How I Wrote and Published an eBook in Under 30 Days

Did you know I wrote an eBook? It’s called Embrace Yourself: How to Recognize the Power Within and Let It Shine!



It’s a personal development book about embracing who and where you are in order to free yourself from the cage of worry and doubt and insecurity around the past. If you’re interested in that sort of awesomeness, you can access the first chapter for below or purchase the full book (eBook or paperback available) in the shop!

 
 


So… on to writing your own eBook!

I want to note that because personal development, self-love, and overcoming self-doubt were topics I was super familiar with and have been studying for years, I had very little research to do on my book and that made it much easier to wrap up the entire book in less than 30 days! If you need to do some hefty research, I’d add a week or two into your time line to get all of your ducks in a row.


BUT even though I knew the topic well… this quick eBook creation didn’t happen without strategy!


The first thing I did was determine the audience for my book. Ultimately, I wrote it for people who, like me, have overcome a lot of hardship, but struggle to feel like they’ve done “enough” to be truly free from the past struggles and insecurities. We’re always working to improve and even with how far we’ve come, we struggle to rest and be satisfied with our present selves in the moment. That’s the problem I am solving, and I’m hoping to reach young women with my message.


I had this clearly in my mind before I wrote a word, and I recommend you do the same! It will save you a lot of trouble in the editing process!


Next, I decided what exactly I wanted to write about.

I narrowed my topic down from self-love in general to embracing yourself fully for the purpose of recognizing your own power. That’s pretty specific!

eBooks tend to be more direct so it’s important to really know what you want to get across to readers and make your message clear.

(This is where if you’re hoping to share something in less than 30 days, you’ll want it to be a topic you’re excited about spending a lot of time with and that you’re already familiar with. When your topic is broad and has a lot of loose ends, you’ll lose time tying those loose ends up!)


Finally, I started the content!
Step one? Outline!

I wrote an outline with clear sections and a breakdown of each chapter.


I knew I wanted to create a course to go with my book, and I prefer to work in 8 week courses, so I went with 8 chapters for my eBook, and in each chapter I wanted to tell a story, share some facts, include inspirational chatting, and offer journal prompts.


With my outline in place, I started writing!

Everything before this point took about 3 days, while balancing work and family!

I actually wrote most of the content in the next couple of days, and then spent the rest of the month editing the book and formatting it!


A step you can take (and that I recommend) is to run it by an editor!


Even if it’s just a friend or a low-budget freelancer, it can be so helpful to have a second set of eyes. We can’t always catch mistakes in our own writing and working with an editor can help you improve your writing in the long term as well. I work with freelance editors on Upwork all the time (in fact, I AM a freelance editor on Upwork and I have so much fun with them- if you’d like me to edit your eBook, shoot me an email at info@lilacsinparadise.com and we’ll talk)!


I budgeted 10 days for my editor to do her part because I didn’t need a word-by-word edit so much as a general proofreading. If you want someone to comb through every word and suggest major changes, you’ll need to budget a little more time or plan on paying more to accommodate the deadline.

Before hiring someone on Upwork, be sure to chat with them a little bit. If they want to know what your content is before starting (they ask you for a sample, for example), that’s a great sign! It shows that they are thoughtful and plan out their work carefully rather than just accepting any project that earns them a couple bucks.


As a freelancer on Upwork establishes themselves, they’ll have more profile ratings and reviews. They should also have a portfolio for you to consider when you’re deciding who to hire.


To post the job, you simply make an Upwork account as a client and share your project with a clear title and budget. Freelancers will apply and you can interview them before making a decision.


Note: this post isn’t sponsored in any way! I’m just a fan of Upwork! I’ve found it to be a super useful resource both as a blogger and as a freelancer. It’s a great community of clever people who are great at what they do!

So your book is ready?

What about the cover?

There are lots of options for creating a cover. You can pay someone to do it- Upwork is another good resource to find people for this.

You can also create your own cover for free using Canva! This is what I did.

Be sure to use quality photographs if you’re including a photo for your cover. (This is one lesson I learned the hard way- I wish I’d left my cover more simple! But I used a painting of my sister’s and it still came out looking beautiful. I just would have liked a more sleek, professional look!)


If you publish through Lulu (more on that below), they’ll design a very simple cover for you as well, so that’s always an option!

How the publishing process works…

So, I’m still learning my way through traditional publishing!

This post is about self-publishing, which is super convenient and simple.


If you’d like to publish your book traditionally… Here’s what I do know:

Check out the 2018/2019 Writers Market- a new version comes out every year with lists of publishers and agents, which genres they publish, and how to submit proposals to them. Start submitting! Once I learn my way around that industry, I’ll come back and do an updated post!


As for self-publishing:


There are lots of options! The two I looked into were directly through Amazon, and on Lulu. I ended up working with Lulu. Both have very helpful guides and FAQs to get you started.


Ultimately, I stuck with Lulu and had an excellent experience. I published my book as both paperback and eBook.

It was available immediately as an eBook and the paperback version was available as soon as I received my proof copy (to make sure everything looked right!) and approved it.

It takes 5-14 days for a book to arrive when purchased on Lulu, which is obviously a bit longer with Amazon, but I prefer to sell directly from my website anyway so I tend to order myself quite a few copies and then ship them directly- that way I always have some in stock and my customers never have to wait.


Where will the book be sold?

It takes a couple weeks for the major book stores and Amazon to approve the format of your book (you’ll have an ISBN and your metadata need to match a specific format- if you don’t know what those are, don’t worry! The self-publishing guides for both Lulu and Amazon break it down in plain terms). Once they are approved, your book will sell on Amazon and from all sorts of other book seller’s websites. It doesn’t go to shelf in most stores, but if you sold a lot of copies you could definitely request it be sold at the larger book stores! Sometimes local book stores will sell to support local authors as well, so that’s worth looking into.


I’m not sure how Amazon sets it up, but with Lulu I was able to clearly set the price for my book with each retailer and see what my profit would be off each copy sold. I never had to interact with the outside sellers at all, it just gets done and sent out and I end up with a check each quarter for any book sales.


So there you have it!!

If you’ve been looking for some help with your eBook, I invite you to reach out to me via email and we can talk about eBook services. I do cover design, formatting, ghostwriting, and editing! I’d love to be a part of your writing journey.


I hope this has been helpful! If you have questions, let me know in the comments below! And if you’ve published an eBook of your own, please share it in the comments below. I love to see what you guys are up to!


Until tomorrow,


Jessica | Lifestyle + Blog Coach