Writing is an art and when it come to write an e-book, even the great writers can fail. Writing e-books take time, efforts, dedication, knowledge, skills of writing and promotional skills. Many get confused. Which is the correct one. ebook or e-book. Well the correct one is e-book. The same goes for email. Or should I say e-mail. Yes last one is the correct word.
Does e-books fascinate you?
I think most people are fascinated and want to know more. Self published e-books are actually even better than the printed version. E-books started about the same time as the Internet started with it.
|The Ultimate e-book guide : eAskme|
Do you know the history of the e-book.?
You do? Good thats great, but let me tell those who don't know about it. It was invented in the year 1971. The man who invented e-book received an amount of $100 000 000 for his time spent on the computer. It was in Illinois at the Materials Lab, yes their university. On the Xerox Sigma-5 mainframe. His name was Michael Hart.
But don't just assume wow thats a lot of money. He tried very hard to worthy of this money. He created the idea of e-books. Hes words were "the greatest value created by computers would not be computing, but would be the storage, retrieval, and searching of what was stored in our libraries."
This was the start of a project known as Project Gutenberg. This project now makes more than 50 000 e-books ready for free use.
Now after all this time it is very easy creating an e-book. Just open your word processor, write transport digest your preferred format. And make it available for people. Whether it is writers, marketers, bloggers, businesses. Yes let's face it, anyone that wants to read your content.
But to make sure of success you have to remember quality. If it isn't quality then don't even try it. So lets deal with a questions you may have.
Is it ideal to write an e-book?First thing to consider is it narrow enough. The idea of e-books is a shortened version of a subject. It should be focused on one main thing. That makes an e-book ideal. Creating an e-book that covers everything isn't as effective, unless you cant give the shortened version. The idea of an e-book is a time limit.
Is the e-book favored for longer times.As with most things in life. Things change and some become irrelevant. Will your e-book last that long? What about a topic that will stay for a longer period of time?
The good news about e-books is it can be updated as times changes. But it is good to remember that changes should be kept to a bare minimum. Not a complete change. This way you can get new interest in your e-book.
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An example is if you have an e-book that you share if people subscribe to your posts, it is an effective and eye catching idea to say your e-book is updated as people may have been hesitant on subscribing because of an outdated version of your free e-book.
Do you have enough content material?
As I said earlier it is important to remember that an e-book shouldn't be too long. But there is the flip side to this. Nothing worse than a very short e-book. So do you have enough material for your chosen topic? What about a new fresh perspective, nothing quite ever competes with that.
Example say you want to write an e-book about Amazon. It is pretty basic to most people. We know that. But you have to find ways to make reading this e-book interesting. So what can help you?
- Remember to use words that is powerful to encourage conversion.
- Remember there is a difference between fiction and non fiction.
- Always a great idea to use keywords and remember to optimize e-book descriptions.
- Make sure you know about the pros and cons of your e-book when comparing with other authors.
- Do you know how to make your description in HTML stand out.
- Be careful of giving away too much of your e-book description. Don't spoil it. It is meant to be a teaser that makes readers want to read.
- If you can answer all this. You are ready to start your new e-book. Even if you have never written an e-book before.
As mentioned before an e-book shouldn't be to long, but also not to short. So how long is an e-book then? I guess it depends on your given topic. Can range from 20 to 150 pages. Whether it is fiction vs non fiction. Remember your audience. Is the idea a quick e-book or will a longer e-book be acceptable. Also where will you publish your e-book. Only you have these answers. If the idea is to use your e-book on your website. Then you can make it as long as you prefer. You can use your own price or make it available for free.
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But if you want to use Amazon, as an example. It means it cant be given away for free. Yes you will have to charge for your e-book. This also means you have to consider the length of your e-book. If this is your preferred method it may be fine. After all, you worked hard on your e-book.But for someone who wants to buy an e-book they consider the quality and length of your e-book.
