tl;dr – How to get started writing an eBook is a challenge for potential authors. Don’t let sharing your knowledge and ideas with a wide audience be stymied because you don’t know how to get started. Read these 7 steps to get started writing an eBook.
Whether you’re looking to self-publish on Amazon KDP or land a traditional publishing deal with an imprint house, there are a few steps you can take to get started writing an eBook.
We’ve published dozens and dozens of eBooks for authors who write in every imaginable genre. They all say the same thing about what to do before you get started writing an eBook.
Before you get started writing an eBook
Read these tips from published eBook authors
Either buy a paper notebook or set up a computer file where you
- Write the characters’ names and physical appearance. You’ll be surprised when you forget about a character or change their hair color in a later chapter.
- Decide and describe how your characters dress most of the time
- Record your characters’ relationships so if Sarah is sleeping with Joe, don’t put her in Tom’s bed later on. Unless she sleeps around.
- Choose your favorite word(s) and drop it in places in the story.
- Research locations and write notes about them like street or highway names/numbers, city district names, a famous place in the city and other details that make your story sound like it’s told by a native.
- Use a thesaurus judiciously so you don’t keep using the same word over and over.
- Bigger words are not always better.
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7 Steps to Get Started Writing an eBook
- Choose your topic: The first step in writing an ebook is to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in. Consider your interests, expertise, and the needs of your potential readers when selecting a topic. Then narrow it down. Obviously there are differences between novels and non-fiction, so choose appropriately.
- Outline your book: Once you decide on a topic, it’s time to start organizing your ideas. Create an outline that breaks down your book into chapters and sections. This will help you stay focused as you write and ensure that your book has a logical structure. If you’re using a template for Microsoft Word or Google Docs, add all your chapters (just number them for now) and include the optional sections like preface, introduction, author’s note, epilogue and don’t forget the “about the author” page.
- Research and take notes: Depending on your topic, you may need to do some research to gather information for your book. Take thorough notes as you research so that you can easily refer back to your sources when it’s time to write. Our published authors suggest visiting the locations you’re writing about, or perhaps use a location you’re already familiar with. Google Maps can help you choose district names, shopping or sports venues and more.
- Write your book: Now it’s time to start writing! Set aside dedicated writing time each day and try to stick to a schedule. Use your outline as a guide and don’t worry too much about perfection – you can always go back and revise later.
Our published authors’ writing schedules are as varied as their favorite drinks when they write. Some are early people and write when it’s “half past dark” outside. Others choose the afternoon – usually after lunch – to set aside their writing time. Still others are late-nighters and write when the kids go to bed. Choose your time (and your drink!) and make it your special time.
- Edit and proofread: Once you’ve finished writing, it’s important to take the time to edit and proofread your book. This will help ensure that your book is free of errors and reads smoothly. You may want to consider hiring a professional editor or proofreader to help with this step. We’ve found that you should read your book three times.
- The first time is when you write it.
- The second is your first pass where you’ll reword, rework and rewrite.
- The third time is the final pass, where you end the read-through and are happy with the book.
- However, it is impossible to accurately proofread your own writing, so be sure to find a friend, or better, hire an editor to make final revisions and point out obvious inconsistencies that you missed.
- Format and design your book: Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publisher, you’ll need to think about the design and formatting of your book. This includes things like the cover design, font, and layout. If you’re not familiar with design software, you may want to hire a designer to help with this step.
- Publish and promote: Finally, it’s time to publish and promote your book. If you’re self-publishing, there are tools like Amazon’s KDP or Smashwords to distribute your ebook. If you’re working with a traditional publisher, they will handle the publishing and distribution. Either way, don’t forget to promote your book through social media, email newsletters, and other marketing efforts to help get the word out.
Writing an ebook can be a rewarding and challenging experience, but with a clear plan and some dedication, you can turn your ideas into a finished book that you can share with the world.