How to write a great E-book

Many people are daunted at the prospect of writing a full-length novel and it is all too easy to see why.  The months or more likely years of work involved are very daunting even before you start and then the dedication involved to actually see it through when something easier or more exciting rears it head.

It took me years to write my first novel which made the 2-3 years to write my travelogue seem like a walk in the park.  My third book, a ebook was started, finished and published all on the same day.

Obviously just because something is in an Ebook or Kindle format it doesn’t mean that the end product should be any less than the quality of a paperback and writing a novel for a Kindle for example will be just as time consuming as for writing an old fashioned book.

However, there are a type of ebooks that pretty much anyone can write and write quickly and perhaps even see commercial success from.

Amazon allow you to sell your ebook for just 99pence/99 cents.  Whilst you may not want to sell your pride and joy for such a small price, it does mean that if you can produce a book of perhaps 3-10,000 words then you can sell this on Kindle at what would be a fair price to the consumer.

The main thing that you have to look for obviously is something worth publishing.  If you are a blogger then lets face it, you’re half way there.  Some posts aren’t far short of the required word count and many people have blogs that have suitable topics that could be re-written or expanded upon to give you a good final product.  However to make things worthwhile, it is best to find something that either fills a gap in the market, brings a new approach to an old subject and not just because it is something you you are really interested in but few others are.

If you have a speciality in a subject or are knowledgeable about a hobby then you have the makings of a quick and easy ebook.  If you live somewhere tourists or business travellers might visit then you have valuable information that others will pay for, even if just 99pence.

If you haven’t got something that easily comes to then top 10 or top 100 lists are always popular or A-Z’s or an idiots guide to  are all relatively popular and easy to write if you have an interest or knowledge in the subject.

Keep your book and message simple.  Don’t try and make it the biggest authority on a subject and don’t bring in miscellaneous side items to try and make your book more substantial.   If you want to write a guide of backpacking in India, don’t drag Thailand into it.  If you have 50 great cake recipes keep the cookies or biscuits for another ebook.

Such an ebook also undeniably doesn’t need professional artwork.  It helps but it isn’t needed.  Sites such as Amazon or Lulu have several of their own covers that can be modified or you can just use something like the free MS Paint to create your own.  I haven’t got an artistic bone in my body but I still did created my own front cover for my ebook.  If you’re not that confident, ask a friend spend half an hour helping you out which is what I did for another of my books.  Your cover should be eye-catching but for 99 pence no-one is expecting to see a Monet on the front cover.

How To Get Rich Using Airbnb

A short, informative but fun look at how to be successful with Airbnb.

When I wrote my Amazon Kindle best-seller ‘How To Get Rich Using Airbnb‘, I wrote it as little more than a diversion.  Having had towards 100 people stay with us and a solid 5-star ranking from guests I knew that I had the experience and knowledge to write something useful

Amazingly no-one else had written about Airbnb which is incredible considering it is now used by millions around the world.  Of course, some folks had already written about Airbnb but my quick searches didn’t find them.  The reason is that their title wasn’t catchy or inspiring enough (no offence to them if they ever read this).  Your ebook can be the most amazing piece of work known to man but if no-one can easily find it then it isn’t helping the author or the purchaser who may really desperately appreciate the information it contains.  I chose my title not because I concentrate on making money above offering a good Airbnb experience because in fact it is precisely the reverse.  However most people are interested in making a bit of extra money and using “How To Get Rich using Airbnb” grabs their attention as it is a how-to guide and also mentions the word ‘rich’.    By following the good advice in my book, people can get rich but its through the tips and advice I give rather than an out and out money-grabbing exercise.

At just 99pence or 99 cents you can sell your small ebook or Kindle and not worry about exploiting anyone and yet not deter people from purchasing your book from an unknown or relatively unknown author.

Finally, consider the value in releasing your ebook for free.  You will achieve masses of downloads and help enhance your reputation in your chosen field.  You might also make some sales from people who appreciate your free ebook and go on to purchase one of your paid titles.

So whilst you are stuck plotting out your best-selling novel or procrastinating writing chapter 7 of your romance story why not sit down today and write something down that you can publish NOW and not when you finally get round to finishing something.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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9 Responses to How to write a great E-book

  1. TheGirl says:

    Yeah that’s true, writing my novel (albeit first one) is nothing compared to the editing, publishing, and marketing process!


  2. Boyer Writes says:

    Interesting, Stephen, that you wrote this blog because I was just thinking about doing some publishing…and have written several small books (some for children) that I have self published. I found that it was somewhat expensive per book to do that and I did not have funds to order in large quantities. I will look up what you have suggested. Thanks. Nancy


    • Thanks Nancy. The problem of costs is one of the bigger drawbacks for self-publishing books. Very large ones are prohibitively expensive for people to buy whilst small ones can be very difficult to make any money from due to their small margins.

      Best of luck with your projects, let me know if I can help with anything.



  3. What great advice, Stephen. It’s true that my novel will take some time. Now for my topic…This would be a great way just to feel success even if it doesn’t sell. Just to publish and feel like you completed something. I’m so happy for you that you have success with your Ebook.


    • Thanks Amy. I love that my Ebook does well, it is like enjoy a snack in between the meals that are the full size novels!

      You should definitely go ahead and write an Ebook, it will give you such a sense of accomplishment whatever the sales are like.


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