Friday, July 28, 2017

Eleven Steps to Write and Publish an eBook

Finding the time to write an eBook around your life or blog can be really difficult. The ongoing task of building relationships with other bloggers, writing guest posts, responding to every comment that comes your way, can be quite a handful. So even thinking about fitting the time to write an eBook seems insane.

In your mind you have all the plus points added together know how beneficial it would be.

On top of all of your other writing its quite a task to sit down and create an eBook of more than 25 pages, editing, proof-reading it. At the end of the day you want a well-written eBook, informative and interesting. So how do you do it?

Follow this 12-step guide and start writing your eBook today:

Step One - The Idea

Without an idea your eBook is dead in the water. Take the first step and make notes about things that pop into your mind. An important component about writing in general is to get your name out there and noticed on the Internet and use it as a platform for selling your eBook.

Pick a Topic

In any kind of writing research is your friend, so take your time and read books, magazines and articles on your chosen subject. The Internet has a wealth of information for you to tap into. Life experience is a great place to start and if you're passionate about something even better. It's worth knowing that your average eBook is about 25 pages long.

Writing Preparation

Buy a notebook, something you can carry around with you while you're out and about. Ideas can come at some strange times during the day, having a notebook at hand is a life saver. You'll find you spend a long time thinking about it at your PC, but not nothing will come into your mind.

Keep your eye on the time it takes you write, each day that goes by needs to be spent doing something constructive to do with your eBook. This can be writing, developing your blog or writing out your marketing strategy.

A good start is to write an outline on your chosen subject, this will help get your thought's in order. Jot down your chapter headings, you can always rearrange them in the order you want them in later.

Keep all distractions to a minimum, mobile phones, Ipad's etc things with social media that will pull you away from your task and will cost you time. Switch them off. You'll be amazed what a couple of hours without distraction can for your writing.

Once you start typing out your eBook, remember to create a new file and save as you go along. This will save you frustration if you do end up losing your work.

Step Two - Notify Your Readers

Tell your followers on Twitter, Google+ and on your blog that your writing an eBook. Inform them it'll be ready in a couple of weeks.

Let your readers know in a newsletter, share a sense of excitment about the upcoming release, get a buzz going.

Step Three - The Writing Part

Write from the perspective of your target audience, and define who it is you're writing for, that way you can connect with your audience. Make writing a good habit, use and develop it. This is your opportunity to pass your own insight into the things you're most passionate about.

Every writer's worst nightmare is 'writer's block', when you go to write/type something and there's nothing in your mind. Don't get overwhelmed by your task, do it in bite sized chunks.

Write in draft form, keep it simple and stay away from formatting your document. You can do that later on when you eBook is close to completion.  The same goes for editing, wait until the end, your main aim is to have a draft copy of your eBook, you'll have plenty of time later to make it pretty.

Saving your document throughout and putting in on a memory stick will pay off and ensure you don't lose the manuscript you've created

Choose a finishing date, a date in your calendar your ready to sell it by. This should all coincide with your blog/website.

Step Four - Edit and Name Your eBook

At this point a small celebration is in order, you've written your draft, done your research and the end is in sight.

This is where proofreading comes in, read it over and over in your head to hear how it sounds. I like to print my manuscript out and read it over. It's so easy for things to get missed on a computer screen.

Check your grammar and spelling, don't leave it up to the spellchecker. I never completely trust my spellchecker. Make it your best work but also bare in mind it'll never be perfect. You have a date in your diary to keep, so stick to it and get it done.

The Perfect Title

Waiting until the end to pick a title is a great because you have a fresh perspective on what you've written.

Your book may have taken a different twist to the way you imagined. Had you chosen a title at the beginning it may no longer fit with what you've written now.

Step Five - Formatting Your eBook

My choice was to use Word, it's simple and easy to use for fiction and non-fiction titles alike, Images and photo's can easily be uploaded.

Your eBook will be read on a variety of devices, mobile phones, Nooks, PCs, Kindles, laptops and tablets. The page and font size will vary to the original document so keep it simple and clean.

Step Six - Preparation
  • Don't Use 
  • Page numbers (some devices allocate page numbers based on the preference of the owner, eBook files don't have a universal page number) 
  • Advertising and promotion - Don't promote other competitors if your publishing with other websites. Use your website/blog, Facebook to promote yourself 
  • Headers and footers 
  • Background images and colour's along with borders aren't recommended. Text will look feint on a grey scale e reading device 
  • Drop caps at the beginning of each chapter 
  • Different colour text 
  • Multi column's, stick to a single column layout 
  • Text boxes - If a large font size is being used, the text box may run onto the next page 
Your page size is irrelevant - letter or A4 is fine. Use standard settings for your margins.

Step Seven - Formatting Your Manuscript 

  • Don't use multiple spaces or tabs 
  • Use a single paragraph break, not double paragraph breaks 
  • Separate sections and sub-sections with a central break 
  • Separate chapters with a page break, don't use multiple returns to move to the next page 
  • Styling Fonts and Text 
  • Choose Arial, Georgia and Times New Roman for the main body of text 
  • 10, 11 or 12 pt is great for the main body of text 
  • Use block text 
  • Use single line spacing 
  • Use bold, italics and ALL CAPS to make things stand out 
Step Eight - Add Images and Front and Back Matter

Images can be used but take into account the following:
  • Some e readers don't display colour, but only display grey scale 
  • Insert images into your manuscript as separate files (GIF, TIFF, PDF, PNG and JPG) are all fine to use 
  • Don't float images left or right of text. Keep them in their own line instead 
Your eBook Cover

You can pay someone else to create one for you or you can create your own, this is all down to money. Keep it simple, I can't stress this enough. Amazon provide an eBook cover maker for you. With this you can create your own without the harassment of looking for images.

Further down the line you can always pay for someone else to do it for you, when you've got some money in your pocket.

About the Author and Author's Note

This gives you the opportunity to write about yourself and promote yourself in the process.

Step Nine - Add Links

Providing the Internet connection is on these links will work automatically on an e reader device, so make sure your website and social networks get a mention
Use Word's hyperlinking and bookmarking to link from one place in the manuscript to another

Step Ten - Pricing Your eBook

Go on Amazon, one of the biggest platforms for selling your eBook. They offer various ways of making an income from your eBook. In the long run it will get your book out there and put money your pocket.

Start by selling it for $0.99 that way you'll gain an audience for other books you want to sell later.

As a writer its good to start small, build an audience that will be buy your book. Unless your an established writer its pointless setting your price high. People need to connect with you on your blog/website before they open their wallet's and spend.

Step Eleven - Distribution and Marketing Your eBook

I recommend selling through Amazon Kindle Publishing, Smashwords, Kobo. This way, you have a platform with thousands of people at your finger tips. It's also secure and VAT is taken care of.

Write blog posts telling your readers all about your eBook, along with the cover image you've created (try Picmonkey).

Tell the world! Send emails, tweet about it, ask for retweets, tell your friends. Try writing a press release.

Let me know if this has been helpful, or if you have any questions.

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