Want to learn how to create an ebook? You have come to the right place.
Unlike popular belief, creating an ebook is easier than most people think!
For anyone who likes to come up with unique and compelling content that aims to inform and educate, building an ebook out of scratch is an inspiring and fun project. Since there are many ebook creation software and tools out there, you don’t need to hire a content writer or a graphic designer to do it for you.
While the skills of these professionals are useful to ebook design, you can write your own ebook without much help from others.
And, just like with online courses, you can start selling them to earn some money.
Ready to learn how to create an ebook? Let’s go through this step-by-step guide to find out.
8 Steps for Creating an Ebook In 2021
Step #1: Choose the Topic of Your Ebook
Ideally, you want the ebook you are creating to attract leads and bring more customers to your company.
This means that the topic of your ebook should be relevant to your industry and what you do as an organization as well as what you are offering – your product or service.
For example, if you are teaching English as an online course creator, your ebook could focus on English language exercises, everyday conversations or contain a self-study guide that helps learners learn the phrasal verbs.
No matter what you choose, the topic needs to address a real problem and be able to give solutions to those who need it.
Having said that, you will need to come up with an ebook title that is simple, informative and easy to understand. At the same time, it needs to be attention-grabbing.
Here are some ebook title templates to take inspiration from:
Any of these templates can work great for your ebook.
You can read our article on writing catchy titles to get more ideas about writing your titles!
Once you have pinpointed two or three topics you want to explore, try a few variations to see which one works best for you and your audience.
If you are struggling to come up with a topic, our article on the most trending course topic ideas can help out.
Step #2: Come up With Your Content
If you run a blog on your company’s website, you are most likely going to have tons of content to work with already.
Instead of producing new content for your ebook, you can repurpose your old content. To do this, browse through the articles you have written or any other documents saved on your drive or computer, to find if any of these can be part of it.
If you are coming up with new content, you need to make sure that it engages people.
The content of your ebook is the most important element in this whole process. For this reason, you have to make sure it speaks directly to your target audience:
Tailoring your content to your audience, increases the chances of people downloading, buying, reading and possibly re-reading your ebook.
To add more value in your text, make sure to add any links to external sites e.g. your blog, landing page/homepage or sales page, encouraging readers to engage with you or your company further.
Once you finish with the text, edit and proofread it several times before publication. Check for any grammar or spelling mistakes and ensure that your content is well-written and professional. Use editing tools like Grammarly or Hemingway for help.
Step #3: Organize Your Content
Organizing your ebook content in a way that is easy to read and understand gives an extra incentive to the reader to continue reading. To do this effectively, you need to think about all sections of your ebook thoroughly.
More specifically, you need to decide what goes in the Introduction, Main Body and Conclusion – like you would do for an essay, but also add key chapters in between.
Introduction: the opening section of your ebook helps to set the scene, welcome the reader and prepare him for what is going to follow.
Main Body: the in-between sections are your key chapters in which you will explore the topic further. If you are writing about yoga practice, for example, you will need to explain what yoga is, the benefits of yoga, how the reader can practice yoga and what are the different yoga styles etc.:
Chapter 1: What is Yoga?
Chapter 2: The Philosophy & Benefits of Yoga
Chapter 3: How to Practice Yoga
Chapter 4: The Different Styles of Yoga
Treat each chapter as a separate blog post so that you give them the appropriate amount of focus in context. Make sure that they connect nicely to one another and it has a nice flow.
Conclusion: the closing section of your ebook needs to lead to a certain conclusion or results, and should always prompt the reader to carry out a task e.g. visiting your page through a call to action (more on this later on).
Since ebooks are immediately accessible it means people who want access to your ebook, will want to get the most out of what you write quickly.
Give your ebook a good structure, using the following:
To get these effectively on a Word document, I would recommend using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. When it comes to producing content and giving it structure, it is the easiest and most cost-effective tool to use.
Lastly, while an ebook doesn’t have any limits on its length, make sure it is not too long*. Readers on digital devices often have a shorter attention span.
Considering that it is a series of blog posts combined together, it needs to have a character and say whatever needs to be said, but leave out any unnecessary information or too many details.
*This does not apply to authors or book writers.
Step #4: Design Your Ebook
When it comes to designing your ebook, you can use tools like Canva, InDesign, or Visme.
All four have free ebook templates you can choose from. Simply follow the steps each tool describes to customize the design of the ebook to your needs and preferences.
In this article, I am going to show you how to create an ebook using Canva, since it is the only tool that allows you to download your ebook in PDF format for free.
Canva is a specialist when it comes to ebook cover design, and has some eye-catching ebook templates that make it easy to tailor to match your brand’s personality.
To do so, you will need to first choose a free template, and then customize its colours and the text – the fonts and their size, to match with your brand and the marketing copy on your website.
In the example above, you will notice that I changed the background color of the original template, the color of the text in the title and its font – from League Gothic to Anton.
