By Kaleigh Moore October 26, 2023
Ebooks have been round because the daybreak of the digital age.
However that doesn’t make them a relic of the previous.
If something, ebooks are getting hotter. Since 2011, e book readers have risen to their highest levels: 30% report studying one up to now 12 months. And that’s increased than the speed of audiobook listeners (23%).
The most important class of readers? Those that learn each bodily and digital books.
And why not? Ebooks are handy; you may learn them wherever. You may simply distribute them for all types of causes, together with:
- Direct gross sales (providing an e book for a reduced value in comparison with a tough copy ebook)
- Lead magnets (utilizing an e book as a free reward for signing up for a e-newsletter)
- Establishing thought management
- Fulfilling your dream of changing into an creator
However no matter your motive for creating an e book, you gained’t get off the bottom till you already know every thing there’s to learn about ebooks. Particularly if you know the way to create an e book totally free.
The excellent news: you don’t should be an professional author.
You simply want a step-by-step system for brainstorming, drafting, and enhancing your e book till you’ve polished it to a wonderful sheen.
On this put up, let’s deal with every thing from the summary (how do you provide you with matters?) to the nuts and bolts of constructing an e book that appears nice on any fashionable system. Right here’s what you’ll must learn about how you can create an e book.
Writing the e book: concepts, brainstorming, and drafting
All of it begins with an concept.
However Asher had one downside. His most up-to-date work was, in accordance with his agent, “unpublishable.”
These days, the phrase “unpublishable” has by no means been so subjective. Asher knew that. So Asher turned to Amazon and the world of self-publishing.
Utilizing email marketing with AWeber, Asher created an e mail checklist, providing a free ebook obtain for brand spanking new subscribers.
Subsequent emails (despatched mechanically via AWeber) additional introduce his readers to his different works.
It labored so nicely, Asher began operating all types of his ebook promotions via AWeber.
The important thing all comes again to the concept behind it. Asher had a pre-vetted match between his established viewers and the contents of his newest e book.
With no comparable match, you may’t ensure that your e book will resonate with your viewers. So earlier than you set the pen to the pad—or, on this case, the keyboard to the desk—you want a great match between what your viewers desires to listen to and what you’re saying.
Producing concepts to your e book
The first step: discover your area of interest
Your area of interest is the particular matter or viewers you wish to work with. For Asher, it was a literary area of interest: suspenseful city fantasy.
That’s a distinct segment with particular enchantment to a neighborhood of readers. If Asher had bought his ebook as generically “thrilling,” there’d be no telling who the meant viewers was.
However if you happen to don’t have a longtime viewers, you’ll want some methods to determine your greatest area of interest.
Right here are some things to remember as you choose the proper e book viewers you wish to work with:
- Keep away from a generalized viewers. “Health,” for instance, is extra of a market than a area of interest. You must discover your particular enchantment inside the health world to face out. For AWeber customer Alycia from Zumba with Alycia, which means particular notes on making essentially the most out of Zumba courses.
- Particular, however not obscure. What if Alycia had niched her viewers down even additional? “Zumba for ladies aged 25-34, who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per yr, and reside within the northeast” is perhaps particular—however unnecessarily so. Should you begin shooing away potential e book readers, you is perhaps getting too obscure.
- Discover the issue you wish to remedy. Take the instance of Paula Rizzo. She was struggling to seek out gadgets to fill her condominium, so she determined to get proactive in organizing her priorities. The end result was Listful Thinking, a useful ebook for individuals who have an excessive amount of on their plate.
Step two: brainstorm niche-relevant concepts
Brainstorming might be greater than sitting in a chair and pondering. Ideally, it is going to be excess of that.
There are actually AI and SEO tools to hurry your brainstorming periods alongside, together with:
- ChatGPT: you fill in a easy immediate and ask for concepts, and it spits a listing proper again at you. Even if you happen to dismiss many of the concepts, there’s an opportunity one or two will mild a spark.
- Ahrefs: Use key phrase and web optimization instruments like Ahrefs to determine the highest developments in your area of interest, providing you with concepts for ebooks your viewers is already trying to find.
