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100 Questions to Help You Write, Publish, and Sell Your Ebook

100 Questions to Help You Write, Publish, and Sell Your Ebook
    Photo credit: nuestraherenciaco (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Just a few years ago, if you wanted to be a published author you had to jump through a series of hoops involving literary agents and publishers. Then you faced a seemingly endless wait before your book finally hit the shelves.

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    Boy, how times have changed.

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    Now, if you have access to a computer you can write and publish an ebook and become a published author in a few short weeks.

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    However, a lot of people have set the goal of writing an ebook and yet they can’t seem to get started.

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    If you’re one of these people, it may very well be that all you need is to answer a series of important questions to help get your creative juices flowing. Doing this can also motivate you to take action.

    Below you’ll find 100 questions that will help you write, publish, and sell your ebook. I suggest that you take the time to sit down and answer each one.

    The 100 Questions

    1. Why do you want to write an ebook?
    2. What are some of the ways in which writing and publishing an ebook might help your business?
    3. How will you judge the success of your eBook?
    4. Will you write your ebook alone, or will you collaborate with someone else?
    5. Have you tried to write an ebook in the past, but failed? If so, why do you think you failed? What lessons did you learn from that failure?
    6. Have you chosen a topic that you’re passionate about?
    7. What is your deadline for publishing your ebook?
    8. How much time do you plan to devote to writing your eBook each day?
    9. How will you make the time to write your ebook?
    10. Do you have a strategy in place for dealing with procrastination?
    11. How long will your ebook be?
    12. Who are your ideal readers?
    13. What are some of your ideal readers’ characteristics?
    14. What is the specific problem that your ebook will solve for your ideal reader?
    15. What are some of the obstacles and/or challenges that your ideal reader has been confronting in relation to the subject matter of your ebook?
    16. Can you come up with ten questions your readers might be asking themselves about your topic (each question could correspond to a chapter in your ebook)?
    17. In what ways will your readers benefit when they implement the ideas in your ebook?
    18. Will you be offering any measurable results (such as lose five pounds in ten weeks, double your sales, or write an eBook in 30 days)?
    19. Do you have any special expertise in the area that you’re writing about? Is there any reason why you’re particularly credible (for example, you’re a nutritionist and you’re writing an ebook on how to lose weight)?
    20. What have you done to make sure that there’s a market for your ebook?
    21. Are you sure that there are people out there who are willing to pay for the information that you’re planning to include in your ebook?
    22. Are you giving people what they want, or what you think they want?
    23. Have you researched how much competition there is out there on your topic?
    24. Based on the law of supply and demand, is it worth the time and effort that it will take you to write the ebook?
    25. Of all the possible topics that you could be writing an ebook about, are you sure that you’ve chosen the best one?
    26. What keywords will you be targeting (for your ebook’s title, the domain name for your sales page, and your sales copy)? What are the keywords or keyword phrases that your target audience is likely to use when looking for information online on your topic?
    27. What keyword phrases are your competitors targeting?
    28. Have you broken down the process of writing an ebook into small chunks that you can knock down one at a time?
    29. Have you set interim deadlines to help you make sure that you’re going to meet your final deadline?
    30. Have you set a reward that you’re going to give yourself each time that you meet one of your interim deadlines?
    31. How will you keep yourself motivated as you write your ebook?
    32. Is there someone who can hold you accountable (someone who will make sure that you’re meeting all of your interim deadlines)?
    33. How do you intend to get ideas on what to write for your ebook?
    34. Have you already written ezine articles, blog posts, and so on that you can incorporate into the ebook?
    35. How do you plan to take notes as you conduct research for your ebook?
    36. Are you going to include anecdotes (examples from your own life or the life of others)?
    37. Can you explain concepts in a catchy way that will make people remember them (so that they’re more likely to apply them)?
    38. Will you include images and quotes?
    39. What are some examples out there of the type of ebook that you would like to write?
    40.  What are some of the ideas, strategies, tools, and tips that you intend to share in your eBook?
    41.  What are the titles of the leading books in your field?
    42. Have you read or at least skimmed the top five books in your field?
    43. What are some of the things in the leading books in your field that you agree with?
    44. What are some of the things in the leading books in your field that you disagree with?
    45. Do the books available cover your subject matter well? Is there a gap in these books?
    46. Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition that would make your ebook standout from the books that are already available on your topic?
    47. Why would a book buyer prefer your ebook over what’s already out there?
    48. How do you plan to organize your ebook? (For example, if you’re going to explain a series of steps, it makes sense if each step is explained in a separate chapter. As another example, you could answer the 100 most commonly asked questions in your field, and you could devote a page to each question and answer. As a last example, you could expose and debunk the top ten myths in your field, or offer ten tips to solve a particular problem. Again, each myth or tip could be a separate chapter.)
    49. Does each chapter in your ebook open with a hook that grabs your readers’ attention?
    50. Does each chapter in your ebook solve a particular problem related to your topic?
    51. Does each chapter clearly convey the information that your readers need? Is the information incomplete? Do any ideas need to be fleshed out further? Would an example make the ideas in the chapter easier to understand?
    52. Have you made sure that every chapter in your ebook serves a purpose and provides value?
    53. Have you expressed your ideas clearly?
    54. Are you making the reading experience enjoyable for your readers?
    55. Are you giving others credit when you use their ideas?
    56. Does each chapter have a title that’s clear, concise, and compelling?
    57. Is your subject too broad? Do you need to narrow it down?
    58. As you read each chapter, think of someone who has just had a meal. Are your readers still hungry; meaning that you didn’t answer their most important questions or you didn’t explain things clearly? Are your readers satisfied; meaning that you did a good job and your readers are happy with the amount of information that you provided? Are your readers uncomfortably full; meaning that the chapter is too long and complex?