This can be easily used as an ebook cover or page 1.
To create page 2 and the others that are going to follow, you will need to hover over the options above the image and choose ‘Duplicate page’.
This will automatically create the next page that is identical to the first.
The key here is that your customization options are saved and so you get to remove or add any other elements that you want to have in your page e.g. stock photos or behind-the-scenes pictures, or any other visuals like infographics, direct quotes, statistical data etc., that can bring out the result you are hoping to get.
To add a new image go to ‘Photos’ and enter a relevant keyword.
Page 2 in this example shows the Table of Contents. Once you are done with all your ebook pages you can download your ebook.
Click on the ‘Download’ button at the top right corner and choose the PDF Standard, and your ebook will be available within minutes.
As you can imagine, thinking carefully about the layout of your ebook is crucial because it directly affects the readability of users.
Before you finish designing your ebook, make sure that your ebook will be accessible on smartphones – Android or iPhone, tablets – iPad or Surface, desktop and laptops – Windows or Mac, and popular ereaders – Kindle, Nook or Kobo.
Step #5: Decide on the Ebook Format
Your ebook can be saved in a number of different formats. So when you finish it, think of how you can make it available to readers choosing the most appropriate format for them.
These are the most common ebook formats to use:
PDF – PDF which stands for ‘Portable Document Format’ is the most well-known and accessible format for readers. It is available to almost all desktop or mobile devices and software and allows you to insert hyperlinks, interactive text, and visual content.
EPUB – EPUB, which stands for Electronic Publication is a collection of HTML files, that offer many different levels of formatting control and require certain skills (or app) to create. They are only accessible through special software programs like Apple iBooks or a web browser that supports this format. The two types of EPUBs are fixed layout and reflowable.
The fixed layout is similar to the PDF which supports hyperlinking and complex visual formatting that works on a layout of text that stays the same as the screen changes. Whereas reflowable EPUBs work like web pages that adapt to various mobile devices and tablets. However, they require greater XML/HTML knowledge for a more advanced visual formatting.
MOBI – the MOBI format by Mobipocket Reader software was purchased by Amazon in 2005 but then shut down in 2016. Even so, it still is a popular ebook format that is compatible with most ereaders – except the Nook. MOBI does not support audio or video.
AZW – AZW is an ebook format that was designed for Kindle by Amazon, but it is also supported by many smartphones, tablets and computers.
ODF – ODF stands for OpenDocument format and is a file type that was used for OpenOffice – open-source content creation programs that are like Microsoft Office.
IBA – The IBA format is the ebook format only for books that are written in Apple iBooks author app and it is not compatible with any other ereader. It supports video, sound, images and interactive media.
Amongst these, the MOBI format along with PDF and EPUB are the most common file formats you can use.
Which one(s) you choose though depends on the ebook creator software and the distribution channel you prefer to use. For example, Canva and Visme allow you to download your ebook in a PDF file, whereas InDesign allows you to export your document in an ePub format.
So, before you decide which one you want to use, make sure to think this through.
Step #6: Add CTAs in Your Ebook
Unless you are writing a novel or want to publish your creative writing stories, adding call-to-actions – CTAs, is important for your marketing initiatives.
According to HubSpot, a CTA is the image or line of text that prompts your site’s visitors, leads and customers to take action. As a marketer or entrepreneur, you want them to take a certain action that will help them engage with you further, and potentially buy from you.
Depending on which action you want them to take, you will use a different type of CTA that says ‘Read More’ or ‘Learn More’, ‘Get it Now’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Click Here’ and so on.
A CTA that is strategically positioned in your ebook, will encourage the customer to click on the link to visit your company page and learn more about you.
In marketing, CTAs are used extensively to get potential customers inside the sales funnel and convince them to make a purchase.
So first they become aware of your product – awareness, then they become interested in it – interest, they decide to buy it – decision and finally they take action.
The best way to do this is inserting links in between the chapters of your ebook or preferably at the end of each or after the conclusion. Alternatively you can add a whole page inside your chapter that prompts people to click on it to get more resources, or talk to you directly.
Linking to any of the following pages on your site always works:
If you are running a campaign you can also link to your main landing page, where people can find more information on a new product release, a discount, a sale or a holiday offer.
Opportunities are endless here! However, you need to be subtle with your CTA positioning since it can put off readers easily.
Step #7: Publish & Share Your EBook
Once your ebook is ready you can publish and share it with your network.
If you are offering it for free, then you can use the publication URL of your ebook or share the PDF file on your favourite social media channels, your website, your blog or your author page.
Ebooks are great lead magnets and you can offer them as free downloads in exchange for the contact details of your readers – their names and email addresses. This way, you can grow your email list.
If you are offering it at a price, you have to think about how you are going to make it available to your audience.
The easiest way to publish your ebook is through Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform.
It only takes five steps to self-publish on Amazon:
Step 1: Create a KDP account here.
Step 2: Choose a book title and subtitle for your ebook and write a description.
