Link to this page

Writing eBooks: Frequently Asked Questions

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An eBook is an “electronic book.” 

When it comes to writing eBooks, there are many advantages for a writer: creative freedom, faster time to publication, a global market, higher royalty share, and low risk. You can write an eBook to establish your expertise, write one about a topic you love, or use an eBook as a free giveaway.

It may surprise you (as it did me!) that eBooks have been around for a while. Spanish teacher and inventor Angela Ruiz Robles pioneered the first electronic book reader, la Enciclopedia Mecánica in 1949. The electronic book medium took off in the early 21st century, thanks to the ever-present Internet and proliferating e-Reader products.

But even with a longer-than-expected history and the many benefits associated with eBooks, you may wonder if this is a format you should pursue and if so, how to go about it. 

These frequently asked questions about writing eBooks may help.

Writing eBooks FAQs: eBook writing tips for content writers, freelancers with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Writing eBooks: FAQs

Q. What is an eBook?

An eBook (“electronic book”) is a book in digital form. It can be formatted for a tablet, Kindle, iPad, cell phone, e-Reader, computer, or other electronic device. You can publish an eBook yourself or you can pay a provider to format and publish your manuscript into an electronic format. 

Q. How long is an eBook?

As long or as short as you want it to be, but on average eBook lengths range from 10,000 – 80,000 words. Nonfiction works tend to be shorter than fiction. (More about book word count for eBooks here.)

Length is one big advantage of the eBook format over a traditional print publication. While print books need to be a certain length so that the consumer doesn’t feel cheated and so that the publisher’s investment provides results, eBooks can be short. People like quick reads.

Q. What do you need to write an eBook?

A computer. Period.

Q. Writing and publishing are two different things. What do you need to publish an eBook?

A computer and a little bit of know-how about editing, formatting, and publishing your eBook to an online platform – know-how that’s readily available.

Q. What kinds of content are published in eBooks?
All kinds, including both fiction and nonfiction: novels, novellas, short stories, how-to guides, curriculum, textbooks, special reports, checklists, toolkits, workbooks, cookbooks, collections … if you can write it, you can publish it in an eBook.

Check out a simple book writing plan that's fillable and re-usable.

Q. How long does it take to publish an eBook?

An eBook, once it is written and formatted, can be published within 24 hours. (Compare that with the traditional author-agent-publisher-designer-printer-bookstore model, which can take 12 to 18 months to get your book into print.) 

But to offer a truly accurate answer, take note of that tiny little phrase, “once it is written and formatted.” In order to publish an eBook, you need to actually write an eBook. Calculate how long your writing process will take. Then you need to take a few more steps: edit the book, make a cover or have one made, format the book in the appropriate file type, and load it into a distribution platform. Fortunately, there are step-by-step resources available that make it extremely easy to do so. (Take a look at Bob Bly’s Writing eBooks for Fun and Profit.

Even if you have a steep learning curve, eBooks are considered to have a much, must faster timeline to publication than traditional print books. 

Q. How much does it cost to write and publish an eBook?

The biggest costs are time and work.  In terms of actual financial layout, you can spend as little as $0 (if you completely do-it-yourself) and up (an average of $1,500 for professional services like editing, cover design, and formatting.)

More Tips for Writing Books and Writing eBooks

The Best Product to Sell Online (Especially for Writers) ...

1-Year Book Writing Planner (Fillable and Re-Usable) ...

Should You Write a Free eBook? Take This Quiz to Find Out ...

Top Tip for Selling Your Book or eBook ...

How to Use a Personalized Book Writing Plan to Get Your Book Done ...

Wanted: Ebook Writer ...

E-Books Versus Print Books: Which Do Readers Prefer? 

Writing an eBook? Get started by writing a short one ...

Why You Should Write an eBook: 5 Reasons to Consider It ...

Getting Started Writing a Book ...

Ebook Writing Tips: What’s the Best Book Word Count for eBooks? 

6 Tips for Writing Good Copy for Your Book Jacket ...

What Goes on the Back Cover of a Book?

Writing a Book Outline: It's Easier Than You Think ...

Book Writing Help: Find Your Book's Unique Niche ...

Book Writing Help: Choose a Publishing Platform ...

Book Writing Help: Create a Writing Plan ...

Book Writing Help: Create a Book Outline and Chapter Plan ...

How to Get Book Reviews For Free ...

More tips for writing eBooks on our Pinterest board ...

Return from Writing eBooks: FAQs to Nonprofit Copywriter home

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Powered by SBI! Learn more here.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Search This Site

Share This Page


Named to 2022 Writer's Digest list

Get Free Writing Tips

Stop Wasting Time!

Grab your exclusive FREE guide, "5 Simple Writing Tips You Can Put to Use in 10 Minutes or Less"

XML RSSSubscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!