by Joe Wallace
So you want to write an e-book about freelance writing, eh? Many have tried their hand at e-books in every type of topic. I’ve read plenty of them–how to break into specific niche markets as a writer, DJ, how to win at the stock market, how to do this and that…in almost every case these e-books fall flat in one major area.
Almost without exception, every e-book I have read fails in the most important area–giving SPECIFIC ADVICE. The way to make money writing e-books is to guide your reader in specific, detailed ways. Don’t presume to teach someone how to do something without actually teaching them how to do it.
It’s simply not enough to say “create a marketing plan and sell yourself as a writer” in your e-book. No DUH. It’s also not enough to tell someone “Consult a tax expert to make sure you don’t get screwed at tax time.” There’s no value in that “advice” since the reader is still left wondering about important questions–and many times the author has sold the book on the strength of answering those questions.
Instead, you need to spell out in specific detail WHAT to do. “Create a marketing plan by doing X, Y, and Z” is what you need to write. “Ask a tax expert to explain the difference between your personal tax deductions and your business expense deductions, and when you are allowed to take each and when.” Failure to give specific advice leaves your reader feeling cheated, like they bought into your ad hype but found the author unable to deliver.
When you read my headline, you expected to read some specific advice about how to make money writing freelance advice e-books. Instead what you got was some extremely targeted advice about what to write. Now consider what you are thinking and feeling right this moment when you realize that the information I put in my headline–the hype–does NOT match the content of the article.
What you do not want is for your reader to feel the way you are feeling right now about the failure to deliver on the promise of the hype. And that’s the most important thing I can impart about how to make money writing e-books. Don’t screw the reader and you WILL make money.