For many of us, writing an ebook is just a matter of finding a bit of spare time: we’ve already got a title and some great ideas jotted down, possibly even a content outline. Once this really busy week’s over with, we’ll get right to it.
Except that for most of us, finding that bit of spare time never happens. There are always looming deadlines, new client marketing, a network event, a costume to find for our kid’s school play, and a hundred other things that seem to take priority.
So what can we do to take that ebook off the back burner and make sure we find the time to finally see it through? Here are nine simple tips that I hope will make that ebook dream come true for you.
Why go it alone? There are plenty of people out there who also want to create an ebook, so why not get together with someone else? You could team up with another writer, or else a photographer, developer or some other freelancer who is looking for someone to write content for a shared project. The best thing about working with someone else is it gives you extra motivation because you know they are relying on you. Also, you can celebrate together once your ebook is finished.
Without deadlines, projects slip. Personal projects are the worst for this; when everything piles up at work and at home your ebook is likely to be the first thing to give. If you plan out your project using a calendar, spreadsheet or a project management tool, you can give yourself deadlines to work towards. Even small deadlines such as finishing a chapter can help motivate you.
3/ Break it down
Even if you have a great plan, it can help to break down each stage even further into tiny, tiny chunks that are much easier to tackle. Making a detailed task list means that you can check off absolutely everything as you do it, giving you a great sense of achievement.
4/ Do what you love
A labor of love often feels less like work, even if you have to put in a lot of hours. Find a topic to write about that inspires you, something that you like to talk and read about in your spare time. If you write about something you are passionate about that love for your subject will shine through your writing.
5/ Focus on why
Why are you writing an ebook? Whether it’s to have a separate income outside of your day job, to cement your reputation as an expert in your field, or to open up new opportunities that can come from being an author, it’s a good idea to keep visualizing your end goal. Try putting a sticky note on your computer with an inspiring sentence (I am an author!!) or imagining what it will be like reading your own reviews or giving interviews.
6/ Make it easy for yourself
If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought of starting such a large project, take a look at what research you already have that you might be able to adapt to your ebook. For example, if you’ve written several articles about health spas, could you build on your research and interviews to write a book about health spas? Just feeling that you have already accomplished the first steps towards writing your book can help motivate you to taking those next steps… and before you know it you’re halfway there!
7/ Get it right first time
Research is key! There’s nothing like finishing your ebook then discovering that all your careful formatting isn’t supported by your chosen marketplace’s system, and you have to start all over again to ensure your file can be uploaded properly. How discouraging! So pick where you want to sell your ebook (directly through your website, or through a larger online marketplace like Amazon) and check (and double check!) their rules on what formatting to use from the beginning.
8/ Blog about it
If you’re in need of some outside support, why not blog about your ebook? Talking about your progress, hiccups you’ve encountered, or things you have learned can keep you focused on your journey. Hearing back from other people who’ve gone through the same thing can really help you overcome obstacles, and once you have an audience you’ll find you have an incentive to keep going so you can tell your blog readers all about it! Not only that, but you will build up a sizeable number of people who will be interested in your ebook once it is published.
9/ Reward yourself
Don’t be put off by how much you still have to do, reward yourself for every section you complete. Whether you put smiley-face stickers on a chart, go for a walk, treat yourself to take-out, or just tell Twitter how happy you are to have achieved the next stage, feeling good about how far you’ve come is a great motivator.
Just having an idea for an ebook is a great start. Give yourself a reward for having taken the first step and good luck with taking the next step!
Image by Flickr user txkimmers