People write for a variety of reasons. Some because it’s a deep, heartfelt passion and others because they enjoy the challenge. Still others write because they want to make a name for themselves.
And then, there are folks that write… …to make some money!
No matter what the reason, writing is a talent, whether blessed with natural ability or developed through writing courses and workshops.
Looking back in history at some of the greatest writers known to man such as Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe, or to the novice writer just starting to put pen to paper, all writers experience the same things:
• Every writer struggles at one time or another with writer’s block.
• Every writer longs to find what to write about in order to be successful as an author.
• Every writer must learn to be organized and take action to complete their assignment.
• Every writer needs to be motivated, inspired, and use unique methods for developing new ideas.
• Every writer wants their creativity to be tapped into and
released for their readers to enjoy and learn from.
• Every writer has a goal of providing some kind of useful information for others to benefit from.
And the list could go on.
There are a LOT of eBooks available that explain “how to write an information product.” (Heck, I’ve written one myself. :o)
But, there are few that cover WRITING TIPS that actually aid eBook authors in WRITING THEIR MATERIALS and helping them through the common struggles and needs that all writers experience.
That’s why we wrote this latest post in our career section tool box for all you budding writers out there. And that’s why you are here.
We want to provide writers, from all levels and writing styles, with some unique and traditional methods to become the best writer possible.
And you want to BECOME the best writer possible.
It’s a journey we’ll take together.
I’m about to share with you 30 Writing Tips for eBook Authors. Regardless of what your goals are for writing an eBook, these ideas are guaranteed to make the WRITING of your eBook easier and better.
Let’s begin by looking at WHAT to write about…
Section 01: Hot Topics To Write About
Everybody wants to know WHAT to write about. What is it that people want to read? What are the “hot topics” that you know will generate some interest if you write about them.
Even though the Internet has changed the face of the world — how we shop, communicate, do business, research and just about everything else — it hasn’t changed what we WANT. There are classic (and absolutely TIMELESS) topics that are always going to be hot topics.
Here are five of them. If you want to know WHAT people want and WHAT you should write about, then find something related to these topics…
1. Making Money. This one ain’t ever gonna go away. You can just go ahead and etch it in stone, it’s here for the long haul. We all want to make money (if for no other reason than to be charitable and give it away to someone else) and some of us (I won’t mention any names :o) are half-crazed for information on how to make money. If you can show people how to make money (in a legal, moral way, of course) I can assure you, they will buy it. I guarantee it.
Internet marketing / doing business online eBooks are some of the hottest information products available anywhere in the world. And for good reason. People want to make more money.
So, show ’em how to do it.
2.Dating / Relationships. What a great topic for an eBook. There are dozens of ideas you could use for this one that could each become best-sellers…
How to avoid divorce court.
How to make your marriage last forever.
How to be more romantic.
How to pick the perfect mate.
How to get people to notice you.
How to use online match making services.
How to be a great father / mother.
How to be a great husband / wife.
How to raise great kids.
I mean, we could go on and on and on here. Play the energizer bunny if we want to. There are dozens of ideas for this topic and the information sells like crazy. It’s all about helping people solve their problems and if you have genuine information that can solve their problem then share it in a eBook. Why? Because if we have positive, enriching, growing relationships, we are HAPPIER. And since we can’t buy happiness in a bottle….we buy your eBook instead!
3. Hobbies and Crafts.
Hot selling items in any bookstore or online as e-books, are information products about hobbies or crafts. People love making things themselves and getting the self-gratification of a job well done. You could do some quick research on the Internet to see what some of the most common hobbies and crafts are and come up with some unique ideas.
Some might include woodworking, door wreaths, stained glass and any type of do-it yourself information. Things like improving your golf game, a guide to stamp collecting, antiques and so forth.
Recreation is a huge part of our lives. We all like to spend time enjoying a hobby. And, we spend a lot of money supporting those hobbies as a society (My kids and I are major contributors :o)
Hobby related information products are most always a big hit and certainly warrant consideration when choosing a topic to write about.
4. Online Shopping.
What tools are available? Where can you find price comparisons? Are there free trials available? Demos? Where are the best deals? Are there any meeting places for like-minded shoppers? Can I browse?
Shopping is becoming a larger and larger industry online (It already is HUGE) as more and more people are buying online, and as people buy more and more.
Some kind of resource directory for shoppers would be a great eBook, I believe. How to find trustworthy merchants online. How to find the best prices. How to get special deals and discounts. Etc. Etc.
Tips and resources and webpage links — HOW TO SHOP ONLINE…great idea for an eBook.
You could even get “nichey” and create an eBook on how to shop for “golf accessories” or “fitness stuff” or “Christian materials.”
Or, if you’re really smart, you’ll create an entire series of eBooks on how to shop for just about anything. One eBook at a time, for dozens of different categories.
I bought a digital video camcorder and digital camera the other. I brought it home. I looked at the 300 page manual.
None of my household had any idea how to use it.
If you had an eBook available summarizing in simple details how to use the various features of the camcorder and digital camera, I’d have paid you £100.00 for it!
