Writing an Ebook with little experience

by bsurb
37 replies
Iv had the thought of writing an Ebook for the past month based on a personal experience Iv had on obtaining custody of my daughter. I basically want to create an Ebook giving my very own advice/experience to "Young Fathers" who don't really know their rights or what steps to take if their baby's mom is keeping the child from the father. Yes, hiring a lawyer is the BIGGEST relief, BUT not all young dads can afford one.

I have writing experience from blogging for the past few years, but I am still no expert. Even if my grammar skills are not up to par, should I still consider writing an Ebook?

Can anybody recommend FREE Ebooks that I can learn from that would help me get the feel on how to write an Ebook or how to start the Ebook off?
#ebook #experience #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    If you have the passion to write, you don't need anything else.



    Including the approval of others.

    My advice? Go for it.

    PS:

    And you get extra bonus points for having some valuable experience. Never underestimate your experience!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607556].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author blueclcl
    Hey there

    You have the passion and the experience, having gone through a child custody battle before.

    There will be people out there selling books on Child custody battles who have never gone through this themselves, but you have and this will probably show in your content.

    My advice is to simply do it and write your own guide.

    You can look for free reports on this site and also elsewhere online and take a look how they set out and structure the book.

    Good luck
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607573].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    What people want is EXPERIENCE - that's all you need to bring to the table. If you want later on, you can hire someone to edit your grammar & spelling... but seriously, that's simply not important.

    I would rather have a short report written by someone KNOWLEDGEABLE on the topic than a 100 page slick graphic filled report written by someone who'd never been in the shoes.

    I say go for it...

    If you want some free resources on the topic - just Google around for some PLR material on the topic... some of it will be decent, some will be atrocious - but you'll get the idea.

    I do my ebooks in Open Office Writer - which has the advantage of saving a file straight to PDF. (I usually lock the security so that people can't change what I wrote).

    Add graphics to break things up... and never go more than five lines of text before you break it into another paragraph. Make liberal use of underlining, bolding and other similar tricks to make your text work like the spoken word.

    When I say something to you - you'll instinctively note my inflections - where I put emphasis, and so on... it's more difficult with the written word.

    But it can be done...

    As I say, look at what others have done - and use them as guidelines... but the most important thing is what you already have - experience that you can share.

    Go for it!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607577].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Mayers
    Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

    Iv had the thought of writing an Ebook for the past month based on a personal experience Iv had on obtaining custody of my daughter. I basically want to create an Ebook giving my very own advice/experience to "Young Fathers" who don't really know their rights or what steps to take if their baby's mom is keeping the child from the father. Yes, hiring a lawyer is the BIGGEST relief, BUT not all young dads can afford one.

    I have writing experience from blogging for the past few years, but I am still no expert. Even if my grammar skills are not up to par, should I still consider writing an Ebook?

    Can anybody recommend FREE Ebooks that I can learn from that would help me get the feel on how to write an Ebook or how to start the Ebook off?
    ********************************************

    Hey bsurb

    I would say that even if you have little or no experience when it comes to writing ebooks, you should still just go with it.

    Although your first ebooks won't be "perfect" , you will get better through repetition. But then, there really aren't any ebooks that are "perfect" , just much better than others.

    Just stay consistent with it, keep the momentum going, and you WILL get better! :-)

    We all have to start somewhere!

    -Josh
    Signature
    Learn How To Travel The World And Make $10K/Month With A Simple, $20 Business...
    ~ www.LimitlessLivingEnterprises.com ~
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607593].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    A couple of thoughts:

    1. I'd be careful to make sure that I wasn't giving legal advice of any kind but only sharing my experiences.

    2. I think you are all over the place with your ideas. You seem to be different, in one way, than many others because you actually put up a site and work on it and have had some success in the past.

    But you seem to be the exact same in the sense of bright shiny object syndrome. You've recently gotten a lot of advice, for example, about the sites in your sig. Now you are on to something else? Did those sites fail or didn't live up to expectations and now you are going to quit and look for something better?

    You haven't even finished what you are advertising in your sig but are now on to greener pastures?

    What will be different about this new venture? What if it only has limited success? Will you then be on to the next thing?

    I know from personal experience that chasing after too many things at once will not work. Make a decision and a commitment to something and then see it through and adjust as you go. Learn how to market and grow your sites and products.

