15 Things I Learned from Writing My First eBook

Even before I’d written and published my first eBook (WARNING: strategic but necessary link imminent), How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money, I said I was going to share what I learned from the process with you.

So here’s a list of some of the most poignant things I learned from writing, producing and marketing my first eBook for Kindle.

  1. Actually writing the book is the easiest part of the whole process.
  2. Saving the first draft as a PDF and reading it on an e-reader while making notes is time consuming, but well worth it.
  3. It’s difficult to stop self-editing; at some point you just have to hand the thing over to a professional.
  4. Getting a great copy editor and proofreader will add a lot of value to your book and is never wasted money.
  5. The word ‘that’ is redundant 98% of the time.
  6. [Tweet “Your humongous writer’s ego has no place in the editing process.”]
  7. Reading Guy Kawasaki’s book, APE helps at almost every turn.
  8. There are many blog posts on the proper and correct way to format your eBook, about why you should spend a fortune on a cover design, and on the best way to convert your manuscript. Some of it is useful. Most of it is a load of irrelevant and self-indulgent tosh (and you can glean all the information you need from the above book by Guy Kawasaki anyway).
  9. Marketing on social media is fun. Marketing by any other means is usually a pain.
  10. The whole world doesn’t care that you wrote an eBook.
  11. A few people care and that’s enough to make it worthwhile. Plus these people help spread the word.
  12. Your family and friends will think you got a book deal.
  13. If you normally write for other people it’s incredibly liberating and rewarding to work on your very own project for a change.
  14. This is a great plugin.
  15. You can do whatever the hell you want in this digital age and, despite its flaws, that in itself is pretty cool.

Another 3 personal lessons from writing my first eBook:

  1. I’m a worse writer than I thought, but that’s OK because I’ve learned so much.
  2. I’m a better writer than I thought. (Go figure.)
  3. Sometimes I truly don’t know what I think until I write it down. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t write.

If you want to see the results of these lessons and want to learn How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money, I encourage you to read my book and let me know what you think.

If you like it, please leave a note saying why in the review section on Amazon. If you don’t like it… please say nothing at all. (I’m kidding – you can’t argue with free speech.)


photo by: netgeek on Flickr

8 thoughts on “15 Things I Learned from Writing My First eBook

  1. This post came along at the perfect time. I am beginning my ebook and find comfort in reading about other people and their experience with the process. Thank you for sharing this information.

  2. Thanks for the generous gift Kirsty! Have downloaded, and will leave a review as soon as possible. Good luck with the marketing.

  3. Genius! I’m in the middle of co-authoring my first book and you are so right! I thank my lucky stars my co-author does formatting and proofreading in publishing for a living. It’s stressful enough doing the writing and editing, even though I love it!

    Oh yes, I am also insane because at the same time I am writing a toolkit to help with self assessment.

    1. Co-authoring! Why didn’t I think of that? (*Changes title of this post to 16 Things I Learned…*)

      That is a bit insane Rosie! Good luck with it all.

  4. Some insightful home truths here Kirsty. I know what you mean about the word ‘that’ being redundant – who needs pronouns anyway 🙂 Their absence certainly makes things flow more easily.

    Having written a few eBooks myself, I can empathise with point 10 – very often the hard work starts after your book has been published.

    Great article Kirsty.

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