Create a Book By Dana Sitar Would You Like to Know How to Write an Ebook Easily? Do you have a great idea for an ebook but don’t know where to start? Or how you’ll find the time to write one? Skip the legwork, and take advantage of the writing you’ve been doing on your blog! An ebook can clearly communicate your blog’s message. It can anchor your brand by showing readers who you are and what you can do for them. Use it as a free opt-in to grow your subscriber numbers. Or as a paid product to create a steady drip of passive income and new readers. By repurposing your archives instead of laboring to create new content, you’ll give readers a new way to engage with what you’ve written, and breathe new life into old posts! Follow these steps: 1. Choose a theme What is the purpose of your ebook? Do you want to make money on Amazon? Grow your list? Address frequent questions or requests from your readers? When you clearly understand your – and the reader’s – purpose, you can finalize the theme of your ebook. To sell on Amazon, your topic may be narrowly-focused on guiding readers in a specific task. To grow your list, you’ll want to showcase your brand’s message with an email freebie. To create more value for existing readers, your topic could be more eclectic. 2. Browse your blog archives for relevant content Start by identifying the posts that fit your theme. Copy and paste the posts into your word processor or project management tool for editing later. If you frequently welcome guests to your blog, consider using their posts as well. Request their permission, and offer to include a bio and links to promote their work. If you frequently guest post on other blogs, consider including those articles in your ebook. Remember to check who owns the copyright, and as a courtesy, ask the host blogger for permission and provide a link to the original article in the ebook. This can help you garner the support of influencers early on. 3. Outline your ebook Divide your theme into broad categories. Group your selection of articles into each category to begin forming chapters. For each chapter, evaluate your content from the point of view of your ebook theme. Omit posts that don’t fit any category, or those that don’t work well with other posts. Pare down excessive content. Delete repetitive information. Is there a sub-topic or perspective you haven’t previously written about on your blog, but feel you need to address to round out a chapter? Make a note of it. You need to write fresh content to fill the gap. 4. Put all posts into one manuscript and edit Determine how you want your ebook to flow. Will the posts stand independent of each other, like a collection of essays, and each broad category act like a section of the ebook? Or will you restructure, chop and change, edit, and rewrite to produce more fluid chapters? Once you determine the structure, combine your posts into one manuscript. Read it carefully, checking to see if the content is flowing smoothly. Add transitions and write fresh content where you need it. As you copyedit and proofread the manuscript, be sure to remove or re-word any reference to time, or your ebook will seem dated after a while. Keep your tone, style, and tense consistent throughout the book. 5. Write an Introduction and Conclusion to anchor the ebook In the intro, welcome your readers not only to the ebook, but to your entire brand. Use this space to showcase your voice; explain who you are, what you do, and how this book ties in. In the conclusion, leave readers with clear direction and action steps. Let them know what they need to do next to engage with your message. What’s the next step they can take to incorporate your philosophy into their lives? 6. Enlist a proofreader or beta readers for final feedback If you have the budget, hire a freelance editor to give your manuscript a final spit-shine before you publish. If not, you can save money and involve your existing readers in the creation of your ebook. By keeping readers involved in the book’s development, you’ll hook them long before the launch. Readers who have invested in your ebook by offering feedback will be excited to help you promote it when you launch! 7. Design the book cover First impressions matter. Hire a cover designer, invite bidders, or design a cover yourself to give your ebook a professional look. It is best to hire someone trained in ebook cover design (not just general graphic design), so post your job to a dedicated publishing marketplace like Writer.ly. If you want to save money, but still want professional quality, try a bidding site like 99Designs to let your readers vote on the book’s cover. Or you can choose to do it yourself, but you’ll need to put in the time to learn what makes a good ebook cover, and how to design it. 8. Convert your manuscript to e-reader format(s) The simplest way to turn your manuscript into an ebook is to convert the document to a PDF and sell directly to readers using an e-commerce tool like e-junkie, Gumroad, or Ganxy. If you want to sell your book on Kindle, NOOK, or other such devices, PressBooks or Scrivener offer affordable solutions to help you convert without technical headaches. If you want to sell your ebook through an online retailer like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apple, you can simply visit their sites and follow their step-by-step instructions to upload a Word document or PDF that they’ll convert for you. To make it even simpler, you can use Smashwords, which will convert your Word document and distribute your ebook to all these retailers and more, from one spot. 9. Launch and sell your ebook Whether you’re selling your ebook on Amazon or giving it away free, it is essential to promote the book and plan its launch. Only an excited community will read, buy, talk about, recommend and share your ebook. The launch is your opportunity to make a splash in your niche and boost your blog’s profile. Use your book as a catalyst to get your name on major blogs and in front of new readers. 10. Be creative and get noticed Now that you’ve published your book, you need to increase your ebook’s impact beyond book sales and subscribers. Consider these ideas (and brainstorm your own!): Be generous: Instead of raking in passive income, you can donate profits from book sales toward a charitable cause that resonates with your brand. Create prizes: Use proceeds from book sales to purchase Amazon gift cards (or a Kindle device!) you can use as prizes to host a giveaway contest. Enlist affiliates or partners: If you use guest contributions in your ebook, provide guests with a special edition of the ebook to sell to their audiences for additional exposure. Make it an annual project: Create a “best of” or “year in review” ebook from your blog posts each year to create anticipation from your audience. Try it! Writing an ebook is easy, especially if you already have a blog you’ve been writing for a while. Consider the topics of your blog’s most popular posts, as well as the comments and questions you receive from readers. What common threads do you see? Notice what excites your readers, and build your ebook around these topics and ideas to showcase your brand in the best possible light. Have you published an ebook using your blog’s content? Share your tips in the comments!