How to Become a Non-Fiction eBook Writer


I love writing and selling non-fiction eBooks, especially those for the self-help area. Perhaps you too want to write your own non-fiction eBook, or a series of them and are unsure how to do so.

If so, the following tips will help you:

Have something to write about

This is the most important one and the most obvious too. However, without having a topic, you wouldn’t be able to write an eBook! Therefore, are you an expert in a particular field?

Perhaps you have a skill that you’ve developed and have been using for years (e.g. gardening or fixing cars) and you could help others by sharing your knowledge. It could even be your life story and a challenge you faced and overcame.

There are a whole host of non-fiction topics you could write about. Once you’ve chosen one, you’re ready to begin.

Have a goal for your eBook

After you know your topic, it’s important to think of why you’re writing a non-fiction eBook. What will your audience get from reading your eBook? Do you want to inspire, motivate, educate or train?

Having a goal will help you focus your writing on ensuring you deliver what it is you want to do for your readers.

Have self-belief

Writing a non-fiction eBook is not something that only others can do. You too can write one. Remember the old saying that “there is a book inside all of us”?

Besides, 5 years ago, I never thought I would write an eBook and this is exactly what I ended up doing. If I can, you can too.

Learn from other publishers

There are so many renowned publishers out there sharing their knowledge and experience on their blogs. You can learn a lot from them such as picking up tips about the writing process, including how to write and how often.

Or it could be to understand how to self-publish your work, create eBook covers, writing blurbs and how to market your eBooks. It might be learning about general insights in the publishing industry, and particularly the self-publishing one. Those publishers I recommend include the following:

David Gaughran

Joanna Penn

Dean Wesley Smith

Lindsey Buroker

Joe Konrath

Karen Woodward

Catherine Ryan Howard

Some of the publishers above write fiction. However, they’re still inspirational and motivational. It is up to you to decide how to apply what you learn from them to non-fiction writing.

Think like a business person

If you’re self-publishing your non-fiction eBook then you’re already an entrepreneur. Hence, remember to think like an entrepreneur when writing and marketing your non-fiction eBook.

Your eBook is a product, which will be bought by customers. Therefore, ensure you give your customers the best product possible. This means getting a professionally made cover design for your eBook and getting your writing professionally edited and proofread.

Get it into as many markets as you can

Amazon is the eBook daddy and it makes sense to self-publish your title through their Kindle Select Program. Doing so will get your non-fiction eBook into all of their global stores.

However, don’t stop there.

There are many other markets across the world, which you eBook can be sold to. Among others, these include Apple’s iTunes stores, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

You can actually get your titles into such stores by using a distribution service like Smashwords, who can also distribute your eBook to India’s Flipkart. Mark Coker, Smashword’s Managing Director, is a great guy, too.

The more places your eBook is in, the more likely it will be found.

Up your own marketing

If you don’t have one already, set up a blog, which you can use to share your writing experiences with other writers, who you can develop relationships up with, and will help to promote your work. You can do the same for them.

You can also use your blog as a platform for your fans to find you and you can update them on your eBook launches.

Keep writing more

As Dean Wesley Smith said recently, a writer’s career only ends when the writer stops writing. If you seriously want a career in writing, then keep writing more and more non-fiction eBooks!

My friends, it’s over to you:

• Have you written a non-fiction eBook? If so, what other tips can you share?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences, and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

Photo Credit: melenita2012

  1. Interesting post Hiten.

    I’ve written a book. But it’s free.

    I do have a few ideas for future books that I will charge for however. I notice that you sell many books. Is there any of these books that have dramatically outsold the others, and if so, how do you explain it?

    1. Hi Ludvig.

      I wish you the very best with your future books. If you would like to write a guest post at my blog at some point related to the topics of your book(s), then please do let me know. I would be delighted to have you over!

      Regarding my titles, two which have outsold the others considerably are Confidence With Women and Vipassana Meditation For Everyone. I think the reasons these two have been successful is because there are a lot guys who would like to improve the way they communicate with women, and also there are a lot of people out there interested in learning how to meditate in the Vipassana style.

      Many thanks for commenting, Ludvig and have a wonderful week ahead.

  2. Hi Hiten,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    I’ve yet to even start ‘thinking’ about writing an eBook, while I know so many of my blogging friend’s have already gone ahead and written so many of them already, which is commendable. I marvel at you dear friend for the amount you have written as is visible on the right hand said, and not to mention at the speed with which you write them…so fast!! How do you do it all? I wish you write a detailed post one day, so that we can all learn from it 🙂

    Loved the tips you shared – if you have a goal, aim, self-belief, and set a time limit to yourselves, you can do wonders. Of course, you need to know the know-how of how to do it all, but it becomes easy after that i think.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, my friend!

