3 Pillars of Highly Effective Ebooks

by Chris O'Byrne on June 1, 2011

Resources:

Simplify Your Writing 

Chris O’Byrne, page who happens to be my brother and mentor in the ebook biz, troche wrote a concise article on simplifying writing. He practices simplicity in his lifestyle and writing. Here’s what he has to say:

How to Simplify Your Writing

Many people feel that writing eloquently in flowery language with many words is the best way to sound like they’re a “writer.” The truth is usually the opposite. The more concisely and simply that you write and the fewer words you use to get your point across, the better and more effective your writing is. Here’s an example:

I told her that I just felt she would really be considered to be much, much more of an expert if she read up on the subject before she attempted to carry forth a discourse on the subject at hand.

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? However, the reader will better understand what you’re trying to say if you wrote this:

I told her she would sound smarter if she actually knew what she was talking about.

Take the time to self-edit and make your writing cleaner by removing words such as just, really, and up. Don’t use words like much and very more than once and avoid them unless they’re necessary. Read your writing aloud to actually hear what it sounds like and please take the time to make your writing cleaner, simpler, and effective.

Zen and Mind Mapping

I read an inspiring article recently by Chuck Frey called How To Achieve Zen-like Simplicity When Writing. In it he talks about ordinary writing and how to write with clarity using mind mapping.

For more information on mind mapping, take a look at The Mind Mapping Software Blog.

You can use software or for a simpler method, just get a blank page journal and do it yourself.

Minimizing Your Writing Work Space

Unclutterer.com is a blog about “getting and staying organized. A place for everything and everything in its place is our gospel.” I like having special things around me but in my workspace I prefer orderliness so I can get more done and avoid distractions. If you feel the same way, or wish you did, you might want to read some of their blog entries. One that I found particularly helpful is Creating a minimalist workspace – from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. He writes that “an uncluttered workspace is a thing of beauty” and I have to agree. He tells you how to create an uncluttered workspace that fits your needs.

Recognition:

Since I’m talking about simplicity, Zen and minimal writing, I would like to introduce you to someone who is an expert in the minimalist lifestyle:

Joshua Becker and Becoming Minimalist

Joshua’s blog, Becoming Minimalist, is one of the country’s most popular websites on minimalism and simple living reaching over 100,000 monthly visitors. His story has been seen on the CBS Evening News, the Huffington Post, National Public Radio, the Guardian, and countless others media outlets around the world. His previous book, Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life, spent 12 days as the #1 Self-Help book on Amazon in November 2011. His most recent book, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness is written to encourage students and young adults to live more life by owning fewer possessions. He lives in Peoria, AZ with his wife and two young children.

We have written three books. The first two were self-published (and the Ebook Editor was incredibly helpful during the process). For the most recent book, we chose to use a traditional publisher. All three books carry the same message: There is more joy to be found in owning fewer possessions than can be found in pursuing more. But each of these

addresses the topic from a completely different vantage point. Our first book, Simplify, encourages families to embrace the seven principles needed to declutter their homes and lives. Our second book, Inside-Out Simplicity, begins to journey inward and addresses some of the heart and soul issues necessary to fully embrace a simplified life. Our third and most recent project, Living With Less, is written for students and young adults. It also chooses to address the invitation of simplicity for a distinct Christian viewpoint.

We embraced a simple, minimalist lifestyle only 4 years ago. Up until that point, we were living a pretty typical suburban lifestyle. One Saturday afternoon while cleaning out my garage, I was mentioning to my neighbor how much time and energy was being required of me to simply manage my possessions (not even considering all the time I’ve spent just earning the money to buy all of them). My neighbor’s response changed our lives forever. She said, “Well maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff.” And a rational minimalist was born. Since that conversation we have worked hard to “promote the things in life we most value and remove everything that distracts us from it.” And we’ve never regretted making that decision.

Inspiration: 

Simplicity. Making changes in our life that leads to more simplicity will cut down on stress, wasted time and distractions. When our life is uncluttered by things it will be reflected in what we produce and the way we live.

Here are some quotes on simplicity:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher

“One should use common words to say uncommon things.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

 

 

 

 

 
Resources:

Simplify Your Writing 

Chris O’Byrne, page who happens to be my brother and mentor in the ebook biz, troche wrote a concise article on simplifying writing. He practices simplicity in his lifestyle and writing. Here’s what he has to say:

How to Simplify Your Writing

Many people feel that writing eloquently in flowery language with many words is the best way to sound like they’re a “writer.” The truth is usually the opposite. The more concisely and simply that you write and the fewer words you use to get your point across, the better and more effective your writing is. Here’s an example:

I told her that I just felt she would really be considered to be much, much more of an expert if she read up on the subject before she attempted to carry forth a discourse on the subject at hand.

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? However, the reader will better understand what you’re trying to say if you wrote this:

I told her she would sound smarter if she actually knew what she was talking about.

Take the time to self-edit and make your writing cleaner by removing words such as just, really, and up. Don’t use words like much and very more than once and avoid them unless they’re necessary. Read your writing aloud to actually hear what it sounds like and please take the time to make your writing cleaner, simpler, and effective.

Zen and Mind Mapping

I read an inspiring article recently by Chuck Frey called How To Achieve Zen-like Simplicity When Writing. In it he talks about ordinary writing and how to write with clarity using mind mapping.

For more information on mind mapping, take a look at The Mind Mapping Software Blog.

You can use software or for a simpler method, just get a blank page journal and do it yourself.

