4 Questions To Ask Before You Write An Ebook

Small Business Supply Store
by Chantal Lima

According to the Open Ebook Forum, the electronic publishing industry trade and standards organization, 660,991 ebooks were sold by retailers during the first half of 2003, a 40% increase from last year.

Ebooks are becoming more and more popular, and the way things stand now, everyone is on a level playing field. All you need is a couple of bucks and a bit of sweat, and you can have your own ebook ready for market. The technology is more accessible and affordable than it's ever been.

There's never been a better time to get started in this business. But before you start on your ebook idea, you need to consider four important questions:

1. What is YOUR motivation for writing an ebook?

Too many people get inspired with a writing project and get started only to lose focus and motivation half way through. This could easily be avoided by finding your key motivation, and figuring out if you have what it takes to finish the project. Yes, I said finish and not start. Just about everyone can find the passion to start a project; the tough part is completing it.

A simple, yet powerful thing you can do before starting an ebook or a writing project is to imagine what it would be like when you're done.

Will the recognition from your spouse or friends be your most treasured image? Or maybe it's the chance to prove to your peers that you have what it takes to be an author! Experience this image to the fullest. Feel your blood pumping through your veins as you show them your check. Imagine their reaction when they hear that you're working from the comfort of your home and making more money than they are.

Please don't over estimate this... your image doesn't have to be spectacular, just real. All you have to do is jot down a line or two that helps you create the image, and then review it on a regular basis. Your mind will do the rest.

2. Do you want to run your own business?

A lot of people overlook the business side of things, and frankly, that's where the money is made. You need to be prepared for the work involved. Asking yourself this question allows you to see if the epublishing route is for you, and if so, where you may need help.

There are many benefits when you set up an online business. You have little or no overhead. You have the ability to work from home, and can sell your ebooks all over the world. You can make your own schedule, and in some cases, you can automate much of your administrative work. For example, you can sell your ebooks through a credit card company like ClickBank or PayPal and for a small fee, they can handle all credit card transactions for you.

In addition, you can take a community college course and learn about setting up an Internet business, but this is not the only option available. When I first started in this business, I knew very little about running a virtual business. All I knew was that I wanted to be my own boss and make money off my writing. I subscribed to many newsletters, approached friends who ran Internet sites, pumping them for information, and fiddled around with different software. Through trial and error, I learned how to create a web site, and familiarized myself with the tools that I needed to get my web site running smoothly. At the same time, I explored ways I could make money from my business.

3. Are you willing to work hard in your business?

A mentor of mine always says, "Success only comes before work in the dictionary." It's no different with an Internet business. Despite what you may have heard, fame and fortune doesn't happen over night. But do you want to know what the secret to succeeding is?

Ok, get ready...

If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!

Yes, working on your own can be tough, but if it's a labor of love, then it's truly less work than toiling at that 9 to 5 job.

You have to decide whether you want to take on the responsibility. Most likely you won't be relying on an editor, an agent or a marketer, so you will have to play all of these roles. That means that you will be spending hours doing research, editing, proofreading, and promoting your work.

For me, I love working with words, so I embrace the business side of things as it gives me a great opportunity to be creative and find new ways to reach out to my readers.

4. Are you inquisitive and willing to learn?

Writing an ebook is about embracing technology. The world is changing and with change comes opportunity. And with these constant changes, you need to be flexible and willing to learn everyday.

At one time, you could submit your web site to search engines and get listed quite easily. Nowadays, if you submit your web site to a search engine like google.com, the stiff competition makes it difficult to get top listings. You will need to explore new frontiers that will keep you ahead of the competition and give your product exposure to your target market. If you're willing to develop an inquiring mind and a willingness to try new things, there is no doubt that you will succeed in the world of epublishing.


Chantal Lima is the editor of Succeedwithoutapublisher.com, a newsletter geared for people who want to write nonfiction ebooks.


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