How to Write Your First eBook ( 10 Step System)

Gearing up to write that first ebook was pretty daunting for me. I was dealing with the fear of it being “wrong” and all the while, wondering who in the world would read and respect my ebook. It was my business consultant’s idea- she thought it a shame that I was producing so much content, yet I was not leveraging that content in a way that would:

  • market my business

  • position me as an expert

  • make some passive income

  • brand me as an thought leader

  • get me attention and possibly speaking engagements and clients

Yep, I had all of that sitting at my fingertips and she wasn’t shy about staying on my case about creating a book. Once I did create my first ebook and saw how many times it was downloaded- my lil DIY project… it opened my eyes to the possibilities of creating my own bodies of knowledge to do its digital work of grabbing me leads and clients. Now I absolutely love putting together an ebook for my audience and have created a simple system and an online product to help you do it.

I’ve stressed the utter importance of creating for your own business, but today, for you who may feel that it’s just too big of a task, I want to break down how to write your first ebook in this step-by-step guide.

  1. Brainstorm ideas about a topic.

    1. Think like this, “ What do I want to teach my audience ?” and “ What can I create that is highly useful?”

    2. Has your subject been done? No problem if it has, but brainstorm ways that you can make it better and make the ebook “your own”.

    3. Is your audience interested in the topic? Is it a topic that they ask you many questions on throughout the year?

    4. Is it a topic that can fit into the FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions) Yes, you can build an ebook around frequently asked questions in your industry or niche.

    5. Is it a topic that can fit into the SAQs ( Should Ask Questions) Yep, you bet, you can write an ebook around a topic that your audience should ask about but maybe they don’t know the exact questions they should be asking. Sitting with my accountant for only 10 minutes conjures up many should ask books that she can write. I don’t know what to ask, until she brings up a subject that I am totally clueless on.

    6. Start getting familiar with publishing platforms. There are several different ways to publish your ebook and I suggest you do a quick Google search for “ebook publishing platforms” and spend some time going through your options. Also, depending on which publishing platform you pick will determine the cost to your total ebook creation and launch.
      how to publish and ebook photo

  2. Create an outline ( just the topics and headlines for now) You do not have to know everything upfront. You will probably change photos, chapter titles, move chapters around, or scrap some altogether. Creating an outline, just helps to keep you organized and it also helps you to not feel overwhelmed.

    1. Determine any links you want to include ( any of your products, affiliate products, events, blog posts, or websites you want to mention in the ebook) Add them to the chapter outline.

    2. Determine what photos you want to use in the ebook and start finding and filing them.

    3. Come up with chapter titles

      1. then what sections within each chapter

      2. then possible products, programs and events for each chapter

    4. TIP: Mindmaps are really good for the creating an outline or you can just use Google Docs


  1. Write dump each chapter one at a time. Meaning, DO NOT EDIT right now. Tame your fingers to do no backspacing, no corrections, no fixings right now. This is one piece of Best Selling Author Terry McMillian’s writing advice. You will kill your creativity if you keep interrupting your flow. One of our BEST Selling eBooksPresent, Promote & Sell Yourself as an Expert” was written ALL in one night. That’s right, one night after a conference by myself in Dallas, I sat by the fire, the concierge kept bringing me cookies and milk ( I kid you not) and I wrote and wrote, and did not correct a thing. This book was pretty detailed, but had I stopped myself to edit or fact check, I’d still be trying to finish it. So JUST WRITE!

    1. Side note, I like to use Google Docs to write ebooks because if your computer drops, you forget to save, anything happens at all, your work is saved.

  2. Go to sleep. Yep. I include this step now. I have found that sleeping after you finish your work is the best way to find mistakes and make good changes to your ebook… in the morning. If you try to do it all in one sitting, you will miss several mistakes as your eyes will easily glaze over them.

  3. First edit and add in your details. After you’ve written your first draft and slept on it, now you want to go back in and make corrections. You will see glaring errors since you now have fresh eyes. This is also the time where you want to drop in all those websites, events, books, resources etc. that you want in the ebook from your outline. I would double check each link again just in case.

  4. Source a team to help you make your book a winner, because no matter how good your information is, competition is high and no one will take your ebook seriously, download it and definitely not pay for it, if it isn’t well designed and laid out. A couple of resources to create a team for your product is,

    1. Elance is where I find TONS of designers. I like that the site protects me if there is a disagreement, and I can post my job with my budget and requirements and get designers to bid on it. Then I go in and pick the designer I want to work it. Simple as that. Two jobs that you want to consider to complete your ebook are a

      1. Designer and

      2. Editor. The editor makes sure that your content is flowing properly, things are spelled correctly and that your writing voice sounds consistent. Many people have asked me if they can skip this step ie. DIY or get it done on Fiverr, and I’ve done both. Both times, I regretted it. The DIY route and the cheap route cost me more in the long run, and had to be done over. I suggest to budget for a range of ( $75-$170 ) for the cover design and layout of your ebook ( make sure to put in your job description that you want both done. If you don’t, they will think that budget is just for the cover, )  and $100- $150 for the editing ( this price highly depends on the number of pages. If you have over 60 pages, plan to spend more for editing and for designing)

      3. TIP 1: Source your own photos on these free places like Compfight, Google “Royalty Free Photos” OR ask the designer if they already have an account at a stock photo site. They ALWAYS do, meaning, they have a monthly membership where their price doesn’t change no matter how many photos they download. If you don’t ask for this, they may try to charge you for the photos that they are getting for free. Just a tip to save you money. I give more tips like this in this FREE Video Series, click tab 3 Creating the Dream Team AND download a free toolkit here to get all the tips to deal with designers and freelancers successfully.

