Writing an eBook is something anyone can do. Whether you want to offer your book as a freebie, sell it as part of your passive income or add it to any other of your digital products, it’s a very valuable source of income! Here’s a comprehensive eBook Publishing Guide: 4 Steps to Writing and Publishing an Ebook.
There definitely are many benefits of publishing an eBook and you might’ve considered it for a variety of reasons.
For example, a free eBook can be a great way to grow your mailing list and show your expertise to your audience.
A paid eBook can be an amazing source of passive income and bring in additional revenue.
This eBook Publishing Guide will be a great fit for anybody who considers writing an eBook but has no idea where and how to get started.
Honestly, it’s a lot easier than you might’ve thought!
Who can write an eBook?
First, let me tell you that absolutely anyone can write an eBook.
If you have any writing experience and some ideas to implement, you’re good to go. And with writing experience here I mean something like… have you ever written a blog post or like a very insightful email? Then you’re good to go!
Writing and publishing an eBook CAN be as simple as writing the content in Word and saving the document as a PDF.
There are other methods on how to design and publish an eBook but more about it – later in the article.
Don’t be scared to get started. You can’t improve unless you get the ball rolling.
eBook Publishing Guide: 4 Steps to Writing and Publishing an Ebook
This eBook Publishing Guide consists of 4 phases:
- Preparation. How to come up with an amazing idea and write an eBook that drives the attention? How to do research and define your ideal reader?
- Writing. How to structure your content? Which tools to use to improve your writing skills?
- Design. How to actually make it look good? What are the easiest free tools to use for eBook design? Can you design an eBook on Word?!
- Publishing. How to get it out to the people? How to market & sell?
PHASE #1: Preparation
Before you start writing your eBook, it’s important to gather ideas, do some research and prepare the information to work with.
STEP #1: THE idea
Either you already have around gazillion topic ideas for your eBook or you have around none. There’s rarely any in-between…
So what to do to find and clarify the best idea?
Here are some tips:
- See what knowledge you already have. What comes easy to you might not be the case for your audience. We ofter undermine our own skills and feel like everybody knows that but it’s not true! So what experience and knowledge can you share? What have you been through?
- Research what your audience likes the most. If you already have a blog, Instagram or email list, take a look at what are the most read topics! What people are the most responsive to?
- Answer the questions people ask you. Have you ever received a question in your email on how you’ve done one thing or another? Have your friends been interested in how you do one thing or another? Those questions might lead to a bigger thing!
Gather all of this information and figure out how you can HELP people.
What is kind of useful, insightful and fun information can you provide?
Write down your ideas, share with your people, get feedback, brainstorm some more.
With no time for brainstorming, you might let your best idea go!
Don’t be scared to get started. Once you get the idea, do the work. You can always write another eBook later down the road.
STEP #2: Define your ideal reader
This is an important step for any successful e-product.
Before starting to work towards your goals and your ideal audience, you need to get clear about WHO are you talking with.
Once you have the idea for your eBook, imagine the person on the other end who’ll appreciate it the most.
How can you serve them in a truly useful way?
The more clear you are on your audience, the easier it will be to create a truly great product!
Once you have decided on who you want to serve, reach out to these people and actually ASK them whether they would need such solutions? Are they even interested? Is there anything else you can solve and add even more value?
For reaching out, you can use your email list if you have one, ask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook groups… If you talk to even 5 people, you’ll already get some useful insights!
STEP #3: Do the field research
Dig deeper in your chosen topic.
The field research can serve a great purpose. For example, you can research your topic and find out new insights to share on the eBook. You’ll also see what kind of questions people ask the most and what are the most popular books or blog posts on the topic right now.
So where to start? I’d say go with Pinterest.
That’s the place where average today’s reader might go to for you can see what topics people read about.
Write in a search tool your topic and see what’s already there.
- Which posts show up first?
- What’s the value you can add up?
- What are the things people are most interested in?
Afterward, when initial research is done, get back to good old Google and do it once again.
To research your chosen topic even more – and get some new ideas – you can also try watching some TedX talks on the topic or doing free courses.
For example, Skillshare offers 2 months of FREE Premium content (no payment needed whatsoever) and they have a library of an amazing amount of online courses in a variety of fields.
STEP #4: Think about design
This is an important part of the preparation phase – to know how your book will look like when it’s finished.
It will be easier to group content and write without much editing later (okay, there will be a lot of it anyway…).
I had no idea how my design will look. Since I’m a designer myself, I decided that I’ll just go with the flow whenever my book will be ready – will do what’ll be working the best. My mistake!
The design is a crucial part of your e-book. Let’s be honest, there are some really great things we could’ve read along the way, but we closed the book just because it was uncomfortable to read and didn’t look tempting to continue.
- The structure: How many chapters will your book have and how you’ll separate them?
- Overall design: Will your eBook will be minimalistic or bold and bright?
- Creative elements: How will you put emphasis on some special information, for example, some interesting facts or quotes?
PHASE #2 eBook writing
The actual eBook writing, obviously, is the most crucial part of this eBook Publishing Guide.
