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Writing An eBook - How To Think Up A Grand Plan For Your eBook And Structure Your Chapters

Nov 27, 2007
This article will concentrate on adding some structure to your eBook idea. We will be creating the GRAND PLAN that will define your ebook and make the writing process easier...a roadmap leading to your success. Exciting!!

Here we go!

Take a moment to recognize what images you have in your mind when you think of having your ebook completed. Can you see a picture of the finished product, like on all those websites with very pretty ebook covers? How about an image of $100 bills flying into your bank account? Are you seeing a new car in your garage, like you see on every other sales page you've ever visited?

Those are very stimulating end-of-the-creation-process images, but they might get you to rush through the next few steps and blow all your hard work right out the window. So, take a few minutes to daydream about your success and all the benefits it will bring to your life. Enjoy it for a few minutes and let's get back to the real work ahead of you.

The first undertaking you need to think about, and complete, is an outline of your ebook's layout. Think about this as designing your chapter structure. All successful ebooks have a simple and logical manner of organization. This organization includes very clear and concise sections of information that flow from the beginning to the end of your ebook. Those sections will become your chapter headings.

So, first, get some paper and let's brainstorm a little about those chapter headings. Write your favorite title at the top of the page. This will give you a mental anchor and strong focus on the steps to come...something concrete to write around.

Thinking about your topic, how do you want to present it to your readers? You have several options and they all have their benefits.

One way is to pick a list of basic facts or strong statements from your content pile or list of notes. If you don't have a pile of notes and content yet, just list the 5 or 6 or 10 major points you would like to cover in your ebook. Each statement or major point has to be revised to attract your reader and make them want to read the chapter.

For example: "How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies" or "Quick Chocolate Chip Cookies To Delight Your Kids." Which one would you be more interested in reading?

Your task with this type of chapter headings is to make the points you listed interesting, intriguing or exciting. You can use slight twists on common phrases, a little bit of humor or some "drama" statement, like "How I Regained My Reputation After Making The Worst Batch of Cookies Ever Made." See what I mean?

Another technique, and often a very effective one, is to use questions as chapter headings. Then, you can fill the chapter with answers or solutions to the dilemma posed by the question. This is a simple technique to let you create some powerful chapters, full of great content for your readers.

Example: "Are Ants Running You Out Of Your Home?" Chapter contents: Discussion on why the ants are in your home, where they came from, both natural and chemical ways to get rid of them, strategies to keep them from returning and so on.

** Here's psychological a tip to keep in mind when you are creating your chapter headings: Look at the heading

"Are Ants Running You Out Of Your Home?"

There were specific reasons for choosing the two emotional words in there. "Running" insinuates hiding, escaping, danger and "Home" is where the heart is, so to speak. "Home" is a highly charged word that denotes safety, warmth, family, etc. It is totally emotional while "House" is not.

The chapter title would not have the same impact stated like this; "Are Ants Being A Nuisance In Your House?"or "Do You Have Ants In Your House?" See the difference?**

You can do this same process with any topic you want to do it with, over and over. Create some questions on your topic and research the answers. There's your ebook!

If you decide to use this technique on your own topic, start listing some problems and questions you've had in your life or in the lives of those around you...family, friends, neighbors... that are pertinent to your topic. Everyone you know and everything you see or hear is a possible source of new content and a new ebook.

Do not get too far from your notebook. Start listening and watching. You will be surprised by how many ideas you can generate for future use. Do you think this first ebook is going to be your last one? I don't!

This step in your journey concludes with some notes on what to do with the outline you are creating. Work on it for a while (couple of hours or after dinner) until you think you've got it all in there. Put it away for the night and go hug your kids or something else relaxing.

When you come back to it tomorrow, new ideas will be popping out of your mind. Some of the fantastic chapter headings you loved yesterday will not seem so great today. That's normal. Make the additions, deletions, revisions and start listing content points under each chapter.

Do not stress over this step...just keep listing the points you think belong in each chapter. If you run out of steam, take a break and go to your favorite search engine for some more research. For a day or so, keep editing your chapters and shuffling your information points until you are satisfied. When you are, quit.

Don't you wish you'd paid more attention in school when your teachers were trying to teach you to focus and outline your essays and reports?
About the Author
Paula Brett is an internet marketer and eBook author. You can sign up to her FREE 7-day product creation eCourse at http://www.operationebook.com - you can visit her blog at http://www.paula-brett.com/blog/
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