    Mark

    PS I hate the Gators.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607636].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      1. I'd be careful to make sure that I wasn't giving legal advice of any kind but only sharing my experiences.
      I'd be especially careful with this one, not only on general principles but also because one of the last things you'd want to do, perhaps, if planning to market a digital book written in English (a real worldwide language), would be to limit its sales to only one country?

      .
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607673].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      A couple of thoughts:

      1. I'd be careful to make sure that I wasn't giving legal advice of any kind but only sharing my experiences.

      2. I think you are all over the place with your ideas. You seem to be different, in one way, than many others because you actually put up a site and work on it and have had some success in the past.

      But you seem to be the exact same in the sense of bright shiny object syndrome. You've recently gotten a lot of advice, for example, about the sites in your sig. Now you are on to something else? Did those sites fail or didn't live up to expectations and now you are going to quit and look for something better?

      You haven't even finished what you are advertising in your sig but are now on to greener pastures?

      What will be different about this new venture? What if it only has limited success? Will you then be on to the next thing?

      I know from personal experience that chasing after too many things at once will not work. Make a decision and a commitment to something and then see it through and adjust as you go. Learn how to market and grow your sites and products.

      Mark

      PS I hate the Gators.
      Thanks for the advice, Mark. Yes, I have been jumping around with ideas lately about starting new projects/sites but haven't finally settled down with a decision. I guess I'm just trying to experiment different niches. The sites in my sig I had advice on, just feel like the competition is too high and its not what I wanted to do. IE: I LOVE sports. Selling pet sports jerseys is somewhat fun, but I would much rather be blogging about actual sports I guess you could say.

      Another thing I have been doing is being able to sell those sites for a few hundred bucks while only having a few bucks invested. So if I could simply flip them, I see myself being ahead.

      As far as this Ebook, I probably won't be writing about anything else anytime soon unless it was adding more content to this Ebook after my final court appearance.

      PS: Go Gators
      Signature
      Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608164].message }}
  • This might help you, pretend you are going to do a full workshop to an audience. Then you need to get a powerpoin (or use open office it's free id you don't have microsoft office) then break it down into sessions fir afternoon and morning. Then 2 sessions in morning and 2 afternoon and so one. When you are done start talking and recording. When you are done send the recording to someone to transcribe or you can do it.

    Then take that book and give it to an editor or you edit.

    That will get you there and will sound natural.

    Also you will have tons of content for the ebook website and you ebook youtube channel.
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607676].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lizfish
    From what I can see from your post, all you need is the confidence. From experience, when people are asking for help, what they really need is the confidence to start. If you have been blogging for a few years, you should know the basics, so just do it and get a proofreader to tidy it up.

    I suggest you do a brainstorm. Map out all of the ideas / topics, break it down into chapters, and then break the chapters down into paragraphs. This will ensure that the book flows and is easy to read. Good luck, and well done on getting custody of your daughter. They are precious!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607815].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by Lizfish View Post

      From what I can see from your post, all you need is the confidence. From experience, when people are asking for help, what they really need is the confidence to start. If you have been blogging for a few years, you should know the basics, so just do it and get a proofreader to tidy it up.

      I suggest you do a brainstorm. Map out all of the ideas / topics, break it down into chapters, and then break the chapters down into paragraphs. This will ensure that the book flows and is easy to read. Good luck, and well done on getting custody of your daughter. They are precious!
      Great advice, thank you. I'm going to brainstorm and break down the topics on paper. But how many pages should I shoot for? Isn't 25 pages the normal rate for an ebook? What if my story is much shorter than normal ebooks? Id hate to drag it out more and have it seem boring because I tried adding too much info
      Signature
      Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608187].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joshnano
    Dude, if you have the passion then go for it. That's where it really starts and if all you need is that to start doing what you're doing than go for it. Worse comes to worse and you need to hire a editor to fix up your mistakes but your message and information is still there.

    Who knows, your book may just end up being one of those books that speaks to many people. It's not like there isn't a lot of single dads getting custody!
    Signature
    Learn How To Make Money Online & Learn SEO, Web 2.0, Marketing Strategies, Social Media, Content Creation & Much Much More! Offering SEO Services very soon! Visit us below:
    http://www.markethydra.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9607909].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    I would go ahead and create an ebook. There are lots of people creating ebooks based on theory. The targeted audience in your market will appreciate someone who has a story to share while giving actionable information.