Don’t rely on AI or web optimization instruments. However do put them to work. They’ll show you how to flip obscure hunches about what sort of matter would possibly work greatest for you…and switch them into definitive concepts with construction.
What if you happen to’re nonetheless struggling to provide you with concepts?
Begin with a giant idea: possibly you wish to assist individuals grasp their funds. You simply don’t have your e book’s explicit “hook” but.
It’s also possible to use methods like mind mapping to work from a giant matter, after which department off into smaller matters during which you may have some experience.
Or you may run searches in your personal social media posts. On X (formally Twitter), go to search-advanced and have a look at your highest-performing tweets about your favourite topics.
Now learn via the feedback. What are the frequent ache factors individuals are citing? Or which matters appear to resonate essentially the most along with your social media viewers?
Comply with these breadcrumbs.
There’s a very good probability an e book matter is ready on the finish of them.
Constructing the e book’s content material
As soon as you already know what your e book is about, it’s time to fill it with participating content material.
The trick is arising with angles that folks haven’t heard earlier than.
Your first step? Interview individuals. Search for particular tales and case research.
Perhaps you already know individuals in your area of interest who can supply distinctive insights. However this isn’t a requirement. It’s also possible to run social media searches for matters in your area of interest and ask individuals if you happen to can interview them.
Subsequent, assemble your analysis.
Look via the prevailing notes, articles, and books you’ve already drawn inspiration from. Begin bookmarking and highlighting the perfect factors. Save essentially the most salient ones right into a bodily folder or a Google Doc.
That is just like the Ryan Holiday note-taking method.
Vacation, a prolific nonfiction creator, says he did analysis for 3 New York Instances bestsellers in his “spare time.”
One technique he makes use of is the “frequent place ebook.” This can be a ebook of quotes, sentences, tales, and different tidbits he can draw upon for materials.
He organizes these tidbits by themes and concepts. Each time he wants an instance or an perception, he returns to his “frequent place ebook.”
Lastly, you may search for tales.
In “Atomic Habits,” the bestselling ebook by James Clear, he begins most chapters with a demonstrative instance of the precept he’s about to clarify.
As an example, he opens the ebook with an anecdote concerning the profitable habits of the British biking crew within the 2000s.
Don’t assume you should be credible as an authority in your area of interest to get your concepts throughout.
Draw upon different sources because the demonstration of your key concepts. Set up your ideas by these key concepts, then let the storytelling strategy unveil and unwrap every concept with its personal distinctive taste.
Deciding what your e book will appear like
When you’ve began analysis, you’ll begin to get a way of the fabric you’re working with.
Now it’s time to determine what type that materials will take.
What is going to your e book look like?
- Will it have a lot of visuals, together with charts, graphs, and photos? Or do you wish to depend on textual content and storytelling?
- Will you design an e book primarily based on an e book template, or will you generate a template as you go?
- Or possibly you haven’t any concept.
In case your reply was “C) I do not know,” don’t fear. You may draw upon some present templates to suit the e book’s construction to the analysis you’re assembling.
Useful resource compilations, for instance, might be enjoyable “listicle”-style ebooks. Perhaps you’ll use a easy format like a singular software or tip for every web page.
- Frequent titles is perhaps “XYZ Greatest Practices for Making Your First Sale” or “5 Suggestions for a Newbie Weightlifting Routine.”
Story-rich ebooks, and even fiction, are easy sufficient. Your e book ought to emphasize primary readability for giant swaths of textual content and dialogue.
- Some titles which may work? Symbolic phrases you pull from the ebook can trace at a key occasion within the story.
How-tos and tutorials ought to function simply accessible, step-by-step guides. These usually come filled with illustrations, which makes correct formatting the emphasis right here.
- Frequent titles embody “What You Must Know About [Niche].” Or you may get artistic, as Mark Manson did along with his ebook “The Refined Artwork of Not Giving a F***.”
