Start Your Engines: It’s Time for the
Copyblogger EBookWriMo Challenge!

image of typewriter

As you know, we’re all about smart content marketing here.

And an ebook is a nifty little piece of content marketing that can get you all kinds of things for your business. It can generate traffic, earn you some links, get social sharing love … you can even package it up and sell it as a product.

An ebook can be a fantastic distillation of your topic wisdom and the unique contributions you can make to your audience.

It’s all a wonderful thing … except for the whole writing the ebook part.

So we want to give you some encouragement, motivation, and a teeny tiny kick in the pants. November is officially Copyblogger “Get Your Ebook Finished” month … and you’re invited to participate.

Last week, we re-published Ali Luke’s terrific post about How to Write a High-Quality Ebook in 30 Days.

We did that for two reasons.

First (and most important), it was a really useful post that can help you create a valuable asset for your business.

But second … we did it to support this project, in honor of the NaNoWriMo tradition of writing a novel in a month.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it): Write an ebook for your audience in 30 days, from November 1 to November 30.

Ali and I came up with this idea as we were planning our most recent Third Tribe seminar.

The poor fiction writers try to write an entire novel in the month of November. That’s pretty hard. Fortunately, ebooks tend to be much shorter than novels, and getting your ebook finished in 30 days is absolutely do-able.

Action Step 1:

Go read Ali’s post about specifically how to plan your 30 days to get a polished ebook at the end of it.

Action Step 2:

Starting tomorrow (or today), get your topic in line.

Let’s be clear: This isn’t the book you’ve always wanted to write. This is the book your audience would love to read.

Click on over to Ali’s post for a more step-by-step view of how to narrow your topic down and figure out just what your audience wants to see from you.

Action Step 3:

Block out the time in your November calendar. You have all of the dates you’ll need in Ali’s post, so plug them into your calendar now.

Will you DVR your favorite few shows and watch them all at once in a December marathon? Will you work (just for 30 days) through lunch? Can you set aside the first hour of your work day to get some quality writing and thinking time?

The time to write won’t find itself — you have to make it. But you can. And on November 30, you’ll have a completed ebook — whether a free promotional book or a paid product.

If you’re in, let us know in the comments below.

We also invite you to check back in throughout the month with your progress, hurdles, challenges, and triumphs. Bookmark this post now so you remember where to find it, and let us know how the challenge is going for you!

This is a no-lose zone

Is it possible you might not complete every step by November 30?

It is possible.

Does that make you a giant loser? Don’t be silly … it makes you someone who’s huge leaps ahead of where you were on November 1.

And if you want to resurrect a project you’ve already started and get it back on track and out the door … that totally counts. Let us know about it so we can cheer you on.

Remember, keep checking back throughout the month and let us know how you’re doing! We’re all looking forward to seeing what you do.

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Reader Comments (135)

  1. says

    It’s on! My eBook is on defeating “Expert Dependency” and taking back control of your life. Ali and Sonia, you two are the perfect ones to lead this! Thanks.

    Will there be some help/ideas on design and formatting?

    • says


      Great topic. I’ve been there. If we’re not careful it’s easy to become dependent and lose our way.
      I look forward to your success and perhaps reading the finished book.

      • says

        Thanks, Les. Me too! And since I’ve been talking about it lately, a whole lot of people have said the same thing. I think I may be on to something 😉 Love your website … and that “thriving bottom” – line – ha!

  2. Pam says

    I’m in as a ghost eBook writer! I’ll be cranking on behalf of a client who hates writing but has a brilliant idea for those who work nights. :-)

    • says

      I’d be interested in learning more about this ebook when it comes out. Some members of my family work the nightshift and it really messes with your body in so many ways. Would be keen on hearing your client’s idea – let me know when the ebook is published!

  3. says

    Count me in please.
    The topic? I dunno, just put a note on Google + … ‘Inspiration Desperately Needed’.
    P.S. I’ll be posting a diary on my blog and will keep you up to speed :)

  4. says

    Yes, I’m going to write my next book in November. I’m writing for CEOs looking to use social media more effectively in their organisations …. and have their staff spend less time on the social web, too.

    • says

      Good stuff Margaret. I’m sure a lot of CEOs are confused about social media effectiveness and especially keeping their staff from wasting time there! Social Media can be great or just eat up time.

    • says

      Great topic for everyone and especially CEO’s
      Helping us understand what social media really is and what the objective should be will be very helpful.

  5. says

    I’m SO excited you launched this writing challenge! Since I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo (my fiction’s on the backburner while I focus on freelancing and blogging) this is the perfect way for me to resurrect an eBook I started in June for my blog followers, aka my wolf pack. lol!

    Thanks Copyblogger! You rock, as always!