And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Technology is great — but it can be a bit overwhelming. And, who the heck has 3 days to read through a manual to figure out how to use the darn thing you bought, even if it isn’t overwhelming to you? I don’t.
I’d rather pay someone to show me how.
And that’s a market you should consider going after.
There are hundreds of software programs, video games, computers,
electronics, etc. that folks would love to be able to figure out how to use QUICKLY AND EASILY. So, you write tutorials and show us how it’s done.
And we pay you.
And we’re all happy. :o)
Seriously, I think this is one of the biggest industries for information products that is currently untapped. A sharp writer could make a fortune here.
Section 02: Generating Ideas and Research
So, you know what “topic” to write about, but how do you come up with WHAT to write about that topic? You may have identified “making money” as your topic, but what will you write about “making money”?
Will it be Internet related? Stocks and bonds? Direct mail? Home-based business? Fundraising?
And when you narrow it down to the actual subject, what kind of information will you share in the eBook?
That’s what this section will hopefully help you to decide by exploring some ways to generate ideas and to do some research.
6. Brainstorm To Get Other Folks’ Ideas.
Whether you get family members, a group of friends, or other writers together, brainstorming is a wonderful way to beat Writer’s Block. When you are stuck, make brainstorming fun. You can sit and just start throwing ideas out or make a game by putting ideas in a hat and then passing it around to read or act out.
We call this a “mastermind” session.
And you’d be absolutely amazed at how productive it can be. Folks throw out ideas that you never even thought of. They offer opinions that you weren’t even close to considering. Why? Because they think differently than you do. And that can be a good thing.
Are you having trouble generating ideas for your eBook, or expanding upon what you are already writing about? Get a group of folks together (or even ONE person is a start) and ask questions. Explain what you are writing about and ask for suggestions, ideas and opinions.
Voila — with the wave of a magic wand, you’ve got more ideas and a fresh perspective to write from.
I know. I know. When I say “research” you envision some guy up late at night with fifteen books open, 5 empty Coca Cola cans (he needs the caffeine to stay awake!) and an anxious look on his face.
Research scares the heck out of most folks. It sounds too much like doing a term paper for a trigger happy high school English teacher with a red pen in her hand!
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s look at some (slightly less painful) ways of getting ideas for your eBook.
7. Use Childhood Memories.
Here’s a great exercise. Sit down with a pad and paper and start writing down childhood experiences. Start with a specific age and think about the school attended at that time, the friends you hung around, the style of the clothes you wore, a favorite pet, anything you can. You will be amazed at how many ideas you can develop that can be useful to you in writing, or that spawn other ideas for your eBook.
Just as you revisited your own childhood, talk to other family members or friends and ask them to share stories about their upbringing. For example, one writer asked a close friend about her experiences as a child during World War II. What unfolded was a wonderful story of determination, as the friend shared how her family had withstood persecution and survived
horrible ordeals. Just like that a new chapter to an eBook was added, “How to Overcome Opposition: 7 Secrets From A Survivor.”
Wow — it’s amazing how looking at childhood memories (and ALL past experiences) can be used to develop ideas for use in your eBook content.
Listen to people. Whether you’re shopping, at the job, or in the gym, listen to what people are saying. What subjects are being discussed? What seems to be important to other people? Many times, you will get ideas based on everyday discussions. Having good listening skills is a huge benefit to writers.
Don’t forget the kids. Kids are innocent and provide a sincerity that is often missed with adults. If you have children of your own, nieces or nephews, or friends with smaller children, sit down and just talk to them. Believe me – you will hear all kinds of things that will soon get you out of Writer’s Block. They possess such great imaginations that they will actually help yours kick into high gear.
Attend a workshop. Listen to a teleseminar or conference call. Sit in on a class. Do an interview. Absorb information that other people are sharing and extract IDEAS that you can use yourself.
9. Analyze Data.
Conduct some analysis with people who can contribute to the topic you are writing about. Do a survey. Take a poll. Ask questions. Have them ASK YOU questions. Compile all of the information and you’ve got even more ideas for writing your content.
For example: I know of a marketer online who wanted to put together an eBook for newcomers to the web to help them learn how to do business online. He had a half dozen or so ideas about what to share, but that was all. He knew that “newbies” have a lot more questions than that! But, he didn’t know what they were — being an EXPERIENCED web marketer, he took a lot of “basic” things for granted.
So, what did he do? He sent a SURVEY out to people on his newsletter list and the lists of his online marketing friends.
The result: Over 200 questions that newbies wanted answered!
That’s around 195 more “ideas” than he started out with.
And that’s also a GREAT way to come up with new ideas…ask questions and have folks ask you questions.
10. Watch TV or Movies.
TV is another source for ideas. As you know, television covers anything and everything and if you’re struggling with Writer’s Block, there will be something that will help spur your mind into action.
With 598,000,281 different stations to watch, you’re bound to find something helpful! :o)
If you want to write an eBook on snakes, sit down and watch the Discovery Channel. You will gain a ton of important information and once again, you can determine what wasn’t covered. If the show covers the detailed information on the top 10 venomous snakes in the United States, why not do research on the next five.
Ideas are often found by using the ol’ remote control!