By Karen Cioffi
Ebooks are an amazing product that has multiple uses. And, it can be created for FREE, or for a very minimal amount. What else can you create that costs only your time and effort and can be used as an ‘ethical bribe’ to get visitors to say YES to subscribing to your mailing list or other opt-in you have?
Offering free ebooks as an incentive for saying YES is a strong and solid marketing strategy. So, if you haven’t already created an ebook, this is as good a time as any to start.
5 Simple Steps to Creating an Ebook
1. Create content
The content can be anything you think your readers or target market will want or need. In addition, it can be any length you decide upon. You can create a simple 10 – 30 page e-book. Just be sure to provide the reader or target market with an informative product that they’ll find of value.
You can also create a compilation of articles you’ve already written on a particular topic and organize them into an easy to read product that includes a content page.
Note: It’s wise to include a disclaimer about the ever-changing nature of the internet and copyright information.
Another option, if you’re creating the e-book as a freebie on your site, is to allow it to be offered by others on their sites, emphasizing that all information must remain intact, including all links. This will help increase your visibility and lead readers back to your site/s.
TIP: As with any work, be sure to proofread and edit the content.
TIP 2: You need an effective title. You might want to do a keyword search.
2. Organize Your Content
Your content must be organized. The e-book needs to offer easy reading and clarity, along with value. If you are creating a longer product, divide the content or articles into sections or parts, and provide a Content page.
For section headings, use a large and bold font and include page breaks for each section.
Finally, be sure to add a brief bio, including your sites, books published, services, products, and links, on an About the Author page. More promotion.
TIP: Have plenty of white space. If you notice, this article has very short paragraphs, making it easy to read.
3. Include Images and Tweak Your Content
Images can be added at the beginning of each section, or where ever you see fit. This is another trick to make the e-book more interesting to read.
You can use your Word program’s clipart feature or get images from sites, such as BigStock.com and FreeDigitalPhotos.com. Be careful to read the permission requirements though.
TIP: Include your head shot on the About the Author page. Readers connect more with a face, rather than just a name.
4. Create a Cover
Every book needs a cover. Microsoft Word 2010 has a Cover Page feature. If you get stuck here you might want to hire someone.
TIP: After you create a cover, be sure to click on Page Break.
5. Turning Your Word Doc into a PDF
Now it’s time to magically turn the Word Doc into an e-book. There are a number of free PDF creator software applications to do this.
For those wondering, PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. A PDF creator is an application that converts documents into PDFs by creating a virtual printer that prints to PDF files.
If you don’t already have a PDF converter, it’s time to do an online search for “free pdf creator.” Just be sure the one you choose is Adobe compatible.
Three free PDF convertor links are:
Install the software you chose, and you’re ready to go.
To use a PDF converter, choose Print while in the open Word document. In the Printer box, choose the PDF converter instead of your printer, and print.
It’s that simple.
Two Final Notes: (1) For the newer versions of Microsoft Office the PDF converter is built into the Word program. (2) These instructions are not for epublishing sites. Those sites have their own formatting guidelines.
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