Top 5 Tips for Writing a Successful eBook
Are you interested in writing an eBook? Do you think it’s time to join the ranks of the technologically savvy and publish a digital book? If so, you may need to take a look at your writing style.
As an educator who taught reading and writing for many years, entering the modern world of literacy was initially a professional and personal challenge for me. The diversity of today’s global audience forces writers to rethink their writing method and strategy. Only after understanding the differences between digital and print reading, did I accept and understand the differences between digital and print writing. When I first started to write web content, I made a serious commitment to learn about the new literacies of the Internet.
Writing an eBook often goes against the standard guidelines most of us learn in grade school. During the development of my first eBook, I stumbled upon a few tips that may be helpful to the novice eBook writer.
- 1. Throw away the writing rules you learned in elementary school. Well not all of them, but realize that many of the old grammar and punctuation rules no longer apply. Correct grammar is always important but sentence structure on the Internet is more flexible and expressive. Do you remember the rule never to start a sentence with And or But? You can forget about that rule now. How about being told not to write a series of short paragraphs and that every paper must have a topic sentence, body and ending? Also this rule no longer applies. However, there is one major rule for electronic writing: the writing style must complement the writing format of the Internet.
- 2. Get familiar with the product. Take time to read blogs, visit websites, and download eBooks. Get familiar with e-products and e-learning. Notice the commonalities with the style of writing—shorter sentences, repeated words, bullets, and visual nuances that make it easier for a person to scan and read from a computer screen.
- 3. Understand today’s global audience. An e-product has a far greater chance of reaching a larger global market. Writers must write for this larger audience—the world! Try to stay away from expressions and clichés that may be common to only one indigenous group of people or one specific geographic area. Write in a clear and common language in order to break language barriers. Gone are the days of flowery long sentences and paragraphs. All writers value the importance of a narrative, but what do you think happens when you read a document online that consists of pages of continuous content? Most people lose their thoughts or place in the reading.
- 4. Recognize you cannot do everything nor should you attempt to do it all. Get help. As long as you keep in mind that your primary responsibility is to write. Find assistance with the rest of the work. Outsource what you want. Ask friends or colleagues who have experience in technology and working on the Internet to assist you. There are many skills needed to deliver the total package. If you are interested in SEO results, ask an expert to make the product more search engine friendly. Also the visual design and file creation are important. If you do not have the ability to layout the document, hire someone. There are always excellent freelancers available online. Just because you have the desire and ability to write does not mean you have the skills to create or design the product.
- 5. Take advantage of social media. Whether you like it or not, social media is the marketing tool of today. No way of getting around it. If you publish an eBook, you must interact, outreach, collaborate, and network using social media tools to promote your product.
The key to writing electronic books is to first and foremost learn about the new literacies of the Internet. My latest eBook, “Teaching Literacy: Keeping Up with the Times” explains the major changes in literacy due to technology and the factors to consider when reading and writing digital material. Communication styles and global diversity affect the way we read and write. Recognize these advancements and take your first step towards writing a successful eBook designed for 21st century readers.
About Dr. Patricia Fioriello
Dr. Fioriello is an educational consultant, avid blogger and past high school principal and school board member. Apart from coaching and mentoring, she aids the school systems with technology and marketing techniques. She lives in San Francisco, CA. Her blog, www.drpfconsults.com, is a rich resource for educators interested in K-12 education practices and issues. Teaching Literacy is Dr.Fioriello’s 9th eBook and is available for sale on www.drpfconsults.com/Literacy.