Most writers simply begin writing the moment they come up with an ebook idea they feel is worth pursuing. However, it’s best to wait a moment…or a few moments…to focus and evaluate that idea.
This helps your book have a chance of succeeding in the ever-more competitive ebook market.
To give your book a good start, take the following six steps before you write an ebook:
1) Get clear about your book’s subject
To accomplish this task, write a pitch for your book—a 50-75 word elevator speech. This helps you hone your subject.
2) Determine the benefits your book will provide
List 5-15 benefits your book will provide to readers. These are the reasons why someone would purchase your book—what they are looking for, want to gain, or need.
Also write a short paragraph about your ebook to go with the benefit list.
Consider this back-of-the-book copy (if you were to also produce a printed book) or metadata for your book. What might you say or write about your book that would make someone carry it to the register or hit the “buy” button?
3) Conduct a market analysis
Determine who your reader is and how many of them exist. Where can you find these people? Are there enough potential readers out there to justify writing your ebook? Market research tells you if enough potential buyers exist for your ebook.
This also helps you know for whom you are writing. With this information, you can better target their needs. (You might need to revise what you’ve done in step 1 and 2 after completing this step.)
4) Study the competition
Ensure the ebook you want to write will be unique and necessary compared to the other ebooks already published in your niche or category. There are a staggering number of books published each year.
Before you write a word—or publish an ebook, study what other authors have already written and published, and then angle (or re-angle) your ebook so it is different—and fills a need no one else has filled.
This helps ensure readers purchase your ebook rather than an established title or a book by an established author. (Again, you might need to go back to previous steps and revise after completing this one.)
5) Evaluate your potential content
Create the structure of your ebook by producing a table of contents. Then look critically at this outline to determine if it makes sense and provides unique and necessary content targeted to your audience. Also evaluate if you will have enough content. If not, make adjustments.
6) Flesh out your content
Write chapter summaries based on your outline. This helps you get a good feel for what you plan to write.
You can then re-evaluate your content and re-angle or add or subtract content as necessary based on any previous steps.
Once you have completed these six steps, you are ready to begin writing. Your table of contents and chapter summaries make a great writing guide – one targeted to your market. Your pitch and list of benefits also helps you stay focused on your topic and the promises your books makes to readers.
Write the book you have planned out and you will keep those promises, namely to provide the benefits you have described for readers in your target market. This will produce a successful book!
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.