Tips for Writing an E-Book – How Long Should it Take?

by A.D Paterson on 16/10/2010

Now that you’re set on writing an e-book, having decided that it’s the best thing to do after gauging your niche as an affiliate, how long should it take you to do? A lot of people are put off at this stage because they think that they are going to have to end up writing a literary masterpiece, and take months doing it – but that’s not the case.

In this, the third of the articles on e-books, we’re going to look at how long an e-book should be, how well written it needs to be, and how those two things will dictate how long it will take to create one from idea to finished product.

How long should we make our e-book?

This will tend to vary based on the amount of information you have to share, and whether it’s going to be a free product, or not.

Many people create a free product so as to get people to sign up for a list, that list will then be used to sell higher priced products to, so based on that you may decide to give people a free report, rather than a full e-book.

A report will answer a lot of the questions that people are wanting solved (which you can find in the forums – as previously discussed). While you’ll answer enough questions to help people immediately, and show that you know what you’re talking about, you’ll have enough information left over for writing an e-book.

As an example let’s take a look at the (as yet unsaturated) niche of underwater kick-boxing for children. You may have a free report that gives parents the ten top facts about underwater kick-boxing for children, but have a paid product that lists the top fifty facts and fictions of underwater kick-boxing for children as well as how to get started, and the cost taking them all the way to the top and winning the John-Claude Van Cousteau trophy.

The good thing about this is that both products can be created at the same time. A report is generally under twenty pages long, and an e-book is over twenty, but that, again, comes down to the available content and what people will be expecting. A reasonable writer should be able to write a report in just a few days, if they have all of the research done.

And the Pulitzer goes to…

…Are just some of the words that you shouldn’t be expecting to hear after writing an e-book. Most people will be happy enough with your product if it delivers the information they’re expecting. You should still make every attempt to get the spelling, grammar, and punctuation correct, but in the day of text-speak; a lot of people will forgive the odd lapse.

Of course, a lot of their tolerance will also come down to how much you’ve charged them but, give them good, solid, usable facts, and most of the other things will be overlooked.

How do we putting it all together in as short a time as possible?

If you’ve been selling in your niche as an affiliate you should have some idea of the books that sell. If you’re buying the product (which you should be so as to sell it properly) then you’ll have some idea of the make-up of the books – this will be useful.

Follow the methods that work. Stick with the same sort of structure, but use your own researched content. When reading the books did you notice anything obvious that was missing? Compare it with the questions you found in the forums, and get the answers to the questions people are asking.

This research needn’t take days. You can easily get a list of fifty questions in a matter of a day or two if you hit enough forums, then it’s just a case of searching for the answers and writing them down. You could simplify the whole book by having one page per question, question at the top (or worded as a title) and the answer as the content of the page.

Going through forums to find the right questions may take you some time to start with, but it will speed up the more you do it. If you have managed to find some good answers to the people’s problems, you should be able to write three or four pages per day; that, of course, will improve over time, too.

Because people won’t be expecting an exceptionally high level when it comes to the spelling and grammar etc, you can always outsource when it comes to writing an e-book. There are a lot of places where you’ll be able to get some very good writers to write your book for very little (relatively speaking) and all you need to do is check it when you get it back.

Not all writers are created equal, so it may take some time to find one who you’re completely happy with, but it can still save you a lot of time over writing an e-book yourself. Be sure to find them through a site that works to deadlines so that you’ll get everything back in a reasonable time. The time, of course, will depend on the number of pages involved.

There we have it, tips on writing an e-book, and how long it should take. If you do the research and writing yourself, and are a reasonably good typist, with a fairly good attention span, you should be able to write twenty or more pages in five or six days.

If you have someone else do it for you, it may take longer because you have to find the right writer and check everything you get back, but once you have someone you feel comfortable with you can start getting completed books back in a few weeks – without the hassle of doing it yourself.

So, get to it, now’s the time to start writing an e-book.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

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