Skip to main content

How to Write and Publish an eBook

Lesson 8 of 16

How to Edit & Format Your Book

Tara McMullin

How to Write and Publish an eBook

Tara McMullin

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

8. How to Edit & Format Your Book

Lesson Info

How to Edit & Format Your Book

Welcome back to How to Write and Publish Your E-book. We have been learning all sorts of things about how to really pull together all the content that you already have, whether that's blog posts, podcasts, videos, work shops, webinars, and get it into book form because as we learned in the very first step, nothing will get you the kind of credibility, customers, and cash that a book can. Writing and publishing books literally changed my life. I've got four out now. I speak from experience here. Books have helped me get speaking gigs all around the world, all around the U.S.. They've helped me book clients. They've helped me get in major media and they can do exactly the same for you. The good news is, you already have a book written somewhere. I almost guarantee it. Unless you're like a new born baby or you just... I was gonna say even if you just graduated from college. If you just graduated from college, just think how much writing you've done over the last four years. Hello! So yeah...

, we all have this book written already and that's where I actually want to start today's lesson, this step three of this five step process. By asking you guys, what book did you discover you already had written? So Brit, we'll start with you this time. I realized that I'm really writing a book that provides people with a clear lens to see their lives, which ultimately helps them to deal with their life challenges not by getting rid of the problems but by totally shifting their perspective on how they deal with their lives. Yeah, and where is most of that content living right now? It's blog posts and in my yoga teacher training and in the Pilgrim Program that I already offer, so. Fantastic. So you have that book written already. Excellent. Lacy? Yeah, so I'm writing a book about how to connect the dots between content and sales. It's funny because in some of my Facebook groups, when people ask a question, there's a joke now, there's a post for that! Because that was my answer so many times. Oh there's a post for that, I've written about that. So it's all there, it's all in the blog. (laughs) I love it! I love it, I love it, I love it! Shannon? Yes, so I am going to be writing about how to empower organizations to love on their donors through gratitude so that they can raise more money to do more good in the world. Fantastic. And where's that content living? That is in a lot of webinars and a lot of just workshop workbooks. Excellent, excellent. And Stacy, last but not least? So I'm going to write my book is about showing people how to create training faster, more effectively, to get better results so that every piece of content you create adds to your bottom line. Fantastic! And where is that content living? Speaking gigs, blog posts, and workshops. Fantastic. All right, so great variety here of topics. Also great variety of where that content is coming from. Be thinking, if you're out there online watching, be thinking about what your topic is and where that content is living. But before we go further in this process, I want to make sure that you understand exactly where we're at. So let's take a look at that. In step one, we talked about how to choose your topic and create an outline, build an outline, so that you know you've got that perfect book that you need to reach your goals. If you missed step one, make sure you go back to step one and start there, because the topic is everything. It really is and the topic'll change, depending on what your goal is. The way you outline the book will change depending on what your goal is. So we want to make sure all of that stuff is woven together. In step two, we talked about how to write your book the fastest way possible, which is not to write a new book at all. It's to take content that you have, content that you've been creating all this time, whether you've been in business for a month or whether you've been in business for a decade, taking all that content, weaving it together into one consistent, coherent narrative arc, so that you can really craft a message that makes a difference in the marketplace. Now, we're about to talk about how to edit your book and how to format your book. That way, you can really easily get it into the distribution platforms that are available to you today and then get your readers reading it. That's where we're gonna be going from here. So how to edit and format your book is what we are talking about now. Sound good? You ready? Yes! All right, excellent. So let's get something clear here, nobody is perfect, least of all me. (laughs) There are typos in what I produce and on top of typos there's a lot of places where I don't necessarily make myself understood. It pains me to say that. It pains me even more to realize that it happens, but it's true, right? I will write something and people will misunderstand it, they won't understand why it's important, they will have missed a key piece of information. That's my bad. That's on me and I need to fix that, especially if I'm gonna be taking a blog post or a podcast episode or a video and translating it into a book, because a book is a place where you have the opportunity to get it right. I'm not gonna say that that means you may not still have a typo in your book. How many traditionally published books have you read that have a missing period