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A Step-By-Step Action Plan For Writing an eBook

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by Robert Seth on July 7, 2011


When writing an eBook, or anything else, it helps to have an actionable checklist to keep you on track.

Recently, after finishing my eBook about how to create an eBook, I received some interesting feedback. 

Let me explain.  This whole process started a few months ago when I decided to write an eBook to help writers with creating an eBook.  It was intended to simplify the often very complicated technical aspects of the process.  What I came up with was a tool that literally removed every technical barrier to eBook creation.  It was so simple that even a complete computer newbie could do it. 

After the eBook was finished, I was curious if there were any other kinds of barriers people experience.   So I presented that question to an internet business coaching group of which I’m a member.  This was a perfect group to ask for feedback because most were interested in writing eBooks and many had already purchased my eBook. 

The feedback I received was quite surprising.  When I began this effort to simplify the writing of eBooks for people, I assumed that most of the barriers were technical.  After all, those were the types of questions I was usually asked.  Nobody ever mentioned any other barriers.  Interestingly, it was not until the technical barriers were removed that the other barriers emerged. 

It was kind of like peeling back the layers of an onion.  Each type of barrier was like one layer of the onion.  As one was peeled back, another would emerge.  Each layer was independent of the others and it was very difficult to see more than one layer at a time. 

In addition to the technical, these writers struggled with two other types of barriers.  Emotional barriers such as self-doubt and inadequacy as a writer were one type.  Another was not having a plan which caused great difficulty in knowing where to begin. 

Let me tell you, after going through all this, it was no longer a mystery to me why so many people fail to realize their dreams of becoming a writer!  These people have so much to offer the world.  It is very unfortunate that these barriers may be responsible for us never seeing much of the work these talented writers could have produced.   It’s equally unfortunate that these writers may never be fulfilled by realizing their dreams.  

It seems I had stumbled upon a much bigger problem than I had originally intended to solve.  So with all this in mind, I decided to add to the simplification process I had already started. 

I began by writing a supplemental report that would help writers get over the emotional barriers.  This report is available for free from this website.  If you would like to read it, just fill in the box at the top of the right sidebar next to this article.  It will be sent to your email immediately. 

My next step in the solution is this article you’re reading now.  In order to get started, it’s important to have a plan.  That way important mental energy is not wasted on constantly trying to figure out what to do next. 

So here is your actionable, step-by-step process to get your amazing eBook out to the world!

Decide What You’re Going to Write About

That statement may seem obvious, but let me explain.  It is important to determine the purpose and scope of your eBook right from the start. 

Without definite boundaries, your subject matter will tend to wander.   It will seem to you like your eBook will never end because there will be no end to what you could add.  You will also frustrate your readers as they try to follow the aimless wanderings that will naturally result.

At first, define you subject tightly.  Decide on your general subject and what sub-categories you will write about.  Making a list or an outline can help with this.  As you write, refer back to this list.  Make sure everything you write fits under the categories of the list. 

Be ruthless about this.  If something doesn’t fit, strike it!   Even if whatever you just wrote was amazing.  If you don’t want to lose it, you can always save it to a snippet file.  But remove it from the current project.

Do Your Research

There are no hard and fast rules for this.  The amount of research to do before you begin is a subjective thing.  It depends on your writing style and your brand of barriers. 

What’s important is to make sure it does not become a barrier!  You need to do enough research to know your subject.  It’s also good to know you’ve generally covered your bases and haven’t left out anything important. 

It is not necessary to know every tiny little detail before you start. 

Check Your Toolbox

Make sure you have the proper tools and they’re in good working order.  This is necessary for any craftsman.  If a carpenter’s tools are broken, dull, or he doesn’t have the right ones, he will not be successful.  The same is true for writers.

Check your software to be sure you have all the programs you need to complete the project.  Be sure your software has all the features you need.   Make sure all your software works on your computer.  Be sure all updates are installed on your computer.  This includes hardware driver updates as well as application program updates. 

It is very frustrating to begin a writing project and be constantly plagued by technical interruptions.  If there are enough of them, it can completely derail your creativity.  Be sure your tools are in good working order before you begin.

Remove Environmental Barriers

Just like inadequate tools, environmental barriers can stifle the creative process too.  Make sure you have a quiet place to write without interruption or distraction.  Turn off your email program and your telephone. 

