Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Crafting Non-Fiction E-Books Is Simple When You Develop Your Own Personal System

It's true: Writing self-help non-fiction ebooks is an easy process when you follow this simple plan.

Writing how-to non-fiction ebooks, unlike fiction, especially short non-fiction Kindle Books, requires you to take what you know, mash it into a format that readers can follow, and deliver information in bite-size chunks that helps any reader accomplish what they want to do.

Fiction depends on a whole host of elements -- dialogue, plot twists, characterization, pacing -- that non-fiction chucks overboard in favor of delivering simple instructions. Instructions that can be put into action right away, gaining readers the results sooner rather than later.

It's important to create your own system when you start creating ebooks for sale online. You have to develop a road map for yourself so you know where you're starting and know when your arrive so you'll know when to stop writing. The road map tells you when you're lost. It should help you get back on track.
I still use an old-school system that includes notes on white index cards taped to the credenza of my writing desk, manila file folders to gather up scraps of notepapers and copies of articles, magazine clippings, jotted down title ideas, even notebooks full of lists.

Your systems should be... whatever works for you.

You can try out other systems other writes have used, systems that successful indie publishers have found successful. But in the end, the system you adopt, the system you rely on, needs to be one that works for you. A system that supports you.

If you prefer to staying completely digital and never writing down an idea or an outline or a 'To Do' list on paper, good for you; do that. Do that and keep doing that. It keeps all your notes in easy format to copy and paste into your final product, whereas I need to re-type and revise my original work.
But, see, that's what works for me.

The downside of my system, though, is that I can squirrel-away ideas and projects into those manila file folders and get sidetracked by another hot project without taking the time or applying the discipline to finish that first project. I see those file folders lined up on my desk right now as I type this. They are staring at me, wondering when they get their turn to be finished. I feel like draping a cloth over them to hide their sad faces from me.

So, as you can see, my system is not perfect. But for the most part, it works for me to write, edit and publish my own series of ebooks in the Kindle Store.

Yes, I said "write." Instead, my feeling is that Kindle Books are actually "crafted" these days. And that's not a slam against the process; that a fact. You need to be able to take an idea, test it to see if it will have legs and will have a market, then dig down deep for the information.

You need to collect that information, arrange it into a cogent whole. You need to whittle it down or expand it, depending on what you need the final product to look like. Whittling is a craft. Often it's a hobby that takes up time to keep you busy. That is not what "crafting" ebooks should be. You indie publishing efforts should be a labor of love that allows you to make money doing what you love.

Are you fine with the system you are using today? If not, change it. If you don't know which new one to adopt, get busy finding one. Read. Research. Ask. Try out new systems and keep the parts that help you, throw away the parts that don't. Stay focused on finding the path that leads you where you want to go. And then follow that path.