Break It Down, 5 Tips For Writing An eBook

youbuildawebsite.appspot.com

I’m very glad my eBooks/eGuides/(whatever you call them) are selling! I wrote 3 different Guides in the month of December and put them up for sale as soon as they were proofed.

My website where I sell them: http://youbuildawebsite.appspot.com

Now I’m getting questions about how I did it. Not the “how did you come up with the content” questions, but how did I actually make myself do it. Here’s how.

Tip #1

If you are working full-time during the business-day, sacrifice your nights and weekends. I did. I was working as a “freelancer,” so I didn’t have a typical 9-5 job, but if you’ve done freelance, you can identify with the fact that you’re still just as slammed. I was working all day on projects. So I had to write during the off-times. Yeah, that stinks, but that’s the way it is.

Tip #2

Find a proofer. In my case, it was my wonderfully patient, extremely intelligent, beautiful wife. If you aren’t so fortunate to have such, then hire it out. You can find someone that balances your sense of individualism and personality while also fixing all your run-ons and grammatical errors. I know I had a ton. I didn’t get this blog post proofed so I probably have errors in here.

Tip #3

Enjoy writing. Like me. If you don’t, hmmm, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.

Tip #4

Break it down. I knew I wanted to write a Guide on how to create  a website because I get that question all the time. It helps that I actually know how to do that really well too. But there are a ton of different ways to do it so I found myself struggling with how to present it. After some thought, I figured it out.

Beginner Guide – for non-technical people just getting started, maybe an online store

Intermediate Guide – for non-technical people wanting to build something more flexible, like a powerful blog

Advanced Guide – for highly technical people wanting to do something fun and different

Then, inside each guide, I broke it down into Chapters. I didn’t start writing until I had some sense of an idea on how it was going to flow.

Tip #5

Just start writing. After you’ve got an idea of what you want to write about and how it’s going to be structured, just start writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get going. Once you start writing, I think you’ll find that it starts to flow pretty easily.

I’d be curious as to what strategy you employed. Best of luck and tell me about your eBook/eGuide (whatever you call them) when you’re done.

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Ever Wanted To Create Your Own eBook?

Well, guess what? I just did and it was easy! This is my kick-in-the-rear motivation to you get started!!!

Plus, I’m writing 3 eBooks, so you can at least write that 1 eBook you’ve always wanted to write. I’m challenging you! If I inspire just one person to get going, I’ll be a happy man!

75% Of Bloggers Want Their Own eBook

That’s my guess. 75%. I wonder if that’s even close. I have a feeling at least 75% of you bloggers out there have thought about it. Maybe it’s an eBook on how to travel safely in foreign countries. Or perhaps it’s an eBook on living life to its fullest with inspirational quotes from elderly people (they would know). Or perhaps it’s an eBook on your awesome healthy fruit smoothies. Have you not started because you’re worried about failure? Don’t let that fear consume you and prevent you from getting started. I am not one for inspirational quotes, but I saw this on the wall of a yoga studio and loved it ever since. Babe Ruth was quoted as saying “Don’t let the fear of striking out prevent you from swinging” (or something like that…you get the idea).

The best advice I can give you is to just start writing!

I followed that advice. I won’t forget how it started. On Thanksgiving, I told my wife that I wanted to write 3 eBooks in the month of December. So I did and I’ve done all this writing on nights and weekends (Ha! Again, no excuses people!).

Tell Me About Your eBook

If you have an eBook or will create one in the near future, let me know. I’d love to help spread the word for you if that would help you out! Or if you have always wanted to get started, just drop me a line and I’ll give you my 2 cents now having been through the process. Here’s what I’d suggest to get started right now (once you start on Step 3, you’ll be unstoppable, trust me):

Step 1. Open up MicroSoft Word or your favorite word processing software.

Step 2. Create a table of contents.

Step 3. Start typing.

Step 4. Worry about making it look pretty later.

