Writing an ebook can be intimidating, especially if you’re not a natural writer.
But a “how to” ebook is a lot more approachable. If you’re writing a how-to ebook it means you have something to teach that you’ve previously learned. So, you already know all the steps. You just need to write them down in an organized way using a systematic process.
And this guide will teach you how.
We’ll show you a step-by-step process that you can use to write any type of how-to ebook. We’ll also suggest tools and resources that’ll help you make your ebooks look professional and enticing.
Writing a how-to ebook doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are the 7 steps you need to take to write a successful piece:
If you already have a topic in mind for your how-to ebook, feel free to skip this step.
Choosing a topic is the first and most important step in this journey. If you pick a topic that no one is interested in, nobody is going to read your book.
Moreover, you need to define a clear direction you want to take, or else you’ll get lost halfway through. You have to pick a topic based on what your audience and goals are. For this purpose, you should ask yourself the following questions:
To answer these questions, you can go through data from your website, blog, email, or social media – what are people asking in the comments or emailing you about? You can also conduct a survey.
If you don’t yet have an audience or much traffic, leverage the audience of your competitors. Read comments on their relevant blog posts and social media posts.
For more inspiration, you can read reviews on Amazon for ebooks that target your ideal prospects. Or, check forums and subreddits for the discussions being had by your audience.
But don’t get carried away. Your goal isn’t to try to explain how to do everything to everybody. Target specific segments of your audience who need help learning how to do a specific thing.
And if it seems like you’ll end up with a short ebook, don’t worry! Being on the shorter side is the ideal length for ebooks.
The outline for a how-to ebook is pretty straightforward. Simply lay out the steps involved in doing what you’re teaching. Each step can be its own section/chapter.
Again, don’t worry about length. Outline as many chapters and sections as needed to solve your audience’s problem.
Make it easy to read and skim through with plenty of titles and sub-titles – this will also be a big help when it’s time to write.
You’ll see the titles and immediately know what to write. You won’t feel overwhelmed just looking at a blank page thinking “what now?”
Looking at each title and sub-title will help you see it as easily achievable little tasks, instead of an intimidating monolithic task.
And this also applies to whoever reads your ebook! It’ll be much easier and more engaging. Huge blocks of text are like walls that’ll discourage your readers from continuing forward.
As mentioned in the previous step, if you start with writing the outline, you’ll be able to look at each title as a small task instead of feeling overwhelmed.
However, keep reading and re-reading as you write to make sure each part is not disconnected from the rest – a good, logical flow is necessary to keep your readers engaged.
Here are a couple tips to help you achieve this:
When writing how-to ebooks, the introduction and conclusion should be the last things you write.
It may seem weird to leave the introduction for last, but this is what will set your book’s tone.
It’ll also detail what will be elaborated on throughout the text and convince them that the book is worth reading.
So, you must have a very clear idea of what’s presented in the book and what your readers need to know before starting – this is why it’s best to leave for last.
The conclusion should consist of a short summary of the whole book and the most important takeaways. Also include a call-to-action to prompt the reader to take the next step in your sales funnel – whether that’s buying a product/service, following you on social media, reading a blog post, or something else.
Finally, remember that the conclusion should not include any new information that wasn’t previously in the book.
Editing as you write is a waste of time – it’ll just slow you down, especially if you’re a perfectionist!
Proofread and edit after finishing the first draft of your ebook. This way, you can already see the full picture and rewrite parts or change their placement easily and effectively.
Pro tip: save a copy of your original document before starting to edit. You might make changes or delete parts that you later regret.
The most important things you need to look at while editing are:
Structure: Is it organized logically in a way that is engaging and progressively builds knowledge?
Flow: Does the text flow nicely between sentences, paragraphs, titles, and sections?
Fluff: Are there any unnecessary or repetitive parts? Is there any information that’s unrelated to the main topic of the book?
Formatting your how-to ebooks is essential for an optimal reading experience.
And its design is crucial for first impressions. You don’t want to seem amateurish or unworthy of reading.
Here are the basics for formatting the text of your how-to ebook:
Design can be a bit trickier as there is no standardized, one-size-fits-all advice.
If you’re not a trained designer, then using a free tool like Canva can yield good results with a bit of effort.
If you don’t have the design skills or time to make a good design, or you want something professional, consider hiring someone to do it. Upwork and Fiverr are good platforms to find freelancers. And if you want the best professional design, you can give an ebook design agency like us a try.
For a look at all your ebook design options, their pros and cons, and their respective pricing, check out our article on ebook design pricing.
How-to ebook writing doesn’t have to be complicated, though it does require a bit of effort.
But it also comes with a lot of advantages: you can use it to attract new leads and capture their emails while establishing yourself as a trusted authority by helping them learn something useful.
However, as a final note, if your how-to ebook offers instructional info on health, diet, fitness, or financial topics, it would be wise to include an ebook disclaimer.