      It would be wonderful to see an eBook by you some day! 🙂 You have so much great advice and wisdom to share. Harleena, I definitely take on your board your question about the speed of my writing. Indeed, I’ve created another category on my blog, which is called ‘Publishing’ and I will use it to write more posts about eBooks. The next article I write for this category will be sharing some of my writing processes. Many thanks for asking about this!

      I really appreciate what you wrote about setting a time limit to ourselves when we’re writing. This is a very important tip and certainly does help with self-discipline.

      Many thanks for commenting and adding so much more to this post, Harleena! Have a wonderful week ahead! 🙂

  3. Thanks for this post. It’s helpful as I consider my eBook projects for the new year.

    1. Hi Jon,

      I’m really glad you found the post useful and I wish you the very best with your eBook projects this year.

      I hope you’ve had a great start to 2014! 🙂

  4. Hiten,
    Thanks for all this great advice!! I have my ebooks with kindle and smash words. Smashwords covers almost all the other types like Apple, B&N/Nook and Sony. Now I need to think like a business man and do better marketing! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Hi Betsy,

      I’m really glad you found the advice useful. Indeed, I think Smashwords is so helpful in getting our eBooks into so many different stores; a lot of them are all over of the world!

      All the best with marketing your eBooks, Betsy and many thanks for commenting! 🙂

  5. You’ve inspired me Hiten. Now to get it done. I like your idea of writing about publishing too. It’s one thing to write and another to get your piece ready to be published.

    1. Hi Elle,

      I’m so glad you found the post useful, my friend!

      Indeed, with self-publishing we really are responsible for the whole lot, from initial writing to publishing and then marketing. However, it certainly is a rewarding experience!

      Many thanks for commenting, Elle! 🙂

  6. Hey Hiten,

    I have done it – all of them related to blogging (but, I didn’t even finish most of them…I think I only finished two eBooks).

    Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to use it (I was trying to build an email list…without actually understanding why I need one..sure, I knew I could make money…but making money wasn’t one of my blogging goals, until now).

    I have been thinking about writing eBooks – definitely doing it this year (most likely on blogging related topics).

    While reading your post, I was thinking about writing a book on my philosophical ideas (and call it ‘the 20yr old Philosopher’ or maybe philosophy of 20 yr old :D). I spend a lot of time trying to answer existential questions, maybe an eBook could be stage for presenting those ideas (I am kind of nervous though…should I write such a book?).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this post, Hiten 🙂 I am getting other eBook ideas (I am going to forget them for now…I don’t want to deviate from our short term goals…focus on building the new blog first, and then think about writing an eBook).

    1. Hi Jeevan,

      It would be wonderful to see some eBooks from you and the idea you described about an eBook sharing your philosophy as a 20 year old sounds brilliant! Indeed, you ask such wonderful and thought-provoking questions. I think you should go for it, my friend! The world would be a better place with such an eBook!

      I love the planning you shared and being focused on building the blog. This sounds like a great thing to do first and then move onto other eBook ideas. However, I think you might be able to start writing your philosophy eBook in parallel while working on your blog. What do you think?

      Many thanks for joining the discussion, my friend and I hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

  7. So glad I found this page! There is a lot of great info I’m going to start reading immediately. Just in time for a project I’m finishing up! Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Welcome to the blog, and it’s so nice to see you here!

      I’m glad you found the post useful and many thanks for commenting, Melissa! 🙂

  8. Hello Hiten,

    I must sincerely thank you for this piece. I have a great book I sometimes wrote; this book really make waves offline. It is my honest believe that it will be well received online too…

    Just that I simply had no idea how to proceed!

    Thanks once again. Do have an awesome new year!


    1. Hi Terungwa,

      It’s wonderful to see you here, my friend and a very Happy New Year! I hope 2014 for you is full of good health, peace and success!

      I’m so glad you found this post useful and indeed, it sounds like it is time to take your successful offline book, online, through an eBook! I wish you the very best with this project!

      Many thanks for commenting and for adding more value to this post, Terungwa!

  9. Great information here, Hiten. I’ve written a couple of free ebooks and one for sale. I’m in the process of creating another one, so I’m very interested in your topic. Congrats on all your ebooks! That is quite an accomplishment.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I’m really glad you found the information useful, my friend!

