:Creativity / Equipment and tools

How to create an ebook step by step

how to create an ebook how to create an ebook

If it seems like everyone is learning how to create an ebook in 2022, you’re not imagining things. With the creator economy booming and a growing number of people reading digital books every year, ebooks are rising in popularity. In fact, a recent study shows that 30% of Americans read ebooks up from 25% in 2019. Compared to traditional book publishing, creating an ebook has much lower overhead costs and can take a fraction of the time to get on the virtual shelves. If you’re looking for a new way to monetize your expertise, don’t shy away from looking into tools to create an ebook.

How to create an ebook

What is an ebook?

Short for “electronic book,” an ebook is a digital version of a traditional book, designed to be read on computers, smart phones, tablets, etc. Similar to a physical book, an ebook format has a cover, table of contents, chapters, page numbers, footnotes, and more. There are a few considerations to distinguish an ebook from a hard copy, for instance headings, colors, and design elements.

Why go digital?

Creating ebooks is a great beginner-friendly way to get accustomed to the digital product world. Especially if you have an online course, an ebook can be a great way to offer supplemental material that can be used as an upsell or as a bundled option. It can be a simple and cost-effective lead magnet as well. Lead magnets are free resources used to provide your audience with high value content in exchange for an email address. The idea is to provide value and prompt your audience to join your email list, get them into your marketing funnels, or encourage them to upgrade to a purchase. Ebooks are fantastic lead magnets that can help with all of the above.

In addition to being an effective content marketing tool, the benefits of ebooks include:

  • Instant gratification – Readers can download immediately and don’t have to wait for it to ship, like they would with a physical book.
  • Affordability – Ebooks are less expensive, thanks to minimal production costs.
  • Portability – Readers can take the book wherever the device goes and not have to worry about lugging around a heavy book.
  • Sustainability – While readers always have the option to print out the ebook, its digital format is good for the environment, as it prevents unnecessary paper waste.
  • Accessibility – Readers can increase the font size and enable text dictation, making it accessible for more people.
  • Searchability – Readers have the ability to browse with search feature and jump around to specific sections.
  • Possibility – Digital books allow you to embed or link to more of your content and social media, to keep your audience engaged with your online business.
  • SEO – If your ebook lives online, it can help drive traffic to your business through search-engine optimized keywords.
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How to make an ebook

Step 1: Decide on a topic.

When brainstorming ebook topics, consider the sweet spot between your industry or expertise and what your target audience wants or needs. Is there a problem you can help them solve? Or perhaps secrets of the trade you’ve learned over the years? You might consider blog posts you’ve written in the past (or have thought about writing) that you can turn into longer-form content. Narrow it down to a couple potential topics, and move on to developing your content to see which one you can write an ebook for.

Step 2: Structure your ebook.

Decide what all your ebook will include. You can create a working outline that might eventually become your table of contents. Start with an introduction that will orient your audience to the material you are offering them and draw them in, then build out the body of your ebook with specific sub-topics that flow together, and end with a conclusion.

Step 3: Write the ebook content.

Once you know where you’re going, you can begin writing an ebook. Depending on your creative process, however, you might swap step two with step three. If it’s easier for you to get everything out on paper (or blank document), you can always structure and edit after you know what all you want to include.

Step 4: Design your ebook.

Even if you’re not a visual designer, there are many online tools—templates included—to make your ebook design a breeze. There are numerous design elements to make your book visually appealing. Images, pull quotes, graphs and stats, bullet points, and more can help break up the text to enhance readability. Meanwhile, you can customize fonts and colors to align with your branding. Finally, you can use embeds and calls to action (CTA) to consider how you can keep your audience engaging with you.

Step 5: Publish and promote.

Once you’ve created your ebook comes the fun part: downloading your ebook. You must decide what type of ebook file format is the most ideal for your audience. A PDF (portable document file) is the most common and accessible—and will be the easiest for readers wanting to turn the ebook into a printed book. A mobi format is another one of the more popular file types, however it does not support audio or video elements and is not compatible with Nook readers.

Tools for creating an ebook

Create a book online with these free and low-cost tools:

creating an ebook with Canva creating an ebook with Canva
Canva options

Canva

Canva is undoubtedly one of the most popular beginner-friendly tools for creators from various backgrounds. While popular graphic designing tools such as Adobe Suite can require a lot of skill to bring your creations to life, Canva is the perfect alternative if you’re looking for something easy to navigate. 

As far as ebooks are concerned, Canva has more than 1,500 fillable templates to create ebook covers and complete layouts. Of course, as with any other Canva template, every element is fully customizable to ensure you’re creating a project that is a true reflection of your brand.

Price: Free; Canva Pro subscription $12.99 per month

creating an ebook with Visme creating an ebook with Visme
Visme example

Visme

Helping you create better content faster is the ultimate goal of Visme. Visme’s template library featuring robust, ready-to-go designs takes the pressure off of creating the visuals for your ebook so you can focus on inputting valuable information for your readers. This tool makes creating your ebook is as simple as:

  • Choosing the design that most closely matches your requirements for your ebook
  • Inputting the content right from your web browser
  • Hitting publish for the world to see 

Price: Free; paid plans starting at $12.25 per month

creating an ebook with Lucidpress creating an ebook with Lucidpress
LucidPress example

LucidPress

One standout feature of LucidPress is that the platform offers free stock imagery, so you don’t have to venture out on your own to find it. In addition to creating content such as ebooks, you can create lockable branded templates (available with paid subscription) to ensure that any content you create is on-brand. When you get to building a team, you’ll truly appreciate how LucidPress can help with brand consistency, which matters in the age of creating digital products.  

Keep in mind that the free version of LucidPress only allows you to create up to three documents and doesn’t give access to premium templates. If you see a lot of ebook creation in your future, the free plan is a great way to introduce yourself to the process and get your feet wet before jumping to a paid plan.

Price: Free; paid plans starting at $10 per month

creating an ebook with Google slides creating an ebook with Google slides
Google slides example

Google Slides

The simplest and most accessible way to create an e-book is to use Google Slides, a cloud-based client that allows you to create from anywhere so long as you have wifi access. One great thing about Google Slides is that it makes collaboration simple if you need a second or third pair of eyes on your ebook. You create a presentation with each slide being a dedicated page, input all the imagery, text, and links you need, and export it as a PDF.

FYI, if you use Powerpoint instead of Google Slides, you can create an ebook using this program as the two are pretty much interchangeable.

Price: Free

creating an ebook with Keynote creating an ebook with Keynote
Keynote example

Keynote

This sleek, sophisticated presentation software, which is very similar to Google Slides and Powerpoint, is available for free for Apple users (on mobile and desktop). Like the previous presentation programs, Keynote presentations can be exported as PDFs, making putting together your ebook easy as pie.

Price: Free

 

FAQs

What software do I need to create an ebook?

Some of the online applications and tools we’ve found to be the most useful—and cost effective—include Canva, Visme, LucidPress, Google Slides, and Keynote. We compare the pros and cons in this article. All have free plans, and most have paid plans with extra features to support ebook creation.

Is it expensive to create an ebook?

No! Creating an ebook is much more affordable than all the production costs of a physical book. There are online tools with free and paid plans.

Can you make an ebook for free?

Yes! There are many online tools for creating ebooks that are free. This article covers some of the best we’ve tried.



Author: Mika Robinson, Mika is a NYC-based lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. When she’s not creating content on her blog, astoldbymika.com, she’s somewhere in the digisphere writing content for your favorite platforms and go-to brands.

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