How To Write an eBook (From Start To Finish)

by Abie Davis
Updated: November 11, 2021

You have a story to tell, don’t you? That’s why you ended up here.

You want to know how to write an eBook, from start to finish. Perhaps you want to make money by selling your eBook. Or you want to market that perfect product or service with an eBook.

If that sounds like you, then you are in the right place.

Our five-step plan will teach you how to write an eBook.

It’s easy, and you’ll have fun. Anyone can do it, whether you are an expert wordsmith or not.

Let’s dive into the exciting world of writing an eBook like a professional author.

5 Step Plan To Writing An eBook

Step 1: Research your topic and audience

writing an ebook audience

Before you rush to put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard, there’s one big step you need to do first.

You have to do research.

Generally, it doesn’t matter whether you’re writing an eBook as a marketing tool or a work of fiction. When you plan to write your eBook, you need to research the topic and the audience.

A Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Customer (B2C) eBook will focus on a defined target audience.

For your eBook to be successful, you need to understand your ideal audience. What drives them? What problems do they face? Why would they want to read your eBook?

ebook audience research

The steps for defining a target audience are similar to how you plan a customer journey or an advert for your business.

Case studies are always a good point of reference. However, you don’t need any in-depth, detailed research to create these personas.

Are you pressed for time?

General points of interest are more than enough to guide you in the right direction.

An example of a typical audience persona would be: John Smith, Marketing Director. He runs an online store and is crazy about new gadgets. John is also often on social media.

This type of persona will give you valuable insights that can help better define your eBook.

Surely, you won’t write a book about archaic fountain pens if your target audience is tech-savvy and obsessed with new gadgets. You cater your eBook to the audience and their needs and interests.

This type of insight will guide the tone, topic, and goal of your eBook.

Step 2: Create your outline

ebook outline mindmap

So, now that you understand your target audience and you’ve selected the best topic to suit them, it’s time to plan our roadmap. Don’t worry. We’ll get into the fun, creative bits soon.

This outline is your guide and will help you spot any rough patches ahead of you.

Today, every established author has their preferred outline style. We perfected the art of creating an outline for your best-selling eBook.

If you follow these steps, you’ll quickly have a master-crafted plan for writing your eBook.

Create a mindmap

Grab a piece of clean paper and your favorite pen. Now write down the eBook title in the center of the paper. Use nice, big bold letters.

Start adding relevant ideas to it. You can use arrows or lines to connect ideas with each other and the title.

You shouldn’t be selective at this stage. Write down every idea and angle you can think about. No matter how small or big they may seem. We’ll do the cleaning up later.

Start from the end

Every eBook has a final message, a critical conclusion that it wants to leave the reader with. Sometimes this is a call to action. Other times it is a life-changing message.

To find out what the final message in your eBook is going to be, simply answer these questions.

What is the message that you want to leave your audience with? What should they gain or do after reading your eBook?

Now, ask yourself, what do they need to know before they can do that? Work your way backward, writing down the crucial steps that readers need to know until you reach the start of your eBook.

You just traveled back in time! Surely you didn’t think writing eBooks could be this fun and easy?

how to write an ebook fast

Write down a list

No doubt you’re an expert on your topic. So, start writing a list of chapters and major sections that will need to be in your eBook. Use the mind map and the steps you’ve listed before to help guide you.

You’ve now created a rough outline of your eBook. You can see the main chapters, as well as key points for each chapter. Well done!

Even more research.

We’re almost done with the boring parts. Before you can start writing your masterpiece eBook, you need a final round of research. Look at other eBooks with the same topic.

See what chapters they’ve used. Did you miss anything important in your outline? Do you need to add anything to your outline?

Now that you’ve fine-tuned your outline, it’s finally time to start writing.

Hoorah!

Step 3: Start writing

ebook writing productivity

You’ll be spending the bulk of your time in this step, so we need to make sure it’s as comfortable and productive as possible.

If you are working on a tight deadline, you need to set a daily goal of words to write.

For instance, if you need to write 50,000 words and only have 40 days to do that, you’ll need to write at least 1,500 words a day.

It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easily accomplished.

Here are some tips on speeding the writing process up.