or a missing comma or a word is you know, transposed with another? It happens. We want to try and make it happen as little as possible. But even more than proofreading, we really want to edit it. Editing is more than proofreading. Bare minimum, you need to get your book proofread. Whether that's by you, whether it's by a piece of software, or whether it's by a friend of an actual editor. But you also want to edit it. You want to think about you know, how the book is flowing together. Have you started with the beginner in mind? Is it clear, does it flow, does it make sense, is it coherent, is there a narrative arc? At the end of the book can people do what you want them to be able to do? That is what editing is about. So let's look at a couple of different ways, or a few different ways that you can actually edit your new book. You can edit it yourself using technology for assistance. I'm actually gonna show you a tool that I use to do that, more for blog posts than for books, but I love this tool and I think you guys are really gonna love it too. You can do this. If money is super tight, if you're just... Maybe you're working overnighters trying to get this book ready and no one is gonna proofread on your same time frame as you, you can do it yourself. We're gonna talk to an actual editor, a professional editor in just a little bit. We're both not going to recommend it, but it is possible. You can also buddy up. You can get a friend, there are thousands of people working on writing their books because of this class right? Find a friend. Buddy up. You know, look for the hashtag, look for people commenting. Tag someone and say hey, let's partner up, let's get this done. Just even to have even more than one person read your book, make sure it makes sense to them. Make sure it creates that transformation for them. The good news here too, is that we're writing really short books. You may be able to buddy up with a few people. All right, have whole editing circles. You can also hire a professional, hire a professional. This doesn't have to be expensive, it also shouldn't be cheap. If you're paying someone very little money to get it done, you probably should have just buddied up with somebody because that person is probably not actually a professional. But that said, it does not have to be expensive to get this done and I highly, highly recommend hiring a professional. I hired a professional to edit my second two books. Up to that point it was all about proofreading. The second two books I really wanted edited. I wanted them to look at the flow and the consistency and the effectiveness of it. Amy, who you will meet in just a little bit, did a phenomenal job with that. She really helped me see some holes in my arguments. She helped me solidify my message. So if you have the time and the money to hire a professional I highly, highly recommend it. If not, and even if you do, these are the kinds of questions that you want to ask to make sure that your book is making sense. To make sure it's as good as it could be. One, have I explained concepts at a level appropriate for the ideal reader? So that goes all the way back to step one, where we defined what that ideal reader, who that ideal reader is. We did it in detail. We thought about individual people that might be reading this book. Are the concepts that you're sharing, is the way that you've explained them, is it appropriate for that reader? You don't want to be beneath them and you don't want to be above them. Ask yourself what do they know right now. What does this person, what does that ideal reader know right now? And is that starting place I've chosen for this book? Are there....oh, that's the wrong there. See? I put there on purpose. (laughs) Are there concepts in need of examples? Are there concepts in need of examples? Stacy and I talked about examples in the last student hot seat. You know, that can just totally change a book around. You don't want to include example after example, after example. That turns into fluff. But one or two relevant case studies can just completely change the way someone understands a concept. Does the flow of the book make sense narratively? Make sure you read your book from start to finish. We talked about how writing a book is not a start to finish process, it's all about jumping around, letting the ideas kind of come as they will. It's a process of editing out of order as well, but make sure you read your book from start to finish and make sure it makes sense. Make sure there aren't any holes or any jumps that you've left. Have I fulfilled the book's promise? Have I fulfilled the book's promise? Also in step one, we talked about why the book is important. That was our overview section in our prewriting. In that section, you're essentially making a promise to the reader. Here's what I'm gonna help you accomplish. Here's the problem I'm gonna help you solve. Here's why that's important to you. That's a promise that you're making with your reader. Earlier in our expert interview with Charlie, he talked about the book as a contract with the reader. When someone buys your book, opens that first page and starts reading, you've made a contract with that reader. You better fulfill the promise of that contract by the end of the book. And finally, have I differentiated the book's premise as completely as possible? In other words, does your book stand out on the shelf? Does it help you get known for what you want to be known for? Does it allow you to assume a unique positioning in the market? Does it give people that reason to call you up for an expert interview? To book you