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Top 5 Tips for Writing an Ebook

kindleI talked extensively about the process I went through when writing my first Ebook, How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams; check out all those posts here if you’re interested: How to Write an Ebook.

Even though my second book is almost finished editing and should be up on Amazon within a few days, I haven’t talked that much about it here. The reason is that it was so much easier the second time around and everything just happened a lot more quickly.

Here are my Top 5 tips for Writing an Ebook to help you get started:

1. Think carefully about your book’s topic. You can choose a popular topic that already has a lot of competition, but your book has to be stellar and better than your competition in order to gain any traction.

Or, find a niche that doesn’t have a lot of competition and you will have less pressure to come up with something that will blow others out of the water. I’ve chosen the latter strategy and seem to be competing with only one other person: Andrew Hallam (The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat), but even then, he focuses more on international schools teachers and mine is for ESL teachers. Plus, I’m planning to sell my book for around $4, while his is more up in the $15 range, so I don’t think of him as actual competition.

2. Your first draft will probably be terrible. It doesn’t matter-just make sure you get your ideas down on the page.

3. Don’t underestimate the editing process. Find a literary type friend to help you, or pay someone to do it. It will go a LONG WAY to making your finished product something that people will actually want to pay you money for. I’ve seen so many customer reviews over on Amazon that say that a certain book has decent content but a terrible writing style or is riddled with grammatical mistakes. Don’t let that be the reason your reviews are lower than they could be.

4. When writing, aim for clear and simple. You are not writing an academic paper so your writing style should be reasonably informal; the average 6th grader should be able to understand it.

5. Figure out the formatting before you start writing. You need to know how Amazon (or whatever platform you’re going to use) wants you to format the book before you get started. I didn’t do this with my first book and totally regretted it. Second time around, however, I formatted as I went along and it made the whole process go much more smoothly.

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