      It’s great to hear about the current eBook you’re working on and I look forward to when you’ve completed it! Many thanks for your kind words of congratulations, Cathy. I really appreciate it.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  10. Thanks for the encouraging post on writing, and the really handy links and tips. We (my partner and I) have jointly written a number of e-books, placed only on Amazon at the moment, although we are looking at expanding it to other ‘stores’.
    The most amazing thing for me about the e-book returns is how it becomes a great passive (an over-rated description, but true nonetheless) income generator.
    We have never actually pushed/marketed the books at all, but somehow they find their way to readers.
    If anyone is thinking of writing an e-book – I’d definitely recommend it.

    1. Hi Li-ling,

      Welcome to the blog and I’m really glad you found the post useful.

      Your eBook projects with your partner certainly do sound exciting, and indeed you’re right, they can become a wonderful income generator.

      I can really appreciate the point you made about not having to market your books. Amazon can help so much in this regards. I guess the site just gets huge amounts of traffic with large amounts of people looking for new eBooks to read.

      Many thanks for commenting, Li-ling! Hope you’re having a good week! 🙂

  11. Hi Hiten,

    No doubt that such topic fits your well. You have an impressive amount of books on personal development here. Very, impressive, indeed!

    I have written over a dozen of eBooks, including two that I was selling few years ago. Right now I’m completing the editing of a writing tutorial for my writing blog which will be free.

    I have started a personal development book that I want to have published but it’s been sitting uncompleted for a while now. However, I know that I will write this book. I must.

    Thank you for this encouragement to write. Writing is such a wonderful thing!

    Have a very happy new year and hope to get to know you better as a blogger and pro of the personal development world.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      It’s wonderful to see you here and many thanks for your comment.

      Thanks very much for sharing your experiences with writing and publishing eBooks. It sounds like you have an impressive number of eBooks, too and hope you get back to writing your most recent book. I’m really looking forward to it!

      I agree, writing is a wonderful thing. Sometimes I find it hard to stop!

      A very Happy New Year to you, and I’m looking forward to continuing to follow you, and connecting with you further. Hope you’re having a great week!

  12. Hi hiten
    This one hugely helpful post.I have not yet written an e book,yet i personally rate anyone who has written an e book as a great person.We all nurture an ambition to write a book,and so do I.That’s why I have carefully stored your e post in my repository.
    Thanks for a lovely post.

    1. Hi Mona,

      I’m so glad you found the post useful! Indeed, there is a book in all of us and the world wants to read it! I wish you the very best with your book!

      Many thanks for commenting, Mona!

  13. Great advice Hiten – I especially like your point about developing a business mindset about writing books. Another suggestion for those who find they enjoy the process and plan to write more books is to keep working your digital back list. One of the perks of writing digital (eBooks) is they are so easy to update. As you learn and continue to develop your writing skills over time it’s a good idea to periodically go back and do a little polishing on your earlier tomes to make sure they’re up to your current standards – plus it gives you something to new to promote. For example I’ve just completed a major update for my first book (one of my bestsellers) and am working on a relaunch promotion that will coincide with the launch of a new blog next month. Thanks or the inspiration!

    1. Hi Marty,

      You shared some wonderful advice in your comment, my friend.

      I loved what you said about continuing to work on the titles we’ve already published. As you say, one of the benefits of publishing our own work is that we can go back to our writing and keep on improving it.

      I’m really looking forward to the relaunch of your bestseller and your new blog! Many thanks for commenting , Marty and have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Good point Hiten,

    I think one of the crucial things about being a non-fiction author is that you have to believe that the things you want to write has value.
    A lot of people give up on the first hurdle due to the lack of belief that the things they write will be accepted.
    Mindset is definitely an important part of it.
    Great article my friend. Keep it up!

    1. Hi Onder,

      What you wrote about having the right mindset to help us with non-fiction writing is a wonderful tip. Many thanks for sharing. Your comment got me thinking of a related point. We need to really believe in our non-fiction work in order for readers to believe it can help them.

      Many thanks for sharing some wonderful insights, my friend.

  15. Great thoughts Hiten.

    Self-publishing can give anyone the potential to earn a living through writing. I launched my first paid book last year and plan on releasing a couple other books this year. I think the key is to persevere and keep writing through all of the different seasons of life. Great post!

  16. Hten,

    From a guy who makes a living from non-fiction ebook sales, I would have to say you make some great points of the important points behind successful ebook sales.

    I would add a couple.

    1, The more you do, the better you do. eBook sales can be a catalog business. If you write quality stuff, people are far more likely to want to read MORE from you on accociated topics. When you have a larger catalog, this can mean a lot more sales.

    2. It takes some money to “do it right”. I pay a professional editor and graphic designer for every book. While this may not be “necessary”, spending the money to increase the overall professionalism can also increase sales, imo.

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