for their conference? To want to work with you and nobody else? So make sure you've got those five questions answered as part of your editing process. If you're doing it for yourself or you're doing it with a friend, make sure that these five expectations are part of the editing process. If you're doing it with an editor, an editor should have these questions in mind, but make sure, especially if you're a little worried about something. Like often I, this was for a program not for a book, but I just put together a new experience of our core signature coaching program and when I had people look over the sales page, there were a series of questions just like these to make sure when people were not just proofreading it, but really saying is this what we want to put out into the world, that those questions were top of mind. So give people direction. When you're working with an editor, when you're working with a friend, or when you're working with yourself to edit your book, make sure you're giving people direction. Give them some expectations of what you really need from them. All right, let's look at this tool that I promised you, grammarly. If you want to bring up my laptop. This is still Evernote, so this is where we're gonna start, but grammarly is, if you use Chrome, it's a Chrome extension, but you can also go to, it's like I'm sorry, There we go. So you can use it either in your browser or as a Chrome extension. If you use it as a Chrome extension it checks your work as you go. Oh my gosh, it's so good. Honestly, I have been writing online and on computers, for how old am I? At least 21 years. Wow, I've been writing long enough to drink, so that's pretty good. So you know, I've seen the evolution, as you guys as have as well, seen the evolution of proofreading tools. The little paperclip that used to tell you you spelled a word wrong or do you need help with this. All the way through to the tools that we have now. I think it was Bridget Lyons that turned me on to grammarly and I'm just blown away by this tool, how smart it is, how intuitive it is. How helpful it is in actually helping you learn. I'm not getting paid by grammarly right now, although we should maybe work that out. (laughs) The other cool thing that grammarly does does when you sign up for it is that it sends you an email every week with how many words you've written through the tool, how many mistakes you've corrected, how many unique words you've used in terms of vocabulary and then it gives you a ranking. There's nothing I love more than a ranking. (laughs) Like I like to know I've produced more words than 92% of grammarly users. That makes me incredibly happy. The thing that makes me happier is you've used more unique words than 96% of grammarly. Thank you grammarly for feeding my ego. I really appreciate it. Okay, so this is what the grammarly interface looks like. Yep, there we go. This is what the actually grammarly interface looks like on your computer in browser. I'm all signed in already. You guys don't need to see that, you know how to use these things. I'm not gonna go into the nitty gritty here. But what I want to show you is that you can actually... So grammarly doesn't work with Evernote yet. Man, they should get on that. They probably are. So grammarly doesn't work with Evernote yet, so what I normally do is if I'm composing in Evernote, which is what I do, and then not moving into say, my Word Press, which would activate grammarly in my Word Press editor, I'll open up grammarly and open up a new document. It's as simple as this. All I do, I'm not using this for storage or anything, I'm just using this for proofreading and editing. All I'll do is copy, I know this is really advanced stuff guys, I will copy and paste. Now good. I should have made sure that there were actually errors in this, but it's pretty assured that if I wrote it there's errors in it. So here's what I love about this, the red lines are mistakes and it tells me over here what it thinks that it actually should be. Now this one is incorrect. It should not have a comma there, as far as I know. All I do is I click X. If I want more information I can expand the drop down with the little carat there and it'll actually tell me a little bit more information. Sometimes it goes into an actual grammar rules of using one word versus another, using a hyphen versus not, so that I can make sure that the usage they're suggesting is the actual usage that I want. Now there's a premium version of this too, which I'm sure is totally awesome. I am not a premium subscriber, so unless you really need proofreading help on an advanced level, you probably don't need that either. But I just, I will totally... Oh there's only two. I will totally go through here and I'll just, mistake after mistake after mistake. I'll expand them, I'll look at them. To me, this is the best interface I've ever used. It's the most intuitive system I've ever used. All I would do is take my Evernotes and copy and paste them into here, get that first proofreading done. I cannot guarantee you, I will not guarantee you it will be perfect, but I will guarantee you it will be better than what you wrote originally. (laughs) Plus, I often find too, that you know, I do a lot of my own... Like I do a lot of self editing because I produce a lot of work and if I hired someone to produce everything that I produced, you know one, I'd have to work a lot slower and I don't like working slow. Two, it would be really expensive. When I'm doing blog posts, I'm the one proofreading it. I'm the one editing it and what I find is that I have a hard time seeing the