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How to Write and Sell eBooks

Guest post from Kathy of Kathy Hutto

In today’s market, eBooks are hot commodity. With Kindles and iPads taking the place of laptops and personal computers, you can bet that eBook sales are through the roof.

You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t hard at all to write an eBook. If you have a good idea for a book or just want to find out what is selling and then explore ideas for writing your own, this article is for you. It will walk you through a step-by-step process for creating (and then selling) your eBook.

It couldn’t be easier using the techniques listed here… and best of all, it’s possible to create your own eBook for free using the resources listed and links provided to you here.

Microsoft Office PowerPoint

One tool you can use to write your eBook is Microsoft Office PowerPoint. PowerPoint is super easy if you plan to add a lot of graphic elements to your book. It allows you to move around the objects and manipulate them much easier than Word does.

Here’s what you do:

  • Open PowerPoint. You will be taken to a new slide show.
  • Remove the title and text boxes that automatically are there.
  • Design your cover.
  • Click New Slide (under the Home tab) and begin with your first page.
  • Continue adding slides for the number of pages you need.

One Feature that I like is under the Tab Insert. It’s the Word Art button. It allows you add a little more pizzazz to your words. This is great for the cover of your eBook.

Your PowerPoint presentation will automatically be horizontal (landscape). To change it to vertical (portrait), you will need to hit the Design tab and then Slide Orientation. You can choose landscape or portrait.

While you are working on your book, if you want to see what it’s going to look like, just hit the View tab and then Slide Show. You can click through to see the entire project and escape if you want to end the show.

Play around while on the Insert tab. You can add clip art, pictures, shapes, smart art, and charts. When you are ready to save your eBook, click Save As and PDF.

Free Images

Images like photographs and clip art will be important to your eBook. Look for public domain images that are free.

My favorite site for photographs is Public Domain Pictures (I also really like the Illustrations section of this site.)

My favorite site for clip art is WP Clip Art

If you are writing a How-To eBook, you can take a screen shot of whatever you are working on.

A Good Cover Design

The key to a good eBook is having a professional looking cover design. Photographs often make the best cover designs, and it’s best if you find one that is vertical. You will need to stretch it to fit the entire page.

Promote Your eBook

There are many places that you might sell your eBook. Here are a few places I’ve had success selling mine.

EBay

The very simplest way to sell your eBook is through EBay! Set up an eBay account if you don’t have one already. Be sure to include in the product description that the auction is for an eBook in a PDF format. You can email the buyer the eBook file (zipped if it is large), once you receive payment.

Currclick

If you want your book to reach the homeschool market, then Currclick is the way to go! You will need to create an account and send in your title for review. Once approved, you can upload other titles.

Kindle Direct Self Publishing 

If you want to sell products that will be purchased by those with Kindles, then you can follow the very simple steps for setting up a free account and selling them here.

Teachers Pay Teachers

If you want to sell products to the teaching market (as in school teachers), then you may want to check this site out. Follow the steps for creating an account and uploading your products. The first product must be free, so choose wisely. You want it to be a good product to begin building confidence in your items, but you want your best products to earn you a profit.

If you’d like to learn more about creating and selling eBooks, be sure to download your free copy of How to Create and Sell eBooks the Simple Way.

Kathy Hutto is a Christian, wife, and homeschooling mother of two. She loves serving the Lord and has a heart for reaching families with devotions and resources that will enable them to disciple their children at home. She strives to “bloom where she’s planted” and maintains a blog where you can find family devotions, Sunday School ideas, homeschooling resources, recipes and more.  She writes curricula which she sells through TeachersPayTeachers and Currclick.

photo source

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19 Comments

  • Lizzie says:

    I’m excited that my cookbook is on the Kindle now:). Although, I had a writing service help me format it!

  • Amanda says:

    Can this be a lucrative business?

