Ten Ideas for Writing E-Books FAST

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E-books and special reports (they’re pretty much the same thing, except in name) can be among your most powerful marketing tools. So why don’t more infopreneurs use them?

One reason is that many people think they’re too hard to write. But they’re not! Here are ten ideas for writing an e-book fast.

1. Sample chapter

Sample ChapterIf you’ve written a book, one chapter might be particularly useful to re-publish as an e-book. Similarly, if you’ve contributed a chapter to a compilation book, re-publish that chapter in e-book format as well.

I did this with the two chapters I contributed to Ideas 1 and Ideas 2 for Thought Leaders.

2. Interview

If it takes time for you to write, prepare a set of questions on your topic and ask a friend to “interview” you so that your thoughts flow more freely. This doesn’t have to be a professional interview. You’re just creating a conversation to help your ideas flow.

Record your responses and get this transcribed into a Word document, which you can then edit into an e-book.

3. Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsGive out blank cards to your audience, and ask them to write down their most important question. Write a brief answer to each, and create an e-book titled “The 21 Top Things You Always Wanted to Know About XYZ”.

Erica Bagshaw does this with her excellent e-book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Energy at Work But Didn’t Know Whom to Ask.

4. Ghostwriter

Engage the services of a professional ghostwriter to write your e-book for you. Give them an article you’ve written, your workbook, a recording of a presentation, or something else that sets them in the right direction – and then leave it to them. On-line services like Elance.com are ideal for finding suitable providers.

I did this with my e-book Advanced PowerPoint Techniques.

5. Old articles

Old ArticlesIf you publish a regular newsletter (and if you don’t, why not?), select suitable articles on a related topic and compile them into an e-book.

I did this once with this newsletter. I write this every two weeks, so at the end of a year, I had 25 high-quality articles, which I put together into an e-book “25 Hot Ideas for Making More Money From Your Web Site”.

6. Article directories

There are many places where you can use other people’s articles (at no charge, provided you give them credit). Find some relevant articles in your area of expertise, and compile them into an e-book.

I once created an e-book in an hour for a client using exactly this technique. We chose one article directory Web site, found 20 articles about her topic area (communication skills), and simply did cut-and-paste directly from the Web site into a Word document.

7. Enlist your mates

Enlist your Mates Ask your colleagues, clients or even your competitors to contribute an article each, and compile them into an e-book.

I’ve done this in 1996 and 1997 to create the “Expect More …” e-books. I invite First Step clients to write a one-page article, I compile them into an e-book, and each contributor then gets a customised version to share with their network.

8. Program transcript

Program Transcript Record a live presentation, get it transcribed and edit it into an e-book. If you’re short of time or writing isn’t your strong point, outsource the editing to a ghostwriter – as I mentioned above.

I do this regularly with my teleseminar programs, converting many of them to e-book form as well.

9. Public domain

Some material is already in the public domain, which means you can freely edit it and re-publish it – even under your own name if you add substantially to it. Just be sure the material is in the public domain.

10. Private label

Private LabelSome e-books have an option for you to buy “private label rights”, which means you can re-publish them with your own branding. Private label rights are a hot Internet marketing topic right now, with many Internet marketers promoting the idea of selling them. I don’t necessarily recommend you go into business selling them, but you might be able to buy e-books with these rights, so you can re-publish them for your network.

Search Google for the phrase “private label rights” combined with your area of expertise.

Gihan Perera is the author of “The Seven Fatal Mistakes That Most Web Site Owners Make – And How To Avoid Them” and “Spin: Turn One Idea Into Hundreds of Information Products”. Visit http://GihanPerera.com and get your complimentary copies now.

Gihan Perera

In a nutshell: I'm an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, thought leaders and business professionals. Since 1997, I've worked with some of Australia's leading thought leaders, change agents and entrepreneurs, helping them leverage their expertise, individually and in groups, on and off the Internet. If you want to deliver your ideas, products and services to more people for more impact and more money, I can show you how. Over time, I've learned from the masters of persuasion and influence - including professional speakers, trainers, coaches, politicians, advertisers, marketers, magicians, hypnotists, con artists, salespeople, negotiators and business leaders. I'm an entrepreneur, business consultant, speaker, mentor and interviewer. I love writing, and I've published seven books, numerous e-books and a series of audio programs. My formal background is in science and technology, but I've always been interested in people and the way they communicate. I don't love technology for its own sake. But I do love it when we use technology to get a message across more effectively. In 1997, when the Web was young, spam was just a luncheon meat, and Google wasn't even a twinkle in its owners' eyes, I founded First Step Communications, one of Australia's earliest Web design businesses. Since that time, it's grown to include clients in every continent (except Antarctica). I still operate as CEO in that business, while also running my own consulting/speaking business. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Australia and an NLP practitioner certification from the Neuro-Linguistic Training Center of San Diego. I live in the world's most livable city - Perth, Australia - and enjoy an enviable lifestyle, with my own home, my own business and my own teeth.

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