  6. says

    it’s so hard for me to figure out what to write because I have about four books in my head, and can’t pick which to tackle first. I might do a one-two combination. (One of) my topics is “Purple is the New Green: A Conscious Living Manifesto”

  7. says

    I’m in! I’m going to write an ebook on some of the obstacles that writers face–and how to overcome them! This is an exciting group to join and I can’t wait to see everyone’s progress/end results! :)

  8. says

    I’m in…been needing to do this and now’s the perfect time to do it! And, yeah, I signed up for Scribe after yesterday’s call too. No excuses!

  9. says

    I’m in. Ali’s peace really inspired me and i recognized this window of opportunity – to write and commit to an result for everybody to see(read!).

    I asked my eZine mailinglist to let me know what they would like me to write about. Very interesting questions and suggestions. I offered everyone that contributed a free copy + one to give away.

    I’ll keep them and you posted trhough the month on my progress and plan to finish the first week of December.

    Thanks for all the inspiration and support.

  10. says

    I’m in as well. Topic–I have no idea…yet. I’m a ghostwriter and article marketer, but I’d really prefer to write something inspiring. Something that comes from my past situations: homeless, abuse, brother paralyzed, loss of brother, etc.
    Any ideas on how to drill this down? That would be so appreciated. Thanks so much!!

    Deb :)

    • says


      How about “Grief to Grace – get past the grief and share your grace.”
      P.S. I can relate. Lost a 5 yr old and both my younger siblings.

      • says

        OMG! That’s it! Sometimes it just takes coming from someone else to finally recognize what it is I need to tell, or write. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for that spark I needed!

    • says

      Hey Les,

      That sounds interesting! A seasoned mind is certainly a lot “tastier” than one that is void of experience or adventure. Is that what you’re after there?

      • says


        Thats a great idea for another e-book.
        I’ll be focused on helping professionals understand how to cook a brand that smells and tastes good.
        The premise being that it’s more like cooking dinner in a crock pot than putting something in the microwave.

        • says

          Ahhhh, I see! Well, your subtitle will i’m sure help in knowing what it’s about then, right? Something like “How to Cook Up a Juicy Brand That Attracts Clients Like Crazy” But, Les, we really have to be careful not to be too clever in our titles and analogies. While they make perfect sense to us, it might completely miss the mark when the reader sees it. Just some thoughts. I wish you well!

  11. says

    Thanks for getting the unruly toddlers moving along today, Sonia. Actually, I started yesterday because I knew Nov 1st was coming up and that you would be prodding, cajoling, and communicating. All day yesterday I kept asking myself, “What are you waiting for?” And there was only a squirming silence, so defiant and toddler-like. There was no real answer. The most powerful thing you have said to me is, “This isn’t the book you’ve always wanted to write. This is the book your audience would love to read.” Oh, yeah…. you got one that exactly right. Thanks for what you do.

  12. April Zachary says

    I’m in for the challenge. My topic is creative ways to bust through artist”s block.

  13. says

    I’m super excited – my topic is going to be Two Weeks of Kale Smoothie Recipes! Find out how easy and fun it is to create fast breakfast drinks that power your day! (title may need a little editing…)

    Thanks for the motivation, Copyblogger!

  14. Gene F. Cooper,GySgt/USMC/Ret. says

    I guess I’m in the daycare drop-out category level, left a few help me comments, got no response. Guess I’ll return to the worldly shark hardback publishers. Coop

  15. Arjan van der Knaap says

    Believe or not, but i just dat down to prepare for a 30 Day writing project, inspired by the NaNoWriMo. I’m planning to write about Storymodelling; patterns of infuence and leadership in the network era, based on the universal models of stories.. 😉 Count me in!

  16. says

    This was already my goal for November, so I am thankful for the extra guidance along the way! I’m taking a 31 Days series I wrote and expanding it into an ebook at the request of several readers! It’s about simple things you can do to strengthen your family!

  17. Kerry Murray says

    I have my whole mastermind group in. My partner and I are doing one on how to start saving, even when you have debt or think you can’t. Looking forward to this. And thanks for the necessary kick in the pants!

  18. says

    This is just the kick I need to jump on my book – not just an ebook, but my second BOOK. I may not finish it by the end of November, but I’ll certainly be close. It is about blog writing ideas :)

    • says

      Charles, If you need a little help, give me a shout. I’ve been doing the website/blog thing for 10+ years and I think I get it. Only the Best.

