So you want to write an ebook

so you want to write an ebook

If you’re a writer, you’ve likely at least daydreamed about writing a book.

If you’re a blogger, maybe you’ve thought about writing an ebook. Ebooks have gone from being labeled a “cop-out” to the traditional publishing model to a respectable and incredibly popular form of publishing in the span a few years. And for any writer who has useful knowledge, a story to share and—most importantly—a unique perspective on something, it’s a great way to promote your work.

Today, I’m psyched to share the unique perspective of Jen Glantz, the author of the ebook All My Friends Are Engaged. (You can read a sample chapter here.)

All My Friends Are Engaged

Jen’s here to talk about the thought process that goes into deciding to write a book—and then actually writing the thing. Jen was also kind enough to answer a few of my questions, which you’ll find below. Enjoy!

 

Writing a book, kind of like going on a first date, sounds like such a brilliantly exciting idea. And it is, until moments before it happens.

Moments before you have to start and are sitting there overwhelmed with anxiety, nerves, and not a single idea of how to begin.

Before your pencil hits the paper, or to be more with the times, before you start chomping down on your keyboard to make paragraphs flow into beautifully synced stories, you need to flesh out your idea. It’s best to start with an outline that includes what each chapter will be about and how long you anticipate each chapter to go on for. That way, when you begin writing you won’t be surprised or lost when it comes to how to keep the chapter flowing and when it’s best to end it.

The next step I’d recommend is to challenge your book idea. Take each chapter and ask as many questions as you can about it.

Does it make sense? Does it add to the overall plot of the book? How can I make it stronger?

When publishing an ebook, you have the opportunity to tap into many different modes of social media for marketing and have the potential for many more readers to check you out. That’s why it’s important to make sure the content you’re writing is crisp, unique as it is thoughtful, and worthy of a one-click download.

Write your heart out. But only after you’ve thought it out.

Jen Glantz

CASSIE: Congrats on publishing your ebook! I LOVE the concept and think a lot of twenty- and thirty-somethings can relate to the subject matter. Can you tell me a bit about why you decided to write it?

JEN: Thank you so much, Cassie! I was sick of looking at my Facebook newsfeed and seeing that all my friends were engaged and asking myself why not me? What’s wrong with me? So I figured I’d write a book about some of the more memorable dates I’ve been on. It turns out, what kept this book flowing with such passion was the hope that people who read it would understand that while yes, dating can be awkward, it can also be a whole lot of other things.

What was the most difficult part about creating this ebook? How did you work through it?

It’s a bit intimating pressing the send button after the book is written. Just knowing that (hopefully) a lot of strangers are going to be reading the intimate details of your dating life is a bit overwhelming to digest. In the end, I was proud of what I wrote and wrote it with the intention to relate to others and make them feel okay about their potentially awkward dating life. I pressed the send button and ate a giant cup of ice cream. I felt really good!

I know a lot of bloggers (myself included) aspire to write and publish their own ebooks but struggle knowing where to start. What advice would you give them?

Start now—even if you don’t have a publisher or know how or where you are going to sell it, just start writing. Writing down thousands of words and carefully connecting hundreds of sentences together takes a lot of time, persistence, and motivation. But it’s also really exciting. Even if you have “bad” writing days or you feel stuck in an idea, just don’t give up. Close your computer for an hour, play some good music and dance around or go for a long walk. The ideas will start latching on to you like lint if you just stick with it and keep working very hard.

What has been the best part about becoming a self-published author?

I think to be a successful writer in this day and age you need to be more than just a writer. You need to have a keen sense of social media and the chops to be a PR maven. There are so many different websites and outlets for people to read content on and it’s important that what you write, who you are, and how you market yourself makes you stand out. It’s a humongous accomplishment for me to have this book in the hands of strangers and every time someone reaches out to tell me they’ve read it, I’m just overcome with happiness.

Any other ebooks or projects on the horizon?