    If you have grammar problems you can always get a professional to edit the writing once you're finished with the rough draft.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608000].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cyberzolo
    Bro! Just right quit treating writing this ebook as a crystal staircase where you don't want to mess it up. Plus writing an Ebook is not hard and there are many people online who write sub par ebooks but still make a lot of money!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608082].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jon Shawcross
    I'm with the others on this thread - if you have the passion, just go for it.

    You are talking to a very wide and interested audience and they will be far more interested in the advice you give than the grammar.

    That said, make short lines and paragraphs so it can be easily digested and throw in some images to break it up. Even have a friend copy proof it for you as they will likely pick up any glaring mistakes.

    I would however make sure you include a disclaimer - even a simple one.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608117].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    As long as you have a SOLID outline, you can work with a cheap ghostwriter to produce a very THOROUGH and PERSONALITY-DRIVEN book. If you promote it enough, you can make hundreds if not THOUSANDS more than you spent getting your book written.
    Signature

    Build Your Passive Income Empire the SMART WAY
    Pay less / Earn More / Start Earning Faster
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    Just start out. The first step is important and probably the most difficult one to take. Of course you may find obstacles and challenges along the way but since you have experience in something which a lot of people might want to know about, you have a good chance you can sell lot of copies of your ebook.

    Once you have a rough draft of the ebook, go over to odesk or freelancer and hire a person to do the proof reading and grammar correction for you. Spelling correction can be done by yourself if you just post all the text in Word, it will highlight the spelling mistakes and you can painstakingly go through each page to correct the spellings.

    For selling your ebook, the first place I suggest is Amazon Kindle. Many people are able to sell re-written PLR books there so if your ebook is original and on a useful topic you should do well there. Join a few forums related to parenting, child custody or any forum related to men topics since your target audience are men. You can promote the link to your Kindle page through signatures etc. Also promote on Facebook and other social media sites. Look for questions on Yahoo Q/A, Quora etc where people are asking anything related to child custody and provide helpful answers to those questions as well as link to your Kindle book. If the answers you provide are valuable, then people may click your link.

    By the way you can sell on other platforms besides Kindle. But when you are selling on Kindle, I suggest that whenever you are trying to link to your ebook page from forums or social media sites link to the Kindle page because the more sales you make on Kindle, the more exposure Amazon will start giving your ebook which can get you free promotion from Amazon site itself.

    And finally I would like to repeat advice given by few others. Stay away from giving legal advice in your ebook as it is not your domain. Just mention about your experience, what you did and how you managed to win the custody battle. If at all you want to include a chapter on legal tips and advice then take the help of your lawyer - ask him questions and note down his answers to include in the ebook. When you are finished show that chapter to your lawyer to confirm if everything you mentioned is okay from legal point of view or do you need to make any modifications. You can mention in your book preface or description that you have a chapter from an experienced lawyer where he talks about tips for troubled fathers and gives them suggestions on what to do etc.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608216].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Awesome advice. Thank you so much!! And honestly if I can do this without using my lawyer that would be good. As sad as it sounds, I did most of this myself without the lawyer. She really didn't do much besides the paperwork and the custody was decided in mediation. I wasn't going to give advice because also living in different states, have different laws. So I definitely will only share my experiences throughout the book.

    What about pricing the ebook?
    Signature
    Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mialucy06
    Thanks for a good Idea. You should take a look on the search engine, There are so many free e-book, search engine will show the link of these e-book. Thanks again.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9608349].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Yes I have opened up some free Ebooks to give me an idea on how they are created. I like the ideas of the slick design templates and usage of pictures within the book.
    Signature
    Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9609256].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    The best publication I've found on e-book creation is How to Write and Publish Your Own E-book in as Little as 7 Days by Jim Edwards (do a search for it on Google). It will answer most of your questions on this subject.
    Signature
    WordPress Security Clampdown – was just for the War Room, now available to all Warriors. Protect your WordPress site from hackers. No opt-in required.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611453].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Thomson
    Look, this is my opinion you don't need to be an expert to write a book . you should know something useful and people is ready to buy it to sell that book and they will say that you are an expert and people don't like dealing with those Millionaires and corporations they want to deal with humans ordinary ones just like you they need their advice and knowledge
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    I was told by a warrior member that its going to be hard for me to create an ebook if I don't either hire someone to help me learn how to create a sales page and someone to help me write to persuade. He quoted me like $2,000 and up. So either he is bsing me or trying to make some serious cash from me.
    Signature
    Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611702].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
      Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      I was told by a warrior member that its going to be hard for me to create an ebook if I don't either hire someone to help me learn how to create a sales page and someone to help me write to persuade. He quoted me like $2,000 and up. So either he is bsing me or trying to make some serious cash from me.
      1. You've asked how much a ghostwriter for a auto-biographical, self-help type of book costs. I've said $2000 - $10000 and that is NOT much for a good ghostwriter.