Interviews and case research can embody a mixture of illustrations, graphics, and storytelling. It’s possible you’ll even undertake a magazine-like strategy of together with visuals alongside the examples.
- You need to use a symbolic phrase right here, or create one which summarizes your strategy. “Atomic Habits,” for instance, makes use of the “atomic” metaphor to trace at small-but-powerful modifications, because the ebook explains.
Draft the e book with the format in thoughts
Does it sound like placing the cart earlier than the horse?
That’s okay. Drafting the e book with the format already in thoughts may prevent numerous pointless complications.
For instance, if you already know you’ll use a listicle type for a lead magnet e book, your analysis and drafting ought to replicate that.
It’s far much less environment friendly to draft your e book first, after which determine its total form throughout enhancing.
To make the drafting course of as easy as doable, stick to those primary steps.
Construct a top level view
Utilizing the analysis you’ve carried out, you must have arrived at just a few themes. Listed below are just a few potential methods to prepare them right into a agency plan:
- What concepts are robust sufficient to have their very own sections? Begin categorizing your analysis by these themes. These might be particular person chapters, and even complete sections.
- After you have just a few of these, what order is smart? When you’ve got a listicle-style e book in your palms, you could have to incorporate some suggestions earlier than others for context. Some suggestions might require constructing on others; present the foundational suggestions first.
- If all else fails, begin with essentially the most compelling tales and case research. Perhaps your e book is a unfastened assortment of insights. Begin with the insights you consider will “wow” your readers essentially the most.
An empty web page. A blinking cursor.
There’s no extra avoiding it: it’s drafting time.
Should you’re studying how you can create an e book to sell to your audience, you’re going to wish authentic content material. You’re going to wish an e book definitely worth the value of admission.
However drafting doesn’t should be the scariest a part of the method. Listed below are just a few suggestions for getting the writing accomplished as effectively and painlessly as doable:
- Work on the cloud. Failing that, recurrently again up your progress. Google Docs, for instance, mechanically saves for you. Different instruments, like Scrivener or Reedsy book editor, might be useful to individuals who wrestle to remain organized.
- Work in milestones to remain motivated. In case your purpose phrase depend is 25,000, ending a 1,000-word part gained’t be very motivating. Give your self weekly and even day by day milestones to maintain up the sensation of regular progress.
- Don’t let perfectionism gradual you down. As creator Jodi Picault stated: “you may’t edit a clean web page.” Even when one thing strikes you as “off,” merely make an observation to edit it later.
If that also proves overwhelming, you may all the time outsource the drafting.
However possibly you don’t wish to know how you can create an e book totally free; you simply wish to get it revealed.
Nonetheless not happy along with your e book? It’s also possible to subcontract an editor to get an additional pair of eyes in your draft.
Publishing your e book: design, publishing, and advertising
You’ve obtained the phrases down. Now you may have a robust useful resource able to distribute to the lots. Only one little hiccup:
Nobody’s going to learn it in the event that they by no means hear about it.
And even when your viewers hears about your e book, issues accessing the file can get in the best way.
Your e book needs to be straightforward to seek out, straightforward to digest within the buyer’s most well-liked medium, and straightforward to learn as soon as downloaded.
Let’s ensure you’ve obtained all of your bases lined.
How you can get an ideal e book cowl
Everyone knows we shouldn’t decide a ebook by its cowl. But it’s exactly what readers do.
Your e book isn’t essentially a tangible ebook your prospects can maintain of their palms, however a very good cowl will convey professionalism and worth. Should you’re promoting an e book—and even if you wish to use it as a lead magnet—your cowl ought to replicate the standard content material it accommodates.
But you don’t should be an expert designer, both. Listed below are just a few methods you may get your e book’s cowl as much as snuff:
- Outsource it, utilizing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. If you wish to see a number of iterations, 99Designs permits you to put up a challenge and evaluation designers’ entries first.
- Defer to AI. Join Midjourney, and AI can provide you a number of iterations of e book covers for a month-to-month subscription payment. It’s also possible to select from 4 iterations to assist the AI zero in in your favourite ideas.
