National Novel Writing Month returns in November, and I thought it would be fun for me and my Mom to spend 30 days attempting to do some content creation together as a bonding exercise. Hammer out some prose, encouraging each other along the way.
“There’s no way I could write a novel? What would it be about? Are you *@ing kidding me?”
Got me thinking. Writing a traditional book or an e-book seems like an enormous undertaking for many of us—nearly impossible. Sure, it would be wonderful to have a library of downloadable longform content for lead generation or lead nurturing, but who has the time to write an entire book?!?
How to create an e-book?
But, if you go from blog to e-book, a lot of that pressure disappears. Here’s how to assemble content in an organized manner to produce an e-book that will educate and inform your prospects and target audience:
(We’ve done this several times with our own content and our clients’ content, and it works. We’ve also seen accomplished authors publish hardcover print books that they worked out through their blog posts!)
If you have a topic in mind but not the existing content yet, begin with an outline. Ask yourself questions:
- What goes into building an e-book?
- What do you want to communicate?
- What questions are out there that you can answer?
- What solutions can you offer your audience?
Break down the development of the e-book into smaller pieces or chapters. Begin writing chapters or pieces of 500 to 1,500 words each and publish them regularly on your blog. It might take 6 months or longer between your regularly scheduled SEO blog posts and your e-book chapter blog posts to accumulate enough content on your topic to assemble into an e-book.
If you have a site with decent traffic, use the comments and questions or feedback from those blog posts to inform edits or the evolution of that segment of content.
If there’s not a lot of site traffic, publishing segments of information will be useful to your site from a Google search perspective.
Target prospects may prefer to consume the information they seek from one publication rather than go through your blog to find posts on related topics.
This concept can also work the other way – if you already have a lot of content on your blog. Take a look at your content from the last 12 months or so and see if any themes bubble up. If you have five to 10 posts or some email content or newsletters on matching themes, you may have the bulk of an e-book already. Fill in a few holes and you’re ready to publish!
We’re currently planning an e-book on a hot topic right now for a client. But rather than writing all the content at once, we’re preparing regular blog posts and newsletter stories each month, so we can put all that content together at the beginning of 2020 to launch with a fresh e-book. Looking backward or forward, you can take on this project in any direction.
Getting your mother to write a novel – that’s another story.