Guest Post by Cheryl Pickett
You don’t want people feeling uninspired, or worse yet, like they’re ready for a nap when they’re done reading your words.
So how do you create a book that’s interesting instead of sleep inducing, awesome instead of average? Here are four ebook writing tips that will put you on the right track.
Build a Bridge
Even though these tips are about how to improve your writing, the first thing I’d like you to do isn’t about words, but rather a picture. In your mind’s eye, picture a bridge over a river.
It doesn’t really matter what kind you think of. All bridges have one thing in common; they are a straight line between the two points they connect.
Bridges don’t meander like a garden path or a winding road. They take you from Point A on one side to Point B, the other. Also, there’s no confusion about where you will end up if you take a bridge; bridges won’t suddenly move so that you end up somewhere other than where you set out to go.
Books, whether print or digital, are a lot like bridges. People buy nonfiction in particular expecting it to take them from where they are now, needing some information, to where they want to end up, informed and maybe inspired too.
Most people will not be happy with a book that meanders to its purpose or gets totally off track. Unfortunately, a lot of average books out there do exactly that.
Your ebook will be awesome and not average if you’re clear about where it goes from the outset, it’s easy to navigate, and ultimately delivers the reader to the promised end result and no place else.
When you need information where do you turn most often to find it? I’m sure the vast majority, if not all of you said the Internet or Google.
This really is amazing if you consider the fact that it was less than two decades ago that the answer would have just as likely included magazines, newspapers and books. Now all of those things are either a lot lower or off the list entirely.
So what does this mean for nonfiction authors? It means your biggest competition is not other books on your topic, it’s the Internet. If someone wants fast facts, figures and basic information (and sometimes even not so basic) they can usually find it online.
Unfortunately, many average ebook writers still fill their books with this kind of information. Their books contain every day ordinary facts, instructions, and little that is unique.
Their readers end up disappointed because they likely could have Googled the topic and gotten the same information for free. That is not the impression you want to make.
To go from an average ebook like the one we just talked about to an awesome one that people love and recommend, the next thing you need to do is to write ‘beyond’. Write beyond all those easy basics and beyond the same old way of presenting them.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to write at a college level or make things complicated, not at all. Instead, you need to go beyond the ordinary by including information that sets your book apart and that no one else could write even if they had a book on the same topic.
A few options are:
* Digging deep to find case studies no one else has written about (or creating your own)
*Bringing together insights from outside your topic then applying them uniquely within it
*Stories of your own personal experiences
*Interviews with other experts in which you do not ask the same questions as everyone else
Possibilities in this step are really only limited by your effort and creativity.
Let Your Spirit Shine Through
Like writing ‘beyond’, following this tip will help you add more elements to your ebook that no one else can duplicate (unless they blatantly plagiarize). Again, few people are buying books now simply to be informed.
If someone is going to open their wallet, along with being educated they also want to be entertained, captivated, inspired, challenged. They want it to be worth the effort of reading it.
Here’s another way to look at this idea: Which teachers did you like most in school? The ones that droned on reading straight from the textbook? I’m guessing, no.
How about the ones who brought passion, enthusiasm or quirkiness into every class? Not only do you remember them more, you probably even remember some of what you learned even years later.
What worked in those classrooms works for ebooks too. This time you go from average to awesome by infusing the pages with your voice, your uniqueness and your enthusiasm no matter what your message is, or who you are trying to teach.
With everything we’ve looked at so far, you might think this last tip means you’ll need to write much more than you’ve planned. And that could be true. However, simply writing for quantity is not what I mean by ‘enough’.
What I do mean is your ebook needs to be a length that your reader feels is just enough. How do you know what that is? Think of Goldilocks and the porridge that was just right, or that small dessert that just hits the spot.
Get a sense of that satisfied feeling in your head. Now apply it to your book. It needs to be long enough so that the reader feels he got what he came for, but not so much that he feels overwhelmed.
Your book will go from average to awesome when you have a good idea about what enough will feel like for your reader and that’s what you give them. This balance can be tricky to accomplish and you might not always get it right. But even if you just try your best, you’ll be way ahead of people who have never thought to try.
A Final Thought
Now that you have some tips to help your ebook go from average to awesome, I have one more bit of advice. I know some of this advice may challenge you. Some of you will have to work hard to hit the mark. Some of you may be more naturally talented in one area and struggle with the others.
Either way, don’t get discouraged. Writing is always a work in process even for more experienced writers. Write, get feedback, write some more.
Build your bridge, shine your light, go beyond, write just enough and your awesome book will be ready for the world before you know it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.