Wednesday, August 3, 2011

7 tips on Writing a Bestselling eBook

I think one of the most disappointing things about being a brand new, recently unpublished eBook author is the lack of recognition, which translates into a lack of sales. Sure, I'm working on that, but I look forward to the day when my name alone inspires the purchase of one (or all) of my eBooks! ;)

Since I'm not an expert on the subject, I took some time out from my writing today to do a little research. After Googling and getting a ton of results for how to write a bestselling eBook, here's the best tips that I found (and I even saved you all the hassle of having to wade through pages of people trying to sell you a book on how to write an eBook!!). I linked to each article that I took the ideas from, in case you want to utilize any more of the article advice.

1) Get organized. If you were getting ready to climb a mountain, you'd need to get your gear together. The same approach can be used for writing. Think of it as something you need to plan for, then get your primary thoughts together and don't forget to bring plenty of snacks! ;) You can write an outline, or just jot down some thoughts.

2) Choose a killer title. If you title your book The Most Boring Book Ever, people probably won't buy it (actually, scratch that... I'm pretty sure I could write a decent book for that title lol). I know that if a book has an interesting title, I might go on to read the description. Your average readers are the same. If a book has a title that draws their attention, they will probably consider purchasing it. Just make sure your title is relevant - I recently downloaded a book that had a title that I thought would mean one thing but it ended up not really relating to the story itself, and I found it very disappointing.

3) Subject, Subject, Subject! Just like location is important for houses, subject is important for books! I am a firm believer that you should write what you love, but if you want to be a bestseller, you might also have to write some things you don't love... and then let people discover the books you write about what you love! Make sure you also research your topic - nothing is more annoying than reading a book and finding glaring errors on the subject that you know aren't true! Here's a list of some recent best-selling genres.

4) Write and don't stop!! Ok, you might have to occasionally stop to eat, sleep, work, etc. but the point is that the longer you step away from your book, the less likely you are to finish it. It's just like anything else - if you don't make yourself make time for it, it will slip away from you... like your New Year's resolutions or your weight loss goals. Try not to step away from your story for more than two or three days. Since publishing my first eBook, I've gotten better at motivating myself to write for at least ten or fifteen minutes every day.

5) Edit a million times. Maybe not a million, but you get my drift. Make sure you have someone proofread so that your tired eyes and brain don't miss something obvious. Also, do a final edit after letting the eBook sit for a week (prior to submitting it anywhere) so that you can give yourself one more chance to catch errors with a fresh mind.

6) Keep it in a reader-friendly format. Remember that your readers will be reading on screens of various sizes, backlit and eInk, etc. so your eBook needs to be well-designed. That's why I like Smashwords, because if you follow their style guidelines they will automatically format your eBook into multiple formats.

7) Make use of affiliate links. Once again, that's a reason I love Smashwords, because users of the site can sign up to become affiliates, then create links on their blogs, websites, etc. to eBooks and can earn commissions on what they sell. You can also add a few affiliate links within your eBook, which can help you earn a little more.

If you're in the mood for some inspiration, check out this great post about legendary eBook author Amanda Hocking. Another great source for inspiration and ideas is to check out the eBook Bestsellers Lists.

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