How To Make An Ebook

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Frustrated first time authors, you are about to discover exactly what you need to know to learn how to make an ebook. So, you can stop searching the web, break out of the perpetual research loop that stops so many people, and get your ebook written fast. Read the rest of this entry

Creating Killer Cover Art For Your E-Book

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Sample Ebook Virtual CoverA quick visit to Amazon.com (or any other website that sells digital books) will clearly show that virtual covers are essential to selling your e-book. People really do judge a book by its cover - so you need to make it great.

There are a couple ways to get great cover art for your ebook. The first is to create it yourself. This is the most time-consuming of the options and most likely to end badly.

Creating Your Own Virtual Book Cover - Most Challenging Option

To make your own cover, use your favorite drawing, painting or graphics software. Draw a rectangle. Add a book spine and pages to give your rectangle three dimensions to look like a closed or partially open book. Fill your drawing with interesting colors or patterns. Add your title and author byline to the front and spine. Embellish and revise ad nausea.

The process sounds simple, but the devil (as they say) is in the details. If you don't have any graphic design experience, this is not going to be easy. The software alone has a steep learning curve.

Still want to try doing it yourself? Well, then you'll be wondering which graphics program to use - and there are many to choose from.

Some standard office programs provide the ability to create graphics, including MS Word. Trying to use one of these programs to make a cover for your e-book almost guarantees bad results. So, don't be tempted - it won't end well.

Professional level, but more complicated graphics software you could use just as well includes Macromedia Fireworks, CorelDraw, or (the gold standard) Adobe Photoshop. Professional cover art designers and graphics artists tend to use the pure, flexible, more complex, programs for their work and there is a very good reason. The results speak for themselves.

A more recent development in the area of DIY cover design is the advent of web-based tools like the ones at Fast E-Covers Online. No more purchasing and installing software - everything is online and you just log in and get to work.

Developing your cover from scratch is do-able, and even you could do it if you were so inclined. But I don't recommend the do-it-yourself approach. This is because, if you're short on software skills, artistic talent, or time or if you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, then there are more efficient ways to get cover art.

DIY Killer Cover Shortcuts

Shortcuts to the build-it-from-scratch approach include using templates, action scripts and style presets that 'plug-in' to a program like Photoshop and automate some of the steps, or using dedicated ebook cover art software.

Templates are available for purchase on the Internet, and some sites even offer free basic templates if you will link back to their site. Buying or borrowing templates will still require you to add your own text and additional graphic elements, so you'll still be investing some time, just a little less time than drawing each line of the picture from absolute zero.

You can also buy specialty ebook cover software from a number of web sites. I don't recommend this either. The software generally is a glorified set of templates, but gives you more choices and more freedom to change this and that. You will still have to do the work of designing your own cover.

If you do design your ebook cover art using free or purchased templates, or free or purchased software, you own the copyrights to the finished artwork and to anything else you design with the templates or programs.

Hiring An E-Book Cover Designer - The Best Option

To get the best results, I recommend that you hire a designer like Vaughan Davidson at Killer Covers to prepare your cover art. There are numerous reasons why this is a better option. When you hire a designer to create your ebook cover art, you will get the following benefits:

  1. You get full copyright and exclusive ownership of the finished artwork.
  2. Professionals with professional skills can turn around your project quickly. Sometimes in a matter of days.
  3. You avoid wasting time fighting with software to create your own artwork.
  4. Designers are familiar with what types of colors, fonts, and overall designs are better for marketability.
  5. An artist can likely also help you create matching graphics for your web page menus, headers, etc.

Artists who design ebook covers generally charge from $50 to $500. If your investment of, say, $100 results in an additional 100 ebook sales, wouldn't that be a good investment? YES! This is why I recommend professionally designed ebook cover art. The cost is completely offset with improved marketability and increased sales.

Cover Art Resources

A full set of resources for creating virtual covers for your e-book are listed on the Recommended Resources Page.

The Process of Book Editing

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RevisionsHere is the secret to self-publishing a book like a pro - editing!

Every great author has a an editor behind them helping to shape and refine their books for publication. One benefit provided by traditional publishing houses was that they connected each author they signed with an editorial team. It was one of many investments they made in an author to improve the chances of making a profit. Read the rest of this entry

Pricing Your E-Book To Sell

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You've written and compiled an E-Book. Now you have to decide how much to charge for it. Finding the right price is essential to the success of your product. If you charge too little, people will think it's of little value, and they won't purchase it, or even it they do buy your book, you will have to sell thousands of copies to get to the point where you can begin to see a profit. If you price it too high when compared with your competition, you will find yourself steadily lowering the price, which will cause you all kinds of new problems in the future. For example, if you sell your E-Book at first for $39.99, and later reduce it to $24.95, don't you think the people who bought it for $39.99 are going to be MAD?

