6 Keys to Writing a Successful Ebook

When you create an ebook, you want to help your readers while you stand out as the most credible and valuable source for your products and services. While most people just provide information, if you come from your inspired purpose and help your readers move forward and take action, then you and your ebook become exceptionally valuable. Here are six keys to writing a successful ebook and how to achieve them.

The 6 keys to writing a successful ebook are:

  • Draw upon your inspired purpose and vision.
  • Focus on your community's burning question or need.         Woman with book saying, "I love it!"
  • Size the topic to fit your purpose.
  • Show more than tell.
  • Provide questions and actions that your readers can apply immediately.
  • Tell readers how to take the next step with you toward reaching their goals.

1. Draw upon your inspired purpose and vision.

Your inspired purpose includes why you are in business and what motivates you and the experience or message you have to share. This inspired purpose guides and infuses all your work.

Your inspired vision is the map of how you envision your business and the map of its growth.

When you are clear on your inspired purpose and vision, then everything you do flows from your inner joy. Your ebook should be a topic that is part of your inspired purpose and vision.

2. Choose a topic that focuses on your community's burning question or need.

In order to attract your audience's attention, you first must understand their deepest needs. To find out what they are, do research and ask.

Participate in online in forums where people in your community gather as a group. These may be on social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Google+ or on specific websites. Websites for professional groups, websites people with specific characteristics or concerns, and organization websites are all good places to listen to and interact with people you most want to reach.

Just remember that your goal is to find out what matters to them, not to sell what you do.

3. Size the topic to fit your purpose.

Once you have a chosen a good topic, you want to size it to fit your purpose.

For example, a downloadable opt-in ebook can be 12-30 pages of tips or cover a very narrow topic. An ebook for purchase may have several topics covered fully over several chapters.

4. Show more than tell

People learn from stories, pictures, and activities, not reading or listening.

Provide examples, case studies, illustrations, diagrams, statistics, and anything else that helps convey your message.

Visual metaphors for concepts are also useful. Just be sure that your photos or drawings illustrate the concept and are not purely decorative. All visuals need to develop your message instead of distracting people from it.

5. Provide questions and actions that readers can apply immediately.

The purpose of your ebook will determine the kinds of questions and activities you include.

For example, you can use questions throughout to help people think about their goals, their values, or their ideas relating to your topic or your coaching process. You can also ask questions that provoke a shift in viewpoint.

Examples of activities appropriate for ebooks are journaling prompts, visualizations, experiments, and first steps to take toward reaching goals.

Some people worry that including so much helpful information and activities makes you unnecessary.

Don't worry. The people who want to achieve will always want and need more. Once they experience some success with what you offer, see your credibility, and develop comfort with you, they will want more from you.

People will need your guidance, feedback, support, experience, and skills.

Those who are ready to move forward and achieve their personal or business dreams will be loyal followers and buy your products and services.

6. Tell your readers how to take the next step.

At the end of your book, tell your readers what the next step is and how to take it. Be specific.

Here are examples of specific action steps:

  • Tell them that they can register for your class on your subject, and give them the link to your information and registration page.
  • Tell them they can contact you for a complimentary consultation to clarify how you can help them reach their goals related to your topic, and give them a link to your email address.
  • Tell them to join your mailing list, if they haven't already done so, and give them the link to sign up.

Questions for Reflection and Comment

To identify other valuable characteristics that you might include in your own ebook, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What ebooks have you read?
  • Did they help you take action on your goals?
  • If so, how did they help you take action on your goals?
  • How could the ebooks you've read be made more valuable to you?

Related Posts

6 Keys to Writing a Successful Ebook

Create Your Ebook: Step 1

Create Your Ebook: Step 2

Create Your Ebook: Step 3

Create Your Ebook: Step 4

Create Your Ebook: Step 5

Create Your Ebook: Step 6


  1. Dawn Howard Weaver

    Hi Holly,

    This is very thorough. Thank you - I have been thinking of a way to bring more value to my website. I also think we give so much as regular bloggers. What about you?


  2. Tom Henricksen

    Great advice Holly! I have created two eBooks for Kindle and will use your advice on my upcoming third eBook!

    • Holly Genser

      Thanks, Tom and Dawn. I'm glad you found some helpful tips here.

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