5 Things NOT To Do When Writing An Ebook

Ebooks are amazingly convenient, just download and read at your leisure. Have you considered writing your own ebook? They’re a highly productive way to deliver your message to a broad audience. Plus, authoring an ebook will give you a certain amount of clout with your readers. Add to these advantages the fact that digital downloads are a great free gift for your email list. Here are 5 things not to do when writing an ebook.

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Benefits Of Writing An Ebook

Before I get to my list of what not to do when writing an ebook, I’d like to talk about why you would even consider writing one to begin with. But, first a quick definition: An ebook is simply an electronic book that is made available in a digital format.

Digital books are accessible on computers, smartphones, and tablets, and are widely available to diverse audiences all over the world. Ebooks are more affordable to produce and purchase than hardcover copies, and are extremely convenient because you can download them directly to your phone.

Below is a list of benefits:

  • Are great lead magnets to help grow your list
  • Can be an additional source of revenue
  • Positions you as an authority and expert in your field
  • Conveys your message to a broad audience
  • No packing or shipping costs to worry about
  • Can be downloaded immediately upon purchase or used as a free gift
  • Gain trust with your audience
  • Are both time and cost-effective to write
  • Can sell unlimited quantities
  • Turn your hard-earned knowledge into passive income


#commissions earned

What Not To Do When Writing An Ebook

Keep these tips in mind before writing an eBook:

1. Letting Fear Immobilize You

We’ve all been paralyzed by fear at one time or another in our lives. I’m sorry to say this is certainly true for me – it’s happened repeatedly through the years, perhaps, even on a daily basis if truth be told. Be confident that the knowledge you have in your head is important and that it can benefit others. Just START. There is never an end result without a beginning point. Starting is the hardest part.

You’ll gain momentum once you begin the process. Ideas will start to flow and at some point it will dawn on you that you can accomplish your goal. Think of the vast number of people who have written ebooks. I doubt they’re any smarter than you! What sets them apart is they might have more courage. If they can do it, so can you. Have faith and confidence in yourself and then get busy!

[Read More: How to Write an Ebook in 4 Steps]

2. Choosing A Topic You Know Nothing About

Your message will sound authentic if you write about something you’re well-versed in, are passionate about, and that you have experience with. We can all sniff out a lack of authenticity and passion, so keep it real by writing what you know. Additionally, it’s far easier to write about something you have knowledge and experience with than a topic you don’t.

I know I enjoy reading and learning from people who have put in the time and effort to master a subject or craft. I deem an ebook a success when it can seamlessly transfer the information that’s in the author’s head into mine, without me having to put in the hours to learn the subject like they have. This vicarious form of learning is the most productive, in my opinion.

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3. Not Having A Plan In Place

It can be tempting to jump in and start writing, especially if you live and breathe what you’re writing about. Good for you if this is the case because it shows you’ve got gumption. However, you’d probably be better served if you slowed down a bit and prepared in advance.

Start by making a broad outline of the topic you’ll be covering. Then break that outline further into subtopics. This one strategy will help you organize your thoughts, giving your writing a sense of direction and coherency.

Taking the time to structure your writing, as the initial first step in the process, will result in easier reading for those consuming your content. There’s really no reason not to do it, since devising an outline is not time-intensive, yet is a great time-saver. Another benefit of having an outline is that it will serve double duty as your Table of Contents.

4. Second Guessing Yourself

Is there a person on the planet that doesn’t question themselves in terms of what they know, and their ability to convey it? I would highly doubt it. I know my confidence waxes and wanes all the time. We all have days where we struggle with our abilities, or lack thereof, especially when we’re first learning how to do something we’ve never done before. Writing an ebook is no different.

Anticipate and prepare for the days when your confidence will lag. Because surely it will, taking your vision and motivation right along with it. Know that this is normal and every good writer experiences it. There’s a very real phenomenon called writer’s block. Whine a little, have a pity party, and then get right back at it. Anyone who’s accomplished anything great, started out as a complete novice. It’s just how it works.

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5. Failing To Pay Attention To Formatting

The main purpose of an ebook is to convey knowledge. This means it must be well-written, easy to understand, and edited in terms of grammar and sentence structure. Once these components are in place, you’ll want to add visual appeal in the form of images, headings, and subheadings, further underscoring the importance of creating an outline.

Headings and images will not only make your book more appealing, they’ll also make it more enjoyable to digest. Make use of bold and italicized text, along with lists and bullet points. Include eye-catching quotes, and don’t forget to include a great-looking cover page, it will be the first impression readers have of your book, so spend some time designing it. Oh, and don’t forget to also include a copyright.

And in case you didn’t know, you can design an awesome-looking cover page in Canva. For that matter, you can create an entire ebook in Canva, as long as it’s under 30 pages. Canva is an online design tool that allows you to create a variety of graphics using their drag-and-drop editor, along with an impressive library of fonts, elements, and images.

Downplaying The Importance Of Your Ebook

This last tip is a bonus tip. Now that you’ve gone to the hard work of writing, editing, and formatting your ebook, don’t forget the all-important step of sharing it. Sure, it’s awesome that those that subscribe to your list have access to your book, but what amount all the people on social media that would also enjoy it. Now this doesn’t mean that you share the PDF itself on social media, but rather put in a plug for it that will drive people to your website.