Choosing the right price for your E-Book is one of the most critical parts of the marketing process. The first rule of pricing E-Books is to never underprice. Determine the highest price your audience can afford, and then if you find your book isn’t selling, you can always reduce the price. Before you take that step, make sure you are promoting your book like crazy on the Internet and on websites. The price should be aimed at bringing in profits, but you should never forget that price is one of the factors that people use in judging the value of your E-Book ? before they buy it. So always start with the highest price, and then launch a mega-marketing campaign.

Pricing an E-Book is particularly difficult because E-Books are a fairly new commodity. Since they are digital, the value of an E-Book is as confusing as the understanding of what digital actually is to the average layperson. This means that we must look at E-Books in a different light in order to determine their actual worth in this brave, new cyber world.

Let's look at the difference between a book in print and an E-Book. A printed book is an object you can hold in your hand, store on your bookshelf, even hand down to the next generation. It is priced on factors such as paper stock, design and production costs, and marketing.

But the fact that unites E-Books and print books is that they are composed of ideas. It is the ideas in these books that have the ability to change, or possibly transform, people's lives.

What do you think an idea is worth when evaluated against the cost of paper and ink?

It is the IDEAS that are valuable! That is how you determine the cost of your E-Book - establish the value to the reader of the ideas it contains.

Self-Publishing Survey Results – September 2013

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10 Step Kindle Kickstart Promotion Guide

Here are the results from the September 2013 e-Book Marketing Secrets Self-Publishing survey. The survey was sent to members of this website (it's free to create your member account if you haven't already, and there are several excellent training courses available in the members area.) A few folks also came through our Facebook page as well.

Thank you to everyone who took time to fill out the survey. There is a special bonus training section at the end of the video that focuses on the number one problem you identified in the survey.

P.S. Sorry about the audio at the beginning. My video software did something weird to it when I was combining the 2 clips. I couldn't figure out how to fix it and didn't want to delay sharing the results with you.

Steps To E-Book Publishing Success

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Even if your best friend owns a top publishing company, giving you an immediate "in," this does not guarantee publishing success.

First, you have to write a quality book that has a clear target audience. And your book must answer a common problem or need that audience shares. Then you have to develop a marketing plan, and stick to it for at least two years.

Let's begin with the process that should commence before you write your first word. Begin by reading A LOT. Read both books you passionately love and books you can't seem to make it past page five. Then figure out what the author did in the book you loved, and what was wrong with in the book you couldn't finish. Write down these points so they are crystal clear to you. Read other people's books for inspiration and to discover what you should avoid as a writer.

The next step is to plan out your book. Narrow down your subject, and then divide it into chapters. Each chapter should address a specific aspect of the problem your book is going to solve. In each chapter, break the specific aspect down into several parts. This will help your readers take in your information a bit at a time instead of overwhelming them with every bit of information clogging up the pages until they feel like they're about to go blind. It's not quite spoon-feeding the information to your readers, but it's close.

The next two steps are obvious. Write your book and then revise it. And then revise it again. And perhaps again. Of course, writing is extremely hard, and writing a book can seem like an impossible task. There are many books out there that give you guidelines to help you become familiar - and even love - the process of writing and revision. Find a number of books about writing. Better yet, find a number of books about writing the specific type of book you aspire to write. These can serve as roadmaps on your writing journey.

Once you've written your E-Book and revised it at least twice, show it to someone else whose opinion you respect. If you're lucky enough to know a good editor, see if you have something to barter for him or her to go through your manuscript. Or join a writing group and let the other members critique your work.

Then take all these ideas from other people, and revise your manuscript one last time. And then stop! Put down that pen! Get your hands off the keyboard!

One of the most important steps to actually producing a book is to know when to stop writing and tinkering with it.

You've finally written your E-Book! Pop open the bubbly! Give yourself a night out on the town!

How to Get Legitimate Book Reviews

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Getting book reviews is rediculously challenging. Even people who know and like you never seem to get around to writing a review for your book. You also have to be careful because the wrong kinds of reviews can get your publishing accounts shut down or worse.

Watch this video and get the essential strategies for getting reviews. If you really want to get reviews like the pros do it then...

...Check out "Get Book Reviews Today," by Philip John

4 Keys to Killer Book Covers

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In this video, Jason Heuer, associate art director at Simon & Schuster, talks about the 4 essential elements you need to focus on to create amazing book covers. Your cover needs to grab attention and convince someone to stop and read the description or download a sample chapter. If the cover doesn't communicate the essence of your book, your words will never even get a chance.

Related: How to get professional covers for your eBooks without spending a fortune on designers

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How To Turn Your E-Book Into Profits

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E-Books are a revolutionary way to publish your book without incurring the costs of print production. All you need is a relevant and targeted subject and some inexpensive software, and you can transform your manuscript into a book. Read the rest of this entry

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