mistakes when it's in the place that I wrote it. But by copying and pasting it into here, or into Word Press, whatever it might be, it changes how I see it. I think that's the other thing I love about grammarly too, is those different colors and the ways that the mistakes come up. It pulls my brain out of what I think should be there and makes me look at what really is. That's where we all run into mistakes right, with writing a book? Is that we know what it should be, it's in our head, and so we assume that it's what's there, just like that there mistake that I made earlier. I didn't see it. I proofread my slides this morning, didn't see it. So yeah, this is why I love this tool so much. I don't really have a lot more to say about it than that, but I am so on fire about grammarly that I had to share it with you guys. Any questions about that? Any questions about editing in general for your books? You can also feel free to save them for Amy. (laughs) She is much better at that than I. Yeah? I just thought I would share, from a writer and editor's perspective, there's different names for different jobs. Please, let's about that for a second. A proofreader is gonna just be grammarly. They're just gonna look for those typos, those missed commas, things like that. A copy editor goes one step ahead of that. So they'll tell you this sentence doesn't really make sense. I think you might need to switch this paragraph around. So they're looking at it slightly larger. But then an editor, like Amy, really looks at the big picture and gives you a different flow. So if you're looking for somebody to hire, it's just helpful to have those terminology. I totally agree and Amy explained that to me back when I hired her the very first time too. It's like okay, what exactly do you really need from me, because they all have different price points too. You can get a proofreader for a lot cheaper, plus they'll just email you and tell you when you've made mistakes on the internet, right? (laughs) Don't do that. Don't do that. So there's that, then copy editing it's a little bit more, and then editing is a little bit more. That's how it works, it's very simple, but thank you so much for that. That's why you're here. It's just terminology that people don't always know. Yes, absolutely. All right, so we're gonna switch gears now. Switch from editing to formatting. To me, the reason I grouped these things together, is because they tend to happen in tandem. I start moving my work closer into the format that it might end up in as I start moving it towards the editor. So as I mentioned in step two, I'll move my work from Evernote into Google docs. Well that's when I'm really gonna start laying in the subheaders or what needs to be italicized or how is this really gonna start to look. That's kind of step one, send it off to the editor and then I do more of the final formatting, including choosing what formats I'm actually going to use. So let's take a look at that. You've got a lot of options when it comes to e-books. Honestly, we named this class how to write and publish an e-book, but to my mind, these are all formats of books. Like Charlie said, the way we read books is changing, but what a book is, that coherent, consistent idea or message, that's what's really important. I'm gonna give you a lot of guidelines on how to choose what format to use, although I'm also gonna try and make it as simple as possible. Don't get hung up on e (voice cuts out) or what's more credible or that, when people see you've published a book, that's the important part. I cannot say that strongly enough. Publishing a book is the most important part. So here's some digital book formats to consider. First of all, PDFs, PDFs. That's the lower one there. It's very straight forward. I mean, it's just so easy. Google docs will make a PDF for you. Pages will make a PDF for you. Microsoft Word will make a PDF for you. This is bar none, the simplest thing to do. You make a document the way you've always made a document and instead of saving it as the document format, you save it as a PDF. It's that simple. So everyone already has this kind of software on their computer at home right now. In fact, you could even do it from your phone now. It's awesome! All right, then there's the ePub format. How many of you guys have heard of ePub? Yeah, cause you guys are advanced. So ePub is the format that all of the bookstores except Amazon use. (laughs) So iBooks, Barnes and Noble, I'm assuming the, what is it, the Kobo, isn't that the independent book reader I think? I'm sure they have their own marketplace. I'm sure they take ePub. Basically, anything that's not Amazon is an ePub format. So if you use iBooks, for instance, on your iPad, and you want to get your book on to your iPad in a nice, neat format for using the e-book reader there, ePub will do that for you. Good news is, your word processing tool probably can export to ePub as well. Pages definitely can. I'm pretty sure Google docs can as well. Very, very simple. But also, maybe not the most useful format. Then the last one is .mobi. .mobi is what Kindles use. This is an extremely simple, straight forward, format because it's basically just a stripped down HTML document. That said, I don't recommend coding your own book. I'm gonna show you exactly how to do that in just a little bit, and again, how ridiculously simple it is. That's the theme for this class. But .mobi is a file format that I think everyone should use for their e-books because I think distributing your book on Amazon is just a phenomenal way to get in front of as many people as possible, as