Structuring your eBook


By Angela Booth

Got a great idea for an ebook but don’t know how to start writing it? Find the book’s structure, and it will (almost) write itself.

I’ve got three partially-completed books on my hard drives that I’ll complete one day. Maybe.

All three books are viable, with great information and great ideas. What they lack is a structure. They’re books with a body but no bones.

I started each book thinking that the structure would come to me as I wrote. Many thousands of words later, I’m still waiting.

With luck, I’ll manage to work out a structure for each book, and will turn them to profit. However they taught me the importance of working out a book’s structure BEFORE I start writing.

Having the structure in place makes a book easy to write. Writing
a book without a structure is like trying to build a house without a blueprint.

1. The structure starts with your working title

How easy do you think the following ebooks would be to write?

101 Ways To Secure A Retirement Income

Ten Secrets Of A Successful Day Trader

Every Writer’s Quick-Action Guide To Writing An Ebook

Improve Your Golf In Thirty Days

Seven Days To Your Own Successful Home Business

These titles make excellent working titles for an ebook, because they provide a built-in structure for the book.

You may use your working title, or can change it. You can also use your working title as a sub-title.

Tip: when you decide on a title, print it out and stick it on the side of your monitor. While you’re writing, you can go off on tangents if you don’t keep your book’s premise in mind at all

2. Create an outline

Come out from underneath that desk! Please don’t whine. I don’t mean the kind of outline that your English teacher harassed you into creating when you were 12.

You don’t have to create a strict outline. The kind of outline you need to create is one based on components.

Non-fiction is much easier to write than fiction because these books contain similar components.

Let’s have a look at some of them:

A foreword. This is similar to an introduction, but a foreword is usually written by someone other than the author of the book. It helps if you can get someone famous to contribute the foreword. (They’ll expect payment.)

An introduction. This is optional. If you can’t think of anything to put in an introduction, leave it out. Think of including an introduction if you want to tell your own story: how you came to get the information you’re about to share.

A “How To Use This Ebook” chapter or page. This can be short, or quite long. For example, if you’re writing a book on yoga, you could use this chapter to give four or five exercise routines, compiled from the various poses that you discuss in the rest of the book.

Chapters with problems and solutions. For example, if you were writing a book on dieting, you could write seven chapters all posing a typical problem, and then provide solutions for each problem.

The last chapter is the wrap-up. In this chapter you’ll want  give readers instructions on where they go from here, and you’ll also want to include an inspirational message.

A glossary is useful if it will be necessary for readers new to the subject area. For example, if your ebook contains a lot of industry jargon with which your reader is unfamiliar, give explanations of terminology here.

An index. I’m always disappointed when an otherwise excellent book, that I’ll be referring to again, omits an index. I know creating an index is a hassle, but if you think your readers will use it, then go the extra mile and include it.

There you have it. The bones of your ebook. With the skeleton in place, you’ll find it easy to write.

About the Author:

Writing a book? Author, journalist and copywriter Angela Booth has written novels and non-fiction for major publishers, and can help you write your book. Visit Digital eBiz and get Angela’s Writing to Sell in the Internet Age: the eBook