What's Your Best Tip For A Great eBook?

28 replies
A good writer is finishing off the first draft of an ebook for me, which had me think what could be done to take the ebook to "another" level? What do you think separates normal ebooks from great ones?

Without a doubt, the most important part is great advice. Another idea I'm using is to include action steps and exercises at the end of each chapter to get the reader acting on what he/she read. One tip I could use is using photoshop to create a nicely formatted ebook. What other tips do you have to make a good ebook great?
#ebook #great #tip
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Details -- A willingness to go out on a limb and share details about the topic...

    Don't beat around the bush... Come straight out and say something with courage and conviction as your guiding light...
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Apart from consice, accurate and informative information, that is both structured and written well, for me its been about FINISH.

    Spend the extra dollars and have someone polish up your ebook with images, text formatting, and a clickable TOC and so forth. It definitely helps.

    Head over to www.amazon.com, type in your topic, keyword or niche, and take a look inside actual books that they are selling/promoting. See how wonderful they look inside? Im a believer that an ebook, should look the same as a regular book.

    Just my thoughts of course.

    By the way - you live just up the road from me. Im at Springfield Lakes
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    • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
      1) Don't call it an ebook.
      2) Relevant illustrations.
      3) Chapter bullet point summaries.
      4) Appropriate font formatting for emphasis/importance (bold, underline, color, etc).
      5) Examples/samples.
      6) Glossary. (It's really annoying to read something full of acronyms or terms that I don't know.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Billis
    Make your Title memorable.
    Many authors spend weeks trying to come up with a great title and tag line that will make them stand out from the crowd.
    Also, think about being a little controversial. This often helps to get others talking about your book.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Make sure you can repeat the process with Volume 2, Volume 3, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author ColdFire123
      Originally Posted by Billis View Post

      Make your Title memorable.
      Many authors spend weeks trying to come up with a great title and tag line that will make them stand out from the crowd.
      Also, think about being a little controversial. This often helps to get others talking about your book.
      Thats right and make sure that your title will be an eye catcher to all the readers to that it will be easier to see.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Write with passion!

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      Invest in some good sales copy.

      Great product X zero sales = zero dollars


      I'm just saying...


      Joe Mobley
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      .

      Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
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    • Profile picture of the author ColdFire123
      Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

      Write with passion!

      Will
      yeah.. thats right. So that you may have a good outcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
    Many good tips here already.

    I would add;
    Include personal stories, yours or others, keep them short and to the point... and interesting.
    Cardinal sin - don't be boring!

    Good luck,
    Peggy
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  • The most important thing to me is that the ebook (or report, or whatever term is used for it) has a real flow it.

    The worst ebooks I've seen are almost like they're a set of loosely related articles that have been pasted together, one after another. In many case, it's because they are, but in some cases, it's because the author really doesn't know how to work on a big project.

    Plan everything out into a logical order and make sure that it 'tells a story'. Even a factual book needs a narrative to it.

    Thom
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    In my humble opinion, three things make an ebook stand out from it's competitors.

    1. It is written by someone who knows what they are talking about. An expert. I can always tell if someone hired a writer with expertise in the field or if they are just 'winging it' and trying to talk about something they have little knowledge on. I always appreciate it when an expert has been used.

    2. Proper formatting and the little things. I hate a plethora of grammar errors in guides or improper paragraph and sentence structure. It is such an easy thing to correct and yet so many don't. The little things like bullet points, arrows, chapter summaries, etc. are also easy to add and make the material much easier to digest.

    3. Graphics. I don't think an ebook should be overloaded with them, but a few here and there really add to the wow factor. It shows me the writer/creator spent time on his ebook instead of just throwing it together. Even simple chapter graphics and title graphics are enough to make it stand out to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Big Al
    Start strong and get your readers nodding their heads ... happy with the purchase.

    Then finish strong ... it's the last thing they'll remember.

    I like ebooks that starts strong because the author immediately builds credibility by providing good information which makes it more likely that my attention will be kept throughout (rather than thinking ... heard that before ...).

    Bryan Kumar is really good at that ... still trying to work out what he does exactly, I think it's because he's a good story teller and gives examples to put his points into context.

    I've never ever asked for a refund but I think starting strong and finishing strong rids buyers remorse (to an extent ... except for serial refunders who'll do it anyway).
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      Awesome guys.

      Nice list of points Craig. I can implement a few of these plus ideas given by others into this new ebook!
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    Tell your reader How to do it, in a step-by-step
    fashion.

    Too many ebooks tell you what to do but not how
    to do it... and I suspect that 90% of the time it's
    because the author doesn't KNOW how to do. If
    don't tell how, your ebook will feel lacking. Your
    reader may not know exactly what's lacking but
    know that the ebook feels incomplete and therefore
    your reader will be more likely to request a refund.

    Willie
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  • Profile picture of the author Margo Tuul
    Most important is research. Do your research before you write anything and see what they want. See what your readers might know already.

    You can be top writer and speaker, but if nobody cares about your ebook, then what's the point writing it? For fun? You can't sell something what people don't want. Also even if your are a crap writer, but if your advice and information in ebook is good...nobody cares.
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert Boduch
      Hi Joshua...

      Here are a 5 more ideas you may find helpful...

