Have you ever had an amazing idea for an ebook but didn’t know how to go about writing it? Wrote an outline for it, but when you got to the end you realized that it needed a lot more work? You might be wondering…what is an outline, and how can I write one for my ebook?
Simply put, an outline is a guide that helps you make the most of your material and ensure that it is structured and easy to follow. Writing an outline for an ebook is not as difficult as you might think – it just takes a little bit of organization.
Step one: Set a goal
The first step is to set a goal. What do you hope to see from the finished product? What are your expectations for this particular project? Make sure that you set a goal that is measurable and have a clear path to getting there. For example, if your goal is to sell a certain number of copies of your ebook within a particular timeframe, then you need to set a specific date by which you will accomplish that (e.g., by next month’s end). Setting a goal will also help you determine if your plan is working – the more you can measure, the better!
Step two: Create a table of contents
The next step is to create a table of contents for your book. Think of the table of contents as an index – it will help your reader navigate the text easily and efficiently. In order to do this, you will need to consider each section of your book and create a page for each one. The table of contents should be set at the beginning of your book, right before the opening line – that is, the first word of the first sentence of the book. Doing this at the beginning will make it easier for the reader to find what they are looking for later on when reading (and, hopefully, enjoying!) your work.
Step three: Organize your book’s content
The third step is to organize your book’s content. Just like the table of contents, the content of your book needs to be structured and easy to follow. To do this, you will want to consider each individual topic within your book and create a page for it. You can find a topic in many different ways – perhaps you have an amazing product that you are an expert in, or perhaps you have a specific field (e.g., social media, SEO, or content strategy) that you want to discuss in depth. Whatever the case may be, you will need to create a page for each one.
Step four: Work on identifying the main points
The fourth step is to work on identifying the main points. Main points are the primary ideas that you want to bring across to the reader. Think of the plot as a series of scenes – the story, in other words. In order to write the perfect draft, you will want to make sure that each individual scene focuses on one of the main points you have identified. To do this, you will want to consider each part of the scene and write a short paragraph on what you are trying to establish (e.g., “As the scene opens, we see…” or “…this chapter will focus on…”). Once you have written a draft, go through and make sure that each part directly relates to one of your main points.
Once you have gone through your book with the aforementioned steps in mind, you will be able to write an outline that is full of useful information and easy to follow. You can also use the outline as a guide for developing the actual content of your book. Writing an outline is not as difficult as you might think, but it can certainly be helped with a little bit of planning and effort.