CAREER ADVANCEMENT / OCT. 20, 2014
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How to Avoid Mistakes When Writing an E-book

So, you have an amazing idea for an e-book and you’re ready to self-publish. E-books have increased in popularity over the past few years; and given how many people prefer digital copies of books, writing an e-book can be extremely profitable.

However, writing and making money with an e-book is easier said than done. And unfortunately, many e-book writers commit common mistakes — which can be costly.

Here are six ways to avoid mistakes when writing an e-book.

1. Avoid unfamiliar topics

Some people choose subject matters they know will be profitable. The problem, however, lies when a writer isn’t an expert on the subject. If you cover an unfamiliar topic, there’s a chance that you’ll fail to provide readers with enough valuable information.

With any type of writing, it’s smart to write what you know, or at least write on topics you’re passionate about. Usually, when we’re interested in a subject matter, we don’t mind doing extensive research and digging deep to provide readers with new insight or fresh angles. Besides, when you write an e-book on a topic you’re passionate about, readers will discern your excitement, and writing the book becomes a joy and not a chore.

2. Take time to plan the e-book

If you decide to write an e-book, the worst thing you can do is jump into the writing phase too quickly. Some people get so excited about publishing a book that they skip necessary preparation. If you start writing an e-book too quickly, one of two things may occur:

  • You risk covering too much and failing to provide any in-depth information.
  • You risk covering too little and you may leave readers wanting more.

Before writing the first word, spend a few weeks – or months – planning the book. Brainstorm different angles and subjects to cover. Also, research and consider what will interest readers. Next, write tentative chapter titles and outline each section of your e-book. Once you narrow down the information to cover, do extensive research. It’s important that you cover the material without overwhelming your readers.

3. Overestimating your writing skills

You can write a 200 page e-book, but if there are grammar or typos throughout the document, readers will become impatient and not finish your book. Worse, they may post negative reviews about your writing skills – which can affect revenue.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve completed college and work as a professional, you need to assess your writing skills and make improvements if necessary. Your writing should be clear, concise and accurate. Those who purchase your e-book shouldn’t have to re-read a sentence two or three times to understand its meaning.

4. Ask for assistance

Writing an e-book can be fun, and it might be an opportunity to live out a dream. But if you handle every aspect of the e-book writing process yourself, you might become overwhelmed. Rather than write, edit and design the cover art for the e-book, you might outsource some of this work. This way, you can focus on writing.

5. Learn how to market an e-book

It isn’t enough to write an e-book, you have to market and promote your work – this is the only way to earn money. But if you don’t know the first thing about marketing and e-book, you might go into this process blindly. Even if your book appears on an online bookstore, there’s no guarantee that people will download a copy.

Therefore, you need to explore and experiment with different ways to market an e-book. For example, joining a writing group can draw attention to your e-book, as well as advertising the e-book on your website or other blogs.

Including a link to your e-book on social media is another way to attract sales, and you should encourage friends and family to share this information within their circle. It’s also important to price the e-book appropriately and create a catchy title.

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If you’ve always wanted to be a published author, writing an e-book can be a steppingstone to bigger opportunities. But if you make common mistakes in the beginning, you can potentially diminish the success of your book.

 

Image Credit: Good Friday by Tim RT via Flickr

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