Minimizing Your Writing Work Space

Unclutterer.com is a blog about “getting and staying organized. A place for everything and everything in its place is our gospel.” I like having special things around me but in my workspace I prefer orderliness so I can get more done and avoid distractions. If you feel the same way, or wish you did, you might want to read some of their blog entries. One that I found particularly helpful is Creating a minimalist workspace – from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. He writes that “an uncluttered workspace is a thing of beauty” and I have to agree. He tells you how to create an uncluttered workspace that fits your needs.

Recognition:

Since I’m talking about simplicity, Zen and minimal writing, I would like to introduce you to someone who is an expert in the minimalist lifestyle:

Joshua Becker and Becoming Minimalist

Joshua’s blog, Becoming Minimalist, is one of the country’s most popular websites on minimalism and simple living reaching over 100,000 monthly visitors. His story has been seen on the CBS Evening News, the Huffington Post, National Public Radio, the Guardian, and countless others media outlets around the world. His previous book, Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life, spent 12 days as the #1 Self-Help book on Amazon in November 2011. His most recent book, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness is written to encourage students and young adults to live more life by owning fewer possessions. He lives in Peoria, AZ with his wife and two young children.

We have written three books. The first two were self-published (and the Ebook Editor was incredibly helpful during the process). For the most recent book, we chose to use a traditional publisher. All three books carry the same message: There is more joy to be found in owning fewer possessions than can be found in pursuing more. But each of these

addresses the topic from a completely different vantage point. Our first book, Simplify, encourages families to embrace the seven principles needed to declutter their homes and lives. Our second book, Inside-Out Simplicity, begins to journey inward and addresses some of the heart and soul issues necessary to fully embrace a simplified life. Our third and most recent project, Living With Less, is written for students and young adults. It also chooses to address the invitation of simplicity for a distinct Christian viewpoint.

We embraced a simple, minimalist lifestyle only 4 years ago. Up until that point, we were living a pretty typical suburban lifestyle. One Saturday afternoon while cleaning out my garage, I was mentioning to my neighbor how much time and energy was being required of me to simply manage my possessions (not even considering all the time I’ve spent just earning the money to buy all of them). My neighbor’s response changed our lives forever. She said, “Well maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff.” And a rational minimalist was born. Since that conversation we have worked hard to “promote the things in life we most value and remove everything that distracts us from it.” And we’ve never regretted making that decision.

Inspiration: 

Simplicity. Making changes in our life that leads to more simplicity will cut down on stress, wasted time and distractions. When our life is uncluttered by things it will be reflected in what we produce and the way we live.

Here are some quotes on simplicity:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher

“One should use common words to say uncommon things.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

 

 

 

 

 
Writing a book, allergy even a short one, can be a daunting task, even if you have developed writing skills. Writing skills come from time spent writing and learning and writing some more. Fortunately, I’ve had three major periods of my life that have had a significant positive impact on my writing skills. The insights I gained and the lessons I learned from these three major periods have culminated in the development of the 3 Pillars of Writing Highly Effective Ebooks. And although I refer specifically to ebooks here, the 3 Pillars are effective for writing any informational or how-to book.

The first major period of influence, and perhaps the most important, was the seven years I spent teaching high school. After leaving the world of chemical engineering, I decided I wanted work with more meaning. I went back for two more years of school to get my teaching degree and taught science and math. I learned lesson planning inside out and learned every possible technique for more effective teaching. I was driven to become the best teacher I could and read everything I could find related to the subject. I studied books on psychology, cognitive studies, brain function, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, mind mapping and other organizational techniques, and much more. I read and listened to the works of motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill, and Zig Ziglar. I read all about selling and learned traditional hard sell and negotiation techniques, in addition to relationship and trust building. I learned about community building and consensus and discipline. In short, I sought out and learned anything even slightly related to teaching that could help me improve.

The second major period of influence came after I ended my teaching career. Discouraged by the growing movement to squelch the creativity of teachers by focusing on merely passing standardized tests, I left the field to pursue my next career. I traveled back and forth across the country selling point-of-sale computer systems to small food co-ops and also trained people to use the system. It was during this time that I learned more about teaching and selling to adults. In my spare time, I learned web design and decided to start my own business. I learned as much as I could about marketing and business and that led me to learn about copywriting.

The third major period of influence was what developed after I started working solely for myself. I developed my web design business and I focused on artists as my niche. I offered marketing consulting services and wrote a popular blog about online marketing for artists. One day I was asked to design and publish a book and that was a turning point. I eventually changed my focus to working with authors and became a freelance editor and publisher. In addition to having a natural aptitude for editing, I was mentored by one of the masters in the field. I also read everything I could find about editing and about becoming a better writer and storyteller.

As I mentioned earlier, these three major periods of influence in my life resulted in my developing the 3 Pillars of Writing Highly Effective Ebooks. These 3 Pillars are:
Teaching
Storytelling
Copywriting

1. Teaching
Most ebooks are instructional by nature and teaching is what they’re all about. The skill of writing lesson plans is invaluable in planning your ebook and helps you create the most effective teaching tool possible. There are also many excellent teaching techniques I’ll show you that will help your readers learn as much as possible.

2. Storytelling
We are naturally captivated by stories. Books that use anecdotes are more interesting than those that don’t. People love to watch the news because the news is all about storytelling. Storytelling is a skill that can be learned by anyone and there are specific steps involved that I’ll teach you.

3. Copywriting
Copywriting has been defined as “selling on paper.” Copywriting techniques are not only effective for selling products; they’re also effective for selling ideas. I’ll teach you to write headlines that grab your reader’s attention and draws them in. I’ll also teach you to write content that is interesting and compelling and helps your readers retain more information and want more.

Using the 3 Pillars to write your ebook not only helps you write clearly and with strong purpose, it also helps you write a book that people talk about and want more of. The 3 Pillars will also help you write longer e-courses and e-mail marketing campaigns designed to help you build your tribe.

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