- Use templates. Canva’s online ebook maker options pre-existing templates. Experiment with fonts, colours, and illustration parts to construct the e book cowl your self, totally free.
- Use DIY E book Covers, which incorporates ebook templates which might be really easy, you merely choose them and edit the textual content to insert your title.
Prepping the e book for publishing
Utilizing the instruments above, you may craft a stellar e book cowl with out being an expert designer.
However the inside the ebook can get just a little tough.
The within of the e book ought to look clear, skilled, and readable. And that’s not laborious to attain nowadays.
What is laborious to attain? An e book that appears equally lovely and readable it doesn’t matter what e-reader the shopper is utilizing.
Luckily, you may defer to those publishing instruments to maintain the type constant:
- Calibre is an open-source e book publishing software. Use it to transform your Phrase and PDF recordsdata into ebook-ready codecs, like EPUB or MOBI. (Notice: e-readers just like the Amazon Kindle work with .mobi recordsdata.)
- Sigil is an e book editor you should utilize to publish on to the EPUB format. As with Calibre, you may import textual content paperwork to transform to ebooks.
- Reedsy permits you to write inside the software program, then save on to PDF or EPUB. It additionally features a author and reader neighborhood for distributing your e book as soon as it’s prepared.
At this level, you’ll additionally want a Desk of Contents (TOC).
If utilizing one of many instruments above, you may create the TOC with hyperlinks immediately in a phrase processor like Phrase or Google Docs.
To maintain it as straightforward as doable, use constant header kinds for chapter titles. For instance, in Google Docs, possibly your chapter titles are “H2.” Then merely publish to the brand new format with these instruments, they usually’ll protect your hyperlinks.
TOCs are particularly helpful for readers with particular ache factors. In the event that they’re downloading your e book as a lead magnet, they could use the TOC to zoom proper to the part that addresses what they’re going via.
How you can create an e book in Canva
Earlier on, we talked about Canva as a useful resource for constructing your e book cowl.
However it seems you are able to do it all in Canva.
Cowl pages, engaging shade schemes, choosing typography, including visible parts—it’s all right here. There’s an entire section in Canva to steer you thru the steps concerned.
Consider it as e book design for dummies.
These templates are helpful as a result of Canva permits you to copy/paste your content material immediately. It’s also possible to select from a handful of pre-designed graphics to spruce up every chapter heading.
As you’re employed, Canva will mechanically save your progress.
When you’ve found out how you can create an e book in Canva, obtain the file within the applicable format, immediately from the platform. There’s nothing to pay to Canva except you employ premium parts options. However these are luxuries, not requirements.
Reviewing your e book and prepping for publishing
When you click on that button, you’ll be excited. You’ll be tempted to share your masterpiece with the world.
So right here’s the toughest step: sleep on it.
Irrespective of how laborious you edit, there are going to be errors. And so they’ll be tougher to repair after you publish it.
Ship your e book to some loyal readers, or household and buddies. See if they will spot any apparent errors. Solicit their suggestions, then make any last-minute modifications to the draft itself.
And when you’ve used instruments like Canva or Calibre to obtain your e book in a brand new format, give it a look. Studying it in a brand new format will provide you with a recent perspective.
Any apparent errors? Evident errors? Extra context that you must throw in on the final minute?
Now’s your final probability.
Create an e book individuals will love
From choosing a distinct segment and concept technology to sharpening your final file to a wonderful, shimmering gleam, constructing your first e book will sound like coaching for a marathon.
However don’t fret! There are nice free instruments, from ChatGPT to Canva, that can assist you alongside the best way.
And when you’re accomplished, you’re accomplished. You’ll have an e book you should utilize to drive e mail signups or promote immediately.
Plug it into AWeber as your lead magnet and watch as your e-newsletter grows. You’ll by no means should elevate one other finger because the e book—and your e-newsletter software program—does the remainder of the work.
However if you wish to generate income off it, there’s only one extra step. Learn to promote your e book to reap the advantages of what you’ve simply achieved.