Step 3: Pick the right keywords and Amazon categories for your ebook.
Step 4: Upload your ebook and create a cover.
Step 5: Price your ebook, click ‘Publish’ and get ready to sell.
For a more detailed guide on how to self-publish your ebook on Amazon click here.
Bear in mind that to make it available on Amazon your ebook needs to be converted to one of Amazon’s proprietary file types before publishing. The best formats are EPUB and MOBI which are supported on Kindle and Nook ereaders.
If your ebook is in a PDF format, there are many online converters out there for both EPUB and MOBI.
Step #8: Promote & Sell Your Ebook
Finally, you need to start investing in the promotion of your ebook.
The more times you share your ebook with your audience, the better are the chances of selling it and generating a decent passive income through it.
To start with, you can use your social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Create some amazing social media graphics or some beautiful images that can match the style of your ebook and start sharing it with your friends and network.
Don’t forget to tell your friends to share the ebook with their friends too.
Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you can use all of their available features to promote your ebook.
You can try the following:
Facebook – announce the big news to your friends and make your ebook a profile cover.
Instagram – share stories to inform people and add the link to your ebook on your profile.
Twitter – create a pinned post on your profile and create buzz with popular keywords.
LinkedIn – insert the ebook link to your profile and write a small description about it.
YouTube – mention your ebook in one of your videos and offer it as a prize to a contest.
This is the time to go big on promotion, and email is the best way to spread the word.
So, regardless of how big your email list is, send an email to your subscribers with a link to download the ebook or even offer them a special discount as a way of thanking them for their loyalty.
Apart from that, you can also get a few testimonials to share on your website or even write an interesting SEO-customized article about it.
From all of these tactics, make sure to choose the one(s) that resonates with your audience best. Besides, you know your audience better than anyone else.
You can also use LearnWorlds to sell your ebook as a downloadable using the Single Activity Course format
Creating an Ebook With LearnWorlds
Thanks to LearnWorlds Ebook Authoring tool, you can offer your students access to some amazing material in the form of an ebook. Here’s how:
First, log in to your school and go to ‘Courses’.
Choose the course you want to add your ebook to and click on the ‘Contents’ tab. From there, add a new ebook learning unit and give it a name e.g. Painting 101 Basics.
Click on the ebook option as shown in the screenshot below:
Save and click the ‘Edit Ebook’ button to enter the ebook authoring environment.
Click on the “Upload file” tab to browse your computer and choose the Word file you want to upload.
Uploading may take some time depending how big your ebook is. Once it has finished uploading, you need to choose whether you want to keep the format of your document.
The two choices are plain text and formatted text:
Plain text: all formatting (bold, italic, etc) will be lost.
Formatted text: you keep the format of the original word document.
Make your pick and then click on ‘Import’.
Your Word file has now successfully been converted to a great looking ebook! Click “Save” to finish the process.
And that’s it, your ebook is ready!
Apart from importing your MS Word content, you can also add many other design elements like headings, text, images, columns and educational blocks to your ebook.
Navigate at the right corner of your screen inside the school’s dashboard and click on the dotted cross. From there, you can browse the elements and decide which works best for you.
Now Over to You
Creating an ebook comes with a range of benefits for you, your business and your audience. In exchange for a super informative ebook, which can be a source of knowledge for your customers, you also get to engage with them better and for long term.
An ebook cannot only help you earn more money but it can also increase brand awareness, and help to position yourself as an expert in your field.
Are you ready to create your ebook?
Claim your free 30-day trial and get started with LearnWorlds today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the best software to write an eBook?
There is a number of web-based software available to create an ebook but the best tool that will help you write the content of your ebook is Microsoft Word. It is the easiest and most cost-effective program to use when it comes to content creation.
Q2. Is selling eBooks profitable?
Just like with any other digital downloads, selling ebooks is profitable and can help you generate a steady stream of passive income for yourself or business. However, it needs a lot of promotion to reach engagement and keep those sales rates high.
Q3. How do I create my own eBook?
Following the instructions of this article is going to help you create your own ebook in no time. Just by producing the content of your ebook and then match the design with the style and personality of your personal or business brand.
Q4. What types of eBooks sell best?
The most popular types of ebooks that sell are fiction, business and self-development ebooks.
Q5. Is publishing an eBook worth it?
Publishing an ebook is definitely worth it. Apart from offering you the potential to make more money, it can also position you as an expert in your field, building awareness for your personal or business brand.
Q6. How much does it cost to create an eBook?
You can create your own ebook for free using Canva or Visme.
Q7. How do I create a PDF eBook?
You can create a PDF ebook through Canva without the need to upgrade to a premium account and no strings attached. If you are using Visme, you will need to upgrade your account.
Q8. Is an eBook the same as a PDF?
An ebook is not the same as a PDF. However, an ebook can be downloaded in a PDF format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a file type used for online documents, guides, templates and many more.
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.