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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.

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    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 August 20, 2019

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

    In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

    5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

    Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

    1. Be Clear About the Objectives

    Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

    It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

    Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

    2. Keep Them Realistic

    It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

    It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

    3. Account for Inflation

    Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

    Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

    For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

    4. Short Term vs Long Term

    Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

    As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

    More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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    5. To Each to His Own

    The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

    It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

    By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

    11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

    • Ensuring healthy savings
    • Making smart investments

    You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

    Ensuring Healthy Savings

    Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

    This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

    1. Track Expenses

    The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

    Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

    2. Pay Yourself First

    Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

    Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

    The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

    Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

    3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

    Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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    Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

    At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

    Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

    You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

    4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

    Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

    If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

    Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

    All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

    5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

    In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

    Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

    Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

    If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

    If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

    So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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    6. Talk About It

    Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

    Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

    7. Maintain a Journal

    For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

    So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

    Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

    When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

    At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

    Making Smart Investments

    Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

    8. Consult a Financial Advisor

    Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

    Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

    9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

    Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

    Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

    Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

    It is here where that classification will help.

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    So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

    10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

    Einstein once remarked about compounding,

    Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

    So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    11. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

    If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

    Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

    As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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