I talk a lot on the blog about reading ebooks, buying ebooks, why ebooks will save the world and how large publishing houses are ruining publishing.
But I haven’t written about how to create your own ebook. You don’t need someone else to do it for you, and God knows you don’t need a traditional publishing house to get your ebook out to the masses. Creating your own ebook is extremely easy.
Yes, Microsoft Word, everyone’s favorite word processor can be used to publish your ebook. I found this post on pcworld.com that will take you step-by-step to get yourself published.
I don’t want to copy the entire article (you can read it for yourself), but I will go over the highlights to show how simple it really is to create an ebook using Word.
Title page: This is just like making a title page for any other document. You can make it as simple or complex as you like.
Table of contents: On a new page you’ll make a table of contents. This is something I haven’t done in Word. But reading through the steps, it looks fairly straight-forward.
Set up your chapters: Again, you’ll use some basic formatting in getting your chapters going. The article makes a good point by suggesting you add headers and footers. You can have the name of your book as a header on the top of the page, with a footer at the bottom giving the page number.
Finally, when you have finished your ebook, save it as a reusable template. This way when you write your next dozen ebooks you just fill it in with your content. And presto! You’re a published author.
You can save your file in a variety of formats. Here’s what the article suggests:
Once you have completed your ebook and it’s ready for formatting into a special ebook format, you can save it in the required basic format within Word. If you need a file in the .rtf or .html format, choose File, Save As and select either Rich Text Format (*.rtf) or Web Page (*.htm;*.html) from the Save As list. Type a name for your file, and click Save.
If you need a .pdf file, choose File, Save & Send, Create PDF/XPS document, and click the Create PDF/XPS button. Type a name for the ebook, and then select the desired optimizing option and click Publish.
Personally, I’d use the ePub format for my ebook. There’s a free program called Calibre you can use that will easily convert your ebook into every format under the sun.
An alternative to Word is using the word processing/project management software called Scrivener. It’s a powerful tool that will help you organize your outline, notes, drafts, sources and everything else you need to write your book. Best of all, Scrivener will publish your book directly in ePub format. I’ve never done this before, but people who have say it’s very easy.Follow @bradsreader