For readers it about this one thing. If I can get the e-book for $4.99 and I can get the same type of e-book elsewhere for $0.99. Then why pay more? Many readers don't care about how long it took you, how hard it was. For them it is about the time they are spending and what they get in return for it. If you don't give what they want. You wont make sales on your e-book. This is just something to keep in mind when you want to write your own e-book.
Choosing your topic.Thats the wonderful thing about e-books. You can choose from most if not every topic. It is up to you. Yes, you're personal choice.
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Your own stuff in writing.If it a topic that you know about. You have enough experience to write about it. Then why not? You have the knowledge, You share the knowledge.
What about a topic like How to master keywords research in just 7 days. By Gary Smith. Now Gary knows that some courses are done via video or a webinar. But what does Gary use? PDF, So with this in mind it is an effective e-book.
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Why did Gaurav consider using e-book?
- Students eager to learn can work at their own pace
- Convenient times is always great for students, unlike a webinar.
- Lots of screen shots can be used to help explaining and any given examples.
- The format used is easily used by almost everyone.
- Not forgetting that Gary used keyword research, which he shared with his audience, in such a way that they can benefit from it.
Using someone else's stuff.Now this a very dangerous area. Very tricky indeed. Thats where words like plagiarism and copyright infringement comes in. So don't consider this way. It is not advisable.
The idea is when you want to use someone else's work. You want to make it yours. Meaning you want to add more details. That you know the e-book can benefit from.
If the idea is to to generate leads then why not give away your e-book? People love free stuff. Free is such a good word to your audience. But you have to remember that you have to promote your e-book.
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If you consider this free e-book give away on your website. You have to promote it.
So here is a few things you need to consider.
- Building your mailing list.
- If you want to generate leads this is an effective way. When email is used in marketing your site. It gives higher ROI than you would find in any other marketing channels.
Demonstrating and building your authority
If you are thinking about doing this. An e-book can help you build can help you in your preferred field. Especially if you are still working on getting stature.
Yes i know you can use Twitter ot your blog. But it wont last as long in social media changes. But as we talked earlier your e-book should be able to stand the test of time. So your readers can always go back and use it as reference. Which is why your e-book must have the best quality. So don't think about a fast and quick e-book.
Selling e-book.You may do it just for the thrill of having your e-book sold. Or seeing your own page on Amazon. Many consider this a career.
Yes it is admitted that the publishing barrier is so low. Many have successful stories from e-book writing. It can be that you just use Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing or any other platform and BAM you are a bestseller. But not just that. A millionaire one week later. But if it was that easy.
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Don't get confused. Doing this as a career takes very hard work, diligence, work, talent, lots of patience, perseverance and much more. But if you want to write a few helpful e-books and make it available then that low barrier is your friend.
So what platform should be used in publishing your e-book?
If you think about Amazon. Then why not? If you are going to use all your energy and time in creating a great e-book. Then why not make sure it is available on the biggest sites for best selling e-books. But if you feel you want to do it yourself. You can do that too.
Is it good to consider using an external platform. Yes, why not. Just be prepared to promote your e-book.
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Now what format should be used for your e-book?There is many different formats for e-books. If you want to make sure it isn't only readable on computer it means you have to think of a variety of formats.
MS Word - It can be a good format. But doesn't mean you should. It can be seen as a backup? But Not really ideal.
PDF - PDF can be seen as a more convenient way for your readers. It is effective in design. So it is a better option
ePub - Now this is where we start using words like premium format. As it is XML-based. It can be used on more devices, like Kindle Fire, Apple iBooks, ePub via Kindle Direct Publishing, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader and more.
Mobi - It was made by a French company named MobiPocket, but when Amazon bought the company the format was moved to Amazon's Kindle.
This was a few examples of e-book formats that is available.
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Using e-book tool buildingAs we all know programs are released and improved to make the process of creating an e-book easier. But in honesty it is already easy. You only need a few to make your e-book. Examples like Microsoft word, Calibre, Sigil, Kindle previewer, Scrivener.
Using Microsoft WordIf you want to write an e-book then it is without any doubt admitted that great features for building content. All that is needed is use the correct format. Just the click of a few buttons and you are done. But if you want ePub format? That is where Calibre comes in.