we talked about also in step one. So just to compare and contrast here, the sort of landscape page that you see on the bottom of the screen, or behind the screen there, that's a PDF. That's the first page of the introduction from Quiet Power Strategy and then to compare it to that, you've got the first page of chapter one. That's the .mobi file from the same book. All right and I'm gonna show you exactly what you need to do to make those happen. Tools for creating PDF books, Pages is the one that I use. That's the Apple Mac word processing document. What's really nice about it it's as much a layout tool as it is a word processing tool. That means that you can really easily make beautiful things happen. My books now are pretty straight forward because mostly I'm publishing for Kindle. Back in the day, when we used to sell e-books for a lot of money, which was fun, but I'm glad those days are behind us too. (laughs) We used to spend a lot of time on the design of our books and making them really pretty and putting pictures in them and formatting the text in strange ways. I look at my old e-books now and I'm like, what where were thinking? But Pages was the best tool to do that and it's still something that I use very often. Like if you're putting together a small workbook or more like a brochure book for an email opt in incentive, where you do want it to look a little bit better, maybe you want it to be really printable and engaging that way, Pages is a great tool for that. I mentioned Microsoft Word, it'll do a lot of the same stuff Pages will do. I tend to fight with it a little bit more and I'm also not a PC, I'm a Mac, as you can see. So that's why it's number two. Whoops, I'm, there we go.,, Beacon book software is a new player. It's sort of like Canva for e-books, if that makes sense. But it's also super relevant for this class because you can export a blog or a blog post and put it right into Beacon and it will just automatically format your book. I'm not saying it's gonna look amazing, but I'll do it and then you can tweak it and refine it and make it better. So that is a great option, especially if you don't have a lot of design chops, I would definitely check out Beacon. If you want to make beautiful PDFs, and you're not a designer, and you don't want to hire one, it is a great solution. Then Google docs and then Pressbooks, which is what we're gonna talk about next. Pressbooks has been my secret weapon now for the last three books... So four years, three books, that's how long they've been my secret weapon and I'm gonna show you exactly how this works because holy wow are you going to be impressed. How many of you guys know about Pressbooks? I've never heard of it. Okay, fantastic. Lacy probably knows cause I told her. So if you want to... Oh, there it is, okay great! So this is Pressbooks. What does Pressbooks look like on the inside? Word Press! How many of you guys use Word Press? Oh Brit, you're the odd man out. Brit uses Square Space. You don't have to be a Word Press user to use Pressbooks, but it's based on that platform. Word Press is open source software, the Pressbooks people took that open sourced software and turned it into the most amazing book editor that you will ever, or book formatter, that you will ever encounter. Like I can't imagine it being better. It is just so easy. I'm still not getting paid by Pressbooks, but I can tell you that we've put together this really awesome digital product starter kit, so that if you purchase this class, which I highly recommend doing, if you purchase this class, you're gonna get a whole bunch of stuff. One of those things is 25% discount on upgrades from Pressbooks. So basically, Pressbooks' business model not to get too far into this, but you can use this all for free. You can use this whole interface for free. You can even export your books and turn them into books for free, but of course, what's Pressbooks gonna do? It's gonna limit your designs. It's gonna put Pressbooks on it, which is fine, but for most of us, that's not what we want. So for a already fairly small fee, you can get them to give you more design options and remove their watermark. Excellent! So that's what we were able to negotiate a discount on for you guys, which I think is super rad because I want to see as many Kindle books published as soon as this class is over as possible. So we wanted to give you that. So you could check out the full digital product starter kit to see what else we've been able to get for you guys, but it's a lot of really good stuff. Okay, so here's Pressbooks. Let's go in and actually create a new book. So as you can see, first of all, I've got all of my books in here, plus a book that was never published. (laughs) So all my books are in here, but we're gonna go in and add a new book. All you have to do is give it an address, so creativelivenewbook. Demo book and yes, I want it to be visible to the public. I guess you guys could go in and actually find that. What is the answer to six plus five, I think that's 11, and then create book. It would really embarrassing if I got that wrong. So basically it creates a whole new work space for you. Over here you can see, they have the main parts of your book broken out already. Your front matter, which is your introduction, dedication, table of contents, things like that. It's got your main body, which is all your chapters, plus your conclusion, and then it's got your back matter. Appendix, author information, call to action, anything you want to put in there. So all you need to do is to go in here and edit this stuff or add new parts. So let's look