Six months ago I decided to write my first eBook and publish it on my blog. I would create and save it in PDF format. It seemed simple enough. I would start with an outline, come up with some compelling content, and put it together into a format that would work for my readers. I took a look at books that other bloggers had created. The formats were rather basic. It all seemed like a simple project.
Then reality hit. As I compared popular eBooks, I noticed that there were all sorts of formats. Some were wide screen, others were in portrait mode. Some used extensive backgrounds while others were just text.
I decided to take the plunge.
For my first attempt, I used Keynote on my MacBook to create the pages. This format would look good on the screen, and Keynote had lots of templates to choose from. I would start with a basic canvas and add from there. I started working with titles, pictures, and backgrounds. I had to adjust text sizes and fonts to fit the screen. Soon I had the first chapter done. I saved it as a PDF and viewed it on the screen.
This is where things went bad…
The book looked good on some screens, but was too big on others. The Mac fonts didn’t play well on a PC. The advance arrows were different, depending on the PDF software.
I started out of the box with a mess.
Frustration soon set in. I was dealing with too many variables. I couldn’t decided on an appropriate background and font set. The page sizes seemed all wrong, and then I went to print out some slides and discovered that they didn’t print well. After a few hours of frustration I closed the lid on my laptop.
I gave up on my first try.
A few months went by until I tried again. This time I would be a success, because I would take an eBook class. I signed up with a local writer and took her e-book course. I learned a lot about eBooks and was able to interact with other writers from my local area. The subjects and writing styles were eclectic, but I came away with a greater understanding of the process. Unfortunately, the teacher did not offer a template or advice on formatting. She said she used someone else to do that for her. After spending a day in class, I was left with a gaping hole in my eBook process. I had the words, but not the process. I was frustrated to say the least.
I decided I needed more information.
I continued to look at different eBooks and styles. I did some searches on Google. I read lots of material. I had the basics, but I wanted perfection. I wanted the create the best eBook on the market. Unfortunately I was making a classic mistake.
I was overthinking the whole process.
I wanted the moon, but what I really needed was a straight-forward process to get my words to my reader in a format that they could read. But I had too many choices. My creative mind couldn’t settle on a single style or format. I was really getting frustrated now. Then one day, quite by accident I met someone who changed everything.
I met Ali Luke.
She had done a guest post over at Copyblogger and talked about how to actually write and format an eBook. I was impressed with her writing style. She had a copywriter’s mindset. She also offered something that I really needed. She offered an eBook on writing eBooks that came with a template for MS Word (portrait and landscape). I decided to purchase her book and then things changed quickly.
Her book was written in a simple to understand style that led you through the process of creating the ebook from scratch. Her eBook was written using the same template she offered for her readers. I liked the look and it was different than so many other books that I’d read. It worked on my laptop as well as my PC. She created a compelling book, using chapter headings, text boxes, and great formatting. I loaded up her MS Word template in Word 2010 and then I went on to…
Create an eBook
My words flew on the page. Her template and instructions helped me get my outline done in under an hour. Using the navigation mode in Word 2010 with her template, I was able to fill in the chapters of my template in record time. Soon my ebook was taking shape. The cool thing was, when I output it in PDF it looked good everywhere I tried it. It was simple but well done.
Once I was done with the basic text, I created a compelling cover with instructions from her book and added illustrations along the way. Now when I output the document, it grabbed my attention. With her template, I created an updated table of contents with one click and it showed right in the navigation screen.
I can’t tell you how easy this process was using her template and tools. I went from blank page to finished draft in just two days. Then it got even better. Since I was so impressed with her book, I decided to see if she would edit my book for me and create a compelling sales page.
She e-mailed me right back and was able to do the editing and sales page in a little over a week. Since she is a copywriter, her copy page came out great. I was really impressed with her words. One of the hardest things to do is write copy for your own product. She provided just the right tone at a reasonable price. The bottom line….
I would be excited to buy the book (even though it is free) after reading her copy.
Even though she lives in England, doing business online using Paypal was a breeze. If you have struggled with the whole e-book publishing process, I recommend you pick up her Irresistible Ebooks edition and template. Her straight-forward approach will have you published in no time.
I soft launched my new Productivity Hoax eBook last week on the sidebar, and you can get a copy for just signing up for my Success-Connect newsletter. The next step is to create a video page and then do a formal launch. Stay tuned as we finish the project out.
Question: Have you ever wanted to publish your own ebook?