      2. I've said that you will need a sales copy if you decide to sell the ebook as an information product.

      3. I've suggested you take writing classes because I considered that you need this. Actually, you've asked me this.

      Anyway, no good deed goes unpunished. I've spent 45 minutes of my time actually providing advice and this is what I get in return. Better know next time.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612297].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    As someone else said . . . go for it Your passion and experience in the subject will come across, and it's not difficult to hire a ghost-writer if you need to do so.

    The main thing I'd say is that writing the Ebook is by far the easiest part of the process . . . having realistic ways of getting people to actually buy it is where 99% of your focus needs to be, because getting it written and put up on a website, available on Amazon etc. gets zero sales for the majority of those doing that.

    So you need to learn about ways to get relevant visitors to your website (even if you are Amazon, if you do no promotion, don't expect any sales, as your book is one among millions and many of them are free). There are lots of good methods discussed on this forum, such as Article Syndication (or guest posting which is similar), on-page and off-page SEO, setting up an affiliate-program (one easy way is to put the Ebook on JVZoo with an affiliate percentage of about 50 or more . . . I had an Ebook on a website for 3 years and got one single sale, then put the same thing on JVZoo and now sell one or two every month), and using social media etc.

    Hope that helps

    Chris
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611747].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author usemyteam
    You can start writing now and then you can just hire someone to proofread and edit your eBook. As long as you have the passion to write about it, then go for it. Good luck!
    Signature

    Not Just “Another” Team
    UseMyTeam

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611779].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author karlene
    Hi there

    What you could do is write out the main headings and then get someone to ghost write the rest for you, that will be much quicker if time is an issue.

    iWriter: Article Writing Service is a good place to start.
    Signature

    ===>Attn: Grab Your FREE WordPress Squeeze Page Plugin Now! Click Link Below<===
    www.insideronlinemarketing.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611789].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author automationhero
    People these days look more at the emotion and quality content that is put into a book rather than grammar IMO... You look at some of the big time blogs out there and a lot of time their grammar is terrible. Don't let that hold you back. Your REAL experience will speak louder than any incorrect grammar!

    Go for it!! You got this!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9611988].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bennie07
    When I wanted to learn how to create an ebook, the site listed below helped me tremendously.

    eBooks The $mart Way

    At this site you'll be able to download a Free ebook that share information on how to create, publish, and market your ebooks.

    Hope this get you get started on your journey...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612001].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sfrewerd
    Your post asked for suggestions for free ebooks about 'how to write a book.' Not sure about any free ebooks on the topic but there are several low cost Kindle books on Amazon that have decent reviews. I searched for 'how to write a book' and here are the results. Hope it helps. :-) Amazon.com: how to write a book - Authorship / Publishing & Books: Kindle Store
    Signature

    Sherry Frewerd
    Family Niche Marketing Network
    http://familynichemarketingnetwork.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author faisalmaximus
    You should write, books based on real life experience are the best. After completing your writing, you can hire a professional proof reader before publishing.

    You can also consider it to publish in blog by your own name, or can start a new blog with your experience.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612301].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Couple of ideas for you...

    1. Outline a product you believe would help your target market the best (as mentioned, try to stay away from legal advice or you get into an entirely different exercise of having to consult legal experts which will cost you) - pick the BIGGEST challenges or desires fathers would have around custody battles - come up with a detailed outline

    2. You may want to start by blogging first, this will accomplish several things for you a) Get some initial traffic and readership b) Give you insight into which topics and blog posts get you the most readership and participation (very valuable feedback you can use to fine-tune your info product) c) Provide some content you can -re-use in your ebook d) Can be used to start building a list...using your blog as jumping off point to eventual sales funnel

    3. When you have a better sense for which content is hitting the mark, you can package that into your first spin at an ebook - continue to develop your blog and let it feed your ebook business.

    We have used this model over and over again in different niches - blogs, social and ebooks/infoproducts go terrific together.

    Jeff
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612629].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      Couple of ideas for you...