at what adding new parts looks like. You've got at your chapter heading, chapter two, a new hope. That's not right, but you got it. Easter eggs guys, Easter eggs. Oh, I didn't even spell chapter right, sorry that's gonna bother me. Okay there we go. Then you can either write right in here or what else can you do? Copy and paste! So I'm copying and pasting from Evernote in to Pressbooks, chapter by chapter by chapter. That's all I do. Now, if I want to add a link, if I want to add an image, I can do that all in here too. I would not recommend copying images into here, I'd actually go in and read them on this system. That's gonna create the best results for you in the end. Keep in mind, on a Kindle, your images are probably not going to look great. The people I know who swear by reading by Kindles, which is me, the only Kindles they use are the black and white kind. Yeah, there's a lot of people out there with color Kindles as well, but I think they're... I just don't think they're used as much. I don't know, so think about that when you're doing your images. High contrast, bold, make sure people can see what you're actually putting in there. But go ahead and put em in. It's gonna work. Then you also have some options over here, in terms of export settings. I don't know why you would put something in that you weren't going to export, but if you need to do that you can do that. You can also choose whether or not you're gonna show the title. So you can put the title in the body or you can make the title of each chapter actually show up. Then you could also set a particular place as your e-book start point. If you've ever read a Kindle book, when you download it where does it open to? The introduction. Goes past the table of contents, past the title page, past all of that. Opens right to the introduction. This is how you do that. You tell it where you want it to open the book up to. Fancy right? So easy! It's a check box! You can move it around in the area of the book that you have then you can publish it. You can put some metadata in here. I'm not gonna go through all of this because how self explanatory is this? Are you guys blown away, because I'm continually blown away by this! (laughs) The very first book that I published on the Kindle store, I had someone else do the conversion for me. He did a great job, he didn't charge me very much money. I didn't really realize what all was involved, it just seemed like a complete mystery to me. In between that first book and my second book, Pressbooks came out and when I got into this, I was like, okay, I could imagine paying someone on my team to do it for me, but I can not imagine paying an expert to do it for me. Honestly, I haven't seen anyone selling those services lately, so no offense to any Kindle export experts in the audience, but to me, this is something that you can do, it's something anyone on your team can do. A VA can totally do this for you. Your brother, your kid brother could do this for you. It is so easy. Now, there's all sorts of other things. Book info, appearance, and then we get to the export area. Yeah, I want to leave this page. All right, so as you can see, there's a whole lot of options, including exotic formats for exporting your book. So all three of the formats that I mentioned earlier, PDFs, ePubs and .mobis you can create straight from here. If on the off chance, you are working on a computer that can not produce a PDF somehow, Pressbooks will do that for you. If you just prefer the straight forward look of what they will create for you at the PDF, by all means, do it this way. It'll also do the e-book. I did get Kobo right, that's good. It'll do the ePub version for you, but the only reason I use Pressbooks is for .mobi files. Now, like I said, when you purchase, when you upgrade your export, you get 24 different themes. There's all sorts of different look and feels that you can use in terms of typography and size and spacing and lines and no lines and numbers and no numbers and things like that. So feel free to play around with that. But at the very basic, remember that if someone's uploading this to Kindle, they may be reading it on a completely different font too. So please don't stress out about it. It's not worth it. (laughs) Get the book in there, export it, get it published. Any questions about Pressbook? I know I didn't go one, two, three, four, but I really think anyone who's publishing a blog today can also publish a .mobi file this way. Brit? So, with this, with your Quiet Power Strategy book that I loved the way it was laid out, and one of the things that is goned me up with writing a book in the past, is how to get it so that it's in those little columns so it looks like a book instead of looks like a document. So am I understanding that you published that or you did it in Pressbooks, and then saved it as a PDF from Pressbooks? No, so that I didn't in Pages. That's just a setting, a document setting in Pages. You just say I want two columns and that's it. You adjust the gutter width. I always start my chapters way down low because that's what books look like. Here's my other like super secret pro tip, get a couple of books off your shelf that you really like the way they're laid out inside and copy them. Every time I publish a book I cannot remember what the order of the front matter is. I can't remember what the copyright page looks like. I can't remember what the title page looks like. So I get a book off my shelf and I figure it out. But I use it for more than that too. Not just what order things go in, but exactly how far down the page should the chapters