  19. says

    I’m in! Writing about social media for Restaurants – specifically how to create a daily 20-30 minute checklist to accomplish their social media activities so they can focus on creating delicious food and serving their customers! So many restaurants/chefs/owners tell me they have no time (and no $$) for social media – wait til they read my ebook :)

  20. says

    Im in, and i would like to write an ebook about how marcom manager job description is changing . If once marcom was all about tradeshows and writing prs, now its more and more about creating content and engaging.
    This book will also contain an advice to veteran marcom managers and give them tools to understand how the SM works

  21. says

    Sounds like a great alternative to NaNoWriMo. Are we aiming for, what is it, 50,000 words? Not that I shouldn’t be trying for at least 1,000 words per day anyway, I suppose. Count me in.

    • says

      Most ebooks are a lot shorter — it depends a lot on your topic, but it might be 20K, 10K, or even shorter. Ali’s post has a few thoughts on length for you.

  22. Marie A says

    Baby, I am *so* in! Truth be told, I’ve been working (diligently, I swear) on an ebook, but the draft is so rough, it hardly counts. While we’re being honest, I was actually planning to consider NaNoWriMo my finish the ebook month anyway.

    I, too, am considering my ebook to be the cornerstone of a website launch, and have been trying to store up a few blog posts as well. So, tonight–trick or treating with the kids. Tomorrow: The World! (Or at least, my little corner of it.) (And welcome to it.) (James Thurber’s ghost, rattle your chains!)

  23. says

    I just published my first Kindle ebook and I look forward to doing another. I would like to do a how-to on writing guest blogs, focusing on getting over the fears that stop people from submitting guest blogs. Thanks for the encouragement.

  24. says

    I’m excited about this and it synchronizes very well with my journey of implementation and completion.

    I’ll be writing and ebook about the myth of fitness results and how to achieve that results you desire every time.

    Let the process begin.

    • says

      Wow .. you can really do that? I thought those guys just made that stuff up! Sounds like there’s a big audience for that Brandon.

  25. says

    I’m thinking I should do yours, instead of the traditional NaNoWriMo this year. Only because a few days ago I began thinking I should finish my 1/3-written Nonfic Book instead of my only-outlined fiction story. I’d like to do both. I have to say it was a poor choice to do it in the same month as the original, NaNoWriMo. I mean, you’re making at least some writers choose, and that’s not cool. Great idea, poor timing. Maybe next year move it to… ?

    Strive On!

  26. says

    After two days being haunted by this challenge, I had to make a decision.
    So here I frankly tell that I accept the challenge for writing in november. It will not write a book but I commit myself for turning a presentation I did into 5 blogposts. For someone not used to writing regularly a big challenge.
    It will be a though ride.
    Thank you for your motivational challenge!

  27. says

    Count me in too! My topic would be … 25 Google’s first page strategies that works!.. IF I can research 25 of them. ^_^

  28. says

    I’m in! Finally getting it out there (my goal is to be done by Dec. 17th) but hopefully this will give me the kick in the pants to maybe get it done sooner. Off to read!

  29. says

    I’m in! I’m thinking of writing “How To Start A Successful Blog For Mothers with Small Children…” or anything close to that topic. This is very timely… just a perfect PUSH.

  30. Joshua Black- The Underdog Millionaire says

    Oh it’s on!

    This will be ebook number six for me this year, but I needed some incentive to finish another project before the end of the year, so thank you for the push. My book is going to be “Drive it Like You Stole it” -How to create tons of value so that your customers are willing to spend tons of money.

    Joshua Black

  31. Andrea Schmitz says

    Perfect timing.

    Audience: Crafters. More specifically: the stay-at-home almost empty-nester new-business-owner.

    Topic: Presenting with Pinterest.

    Intention: Learning by doing and plenty of interaction.

    Looking forward to the result at the end of the month! Thanks for the inspiration.

  32. says

    LOVE this & Count Me IN!! My problem is I always have an issue with coming up with a (one) topic. I have so much I want to write about that narrowing it down is so difficult… Maybe you all could let me know what sounds good?? :)

    Topics of Interest: WordPress 101, WishList Member 101, Social Media Marketing & Management To Gain Ground & KEEP It, Beginning Your Long Awaited Online Business, Blending Families Ain’t Easy But CAN Be Done.

    I’ve already started writing on all of this on my site, but haven’t made it live yet.

  33. says

    I’m in. I have a project in process that’s been sitting on the shelf for over a month waiting for me to carve out some time to work on it. This is an excellent challenge to get me off the dime.

    Topic is a step by step guide to using WordPress to create your website.

    Thanks for the opportunity to join in the challenge.

  34. says

    Thanks for the motivation! I am starting the Topic choosing and planning for a book I’m tentatively calling “Kickstarter for Authors.” It’s based around my work with authors to market their books and my experience of writing a novel called “Sidewalk Ritual,” funding it through Kickstarter this past spring, and publishing it this month. I like the structure of NaNoWriMo and look forward to applying it to this project. I’ll check back in with updates on mine and to see how everyone else is doing!

