How to write an Ebook

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What Is an Ebook?

Ebook is short for “electronic book,” and uses either a computer, mobile device, or ebook reader to display long-form texts in book form. Ebooks have multiple digital “pages” that people can navigate through, and are often packaged as a PDF document so they can easily be sent from one user to another.

How Is an Ebook Structured?

There’s no set rule for organizing your content into an ebook. It generally mimics the structure of a novel or textbook (depending on what it is you’re writing about). But, there are some aspects of an ebook you should be sure to adhere to.

Ebooks have some system of chapters and supporting images. Similar to a blog post, they also do well when further segmenting their text with subheaders that break down the discussion into specific sections. If you’re writing about professional sports, for example, and one of your chapters is about Major League Baseball (MLB) in the U.S., you might want to establish subchapters about the various teams belonging to the MLB.

What Can an Ebook Be About?

Anything. Well, within reason. Ebooks are simply a marketer’s way of delivering lots of critical information in a form their potential customers are most willing to read it. An environmental company might write an ebook all about water conservation. They also might focus an ebook entirely on how their water-saving product is used, or how it helped a customer solve a problem. Discover more ebook ideas at the end of this article.

No matter what subject your ebook takes on, research is a significant part of ebook creation. Unlike short-form content like articles and videos, the content of an ebook is predicated on trust and evidence. A user who obtains (or requests access to) your ebook wants the full story, not just the bullet points. That includes all the content and testing you went through to produce the ebook.

In What File Formats Can You Save an Ebook?

Ebooks can be saved in one of several formats. Depending on your end user, though, you might find a use for any of the following file types:

PDF

PDFs are likely the most well-known file type. The “PDF” extension stands for “Portable Document Format,” and is best for ebooks that are meant to be read on a computer (digital marketers, you’ll want to remember this one). We’ll talk more about how to save your ebook as a PDF later in this article.

EPUB

This file type stands for “Electronic Publication,” and is the more flexible ebook formats. By that, I mean EPUB ebooks can “reflow” their text to adapt to various mobile devices and tablets, allowing the ebook’s text to move on and off different pages based on the size of the device on which a user is reading the ebook. They’re particularly helpful for viewing on smaller screens, such as smartphones as well as the Nook from Barnes and Noble.

AZW

This is an ebook file type designed for the Kindle, an e-reader device by Amazon. However, users can also open this file format on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

ODF

ODF stands for OpenDocument Format, a file type meant primarily for OpenOffice, a series of open-source content creation programs similar to Microsoft Office.

Can You Edit an Ebook?

Nope. An ebook can’t be edited once it’s been saved in one of the file formats described above, so it’s best to ensure you have an editable version saved in a program like Microsoft Word.

But why would you want your ebook to be uneditable? Making ebooks uneditable ensures the content remains unchanged — both the format and the information — as it’s shared between multiple uses.

You can edit ebooks if they’re saved using an editable PDF, a feature that is specific to Adobe Acrobat — the founding program of the PDF file type.

How Do You Read an Ebook?

You can read an ebook on many different devices: iPhone, Android smartphones, a Macbook, PC, and e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle. The latter two devices are typically used to read novels in digital form. Nook and Kindle owners can store thousands of books (literally) on a single Nook or Kindle.

But making an ebook can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to write the content, but you also need to design and format it into a professional-looking document that people will want to download and read. With lead generation being the top goal for content marketing, however, ebooks are an essential part of an successful inbound marketing program.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of creating an ebook by, well, creating an ebook. And if you’re worried about your lacking design skills, fret not …

Got your free ebook templates? Ready to make an ebook? Great — let’s get to it.

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