How to Make an Ebook. Part 1: What Should I Write a Book About?

in boomers, creating ebooks, How to Make an Ebook, make ebook, write an ebook

[First Post in a Series on How to Make an Ebook]
You want to write an ebook to give away as a gift to your readers. Or you have so much information on asubject that you think you could write a really good how-to ebook if you onlyknew how to write an ebook.
Your blog is your best starting point. If you have a blog that you’ve been posting in for a while,you have a goldmine of material to use for your ebook. 
Many people use the material they have already written fortheir blog. They take a group of former posts from their blog. Rearrange them.Add a little to them.
And voila! An ebook!
Well, that’s all well and good for other people; they know what they’redoing.
You, on the other hand, haven’t written an ebook before anddon’t know where to start looking in your blog for the right posts.
Let me give you some help here. 
It’s easier than you think.
Go thru your blog and put every post into a category like:dessert recipes, teaching kids summer games, travel, facebook advice,motivational suggestions, or some other categories that make sense for yourblog.
If you see all of your posts going into 2 or 3 categories,you’ve made the categories too general.
For example if you find all of your posts going into twocategories called recipes and crafts, you need to narrow your categories. Exampleof narrowing the recipe category would be:
·        Quick desserts for weeknights
·        Recipes the kids can help with
·        Picnic side dish recipes
You want to make those categories as narrow or specific aspossible and still have enough posts in them. I’ll tell you why later.
Now look at the lists in front of you. If you havecategories with less than 5 posts, toss those categories out.
Find a category where your posts got a lot of readercomments. A lot of reader comments tells you that this subject is one yourreaders like.
Based on what’s in the post or what some of your readercomments said, are there other posts in the category that will go with thehigh-comment ones you found? Keep doing this until you can find 10 to 15 postsout of the ones in that category. These will be the base of your ebook.
How many posts you use to make your ebook depends on theaverage length of your posts.
·        If you write shorter posts, you will want to use alarger number of posts, like 15, to make your ebook.
·        If your average post length is longer, you mayonly want 10 posts in your ebook.
·        If your posts are very long, you may only use 5posts in your ebook.
Now, I mentioned earlier that you wanted to make thecategory as narrow or specific as possible. The reason for this is to get moreinterest in the book. You already know that your readers like this topicbecause they already left you a lot of comments on it.
If you were offered two cookbooks that you couldn’t see theinsides of, which would you choose?
 “Recipes from My Kitchen” or
 “Quick desserts for weeknights that my readerslove”
I’d choose the quick desserts for weeknights because I havea better idea of what I’ll be getting.
So by having a very narrow category for your ebook, you areproviding your readers with a better idea of what’s in the ebook. And by usingposts that your readers have already commented on, you know that they likethem.
Why would anyone want to read blog posts as a book?
So if you go to all the trouble of gathering these posts andputting them into an ebook, why would anyone want the book when they could justgo back through your blog and find all those posts themselves?
See that’s the thing about readers on the internet, theywant quick and convenient.
If they have to dig through your blog’s archives to find apost here and another one there, they are going to go somewhere else for theinformation. Somewhere that the information is nicely bundled up and ready forthem to grab it.
If you are the website that has that information all nicelybundled up for them, then they are going to get it from you. If they like theebook and it’s designed to remind them of where they got it, they’ll be backagain to see what other good information you have on your site.
Come back for the next post in this series where we’ll talkabout what to title your book and why.
If you liked this post, please sign up for my emailnewsletter at the top right of this page so you don’t miss any of the posts in this series.


Renee Huggins July 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Wonderful post, I can't wait to read the next part of the series. Stumbled!

Alison July 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Oooh you just gave me a great idea for my next e-book. Thank you!

The Budget Diet July 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I've never done an e-book, but this article has me tempted! I can't wait to read the rest of your series! stumbled

Ann @CreativeBoomer July 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Renee, glad you liked it.
Alison, I can't wait to see what ebook this sparked for you.
Budget, I'm looking to do some articles soon with women who already have ebooks. That should tempt you even more.

Thanks for stumbling!

Eileen Williams July 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

These are wonderful and practical suggestions! Often times we think we need to start from scratch when we have the resources right in front of us. You've given me lots of food for thought. Thanks!

Patti Winker August 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Excellent! So many of us write from the heart, then want to share what's in our heart, then start to wonder "why the H would anyone want to read my stuff???" AND THEN, after FINALLY deciding to put together an ebook get s.t.u.c.k.

It's the step-by-step process that's hard to get going on. This blog post is wonderful because not only does it give us the 'ah ha' moment (I already have the content) but gives us permission to begin! Great support and no nonsense advice. Thanks!

Ann @CreativeBoomer August 6, 2011 at 1:48 am

Eileen and Patti,

I'm so glad this post sparked some thoughts on where you can find material for your ebook.
I'll be excited to hear about your progress.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: