5 Non-Fiction eBook Writing Mistakes to Avoid
Writing a non-fiction eBook can be a challenge for all first-time authors. The success of a non-fiction eBook goes beyond just sharing your thoughts, advice or knowledge. There is a skill in writing non-fiction. More to the point there are some ‘easy to change’ mistakes that will help you improve your writing. I have listed the 5 mistakes below because I was guilty of them all when writing my first non-fiction eBook ten years ago.
Most successful non-fiction authors I have spoken to share some common traits. First of all, they write about a topic they love and have a passion for. This passion comes across in their writing. They can also turn a ‘boring’ topic into an exciting one by entertaining their audience through their writing. They also stay away from the long-winded sentences and technical jargon that can often be associated with some topics.
If you have already self-published your eBook and find that it is not selling well, then go back and see if you are guilty of one or more of the following mistakes. If so, you can easily make the required changes and re-upload your eBook again. If you have yet to publish your eBook then take the following advice on board and use it to help improve your writing.
Five Avoidable Non-fiction eBook Writing Mistakes
1. Your eBook is Not About You!
Remember that your eBook is not about you! It is about the unique information or advice that you are sharing with the reader. I may not always remember who the author was for an eBook I once read; however, I will often remember what they wrote.
Have a look back at the description or sales copy that you wrote to convince the person who went on to buy your eBook. Have you clearly answered all the questions you said you would? Have you shown the reader how to solve their problem? Have you provided unique information that is not what they could have found on the internet for free? Have you used examples or case studies to back-up your advice?
2. Don’t Bore Your Readers!
You must write to entertain and inform your reader at the same time. You don’t want your eBook to be like those old boring textbooks from high school. Yes, you may be providing the information the reader wants but you are making it painful for them to read due to the long-winded sentences and passive sentence construction.
This is where hiring a professional editor will assist you. They will highlight all the passive verbs (could, have, start to) used throughout your writing and provide you with feedback if you have overused them.
3. ‘Showing ‘ is Much better than Just ‘Telling!’
Use examples in your eBook to back up your views. Show your reader how to do something. Don’t just tell them. When you ‘show ‘ then you are engaging the reader and triggering a response that provides them with the confidence that in fact you do know what you are talking about.
When I want to learn a new computer skill I want someone to show me and not just tell me. I will learn that new skill much more quickly when shown. This is why video has become such a popular and powerful tool for showing someone how to do something.
4. Write a Compelling Story
If you believe in your knowledge and information then you will be confident in passing it on to others as you honestly believe it will answer their questions. You want to write a ‘compelling’ story to back up your facts or information.
Weight loss products and eBooks always provide a compelling story or testimonial to back-up their advice or product. Writing a compelling story is not the same as writing a sales copy. You have already sold the reader because they bought your eBook. Write to inform in a convincing way as it will show that you are confident in what you are showing them. The reader is likely looking at you as the expert so any sign of doubt in your advice will only confuse the reader.
5. Don’t try to ‘Big Talk’ Your Readers!
To clarify ‘Big Talk,’ I am referring to using big words and unnecessary jargon to try and impress your readers. Your eBook is not about you. Someone will read your non-fiction eBook because they want information to solve a problem, satisfy a need or want or to learn something new in a topic that is of interest to them.
When someone reads your eBook they want to understand every word. If they are sent running for the dictionary every page trying to find the meaning of a word you have used then it will drive them mad. Use simple and easy to understand words. If your eBook is starting to sound like a resume then you will lose your audience.
When you provide the reader with value for money and the information they required then you will have just won a loyal customer for life who will be more confident in buying future eBooks from you just because of you!
Most successful non-fiction authors already have a significant following before they publish their eBook. If you do not have an existing platform then you will likely not experience immediate sales of your eBook. Knowing this now should provide you with the motivation to start right now on building your author platform and connecting with those interested readers in your specific category.