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Creating your own eBooks
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Are you an expert on a particular topic? Are you a writer? Do you enjoy teaching people? If so, you may want to consider creating your own eBook. EBook creation lets you share your knowledge with others and is an excellent way of generating a significant income.

Since the 1990s, eBook creation has become an increasingly popular way of getting one's knowledge or stories published.EBook publishing offers authors a number of benefits. Unlike traditional book publishing, there aren't many overhead costs involved with eBook publishing. EBook authors can get their eBooks published in days instead of months and the income generated from eBooks can be almost instantaneous. Authoring an eBook also provides the writer with added credibility and a great calling card.

Why has eBook publishing become so popular? Millions of people buy eBooks and are continuously looking for new eBooks to download. Because of this, the creation of interesting and informative eBooks is highly sought after, providing eBook writers with a very lucrative income opportunity.

If the idea of having your work published quickly and generating a continuous income stream from the eBooks you write appeals to you, then you might consider creating an eBook.

EBook Publishing Houses vs. Self-Publishing

First, determine which avenue of eBook publishing is best for you. There are two main methods of eBook publishing available. You can either contract with a publishing house and have them publish your eBook for you or you can use one of the many self-publishing methods available to eBook writers.


To determine which publishing method is best for you, first determine what kind of eBook you are going to write. If you will be writing either a fictional eBook or a non-fiction eBook that covers a topic such as history, astronomy or politics, you may want to consider publishing your eBook with a publishing house. In terms of success, authors of fiction and on-fiction eBooks have greater a chance when a publishing house publishes and promotes their work. However, if you intend to write a ?°how-to?? eBook or an eBook that's an informational product, you may want to consider self-publishing your eBook. There are many marketing avenues for self-published eBooks of this genre and you can usually generate more revenue when publishing these eBooks on your own.

Another factor to consider when deciding whether to self-publish your eBook or work with a publishing house is how much control you want to retain over the publishing process. When you work with a publishing house, an editor will be assigned to your publication and will edit your writing. If you are uncomfortable with someone else making changes to your work or if you find it difficult to accept constructive criticism, you may want to stick with self-publishing methods. However, it is important to note that editors can be extremely helpful in the success of your eBook since they know what constitutes a great published work and what doesn't. Publishing houses are also very experienced in marketing eBooks and because their profits depend on successful sales, they do everything they can to ensure your eBook is promoted effectively.

There is one other difference to consider when deciding whether to self-publish your eBook or have your eBook published through a publishing house. When you publish with a publishing house, they determine how much is charged for the eBook and how much you make from each eBook sale depends on the percentage that was outlined in your contract. If you decide you want to self-publish your eBook, you set the price of the eBook. You can charge as much or as little as you want to.

Writing Your EBook

Once you decide how you want to publish your eBook, it's time to begin working on your eBook content. If you are being published by a publishing house, you will need to write according to the requirements and specifications of that particular publishing operation. If you are self-publishing, you will enjoy an unlimited amount of literary freedom.

What Are You Going to Write About?

The first step in writing your eBook is deciding what to write about. If you already know what you want to write, you're one step ahead of the game. However, if you are uncertain what to write about, now is the time to look at your options.

To begin the-decision-making process, make a list of all of the things that interest you and the topics you are an expert on. Now take a good, hard look at this list and determine which of these subjects could be turned into a profitable eBook topic. For example, if the interests on your list included horses, writing, gardening and poker, you might want to write eBooks about how to win at poker, how to write great sales letters, gardening tips for first-time gardeners and horse care basics. There are people out there who want to know about these things and these people will buy the eBooks you write.

One of the best things about the Internet is that you don't have to make guesses as to what topics people are interested in learning about. There are tools available to you that allow you to see exactly what people have been searching the Web for. The Overture.com website is one tool that does just that.

By using keyword traffic estimators like Overture's Keyword Selector Tool, you can see exactly how many times a particular keyword has been searched for in the previous month. Simply enter the keyword that applies to the topic you are interested in writing about and you'll not only see how many times that keyword has been searched for, but you'll also see the number of searches performed for variations of that keyword. By comparing the popularity of certain terms against others, you can help identify the most potentially profitable niches for you to write about.

