writing an e-book . . at least trying to!

25 replies
I need my fellow warriors help. I seem to not be able to just buckle down and write this 50 page e-book on this niche. I hate to write which is a huge problem for me. I figure maybe outsourcing but there are lots of my thoughts I want within the e-book. Is there something I can do to concentrate on the task instead of getting interrupted by email, facebook, warrior forum etc etc. .

Thanks everyone
#ebook #writing
  • Profile picture of the author activetrader
    Originally Posted by jelder1 View Post

    I need my fellow warriors help. I seem to not be able to just buckle down and write this 50 page e-book on this niche. I hate to write which is a huge problem for me. I figure maybe outsourcing but there are lots of my thoughts I want within the e-book. Is there something I can do to concentrate on the task instead of getting interrupted by email, facebook, warrior forum etc etc. .

    Thanks everyone
    Yes, easy solution - disconnect from the Internet
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    Me

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    • Profile picture of the author Roy Carter
      Originally Posted by activetrader View Post

      Yes, easy solution - disconnect from the Internet
      Lol

      And if you can't make yourself switch off the internet connection, stop posting on forums until you get the job done!

      Seriously, you have to FOCUS and refuse to be distracted by anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kris Turner
    The best thing you can do is create yourself a very strong and detailed outline. If you can do that, writing something like this really becomes writing by numbers, or fill in the blanks.

    A simple approach to take is to split your book into 8 or 10 of the biggest questions your market has about this subject you're writing about.

    Each of those questions will become a chapter.

    Now find a way to make each of your prospects' 10 biggest questions into 5 or 10 steps they need to take.

    If you now write a page for each step you'll be able to churn that book out in no time.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    First, how do you know it's going to be a 50-page book? You set yourself up for anxiety and even failure by seeing the project that way. There is no right or wrong number of pages. If you have valid information that people want and need then the book might only be several pages or many more.

    Too many people think they have to knock out lots of pages for their work to be accepted in the marketplace. That's true to a degree but it doesn't have to be. Most folks can spot an ebook miles away that has been padded with all kinds of fluff just to make it seem more valuable.

    Write your book with the goal of communicating useful information to people that need it. Blend in your thoughts and experiences. I think if you take this approach you won't hate writing so much and you'll find the pages just piling up.

    You might consider first making an outline of the points you want to make in the book. Then take one point at a time and write about it. That way, you're not writing a 50-page book. It's more like writing a bunch of related essays or even articles.

    There's a simple formula for writing just about any info piece. It goes like this:

    · Tell 'em you're going to tell them. This is the introduction where you explain and summarize your background, your qualifications, and exactly what the reader can expect in reading your stuff.

    · Tell 'em. This is where you explain everything from A to Z.

    · Tell 'em you've told them. This is where you summarize what you've written and tie it all together.

    This process is almost like using a writing template and it makes the task much easier. All kinds of information is delivered this way.

    Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kris Turner
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      First, how do you know it's going to be a 50-page book? You set yourself up for anxiety and even failure by seeing the project that way. There is no right or wrong number of pages. If you have valid information that people want and need then the book might only be several pages or many more.
      I've never started any writing project without having a good idea of how many pages or words it was going to be (and I worked for many years as a writer).

      Unless you're writing a novel and you want some spontaneity, a solid outline really helps.

      I can't even imagine creating an information product without a solid outline.

      And there are very few markets or niches where someone would be happy paying for a 3 page e-book. Generally, I think 50 is a minimum - generally. I like a hundred much more.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    People have given you great ideas.

    For what it's worth jelder1, I "reverse engineer" my books. The very last thing I do is write the book. Here are some steps I have found useful.

    Design your website before you write your book. Now, you don't have to fire up Dreamweaver or anything like that. You just want the copy. Do it in Word or whatever. But write a killer copy first. The idea is that you design the world's best sales copy for a book like yours, and then you write the book using your sales copy as the blueprint. Kind of like working backwards on the thing.

    Second. Someday you will want testimonials. Sit down, right now, today and write three testimonials like you would one day like to receive. No--you obviously won't ever use these, but doing this makes you focus on how you want your future customers to feel after reading your book. Then, when you write your book make sure you include material in your book that will guarantee you get testimonials like those. Again--working backwards!

    A final idea. Some of my books are traditional paper and ink type books and I sell them through catalogs of book distributors. The books will end up having an image and about a 60-word description in teh catalogs. When I submit new books I always include my own suggested description.

