This post has been on my backlog of blog post ideas for quite some time. But I quickly took it off the backburner and scheduled it for publishing when I learned how many eager bloggers are searching for help learning how to make an ebook.
So here we go – this post is for you guys and gals who want to make an ebook but have no idea where to start.
I’ll start by saying this: there are tons of different ways to create an ebook. This post is not one of those be all end all approaches. Instead, I’ll cover 2 different ways that I’ve made ebooks in the past.
One thing you should make note of before spending too much time learning how to make an ebook, you don’t need to pay for an expensive service to make an ebook.
Even if you want to sell your ebook, you can use one of the methods I’m about to share below to make an ebook for virtually no money at all.
There is a common misconception that if you want to sell something, it NEEDS to be the prettiest most fancy version possible. This idea is what prompts many people to drop bucket-loads of cash paying freelance designers to format and design their ebook.
You don't need to pay a ton of money to make an ebook for your blog
While you can certainly take that route if you choose, it’s most definitely not required. I know many bloggers who sell their simply-designed ebooks that they formatted themselves. They make a significant profit each month on their ebooks – and they spent nothing but time creating them (no money dropped at all). So that’s just something to think about.
Enough of that – here’s how to make an ebook!
How to Make an Ebook
Step One: Come up with an idea
You might get hung up on step one (brainstorming an idea for your ebook) for quite some time. And that's okay. It's important to be sure that you find something that will work well for you.
Your ebook should be something that your target audience actually wants (otherwise no one will lunge for it). It should also be something that you enjoy writing about (if you don't enjoy writing it, chances are it won't turn out well in the end).
Come up with a few ideas and survey your target audience on which one they'd prefer. You can head to a Facebook group to ask the question or you can even email your email list asking what they think.
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Step Two: Draft the ebook
Depending on how strong of a writer you are, your ebook could take you one week to write or even up to a month to write. Set a deadline for yourself and then get to work right away.
I recommend that you write your ebook in a word document and save it regularly.
Start by outlining the table of contents for your ebook (this is the rough outline for your ebook). Then start writing each section.
When you're all done drafting the ebook, set aside some time to read through it again. But this time, read through it with a careful eye focused on spelling and grammar mistakes.
Step three: Choose how you want to publish
Option 1: Word Document
I’ve found that writing ebooks in word documents is the easiest method to creating an ebook. Not only are they created for writing, but they have built in grammar/spelling checks and they are all around easier to format.
You're one step ahead of the game since you've already written your draft in the word doc.
For reference, you can use any word document generator.
- Microsoft Word
- Google Docs
Personally, I’m a Microsoft Word kind of gal. I’m a fan of the simplicity. Yes, it’s a bit old school but it works, and I’ve only ever received rave reviews of my ebooks that were created here.
Ultimately, people want value. If your ebooks deliver value, no one will care where you created it originally.
When you're done revising/edit in your word document, convert your ebook to PDF
Once you’re all set writing the ebook, you’ll need to convert it into a PDF. You should never deliver an editable document to your readers. That's poor form.
Design a cover in Canva
At this point, I’ll usually design a book cover and book end in Canva. Here are examples of some of my ebook covers that were created in Canva and exported as a PDF (and then subsequently attached to the front of my newly created PDF ebook).
To create a cover in Canva, you just need to make your image size the same size as a regular piece of paper. This way, you can export it as a PDF, and it will match the rest of your word document.
Make links clickable
Since you created your ebook in a word document, chances are the links are not clickable as a PDF. So you’ll need to use a tool to make them clickable.
I use Adobe Acrobat to make that happen!
Make sure to check every single link to be sure it goes to the right place!
Option 2: Create the ebook in Canva
I’ve created many freebies in Canva but I’ve only ever created an entire ebook in Canva once. After I did that, I vowed never to do it again.
That said, the only reason why this ebook was hard to create in Canva was because it was dozens of pages long.
If you’re looking for an easy way to create a short ebook (10-20 pages), then Canva is a great option for you.
Here’s how to do it:
Step one: Create a free canva account
Step two: create a new design that is PDF sized.
Step three: start writing (but I recommend writing in a word document and then copying the text over to Canva)
Bonuses to working in Canva
You get to style your design
Regular word documents generally look pretty plain unless you are a wiz and know how to style them.
Canva, being the graphic design tool that it is, allows you to create a template design with drag-and-drop design features. This makes branding your ebook super simple.
My ebook designed in Canva got incredible reviews and feedback about the design – I was pleased!
You get to export the PDF with already clickable links
When you download your ebook from Canva, all the links that you included will automatically be clickable. This makes things incredibly easy for you – it’s just one less thing to think about!
Once you’re done typing your ebook out and proofreading it a thousand times through, then you can convert it to a PDF.
Elements of a good ebook
Every ebook is different, but if you’re creating an ebook as a lead magnet, there are a few things that you won’t want to forget to include.
Number one: Always include clickable links back to your site on each page
Usually, I include my website in the footer of each page. This helps with branding but it also helps to make sure you and your site are easily accessible to your readers.
Number two: include page numbers
Reading an ebook isn’t like reading a regular hardcopy book. Page numbers help orient your readers. It’s just common courtesy to include them, and it’s easy enough to do!
Number three: invite your readers to share your ebook on the last page
I like to include click to pin and click to tweet text on the last page of my ebooks. This way, if readers really enjoyed it, I’ll have made it incredibly easy for them to help spread the word.
Number four: keep your ebook in line with your brand
Try and use the same color scheme and fonts as you have on your website. Your website and all of your assets should represent your brand in a clean, clear, and consistent manner.
Number five: make sure your ebooks deliver great value!
You don’t want your ebook to leave people feeling like they wasted their time downloading it. Delivering quality content for free is the number one way to attract and retain your readers. So put your all into your free content and don’t drop the ball!
Let's bring this all together
So, we covered a lot. Let me do a little recap to help bring this all together for you.
- There are tons of ways to create an ebook
- It's recommended that you write all of your ebook content in a word document (to make sure you don't lose any content accidentally)
- You can publish right from Word (convert to PDF) or you can copy your text over to Canva (which is easier to designer)
- You can create a cover for your Ebook in Canva
- There are several important elements of a great ebook - be sure to familiarize yourself with those!
Now that you've read this, what do you say? Are you ready to create your first ebook? Let me know in the comments!
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