VistaCreate x The Creative Copywriter: How to make your eBooks exceptional in 2023
Is it an eBird?
Is it an ePlane?
No! It’s a well-written, inspiring, lead-securing, perfectly sculpted eBook!
But how did something so perfectly scrumptiously sumptuous come into existence? Was it crafted by word-twisting linguistic angels? Was it painstakingly hand-forged in the deepest volcanic craters by Thor the God of Thunder himself? Was it touched by the most divine of interventions?
It was just written by some copywriters who are pretty gosh darn good at their jobs.
But who are these copywriters? How did they get so good? And can they teach you how to craft these beacons of glorious content?
To find out, we reached out to The Creative Copywriter, a UK-based creative copywriting agency headed up by word scientist Konrad Sanders, whose charming team of strategic word-slingers are on a journey to the moon.
So without further ado, let’s hand it over to the experts.
How to write an eBook that is primed to knock some socks off
So you want to achieve eBook perfection, eh?
Well, we’re sorry to tell you – it doesn’t exist.
Absolute perfection is impossible – not even the best copywriters in history (we’re looking at you Ogilvy, Burnett, and Hopkins) could achieve such a thing. But just because something isn’t possible, does that mean you can’t strive to achieve it?
When it comes to perfection, we chase it like Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner – we know we’re never going to catch it, but to be honest, the fun is in the pursuit – and using copious amounts of TNT.
Copywriting is all about constantly challenging yourself to do better, be more creative, find new and exciting ways to say the same old thing, and grasp your audience’s imagination – and their attention.
And all of these things are part and parcel of writing an eBook.
To show you what we mean, we’re not going to write another “Here’s how you write an eBook” or “The X steps to writing an eBook” blog post with mind-numbing headings that anyone who has ever picked up a pen will know like “Write a good introduction” – no no no, we’re just going to vibe our way through and throw some tips your way on how to write a professional eBook TCC-style.
So let’s jump right into our eBook tutorial with tip number one:
1. Write a good introduction
Rule number one: Always keep them guessing.
Now we know what you’re thinking – “Surely they didn’t write a whole introduction just for one stupid joke?”
……yes and no.
Yes – because everyone likes a joke (and don’t call me Shirley).
No – because tip number one is actually “don’t throw the rule book out with the bathwater.”
Some things are put in place for a reason. When people try to be creative and separate themselves from the competition, they can often make the mistake of forgetting what the basic rules of writing and structuring are.
After all, it’s this eBook format and structure that is one of the main things that separates an eBook project from a blog post. A blog post will normally be read as a single entity that people will read from start to finish, but an eBook tends to be much longer and more modular in nature.
That means that every good eBook needs a clear structure that allows the reader to skim through and read whatever parts they find interesting, and which also allows them to be fully immersed and taken through a journey if they decide to read it from beginning to end.
And yes, part of that eBook outline is writing a good introduction.
As you can probably tell by now, we love a good dollop of storytelling. The human race has been telling stories ever since we were hunting saber-tooth tigers and bopping each other on the head with clubs.
From cave drawings and bedtime tales all the way to Hollywood blockbusters, storytelling is inherently a part of us all, which makes it a fantastic way to engage and grip your audience right from the start and leave them wanting to read more.
And your introduction is the perfect place to set your readers’ imaginations on fire, or even just give them a hearty chuckle before they dive into the meat of the piece.
The best eBooks are the ones that keep you connected right the way through. It’s always easy to spot a great piece of content if you can get to the end without realizing you’ve just read the whole thing. So really, each sentence should be written to persuade the reader to read the next one.Rob, Copywriter at TCC
2. Crystal-clear clarity is heaven-sent
Blurry copy. Unclear messaging. An incoherent tone of voice. Socks and sandals*.
What do all of these things have in common?
That’s right, they shouldn’t be anywhere near your eBook.
*Yes, we know that socks and sandals probably won’t be near your eBook anyway, but they’re just so ewwww that we had to include them.
Clarity is the key ingredient of any piece of content.
