Tips By Nicolas Gremion Looking to make the leap to becoming a published author? Wanting to expand your brand? Hoping to position yourself as an expert in your field? An eBook can help you achieve all of this – if you know what you’re doing. Why write an eBook? eBooks are easy to write and simple to release. You don’t have to maintain an inventory or worry about shipping; the product is a one-time investment on your part. With the introduction of the Kindle, iPad, and other tablets, e-publishing is a quickly expanding industry. Time is at a premium for most readers, so the faster you can get information in their hands, the better. There’s no better way to do this than with an eBook. As convenient as an eBook is for your readers, it’s just as convenient for you as a writer – you can write an eBook from your couch. If you’re a regular blogger, you’ll already have a lot of content to mine for book ideas. How to Decide what to write about Find a niche. Your eBook needs to fill a demand, so look at what’s lacking in the marketplace. If your expertise is in management but every website is flooded with eBooks on how to reward employees, write about how to make the transition from employee to manager. Finding a void in the marketplace is key to establishing yourself as an expert, and it’s essential to attracting readers. If you’re not sure whether others would be interested in the subject you’ve chosen, put feelers out on Facebook or Twitter. Introduce the idea on your blog, and pay attention to reader comments on other topics you’ve addressed. Often, your readers will ask a question or make a remark that nudges you toward a subject they want to know more about. Take note of the problems people are trying to solve. How to write your Ebook Remember that while your tone can be casual, your eBook still needs to have structure. Outline your points so your ideas can be presented in an organized way. Include transitions between topics; don’t make your readers struggle to follow you. An eBook is longer than a blog post, and you need to keep readers’ attention without confusing them. Brevity is your friend! Be ruthless in cutting unnecessary words and phrases. While we’re talking about language, most eBooks exist to teach people something. If this description fits your eBook, write in clear language – don’t confuse your audience with industry-specific terms that add nothing to the lesson being learned. If you do need to use some industry verbiage, remember to fully explain the terms when you they’re introduced. Your focus is on substance. Your words need to have gravity behind them. Your cover and images can be eye-catching (and, in fact, they should be – whether we like it or not, people do judge books by their covers), but your words need to be just as stimulating. Research your topic and incorporate facts and examples where you can. Many manuals and books rehash the same information with different words. Give your audience something new to chew on – make connections between things they may not have seen before; point out patterns. Write something revolutionary. One caveat here: do not research a topic dry. If you’re burying yourself in other people’s thoughts, you’re more likely to regurgitate them for your readers. Furthermore, you should never write about something you don’t know. The fastest way to hurt your publishing reputation is to throw bad product out into the marketplace. Find ways to isolate information and make it pop. Use subheadings, bullets, excerpted quotes, and other text blocks to draw the eye to important information. Good eBooks condense broad subjects into bite-size chunks. Give yourself deadlines. Deadlines will push you to write, and they’ll help you head off writer’s block. Working on chapters can be a leap if you’re used to writing smaller pieces, so this will help you pace yourself. What kinds of technical stuff do you need to know? eBooks are painless to publish. Most are released as PDFs and are fewer than 50 pages. If you keep your eBook to 2 MB or fewer, readers will be able to email your eBook around to friends and family. If you’re looking for a unique way to publish your eBook, go to www.foboko.com and use the Publishing Wizard there. When referencing something, add hyperlinks for ease. Utilize hyperlinks when you’re developing your table of contents, too – your readers will thank you. The more user-friendly your work is, the more likely your audience will check out future eBooks you publish. In the U.S., your eBook will automatically hold a copyright. According to current copyright law, you’re covered for up to 70 years after your death. That doesn’t mean that intellectual theft doesn’t occur. Make sure you add a notice with the copyright symbol (©) with the publication year and your name. You can also add “Copyright” before this notice. Once you’re ready to go public with your work, network through social media. The people you’re connected to are most likely to invest in your concept, so let them spin a web outward for you. Take advantage of the keywords in your eBook to increase your profile on search engines. If you follow these tips, there’s no limit to what an eBook can do for you. How do I get exposure for my eBook? There are a number of resources that help you in getting exposure for your eBook. Make sure that the site you use to gain exposure draws the right market for your book and allows you full control of distribution. Nicolas Gremion is the CEO of Paradise Publishers and Free-ebooks.net He has been in the eBook industry for six years, before Apple, Google and Amazon entered in the field.