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Using CalibreIf you want to save as an ePub format. Then Calibre is ideal. It is free to download so its more convenient. It can convert Word docs to ePub. All you need to do is use your Word document in Calibre, as a book then you can simply convert to ePub format. You can edit your ePub. But not viewed as user friendly. Which brings in Sigil.
Using SigilIts free. If you want to edit ePubs you will find its very easy. If you did as mentioned before. (Converted your word doc to ePub using Calibre) Now you can open it with Sigil. It allows you to edit HTML. You also get the advantage of split screen. With this feature you can see HTML and your text at the same time. Convenient, isn't it?
Once you find you are happy with your ePub. You can make it ready to be available to readers. Either direct or what you choose as your distributing platform. But if you have a mobi file in mind.
Using Kindle previewerIt is actually neat. You can preview your e-book on different Kindle platforms before you upload. Just open your ePub ot will be changed to a mobi file. So it means you have an extra platform for your readers. This tool is free.
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Scrivener.Now this is a different way of handling e-books. Theres a course available to train on using it. Entire posts get made with Scrivener. It gives you word targets. Also you can see word counts at a quick glance. But this isn't free software. If you use the trail version there is a few that gives the usual 30 day trial.
But a word of advice. Even though your ePub may look good in one format. It may look awful in another format. So if you know HTML you are at an advantage. So if you are someone that doesn't know HTML you should consider your book formatting being done professionally.
Using PhotoshopRemember that readers do judge a book by it's covers. So the fact is. You need a great cover to make your e-book much more attractive to readers. If you know how to use Photoshop. You can make awesome covers.
CanvaIf you find that you are challenged in graphic designing. You will adore using Canva. There is a variety of things that makes Canva great. it is free. Has tons of templates. Headers for Twitter, Covers for Facebook, infographics e-mail headers and lots more. Also there is lots of graphics that is free. But there is images that does cost, but even those aren't expensive.
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But if you are still wondering you can consider a professional cover. It is cost effective and lots of times it is already made. But it also means the cover is exclusive. So if someone buys it. No one else has the right to use it.
Distribution of your e-book.
If you are thinking of using PDF format then you have the benefit of using it on your site directly or by e-mail. But of you are thinking of more formats then there is a few options available. Dropbox may not be ideal but it works. Because every file has its own link. This way you can just provide the link to your readers. Whether it is used by e-mail, social media or your site. But there is down side with Dropbox. Many readers find it difficult to load it onto their device, So you should give instructions beforehand on this.
Using e-mail to Kindle
With Kindle you can e-mail an e-book. All that is need for readers is to attach their preferred format(ePub , mobi) and send it to Kindle on the e-mail address given by Amazon.
Now to promoting your e-book
To see any results you have to promote your e-book. No matter who you are, if you don't promote, you wont get readers for your e-book. So now there is a few options on promoting your e-book
Social Media is a very effective way of letting people know about your e=book. But don't just do it once. Do it many times. You can also market by e-mail. Let your subscribers know about the e-book. Use your e-mail list to spread the word.
Consider Facebook ads. Truth is Facebook does have lots of potential. As it is your goal you will find it will generate leads. Then there is Twitter ads. But make sure what you want before you pay any money.
Edit your e-book.
You have to realize there is nothing worse than typos or bad grammar. So make sure you edit your e-book before publishing it. There is the option of doing it yourself. If you know you are good in writing and editing. But if you aren't sure you can use a professional editor. But make sure to look around before hiring an editor.
Last thoughts:There is no wrong or right way for writing an e-book. Nor is there an perfect way to publish your e-book. The power is always in the publication. What you write about and how you write. Your cover and your publish formats. Your preferred platforms for publishing. Yes it all plays a part. But the success depends on you.
This ultimate guide of ebook will help you to write and get your ebooks publish if you follow these tips.
If you have any question, feel free to ask me. Don`t forget to like us on Fb and subscribe our newsletter to stay tuned with us.