When your reader picks up your eBook, you want them to be greeted with instant-clarity and razor-sharp copy that tickles their fancy in every way imaginable. The sort of copy that is laser-focused on their journey through your funnel and leaves them breathless with sheer delight.
In fact, we put clarity and focus so high on the list of priorities that we went ahead and made our own unique methodology on how to analyze copy to sharpen every word and message. Ensuring that every piece of content you create has a crystal-clear focus.
Our 13 Lenses© Methodology is a framework that takes you through how to analyze, optimize, and sharpen your copy and content into focus at every single step of the funnel in pretty much every context.
It’s our way of ensuring every piece of work that we produce is of the highest possible quality, is completely on point, and ticks all of the boxes (or lenses).
The 13 Lenses include the “Real-Talk Lens”, which covers whether or not your piece is talking directly to the reader with words like “you” and “your”, whether you’re engaging them with thought-provoking questions, and whether you’re making sure that you’re steering clear of indecipherable jargon and clichés.
We’ve also included the “Context Lens” to make sure you’re hitting the right stage of awareness, the “Zig-Zag Lens” to ensure that you’re standing out by zigging while the industry zags, and the “Primal Brain Lens”, which helps you to quickly grab the attention of your audience and influence their decision-making.
By running your eBook through each of these lenses, you can ensure that your content is optimized to within an inch of its life – but in a good, non-life-threatening way.
eBooks don’t have to be dry ways of imparting valuable information. They should be exciting – bursting with anecdotes, metaphors, and power words. Remember, value isn’t just about delivering info, it’s also about the value of reading something enjoyable.Ella, Head Copywriter at TCC
3. Dazzling design = happy reader
When writing an eBook, there are two types of design you need to consider.
There’s the design of the copy, and the design of the eBook.
Clear as mud?
Okay, let’s start by describing what we mean by the design of the copy.
Believe it or not, your copy has a design. And no, it’s not a design in the sense of having a fancy font or an unusual text color; it’s about how your text is structured.
eBooks can be long.
Some of them can be very long.
And when your copy is all bunched up together in a solid block of text that makes the Berlin Wall look inviting, you’ll most likely scare your reader away. After all, who wants to slog their way through a chunk of text big enough to sink the Titanic?
The key points to remember when designing the copy of your eBook are:
- Limit yourself to one thought per sentence.
When you’re overloading your sentences with more than one thought, things can become messy. Indeed, having multiple thoughts in one sentence can make things cumbersome to read, so breaking long sentences up into separate thoughts means that the text is more manageable for the reader.
- Make sure your paragraphs are no longer than 3-4 lines long.
Chunky paragraphs are a daunting sight to see. When you open up an eBook and see a great wall of text before you, the last thing you want to do is get stuck in. Instead, you’re more likely to want to run as far away from the page as possible.
- Mix up the length of your sentences.
Having the right copy structure brings music to your writing.
Short sentences are the delicate high notes that can also pack a punch.
And longer, flowing sentences are the deep bass notes that add gravitas to your writing and take your reader on a winding journey through the echos of their imagination.
So what about actual design?
Visual design is just as important in your eBook as the design of the copy is. It plays a key role in making your pages palatable and capturing the eye of the reader.
But images and graphics are a tough thing to get right. You don’t want to overload the reader’s senses with a vast array of colors and images that make it look like a designer eBook made by Prada, but equally you don’t want the eBook to seem bland and uninviting.
What you need to consider is whether or not your visuals serve a purpose.
Are they highlighting an important part of the eBook or a key quote? Are you using them to display information in a more palatable way? Are the colors matched to your brand and do they give your eBook a sense of familiarity and brand recognition?
Your design should always aim to enhance the reader’s understanding, not just make things look bright and colorful.
Are you an eBook author desperately looking for some eBook design inspiration? Well, look no further than VistaCreate. Words to us are like designs to VistaCreate – they know exactly what they’re doing and they absolutely nail it.
With a range of beautiful, easy-to-use templates and a huge back catalog of inspiring designs, VistaCreate has everything you’ll ever need to make your eBook snap, crackle, and pop.
➡️ Browse eBook design templates by VistaCreate and choose the one that fits your business needs best!