      1. Outline a product you believe would help your target market the best (as mentioned, try to stay away from legal advice or you get into an entirely different exercise of having to consult legal experts which will cost you) - pick the BIGGEST challenges or desires fathers would have around custody battles - come up with a detailed outline

      2. You may want to start by blogging first, this will accomplish several things for you a) Get some initial traffic and readership b) Give you insight into which topics and blog posts get you the most readership and participation (very valuable feedback you can use to fine-tune your info product) c) Provide some content you can -re-use in your ebook d) Can be used to start building a list...using your blog as jumping off point to eventual sales funnel

      3. When you have a better sense for which content is hitting the mark, you can package that into your first spin at an ebook - continue to develop your blog and let it feed your ebook business.

      We have used this model over and over again in different niches - blogs, social and ebooks/infoproducts go terrific together.

      Jeff
      But if I were to blog about it, wouldn't I run out of things to talk about after I explain everything that I have experienced already? Which would give away the entire ebook on the blog?

      What if I blogged about my experience and custody I have been through, and also like a story about my every day life as a young dad? Basically blog about whats going on in my life, how I raise my child as a single father, etc. That would make my blog a lot fuller, right?

      For a domain I was thinking about something in the lines of, FatherLifestyle.com
      Signature
      Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612765].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Mike Thomson View Post

        Look, this is my opinion you don't need to be an expert to write a book . you should know something useful and people is ready to buy it to sell that book and they will say that you are an expert and people don't like dealing with those Millionaires and corporations they want to deal with humans ordinary ones just like you they need their advice and knowledge
        Apparently, all the punctuation keys on your keyboard are broken. Makes even a short post hard to read.

        Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

        I was told by a warrior member that its going to be hard for me to create an ebook if I don't either hire someone to help me learn how to create a sales page and someone to help me write to persuade. He quoted me like $2,000 and up. So either he is bsing me or trying to make some serious cash from me.
        Or he didn't understand what you were asking him. If you were to decide to hire serious professionals, those numbers aren't far off.

        The truth is, though, that you can get by without them with some study and effort.

        Originally Posted by sfrewerd View Post

        Your post asked for suggestions for free ebooks about 'how to write a book.' Not sure about any free ebooks on the topic but there are several low cost Kindle books on Amazon that have decent reviews. I searched for 'how to write a book' and here are the results. Hope it helps. :-) Amazon.com: how to write a book - Authorship / Publishing & Books: Kindle Store
        As far as the mechanics go, Amazon puts out a free guide to creating Kindle books, in the Kindle store.

        Smashwords also puts out a free guide.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612974].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author xharrisonx
    There is a real need for something like this in the market, especially if you would have needed it. There are many people like you, but only a few who will actually do something.

    Do it!

    I would also recommend limiting this to one country. Good Luck.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9612733].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Big Al
    I think you should just think of a few books that you liked and then model the format.

    Just do it, do it, do it.

    You won't get it perfect the first time (and it'll take longer than you anticipated) but you'll have done it, you'll have something to sell and you'll have lots of experience.

    One of my biggest mistakes is getting carried away and doing too much.

    So my most recent project has a 10 hour time limit on it and I've written it in about 6 hours, the rest is editing, formatting and getting the sales page etc up.

    And... I'm not happy with it.

    But if I try to get it perfect it'll take 20, 30 or 100 hours and probably do no better.

    I'd rather finish it, get it selling and then I can always go back and create a 2nd edition, take it down permanently, add bonus material or create a part 2 to fill in any weaknesses.

    One book I have on Amazon has been selling about three years, has mainly good reviews but now I'm going to go back, add a couple of extra chapters and turn it into a 2nd edition based on the few 2 and 3 star reviews I have got. You can't please everyone and you don't know what people think for sure until you release it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9615527].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
    Even though you can't really impart legal advice via an ebook, you could always talk about the steps you took as well as the 'emotional journey' that you went through. Just knowing that other dads are out there going through this situation, might help your reader.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9616304].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by Jeffery Moss View Post

      Even though you can't really impart legal advice via an ebook, you could always talk about the steps you took as well as the 'emotional journey' that you went through. Just knowing that other dads are out there going through this situation, might help your reader.
      Yes, and that is exactly what I was looking forward in doing. Just giving them advice on the steps that I took that helped me.
      Signature
      Vinyl Signs & Web Design in Ocala, FL.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9616798].message }}

Trending Topics