start. I want it to feel like something really professionally designed and formatted. That's what I'm looking at. What's the typography that really draws me into a book? What's the style of that typography that really draws me in? I will go and copy that. It's not a one to one copy and that's what all book... They're just copies of books. It's one of the areas I do not ever feel bad about copying. Yeah, so that's what I do. I actually, even in the process of writing your book, it's a good idea to take a couple of books down off your shelf that you're like, if this is what my book looked like and felt like when it was done, that's what I would be really proud of. Because you can totally recreate that digitally and then if you go and use something like CreateSpace, which is Amazon's company for on demand publishing, you can actually make it look and feel. I chose the trim size of Quiet Power Strategy, which is how big the book is, based on a book that we had at home on the shelf that I just loved the look and feel of. It was a narrow, thin book and that's a special thing. We're used to books being yay big and I knew this was going to be sizable but still very thin and so I wanted something that was going to feel good. So I looked at the margins in that book. I looked at the typography, I looked at the size of the text and I looked at the trim size to figure that all out. So this is one of those places where you're gonna want to copy what already works. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Books that try and reinvent the wheel look cheap and not professional. Do what other people have done. Now Pressbooks is gonna make that real easy for you. But it's also possible to do it with something like Pages and absolutely, you can create that look with the PDF option on here as well, it's just, I mean, in all transparency, that's not what I did. Yeah, Shannon? Did you say that Pages exports to .mobi or? Pages does export, not to .mobi, to ePub. There may have been an update that I am unaware of, I will always admit to that, but last time I checked it didn't do .mobi but it does to ePub. I'll show you in tomorrow in the next step, about what it actually looks like inside the KDP, the Kindle Direct Publishing area. They say they will convert an ePub or PDF file but I would not recommend it. It does not, it's not at all the same as the product that you get when you use Pressbooks. To my knowledge, this is the only software that does it this easily and for very, very little money. Basically, I think I should have looked at what the pricing was right now, but really, you're looking at your first five books, first two books, your first 10 books. Somewhere in that ball park of what it's gonna cost you to recoup that export. That's it. So it's worth it, it's worth it. Any other questions about Pressbooks and formatting your book? No? Okay great. Just follow the instructions. Just go step by step by step, it's so good, it's so good! All right, let's look at what your homework is for this step. First I want you to choose how you'll edit your book. Are you gonna go with the self editing and grammarly? Maybe just for the first pass? You gonna buddy up, you gonna find some support in our students here, or are you gonna hire an editor? Those are your options, choose one. Edit it. Now this presupposes, of course, that you've already completed the copying and pasting and the bridge text, the bridge content. But wherever you are in the process, get that editing done, do it a few times. Give yourself some space when it comes to editing. Choose your book's format or formats. One thing that I will say, we'll talk about this a little bit more in the next step as well, is that I format it in everyway. So I will always release a PDF, a .mobi, and an ePub. The way I package it together, and remind me to repeat this in the next step as well, but the way I package it together, is I package the PDF, the .mobi and the ePub plus an audio file of the book all together as one multi-media package. Then I sell just the .mobi file through the Kindle store on Amazon. It allows me to sell two different price points and it allows me to service my customers in two different ways. My audience predominantly, would like to buy directly through me. Most of the time, they're listening to the audio file. Honestly, I don't even know why I do print books anymore. They want the audio files. But new people are finding me through Amazon. But this way I have both options and I have a sales page on my website that has both options. Cause honestly, I don't care how you consume it, I just want you to consume it. I want you to read it. That's what's important to me. Finally fourth, input your book into the tool of your choice and export the book into the correct format. Straight forward? I know it sounds like a lot of work, it's not that much work. It's pretty straight forward, it's pretty simple. Yeah, it's gonna take you some time. But it really is totally achievable. In our next step, we're gonna talk about how to actually distribute and publish the book. We're gonna talk about distribution and publishing first then we'll talk about marketing. But before that, we have an expert interview with Amy Scott, the founder of Nomad Editorial, and of course we'll have some student examples as well. In the meantime, if you're watching at home, let me know what format you're choosing for your book by tweeting me or finding me on Facebook. Just go ahead and start a new post or @ me and I would love to hear what you've chosen to format your book with. Thanks so much guys, let's move on to the next step.