The best eBooks mix things up and play around with presentation. Would one chapter be better as a diagram? A flow chart? A series of heartfelt letters (maybe not)? You’ve got room to be creative with how the words are presented, so make the most of it.Hannah, B2B Copywriter at TCC
4. The whos, whats, and wheres of it all
Let’s say that you start up a small family business selling farm-reared, organic, free-range chicken eggs that are as wholesome as they are cruelty-free. These chickens are treated like royalty; they’re corn-fed, not pressured to lay eggs, get plenty of room to cluck about in, and live the best life a chicken could possibly ask for.
And oh boy gee whizz are these eggs just the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious eggs you ever did see.
Sounds like a pretty good business, right?
Why yes, yes it does. But if you put this business in front of a group of vegans (who are also allergic to eggs), it very quickly becomes a bad business.
And in just the same way, no matter how good your eBook is, if you put it in front of the wrong audience it will very quickly become a bad eBook.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you write your eBook with these things in mind:
- Who is the eBook for?
- What problem is the eBook solving?
- Where is the reader on the buyer’s journey?
Firstly, what is an eBook if not a way to generate leads for your sales team? With this in mind, you need to make sure that the topic of your eBook is tailored to your target audience.
So a handy tip is to keep the topic of your eBook close to what your other content talks about, as creating a longer-form eBook is more of an opportunity to dig down further into a subject and provide your audience with more value and insight.
The next question is what problem you’re solving with this eBook. Are you providing the readers with valuable information they can use to improve their processes? Are you helping to solve their need for expert industry insights?
Finally, we come to the buyer’s journey.
It’s vital that you pinpoint exactly where your audience is in your funnel. Because if you’re sending out an eBook that aims to propel the reader to the last stage of the buyer’s journey but they’re still at the top of the funnel, then chances are they won’t even read the piece – let alone take that extra step further.
5. Write drunk, edit sober
Woah, woah, woah, we’re not saying you need to get three sheets to the wind before you write an eBook. I mean you can if you want to, what you do in your own time is of no concern to us.
But what we actually mean doesn’t include alcohol, nor does it include hungover editing.
In fact, we’re borrowing this famous phrase (which is always wrongly attributed to Ernest Hemingway) to highlight the importance of free-flowing, human writing.
But what do we mean by human writing? As in a human wrote it? Don’t humans write everything? Well I guess AI writers are a thing and they’re not human. Okay fair point, maybe conversational writing is a better phrase to use? I guess either phrase works.
That rambling paragraph above is our very own example of writing drunk. We’ve just spilled our thoughts out onto the page, thoughts that we can then use as the basis to create a coherent piece of writing that that reads like someone is actually saying it rather than writing it down.
As we mentioned before, eBooks can be long. So you want to speak to your audience in a way that actually connects with them in a conversational, very human way so that they stay interested and connected the whole way through.
And for you writers out there, writing drunk is a great way to put pen to paper and stave off the dreaded “writer’s block.” If you’re writing an eBook, chances are you’ll know a lot about the topic. But knowing about something and actually getting those thoughts out are two very different things.
So do some automatic writing and get some words down on the page. Then, after you’ve had a break from the piece of writing, come back with a clear mind and refine your work.
It’s easy to tie yourself up in knots trying to perfect a section of text before moving on, and this can waste valuable time. Indeed, we often produce our best work when we get all our basic thoughts out onto the page first, and only after that try to refine the copy. First, focus on unearthing all those rough diamonds – and only then try to polish them.Hugh, Quality Assurance Editor at TCC
Make your eBooks eXceptional
So there we have it, right from the very source itself.
The value of successful eBooks is clear: They’re one of the best ways for businesses to attract leads whilst also providing something of value to the reader. So if you can manage to make your eBooks actually enjoyable to read then nothing will be able to stop you and your all-powerful marketing efforts.
So whether you’re just starting out in the business world, looking to try your hand at being an eBook writer, searching for new ways to attract customers, or just want to brush up on your copywriting skills, take a leaf out of The Creative Copywriter’s book and join us both on our journey to the moon.
Bring your business eBook ideas to life with VistaCreate.