Productivity amid COVID-19 lockdown
When the Coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown began, I thought it would only last for a few days; I did not expect the world to shut down for a prolonged period that we are now seeing. My thought was that a vaccine or cure would be found, and that life will soon go back to normal. Little did I know that the Covid-19 lockdown will keep me at home for seven weeks and still counting. The first week was like a vacation for me because I was working from home, and it relieved me of the stress of commuting to the office. As the second week of lockdown rolled by, I was already getting bored, because there was nothing much to do after work, except to watch the TV.
I could not just continue to sit idly by, so I set a goal to publish an eBook within 30 days. I thought it would be a great accomplishment to be able to produce something that I can look back on as an achievement during the lockdown, stay home period. I did it; I wrote an eBook with over 18,000 words in 30 days.! If you have been thinking of writing a book, but are not sure of how to start, I want you to know that it is doable.
In this piece, I will be sharing the step by step guide and my strategy for writing and publishing an eBook within 30 days. To make it easy to follow, I have broken down the tasks into five different stages with action plans to ensure that you get it done. If you have been wishing or planning to write a book, consider this, your go-to guide for publishing made easy.
STAGE 1: RESEARCH — DAY 1 to DAY 3:
- Choose your eBook Category: Anyone can publish a book, but to make sure people will pick up and read your book, you need to start by researching the market. The research will reveal interesting and viable subjects areas that you can write about, and that people will want to read. There are various categories of books, such as; education, business, travel, food & nutrition, parenting, fictional stories, thriller, self-help, or children’s books.
If you want to make some passive income from your book, make sure that you include some market study in your research. The top question that you want to answer here is; how many people will want to read the book? Who are your target readers? The more your potential readers are, the higher your chances of selling large numbers of the book.
To get started with the research, head on to Amazon, and navigate to the book page. You will see the various categories of books on amazon. I reference amazon because they have the largest database of online book in the world.
Here are some questions you should consider as you are reviewing the different categories:
- Which category are you most passionate about?
- In which category do you have the most knowledge about?
- Which category falls under the top 10 that readers want to read?
You should pick a category that you are passionate and knowledgeable about before you set out to write your book. You can search for the top 10 selling categories of books. The reason for this is to enable you to cast a wide net so that you can find a subject area where you may have some expertise. The upfront research will save you the disappointment of getting stuck in the middle, and not being able to complete the book, as well as the pain of publishing books that no one wants to read.
2. Create your idea bank: You have done your research, you have identified three categories that you can write about, the next step is to generate idea bank. Your book provides a platform for you to share your knowledge, story, and experience with your readers. Therefore, you should come up with several topics that you can confidently write about within the three categories that you have selected. I like writing on the self-help category, and within those categories, there are numerous subjects such as career management, time management, leadership development, money management, communication skills, personal development. If you want to write about money, for example, you can break it further down to topics like:
- How to generate passive income
- Debt management
- Financial independence
You should come up with at least three different ideas that you can write about in the category that you chose.
The next thing is to convert the ideas into a title that will sell. Here again, you need to do your research, and there are tools available to help you. You can either go to Amazon or use google to create your title. The way to do it is to type your idea in the search bar on these websites, and several topics will pop up. For example, if you type “How to make money” the result will bring several books and articles which can guide you to know what people are really looking for when they are searching for how to make money. Some of the titles that you will get includes:
- How to make money in the stock market
- Real estate investing
- How to make money online
- How to make a living with your writing
- How to generate passive income
You will then use those titles as a guide for your eBook. You should also not forget to add a subtitle. The subtitle should be a summary of what the readers will learn from reading your book. I usually come up with 1 to 3 subtitles, and I ask people in my community for their opinion on which title appeal most to them.
