Developing an eBook from Concept to Creation

eBook from Concept to Creation

In the past, we’ve discussed the benefits of eBooks 5 Simple Ways You Can Use eBooks and what you should know about them as a powerful marketing tool. Today, we’ll look at the creation process, as well as what it takes to produce a high quality eBook your target audience can’t wait to put on their virtual shelves. While each individual’s process may differ slightly, you cannot ignore these phases.

Phase 1: Initial Planning and Market Research

There are many reasons some eBooks make it and others don’t. More often than not, it boils down to a writer or marketer’s failure to plan. Don’t let yourself be blinded by hot topics and dollar signs, because the chances are you won’t be the one cashing in without a quality product and a dynamic marketing campaign.

To plan properly, you need to get the nitty-gritty details out of the way right at the start. This includes answering crucial questions and taking several steps to strategize your eBook’s creation. Consider the following points and then map out your plan of action.

  • What topic will your eBook cover? This is probably the simplest question of them all, but often the most difficult to answer. Entrepreneurs, marketers, and bloggers will likely find that concept development is an easy task since they’re already working within a specific niche and building an engaged audience. Individuals who simply want to create eBooks as a way to earn a passive income may find that choosing a topic is a little more complicated. Keep in mind that it’s best to take your own experience, skills, and knowledge into account when narrowing down a topic. While you can certainly research an unfamiliar topic, you should try to build authority within a particular area.
  • Is your eBook feasible? Whether you hope to generate brand exposure, qualified leads, or revenue, you need to ensure there is a demand for the topic your book covers. Don’t count on success if the market is overly saturated.
  • Is your concept original? The eBooks that sell well are those that solve problems and have a unique angle.
  • Does your eBook have long-term selling potential? Will your book be outdated in the next few months? If so, can you reach your objective within the limited timeframe? If not, go back to the drawing board.
  • Do you have a compelling, keyword-rich title? This should be a no-brainer, but so many writers fail to create a title that’s memorable. Your title should be catchy and generate intrigue so that prospects are interested enough to find out more. In addition, it should be searchable, so make sure you conduct keyword research beforehand.
  • What will your cover design look like? Whether we like to admit it or not, books are judged by their covers. As a result, it’s a good idea to invest in an attractive one.
  • Have you created a budget? eBooks require a financial investment. Therefore, you need to determine what you’re able to afford and how many books you need to sell to break-even. Potential costs include:

–          Professional writing, formatting, editing, and cover design services

–          Distribution and payment platform fees

–          Launch and promotional campaign expenses (This is a full-scale product launch, so budget appropriately.)

  • Will your book be worth the price you demand? Your eBook must offer value for money, so think carefully about your price point. The worst thing you can do is overcharge and under deliver.

Other factors you should consider beforehand include:

–          The length of the book

–          Contents in terms of charts, images, graphs, etc

–          How the book will be compiled

–          The format of the book’s contents

–          The formats you’ll make available for download

–          Decide between copyright and creative commons

–          Guarantees

Phase 2: Create an Outline and Conduct Research for Each Chapter

If you’re writing the eBook yourself, flesh out an outline. An outline breaks down your book into a logical sequence of chapters that will form your table of contents and provides structure for the writing process. If you’re hiring a professional writer, the person should provide an outline to you based on your eBook specifications. If this is the case, you’ll need to approve the outline before additional work is conducted.

#Tip 1: Brainstorm questions your target audience will want answered in the book and then use them as chapters.

#Tip 2: Don’t make your topic too broad. Hone in on a specific area and then provide as much valuable and actionable information as possible.

Once you have your chapters figured out, you can start to research each one. Depending on your level of expertise, you may not need to research extensively. However, you must ensure you provide enough educational material and quality information to cover the subject matter adequately.

#Tip 3: Record all sources so that you can reference them correctly.

#Tip 4: Breakdown each chapter into sub-sections and then organize your research accordingly.

#Tip 5: Take note of compelling points to include in the book, as well as in your sales copy.

Phase 3: Create the Final Product

This is the phase where you’ll write, format, edit, proofread, and compile the book into its final state for sale.

#Tip 1: If you’re using the book for lead generation purposes, be sure to include calls-to-action in your book.

#Tip 2: Ask yourself whether the book fulfils its purpose. If you agree that it does, then you’re ready to publish. If you feel it’s lacking in any way, go back and make changes.

#Tip 3: Consider compiling the book into PDF format as it’s the most popular file type for eBooks.

#Tip 4: Make sure your cover design looks great and that any images you’ve inserted into the book are clear.

When you consider the amount of thought, research, and effort that goes into the creation of an eBook, there’s no denying the process can be draining. We’re not even taking into account the distribution, payment, and promotional aspects of selling your book. With that said, eBooks can be extremely lucrative when done correctly. Make sure that when you create your eBook, you go through the initial planning and market research phase thoroughly. You do not want to spend your time and money creating a dud that doesn’t sell.

Have you written an eBook? Are there any additional steps you would add to the creation process? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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