I plan on writing many, many more books. My blog is my platform to try out new ideas and new stories for potential books. As a writer you face a lot of rejection and a lot of people telling you no. My future holds a lot of that but it’s okay because I plan to never give up and be so persistent that one day a wonderful publisher will call me up and say, “You know what, Jen Glantz, we will give you that book deal you desperately deserve.”

 

Jen GlantzJen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She’s the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From and the biggest supporter of the NYC pizza industry. She’d love for you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or thethingsilearned@gmail.com.

 
 
 
 
 

I know there are a lot of you out there who have written your own ebooks.

What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about it. Share your story in the comments. (And leave a link to your ebook, of course!) If you’re like me and haven’t written one (but want to), what would you write about?

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Comments

  1. Writing an ebook can be a lot of fun, but only if you are extremely interested in the topic/idea. As Jen mentions, it’s not only about writing, if you’re going the self-published route. There are going to be many many many hours dedicated to this, not only during the writing, but afterwards. I’ve spent about a third of my time writing my book, a third editing and getting it into a stable ebook and then paperback form, and a third doing PR. It really does take a lot of time, especially if you want to get share your story with as many people as possible, but it’s not nearly as difficult as people might think. You just have to be dedicated to it. And it’s quite rewarding to see the impact it has on others.

    If anyone is interested, I wrote Crazy Enough To Try, which is a book showcasing real-life people sharing what they’re passionate about and how they found it. They come from different backgrounds and experienced life differently, but have common tips for those of us interested in finding our own passions, even just to include them as hobbies.
    http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Enough-Try-Conversations-passionate/dp/1491271809/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Really good points, Ryan. If you’re writing an ebook in the hopes that it will reach the eyes of many, marketing and PR is just as important as writing it to begin with.

      LOVE the concept behind Crazy Enough To Try. Those kinds of people are who inspired me to start my “Lucky” Ones series. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is very insightful – I don’t see myself as a writer let alone hitting “send” on publishing an ebook. I love writing but short little proverbial sort of pieces of writing. 🙂 Great piece Cassie, have a great one! -Iva

  3. I’ve had about a gazillion ideas for ebooks lately, and I’m at a loss for which one to actually take seriously. I mean, they should all be taken seriously, but I don’t know which would be best to start first.

  4. While I really want to write a book, I want to do it the old fashioned way and get it put on paper and bound in covers. I’m not the biggest e-book fan (I feel I stare at screens too much what with my phone and laptop), so I like letting my eyes rest on something other than that for books.
    E-books aside, however, I’m SO nervous to actually write a book! I have an outline done and everything for a YA novel, but I’m always second-guessing my plot and afraid to actually sit down and write it. I’ve had it “in the works” for two years now and still nothing, haha. I keep saying “one day” but I really need to make that day today.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      I’m right there with you. I’m still totally attracted to the traditional method of publishing and hope to “one day,” as well. I think it’s great you’ve already got a work in progress, though. I can understand that fear of sitting down all too well—but as someone with an outside perspective your situation, I’ll just say… DO IT!! 😉

  5. Being a writer is so much fun! I’ve written and published two short stories and two how-to guides on Amazon. I’m also close to self-publishing my first novel and I’m working on a second one that I’m aiming to publish in 2015. It’s hard work, though. Self-publishing is not a walk in the park, though many people think it’s really simple. But when you self-publish, you’re basically on your own. You have no agent to plan your book tour, market your current book and any past works, etc.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Good for you for pursuing that path multiple times! I think that’s just so cool. I can imagine being your own agent would be tough but, hopefully, very rewarding.

  6. Such an interesting feature! I have always wondered how various internet writers decide to work on an e-book and self-publish. It sounds like a ton of work, but super gratifying at the same time.

    Also checked out her blog – so neat! Thanks for sharing, Cassie! 🙂

  7. This is great.

    I would love, love to write an eBook, but there are so many things to consider. It’s really a frightening endeavor, and I don’t know where to start.

    I do really love the series of eBooks that Thought Catalog has published. I have a couple of them on my Kindle and think it’s a great way for young writers to get their voices heard. I also like how the stigma of eBooks has pretty much been eliminated over the past few years. Ain’t nothing wrong with self-publishing.

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