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How to Write a Nonfiction Ebook

It is pretty safe to say that 2020 was a turbulent year. Political turmoil, social distancing, and the ever-present threat of pandemic are just a few reasons why the year was so eventful. One of the many ways in which fiction and nonfiction collided this year was in ebooks. While books have been around for as long as there have been books, ebooks are a relatively new phenomenon.

If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you might remember his famous quote about writing: “It is only fair to say that my method of work is not for everybody. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of energy. If you want to become really efficient, you have to be willing to specialize in one area and really hone your skills.” While Sherlock Holmes’ methodology might not be practical advice for everyone, it certainly rings true for indie authors who want to become successful in the ever-changing world of ebooks.

If you’re keen to try your hand at nonfiction e-bookwriting, here are some tips on how to get started.

The Golden Egg

For decades, the conventional wisdom in publishing has held that the best way for an indie author to get noticed by mainstream readers is via the traditional print book route—that is, via traditional publishers and expensive print runs.

This was largely due to the fact that physical books are a whole lot easier to market than digital ones. With print-on-paper books, you’re guaranteed to have a physical copy in your hands, and you can literally put your phone number on the back cover, if you want to market the book in a more traditional way.

However, the rise of ebooks and the pandemic changed all that. Nowadays, it is easier to gain attention via websites, social media, and online markets—and, as a result, it is possible to write a successful e-book without the aid of a traditional publisher.

This is called “self-publishing” and it’s a fabulous option for indie authors seeking to capitalize on their work, whether through a traditional publisher or directly via an online market.

The “Moment of Truth”

Before you begin writing your e-book, it’s important to do some research. This should include, at the very least, a broad reading of current best practices in the field and a close examination of the competitive environment. While many people will try to convince you that taking a traditional publishing route is the best way to go, research will prove otherwise.

By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you will be able to write a successful e-book that will attract mainstream audiences.

Take Your Time

As with any other type of creative writing, the more you put into it the more you get out of it. While there’s no exact science to producing a successful e-book, taking your time and being meticulous will certainly help you achieve your goal. Start small and iterative, and you will have a much better shot at producing something that is marketable.

Make sure to include as much useful information as possible without going over the top. Always be the best version of yourself and avoid using hacks, even if they seem like a quick and easy way to make things work. Above all, write what you know; the more you write, the more you’ll know.

Writing Is A JOURNEY

To reiterate, writing a successful nonfiction e-book is not a one-and-done affair. Instead, it is a journey that you will continue to take, rewrite, and perfect as you go along. Just like any other type of creative writing, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Rewriting is an important part of the process and, as you continue to improve your work, your chances of producing a manuscript that is marketable will increase.

Instead of seeing it as a chore, writing a successful nonfiction e-book is something that you should look forward to. It might take some time, but you will eventually find the joy in it. And, at the end of the day, you will have a product that you can use to further your career—and who knows, maybe even make some money to fund your next project.