Alexis Grant is a writer, entrepreneur and author of How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy.
Writing and selling informational ebooks can be a great way to boost your brand, provide value to your community, and even make some money.
But like any entrepreneurial experiment, creating ebooks requires trial and error to figure out a process that works best for you. These eight tools will make the experience of creating your first ebook painless and even fun.
Scrivener is a game changer for organizing a first draft of any writing project. It’s particularly helpful if you tend to write in pieces, adding paragraphs and chapters whenever you come up with them.
Just watch one of Scrivener’s tutorial videos, and you’ll be able to import your Word documents, separate them into files, and rearrange them any way you like. This not only makes it easy to organize all of your ideas, it also makes a big project seem manageable. Rather than working on a long, overwhelming document, you can work on one chunk at a time. While Scrivener was originally created for Macs, a PC version is now available, too.
Evernote has about a million uses, and now here’s another one: It can help you stay on top of your ebook project.
Some people like to use Evernote at the idea stage, when they are brainstorming concepts and advice to include in their ebooks. It’s easy to add a blip of an idea whenever it hits you, and compiling them all in Evernote keeps me from covering my entire desk with yellow sticky notes.
You can do the same for promotion, adding ideas to Evernote for how you’ll promote your ebook when it goes live. When the time comes, you’ll be glad you have that folder of brilliant ideas waiting for you.
This design marketplace — and others like CrowdSpring — is a great way to find an affordable, quality cover for your ebook. Simply create a contest and designers will help you come up with a professional-looking cover, even if you don’t know exactly what you want it to look like.
Why not simply hire one designer, you ask? That works, too. But crowdsourcing means you get the benefit of putting many heads together. It’s also helpful if you don’t yet have a relationship with a reasonably priced designer.
Whether you go with a crowdsourcing platform or a reliable designer, outsourcing the creation of your cover will allow you to present your work in a professional way while allowing you to focus on what you’re good at: writing.
This ecommerce system makes it easy to sell your ebook on your own website. And when you do that rather than selling on, say, Amazon, you keep all the profits.
Don’t be fooled by the outdated design of the site. Not only is E-Junkie one of the only options for this type of ecommerce, it also works super well. The site also offers affiliate options, so you can encourage others to spread the word about your products and earn commission, which goes a long way toward growing your business. It allows you to easily track who’s buying, whether they came through an affiliate link or some other way.
Got an idea but aren’t disciplined enough to execute it? You’re not the only one! Writing an ebook that’s thousands of words long can be more difficult than it seems. 750words will help you hold yourself accountable, so you write a little each day. Over time, those baby steps will add up to a product you’re proud of and can sell.
As the ebook revolution picks up speed, an increasing number of resources about how to write and sell your own ebook have popped up on the web. Take advantage of them! Here are some examples that will get the gears turning:
How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook by Dave Navarro
The eBook Evolution Launch Guide by Kelly Kingman
The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible Ebooks by Ali Luke
Once you’ve launched your ebook and people start buying it, rig your newsletter system so it pulls buyer email addresses from E-Junkie.
MailChimp can help you do that, but you could also try Aweber or Constant Contact. The reason we suggest MailChimp is because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Set it up so it automatically adds ebook buyers to your newsletter list.
You should also use this email list to send buyers helpful posts and links that relate to the product they purchased, and to let them know when you release your next ebook.
So many different social media applications can help you promote your ebook, but ClicktoTweet is a favorite. It lets you create a tweet, preferably one that includes your @handle and a link to your ebook, and then create a link that readers can click to share that tweet. Brilliant, right?
Look for opportunities to add ClicktoTweet links to blog posts, newsletters, even within your ebooks.
What other digital tools might be helpful for creating ebooks?