Get Your Ebook Done

It seems that everyone is “thinking about” publishing a Kindle ebook, or they are “working on” one. But fewer people have actually finished and published their ebooks. Are you one of the people planning to write and publish an ebook? Maybe you started writing months ago, but you have put it aside and can’t seem to finish it. Yeah, life happens. But now is the time to finish your ebook and release it to the world.

Here are eight tips to help you finally finish and publish your ebook.

1. Read through what you have already written. You may be impressed when you read what you have so far. And you may be further along than you remember. Read your existing material, then pick it up from there and continue writing.

2. Plan the rest of your ebook. If you do not already have an outline, create one. If you have an outline, flesh out the sections yet to be written, then attack them one by one. An ebook does not have to be a certain length, and it may be shorter than a print book. You do not have to write 50,000 or 70,000 words. If you can say everything you need to say in 20,000 words (or even 10,000) that is fine.

3. Give yourself a deadline. How much of the ebook is written and how much is left to do? Determine how much more you need to write, then divide that by how much writing you can do in a day. For example, if you need another 50 pages and write just two pages a day, you can have the writing done in 25 working days. If you only write five days a week, that means you can have the book done in five weeks.

4. Hire a cover designer. You need a great cover to make your ebook sell. Hire someone to create that cover now, instead of waiting for all of the writing to be done. That gives your designer time to work. Plus, once you see your new cover you will be even more excited about getting your ebook done, published and selling.

5. Announce your ebook and set a publication date. Tell your list, family members, friends and followers that your new ebook will be available on a specific date. There is nothing like the risk of a bit of public humiliation to motivate you to finish! When calculating a publication date, figure out when you will finish writing the ebook then add time for editing, formatting, cover design, writing the book description and other marketing information, and getting the book uploaded to Amazon and other ebook sites.

6. Schedule time to write. Schedule writing time and honor your commitment to yourself and your ebook. Waiting for inspiration to strike is the downfall of amateurs and wanna-bes. Professional writers put their butts in their chairs and write. Make an appointment with yourself to write something every day, even if it is just a couple of pages.

7. Write in a way that works for you. Some people write best by sitting at the computer or by writing in longhand on a legal pad. Others like to get away from their work space, such as by taking a laptop to the park or the library. Some writers don’t “write” at all—they dictate their words and have them transcribed. Find the way that you are most productive and use it.

8. Avoid the “shinies” until this project is done and your ebook is published. It is easy to be attracted to a shiny new project and ignore what you have already started. Stop! Do not let the lure of something new keep you from finishing your ebook. Write down your new idea so you don’t forget it, then get back to finishing your ebook.

Publishing an ebook does not have to be an overwhelming project. Just decide that you are going to do it, make it a priority and get it done.

Cathy Stucker is the founder of SellingBooks.com. Get her audio program on building an effective author platform free when you sign up for the free Selling Books newsletter.

3 Responses to Get Your Ebook Done
  1. Dave Baker
    October 18, 2012 | 10:31 pm

    Great tips. In my opinion, not enough emphasis is placed on the ebook cover design. I know it’s an ebook, but still! Readers DO judge a book, even an ebook, by its cover. Obviously, hiring a professional copy editor or proofreader is also essential.
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  2. Cathy B Stucker
    October 19, 2012 | 7:26 am

    Dave, you are absolutely right. The cover is critical to get readers to even consider the book. Ebooks can be previewed before they are purchased (e.g., the first 10% of any Kindle book is available as a sample) and whether your book is properly edited and formatted is the next thing most readers look at.

    Of course, before any of this can happen you have to finish writing the darn thing! ;o)

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Ruth Martin
    June 21, 2013 | 1:06 pm

    I have this problem too :) I have many great ideas, plans, and intentions. Finding the time to do them is another story! I finally got my eBook created to give away free on my website for new subscribers. I then heard that submitting it to some of the free eBook websites can help bring in extra website visitors and possibly sales. So I tried to submit it, only to hear that it needed to be longer and I had to edit it quite a bit first in order to get it accepted. That put the whole plan on hold for a bit until I had time to get it done. I FINALLY got it submitted 3 months ago, and now it’s been read almost 400 times… good feeling :)
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