I recently wrote and published my very first E-Book: 15 Tips to Live a More Positive Life. I am both stoked and nervous about it. And in this venture, I found my fearlessness. My ability to take a leap pf faith and just…try something. It was my first attempt at writing a book. My first publication. My first jump. This blog is a jump, so why not try something just as thrilling? So, I’ve decided to write a post, telling you all how I wrote my first e-book, and providing you with 8 Steps for writing your first e-book.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Writing is my sanity. It is helping me through some of the most difficult times in my life. Not only do I write these posts and share with all of you, I journal on my own and even dabble in poetry when I feel inspired. But one day, I woke up, and felt this little fire inside. For some reason, I really, really, really, truly wanted to attempt writing an e-book. Why? I am not sure. I have never really thought of writing a book before. So it would definitely be a discovery type of adventure. Like I said, I took a leap of faith.
Here is how I did it!
The most important step is the idea. You can’t write a book, or anything really, without some sort of inspiration or idea at hand. Even if that idea changes along the way. Or you build onto it constantly. As long as you start with one small kernel of an idea, then you are ready to go.
My idea? I wanted to create something about positivity. I was thinking about my life a few months ago, and how it was so easy to just wallow in my self-pity. Boy, how far I’ve come. Don’t get me wrong, I still do that every once in a while. But I have become much more positive in my mindset. So I wanted to do something about positivity, and how it can change your life and mindset.
Define Your Audience
You have the idea. The golden kernel. Now you need to know who you will be writing this story for. Yes, you will write it mainly for yourself. But who do you want to read your book? Is it a certain age group? Or maybe you want to connect with people who have similar life experiences? Perhaps, you’re just looking to share some of your favorite cooking recipes. Whatever your idea is, make sure you know exactly who you are writing for.
I wanted to spread positivity. Maybe I could tell people my personal story and inspire hope? But who would that truly reach? My friends and family would read it for sure, but I wanted to spread an even wider message. Who did I want to speak to? Well…I wanted to speak to those who suffered from constant negativity. To those who are brought down by society. And to people who just needed a pick me up, some help and some tips to give them reasons to move forward. To people who may be experiencing the same stuck feelings I was.
This is where things can get tricky. How do we form our into something worth writing about? Something that people will want to read about? Something interesting and catching? Most importantly. something that is tailored specifically to our audience? We mold it. And the best part is that you can mold it any way you choose. Is your book going to be a self-help book, or a personal journey? Will you give tips and advice, or are you just telling your particular story? What is your approach going to be? How will you reach your audience? All of these questions and answers will provide the next steps.
I decided that the best way to help others move through their hump would be to find ways to be more positive. So I molded my idea into a ‘tips’ book. I would write tips on living more positively, and being more positive within our own lives. More importantly, I would provide examples so that my audience could see how they worked in my own life.
Next, you outline your book. How will you write it? In chapters, sections, or just straight through? Is there a specific order you have in mind, or will you just wing it? How exactly do you want this molded idea presented? And once you figure it out, outline the whole thing. Old school style. Use bullet points and numbers. Create your titles and headlines. See everything laid out in front of you. Then refine it. Again and again. Until you have it outlined just right.
My outline was on the simpler side. Since I already knew it would be a ‘tips’ book, then it would be outlined in short chapters. And each chapter would be according to that particular ‘tip.’ But I wanted to dig a little deeper. How would I present the positivity tips? Did I want it in any particular order? So first, I wrote down my 15 tips. Then, I placed them in order. I didn’t want them to be in order of important because I felt they were ALL important. Really, all I did was decide which I wanted to be first and last. The rest just found their spot. After, it was time to decide how I would section off each chapter. I asked myself what my audience needed to know about these tips. I decided that the what, why, and how would be the most important aspects.
• What: what each tip meant and how to engage in it.
• Why: explain why it works, and how it adds to a positive lifestyle.
• How: explain how I know each tip is useful and can prove to be successful.
