Authoring an eBook in 10 Basic Steps
Authoring a book, specifically an eBook (electronic book), is easy, affordable and profitable. Share your expertise and experience with an international on-line community of learners.
Fulfill that dream of yours to write a book and become a published author. Take that workshop you've written and presented; take that unit of study you've produced; take that wish that there had been a book about something when you needed it most and convert that need into an eBook for others to use and enjoy; take that interest or hobby and convert your personal experience and professional expertise into an instructional eBook; share your love of a topic with others to encourage them to share your joy or support them in their quest for further skill development; use your experiences to get someone else 'turned on' to what you have been enjoying for years; provide the attitudes, skills, and knowledge for others that will help them do a better job... Yes, you can accomplish all of this and so much more with eBooks.
The technology of eBook production has become so remarkably easy, affordable and yes, even profitable that you do not need to be a computer expert to become an accomplished and published author.
Whatever your status: student or teacher; worker or administrator; amateur or professional; experienced or inexperienced; veteran or newcomer; rising star or established guru; famous or infamous... you have something to offer to others who have not had the same experiences or accomplished the things you have done.
We at Awaken The Author Within and eBook Authoring Services have broken the eBook authoring process into 10 steps. A brief outline of those steps is the focus of this article. The article is designed to inform you of the steps, assure you that anyone may accomplish the task, provide you with an outline of the process and point you in the direction of further information to make the process both an exhilarating personal adventure and a professional development activity of the highest order.
WRITING is a POWERFUL TOOL. It is the DOING part of THINKING.
The first step in the process is to have an IDEA for a book. There are few of us who haven't said to ourselves at one time or another, "Some day I'd like to write a book about ..." or "I wish someone would have provided me with information about ____ when I was first starting out." or "Now that I've reached this point in my career (hobby, role, interest,...) I'd like to share my experiences with others." Whatever you choose as a topic for your first eBook in particular, choose something about which you already are a self-proclaimed 'expert'! And something about which you are passionate.
The second step in the process is to spend some time in REFLECTION. This is a step that goes hand in hand with the first step. You've already thought about such things as why you would want to write an eBook; what benefits writing an eBook would give to you, the author, and your readers; who would benefit most from the sharing of your experience and expertise; when would be a good time to begin the process; where you might find an audience for your eBook; how you would get your eBook to those people who would most benefit from it. At this step, share your idea of authoring an eBook and the chosen topic with as many people as possible to get their feedback. Be a risk-taker! In essence, at this stage you are working towards the third step.
The COMMITMENT step is the first really important one, the step that separates the dreamers from the doers; the step that embraces change for personal and professional gain; the step that says you are willing to acquire the attitudes; skills, and knowledge to become not only a published author but a successful one as well; the step that moves you into an adventure that will assure you that you will never be the same person again. This is the most exciting step along the way!
The fourth step is called the BIG PICTURE step since it is here that you call upon both your realistic and your fanciful self to envision the final product. Imagine your eBook cover published on a web site, your eBook being read by others, your professional and personal pride in your accomplishment, your exhilaration at earning money as an author (if you choose to sell your eBook), your "dream come true"! At this step you must also make decisions involving such big picture ideas as: the scope of your eBook, the number of eBooks in the series if more than one eBook is required, the topic or topics to be covered, the background information you already possess or need to acquire, the people who can act as mentors...
After the big picture ideas have been dealt with, the fifth step is the choice of how the eBook information is to be CHUNKED. By chunking we mean breaking the general topic into manageable and palatable parts for the learner who acquires your eBook. This depends entirely upon the content of your eBook and the method(s) you see as best to present the material based on your knowledge of the topic. This can range from the simplest format of chapters to question and answer format to case studies to worksheets to theory and practice applications to problems and solutions to how to books to journals of discovery to...
Step six is the step we all associate with authoring an eBook - the WRITING! In reality, this step is merely one of the 10! It is often the most enjoyable because you are writing about a topic about which you have a passion as well as skills, attitudes, and knowledge you wish to share with others. Your personal and professional experiences will make this step a most enjoyable one. Write in an informal manner with impassioned emotion. Write like you mean it! This type of writing is as far from a thesis as you can get - a beauty of eBooks! Use a friendly letter style and talk to your reader much like you would do in a conversation. Although this step may be the most enjoyable, it does require a myriad of decisions by you, the author. You must consider such things as font size and style, spacing on the pages, header and footer considerations, word processing software to use, the length of the eBook, research that needs to be done, links to the web you are going to use, material you must gather together, compiling method for publishing,... plus many others. This is a lengthy list, but manageablewhen you are prepared for it.
The EDITING step, the seventh, is by far the most time consuming as any of you who have written before will attest. When your work is to be published you want it to be as perfect as possible in so many ways not just spelling and grammar. Such things as visual appeal and use of white space on the page, style of titles, table of contents, use of black line masters, resources and sources of information, ease of use... are also considerations. Make sure you have plenty of friends to help you with this step, likely the most time consuming step in the entire process.
PUBLISHING or COMPILING your eBook is step eight which is the step required to turn your book into an eBook! The quality of your eBook when it is presented to your audience in its final form depends on the quality of your editing in step seven. You may choose to have your eBook compiled in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language - .exe) or PDF (Portable Document Format - .pdf) or any of the other ways you can have it done to accommodate different reading devices. Your eBook must be made ready to be downloaded from the Internet on to a computer. You will have the choice of doing a little, none or as much work as you wish at this stage. Your decision will depend on the amount of personal time you wish to invest and the amount of money you wish to pay for the services needed. This cost is minimal regardless of the choice you make. Cost is not a deterrent to getting your eBook compiled.
Like in the previous step, MARKETING your eBook can be done with as much personal effort as you wish. It is important in step nine that you get your eBook to market! You can become your own marketer by creating a web site. Other web sites and professional agents or marketers are also available to do this job. The costs vary depending on the choice you make and there are many choices available to you. Again, cost is not a deterring factor here. For your own sake and the sake of your eBook, you should get involved in the marketing of your eBook as much as possible. After all, you have the most important investment of all in your eBook - your emotional involvement and you know the 'niche' market best for whom you wrote the eBook in the first place. In addition, you stand to gain personally and financially by increasing exposure of the eBook.
The absolute best step in the process which coincidentally is the "10" step, is CELEBRATING! You deserve a celebration for the final step in this literary and eCommerce adventure. You need to thank those dozens of others who contributed in ways big and small to your success. You should rejoice in the euphoria of accomplishing a dream! You should celebrate the fact that many people go through their entire lives without ever accomplishing what you had dreamed of accomplishing - becoming a published author!
Share your success with others and encourage them to do the same thing. Become a mentor to your friends and acquaintances. Share the joy. Leave your mark!
Dare it be mentioned - there just may be one more eBook in you! Let the adventure begin ANEW!
© 2005 Paul Jackson