    59. Do you have a title and subtitle in mind for your ebook?
    60. Have you put together a focus group to test your ebook’s title and subtitle?
    61.  Are you going to conduct interviews (for example, interview a successful internet marketer on how to conduct keyword research)?
    62. Are you going to conduct experiments (for example, teach your brother how to set up a blog and start making money in 60 days)?
    63. How do you plan to format your eBook?
    64. Are you going to include bonuses with your ebook?
    65. Will you include audio or video?
    66. Can you include spreadsheets or templates?
    67. Can you include checklists?
    68. Are you going to have exercises at the end of each chapter so that people apply what they learned in each chapter?
    69. Can you include worksheets?
    70. Have you put your first draft aside for a few days so that you can look at it again with fresh eyes?
    71. Do you have someone who can help you proofread your ebook to make sure that it doesn’t have any spelling or grammatical mistakes?
    72. How do you plan to compile your eBook (for example, .EXE or .PDF)?
    73. What file-formats will your ebook be available in? Which devices will your readers be able to use to read your eBook
    74. Are you going to create a cover yourself, or are you going to hire someone to do it for you?
    75. Are you going to send an advance copy of your ebook to a few people in order to get testimonials?
    76. Where will you sell your ebook?
    77. Do you currently have a platform (such as a blog) from which you can sell your ebook?
    78. Do you have a social media presence (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook)? If so, how do you plan to use social media in order to promote your ebook?
    79. Do you plan to build a Squidoo lens about your ebook?
    80. Do you plan to write ezine articles to promote your ebook? If so, which ezines will you be sending articles to?
    81. Will you be writing guest posts to promote your ebook (if so, what blogs will you be targeting)?
    82. Do you plan to participate in forums and leave comments on popular blogs about your topic in order to promote your ebook?
    83. Have you set any email alerts in order to track your topic?
    84. Are you going to offer free chapters of your ebook in order to entice people to buy your ebook?
    85. Are you going to offer a free mini-ecourse so that people are exposed to your message at least 7 times (marketers argue that people need to be exposed to your message 7 times before they’ll buy your product)?
    86. Can you begin to grow interest in your ebook while you’re writing it (publish excerpts or write blog posts that are related to your topic)?
    87. Will you be offering an affiliate program so that others sell your ebook for you?
    88. Are you going to set up a separate website to sell your ebook?
    89. Are you planning to buy the domain for your ebook’s title?
    90. Do you have a template for your sales page?
    91. Are you going to offer free coaching to those who buy your ebook (or free email support)?
    92. Are you going to offer a time-limited offer (such as offering your ebook at half price for a few days as soon as you launch it)?
    93. What’s your pricing strategy? Are you going to sell your ebook at the same price as your competition?
    94. Have you conducted a survey in order to determine what people would be willing to pay for your ebook?
    95. Are you going to have any back-end products?
    96. How will you deliver the ebook to those who purchase it?
    97. How will you be paid? What forms of payment will you accept?
    98. Will you get an ISBN?
    99. Are you going to offer a money-back guarantee?
    100. Are you planning to publish a hard copy version of your ebook?

    Now that you’ve answered these questions, you just might end up with the first draft of your ebook, along with a strategy detailing how you’re going to publish it — and then sell it.

    More by this author

    Marelisa Fabrega

    Marelisa is a lawyer and entrepreneur who blogs about creativity, productivity, and getting the most out of life.

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

    50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

    Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

    1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
    2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
    3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
    4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
    5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
    6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
    7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
    8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
    9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
    10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
    11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
    12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
    13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
    14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
    15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
    16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
    17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
    18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
    19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
    20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
    21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
    22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
    23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
    24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
    25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
    26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
    27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
    28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
    29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
    30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
    31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
    32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
    33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
    34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
    35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
    36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
    37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
    38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
    39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
    40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
    41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
    42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
    43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
    44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
    45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
    46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
    47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
    48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
    49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
    50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

    There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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    Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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