How to Write an Ebook to Offer It for Free Through Your Site

ebook reader in front of a pile of books

One method to attract visitors to your website is to offer an ebook for free in exchange for possibly the email address of visitors. Then you can make a list of email addresses and make massive promotions of your website or products and services (see also this short but comprehensive introduction to email marketing). But how are you going to write an ebook? In this article, I will give advice on how to do it with as little effort as possible.

An ebook is harder to write than a post on a blog for example. The size of the book should be neither too large nor too small. It is proposed to consist of about 25 to 30 pages and to contain 4.000 to 5.000 words. What you need to know is that most web owners don't even think about writing an e-book, so if you do, you'll immediately stand out from the competition. In addition, visitors to your site will greatly appreciate it and will see you as an authority in your field.

An easy and fast way to build an ebook is to use an eBook creation software like Sqribble. Click here to read a comprehensive review of this software and how it will help you to speed up the process of building an ebook.

Step 1: Find an idea for the book

For starters, you need a clear idea on which to rely to write the ebook. You can write more generally about your niche or choose a more specific topic, but again on the same topic. For example, if your niche is cooking recipes, you can write a book of cooking secrets or traditional recipes or recipes that you like in general, but you can write a book dedicated only to recipes for pasta.

Whatever the case, make sure you have the subject you're going to write about in hand. So the first step is to come up with an idea of what you're going to write about.

Step 2: Announce the coming of the book

I strongly recommend that you announce that you are going to offer a free ebook in a week, two, or a month. You can do this through your site through a post, through a newsletter (if you keep one), on social media, or offline.

This announcement will give you an incredible incentive to write and complete the e-book after you start it. A good method is not to announce that a "gift" that visitors to your site can obtain completely for free. This will create excitement and make your audience wait for this surprise you're preparing.

Step 3: Make a draft of the book

By ''draft'' I mean to take a white paper glue or open a Word file on your COMPUTER and start noting suggestions or words and ideas that will later become the main content of the ebook. Decide and write the title of the book and the central theme. Write down in small sentences or words the various individual topics you will write about.

Also, write ideas that come to mind about the graphics (images) that you will include in your book. Pexels and Pixabay are two of the most popular websites to get free, quality images with no ownership rights.

At first, you may find it difficult to make this layout but if you decide and sit down for half an hour or an hour thinking and taking notes, this will help you much later as you write the main content of the book.

Step 4: Start writing the main book

This step is probably the hardest for most but also the most important. But if you follow the previous steps and especially if you already have a layout with the basic ideas of the ebook then you will definitely succeed. You should write about 4000 to 5000 words that are about 25 to 30 pages in Word. So start writing and take your time. You're supposed to be your field expert, so you don't have the excuse that you don't know what to write.

Here are some more tips to help you as you write:

  • Devote yourself to writing and avoid hassles (e.g. stay away from Facebook or Twitter or your emails, TV, and radio).
  • Set a goal to write for an hour or two a day and don't get away from that goal.
  • Don't make corrections while you're writing (Don't focus on correcting syntax or spelling errors; first, write a draft and perfect it later).
  • Avoid formatting (Write the clipboard; don't focus on adjusting the font or bolding some suggestions; you'll perfect the ebook later).

Step 5: Add images and graphics

Images can say things that words can't and it's important to have them in a book to offer a more enjoyable reading experience to those who will acquire the ebook. You may also want to add diagrams, tables, etc. to the book. Do all this in this step and after you're done writing the clipboard.

Just be careful not to overdo it with images and graphics so readers can focus on the text and what you want to say. To find the right images I suggest you read my article on images and copyright.

Step 6: Check and correct the text

After you've finished writing the clipboard (which is the hardest part) and added the basic graphics, it's time to make any corrections you think are necessary to produce a perfect result. First read what you have written once in total to find out which points need correcting (rewriting, syntax, or spelling errors, etc.).

Make sure you've written everything you want to say, make additions, remove any redundancies, add links to your site, examples, reports, and everything you need to get a complete result.

Step 7: Format the book

Your text must now be complete with the necessary corrections. So it's time to do the necessary configuration on your ebook. Choose an easy-to-read font (e.g. Calibri, Verdana, or the classic Arial and Times New Roman), make important bold texts and some important italic words, check the headings of each part of the text and do them in large font, put page numbers, etc.

You can insert on each page of the e-book a footer in which there will be the title of the book and possibly the URL of your site. Finally, it is suggested that you add a table of contents at the beginning of the book...

Step 8: Make the cover of the book (ebook cover)

If you followed all the above steps, all the hard work has been done and your ebook is almost complete. If you want it to stand out from the rest of the ebooks make a cover. Look for an impressive photo that you have the right to use (read my article on images and copyright) and through an image editor (e.g. Photoshop) make a cover for the book!

If you don't have the experience, this step could make it difficult for you. So you can assign this job to a friend or a specialist possibly by spending some money. Your cover will help you promote the ebook on your site or elsewhere so it's important to have it.

Some tips for creating it are:

  • Use large, clean font for the title of the book.
  • Don't forget to add your name as a writer and possibly the URL of your site.
  • If there is a subtitle, make sure it is in a smaller font than the title.
  • Use two or three colors (preferably soft and not bold).

Step 9: Create a PDF file for the book

Most ebooks we see on site are in PDF format. This is a very popular file type and if your ebook is in this format you ensure that any user can read it even through their browser. So you need to convert .doc word .docx file to .pdf before you make it available to users. The latest versions of Microsoft Office enable this conversion. Just chose "Save as..." (Save as) and then Save as PDF.

If you are lucky enough to have Adobe Acrobat software then you can convert the Word file to PDF in a more professional way. After you do the conversion, it's time for the final check. Open the PDF file with your browser (e.g. Firefox) or Acrobat Reader and check for errors or omissions as well as the overall picture of the book.

Step 10: Make the book available to users

In the final stage and after all the difficult work of creating the e-book, it is finally time to reach the hands (or rather the computers) of the visitors of your site. You must upload it to the server where your website is hosted and make it available either without any consideration (completely free) or by asking users to give their email address first (recommended).

Of course, make a post on your site announcing that you offer the ebook for free, and of course, do not forget to tell the good news on social networks to your audience (followers) or even offline.

And after you do all this, rest, take a break. Your free ebook is ready and available to visitors to your site and you can start collecting email addresses in order to grow your email list and make additional promotions via bulk emails (read my article introduction to email marketing)...

Good luck with that.

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