Writing an eBook: Should I or Shouldn’t I?
As you can tell with a quick glance to the right of this post, I decided to produce a digital cookbook last spring entitled The Market Vegan. After my ebook became available for purchase, other bloggers and podcasters asked me how I determined that an ebook was a good use of my limited time and resources as opposed to writing more posts per week and producing more podcasts each month. Also factored into that decision was my role as a freelancer with a full time day job; my decision to write an ebook meant I had less time for additional contract work. While freelancing may not be the most dependable source of additional income, it has been fairly consistent since the beginning of the year.
I had no idea how to evaluate the feasibility of producing and any possible profit I might reap from my ebook, but luckily I already had the technical expertise necessary which was a big advantage. Writing the cookbook was just as much about creating an additional source of income as it was sharing the ease and benefits of a consuming a vegan diet. Therefore, I went ahead with the project figuring that worst case, I’d have all of my recipes in one place for my own use as well as a low key marketing tool I could use to interest other people in the vegan lifestyle.
The Market Vegan has yet to appear on any ebook best seller list, but I have sold enough to encourage me to continue adding recipes to the book over the next year. Today’s guest post comes from David Kendall, another writer with a day job who took the leap into ebook publishing. His straightforward approach to the question, “should I or shouldn’t I?” would’ve saved me a lot of time and angst a few months ago!
Is an ebook worth my time?
If you have written a blog for any length of time, you might be surprised by the amount of content and the number of followers you have accumulated. For many writers, a natural next step at this point is to create an ebook. Certain pros and cons accompany this option, but at the very least, you should consider it.
Of course, an ebook will be much longer than a typical blog post, and therefore will require much more time, work and effort. This can make the prospect of writing a full-length ebook seem overwhelming; however, many bloggers are able to rely extensively on all the posts they have written in the past to create their ebook. An extensive blog that you have been writing for some time can give you a huge head start on writing an ebook.
However, you should also keep in mind that most of the people that follow a blog do so because each post is short and does not require much time to read. This is not to say that your blog’s readers will not be interested in your ebook; it simply means that you should not count on them to all be automatic ebook customers.
The most important thing that you should consider before making the decision to write an ebook is the basic economics involved in the process. Economics teaches that virtually every decision you make in life has a pay off and an opportunity cost. Use the following formula to help you determine whether writing the ebook is worthwhile:
- Determine a conservative estimate of the sales your ebook will generate.
- Determine how much time it will take you to complete it.
- Determine how much work you could complete on your blog during that time, and what not completing that work will cost you — in advertising and other benefits.
After coming up with realistic inputs, any writer should be able to plug them into this classic economic formula and determine if writing an ebook is worthwhile or not. As you can see, choosing whether to write an ebook is not an easy decision. Doing so could rob you of valuable time without providing anything concrete in return. On the other hand, you could find that the process is very satisfying, helps you improve as a writer, attracts even more readers to your blog, and returns a significant financial profit for the time you put into it.
If you do decide to write an ebook, simply ensure in advance that you have the time to do so while still maintaining your day-to-day efforts that pay your bills and continue to build your online audience.
About the Author: Guest post contributed by David Kendall on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis. David is an online entrepreneur and enjoys freelance writing in his spare time. His articles appear on various entrepreneur blogs.
Thumbnail image courtesy of nuestraherenciaco via Flickr Creative Commons.