Having written a post yesterday about how to get free ebooks I wanted to create a post on how to create an ebook; especially if you are thinking of giving away or for a low price. I’ve dabbled in creating ebooks, having penned (so to speak) a couple now. However, the ebooks I wrote were quick writes, written at a time I had the information in my head. In hind-sight it would have been better if I jotted down the info and then spent more time writing the ebooks. However, we learn by doing and so wanted to share what I learnt.
Research is probably the most important thing in writing a ebook. Now, you may say “I know everything about the subject I want to write about.” and that maybe true; but you could research in the best format for delivery of information; structure of book, chapters to write in, etc.
Research in this case is not about the subject but more about the structure. One of the things I learnt is that people do care about the structure you present your text in..
The correct research will make or break your ebook which is why its the first thing and probably most important thing to consider; especially if like me you were never very good at english punctuation.
Getting the tools ready
A big consideration when writing an ebook is which formats you intend to be releasing the ebook in. This again will probably depend on how you are going to market your ebook; for example on Amazon as a Kindle book or on your own site as a pdf. Here I have given probably the two most common formats and certainly the 2 that I would recommend.
So for this case I will talk about what tools you need to create a kindle book and a pdf.
First think to do is write you book in your word processor; which ever you use. This could be wordpad or Microsoft Office, although if you don’t have that I would suggest Libre Office which is free. Create you book over time and save in a doc format.
If your going to create a pdf book then there are a number of pdf tools out. You can also do directly from your office suite. If you are using a up to date version of Microsoft Word you can save out as a pdf file. If you are using Libre Office you can get hold of a plugin to export to pdf. When you pdf is created you can put on your website or other website for download.
If wanting to use Amazon and produce a Kindle book then you need to download the kindle tools and join the kindle publishing program. However, what I would say from my experience is this; if you download the kindle tools then use the only to test that your book is formatted correctly when converted to kindle format. When you are ready to upload you books to Amazon Kindle store you can select it in doc format and the site does the conversion. I personally had more success in doing in this way that converting it before upload.
I’ve already touched on this above in the tools section but will give slightly more of insight.
If using Amazon Kindle store you must be prepared to give a percentage to Amazon. The maximum you can receive; at least at the moment; is 70% and this can be 35% in some countries (at least one of countries I have publish in it is 35%). You can choose cost of book, you can choose where published and how much but you still have to pay royalties. However, for that you get your book on the kindle store on amazon.
Obviously the other form is through your own website. If you have a blog, website, etc you can create a online store and people can pay through paypal or similar. This is certainly made easy through wordpress plugins.
Finally you can always give it away for free. Amazon allows you to setup a limited period where you can give away your book for free (set to 5 days max when I did it) but if using own site you can set to download for free on there (like the example I have on this site).
How do you get people to see your book? Well, if on Amazon then first think you need to make sure is that you create a good looking image to accompany your ebook and put as much interesting information in the description. Both of these can certainly make an impact.
Next thing you could do is find some sites when like minded material and mention your ebook in passing on blog updates, comments, notes, anywhere you think interested people would look.
Anyone can write and produce an ebook today. Anyone can be an author. Not all books are successful though and it may take you releasing a few books before you get your writing style correct, but the main thing you need is a passion to release and improve.
I hope this has proven useful, if so can you please share and comment.