    So what I do, before I write my book, is to sit down and write a 60-word description of it first. This forces me to distill the essence of the book into a few short lines. Anyone can describe their book in a long web page, but describing it in a 60 word description really forces you to distill out all of the crud and think about the most essential key points.

    Doing these things is sort of working ass-backwards. But it also provides you with a blueprint for developing your book. Most people write a book and then say, "Ok, it's done--now how can I sell it?" What you are doing here is sort of developing a little marketing plan first, and then developing your book around it. If you do this, then writing your book becomes almost an automatic response to the sales materials you have created.

    Another idea I have used is to get on the Interstate, drive 50 miles, pull off and get a motel for the weekend. Get away from the distractions of everyday life. Crib up with some food for 48 hours and don't leave the room. You can get a 50 page ebook done in that amount of time.

    Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by activetrader View Post

      Yes, easy solution - disconnect from the Internet
      The problem there can be that sometimes you need the Internet to look things up! Of course, you can somewhat prepare for that by gathering research materials while you're online so that you have them available when you're offline. Still, you occasionally may find that you need to look things up, so you just have to learn not to allow yourself to get distracted.

      Originally Posted by Alex Taylor View Post

      The best thing you can do is create yourself a very strong and detailed outline. If you can do that, writing something like this really becomes writing by numbers, or fill in the blanks.
      Sometimes, though, the outline approach can also make the writing more tedious. Once you have the outline done, you write the fun stuff first and, at the end, you're left with all the boring stuff, which makes it easier to get distracted by other things.

      Originally Posted by Alex Taylor View Post

      Unless you're writing a novel and you want some spontaneity, a solid outline really helps.
      Why wouldn't you have an outline for a novel too?

      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      Design your website before you write your book. Now, you don't have to fire up Dreamweaver or anything like that. You just want the copy. Do it in Word or whatever. But write a killer copy first. The idea is that you design the world's best sales copy for a book like yours, and then you write the book using your sales copy as the blueprint. Kind of like working backwards on the thing.
      I've stopped doing things like that. Building the website is the fun part, so I find, for me, it works better to save that as a reward for finishing the book. Ditto for designing the book cover.

      To each his own, though. Everyone needs to find the way that works best for him or herself.
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  • Profile picture of the author martin_boyd
    Originally Posted by jelder1 View Post

    I need my fellow warriors help. I seem to not be able to just buckle down and write this 50 page e-book on this niche. I hate to write which is a huge problem for me. I figure maybe outsourcing but there are lots of my thoughts I want within the e-book. Is there something I can do to concentrate on the task instead of getting interrupted by email, facebook, warrior forum etc etc. .

    Thanks everyone
    visit: they.misled.us/dark-room

    this is exactly what it says, a darkroom online with zero distractions.

    Its a free tool to help people just like you. I am sure the other responses will also help greatly.

    Martin Boyd
    The-Entrepreneur-Club.com
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  • Profile picture of the author jelder1
    wow you guys are amazing thanks for all your input I'll get going!! Very very good information to help me concentrate on the topic at hand
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  • Profile picture of the author NealAshley
    Great suggestions here. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author koolwarrior
    Banned
    If you ever get stuck writing, or trying to come up with some content for your book...this works well, especially in niches besides IM:

    PRIVATE LABEL RIGHTS CONTENT

    That is all...
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Tani
    Another idea is to set up a work/reward system. For example, after:

    *one hour work
    *5 written pages
    *1000 words

    you get xx numer of minutes to "play". Then back to work. This works for me.

    Love,
    Shannon
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  • Profile picture of the author alexei_aus
    write bulletpoints on what you want
    go to rentacoder.com or elance.com
    advertise in content writing category
    deal with responses from bidders
    look at writer's previous work
    select the writer(s) you like
    you will get the ebook done quick

    you need to value your time. understand that some people are more skilled at some things than others
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Gallivan
    Don't set out to write a 50 page book.

    What I do is set out to write a book. Once I have the topic in mind I think of a possible title which will get edited when finished.

    Then I write a list of what I want to include - these are the starting points for the chapters.

    For each item on the list I open a new word doc and start making notes. As ideas come to mind I can add them to each chapter. Before you know it you can have far more than you originally intended to write

    Bit by bit I piece it all together by copying and pasting each chapter into the main book.

    Then add the intro, conclusion, contents, disclaimers and links.

    It may be a clumsy way of writing but it suits me. and gets the job done.

    Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author FranMurray
      Originally Posted by Mary Gallivan View Post

      Don't set out to write a 50 page book.

