Want to publish an e-book?
Maybe you’ve thought about it, but it seems too hard to get it to the finish line. Yes?
It’s a smart way to help you build authority and stand out in your niche.
Maybe you’ve got something important to say or knowledge to share that can help other people.
Or you could offer “publish an e-book” as a service and write for clients to help them build their brand.
If you’re already thinking…”Sounds good, but I don’t know how to publish an e-book,” you’re not alone.
Here’s the thing…If you’ve got a great idea for an e-book, it doesn’t have to take you years to write and publish it.
When I was a personal trainer and fitness coach based in Australia, I wanted to publish an e-book, but I kept making excuses.
Kind of ironic for a coach pushing people outside their comfort level every day, right?
Well, I finally got fed up with not taking action and figured out a way to write and publish an e-book in three months.
Here’s the six strong-arm secrets I used to get it done:
1. Don’t let Imposter Syndrome hold you back
It’s easy to put published authors on a pedestal.
Believe me…I spent 35 years telling myself, despite plenty of proof, I wasn’t good enough.
I somehow didn’t think I could publish an e-book even though I:
- Started writing for newspapers when I was 16
- Wrote hundreds of articles during an internship as a journalist
- Published a column for a state-wide newspaper
- Landed magazine assigments for a major media company in Australia
- Won a long list of writing awards and competitions
- And even had a blog post go viral…gettting 7.5 million views in six months
It still didn’t feel enough for me. I still doubted my skills and abilities to publish an e-book.
Ever felt like you’re not a good enough freelance writer to publish an e-book, charge higher rates, go after your dream clients?
That was me, until I had one of those “aha moments…”
It was the second day of the national annual Writers Festival in Australia.
I had been following my favorite authors from tent to tent at the festival
I listened to their talks, bought their books, read it all.
And I realized I already knew what they were talking about. Their advice was familiar…similar.
That’s when I heard this little voice inside my head…
“Kristy…Your writing is just as good as this, even, better? You just might be enough…?”
- Have you always wanted to publish an e-book but never been able to get it across the line?
- Do you know you have something important to say, or knowledge to share that can change another’s approach to a topic you feel passionate about?
- Do you know that you are a great writer with ideas that will inspire and sell, but haven’t been able to master the discipline to get yourself there?
TIP: If Imposter Syndrome has been holding you back from trying to publish an ebook, you need to realize something. All those published authors are just people. Are you holding yourself back?
You want to publish an e-book, but you keep dwelling on all the unknowns…the things you’re not sure about.
- How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?
The epiphany I had at the writer’s conference was a turning point for me. I thought:
“Come on…what’s the worst that can happen?”
Maybe nobody buys the book, or I miss glaring typos. Or lose a little money (FYI…the cost to publish an e-book can be very low).
Basically, nothing very serious.
Then I read something in The Success Principles, a book by Jack Canfield, that gave me a wake-up call. The question:
“What would the woman I want to be, (the Author), do next?”
When you think about it like that, the next step is pretty clear.
If you want to publish an e-book, Decide. Then create a plan and get to work.
3. Surround yourself with accountability partners
So you decide it’s time to write and publish an e-book. That’s great. Now what?
“Huge breath in… it’s time to leap,” I thought to myself.
I knew that in order to be a successful author, what I really needed wasn’t beautiful, articulate, engaging, world-changing writing.
By this time in my career and exposure to publishing and editing, I knew I really only needed one thing.
An audience or potential customers who would buy and read my book.
Here’s what I did next…
I started an Author Page on a social media platform.
Then I reached out to my networks, telling them about my book idea. And I asked them to support me.
These people became my accountability partners. I announced my dream and felt accountable to them.
Accountability changes the way we think and act.
And it can motivate you to keep moving forward instead of hiding when it feels like you’ve hit a wall.
If you want to publish an e-book, build your freelance writing career, or even raise your rates, accountability partners can help you achieve your goal.
4. Identify your goal & review it every day
When I first started reading in the personal development field, I came across Brian Tracy’s classic book, Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.
If you’re looking for help to create structure and outcomes you can measure to publish an e-book, this is a great way to do it.
I read the book. And in January 2020, pulled together my goal and a plan to publish an e-book that looked like this:
Publish an e-book and distribute by March 30, 2020.
- Month 1: Write all the content for my e-book.
- Month 2: Edit, proofread, and design e-book
- Month 3: Publish e-book and distribute
Once you define your goal, get clear about the e-book you want to write, and create an action plan, you can’t just file it away.
TIP: Review your goal and action plan every day. And check in with your accountability partners to help you stay on track.
5. Execute your plan
Once you’ve figured out your e-book topic, defined your goal, and created a plan…it’s time to get to work.
Here’s the nuts and bolts of how I published an e-book in 3 months.
Plan your content
It’s a pretty tall order to sit down with nothing and try to write an e-book.
Been there, done that? Most of us don’t work this way.
I’d been saying, “I’m going to write a book this year,” forever. Then I’d get side-tracked and lost in procrastination.
That ever happen to you?
Instead of trying to write and publish an e-book all at once, plan your content.
- Create the table of contents
- Come up with chapter headings
- Write a brief outline for each chapter, and what you’ll includes
- Then carve out time for writing and editing
Here’s what I did. I pulled together a collection of stories I had. I recorded myself telling the stories. And I used a transcription service to type them out for me.
Write & edit your e-book
Here’s where you really have to get serious about your bandwidth.
Once you’ve outlined your book, create a schedule, and stick to it to get the writing and editing done.
- When do you have time to work on your e-book?
- Morning, afternoon, evening?
- Before work or after work?
- What time of day are you most creative, in a good frame of mind to write?
- Can you get support from your partner/spouse/family to give you space to write?
Here’s a snapshot of what my writing and editing process looked like:
- After recording, transcribing and compiling all the content for my e-book, I printed off all the pages.
- Every weekend, while I had a two-hour kid-free block of time, I hung up the pages on the wall to edit the book.
- I marked up the book with edits. I even used scissors and tape to cut, paste, and move things around. It’s a visual technique that works for some people.
Around week 6, I knew it was coming together. I wanted feedback from people. So I reached out to:
- Beta readers to give me feedback on my e-book. (I used a mix of friends, my accountability group, reading buddies and a couple of industry professionals). If you’re going to do this, be specific about the kind of feedback you’re looking for. Then review the feedback, update your content, and keep refining.
- An editor with editing and layout skills. I found an editor in my niche (fitness), who could edit my book, handle the layout, and publish it on Amazon. It took about three weeks of back-and-forth edits to get the book ready to publish.
6. Publish & distribute
Publish an e-book from start to finish in three months.
Based on the old-school model of traditional publishing, that does sound a little crazy. Right?
But if you follow the process, it’s actually the easiest part. And there’s lot of software and platforms you can use to get your book ready to publish and sell.
Fun fact: I wanted to spend more time on cover design. But I was so focused on my goal to publish an e-book in three months, I ran the manuscript through the Amazon platform and auto-generated a cover for Sweat and Vulnerability: How I Used Connection and Courage to Survive and Thrive Through Adversity.
It went live on the last day of the third month. Go me.
Publish an e-book to move up and earn more
Want to stand out as a freelance writer? Publish an e-book.
It’s a smart way to build authority, connect with more people, and land more freelance writing work. And it doesn’t have to take you a lifetime.
After years of procrastinating, it took me just three months to go from start to finish. If I can do it, so can you.
Want to publish an e-book? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Kristy Theissling is a freelance writer, fitness coach, and business consultant based in Sydney, Australia.