STAGE 2: PREPARATION — DAY 4 to DAY 7:
3. Table of content: During this stage, you are getting ready to start writing your book, but we need to come up with a table of content to help you organize your thoughts. eBooks can have between 5 to 10 chapters, depending on how you want to arrange your content. To write your table of content, you should put in mind to what you promise your readers, as written in your book title. You should then break down the promise into sections that will be presented in your book chapters. You can start with a step by step approach whereby you take your readers through a chronological order of what they need to do to deliver the promise of the book. Or you can just continue to write out ideas as they come to you and later sort everything in a more organized format.
If you are having difficulty coming up with your table of content, you can also leverage other books that are similar to what you plan to write and study the way they organize their content.
I am not saying you need to copy exactly what others have done before; the idea here is to get inspiration from other people that have written books in your chosen category.
It is always possible to change your table of content anytime during the writing process, as some other ideas come to you.
STAGE 3: BOOK WRITING — DAY 8 to DAY 22:
4. Develop a writing routine: Whenever you are writing, you are engaging your mental faculty to think creatively in order to create something. To be effective and efficient with your writing, you need to create a writing routine. When is the best time for you to write, what conditions must be available for the ideas to flow freely to you? You need to develop and stick to a routine, and since writing is a mental task, you should avoid things that will distract and take away your attention as much as possible.
I have made it a habit to write every Saturday morning, I typically get up from bed early in the morning, and I will start writing till about noon. (I can crank up to 5,000 within 4 to 5 hours depending on the topic that I am writing on. If you are the type that is most efficient in the morning, try to schedule your time such that you are writing when you are most productive. An average ebook has about 15,000 words, and if you plan your time properly, you can write 15,000 words within two weeks. Here is about to create a schedule to write 15,000 words in two weeks:
@1,100 words per day will produce about 15,000 words in 14 days
@1,500 words per day will produce 15,000 words in 10 days
@2,000 words per day, you will be able to complete 15,000 words within 8 days.
Pick what works for you and stick with a schedule. It is also a good idea to set a deadline for writing your book; otherwise you may not be able to have everything completed within the target date.
Here are some distractions that you need to avoid:
- Turn off your phone
- Avoid distractions from social media
- Turn off your phone
- Isolate yourself from kids/friends/family.
- Turn off noise or any sound that may distract you.
Here are some ways to make the writing comfortable for you
- Ensure you have good lighting,
- Make sure you have a comfortable chair and table to write on.
- Establish the ideal temperature where you are writing — not too hot, not too cold.
STAGE 4: POST -WRITING — DAY 23 to DAY 28:
5. Put your team together: You can write alone, but to publish your work will require some team effort. Having a good team can lead to success with your book. The world of self-publishing has made writing and publishing a book a lot easier, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t need to have a group of people to help you with your work. Here are some of the people you need:
- Professional Editor, to help you edit and proofread your book to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors.
- Graphic designer: You need one to help you design your book cover page, to make sure it is very attractive to the reader.
- Your community, these are potential people that may want to buy your book, it will be a good idea to let them take a read of a part of your book, maybe the first chapter of your book, so that they may be able to give you some feedback on the book.
You should outsource these services to competent professionals so that you can get good products. You don’t want to publish your book and later discover that there are errors in your book.
STAGE 5: PUBLISHING — DAY 28 to DAY 30:
6. Publish your ebook: Great job. You are now at the final stage of publishing your eBook. Publishing an eBook has never been easier. All you need to do is to head on to Amazon website and create a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, and within 48 hours after publishing, your book will be available on Kindle stores worldwide.
Follow the steps below to publish your eBook on Amazon KDP.
- Create your profile on Amazon KDP if you don’t already have one.
- Once you are able to log in, under “Create a New Title,” click “+ Kindle eBook.”
- Add your eBook details — title, subtitle, author, short description, keywords, Categories, and Age range.
- Upload your content — Add the book cover, add required details, and set pricing.
- Click Publish
Congratulations, you have successfully published your eBook.
Don’t forget, publishing is not the final stage in the process of writing and selling a book. You also need to market your eBook so that you can grow your reach and sell to many more people.