How to Write an Online Book or eBook


Writing your online bookLooking to get your research or story in front of millions of people but wince at the idea of having to pray to the literary publishing gods to kindly look upon your manuscript and give it a chance to breath bookstore air?

It seems online publishing is the way to go these days. Writing your own online book may be the fastest way to get your work in front of millions of people. Besides the speed, it can also be more cost-effective than using an offline publisher.

But, how do you go about writing an online book?

1. First you have to make sure an electronic format for your book is the best option. Think about who your audience is and how they will read your book. An eBook may not be the best choice if your book is intended for, say, small children or seniors. Sometimes this won’t matter. It really depends on the book.

2. Outline your eBook: think about what the main topics of your book will be and how you would like to present them. If this is a how-to book, then this should be easy…start with Step 1! If this is a novel, then you must order your scenes in a way that best delivers the story, as how you intend it. If this is a work of non-fiction, then you might present your research and facts before you deliver any conclusions (Learn more about outlining your story).

3. Set yourself a daily writing goal and commit to it. Even if it is just 250 words a day, stick to your daily goal. Sometimes you will feel inspired and write more, maybe a lot more, that’s great but try to meet your daily goals or else your finished project will never see daylight.

4. Write your book: You can use many tools to write your online book. You can use a word processor (such a Microsoft Word), or Google Docs, and there are even certain apps for your computer (such as Scrivener, which makes organizing your book a breeze). Some are free; others have bells and whistles that will cost you. Decide what you will need based on how you know you like to work. (Learn about the different book genres you can write about)

5. Include a list of chapters or table of contents for longer books, as well as a catchy and original title that will help you stand out. Also, if you are writing a non-fiction book, then it may be a good idea to include some images, or graphs, related to the topic on that page. If this is a book intended to help boost your business then you may include hyper links to your website or blog, affiliate program or online products.

6. Finish formatting your book: margins, page numbers, references, etc. This can also be outsourced but you will save money if you learn to do this yourself.

7. Re-read your book from front to back and back to front. Make sure you run it through a spell-check. Check the logical order of the information you are presenting. Ensure that images correspond to the text that goes on the same page. Have someone else read and edit it too (family, friends, your creative writing teacher, or someone you hire for this job).

8. Add a cover. You can make one on your own or hire this task out, depending on your own personal abilities and budget.

9. Convert your document to a PDF file. This can simple be done by clicking “Print…” and then “Save as PDF”, or using software to do this especially for you. If you are using Google Docs then you will have this option available online too.

10. The moment you have been waiting for: publish that baby! Depending on how you want to market and distribute your book, you can publish this book on your website or blog, send it to your e-mail list, publish it on an online book retailer (such as Amazon Direct Publishing), on Apple’s iBooks, or using a self-publishing website (such as Lulu.com, which lets you publish your book online for free).

Good luck and happy authoring!
 

Useful resources:

Lulu.com – Online book publishing

Publish your book using Apple’s iBooks

Filed in: Writing Your Book

One Response to “How to Write an Online Book or eBook”

  1. Tracey - Life Changing Year
    November 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Right – I’m following these steps starting tomorrow! I’m so excited. My first book was an eBook but I just needed it for my site. The next one is meant to really help people and all of the above is going to help a heap. Now I’m off to bed before I sit up all night reading all your pages!!

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