When analyzing keyword results for a particular search term, you'll also want to check out the competition. For example, if you want to write about widgets and twenty-thousand people search the Web for the term ?°widgets?? each month, you might assume that an eBook about widgets would have a high probability of success. However, if you dig a little bit deeper and realize that there are more than fifty-thousand websites offering information about widgets, the success potential isn't so great. You need to look at the supply of a topic as well as the demand. If demand is exceeded by supply, your eBook is not going to be profitable unless you can offer the consumer substantially more than what the competition is offering. On the other hand, if the demand is high and the supply is limited, you've discovered the ideal niche.

There are also other ways to determine profitable niches and other methods for analyzing your competition. You may want to consider reading eBook Secrets Exposed and How To Write Your Own EBook In Seven Days.

Structuring Your EBook

Now that you have decided what you will be writing about, it's time to structure your eBook. Not everyone structures their writing the same way and there are a few different structuring methods to choose from.

Steps, Mistakes, Days and Ways

Sometimes, the topic of your eBook can actually create the eBook's structure for you. For instance, if your eBook were titled ?°Top Twenty Mistakes Home Business Owners Make?? you could create an outline numbered from one to twenty and would then outline twenty of the most common home business mistakes. This would provide you with your general eBook outline.

Creative Outlines

If the eBook isn't going to structure itself, you're going to need to do some creative outlining. Creative outlining doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out process. Start your outline by deciding what sections your eBook needs. Are you going to require a foreword? If so, that would be the first step in your outline. After the foreword would be the introduction and following the introduction you have the nuts and bolts section of your eBook. This is where you provide your eBook readers with the information they've come for. After the nuts and bolts section, you'll likely have a closing chapter and then perhaps a glossary or index.

Once you have those elements organized, it's time to take your creative outline to the next level and list out every topic you are going to include in the nuts and bolts section of the eBook. To decide exactly what to include in the nuts and bolts section, you are going to want to see what the competition is doing. It is essential that you provide your readers with more material than the competition has. For example, if you are writing an eBook about success and the majority of your competition is selling eBooks covering the top ten steps to success, you should write an eBook about the top twenty. Then brainstorm and organize those twenty steps into your eBook outline. Once you have finished the outline, it's time to get started on the actual content creation.

Writing the Content

When you begin writing your content, don't focus too much on format. Once your writing is complete, you can arrange your content into any format you wish. At this stage in the game, you want to concentrate on the creation of quality content, not how that content looks aesthetically.

During the writing process you will be referencing the outline you have created. You need to write interesting, entertaining and informative content for each of the topics listed in your outline. Research your outline topics thoroughly. You want to provide your readers with unique, valuable and hard-to-find information.

The best eBooks are eBooks that offer information not being sold anywhere else. For instance, if you're writing an eBook about cat care you would notice that every eBook on the market tells you that you need to feed the cat, that you need to provide a litter box, that you need to take your cat to the vet every year and other common-sense, mundane advice. Want your eBook to be unique? Tell your readers why cheap cat food can kill their cat, why they should never buy their cat food at the grocery store, that the wrong cat litter can cause a cat to urinate all over the carpet and that annual vet checks can actually save them money in the long run.

We've covered what you eBook needs to include. Now let's talk about what your eBook shouldn't contain. Quality content that is unique and informative is imperative. Filler content and fluff is definitely not. If you offer eBook readers the choice between a 200-page eBook filled with fluffy nonsense and a 50-page eBook filled with quality information, they're going to pick the 50-page eBook every time.

Once you have completed the content for your eBook, it is essential that you have your material proofread and edited. Nothing looks worse on a page than a spelling error or a grammatical mistake and if your writing doesn't flow well, the reader will get bored quickly. To avoid this writing faux pas, make sure your content is edited by a third party before publication.

Formatting and Publishing Your EBook

If you haven't already done so, give yourself a big pat on the back. You have written your eBook and it has been proofread and edited. If you're choosing to self-publish your eBook it is now time to format it and release it into the literary world. This is quite an accomplishment. However, before you get started with the self-publishing process, there are some things you need to know, such as which format to publish your eBook in and what software products may be of benefit to you.