Before we get to further steps, here are some free online classes you can take to improve your creativity and writing skills:
- The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit
- Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact
- Creative Personal Writing: Write the Real You
- Creative Writing Project: Brainstorm Your Story
Now, let’s move on with the writing process!
There are several questions you should consider when it comes to how your eBook will be written.
STEP #5: Research the best tools
You’ll need tools for gathering ideas, writing, as well as improving or editing your writing.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Google Keep or Evernote for book notes. Both of these tools can be used on your phone, as well as on the desktop. It’s easy to save any ideas on the go!
- Trello for structure. Layout your book’s structure/outline in Trello and track your progress!
- Grammarly for writing and editing.
- Word for writing and structuring. Whenever you finish a new lesson, move it to a general Word document where all of your book can be kept!
- Ommwriter for distraction-free writing environment! OmmWriter is a tool that makes it easier for you to concentrate. Based on a natural setting, it effectively insulates your mind from distractions and sets up a direct line between your thoughts and your words.
STEP #6: Outline the content
First of all, do the brain dump. Create a place where you can just write down any and ALL ideas that come to you.
From there on, create a structure, a book’s outline.
STEP #7: Schedule your writing sessions
Not a secret that most of the books that have been started never get to the finish. Why so? Because of a variety of reasons. People lose their interest, they don’t have time and they haven’t defined their goals.
Therefore go the road less traveled – define your goals and schedule your writing sessions!
Whether you’ve decided to write your eBook in a month or in a year, you should get clear about when you’ll be doing it. After work, in the evenings? Weekends?
Also – set the place to do that! It will help you get your mind going every time you’ll get to that spot.
STEP #8: Make sure to have some time for editing and reviewing the book you’ve written!
First of all, my biggest suggestion is to use Grammarly while writing your e-book (or even your blog posts). Even if it’s just the beginning, Grammarly will save tons of your time. It’s for FREE and it will show you the mistakes in your text.
It shows not only your mistakes but also suggested edits!
It’s AMAZING and my blog posts would be absolutely terrible without it. It doesn’t even matter either you’re a native English speaker or not. It’s a must-have!
Once everything is written: I’d suggest to you to take some time off and get back to it after a week or so (more, if possible). That’s a great way to see your mistakes! You give your mind some time to rest and it’s not working in the same mode.
You can re-read everything and see whether it’s still working for you. Maybe there’s some phrase that’s used without a context just because you were thinking about your dinner plans at that point.
Besides that, you should give your eBook for someone else to read through. That can be your best friend or your mother. A paid editor also is an option, but not always a necessary one!
PHASE #3 eBook Design
As mentioned before, the design is a crucial part of your eBook. However, it doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!
If you’ve decided to work on this with a designer, you can definitely go for it. But if you’re willing to get through it yourself, here’s a little help.
First of all, remember that your eBook absolutely CAN be written and designed in Word document, without using any additional tools! Simplicity is the key and often it’s actually better to keep it minimal instead of going extra.
If you have no idea where to even start, check out these free classes on design to get some ideas rolling:
- Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design
- Color Theory: Get Inspired by Color!
- Introduction to Book Cover Design
Here are some other things to keep in mind.
STEP #9: Text layout
The best way to design a nice text layout is to check out some of the most popular books.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Should your text be left-aligned or justified (where both sides are even)?
- How wide-spread should each page be?
- How much spacing to leave between the lines and paragraphs?
- How to indicate each new Chapter?
The best tool to create an effective layout is Adobe InDesign which was made for this exact reason – layout designs!
If you are interested in this option, take this free class to learn how to design books on InDesign. It’s quite a great skill to have! Later, you might find InDesign useful for any other digital product creation, Worksheets, Checklists and way beyond.
STEP #10: Cover design
The most popular choice for non-designers for eBook cover is Canva. It’s an app where you can choose a photo and adjust the text to it in a variety of styles and do some other simple graphic design manipulations. It’s perfect to create a simple and eye-catching eBook cover.
If you’re going for another choice, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Or hire a designer.
But there’s no harm in keeping your eBook cover simple and “hand-made”!
PHASE #4: eBook Publishing
I wrote my eBook in Word, designed it in InDesign and published it in .pdf form for my newsletter readers/sign-ups. It all worked for me like a charm!
Most bloggers and online business owners have gone the same route, in one way or another, and self-published.
Once you have the PDF, you can sell the eBook on your website, create an online shop on platforms like Shopify or add it as a part of your other digital products, for example, an online course.
But you might be willing to actually publish your eBook and that’s the road I haven’t traveled.
You can do it all yourself – get your eBook on Amazon or Kindle. However, here are some tools you can use:
- Pronoun (e-book publishing service including editing and design),
- BookBaby (e-book publishing service with a variety of packages for your needs).
I hope this eBook Publishing Guide inspired you and gave you some actionable tips on how to create and publish your own eBook in no time!
Once again, I just want to encourage you to get started. Everything always seems a lot more complicated when looking from the sidelines…
Do you still have any questions? Let me know in the comments!