      1. Use plenty of examples to illustrate your points. It helps people grasp the information and put it into meaningful context.

      2. Use the same advice public speakers have shared for years. Tell then what you're going to tell them. Tell them. And them tell them what you told them. In other words, build a sense of anticipation, share your valuable information, and then provide a quick overview of what your readers just received.

      3. Create a road-map that starts where your reader is NOW and ends with OUTCOME they seek. Present your information in a step-by-step format -- First you do this... then you do that... where one action step leads to another and ultimately solves the reader's problem.

      4. Inject a few juicy, insider secrets throughout. Make each of these gems worth more than the entire price paid for your book.

      5. Know what your readers want... and lead them to paradise. Make every page justify its existence. Ask of each detail shared -- does this help my readers get the RESULTS they most want to achieve?

      Hope this helps!

      Robert
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    • Profile picture of the author ColdFire123
      Originally Posted by Margo24 View Post

      Most important is research. Do your research before you write anything and see what they want. See what your readers might know already.

      You can be top writer and speaker, but if nobody cares about your ebook, then what's the point writing it? For fun? You can't sell something what people don't want. Also even if your are a crap writer, but if your advice and information in ebook is good...nobody cares.
      yeah. you must know all about the topic first so that you may able to write good and relevant ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    Originally Posted by Craig Desorcy View Post

    ...How people Learn
    One of the biggest issues I see with ebooks is, authors have no idea how to teach.
    But it's not even that, they have no idea that everyone learns differently.
    Some need to see the big picture first before moving on. Some need step by step.
    Some need something to do right now!

    The fix is to learn how people learn. Check out the book "Hold on you lost me! Use
    learning styles to create training that sticks. by Bernice McCarthy and
    Jeanine O'Neil - Blackwell.

    Craig

    Teaching is a learned skill. A good teacher takes the student from point A to point B, then through C, D, E, F, etc. without missing a step, and lets the student experience the process in the manner through which the student learns best.

    I watched one of my employees try to teach a Photoshop technique to a new employee. She kept demonstrating the process without letting the new employee try it herself. The new employee needed to "learn by doing," and didn't learn by watching.

    People who have not taught, or have not studied the teaching process will often miss steps because those steps seem obvious to the teacher. But the missing steps are not obvious to the student.

    I recently purchased an ebook from a warrior in which the information, and the process for implementing it, is excellent until about 3/4ths of the way through the book. Then there seems to be a slight disconnect - a missing piece - that has me stumped. I just need to contact him.

    I taught music - private lessons on several instruments - for 13 years, and when I first began teaching I would sometimes find I had confused the student because I had missed teaching a piece of the puzzle that seemed obvious to me.

    Since it was one-on-one, the instant feedback from the student let me go back and include the parts I had skipped over. With an ebook, we don't have that instant feedback, and it can be easy to skip a step while not realizing we are doing so.

    :-Don
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  • At Mcdonalds they have a saying,

    "Go for the WOW!"

    This can be graphics, grammer, a strong opening and even stronger closing, etc..

    2. Be sure there is a demand and your product appeals to the masses. If it don't chances are you won't sell very many, if any, copies.
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  • Profile picture of the author ColdFire123
    Originally Posted by precious007 View Post

    Writing is a talent, I think that's what will make a difference.
    Yeah right, If you have this talent you may use this as a tool or a key to have money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike T
    Originally Posted by Craig Desorcy View Post

    I've given this a lot of thought after creating a few products and buying 100's.

    Here's my tips,

    1. Excellent grammar.
    Not my strong point and for one of my products, it was the reason for
    refunds. I paid 500 dollars for a makeover and refunds are now 0%.

    ...

    6. How people Learn
    One of the biggest issues I see with ebooks is, authors have no idea how to teach.
    But it's not even that, they have no idea that everyone learns differently.
    Some need to see the big picture first before moving on. Some need step by step.
    Some need something to do right now!

    The fix is to learn how people learn. Check out the book "Hold on you lost me! Use
    learning styles to create training that sticks. by Bernice McCarthy and
    Jeanine O'Neil - Blackwell.

    Craig
    Excellent points Craig, but I would put a big caveat on point 6. Research shows that 'individual learning styles' are bunk. Unfortunately over the past ten years or so people have built careers promoting this flawed idea in the UK education system, I'm sure it goes on in other parts of the world as well.

    What research actually shows is that is is the task being taught that is important; you need to match the task to the most effective learning style for that task. Don makes a good point regarding teaching a Photoshop technique - this is clearly a case where the learner needs to get 'hands on'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandeep Nath
    Oh man am I glad I came upon this post! Thanks everyone. Great points...

    Unless I missed them, here are two points I think I can still add...

    1. Keep the book consistent so that one subject leads to the other and the reader keeps understanding 'why' he is reading through. Get a second opinion (someone else to read the book) so you don't suffer blind spots that you tend to jump over.

    2. Organize marketing beforehand. Create your facebook and forum following so you can work up a buzz that is receptive and awaiting you when you finally launch.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      I'm surprised nobody mentioned this before, but put enough outgoing links to sites you control so when the ebook gets shared (will that really happen? ) you can still be the beneficiary of that kind of activity.

      Carry on...

      ~Bill
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