Write, Write, and Write Some More
Now comes the fun part. WRITING. We have taken our kernel, molded it, formed it, and outlined it. It’s time to write about it. It’s time to put our ideas to some use and let our creativity take it away. Whether you decide to write in a journal, use an old school typewriter, or a fancy new laptop, write. And do so until you just can’t anymore. It doesn’t have to perfect. It doesn’t even have to make sense yet. But write everything that comes to your mind. Follow that outline and let the magic flow out of your fingers.
It took me only a week to write the whole book. I stopped along the way for food, work, sleep, and just some downtime. I never forced myself to write when I didn’t feel like it. Because I knew everything would sound fake or unenthused. I wanted my audience to be just as excited as I was. So I waited to write until I was feeling that excitement and passion. But I wrote and wrote and wrote. Until I felt like I had nothing left to say on the subject.
Edit That Bad Boy
That’s right. 99.99% of the time, what we write is not ready to go on the first draft. We need to fine tune and mold it into our exact vision. Maybe one sentence will fit better in another chapter. Or a whole chapter doesn’t make any sense, so you have to rewrite it. Maybe remove it altogether. Or perhaps, you are not a spelling guru, so you have spelling and grammar mistakes galore. Whatever the case, there is ALWAYS something to be refined in our writing. And we want to ensure that we are giving our audience our ABSOLUTE BEST. So, it just makes sense to refine and revise everything.
I am fortunate enough to have a sister majoring in Creative Writing. So after I did my own edits, and molded the chapters together exactly how I wanted, I sent it off to her. I knew she would catch the mistakes that I didn’t. Or find the areas that needed more explanation. And she did. After she sent all of her comments back, I revised what I felt I needed to revise. Fixed all of the spelling and grammar mistakes. Did another glance over everything from start to finish.
Decorate Your Baby
Play with fonts and colors. Give the title some love. Even insert interesting page numbers into your footer, and add an awesome header. Do whatever you need to make your book look professional. Add an ‘About The Author ‘page, or design your own funky cover. Give this book style and pizazz. Make it your own. Don’t go crazy, however! Make sure the adornments go well with the theme and idea of the book. And don’t drown each page with pictures that overshadow the content. All in good taste.
I kept my book fairly simple. I chose a color font I thought worked well and stuck out a little bit. And I kept the color scheme the same throughout everything: the cover, titles, author page, etc. I chose a page number style for my footer, and made the title of the book my header. When I uploaded my book onto Kindle on Amazon, I used their cover creator, still holding true to the color scheme I had chosen. I wanted everything to be clean, concise, with a little pizazz.
Take That Leap
Take that leap and upload/publish the book. Kindle on Amazon is the easiest to use and the most popular. But once you have created the cover, uploaded the content, previewed the finished product, and named your price, all it takes is on little click. It can be frightening and exhilarating all at the same time. But you just have to go for it. Push the button. Take that leap of faith. And once you do, then that’s it. You’re a published author!
I will admit, it took me a couple of days to click that final button. Let’s see, I played with the cover over and over again. I re-uploaded the content just to make sure it uploaded correctly. And I kept pushing the moment away because I was afraid. But one morning, I woke up, and decided that it would BE THE DAY. I finalized everything, then pushed that fateful button. And it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I was published, proud of my content, and passionate about my idea. I WAS ECSTATIC!
There you have it! 8 easy steps to writing your very first E-Book! In this world of technology, it has become so easy to turn an idea into a beautifully published book. It can be scary, exhausting, even frustrating as hell. But I promise, it is so much more rewarding. I’m not saying that I have sold millions of copies. But I am proud of the mere accomplishment of publication. I am proud of my new adventure, and my courage to take a leap of faith. And I am beyond excited about the many opportunities that will come.
Here is the link to my book if you are interested. It’s only 99 Cents! And feel free to let me know about your E-Book ventures, or if I’ve forgotten about an important step.
Woman of Steel