If you have children or other responsibilities, try to pick a time when you are least likely to be interrupted.  If necessary, hire a babysitter and go to the library.  If you have a favorite place like the beach or a park, these places can contribute greatly to a proper writing mood. 

Make sure you are comfortable.  Proper clothing, furniture, nutrition, hydration, and sleep will all contribute to success in this area. 

Start Writing!

This is another subjective area of writing.  Some writers stick closely to an outline while others just start anywhere. 

The important thing is that you start!  This seems to be a sticking point for lots of writers.  It shouldn’t be.  It doesn’t matter where you start.  Just begin writing and it will become easier as you go. 

Just remember that you only need to actually start once.  So the sooner you do it, the sooner you can move on.

 Wrap It Up

The category has a dual meaning.  First, wrap it up as in finish it up.  Finish writing and check your spelling and grammar.  It’s a good idea to have some help with this as it’s very difficult to edit your own work.  Make sure you have included everything you intended.  Also make sure you didn’t include anything outside your scope. 

Secondly, decide on what kind of wrapping you want.  This includes things like page and page number styling as well as cover design.  You can do this yourself or outsource the task. 

Publish

The steps involved in publishing will depend on how you intend to distribute your eBook.  Just emailing your eBook requires very different steps than hosting, distributing and selling it online.  If emailing, you will mainly just need to convert your eBook to electronic format and secure it.  If distributing online, you will also need to get it to your website, set up a delivery method, and decide on a way for your buyers to pay for it.

Conclusion

Naturally there will be variations on the steps I have outlined here.  However, if you stick to these general guidelines your eBook journey should be fairly straightforward and painless.

I have also only included the basics of each step here.  That’s because this is just supposed to be a checklist to help you get moving in the right direction.  For more detailed help, be sure and pick up a copy of the free report I mentioned earlier in the article. 

For complete coverage of this topic, I recommend checking out my eBook as well as picking up the free report.  You can go directly to the eBook sales page by clicking here.  Just a little hint though.  The free report has a special eBook bonus at the end so you might want to read it first! 

Was this article helpful to you?  Do you have additional suggestions for our other readers?  If so, please leave a comment here or on the Complicated to Simple Facebook Page.  You can join us on Facebook by clicking the “like” button in the “Find us on Facebook” box in the left sidebar.

Thanks for visiting!

 


About Robert Seth

Robert Seth is a CPA in the Clark County, Washington area who has been serving individual and small business clients for the last 25 years. His business includes a growing number of remotely serviced customers throughout the United States. He’s also a writer and technology expert. He has a passion for improving the lives of others by helping them simplify the complicated stuff in their lives.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Chantal May 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had
a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how
you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts
out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like
the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any recommendations or hints? Thanks!

Reply

Robert Seth May 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hi Chantal, Thanks for your question! I don’t always find that it’s possible to clear my thoughts BEFORE I start writing. Sometimes I just have to start no matter how much resistance or clutter or static or distraction there might be. It’s much easier to go back and edit something that didn’t turn out quite right than it is to get something on a blank page in the first place. So just begin. Even if you don’t know where to begin, just begin somewhere. That’s the beauty of writing on a computer. You can rearrange and add things so easily.

Another suggestion is to go somewhere you really enjoy. I like to write in Starbucks sometimes. It wouldn’t seem that Starbucks would be a good place because of all the distraction. However, I find it much easier to tune out lots of noise than to try and tune out that one sound that catches your attention.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions and thanks for visiting!

Reply

daffy duck t shirts uk May 6, 2013 at 1:46 am

Hey terrific website! Does running a blog similar
to this require a great deal of work? I’ve absolutely no expertise in programming but I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject nevertheless I simply wanted to ask. Thanks!

Reply

Kerri Randall July 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I’m so glad you’ve written all this about eBooks–I was intimidated by one but I have YOUR eBook and am excited to use it to help me write my first one!!

Reply

Vicky July 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hey Robert,
Thanks for the hint! Can’t wait to read the report. I’ll be needing your e-book soon. 🙂 I truly appreciate all your good information!

Reply

Olga Hermans July 8, 2011 at 7:43 am

Thanks Robert for the well thought-through list, if that is a word LOL. I can tell you are a very detailed person! Thanks!!

Reply

Pat July 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Good list for me to check before I write my dream e book. thanks

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