Skills You Need to Create and Sell Your E-Book

See also: Writing Skills

When you have an idea for a book in the back of your mind, it's all you can think about. It simmers gently for a while, filling your free thoughts with new details and storylines before it ever reaches a boiling point. All the while, your fingers itch with the need to get your story down on paper, on the computer and out into the hands of readers.

Many writers feel this way as they begin a new book project, no matter what genre they write for. It's exciting to have a whole book in your head that you want to share with people, but it's also a major process to get it from start to finish. A crucial part of getting your book across the finish line will be deciding whether to self-publish or go with a publishing house. Because self-publishing is faster, many authors choose to do just that, but it's not always right for everyone.

Read on to learn what skills you need to create and sell your e-book. With the right skills and ideas, you can get your book out to the world and make your dreams come true. Just make sure before you start that you're on the right path for both you and the content you want to create.

1. Have Lots of Dedication

While there are some significant differences between writing an e-book and writing a book that's intended for print, you still need to have lots of dedication to focus on your writing.

Many people call themselves writers, but not everyone has the skill to be able to shut out the world and write what's on their mind and in their heart. You can practice and develop this skill by setting aside 15 minutes every day to do just that. The world can wait a few minutes while you pursue your dreams.

2. Know Social Media

One of the key things you can do to bring awareness to your e-book is to know how to use social media.

If you can tweet and Facebook like it's second nature, you'll be able to build an online presence easily. It's not enough to have your personal profiles available for readers to look up. Your book itself will need profiles to update readers on how the writing is going, what part of the publishing process you're in and what they can expect as a launch date. You'll be creating a brand to help readers identify with the book before they ever open it.

3. Learn How to Talk

Although the world functions mostly online now, you'll still need to do a lot of in-person networking in your local community if this will be your first experience in getting published.

Learn how to talk with businesses that sell books to see if they'll do a reading or meet-the-author event so you can interact with people and give out copies of your book. That personal presence will be important to build a connection with readers and get a buzz around your book.

4. Educate Yourself in Marketing

Once you've got your social media following going, you'll need to educate yourself in marketing, so your followers never feel like you've gone dark.

Post regularly at peak times of the day for people to be online. Follow other writers and join groups to introduce yourself to complete your first step into the world of literary marketing.

One place you may be able to find help is in indie book-stores. They're the small, independent, usually family-owned book-stores that aren't part of a chain brand. They'll be more willing to talk with you and work out some time for you to have an author's event because they're smaller and don't have a corporate schedule. It is an excellent way to establish relationships with businesses that can be there to support and supply your book long-term.

5. Be a Little Artistic

When you're creating your book online, you're going to have to be a little artistic, too.

You'll have to know what it takes to design a book layout, for both the interior and exterior. While the interior layout remains consistent on each page, the cover is what's going to catch the eye of potential readers.

If you're not naturally artistic, this may be one area where you should trust your book to a publisher instead. They'll have whole teams and departments ready to make your book look the best it can be.

It's not impossible to design a great book cover on your own, but for those who don't know which colors look good together or how to tie in your themes to a cover jacket, you'll want to think about pitching your book to a publishing house.

6. Adapt to Change

No one is going to write and publish an e-book perfectly, so always be flexible with adapting to change.

Your initial thoughts on how to run your blog or talk with local businesses may not work out as smoothly as you thought they would. Nothing in the world gets to be perfect without practice! Take a step back from your process, and don't be afraid to ask yourself what you could do differently. You'll be able to develop more skills and refine what you're good at to become an even better author and self-advocate in the publishing world.

7. Have Patience Always

Writing an e-book will take time, and so will selling it or giving it away.

Unless you started your writing process with a major following online or a large presence in your community, you're going to be building everything from scratch. That doesn't happen overnight! It's OK to take your time with things. It's what every writer has to do when they're writing an e-book.

Give yourself grace in those moments where you're frustrated. You could feel like you're not writing fast enough, building your social media or visiting enough businesses to spread the word about your upcoming book. Embrace the organic process of putting together the book of your dreams.

Whether you self-publish or work with a publishing house, you're going to go through different drafts and stages to get to the finished product. It'll be worth it in the end, because you'll be able to be proud of the book you've accomplished.

About the Author

Kayla Matthews is a productivity writer and self-improvement blogger. You can find her work on The Huffington Post, MakeUseOf, Tiny Buddha and The Muse.