Write E-books for Publicity and Even Profit: Part 2 — Writing Your E-book
Once you’ve decided on a topic for your e-book, you have to sit down and write it. For the most part, e-book writing is the same as any other writing, but there are a few special considerations. Since your book will most likely be read on a screen of some sort (readers could print it out, but that’s a lot of ink and paper!), you’ll want to incorporate some of the strategies you use to write for the web.
One thing to pay attention to is structure. Readers won’t be able to easily flip to the table of contents to see what’s coming up or where they’re at in the grand scheme of things, so it pays to reiterate the table of contents periodically, for instance by outlining each chapter on the first page of the chapter. Use clear subheads throughout your work, too.
Although this won’t apply as much to literary works, in non-fiction you’ll want to use shorter paragraphs that can be scanned easily. Use boldfaced text for key points. Organize multiple points into bulleted lists. Generally keep in mind what the experience of reading on-screen is and cater to it as much as possible.
One thing you can do in an e-book that you can’t do well in a paper book is to add interactive elements. Use links to web content to extend your document — you can link to definitions and encyclopedia articles, other books, and of course your own website. You can also embed short videos, sound files, and other interactive elements, but make sure they add to the value of the e-book — don’t do it just because you can!
As with any other writing, make sure you plan your work, outline, do your research, and so on. Even if you intend to give your e-book away for free, make sure you hold to the same high standards you expect of all your work.