When we talk about the values of adding content to your Online Marketing platform, along side your Blog, one of the greatest resources to offer instant credibility and long term influence is authoring your own Ebook.
Breaking Down How (and Why) to Author Your Own Ebook
Authoring an ebook is not terribly difficult. It can be something as simple as your listing presentation or buyer consultation. Or it can be something as elaborate as the “25 things you must know before you…” However you do it, the rewards and benefits of authoring, designing and creating your own ebook can be never ending.
First off, do not think of an ebook as a book. All you’re doing is creating a bunch of pages in whatever OS (operating system) you wish…word .doc, .pub or pages on Mac…it doesn’t matter. Sure, there are ebook creator resources that you can pay for that may work better for you…it’s really up to you and your budget.
Next, you want to come up with a cover. This too can be easily done in (Microsoft) publisher or (Mac) pages. If you don’t have that artistic gene, you may need to hire this part out. The other thing to remember is the cover is always the first page of your document…later in this post, I will show you how to create a cool 3D cover to display on your Online Marketing platform.
Lastly, set your pages so there are links embedded and other cool things. Since you are creating a ‘live’ online document, you are able to link out to pages on your website or social media accounts for example. This gives your ebook a bit more oomph. Also, embedding video is an option as well. Adding lots of graphics and images can also make a big splash.
TIP: Never grab images off of the internet. Use image buying resources like 123rf.com to avoid any issues with the copyright trolls out there!
4 Steps to Creating Your Ebook
For the purpose of this, I will simply be using publisher so if you don’t have that, use word. If you’re a Mac user, pages are your best bet. The screenshots below are included for illustration purposes so if your operating system doesn’t have what mine does, please do not freak out…just go with what you got!
1. Create Your Cover –
I usually do this first simply because it is the first page I need to have for my ebook. It also allows my to exercise my artistic muse. SUPER TIP: Get a FREE account at Canva.com and see all this gem of a website has to offer to help you design and create some very professional covers.
This isn’t necessarily my go-to for my covers but I use canva.com almost every day so I wanted to share this with you just for that purpose.
Using publisher, I first add my cover and make it so it covers the entire 8.5 x 11 page. You are more than welcome to add a border for safety and some “play room” just so everything fits when we end up building out our 3D ebook cover for our website. The screenshot below represents a quick design I threw together but again, you are completely free to do whatever your little heart desires. NOTE: On the left is the order of the pages for your ebook and the cover is the first page…ALWAYS!
Next step…while we’re here…let’s save this single page as an image for our 3D ebook cover we’ll be making later. The easiest way to do this is to simply Ctrl+A which will grab every piece of the page. You then simply right click and Save as Picture. NOTE: Best to save it as a .png
2. Creating your pages –
Now you can really get to work here…particularly if you already have content that you can simply copy and paste over.
By clicking on ‘insert’ and then ‘page’, you can begin adding blank pages below your cover so when you save your ebook, everything is in place and in order.
At this point, you have the option (and opportunity) to add some ‘book’ish’ type stuff to your ebook:
- Page numbers
- Header and/or Footer
Adding a header and footer allows your ebook to have that ‘book’ish’ look that you may want.
When you add a header, you have the option to add it to all the pages in your ebook. TRICK: Just Apply (Apply to) your header and/or footer to the current page and then simply duplicate the page so the header/footer automatically appears on each page. Be sure you click Close Master Page which will take you back to your project.
So, now that we have the header and footer in place, now we can start building out our ebook.
At this point, I simply add a Draw Text Box to my page and position it so it aligns with the light blue lines indicating best fit for the page.
Now you can add your Index or Chapter page if you wish.
Begin by choosing your preferred font and alignment. Next, add your content and any other images your little heart desires.
To add your next page, simply go to the Page icon in the far upper left hand corner and click Insert Duplicate Page.
The reason why I go for this option rather than create a new page is because I already have my header and footer in place as well as my text box sized so there will be continuity throughout my ebook!
Now I can just delete the content from your previous page and add whatever content you want! Below is an example of a mixture of content and images BUT, there is really no specific way to put your ebook together! This is your opportunity to make an impact so whatever looks and feels right is perfect…your ebook is starting to come together. NOTE: Don’t be afraid to explore adding hyperlinks in your ebook as well. Great way to drive traffic to a specific page on your site or to send folks to your social media accounts. To do this all you need to do is go to Insert > highlight the word or words you want to hyperlink > Click Hyperlink and add destination URL.
3. Creating your 3D Cover –
Now we get to the nitty gritty! We’ve just added all our preferred pages and any appendix stuff like bibliography and the sort. Now I want to create my 3D cover and lastly, save my new ebook as a PDF so I can link it for download to my website. NOTE: You can obviously save your ebook now if you wish…how to do that will be in the next tutorial.
My go to for creating my 3D ebook covers is myecovermaker.com but you’re more than welcome to Google around to find one that works for you. You have a limited number of templates you can use for FREE but I will be using my account to set up my ebook cover and it only cost $4.95!
As you can see, the selection is awesome!
Going through the 3D cover process is as follows:
Step 1. Upload your ebook image. Click on Background and see the next screenshot below for the next step NOTE: You can create your ebook cover here as well if you wish. This program has some very nice background images and cool text and additional images if you are interested in using what they offer.
Step 2. Click the UPLOAD option and grab your image.
Once we have loaded your image, we want to choose the ‘SELECT AND CONTINUE’ link indicated in the screenshot below.
Step 3. Save your work.
Step 4. Finalize.
Step 5. Purchase and Download your 3D cover.
NOTE. This is a 3D cover so we want to be sure we download it as such. You’ll also want to be sure and indicate a transparent background. This adds a nice clean look to your book and allows you to lay it over anything without that annoying white box!
4. Putting it On Your Site –
OK, you’ve done all the hard work, now time to add it to your site for download.
Now, the easy thing to do is simply add it to a sidebar or someplace and just allow your visitors to grab and go. However, this is a lot of hard work and time spent so I would like to try and get some visitor information before they download the ebook. If your current website doesn’t allow you to add a contact form to your page, you may need to contact me to see what your options are.
Creating your ebook into a PDF – Before we can download the ebook to our site, we need to convert it to PDF or Portable Document Format.
To complete this step, simply go to FILE > EXPORT > CREATE PDF/XPS
And then just publish…
Putting it all together…
OK, let’s take inventory of all the components we have just made.
- Ebook saved in PDF
- Ebook 3D Cover save in .png
OK, now we just add the ebook and the cover to our media library and build out our page.
Below is how it would look and as you can see, with a contact form on either side of the ebook as well as some choice ‘Call to Action’ verbiage, you now have a smart looking ebook that easily establishes your brand AND…you capture your visitors information when they download the ebook!
GIVE IT A SHOT!!! ENJOY…
DOWNLOAD THIS FREE EBOOK AND LEARN HOW (AND WHY) TO AUTHOR YOUR OWN EBOOK…TODAY!
Don’t let another day go by without having the power of an ebook for your visitors to download!
It’s one of the most powerful ways to create and establish your brand…