The following guest post was written by Liam Gooding. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.
Writing an ebook can seem a daunting task. A book is substantial. More than a blog. We expect books to add value, to mean something. Even a short ebook, requires planning, effort, commitment. Don’t fret. It’s often the starting that’s the hardest part. Let’s not waste any more time.
Freewriting is the painless way to start writing. I recommend you use it every time you sit down to write. It stops you procrastinating. It gets you in the flow faster than anything else I’ve ever tried. It can help with any kind of writing. It doesn’t matter whether you need to decide a topic for your ebook, plan your chapter structure or start writing your first chapter, freewriting will help.
- Decide a topic you want to write about and type this at the top of the page. (e.g. My ebook will be about)
- Set a timer for 2 minutes. (As you get more experienced, you can extend the length of timer up to 10 minutes.)
- Start typing whatever comes to mind.
- Do not edit your writing.
- Do not correct spelling mistakes.
- Do not delete a single character.
- Do not stop writing.
- If you run out of ideas, choose one phrase to repeat like “don’t know what to write” or “what else”.
- Let me repeat, Do Not Stop Writing.
When the timer finishes, you’ll often find useful phrases, sentences or ideas that you can air lift out of the freewriting grammar crash and include in your ebook. This technique liberates you from the pressure of writing something that is ‘good enough’ for your book. Freedom from that pressure seems to purify the writing process and to get you in the flow quickly.
2 Audio recording
Let’s face it. Some people would rather talk than write. If you have the gift of the gab, the fastest way you can write your ebook is to speak it. Put together your ebook structure with chapters and sub-headings. Get yourself an audio recording. My preference is to useEvernote. Start recording your thoughts. With Evernote, you can label each audio recording, so you know where it belongs in the book. You can either type up your words yourself or share your audio recordings with a Virtual Assistant who will be able to transcribe them for you. Sure, you’ll need to write some additional content and do some editing, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can write your ebook using this technique.
There are two ways you can use interviews to create content fast. You can ask a colleague who understands the topic to interview you to help draw out the content for the ebook. Another option is to select industry experts to interview. You can record the interview using an audio recorder, but you may want to try using Google+ Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts allow you to publish the interview on your YouTube channel. Alternatively, you can also record a video call with Skype. Your interviews can be transcribed and included in your book if they naturally read well. Otherwise, you can use the interviews as inspiration for your writing and use carefully selected quotes from those experts.
Crowdsourcing an ebook not only helps you create content more quickly, it aids the books promotion. To crowdsource an ebook, you can carve up the structure of your book and invite experts to contribute. You could have each chapter written by a different expert, or you may weave together writing from several different authors in each chapter.The best part is that all of your crowdsource contributors will want to share the ebook with their audiences when you publish.
5 Find a good editor
You write. Let the editor edit. If you want to create content fast, get writing and hand it to your editor. A good editor can whip your content into shape saving you time and improving the quality of your ebook.
6 Outsource your research
If you need statistics or data to give credibility to your writing, outsource the research. There are plenty of freelancers or Virtual Assistants who can source the information you need. Spend your time writing instead of getting distracted online.
7 Set a crazy deadline
Set a deadline that will push you. Set a deadline that makes your stomach tense up. The truth is that the writing will not take as long as you think.A crazy deadline keeps you writing.It’s easier to keep writing when you are ‘in flow’. It is much harder to get back on track when you take a break.
8 Structure & Schedule
Don’t attempt to write your book without a structure and a schedule. Prepare your chapter titles and sections, ideally with some bullet points to keep your writing focussed. Plan how much you will write and when. Sitting down to write your whole book is a seance for the procrastination you killed with the free writing. Keep procrastination buried by planning to write specific segments of your ebook at scheduled times.
9 Trust your instincts
Nothing will slow your writing down more than ignoring your instincts. Sure, you need to consider your audience, but don’t start tearing your writing apart thinking it’s not good enough. Don’t become obsessed with every detail. Write and trust your instincts. You can always edit it later.
10 Clear the decks and write
Once you’ve set your crazy deadline and planned your structure and schedule, it’s time to clear the decks and write. Don’t get distracted. Don’t do anything else. Don’t make excuses. Just write.
About the Author
Liam Gooding is the co-founder and CEO of Virally, a social content marketing platform. He blogs about content marketing, conversion optimisation, and occasionally goes off topic and talks about entrepreneurship and startup marketing.