7 Keys to A Successful E-Book

Ready to increase your income with an E-book that puts your valued expertise at the fingertips of your potential clients?

Looking for a little inspiration?  Watch this video.

1. HELP DON’T HYPE

The purpose of your e-book is to provide valued information that your reader is willing to download right now. Make sure your content delivers the goods—and avoid overt promotion that distracts your reader. Of course at the end you’ll want to include a call to action—your reader understands that and may likely be anticipating it. To strengthen that call, include a short bio that reminds your reader of your expertise.ebook3

2. CHOOSE A STRONG SUBJECT

 Your subject should be well-defined and fit into the scope of your expertise. That means not too broad (nutrition) or too narrow (ten pages on how your metabolism processes fat). Even though you may be tempted to include lots of cool other stuff, eliminate content that is not specific to your purpose and focus.

You’re not expected to review the whole field or repeat information that is commonly known or has already been extensively written about. One very effective method: Make a list of questions your E-book is going to answer or address. Then write out the answers or solutions briefly and use that document to develop your outline.

3. PRESENT YOUR UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

People aren’t just looking for information; they want your expert point-of-view and the benefit of your experience. If it’s appropriate to your subject, go ahead and put on a little attitude. You don’t have to hide or soften your opinions behind academic or formal language. Speak in your authentic voice. This is especially important in naming conventions: title, chapter names, and subheads.

4. BE AUTHORITATIVE

Authority means two things. First: Claim your expertise unapologetically. Second, back it up. With facts, research, examples, case studies.

Although not all successful e-books do this, I recommend that you include a bibliography of your significant sources and references. Another tip: Minimize self-referential statements that interrupt the flow of content, such as, explaining how you named your book or making an announcement about what you’re going to tell your reader in a later chapter. (That’s what the TOC is for, right?)

 5. BE READABLE

Give your e-book a high RQ—READABILITY QUOTIENT (a scoring system I learned for editing manuscripts). No matter how interesting and compelling your content is, if it’s not accessible it won’t be read. Period.

Follow the guidelines below and you’ll guarantee your readers easy access to your wisdom and knowledge. (Of course, there are always exceptions to any rules, but why not give them a chance before you decide they might not apply to your e-book?)

  • Keep your sentences short (25-30 words) and your paragraphs (65-85 words).
  • Vary your sentence structure and length.
  • Speak in a conversational voice.
  • Avoid overly technical and formal language.
  • Break up long chunks of text with subheads, bulleted lists, and graphics.

6.  GRAB ‘EM ON PAGE ONE!

It’s a known phenomenon among editors that most writers (professional and amateur) tend to warm up on the page, instead of off stage like runners or actors. Often the first few paragraphs or even pages are a preamble to the ‘real’ beginning.  A running start is not necessary or recommended; you will lose your reader. Just jump in and don’t make the mistake of saving the best to last. Give it to us up front and then we’ll want to keep reading.

7. TELL US A STORY

People remember stories and they generally forget statistics. (There’s a statistic about that somewhere.)  So throughout your e-book and especially as you approach your crucial point, consider using stories to make a strong imprint in your reader’s mind. When you use narrative techniques—examples, anecdotes, stories—your readability quotient doubles, maybe even triples.

Now if you haven’t watched the video, go back and take a look.

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