    • Crystal says:

      From what I’ve experienced and what I’ve heard from others, it *can* be, if you have a good following and work hard at it. As with anything, overnight success is usually an oxymoron, though. 🙂

  • Sharla says:

    My first ebook didn’t need images other than the cover but the one I am working on right now will require me to add a lot of images throughout so I really appreciate you sharing this. Reading this was very timely for me as I was just trying to figure out how I was going to include images and format correctly. Thank you.

  • What a timely post! I just released my first ebook, http://www.thegardeningnotebook, and had not thought of selling it on ebay or through currclick. Thanks for the tips!

  • If you use Power Point, is that compatible with Kindle Publishing? I’ve been working on a book which I wrote in Word and then converted the format for Kindle… I didn’t see anything that mentioned Power Point, but I’m wondering if it could work the same way.

  • Here’s my other question, Kathy, since I see that you write educational materials. I love all of the educational printables, etc. that I often see posted here on MSM… I create educational products all the time, but I don’t have a bone for design or art in my whole body. What programs do people use to create printables, particularly if they plan to sell them… if you can’t create the art on your own, what are your options?

    • Sabrina says:

      Julie
      Maybe I can help answer your question…I’ve been doing graphic design for a little over 5 years. Here are some of options for creating art/programs used:

      1. Programs used
      Graphic Designers typically use Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop to create printables…but you can use more acessible software like Microsoft Word, or Photoshop Elements…basically anything that you can drop words and images into, and move around.

      GIMP is a free design software program.

      2. I’m not an artist an I need art…Help!

      Find somebody who is good at art/design, and ask them to create it for you! Options here include hiring a graphic designer or ask around your circle to see who’s artsy…is there anyone at church, or any education/teacher friends who is artistic?

      Maybe you might know someone through the blogs you frequent. High School Students and Community College Design students are another good source–contact the local high school or community college to get you in touch.

      Craigslist–Another option is to hire a designer through Craigslist (you can make a free ad) and have artists connect with you that way….

      OR….
      If you need any help, I’d be happy to help you with any artistic questions you might have. The link will direct you to my online portfolio.
      Hope this helps!

  • Ann says:

    This is incredibly helpful, thank you!

  • KM Logan says:

    I’m interested in what books you’ve sold on eBay. I’ve actually considered doing this but never “pulled the trigger.”

  • Sabrina says:

    Thanks for this post! Though good writing and correct grammar is vital for any e-book, so is a good cover design–bad design can make or break the book.

    Free stock images: http://www.stockfreeimages.com or dreamstime.com

    Another option instead of using a photo is to use a graphic designer friend to help you design it.

    If any of you need help with creating covers/design ideas for your e-books, I’d be happy to help! I’ve been doing graphic for over 5 years and have included an online portfolio link for anybody interested!

    Okay, I’ve got a few questions too…my other hat is a writer.

    1. Where can I find out the specifics on how to format e-books?
    2. How does it work selling e-books on Amazon?

    I’ve got the tools…I just want more specifics. Thanks!

  • Thank you for this post! I have read many books and articles about how to plan the content of your ebook, but I have been struggling with the actual mechanics of producing it. Now off to try to find a cheap copy of Power Point… 😉

  • Tina Razzell says:

    I’ve published a few ebooks. They are for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the itunes store. I liked your article, but I think you can’t sell ebooks on ebay any more. I think they changed their rules a few years ago. I have a paperback book I produced with Crestespace, I sell that on ebay, but I can’t sell the ebook verson.

  • Maegen says:

    I have a part time teaching job, and because it’s a new-to-me position, and I have a blog, and kids, and a house to run (Phew!), I often use TeachersPayTeachers.

    I’ve purchased powerpoints, worksheets, lesson plans-it’s a huge time saver, and I love that I’m helping a fellow educator.

    If you’re a teacher or homeschooler with a knack for creating curriculum, I would definitely give it a try.

  • Stacy says:

    To sell on Teachers Pay Teachers & Currclick do you have to be a licensed teacher? I have some ideas that I think are good & that I would like to try but I’m not a teacher.

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