One thing that we have learned over the years is that ebooks can be incredibly powerful tools in growing blogs, they can help secure loyal followers, increase your exposure, establish credibility/expertise within your niche market, and add a new revenue stream.
Last year, we interviewed Dawn Warnaar about her successful ebook filled which featured coloring pages for adults. Her coloring book ebook sold over 2,000 copies.. how awesome is that? The success of her ebook led to print offers, design jobs and more! Dawn is just one example of the many ebook success stories we have heard over the years and because we know by now that ebooks can take publishers to the next level, we want to help you get started!
In this post, we will walk you through the ins and outs of creating an ebook. So get ready, your first ebook is just a few steps away!
1- Choose Your Topic and Title (hint: you’ll need a killer title)
Remember that the Ebook market is extremely saturated, so you need to think creatively. Research your target audience and make sure you know exactly who you are speaking to. Make sure that your topic is something that your target audience is thirsty for.
Remember to be yourself and make sure you are writing about something you have a passionate and knowledgeable interest in. Don’t write an ebook about saving the environment unless you know enough to help people AND have enough love for it to push it for the next 5 years.
Get personal! The best ebooks include personal experiences and have a little personality thrown in. Remember this is your book and you want the real you to shine through those pages. Sheesh, that was a lot of you’s 🙂
2- Outline your Ebook and write, write, write!
Think about the chapters and what you will talk about in each one. Treat each chapter as a blog post that strings together under one topic umbrella. The chapters should have an intro, core, and an ending, but the chapters should also flow fluidly from one to the other.
Your ebook does not need to be lengthy. Simply write what is needed to effectively educate your audience. If that means your ebook is 5 pages, great! If that requires 50 pages, so be it. Just focus on keeping things clear and simple, don’t waste words aiming for a lengthy ebook. Value to your readers is key here.
Get that sucker proofread, and not by your mom. Make sure that you have someone you trust and more importantly, someone who is not afraid to give you potentially harsh feedback. You want someone who can not only check spelling and grammar but who can also tell you if you need to move in another direction or change the language, etc.
4- Design the Cover
In the post we did on Dawn’s successful ebook, we asked her how she designed her book (which was an adult coloring book, so it consisted of mainly design elements). She shocked us when she told us the design didn’t cost her a dime! She used Adobe Illustrator to create her designs, but she has a background in this area. Design is a crucial part of your ebook. People will judge your book by its cover, so trying to save a buck by designing it yourself can really backfire. Fiverr has a lot of amazing designers that will create a professional ebook cover for you for $5-$30
5- Incorporate Visuals
Visuals are an important compliment to your writing. They should highlight the specific point you are trying to make, and even add that personal touch. For example, an ebook containing your favorite recipes may include a photo of you making that food or an actual photo of the finished product.
Free photo sources:
6- Format and Convert to a PDF file
Once you have a solid copy and design, you’ll want to format it so it looks good on a page. Stick to the standard page size (8½” by 11”). This makes it a breeze to set up and will make it super easy for your readers to print off (if they choose to). You can choose “portrait” or “landscape” setup. However, if you decide on landscape, it is best to break up your text into columns to make reading easier. Use generous margins and keep them consistent throughout your ebook. I personally think a 1” margin makes things clean and easy to read. Once you have things formatted to your liking, you’ll want to convert your document to a PDF, which is the standard for all ebooks. Most software tools will allow you to do this easily.
7- Launch and Promote
Okay, you’ve created an ebook, you smarty pants! Now it’s time to think about your goals. There is so much a publisher can gain from offering an ebook download, it’s decision time baby!
If your goal is to capture emails, it is best to offer your ebook for free. Now you just need a way to capture their email. There are hundreds of plugins you can use to create forms and buttons. Check out OptinMonster, Sumome, or Active Campaign.
If your goal is to earn a little (or hopefully a lot) extra cash, you’ll need to decide how you will sell your ebook. We recommend E-junkie or ClickBank. Once you have your account set up, you want to make a plan for your launch day. Your goal here is to create a major buzz about the exciting new book you’ve worked so hard to create!
You’ll want to build yourself a little sales army! Make a list of trusted publishers in your niche and reach out to them. Send out free copies and ask for their thoughts and reviews. Next, you need to offer your army a commission. It is up to you to decide how much you’d like to offer your affiliates; but keep in mind that that higher commission, the better your sales force will be! There are many programs you can use to create affiliate programs, but if you use E-junkie or ClickBank to sell, there’s already an affiliate program built in. BAM!
Okay, it’s time to shout the news from the rooftop (or, um.. your twitter account). Use your social media to spread the word and create excitement. Continue to post reminders about your ebook each week, remember your followers aren’t seeing every single thing you post.. You need to continually remind them about your book and why they just absolutely have to have it!
Now STOP thinking about it and go out and write the ebook of your dreams (you know, if you dream about that sorta thing). Good luck and please let us know how it goes!