You now know why you’re writing your eBook, what it’ll be about and who will read it. You’ve also made the big decision to pen the piece yourself.

Here are a few tricks of the trade that will help you get writing:

Write for your target audience. It is critical you tailor your content to suit your readers. This means including information they’d be interested in, writing to their level of knowledge on the topic and answering questions they would typically ask. Remember, specific is terrific!

Use existing content where appropriate. If your business has a blog, whitepaper or articles, you could use these to kick-start the writing process. However, you may need to repurpose this content to suit the new format. Avoid the easy option of a simple ‘cut and paste’.

Develop your idea. Write down your basic idea and jot down the various aspects associated with this idea. For example when developing a book with a client on investing in property via a self-managed super fund, we used words and phrases such as “setting up a fund”, “types of property you can acquire with a fund”, “borrowing to invest:”, “tax”, “retirement”, “compliance” and so on.  These were later developed into their own chapters.

Organise your details. After unpacking and expanding on your core idea, begin rearranging the information you have written down into a vertical outline until it matches the way you’d like your book to flow. Think in terms of what your audience will need to know first, with basics at the beginning.

Zero in on your topic. Don’t be tempted to include every single thing they know about a subject as this will overwhelm readers. Focus instead on information your readers are clamouring for and drill down to the specifics.

Make time to write. Writing a book can be time-consuming so persevere. Ideally set aside time each day. You may decide instead to dedicate blocks of time – a day or half day at the weekend or a week or two over the Xmas break.

Add the details. Once the body of your book has taken shape, it’s time to add the title and other pieces of material such as an introduction, bibliography and so on. Because your eBook will be available online you will also need to ensure it’s easy to read by using subheadings and bullet points to break up large chunks of text.

Review and rewrite. Once your book is finished, let it sit for a week or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Look at the order of the chapters and sections first. Do they make sense to you? Often, you’ll find that some pieces seem to make more sense in a different spot than where you’d originally placed them. After you’re satisfied with the order of the book, read each chapter in order and edit and revise.

Have it proof-read. Once you’ve checked your eBook for spelling or grammatical mistakes, hand it over to someone else to proofread. It always surprises me how easy it is to completely miss mistakes in your own writing.

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