      4. TIP 2: Ask your designer to give you a jpeg copy of your cover. You will use this photo over and over, and over and you cannot upload a PDF to many publishing platforms or main social media platforms.

    2. Fiverr. It’s $5 per project and you can get some decent work done here. I would suggest Elance as your top choice, but if you are really, really strapped for cash, there is always Fiverr and tons of magic can happen there.

  5. Shoot your book off to be edited. While your team is designing and editing your product, this is the time for you to create a Marketing Plan! You have so many options here including this ALL things marketing resource guide, but the first thing to do is to determine where your client is hanging out? The people you want to get this ebook, where do they go for this type of info? Start there and don’t be afraid to go to a few different platforms to market your product. For example, a simple plan could be something like this:

    1. Pick 3 Social Media Platforms to share my new ebook like

      1. Facebook, because of sheer numbers, no matter where you audience hangs out, many of them will be on Facebook.

      2. Pinterest ( develop a Pinterest board around your book subject, its topics and link to buy)

      3. Video ( this is a great way to create interest in your book and share info/inks to buy)

    2. Develop an interview schedule with this in mind,” Who has my audience? How can this book benefit their audience?” Then develop a pitch ( lovely win/win benefits filled email or phone call) and aim to schedule 5-8 interviews minimum.

    3. Create a blog post series around your ebook. This can start before it drops to get your audience ready or you can start it the day your ebook launches. In the blog series, you can share topics that you are including, or ask for feedback on topics you plan to include.

    4. In the same tone, you can create a video series discussing each chapter or the first 3 chapters, or the first chapter ( you see the point) or simply about your new ebook and make sure to give TOTAL details on how to get to more videos or blog posts in the series and definitely the link to purchase or download the ebook.

    5. Consider selling your ebook on Gumroad. I have found this tool to be ABSOLUTELY wonderful for selling digital items. We have a MASSIVE List of digital tools that can help you in several areas of your business in this ebook, Think BIG, Startup Small: The #1 Webtools List for Entrepreneurs, which of course, is hosted on Gumroadgumroad

    6. Create a hangout ( free Google Plus hangout) or Virtual Chat ) around the launch of your ebook. Make sure that if you do all of this, that you have put in the work. Make sure that you have a WONDERFUL cover, your ebook is edited as best as it can be, and all links are working.

    7. Create a Twitter program. We create Twitter programs for ALL products, services and events. Twitter is just an awesome way to get your news out there quickly and it can trend if it’s interesting enough. We start creating our campaign by looking through what we consider to be some of the best tweets out there- a little Twitter research/brainstorm time, then I come up with our tweets including links, hashtags, and dates, etc.

    8. Consider selling or sharing your ebook on Amazon, eJunkie and many other sites that hosts digital products or publishing platforms ( I list many of the best ones in thePresent, Promote ebook I mentioned earlier)Present Promote_200413_Flat

  1. Editing, Scheduling, Getting your Ducks in a Row! So now is the time for final editing of your ebook. Yes, even if you hired an editor, you need to look through your book more. They may have made mistakes or made changes that you don’t agree with, also the designer may not have understood something and there is an error. Also, this is the time to check all of your links. One of our ebooks has over 400 tools and links, and it took forever to check behind the designer, but I am SO glad that I did. Several of them were not working, were going to dead pages etc. The final product is ultimately your job.

    1. This is the time that you want to

      1. schedule all of your marketing efforts

      2. double check your interview appointments ( always double check)

      3. get all your design work together and schedule this too

      4. get your blog posts and videos written, recorded, edited, together, and scheduled

  2. Then LAUNCH!! Yep, this is the step that many people don’t get to, but we have absolutely no idea if our ebook will sell, will be received well or present us in the way we want to be presented. You  MUST put it out there to find out where you can improve and what you will do next. Important side note: You will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS find a mistake or two afterwards. After editing, and editing, and editing, I always find 1 or 2 or 4 in our Power Culture Mag, but guess what? Over 400,000 women ( and men) still find the digital magazine quite useful and worth downloading. So, we’ll just make a commitment to improve along the way.

  3. Review, Revise and re-Launch! This is another step that gets entrepreneurs down… The numbers aren’t what we expected, so we quit. Or, we didn’t have a way to measure the numbers and we have no idea how we did. I suggest using Gumroad as mentioned before, because you can see, daily, how many people are reviewing, buying or looking at your book. Also, if you host your ebook launch on a separate page on your blog, you can add free Google Analytics to the page and totally measure EVERYTHING. I have a highly useful post here on how to use some of Google’s free tools for your biz. But the key is to measure, review your results, make changes where needed and launch again!


So there you have it. This ultra long post WILL get your first ebook done, marketed and launched! Ohh and as I mentioned above, here is our first ebook. It wasn’t the best, it was done on my computer, yet it’s gotten over 10k downloads, sooooo the moral is to START!


If you feel you need extra hand holding through the ebook creation process or to create another type of information product for your business, I have 2 options to share with you, this is more personalized hand holding and this is a work at your own pace at 2 am if you want to hand holding… your choice.

Good luck and when you finish your first ebook, please drop the link for us in the comments!


**** Sneaky note: Our first 5 comments gets a FREE Content Creation Outline***

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