PDF

PDF format is one of the most popular eBook formats. Not only are PDF eBooks compatible with almost any eBook reader, PDF files offer useful features such as easy navigation, hyperlink capabilities and security functions.

HTML

HTML is another popular eBook format. HTML eBooks can be read by anyone with a web browser. However, if your eBook contains more than one file, you're going to run into trouble. HTML eBooks can only consist of a single file, so multiple-file eBooks are better off published in a different eBook format.

EXE

Many eBooks are published in Windows executable file format, also known as EXE. The majority of eBook publishing software on the Web export the files created by them in EXE format. Depending on which eBook software you use, an EXE file can offer you the highest level of security for your eBook.

Word

Some people do use Microsoft Word for eBook creation and distribution, however, it is generally not recommended. Microsoft Word is indeed easy to use, but it offers the lowest levels of eBook security and people without Microsoft Word software will not be able to view your eBook.

EBook Publishing Software

If HTML isn't your thing and you have no idea how to put your material together or format your eBook, you will want to look into the use of eBook publishing software. EBook publishing software can make the formatting and publishing of your eBook much, much easier.

Choosing which eBook publishing software to use is a pretty big decision for an eBook author to make. There are literally dozens of software choices to select from. Some factors that will play a big role in the selection of eBook software are how much money you can afford to spend on the software and how many features and options you want the software to possess.

The majority of software used for eBook publishing provides eBook authors with the tools they need to create an eBook cover and develop the eBook's look, design and layout. Most eBook software also offers security features that can be customized by the author. The more features and customization capability an eBook program offers, the more expensive the software will be.

The cost of eBook publishing software ranges in price from absolutely free to hundreds of dollars. While I probably wouldn't recommend the free eBook publishing software for eBooks that will be sold for profit, they are more than adequate for experimentation and personal use.

If you're going to be selling your eBook for a profit, you will need to invest at least a little money into the publishing software you use. An inexpensive, yet well-developed eBook software is eBook Compiler. This eBook software will generate your eBook in EXE format and allows you to create an unlimited number of royalty-free eBooks. Some of the features of this software include password protection capabilities, HTML protection and the ability to generate unique serial numbers for your eBooks. The software is free to try and if you decide you're happy with it, it's just $29.95 to buy the software.

EBook Edit Pro is another great eBook software choice and is a good option for those who are technologically challenged. It helps guide the writer through the eBook creation process step by step and provides little help ?°bubbles?? throughout the eBook creation wizard. It is a little more expensive with a price tag of $97, but it is well worth it for those who want to create an eBook quickly and easily.

If you have a decent budget, some of the more expensive eBook publishing software programs on the market have features and benefits that are well worth the investment. EBooks Writer is one of the best eBook creation programs on the Web. It costs about $140, but you cannot get more features for your money. The software doesn't only allow you to create a professional-looking eBook, it also lets you integrate search features into your eBooks as well as music and video files, frames, popup windows, rollover images and visual linking. The security features of eBooks Writer are also impressive. Authors can prohibit copying and printing of their eBook content, set eBook expiration dates and password protect each eBook they sell. If you plan on selling a high volume of eBooks on the Web, this software may be the route you want to go.

Before purchasing any eBook software, try to estimate whether the estimated profits from your eBook sales justify the cost of the software. Also check to see what type of customer support the company selling the software offers. The greatest software in the world won't do anything for you if you can't figure out how to use it and there's no one willing to help you learn.

EBook Publishing Websites

If you publish your eBook in one format and you need to convert your eBook to another format in order for it to be marketable to a certain target group or on a specific website, there are eBook publishing websites that can convert your eBook for you.

One of the most popular eBook publishing websites is eBookStand.com, a division of CyberRead, Inc. This eBook publishing website will convert an author's eBook into formats compatible with Mobipocket reader, Microsoft Reader and Adobe Acrobat. The prices charged for these services start at about $200 but will vary depending on which format you want your eBook converted to and the format your eBook is currently in.

Next step: Marketing your ebook
 

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