Class Description

Imagine opening your inbox to find new clients begging to work with you, opportunities to speak around the world, and members of media requesting interviews. That’s exactly what started happening when Tara Gentile began writing and publishing her ideas in small self-published books.

She went from hustling for work to having clients knocking down her door. She went from a small audience of fans to stepping on global stages. Writing and publishing a book—even a small one—can have that effect.

If you’ve been struggling to find the clients, credibility, and cash you really want from your business, writing and publishing a book can turn it all around.

It might sound daunting but after self-publishing 4 books, Tara has a simple process for turning your ideas into a book available for sale on Amazon or on your own website. You can become a published author and reap the benefits for your business in much less time than you think.

In this class, Tara's broken her process down into 5 easy steps:

  1. Choose your idea and create an outline
  2. Use what you’ve got to write your book fast
  3. Edit and format your book so you can distribute it on a number of platforms
  4. Publish your book on your own website or Amazon
  5. Market your book and get people reading it

Stop dreaming of becoming a published author someday and start making it happen.

As a bonus with purchase, you'll get The Digital Product Starter Kit that'll help you write, publish, market, and sell your eBook with maximum results. You'll get a free 30-day trial of ConvertKit's suite of email marketing tools, a free 90-day trial of the Pro Plan, 25% off upgrades on Pressbooks, one 15% off code for any purchase at Creative Market, and one-month free access to Tara Gentile's Quiet Power Strategy Group.  



Such a brilliant course - perfect for my needs. Provides insight, inspiration and great wisdom. A great flow of topics to help us hit the road running. Is it okay to say the voice thing was difficult for me? 'Referral' ouch. But very worth sticking with, so packed with top-notch info and tips. Thanks to all the amazing guests! Thanks Tara, you're dynamite!!

Benjamin Smith

Thank you for sharing this information with us. It was fascinating to read. As an aspiring author, I often wondered "where to start, and how to publish an e-book." I think that this issue is of concern to almost every aspiring writer. I found your recommendations very useful. This is a great lesson that brings a lot of benefits. I will recommend it to my friends. I love when information is served briefly and accurately. Nothing superfluous only practical advice, point by point what to do to succeed. Thank you! All the best! Writer on

a Creativelive Student

Great!!! Thank you so much, Tara! I love how simple you make it looks like. I think that besides bringing the reality check about how blogging n the whole digital content are tied together you also did a kinda coaching! Lifting the spirit! Great pace to follow! Best wishes to you too. 💐