Check out my #1 recommended platform for online marketing if you’d like to learn more tips and tricks for creating ebooks, social media sharing, and email marketing. Definitely check out the platform if you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a business this year.

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Key Points

My advice is to take the plunge if you’ve always wanted to write an ebook. They make great free gifts, are an additional source of revenue, and are affordable to create. Don’t let fear derail your plans by second-guessing yourself, write about something you have experience with and are passionate about, create an outline before you begin writing, and don’t forget to share your ebook for everyone to enjoy.

Have you thought of writing an ebook? What has prevented you from doing so? Let me know in the comments:)


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10 thoughts on “5 Things NOT To Do When Writing An Ebook”

  1. Since last year, I have planned to write e-books in 2020, and I would like to publish them on Amazon at the time, but I am not ready yet because there are still many details that I am not sure about.
    And what you shared in this blog post about 5 Things NOT To Do When Writing An Ebook, gave me some inspiration. As you said, the most important thing about writing e-books is that it can convey my message to a broad audience, and also sell unlimited quantities, which is a good job for writers or authors who plan to write e-books full-time.

    • Good for you for wanting to write an ebook this year. I’m glad my post inspired you. Ebooks are such a fantastic way to reach many people. Best of luck to you in all you plan to do this year:)

  2. Your article is very encouraging. I spent my life trying to be an author and finally quit. It seems I’m not too terrible at writing articles if people can get past my odd humor; maybe I’ll put my articles into a collective someday. Your advice is excellent. Self-doubt and second-guessing are crippling, if not deadly to any creative endeavor. One should definitely write about what they know and have a plan. Even fiction books require outlining and eventually an easy-to-read format. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Hi Cathy,

      Oh no, please don’t quit. There’s a reason behind your desire to be an author. I personally love odd humor, keep it coming. Assembling your articles into a collective is a great idea. There are many different ways to get your message out there. 

      Yes, I agree that lack of confidence and doubt can be utterly crippling, and can entirely prevent the best ideas from getting off the ground. It takes a healthy dose of persistence and self-talk to get past our own worries and fears. Writing about what your know makes the process a lot easier, and an easy-to-read format is vital for a good user experience. I appreciate your comment:)

  3. Hello Holly, thank you for taking out your time to share this helpful guide on things we should not do when writing an ebook. I will be writing some ebooks in the future to help my readers in one way or another, and probably as a giveaway too, so I find this article as an error-free guide to making a near perfect ebook. Formatting is what I don’t joke with and is my favorite thing to do when typing a document. Nice post.


    • Thanks for reading my post. Best of luck to you in writing your ebook. I’m sure it will be fabulous if you love formatting. It makes such a big difference!

  4. I LOVED this! Thank you for your information. I once sat for 150 days in a children’s hospital while my daughter underwent chemo and radiation for cancer. She could not tolerate light, so I had to sit beside her with paper and pencil – drawing with a flashlight in order to while away the hours, or just read. That was before it was so common place to download e-books. Any way, I wrote and illustrated a small children’s book for the children in the hospital ward, about a cancer crocodile, but never published it.

    Your article is pinned up on my border now, as inspiration to follow that 150 days with enough persistence to put my little book in the hands of children who may need to read about it:) Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Hi Amy,

      Thank you so much. It’s awesome to hear that my article inspired you. Please follow through on your ebook. I know it will help so many children, and you deserve to have your voice and message heard, especially considering the circumstance in which your book was birthed. 

       I’m so very sorry to hear about what you and your daughter have been through. I’m sure it took every ounce of your physical and emotional reserves to get through that trial. I truly hope she’s doing well now and thriving. I can’t wait to hear about the success of your ebook. 

  5. Many thanks to you for sharing such a nice informative article with us. I like ebooks a lot, so I wondered how to write one myself so I’m happy to come across your article today.  I’ve always wanted to get my message across to an audience so writing an ebook seems the most productive way to do that. Now I know what not to do when I begin. Fear holds me back. 

    You have made this article very interesting by highlighting all the good and bad aspects of these 5 tips. So the perception of digital formats is accessible on digital computers, smartphones and tablets and spreads to a wide audience across the globe. And it’s much more affordable to produce and purchase than hardcover copies for which can be downloaded to the phone.

     I became even more interested when I saw the many benefits of writing an ebook. I will definitely follow the tips you gave me so I can write well and make good money that will bring a lot of good to my future. I found your article to be the best article for ebook writing and interesting article arranged with the best tips. That’s why I certainly want to thank you. And put your article in the collection for my future. I must go through the right plans to conquer fear .

    • Thank you for reading my article. Ebooks are a tremendous way to get your message to a wide audience. They’re also great free gifts to grow your email list. Fear holds so many people back from following and achieving their dreams. I have found that the best tactic – for me, at least – is to just dive in and not think about all the things that could go wrong. And if you fail, you learn so much in the process, which increases your chances of success in your next endeavor. So if you are considering writing an ebook, please talk yourself through your fear and BEGIN. Best of luck to you. Please keep in touch…


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