About My eBooks

So what did I write my eBooks on? I wrote it on a subject I am passionate about. It’s a subject I get questions on over and over and over and over and over again (lots :>). I never seemed to have a concise answer though, that is, until I wrote it down on paper.

I get questions like this:

  • How do I create an online store where I can sell my paintings?
  • How do I create a blog and make money from advertisements?
  • How do I create a website where I can showcase a portfolio of work history?
  • How do I create a website for my neighborhood homeowner’s association?

The list could go on and on, but I think you can see where this is going. I get those questions a lot because people know that I know how to create online stores, blogs or other websites. So I decided to put all this down on paper for others to benefit. Technically, I’m not calling them eBooks. Instead, I’m calling them Guides because I pack them full of instructional screenshots and text and I literally walk you through the process, like a guide would. For instance, I help you navigate and decide which platform to use for your online store. More than just steps though, my value to you is my own experience and commentary along the way. You can probably get a checklist of step by step instructions somewhere else, but it’s not the same as it is coming from me who has been there and done that.

I created a new website (using the techniques in one of my guides :>) completely dedicated to telling you all about these 3 guides:

Beginner Guide for You Build A Website This Beginner Guide shows you step by step how to setup an online store, blog or other website.You can literally begin selling stuff today.

This guide is for non-technical people. Techies can use it too, but there’s nothing technical in here.

Intermediate Guide for You Build A Website This Intermediate Guide shows you how to create a powerful blog or website.You can monetize it, optimize it for search engines and control social media integration, just to name a few.

Like the beginner guide, this is also for non-technical people. It just takes a little more elbow grease.

Advanced Guide for You Build A Website This Advanced Guide shows you how to create massively scaleable websites using Google’s technology.You must be technical to follow this guide as it’s very hands-on and cutting edge.

Maybe a good gift for someone technical you know.

Through the month of January, I’m giving all my blogger friends a discount. Apply the discount code BloggerFriendsOfScott and you’ll get 10% off through the month of January.

And if you do nothing else from this post, I’d encourage you to try and find my hidden chicken game on my new website. It’s a fun time-waster to not only play, but to find as well.

Chicken Game Challenge for You Build A Website

Stream Videos Easily

There’s a whole host of benefits when hosting videos on YouTube, but sometimes you want to just DIY.

Like Amazon and other massive cloud providers, it’s crazy easy and crazy scalable (these guys have way more stuff than you have stuff) for you DIYers.

I’ll show you how easy it is with a very simple example, all other deets stripped out for readability…

videoselectedmegafall

First, tell Google you’re about to upload a video.

In fact, Google doesn’t care what you upload, so call it a big ol’ Blob for lack of a better name.

from google.appengine.ext.webapp import blobstore_handlers

blobstore.create_upload_url('some URL of yours')

Next, when your web site user selects a blob/video off their computer, tablet or phone, handle it.

class SubmitNewPropp(blobstore_handlers.BlobstoreUploadHandler):
def post(self):
inputUploads = self.get_uploads()
inputUploadedHybridFile = inputUploads[0]
blobkey = str(inputUploadedHybridFile.key())

Now that you’re done with that, let’s show it to the user.

Create a HTML5 tag.

<video width="420" height="420">
<source src="/servevideo/{{ blobvideokey }}" type="video/webm" />
<source src="/servevideo/{{ blobvideokey }}" type="video/mp4" />
<source src="/servevideo/{{ blobvideokey }}" type="video/ogg" />
Your browser does not support the video tag.
</video>

And of course, you have to be able to handle that request since the user has asked for it.

Serve it up

class ServeVideoHandler(blobstore_handlers.BlobstoreDownloadHandler):
def get(self, resource):
resource = str(urllib.unquote(resource))
blob_info = blobstore.BlobInfo.get(resource)
self.send_blob(blob_info)

And this isn’t just theory, I’ve done it using Google’s stuff. But who am I to tell you, go try it for yourself and let me know if you have any questions.