  35. Giuseppe Mammano says

    Thanks for the challenge! I’m in with “Live” (handbook or HowTo). This is the first time that I write and for about 10 years I waiting to do.
    Thank you Copyblogger for your kick.

  36. says

    I started extreme couponing last summer and I’m going to write about everything I’ve learned since I started couponing. I’ve actually already started it, so I’m excited to take this challenge and actually get it done.

  37. says

    I’m in! (Steve, that is) eBook is “Reading Your Real Estate Appraisal”

    Sounds pretty dry I know, but I just had 1000 (double-sided) business cards printed yesterday with footer text “eBook: ‘Reading Your Appraisal’ at” so I’m committed (and accountable) now. :-)

  38. Shelly Miller says

    Count me in too! I’ve spent this past year preparing my first narrative non-fiction book about the tornadoes swarming around me in Alabama. You’ve inspired me to release a portion of it as a free ebook.

  39. says

    I’m doing this! :) Thank you for the inspiration! I’m going to write my next ebook to give away to my readers.

    I’ll be creating a short book called something along the lines of: 7 Delicious Meatless Dinners.

  40. says

    Okay, I’m in. I’m much more comfortable with Nonfiction — so eBookWriMo wins out this year over NaNoWriMo. So now I’ve got 29 more days to do the 7 organizational interviews & 12 family interviews and fill in my outline for my kid/family eBook:

    “How to Be A Puppy Raising Family for A Guide Dog School!”

    If I do this in the 30 days, Copyblogger will definitely get kudos in print — for a challenge that worked. 😉

  41. says

    Sonia, I’m in. I’ll be writing an ebook on real estate investing in the philippines. I will still narrow down the topic so I’m heading over to Ali’s post now. :)

    • says

      I’m narrowing down my topic.

      It’s a manifesto that exposes the false hopes average real estate investors rely on when buying real estate. These false hopes lead to unpleasant surprises, lots of stress, and eventually loss of money.

      On the other hand, real estate entrepreneurs ignore these false hopes and instead rely on solid business principles that lead to their success.

      The ebook will expose these false hopes of average investors and replace them with solid business principles they can rely on to build their portfolio.

  42. says

    I’m in. I’m doing “The Busy Karate Mom’s Guide to Martial Arts Tournaments.” So, I got my topic so it looks like I’m righton schedule. :)

  43. says

    Great plan. I am 100% there ! I was just starting to plan a project and trying to work out how to get it done when this came along. Yes, it will be an e-book with all of the trimmings. Thanks all, Lance

  44. Giuseppe Mammano says

    Msg to Sonia Simone. I accepted your challenge because is time to resurrect my old project that don’t was enough mature but there are in the last 3/4 months some people that give me pressure to spread my particular/significant informations. The title correct now can be “Live, core handbook”.
    I’m Italian and I will ask you some information how to do to be a good writer in your market but answer me out from this blog if this is Off Topic. Here I will continue to write my progress.

  45. Andee Flynn says

    I am so in! What an amazing idea- I love the community you are creating with this. It’s great to be joining in with everyone!

  46. says

    Ok, I’m in, I have a half finished book on how to plan for your disabled adult child’s care after you are no longer around to take care of them. Special Needs Trust Fund Estate Planning Podcast is where I chat about the book every week for 10min, and I’ve called the book (tentatively) “The Surrogate Parent Plan” because my plan involves you hiring a “surrogate” parent to be you, when you’ve gone. Simple. Yes? Yes. The books explains how to do it, legally and socially… :)

  47. Shawn says

    This challenge comes at a great time for me. I am starting a new blog and need a give away for subscribers. I have a lot of ideas, and now I have to motivation to get my act together!

  48. says

    I’m in, starting this week. I want to write an ebook for my audience that explains -how- to wear jewelry. I make handcrafted jewelry that will last for years and years, and my audience is the younger crowd that is just starting to uncover the professional world that requires a step-up in personal appearance. Also, possibly moms returning to the workplace. These women are smart and beautiful but also aren’t sure what type of jewelry will complement a look (rather than overwhelm it) and also don’t want to buy a necklace that chips or falls apart within a month. I can’t wait to share this book with my audience!

  49. says

    Well, I misplaced my outline. I trust I’ll find it before I finish. I got a good idea of (most) of the topics I wanted to cover. I’m proud to say I’m roughly on schedule with the word count. Day 2 of writing and I’m right around 2,000 words or so.

    How’s everyone else holding up?

  50. says

    I don’t see any results here? I finished my eBook (PDF) end of february (title in English – written in Dutch- The Power of Mindfulness – Small Guide for training your Mind) 80 pag. Now converting to pocketbook version with Booksmart form Blurb, and then converting to a real eBook.
    very happy that i did it, and thankful fot the trigger u provided with your blog. On to the next Small Guide’s!

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