How to Get an eBook to Write Itself in 3 Easy Steps

You have many choices when it comes to product creation for your internet business. You’ve got membership websites, physical books, eBooks, DVD/CD packages, webinars, teleseminars, newsletters, software, and consultation type services – just to name a few. Today, I’d like to highlight one of the aforementioned products that is easy to create and at the same times gives you the potential to really skyrocket your business and take it to the next level. I’m talking about eBooks.

For those of you who don’t already know me, my name is Pat Flynn. I’ve been mentioned here on Internet Business Mastery a number of times, and was even featured in a case study video interview by Sterling and Jay last year.

Most of my internet success has come from eBooks that I’ve written. In 2009, for example, my business grossed $162,192.85 in eBook sales alone, and that’s just from two products. I’ve also written an eBook for my entrepreneurial blog, which helped me generate over 2000 email leads in less than two months.

The power of an eBook to expand your business and brand, whether you sell it online for profit (the ROI is ridiculous!), or give it away for free to generate leads, is heightened by the fact that you can automate the entire process. So, if you don’t yet have your own product for your business, I definitely recommend writing an eBook.

And the best part is…it’s easy!

Using the following process, you can virtually have an eBook write itself.

Step One: Mind Map it Out

You’re probably already familiar with mindmapping because Sterling and Jay talk about it all of the time. If not, it’s basically a visual way of brainstorming, using bubble diagrams to show how ideas relate to one another and a hierarchy of strings of your thoughts. You can do this on paper, or use software such as Mindjet to make it easier for you – it’s up to you.

Start with your central topic of choice and just branch out from there, mapping out all of the related ideas, thoughts, potential topics and sub topics that surround your topic. I recommend getting as detailed as possible, and don’t be afraid to branch out far from the central topic – it’s all important information if you thought of it.

Here’s an example of a mindmap for part of a potential flyfishing eBook, just so you can see what it looks like:

As you can see, mindmapping is a great way to organize a ton of ideas and categorize them in a way that’s easy to understand.

Get as deep and as detailed as possible, because the more you write at this point, the easier the eBook will create itself in the following steps.

Step Two: Create an Outline

Using your mindmap as a guide, write an outline of what to include in your eBook.

The only real difference between the mindmap and the outline is that the outline should be parts of your mindmap listed in an order that seems logical for a person totally unfamiliar with the topic. Put yourself in the shoes of a newbie and try to determine the order of information that makes sense.

Don’t forget to create topics and subtopics in your outline, just like you did with your mindmap.

At the end of it all, you’ll have what looks like a Table of Contents for a book. In fact, that’s exactly what it becomes!

Here’s part of an outline that can be created from the flyfishing mindmap above:

  • Chapter: Fly Fishing Equipment
    • Section 1: Fly Rods
      • Part 1: The Flex
        • Stiff
          • Pros
          • Cons
          • Recommendations
        • Flexible
          • Pros
          • Cons
          • Recommendations
      • Part 2: Care For Your Rods
    • Section 2: Fly Reels
    • Section 3: Flies

…and so on and so-forth.

Step Three: Treat Parts of Your Outline as Individual Blog Posts or Articles

At this point, you can turn your outline/table of contents into a checklist of articles to complete. If you think about each part of your outline as an individual blog post or article, finishing the entire eBook won’t seem that far out of reach.

The nice part about this process is that you can choose which parts of your eBook to write first. You don’t have to start at the beginning, which is often the hardest part. Choose an “article” that you feel the most comfortable with, crank it out, and move on to the next. Literally crossing them off the list as you finish totally helps for motivation too.

If you’re not a writer, or don’t want to write the eBook on your own, you can easily hire a ghost writer to complete the job for you. It will be easy for them, since they have a detailed outline of exactly what’s needed already.

This three step method is what I used for all of the eBooks I’ve written, and it works like a charm every single time.

Good luck!

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Pat Flynn is a successful entrepreneur, blogger, author, husband and father who writes transparently about what he does online. You can read more about his online adventures at The Smart Passive Income Blog.

Comments

  1. Great guest post, Pat. The 3 steps you outlined are great ways to knock an eBook out.

    I might add another great way to create an eBook is to take a series of blog posts which deal with one subject and turn those into an eBook. There may be some revising and additional writing to be done but the bulk of the work is already there!

    Wesley Craig Green

    • Thanks Wesley, that’s a great point. I think Darren Rowse from Problogger.net did that with his 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series.

      Cheers!

  2. I am going to test this. I think it will work, but only testing will truly tell the tale.

    I have used your ebook to generate a lot of passive income and can only improve upon what I have put out there at The Minimalist Path

    I will generate an ebook by the end of this weekend and launch by middle of next week. I will get back to you on the success/failure.

    Thanks for the good advice as always Pat.

    David Damron
    The Minimalist Path

    • Hey David, thanks for the comment. Good luck with the eBook writing process, and please keep us updated about how it goes, or if you have any questions along the way.

  3. Love it man nice and simple I am currently following your ebook from your blog Pat and I can’t be anymore thankful for it…Soon I will be putting it out there. Thanks

    • Nice Wilson! That’s awesome. I’m glad I could help. Let us know when it’s live somewhere so we can check it out! Good luck!

  4. Hi Pat,

    Great post! I’m trying to short circuit my first e-book by seeing if a slim version which contains only summary quick tips – with just a little eplanatory narrative – would sell.

    I’m sort of cheating, I guess, but you never know it might sell at the right price point.

    Regards,

    Steve

    • Hey Steve, as long as the content is there and it provides value to your customers, the length really doesn’t matter. The best thing would be to make sure you test your price points so you make sure you find the right one eventually. Cheers!

  5. Great Article Pat. I’m going to be coming back to it when I write my ebook later on this year.

  6. Pat wish I had this when I wrote my Twitter Guide a few months back..lol

    That def didn’t write it self. But was well worth the time and effort.

    • Everything is a learning process, and hopefully in your next book or guide you’ll be able to crank it out even faster using these tips and the experience you already have. Good luck! Cheers!

  7. Pat this was a really good post, I think you made some really good suggestions and it was really informative.

    Thanks

  8. Awesome as usual, Pat! If anyone reading this post hasn’t been over to Smart Passive Income to download your (free) E-book guide, I highly recommend it.

    I’m using it and making solid progress despite my crazy-busy life!

    • Good to hear, Dustin. You’re always putting in 110% in everything you do, and I’m glad to have you as a loyal friend of my blog. Thanks for stopping by here and putting in some nice words about me. I appreciate it!

  9. What a great way to simplify what could be an overwhelming process! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks, Pat!

    • Thanks Karen! Let me know how it goes once you get started! Wishing you all the best. Cheers!

  10. Pat is a super star. I’m always impressed by how prolific he is with content creation. Great tips!

  11. Cindy Cane says:

    Nice article.Thank you very much..I think it’s very helpful to improve ourselves..

  12. Chad Wilson says:

    I like this post. I like the idea of using a software for mind mapping and choosing which parts of an eBook to write first.

  13. pep vincent says:

    hi pat
    l’m very greatful about the three most important step you indicate right here, l have not done an ebook before, but with this little explanation, l thought l can start from somewhere. thanks for your assistance

  14. Hey I don’t know you Pat but I truly appreciate the simplicity of your method. I’m writing my first e book and with these three steps it will take no time. Thanks again and if you have some launch insight I would be very interested.

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