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How To Create an eBook: Part 2

How to create an ebook
How to create an ebook

In Part 1 we looked at Wendy’s journey and the motivations that led her to create an ebook.

Now in Part 2 we’re looking at the actual steps Wendy took in publishing her ebooks and establishing digital products as the primary source of revenue in her nutrition business, Wendy’s Way To Health. We’ll also be chipping in with Healthpreneur’s top tips.

HP: If you were to start over and decide to create an ebook or digital product today what, if anything, would you do differently?

WH: I must admit, nothing can prepare you for the learning curve and overwhelm that you’ll likely face when you first take on the task of creating your own ebook or digital product. I think I would have handled it a lot better if I’d simply been more organised.

HP: Looking back over the whole process, what would you say have been the key components for you in building a sustainable business online?

WH: I’d have to say that there are 3 different elements to that:

  1. Flexibility: being happy to work at different times and on weekends.
  2. Learning: I feel like I’m always learning and researching and there’s still so much I don’t know.
  3. Being open to change and criticism/feedback: you have to understand that you’ll probably change things many times before you actually get it right. And there’s always something that you can improve on or update. Without sounding like a cliche, you need to know that failing is essential to learning, moving forward and eventually being successful.

HP: Could you describe what the key steps were for you in actually creating your first digital product?

WH: For me it was a 6-step process:

  1. Mapping out the content. Planning the chapters and a rough outline of what each one would contain
  2. Writing the content and creating the reports, PDFs, cheat sheets, etc.
  3. Finding and creating appropriate images to complement the written content*
  4. Finding a designer for the cover and some of the PDFs.
  5. Deciding on the layout, getting feedback and then editing, editing and more editing.
  6. Working out the little (but niggly) things like how to compress the finished PDF into a reasonable size, how it would be delivered, uploaded to my Wordpress media library, creating the sales page, the shop, the payment gateway, etc.

*When it comes to imagery, a really important point is ensuring that you only use Creative Commons images (images licensed for commercial use) or ones you’ve paid for yourself. This will ensure you stay on the right side of copyright law.

Healthpreneur’s tips on how to create an ebook:

Creating an ebook is a fantastic way to test out your ideas with your audience and get immediate feedback on what they do and don’t respond to.

Following on Wendy’s suggestions there are 4 areas to focus on:

Focus 1: Indispensable Content

Spending some time reading Amazon reviews of titles similar to yours will help you discover what resonates with your target audience – information you can then use to refine your content.

Beyond the quality of the content itself, consider:

  • The cover: just as you eat with your eyes, your readers will, quite literally, judge (and decide whether or not to buy) your ebook by its cover. You want your cover to be eye-catching, contemporary & highly relevant to the topic
  • Your title: grab your reader’s attention with a title that is both intriguing and which communicates a clear benefit to them of taking the time to read it.

Focus 2: Imagery

In much the same way as your ebook cover, including imagery inside your ebook has the potential to vastly increase its perceived (and actual) value as well as helping your readers better understand the concepts you’re sharing.

Focus 3: Format

Converting your completed manuscript into the correct format for your chosen platform will allow you to publish it directly into:

  • Amazon Kindle using the .mobi format
  • Nook & Kobo ebook readers using the .ePub format

While many ebook readers, tablets and mobile phones do support PDF and TXT formats, publishing and selling on Amazon requires .mobi formatting.

Focus 4: Pricing

Getting your pricing right is a huge factor in reflecting the value of your ebook. However, if you’re a first-time publisher, we would suggest making your first ‘minimum viable version’ of your ebook free.

This is a great way to get an initial response from readers that you can then use to upgrade your ebook before selling it. Places to share your ebook and get feedback before you decide on your pricing include:

  • Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ communities you’re part of
  • Your email list: offer ‘beta’ access to it for free in exchange for their feedback
  • Publish a free limited-time version on Amazon

The ebook pricing ‘sweet spot’ is between £2.30/$2.90 and £7.70/$9.90 as this matches buyer expectations and ensures your royalty rates are as high as possible.

What to consider when setting your prices:

  • Price it too low and potential buyers might underestimate its value
  • Price it too high and they might be put off (she’s not Ella, why should I pay £19 for her ebook?)

With your ebook created and ready to go, it’s time for Part 3.