Find your in-the-zone time

Write your eBook when you’re most focused and motivated. Most people tend to be pretty energized in the early mornings. This energy makes it a great time for them to get as much writing done as possible.

If you are a night owl and function better after midnight, that would be the best time to write your masterpiece.

No distractions, please.

It’s easy to get distracted. Have you seen that new cat meme? Or what’re the Kardashians up to today? No, wait.

Rather, when writing your eBook, switch off your cell phone. Ignore your internet browser.

Also, tell your family or roommates that you are busy. Nobody should disturb you while writing your best-selling eBook. Discipline is key to your success here.

ebook procrastinating meme

Tick-tock, use a timer or clock

Some writers find it easier to write when they work against a clock. Set the alarm for 30 minutes, then put those fingers to work. Continue to write your eBook until the time’s up. If you still have enough energy and motivation left, rinse and repeat this step.

Do remember that your writing should be a fun experience. An audience will quickly tell if you wrote your eBook only to get it out. Doing this will make your eBook horrible and soulless. So, sometimes pacing yourself is good advice.

Never stop writing when in the zone

One of the most dreadful things you can do is stop writing when you’re in the zone.

For inexperienced young writers, the zone is the perfect place where the words flow easily and naturally. It’s your most creative and productive time.

If you need to check a fact, link to a source, or want to include a picture, simply highlight the spot in your writing and continue to write.

You can always get back to it later to add the image or check that fact. The important thing now is to tell your story, to put words down on virtual paper.

Don’t write and edit your work at the same time

It’s happened to all of us. That pesky first paragraph just doesn’t quite sound right. You want to improve it now. You want to impress your audience.

Don’t do it. Stay focussed. Continue on writing.

You’re busy with the first draft, and there will be time to edit once done. Your goal is to write your target amount of words every day.

If you continue this routine, you’ll find that 1,500 words a day will quickly turn into 3,000 words a day. Before you can blink, your master-crafted eBook is complete.

Yet, there’s still more work for you to do to make that eBook amazing. It’s time to edit and chisel away at those ugly, nasty bits and pieces. Yes, we’re making our eBook awesome.

Step 4: Time to edit that eBook draft

ebook writing and editing

Congratulations!

You’ve done all the hard work that you needed to do. Now, we get to be less intense but still have fun writing our eBook. You need to take that draft and edit it into a work of art.

It’s best to print your eBook out to see it with fresh editor-eyes. You could also transfer it over to your favorite eBook reader for an eco-friendly approach.

Read through your entire eBook. While reading, take note of:

  • Material that you’ve already covered
  • Important information that you forgot to add while writing
  • Whether you need to rearrange chapters to make it flow more logically

Only after you’ve completed the re-ordering, the cuts, and the additions do you get to look at the words.

During this task, you’ll need to pay close attention to:

  • Any clumsy or confusing sentences in your eBook
  • Spelling mistakes and grammar
  • Missing words, punctuation, and odd spacing

Once you’ve completed the edits, it’s time to unveil your new superstar to the world.

Step 5: Design your eBook and get feedback

ebook design

To introduce your new eBook to the world, you’ll have to get a cover for it, and a professional graphics to accompany the text.

The cover needs to be as unique as you and your eBook.

Despite the old saying, people nowadays judge books and eBooks by their cover. So, it’s important to spend some time designing the best eBook cover possible.

There are many free eBook cover design tools.

Once you’ve got the perfect cover and design, you need to share your eBook.

Plenty of authors say that this is the hardest step when writing an eBook. The fear of rejection, or worse, becoming the laughing stock of the office, is quite real. Some authors even experience imposter syndrome.

Don’t worry.

You’ve got this, and we believe in you. 

Share it with friends, family members, and co-workers alike. Ask them for their honest feedback.

Did they understand everything in your eBook? How would they improve it? What didn’t they like about it?

If you get good feedback, you can go back and edit your eBook, making it even better. Once you’ve nailed down everything and tightened all the screws, remembering to clean up decently, you can finally publish your eBook and start making money.

Do you have any more tips for writing an eBook?

ebook writing tips

Writing is a fun, creative experience. Despite this, new authors often find themselves bogged down with minor details. They do countless frustrating edits and face a constant fear of rejection.

