IMPORTANT: The tips below are your default guidelines. However, client instructions always override these guidelines. If there is a conflict between the client’s instructions and the guidelines below, always go with the client’s instructions.


Writing an eBook can be intimidating for content writers unused to this format. In fact, this type of writing follows many of the same guidelines and rules used in blog and article creation. In some cases, your topic will be dictated by your client; other eBooks may be on a subject of your own choosing.

Putting your own spin on the topic is necessary to differentiate your eBook from others already on the market; this can also help to create demand for your content even among individuals who have already studied your chosen topic. Taking a fresh approach to your subject matter can boost the appeal of your eBook to boost the size of your potential audience.

Here are seven steps to creating an eBook with real appeal for your clients and your target audience.

  1. Do the Research
  2. Take Notes
  3. Make an Outline
  4. Hit the High Points
  5. Offer Bite-Sized Information in Large Doses
  6. Examples and Anecdotes
  7. Finish with a Bang

1. Do the Research

To provide a truly authoritative look at your subject, you need to read the available material and develop your own opinions and expertise on the topic. Google Scholar is a good source for scientific and medical information.

For business topics, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek and other respected online journals can be valuable resources and often provide insights into difficult topics, allowing you to write more effectively and with added conviction in your eBook project efforts.

2. Take Notes

Keeping a record of the websites and print sources you consult during your research can help you to create a bibliography if one is required by your client or for your target audience. Additionally, this can allow you to revisit these sites and books if you need added information to flesh out troublesome sections or to provide added depth for your conclusions.

Keeping notes on your sources can also prove useful for further works on the same topic in your future writing career.

3. Make an Outline

Because eBooks are much longer than most other types of content, constructing a working outline for your project is essential in order to create the most effective flow for your prose. Each of your main ideas should be included in your outline, along with any supporting information you have gathered during the research phase of the project.

This will make it simple to construct your eBook and ensure that you have enough material to complete the project at the appropriate length.

4. Hit the High Points

Just as in press releases and news stories, the introduction to your eBook should give readers a good idea of the content to be found in the body of the piece. Additionally, you should make your main point for each paragraph in your eBook in the first sentence.

In an article entitled “Not quite the average: An empirical study of Web use” and published in the February 2008 issue of the ACM Transactions on the Web, researchers found that Internet users read less than 20 percent of the available text on any given visit to an online website.

Scannable content can ensure that your main points are understood and assimilated by your target audience, allowing you to communicate more effectively with your readers.

5. Offer Bite-Sized Information in Large Doses

One way to break up the monotony of your longer content is to incorporate bulleted lists, paragraph headers or short examples throughout the eBook. Lists can increase visual appeal and can benefit your writing in a number of ways:

  • Bulleted or numbered lists naturally attract the eye to gain attention for important material
  • Adding lists to your content can help you to organize your thoughts more effectively
  • Varying your format can reduce reading fatigue for your target audience
  • Incorporating hyperlinks and references to your client’s site can add value for their promotional campaigns

These valuable formatting tools can make a big difference in the readability of your eBook and can boost the appeal of your content to a wider audience.

6. Examples and Anecdotes

Presenting dry facts in an orderly way is an excellent strategy for writing a scientific treatise or a term paper. In the online community, however, shorter attention spans typically require a more dramatic and entertaining approach to your topic.

Adding humorous hypothetical examples can add a welcome note of lighthearted fun to your eBook and can hold the attention of your readers more effectively. Anecdotes that relate directly to your subject matter are also welcome additions to spice up your content and enhance the appeal of your eBook.

7. Finish with a Bang

A strong finish is essential in order to drive your key points home with your audience. Depending on your topic, you may wish to make a strong persuasive case for your position or to recap the contents of the eBook in a brief summary.

Your concluding paragraphs are not the place to introduce new material or to provide support for your previous assertions; instead, use this final section to reinforce the general thrust of your eBook.

Closing Thoughts

These seven steps will allow you to achieve greater success in your eBook creation efforts. Your clients will appreciate the clarity and communications skills you deliver for their projects, and your readers will gain a deeper understanding of your chosen topic. By putting your carefully honed skills to work in these longer formats, you may even find yourself in higher demand in today’s information-hungry Internet content marketplace.

To learn more about best practices for writing eBooks, look through some of the resources below.

Resources:

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