Creating E-Books Archives

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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

Hidden Dangers of Resale Rights E-Books

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Imagine this. Someone else writes the perfect e-book on your topic. It is exactly what you would have written - actually it is even better than what you had planned. Better still, the author is selling publishing rights to this book (commonly known as resale rights). You can purchase rights to the book, publish it yourself, and keep all the profits. Read the rest of this entry

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Ebook Topics For Maximum Profits

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Choosing the right topic is the downfall of most aspiring ebook publishers.

Publishing a ebook seems like such a simple process (the mechanics are not that complicated) and they are blinded by dollar signs as they fantasize about how they will spend all the money that they earn from selling their ebook.

Within minutes of deciding to publishing an ebook, wannabe digital authors are busy writing about their favorite hobby or whatever great idea they dream up that they're convinced will be the ticket to easy street.

After weeks of work preparing the ebook and learning how to create a website to offer it for sale, they sit back and wait for the money to star rolling in.

And they wait, and wait, and wait!

Very often nothing happens at all and they quit in disgust and claim that "the ebook publishing business is a scam and it doesn't really work." Or, they earn a few dollars, but not nearly enough to be worth all the effort.

You and I know that the reality is that those wannabes don't understand who buys ebooks, why they buy them, or what makes them willing to pay top dollar for an ebook. In short, they haven't done their homework first and researched the marketplace.

There is a wide range of information that sells well on the Internet and some very simple ways to do research to determine niche markets were strong potential exists. But, there's one specific style of the book that sells well all the time and commands high prices.

9-1-1 ebooks

When we stop and think about it, the primary benefits of buying ebooks online is immediate access to useful and well researched information. People in the middle of an emergency need to instantly solve their problem.

9-1-1 ebooks solve the kinds of emergency problems that people desperately need help with. Tony Shepherd and Alexis Dawes both write extensively in their own ebook products about how to quickly identify 9-1-1 problems that can be solved with simple ebooks.

There isn't room in this article to explain the full process of identifying topics, researching, writing, and formatting ebooks, and marketing and selling them (Tony and Alexis both do a phenomenal job of that in their ebooks.) But I will steer you in the right direction. There are also other articles that cover those subjects on this site, so look through the article list in the side navigation.

To identify a profitable topic, look and see what kinds of problems people around you are struggling with. Soothing colicky babies, repairing holes in drywall, stopping a leaky sink, resolving a credit card dispute, avoiding foreclosure, the list goes on.

If you can imagine a desperate person searching the Internet for help, you have a potential product.

So, try a 9-1-1 product and see if your ebook business soars.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Desperate Buyers Only, by Alexis Dawes
Double Genius, by Tony Shepherd

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Building An Ebook Template

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Ebook templates save lots of time for any author planning to create a significant number of them. As an information publisher, the ebook and e-report are the basics of my business and I create a lot of them. Speed of creation and a professional look are extremely important to me and setting all of this up is one of the more tedious and time-consuming aspects of ebook creation.

Check out our killer collection of ebook templates...

...Get the E-book Template 12-Pack Now!

To speed the process and maintain a high quality product, I built an ebook template in Open Office that I use for all of my ebooks. Open Office is a free office suite software package that includes a first-rate word processor. This word processor also has a high quality PDF exporter built into the software which creates beautiful ebooks for your business. It is my favorite software to use.

The basic settings I modify for my ebook template are the fonts, the font sizes, the line spacing, a page header, a page footer, and a few other bits of 'boilerplate' content. I also like to put a border around the pages to dress it up a bit.

Font Settings For Ebooks

Font size for my ebooks is set to 14pt and the line spacing to 1.5 or 2. It's important to remember that many people will be reading the content from the screen and a larger font is easier on the eyes. The increased line spacing also helps with on screen readability. These settings also look pretty good when printed, so it is a good compromise.

For fonts, I use a sans-serif font for the headings and titles and usually pick Times Roman or Bookman for the body copy.

Layout and Design for Ebooks

Next comes the header and footer for all of the main pages. The header usually contains the name of the ebook and the footer has a promo teaser on the left and the page number on the right. Some people like to include copyright information at the bottom of every page as well. I also like to separate the header and footer from the main text with a divider line.

Standard Content for Ebooks

Finally, I create some boilerplate legal pages, an index page, a resource page and an about the author page to round everything out. These might get modified from book to book, but they are always present in every book so it saves time to have them as part of my template file.

Putting It All Together

If you want to see an example of my template in action, here is a recent free report I created using it:

How I Made My First $100 Online

It took a little while to figure out the nuances of creating page styles in OpenOffice, but now this it's done and I've built the framework for my ebooks, I just cut and paste content into my template. Working this way easily saves 1 to 2 hours on every single project.

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