Angela’s Note – Today’s post is a guest post by Melissa Culbertson, a marketing communications consultant, blogger and author of the DIY Blog Critique, a 43-point guide to making blogs more awesome. You can find her on Twitter and at her blog, Momcomm.
That’s the sound I made when I saved my DIY Blog Critique eBook into a PDF for the final time. Done, finished, finito. And while I didn’t have publishers, designers or a team of editors, I still worked hard and learned a lot in the process.
You may be flirting with the idea of writing an eBook too. It’s worth a thought as eBook are hot right now. If you’re thinking about taking the leap, these tips that I learned along the way will surely help.
1. It’s Okay to Jump Around
While the idea of going out of order may make you cringe, I find that I jump around a lot when I write. While writing my DIY Blog Critique eBook, I found myself working on one section but actually getting a burst of ideas for another section. Instead of forcing myself to finish the section I was obviously not gung-ho about, I jumped to that other section, got my thoughts out of the way, then went back. I often found it was easier to get past the hump on the tougher sections of the eBook this way.
Takeaway: Go where your brain takes you instead of forcing yourself to follow a chronological order.
2. Planning Matters
Before I started writing my eBook, I laid out all the steps needed to complete it. This included content, design, editing, prepping the file, promotion outreach and more. While it takes time to plan, I enjoyed having a checklist to feel accomplished! Plus, if I ever decide to write another eBook, I won’t have to remember all my steps.
Takeaway: Spend an hour or two planning your eBook process and then tweak as needed.
3. I Have an Odd Habit
Apparently, I do something over and over when I get really into writing. I take my long hair in and out of a hair clip. I didn’t even realize it at first until I kept thinking, “I could have sworn my hair was pulled up.” Honestly, I didn’t even remember taking the hair clip in and out of my hair. So weird.
Takeaway: Don’t be surprised if you learn something new about yourself. Even something slightly weird.
4.You’ll Have to Burn the Midnight Oil
I’m a marketing consultant and run two blogs. I also have two kids. While preschool gave me some free hours, a good chunk of my eBook time was spent late at night after the kids were asleep. You may have to work during times you’d rather not in order to get your eBook pushed out, especially if you announce your eBook before you finish it. (Ahem.)
Takeaway: Work late, get up early, whatever works better for you. But don’t be afraid to push the boundaries a bit to get the book done!
5.Give Yourself Extra Time
You’ll find that even with the best planning possible, you’ll run into issues you didn’t see coming. For me, I spent extra time on things like learning my way around e-junkie and making a special eBook affiliate page on my website. These were things I didn’t even consider when I tried to be super-planner-girl in the beginning.
Takeaway: Build some extra time into your plan for unexpected to-dos or issues. That way you won’t have to burn that midnight oil as much.
6. Hire Out When Needed
Since I write and design, I sometimes think I can go all superwoman and do it all. Turns out, I can’t. I wanted a new welcome page for Facebook where those who like my page get a sample of my eBook. Instead of fumbling through it myself, I decided to hire it out. Sure it wasn’t cheap. But it was oh so worth it.
Takeaway: Decide where you want to spend time and where you don’t. Hire out what you can.
7. Research Helps for eBook Newbies
I’m an info junkie, sometimes to my detriment. But I knew the more info I was armed with, the more confident I’d be in my finished product. I downloaded free eBook checklists, read helpful articles and, oh yes, purchased Angela’s 30 Days to Make and Sell a Fabulous Ebook. Even though I already knew my eBook topic, her book will help those who don’t. It gave me awesome insight into publishing it and getting the word out. Definitely worth it.
Takeaway: Do some homework and soak up some knowledge. You’ll feel even more empowered by it to finish your eBook