. Below are 10 of the top eBook creators handpicked specially for you.

Designrr

This is my favorite tool to create eBooks. You can make an eBook from scratch or convert your existing content in the form of blog URL, podcast, YouTube video, Facebook Page and others into eBooks.

Thus, if you have an existing content, then I would recommend you to try Designrr. It has a loads of ready-made templates, built-in editor to edit to your content.

After you finish creating your eBook, you download it in PDF and embed it our website or share it on Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram and email subscribers. Check out my detailed review on Designrr if you want to learn more about it.

Google Docs

With Google Docs, you can either create your document on it or paste your document. It formats your document into an ePUB file. It also functions for all users including Apple users. The juicy part is that it works on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Adobe InDesign

This tool is very similar to its creative suite counterpart. it is an advanced tool that lets you create an eBook with more polish and professionalism. It does not have online access, so you need to download the software and subscribe to it to enjoy what it has to offer.

Lucid press

One versatile tool for creating an eBook is the Lucid press. It has a lot of options to efficiently format your document. It also has options that allow you to add videos, scrolling texts, and links.  However, it only creates eBooks in pdf files.

Scrivener

Scrivener formats your document into pdf, epub, or MOBI and can be used for all kinds of publications. New users have free trials for the first 30 days before subscribing. It has an option that allows you to separate your document into files for better arrangement. It also has options adding pictures and tables.

Pressbooks

Pressbooks has an in-built design template and themes that can be customized to suit your need. It produces your eBook in MOBI, ePub, and PDF formats.

ePUBee Maker

It formats word documents and HTML documents into ePub with the same quality as MS Word. It is a free tool and available for download.

Mobipocket eBook Creator

You can either write your documents on it or import them from MS Word. This software tool easily converts your file into formats ready for publishing on kindle.

PublishXpress

Publishxpress is a free ebook creator that can be accessed through the internet. It accepts files in Docx, HTML, and PDF and formats them into ePUB and MOBI. The drawback of this tool is that edits cannot be made. So be certain that your file is error-free before converting it with PublishXpress.

Sites for Publishing an eBook

As earlier said, with eBook writing, you do not need a publisher. This is because there are several websites where you can publish your eBook on your own. Below are some of the best.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a publishing site for free publishing. However, your eBook is converted to kindle’s format regardless of the format it is in. You can earn money when your book is added to kindle’s lending library. To do that you need to make your book exclusive for the lending library for a limited period after publishing it. You can also add it to the unlimited program where you’d be paid based on the number of pages read.

Apple eBook store

Apple eBook store is a free publishing site mostly used by Apple and Mac users. You need to first register on the platform, then download iTunes producer to publish your eBook here for sale. You get to receive up to 35%-70% from the sale. However, there are certain requirements to enjoy royalties, like having an iTunes U and having your book in iBook format.

Barnes & Noble Press (B&N)

Barnes & Nobles is one of the largest eBook publishing platforms for free publishing. In addition to that, the platform offers printed copies to readers based on request. On B&N, you need to create an account to make your publication available for sale to readers.

Smashwords

Smashwords is a publishing site with strict adherence to morals. It rejects books with illegal content, racism promoting content, violence promoting content, or plagiarized content. Nevertheless, it is still among the top publishing sites available today.

LuLu

LuLu accepts files in PDF to be published. Books uploaded to LuLu remain your property and you also get to enjoy royalty of 90% for your published eBook. However, your book can be retailed on other publishing sites if you attach an ISBN to it.

Scribd

Scribd is an open publishing platform that offers free publishing. It support files in PDF, plain text (.txt), PowerPoint (ppt), and Word (.doc). But you need to create an account and subscribe to use this site.

Kobo Writing

If your likely readers are Canadians, Kobo Writing is the platform for you. Despite its audience, it is still one of the biggest competitors of amazon kindle. To use this publishing site, you need to create an account with them, add a book description, and upload your book. You can also select publishing rights and book prices.

Wrapping Up

Writing an eBook is not as difficult as most people think. There are no special skills attached to the act, all you need is an idea of what to write and to give it your best.

I hope this guide has helped you learn how to write an eBook in the right way. The above steps and tips will help you on your journey of writing and publishing an eBook.

If you already have a blog with many published articles, you can use a tool like Designrr to convert your articles into eBooks quickly. Just change the background color, fonts, add padding & margins, table of contents, header & footer and others, you are good to go.

Which is your favorite tool to create eBooks? Please comment below. It will help fellow readers to choose the best tools for their eBook writing.

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If you need help in starting your first blog in the right way, check out the how to start a blog guide.

How to Write an eBook

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