E-book, Sales Funnel Creation

10 Dumb Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your First e-Book

 March 30, 2016

By  Peter Nyiri

So you’re writing your first e-book. You’re probably going to make dumb mistakes.

That’s okay. We all do.

Today’s post will share the top 10 dumb mistakes people make when they start this e-book journey. Let’s get going. Here are the top 10 e-book mistakes. 

1. Unfamiliar Topic

Big… big mistake. Writing an e-book is hard enough as it is, imagine trying to write 50, 70, 100 pages about a topic you knew nothing about. Impossible? Yea, I think so.

Ebooks are supposed to be your solution to people’s problems. It’s supposed to have your stories, insights, ideas and experiences. It’s not supposed to be some crappy compilation of regurgitated information that you grab of the internet.

What To Do Instead

Find something you’re good at and make sure the topic is also something you audience wants to learn about. If those two things don’t match, keep looking for that topic until they do.

2. Not Setting a Deadline

When I started writing my first e-book, I didn’t set a deadline. I just knew I wanted to finish it some day. Some day turned out to be months away and this will happen to you if your deadline is some undefined date.

Don’t make the same mistake I did the first time around.

Here’s What To Do Instead

Mark your calendar. Set the date you’re going to finish your book. Write down the number of pages you want it to be, this way you’ll know when you’re done with it.

Having that deadline in the back of your head (even if it was created by you) will motivate you to finish. I also like having deadlines for my pre-launch content and launch email sequence. There’s a lot of writing that goes on when releasing a book, and you need to be prepared for that.

3. Designing Everything Yourself

This is still a problem for me. I love Photoshop; it’s what I enjoy most about blogging and online business. So I designed every book cover, every website element, and everything you see on my blogs and online courses.

I could’ve saved a ton of time by hiring someone to do it for me, but this is where I get to be the most creative.

What To Do Instead (unless you’re like me)

If web design is not your forte, hire someone to do it for you. E-book covers are very important, they’re the first thing people see before they buy your book. Having crappy web graphics might make you look like an amateur – you don’t want that as a first time author.

So, save time and look more professional by letting a designer do the design work for you e-book and sales page. You can find cheap ones on Fiverr.com – and some of them do high quality work.

4. Solving Multiple Problems

While talking to a friend of mine who wanted to get started with his fitness book, I noticed he was going on and on about everything he wanted to include in the book. Dieting, workout tips, fasting, and supplements… and recipes.. and on and on.

He also wanted to address the issue of stubborn fat and building muscle all in the same guide. Guess what I did. I told him to shut up and proceeded to explain to him the right way to go about it.

What To Do Instead

You don’t want to solve multiple problems in one guide – especially if this is your first book. It’ll be a nightmare to market this book. What you want to do is pick ONE specific area of fitness and help people solve that.

You can talk about dieting and healthy eating in a workout guide, but the end result needs to be the same. If you’re helping people lose fat, stick to that. If it’s building muscle, then that’s your topic.

5. Not Planning Everything Early

Planning is everything. I made the mistake of setting a launch date with my first book before it was even ready. So I wrote faster than ever before and rushed so I could get it out to my readers on the day I told them.

…Nope – I still had to push the date back. Because I didn’t have my pre-launch content ready, or my sales page, or the payment processor.

What To Do Instead

Give yourself enough time to finish the book and create all of your marketing material. That includes:

  • Pre-launch content
  • Sales page
  • Book Graphics
  • Payment processor
  • Affiliate program (if you’re using affiliates)

Don’t make the same mistake I made and end up pushing the date back. It’ll ruin your launch and that’s not what you want.

6. Quitting Too Early

You’ll wake up some days and write 4 to 6 pages and feel really good about yourself. Then you’ll wake up and barely write 1 and wonder why in the hell did you start this book in the first place.

On your slow days you’ll feel like quitting. We all do. Writing a book is tough because we’re putting off gratification for the distant future – and we don’t like that. We want things now – everything is instant, but a book.

What To Do Instead

Don’t quit. Remember why you started. Remind yourself of all the things a book can do for you. Extra income. More subscribers. Author status. These things might help you get to the finish line.

7. Not Validating

Let me tell you what happens when you don’t validate. You end up creating a book no one wants to buy. Imagine writing for 10 weeks, 40,000 words, 100 pages and then launch day comes and no one buys.

That would suck. Product validation fixes that problem.

What To Do Instead

Ask you readers, audience, subscribers and site visitors to take an action that proves they’re interested in your book topic. Give them the opportunity to opt-in for a sample chapter or a “cheat sheet” about your topic.

The more people sign up for the “freebie” the more it validates your book idea. If they’re interested in getting a “Stubborn Fat Loss 5 Day Cheat Sheet” then they’re likely also interested in the “31 Days to a Flat Tummy Guide”.

8. Not Doing a Big Launch

Hoping to get sales the day your book is available for purchase, without doing a launch, is like hoping it rains in the desert. Unless you have an enormous audience that visits your website on a daily basis and buys everything you put out, then you’ll need a launch.

Hope Marketing is the fastest way to go out of business. I don’t practice hope marketing – I want you to know the day I’m launching, what’s the offer, how much it’s going to be and where to get it – all before the buy now button is ready to be clicked.

What To Do Instead

Create a pre-launch campaign. Build your interest list. Set up your email launch plan. Giveaway free copies of your book. Do interviews. Write great content that will bring new people into your site. That’s what you do.

9. Not Asking for (and incorporating) Feedback

Writing an e-book is a long process. Even after all the careful planning and outlining is done, there are still areas that might need fixing. You will make mistakes that you won’t be able to see.

That’s okay. It happens. You’re job at that point is not to let your ego take over. Some people don’t like getting criticized after spending weeks and maybe even months putting together an amazing book.

What To Do Instead

Let it gooo. (yea, that’s a Disney reference – don’t judge me). Your book will read so much better after someone else takes a look at it and tells you where they got stuck – or what parts confused them a little.

Take this feedback and incorporate them – you’ll be glad you did.

Editing While You Write (and without backups)

This is quite possibly the slowest way to write a book. Imagine yourself walking from one street block to the next, but with every step you take you look down and analyze where your foot landed.

How long would it take you to get to the next block? A damn long time that’s how long. Looking down at your feet with every step is a lot like analyzing every sentence (or paragraph) when you’re writing. You’ll take forever to write the book and it’ll never ship.

What To Do Instead

Just write. Don’t worry about grammatical errors. Don’t worry about making sense. You need to get your ideas and thoughts out of your head and on to the paper (or computer).

Then, after you’re done with the entire book – not a paragraph, not a page, or a chapter – the ENTIRE book, you sit down, go back and start looking over your work. If you’re used to editing while you write, then this is going to hard at first.

But you’ll get the hang of it.

Peter Nyiri

Peter Nyiri

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