These feelings are perfectly natural, though. We’ve been around for a while and came up with some handy tips on helping you write the best eBook ever.

Write a great introduction

Not only do people judge your eBook on its cover design, but they will also judge it by the introduction. You only get this one chance to hook them and reel them in.

So, how do you create a great, captivating introduction?

You create a rapport with your reader. Let them know that you understand their world, their goals, and their needs. Mirror the language they use, and hint at future revelations that will inspire and improve their world.

Address the problem that your reader is facing. Addressing the problem lets them know that not only do you understand their issue, but you have a solution.

Remember that research you did on who your ideal audience is? Show them you can relate to them and let them know you understand them.

Improve your eBook sections and chapters

So, you’ve already planned your chapters and their sections when you created the outline. To keep your chapters organized, and attractive you need to do the following:

  • Keep them all the same length. When every chapter has the same length, you’re making them equally important. It also breaks the eBook down into easily digestible bites.
  • Headlines and subheadings matter. Make them sound appealing and enticing. The reader should enjoy reading your book. The best headlines and subheadings often sound as if you’re speaking to somebody.

End your eBook with a bang

Now that you’ve crafted the perfect introduction and your chapters are all filled with fantastic info, it is time to conclude your eBook. The summary or the call to action should help the reader accomplish their goals.

Everything has been leading up to this final takeaway.

List the key points, or include links to further reading resources. By doing this, you will establish yourself as an authority.

Use a ghostwriter to help you out

Did you know that you can write and publish an eBook without typing a single word?

Yes, such magic is possible.

ebook writing mind blown

You don’t have to be a master wordsmith to create an eBook.

Plenty of prominent authors use ghostwriters to write their eBooks. This service is particularly useful for busy marketing executives and SMEs.

If your business desperately wants to tell the world about your new product or service, and you don’t have the in-house skills to craft an entire 20,000 word eBook, simply use a ghostwriter, eBook writing service, or perhaps even try an eBook writing software.

Most ghostwriters have years of experience in writing. They will write the content for your eBook, and you can claim all the credit and benefits of a well-written book.

Now, isn’t that easy?

Why should I write an eBook?

why write an ebook

Whether you do it for fame, money, or as a savvy marketing tactic, there are plenty of benefits and reasons as to why you should write that eBook.

Writing an eBook is a significant investment of time and resources, but it can pay off pretty well if you do it right.

Your new eBook can give you...

Credibility with your audience

Your eBook shows the world concrete evidence that you are a reliable expert within your field. It sets you up as an authority figure. It tells people that they should listen and follow you.

Effective marketing can grow your audience

That’s right. If you market your eBook well, it will expose you or your business and its services to a wider, new audience. This marketing can help increase sales and bring customers flocking to your door.

Use it as a lead magnet

You shouldn't give your eBook away without at least getting an email address. Use your eBook as a lead magnet to build your mailing list. This is valuable information for your next marketing campaign.

Increase the value of your content

An eBook is a fantastic way to expand on your existing content online. You get to collate all of that content in one convenient bundle. This quality content makes it easier for your audience to seek it out and appreciate your awesome skills.

A passive income stream

If your eBook is so popular and amazing you can start selling it. By selling it, you don’t have to do any more work on the eBook and still get to make money for years to come. Read more about making money writing eBooks.

Final thoughts on ebooks

William Shakespeare once said that all the world’s a stage. We’re all actors that play a unique story out on it. We agree wholeheartedly with the revered wordsmith.

Everyone’s got a story worth telling.

So, whether you are a marketing executive, a PR guru, or looking for some clever ways to increase traffic to your website, an eBook is the solution that you’ve been looking for.

If you follow our steps above and keep the tips for writing an eBook in mind - you’ll be a success in no time.

Even if you get stuck writing your eBook, you can always chat with experienced content writers to better understand how to write your eBook. Advice is always free but it is also priceless.

We can’t wait to read your eBook. Now go, and create an awesome eBook lead magnet.

Abie Davis

Abie Davis is an avid miniature war hobbyist. When he's not knee-deep in the trenches, he's helping to write content that charms, converts, and convinces. Relentlessly helpful and creative, he loves to write while exploring sunny South Africa with his partner and their two brilliant dogs.


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