How to Write an eBook

By KIMMEL & ASSOCIATES on JANUARY 28, 2016

A good idea is worth documenting. In business, sharing successful strategies builds your brand and credibility. Additionally, it can build goodwill and expertise. If your construction company or an executive in your company has developed a way to lead, transform or inspire others in the workplace, it may be worth putting those ideas into print.

How to Write an eBook

How to write an ebook

Your goal is to share your expertise. But first, do you know what an ebook is and how it can help your business? An ebook is an electronic book that can be read on a computer or other digital device. Sometimes, physical books are converted into ebooks. Many times, ebooks are published in that format from the get go.

How you write an ebook is entirely up to the VIP or team credited with those ideas. Many approaches can be taken to writing an ebook. Also, there are many available ways to deliver that book to readers in today’s publishing marketplace. This article describes the basics:

  1. How to write an ebook

  2. How to publish an ebook

Writing Your eBook

Several approaches can be taken to writing an ebook. Deciding which one works best depends on several criteria:

  • The expertise of your staff to write the ebook in-house

  • The availability of time and resources to research and draft the manuscript

  • The commitment to see the project through to publication

Writing an ebook is not the easiest of tasks. The actual writing phase is the most difficult. Determining whether you have the resources to accomplish this crucial phase is a pass-fail decision. Your company either has the talent or you must commit resources to hire the talent to write an ebook. Once you decide the appropriate path to creating your content, then the work can begin.

Whether to Use a Ghostwriter to Write an eBook

Most books have an author. Generally speaking, even for a business ebook, one or two persons on your staff should take credit for the work. This lends credibility to the ebook that a “generic” publication without an author doesn’t. Your ebook should avoid the feel of a brochure or pamphlet.

The most direct way to write an ebook is for the creator of the ideas to take the lead. The designated writer has options about how to create the document: 1) the old-fashioned way, by simply writing the ideas into a word processing program; or 2) by recording the ideas into a media player or speech-to-text program, which creates a transcript. Either way, the main “writer” has greater control over the content and the way the ideas are expressed.

However, many companies and executives are far too busy or unable to tackle writing an ebook. Realistically, the job calls for skills that may fall outside the realm of many executives and employees. Fortunately, many skilled ghostwriters and ghostwriting services are available today to take the writing off your company’s shoulders. A good ghostwriter will orchestrate the process and usually take no credit (shared authorship) for writing an ebook.

Nail Down Ideas Before Writing a Business eBook

Whether you decide to write the ebook in-house or hire a ghostwriter, take these questions into account prior to the actual writing:

  • What is your ebook’s hook? State the theme and purpose of your book in a short, catchy sentence. In other words, you must be able to hook your audience. If your book is about building customer relations, then craft a title and sentence that directly reflect your main ideas. “The Top Ten Ways to Build Lasting Customer Relations in Construction” offers step-by-step instructions on the most compelling techniques to turn clients into repeat customers.

  • Who is your ebook’s target audience? Knowing your target audience is essential. If you are writing “The Top Ten Ways to Build Lasting Customer Relations in Construction,” the obvious targets are construction company owners, executives, and project managers. Also, a potential audience could be subcontractors and small business owners in related industries that are also trying to build customer relations. Focus your writing to reach those readers who may fall into a mature age range and have a greater degree of education or business-sense than other demographic groups.

How to Write a Business eBook, the Nitty Gritty

You should now be ready to draft a table of contents or outline. You have the idea, now is the time to identify the specifics. Begin with small building blocks, simple but specific ideas of what you want the ebook to cover. If you are working with a ghostwriter, the writer will probably ask you to complete a questionnaire about your ideas. This may be your hardest work. From this initial Q&A, a specific table of contents will be generated. This is the time to hone your ideas prior to the nitty gritty of fleshing out the ebook for your business.

If your ghostwriter doesn’t suggest it, consider interviewing as a method for creating content. If you are writing the draft yourself, you can still record self-directed interviews. Using an app or recording device, record answers to questions about each topic in the table of contents. Then use that information to draft a set of notes or transcription. Try to limit each interview to less than an hour. In this way, you “talk” through your ebook. If you are working with a ghostwriter, you’ll be sharing your expertise in short, digestible sessions.

From these sessions, a draft of the ebook manuscript will emerge. Each chapter should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. At this point, your mannequin will be fully clothed and will appear whole rather than missing parts. But you will also see the flaws in the body of the work and have a chance to revise and revise again before publication. Editing can also be delegated to your staff or the ghostwriter. Once the draft is done, the biggest task is complete.

Publishing Your Business eBook

How to write an ebook

Publishing has changed radically with the evolution of the Internet. New ways of publishing keep developing, which present opportunities for businesses. Whether you try traditional models of publishing (agent/publishing house) or independent avenues (self-publishing), both have advantages and disadvantages, and both can be converted into an ebook after having been published as a traditional print book. Of course, an ebook can also be published as a strict digital book without ever having been a physical print book first.

Traditional Publishing

By far, this is the most difficult and time-consuming route to releasing your ebook to the public. Agents and traditional publishing houses are highly selective in the material they champion for publication. They must be convinced the ebook will make money, and its commercial potential must be crystal clear, trendy, or written by an author who has plenty of cachet. That’s not to say your ebook doesn’t meet one or all of these criteria. There are plenty of small non-fiction publishers looking for great material to publish. If you choose to find one, settle in for a wait.

Attracting an agent or publisher generally takes months of emailing query letters, and publication schedules are generally one to two years from the date of acquisition. However, once you have signed a contract, the publisher generally takes over the work of putting your book together. They’ll be in charge of cover design and layout, making it easy for you to get back to business.

Independently Publishing

The choices for independently publishing, or self-publishing, your work are a smorgasbord. Options are bountiful but also potentially overwhelming. Fortunately, many credible independent authors, publishing services, and publication consultants have figured out the best ways to publish ebooks without tremendous headaches and little cash outlay.

Be leery of vanity presses that charge an exorbitant fee to print your business books for you. Thankfully, ebooks are digital, which cuts down on cost dramatically. A little research online can send your company in the right direction. If you are working with a ghostwriter, many times this service includes a publication option, whereby the ghostwriter also stewards the book through layout and release. A few reputable self-publishing options to consider are:

  • Kindle Direct, an arm of Amazon

  • IngramSpark

  • BookBaby

An eBook Demonstrates Your Business Acumen

Step by step, publishing a business ebook can be a worthwhile and satisfying venture. It solidifies your reputation as a serious player in your industry and helps you gain traction as a thought leader. It is a complete product with the potential to leverage a variety of ways – as a springboard for future interactions with your customers, as a tool for goodwill, as a possible source of revenue. At the very least, enjoy the satisfaction that your ideas may help businesses and people learn something new. So, get started today.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Kimmel & Associates

Kimmel & Associates

Marketing & Communcations

Kimmel is an executive search firm located in Asheville, North Carolina. Our professional recruiters are committed to exceeding client expectations. They work with the same dedication, honesty, and attitude of service that has been the Kimmel standard for over 34 years.

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