Most authors find writing a regular book an intensive and time-consuming project. But it doesn’t have to take years!

A very reasonable timeframe for finishing a traditional book could be just a few months. Your level of commitment and dedication is the key.

Richard Webster wrote several books a year. He wrote on spiritual and psychic and magic, but he has also written a thriller novel, many instruction books and whimsical children’s stories.

Ebooks can be produced in a shorter time than paper-bound books. They tend to have fewer pages, typically from 20 to 100. Ebooks still need proofreading and editing, but they don’t need printing, binding, warehousing or distribution. Lots of time and money saved. And ebooks never get remaindered.

What topic should you write your ebook about?

The category I’m most familiar with are ‘How to’ titles. These books tell you ‘How to’ do this or ‘how to’ do that. These are simple instruction books which serve an urgent need or a subject of high-level interest. They are usually a quick read. Remember that buyers don’t want 800 pages on How To Grow Juicy Tomatoes. Buyers want their instructions in plain, simple English, often with diagrams, steps and bullet points.

Pick a niche market you already have knowledge in.

Have you spent 30 years breeding Goldfish? Monthly searches on Google for things related to goldfish are more than 800,000. You could write an ebook on goldfish. What do you know about training puppies? Every month over 200,000 people want to know about this subject. Write an ebook about what you know. There are over a million requests on Google right now for information about chess.

Have you got tips to share? Do you reckon there are some people out there who might buy and read your book? You betcha.

If you’re not an expert in anything, but and you want to write an ebook and sell it, interview a bunch of experts on their specialty. any given topic. Write down their advice, tips, suggestions, shortcuts etc. Your ebook is your copyright.

Some years ago I convinced John Giacon to tell me everything he knows about fly fishing for trout. As a master trout fisherman, and guide to fishing tourists, he has a wealth of knowledge, anecdotes and tips on fishing techniques. We didn’t get close to “everything” you know but together we filled 50 pages.

Author Gary McLaren says

“At first glance you might not like those writing courses that offer to help you write a book in a month, but these programmes have a common technique – they teach you how to break down your writing project into manageable chunks.

“Then you draw up a schedule of writing each section according to the course instructions. The tutor motivates you to keep to your plan.”

Gary’s suggestions:

Be prepared

The more you prepare in advance the quicker your actual writing is going to be. Research background material you will need. Collect references, statistics, anecdotes or “quotations”. But don’t get so stuck in research that you forget to write. Set a date limit for research to end – and keep to it.

Break up your project into chunks.

The best way to do this for a non-fiction ebook is to write down the topics of your chapters. Use the mind-mapping technique. Then organise the bits into an appropriate order. This will later become your Table of Contents. Go through each chapter and write down sub-headings. When you start to write, all you need do is add paragraphs of content under each sub-heading. Your words should keep flowing because your direction is mapped out ahead of you.

Schedule a fixed time to write, and keep to your schedule.

That sounds simple and it is if you give yourself a target of writing one chapter (or 1000 words) every day. Logic says you will achieve it. If you wrote a chapter a day, four days a week, for a month you’d be close to finishing your first ebook.

Don’t try to make your writing perfect on the first draft. Just write it.

You go back later and improve it.

Important tip: get someone else to proofread and edit your writing. That saves later embarrassment.”

Now get ebook writing!

If you are interested in expanding your writing capabilities, NZIBS has a range of courses that may be suitable.



Principal Emeritus, New Zealand Institute of Business Studies

Brian Morris was the founding principal of NZIBS and has been a professional writer for 50 years. His first effort at age 7 (in pencil) was rejected by Reader’s Digest. Since then he has focused on writing non-fiction ebooks.

See Brian’s Amazon profile for his extensive list of publications. According to Brian …

My aim is to produce a new ebook every two weeks. My other aim is to show as many people as will listen to how to write their own ebooks. That means giving talks to writers groups, ‘How-To’ workshops and NZIBS writing courses. I know the topics of my next 40 ebooks, but there are only 25 hours in a day.

Do you feel a creative stirring deep within your spirit?

Discover your own ‘voice’. Learn how to develop a plot, characters, dialogue, structure and personal style. It’s even better when you get paid for doing something you enjoy.