      What I do is set out to write a book. Once I have the topic in mind I think of a possible title which will get edited when finished.

      Then I write a list of what I want to include - these are the starting points for the chapters.

      For each item on the list I open a new word doc and start making notes. As ideas come to mind I can add them to each chapter. Before you know it you can have far more than you originally intended to write

      Bit by bit I piece it all together by copying and pasting each chapter into the main book.

      Then add the intro, conclusion, contents, disclaimers and links.

      It may be a clumsy way of writing but it suits me. and gets the job done.

      Mary
      This is a good approach. I am in the middle of first product creation. Video and Ebook package. I am going to use this method. I am in the middle of making the videos right now. Mary mind if I shoot you a PM to tell you how your way works for me?

      Just one of my thoughts - I would like to say I have come to one conclusion about getting things done. I no longer demand perfection from myself. I used to never get anything done. I am not suggesting that things need to be done half ass'd, but perfection is NOT attainable. Something can always be better. Let it go...

      I am sure this not a new experience for people reading this, but thanks for your time.

      Thanks
      Fran
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  • Profile picture of the author Stallion
    Just spend an hour and come out with an outline. Break it down into topics that you need to write about. Take one topic a day and do it. You'll be bound to finish it. I know what you mean about writing though. Sometimes you feel like you want to bang your head against the wall when you're writing a lot. Just one day at a time and you'll get it done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Gallivan
    Hi Fran

    Yes, sure, by all means send me a PM.

    Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author venomous2000
    Write a chapter a day without any interuptions. If you get distracted think of the profits you could gain from completing the task
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    • Profile picture of the author Reuven
      You have to decide not be bothered by ringing phones, tweets or needing to see what's in your email inbox. You just have to do it.

      Find a time when you won't be disturbed so you can write uninterupted. I just wrote an ebook and did a lot of my writing after midnight. I'm a night person anyway and I work out of my home so I don't have to wake up at 7:00 for a job so that time worked for me. I know some professional writers who get up at 5:00 so they can write for at least two hours before their families wake up.

      Also make sure you write at least an hour a day. If you had said you don't mind writing, I would have told you to write for two hours a day. Once you get on a roll, writing starts to get easier. Staring at a blank screen is one of the hardest parts of writing.

      Don't expect your first draft to be good enough to distribute or even be read by others. It will probably be crap and that's OK. Get your first draft done and then start your rewrites.
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  • Profile picture of the author kasey
    I have just finished my third small book and found that a trick I learned from working with ADD/ADHD kids really helped when I had trouble focusing. First of all put on music with a strong 60 or 120 beats to the minute (the ideal frequency for the two sides of the brain to coordinate) with headphones. Then use Powerpoint or a similar program to organize your thoughts. I put each main point on a slide and then write copy in the notes section. It means that at any one time you are only looking at one point. When you have thoughts down, then you can use the slide sorter view to arrange things in order and then cut and paste to a document. The beauty of doing it this way is that the outline view gives you the basics for sales pages and the powerpoint is ready with just a little bit of graphic help to create a video presentation.

    I found this very useful when I had the blank page thought blockage. I could come up with 1 point I wanted to get across. It fills up half the screen on powerpoint, 1 line on a document. It is also the tool that made me realize that I had two seperate books about thriving in unemployement rather than one. When a section is consistantly giving you a blockage, it usually means that it either isn't supposed to be in there, or it is supposed to have a different angle.

    Katie..Author of Holiday Grand Plans
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  • Profile picture of the author Gunter Eibl
    Hi Jelder

    you still can outsource and still have all your thoughts in the ebook. Just write down everything you want to have in the ebook and the writer will integrate it.

    We are doing a lot of such ebooks for customers. See my signature.

    Thanks

    Gunter
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  • Profile picture of the author giselle.benites
    Originally Posted by jelder1 View Post

    I need my fellow warriors help. I seem to not be able to just buckle down and write this 50 page e-book on this niche. I hate to write which is a huge problem for me. I figure maybe outsourcing but there are lots of my thoughts I want within the e-book. Is there something I can do to concentrate on the task instead of getting interrupted by email, facebook, warrior forum etc etc. .

    Thanks everyone
    Well it's obvious that it's a task that you are dreading so that is why you are avoiding it. I want to ask you... Have you written an eBook before? Would you say that your copywriting skills are good?

    Depending on your answers you should definitely look into outsourcing. Also, just because you are outsourcing does not mean that your ideas will not be in the eBook. You need to share your ideas with the writer, and even submit your notes.

    To your success,

    Giselle
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