How to write a non-fiction e-book

A new series on self-publishing e-books. Coming soon: How to market your e-book | The most successful self-published business books

Last time, we told you the wealth of opportunities there are in making money writing and self-publishing your own e-book.

Self-publishing on platforms like Kindle mean that you don’t have to rely on a book deal, it’s free, you can write about anything, and you’re in control of the entire process. The e-book market is growing at a phenomenal rate, now selling in the millions each year.

Now you know the advantages that can be had, read on to learn how to write your own non-fiction e-book.

Choosing a topic

Choose your target market carefully – choose a topic that will sell, but don’t pick a saturated subject area where lots of competition already exits, or one that is dominated by big names already.
Choose a subject area that you’re interested in or something you already know a lot about – you’ll appreciate it once you start spending hours writing about your topic, and it will also help you to write with a passionate and unique voice.
Make your topic specific and useful. What kind of questions do people ask about your subject area? Look at sites like and see which queries come up a lot. If you have a blog already, what do your followers comment on the most?

Research and planning

Read blogs and similar e-books related to your topics, as well as using alternative research methods to set you apart, such as interviews.
Make sure you check your facts – if you establish yourself as a voice of authority on your topic, you may be able to write a follow-up.
Establish a key theme or message. It’s important to know what your conclusion will be. The rest of your chapters should clearly build up to making your conclusion.
Write a list in order of the topics you will cover. These will be your chapters. For each chapter, write around five bullet points.
Now you can organise your research into these bullet-pointed sections and start writing to fill in the gaps.
You can make the writing process easier by planning how you will organise each point you want to make. One way to do this is to use the PEE rule. Each paragraph you write should have a Point, Explanation and an Example.


Start a writing routine. Set a time aside each time that works for you and stick to it, whether it’s first thing in the morning, on your daily commute, or after you’ve put the kids to bed every night. Create a distraction-free environment.
Create a schedule that breaks your e-book into manageable chunks. If you want to write a 20,000 word e-book, that can seem like a daunting task. If you write 1000 words a day without fail, you’ll be done in 20 days.
When you’re writing the first draft, don’t edit as you go. Just get the words down and perfect your grammar and sentence-structure later. One good way to get into the writing flow is to think about your target audience and write as if you’re talking to them.


Congratulation, you’ve got your first draft. Now it’s time to go over and make it ready for publishing. Before you begin re-drafting, take a few days’ break where you don’t look at your work. This way you can come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Take time to reorganise any confusing paragraphs or sentences. Read it as if you are your target audience. Is there any missing information?
One you’ve polished up your wording, give it to someone else to read and work through his or her feedback.
Now your e-book is ready to publish! But before you do that, you need to think about how you’re going to persuade your target audience to read it. Your marketing campaign is vital to your success as an independent author. Next time, we’ll tell you how to create a marketing campaign that works.