How to Make an eBook: Second of 5 easy ways to give away samples of your writing
We’ve been talking about 5 easy ways to give away FREE SAMPLES of your writing to readers and prospective readers. Last time, we learned how to create a zine. Today we’re going to focus on the easiest, most common ways to make a chapter or selection from your book into an eBook that you can give away for free.
If you’ve already converted your book or published an eBook, you can probably skip this post, except to say that you might want consider cropping it to offer just one or two chapters as a free giveaway through your blog, website, or social media outlets.
All of these processes are done electronically, so the only equipment you’ll need is a computer and Internet access.
We’re going to discuss 4 of the most common methods of eBook conversion:
- Text files
The thing to keep in mind is that an eBook CAN be an exact electronic duplicate of a printed book, but it doesn’t have to be, and frequently is not. The popularity of eBooks is continuing to skyrocket, and with it a multitude of eReaders is becoming available. However, not all of them are equipped to handle graphics or fancy pagination, so a decent rule of thumb, at least for the time being, is that simpler is better when converting your writing into eBooks.
Before you begin any of these processes, make sure you:
- Abbreviate your file to include only the chapter(s) you want to give away for free.
- Double check that you have not inadvertently cut off any sections while you were creating your excerpt.
- Give one last run-through for grammar and spelling errors you may previously have missed, especially if this is the first time you will be publishing your work.
- Unless you will be using the PDF method to convert your chapter(s), make sure you’ve got it stripped down to a simplified file with few images and no fancy pagination.
PDFs are the best way to ensure consistency between the printed
Depending on how your computer is configured, once you’ve got your file
A second possibility if you’re saving from a MS Word 2007 document is to choose
If you do not appear to have a PDF conversion mechanism of any sort already
Smashwords is a free online service you can use to convert your books
The Smashwords.com site also gives you four pricing options:
Visit the site and follow the prompts to upload your book.
The easiest way to convert a file that almost
That’s it for our four simple ways to convert your sample chapter to an eBook. Once you’ve converted it, the next thing is to TELL PEOPLE it’s available. Announce it on Facebook. Send a couple Tweets. And, of course, let your mailing list know. You can even ask other authors, editors, marketers, literary types, and anyone who loves and supports you to help you get the word out.
Make it a personal mission to have 500 people read your free chapter(s) within a certain period of time. This means, of course, you’ll have to figure out how to know they’ve read it. One way might be to motivate your pre-readers to comment about your chapter on your blog by announcing that you’ll enter all commenters into a drawing for a copy of the finished book. This will do two things for you:
(1) Give you feedback on the book.
(2) Give you an idea of how many people the chapters are reaching.
Remember, these are just a few ideas. Put on that SBM* Thinking Cap and see what other wonderful ways you can dream up to get the word out about your free chapter(s). If anything awesome comes of this experience for you, please come back and share it in our comments section!
Make sure to check back on Thursday when we’ll be discussing Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature as a way to give away free samples of your work.
*Savvy Book Marketer
Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.
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Thursday, August 11 – How to Make a Zine: First of 5 easy ways to give away samples of your writing
Monday, August 8 – 5 easy ways to give away FREE SAMPLES of your writing
Thursday, August 4 – A Savvy Book Marketer embraces the idea of giving freely