LESSON #47: How to Create an Ebook

By | August 4, 2009

In the previous lessons we’ve been talking about how to create an information product. Today we’re going to take a closer look at creating an ebook…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Ebook = digital book

    Possible formats…

    -PDF (Recommended)
    -Word Doc
    -Text file
    -HTML page
    -Exe file
    -Kindle and other special formats

    Recommended Free Software: www.OpenOffice.org

    Open Office is an open source software suite, and their Writer program can create high quality PDF’s… for free!

  • Ebook Formatting

    – 8 1/2 x 11″
    – 12-14 point font
    – Times New Roman (most common for printed books)
    – Arial (great for reading on-screen)

    Tricks to take up more space…

    (This is not about adding fluff, or filling it with too much white space… your ebook should consist of high quality content. But it can be helpful to make your ebook seem longer to add perceived value. Also please note: keep your target market in mind. Some audiences prefer short, concise information, in which case a shorter ebook is better.)

    – Margins (just don’t increase them too much)
    – Line spacing (I like 1.5)
    – Arial font instead of Times New Roman
    – Chapter breaks

    Components I include in my ebooks:

    -Title Page
    -Legal Disclaimer Page
    -Table of Contents
    -Resource Section

    (See video for demonstration of me creating an ebook by rebranding and tweaking another PLR ebook)

    PLR Tip: If you can’t find PLR for your topic, consider finding someone with a product in your niche that you think is good quality, and simply ask them if they’ll private label it to you.

  • 3 places that I like to put links in ebooks…

    1) At the beginning
    2) Integrated throughout
    3) At the end (resource section)

    Linking Tip: Always use use redirects on your own domain, rather than embedding your affiliate link in the ebook. That way you can change the destination later on, without having to update the ebook. See also link cloaking

    Advanced Tip: Creating brandable PDF’s for your affiliates is a great idea. I’ve used ViralPDF

    Advanced Tip: Always keep your source documents! You might want to boost your income by selling PLR to it some day.

    Recommended resources:

    PDF Ebook Templates

    Instead of DULL, PLAIN, BORING documents, now you can easily create
    BEAUTIFUL and PROFESSIONAL looking ebooks in a matter of minutes.

    PDF Templates
    Ecover Engine

    This is a very cool software tool which enables you to create great looking E-covers for your products… even if you have no graphics experience at all!

    PDF Ebook covers

    Action steps:

    1) If you’ve chosen to create an ebook for your information product… do it!

    For many of you, this product will be just the tip of the iceberg. Ideally, it will be a front end product that leads to bigger products, and bigger income as you build your business. We’ll be talking about your marketing funnel in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.

    Have a great day!

  • 168 thoughts on “LESSON #47: How to Create an Ebook

    1. Micah

      Hello Rachel,

      You can actually automate the process without any need for special software, simply by redirecting customers to a “Thank You” page containing a download link after purchase!

    2. Anne

      Thanks for your reply.
      Thats great I will look forward to its arrival.
      Have a great day.

    3. Terry

      I would love to get Ecover Engine, but first — WHERE on my PC do I find Paint? The video for the product mentions is comes with Microsoft, but I can’t find whatever folder (or whatever) it’s in.

      I’m really very sorry for how silly a question this is, but I’ve never used Paint before (actually, I didn’t even know it existed), so I have no idea how to access it.

      Thanks very much

    4. Terry

      Never mind — I clicked around until I finally found it. It’s in “Accessories” (I’d looked everywhere else BUT there!)

    5. Rachel

      HI MIcah/Eric,

      Thanks for the speedy reply!

      When the link to the ebook is on the thank-you page, where is the ebook stored. Is it stored on a hidden page on my website?

      Thanks for the help, appreciate it! Rachel

    6. Micah

      Hello Rachel,

      The ebook isn’t really being stored on a hidden page, but rather in a hidden location.

      Once you upload the Ebook PDF to your website, all that customers need is a link to where it is stored.

      Example: http://www.YourWebSite.com/d7sf6gb3sdf/ThankYou/YourEBook.PDF

      You could simply include that link on your “Thank You” page, or “Product Download” page, etc… As soon as customers click on the link, the download window opens for them.

    7. Micah

      Hello Rachel,

      The ebook isn’t really being stored on a hidden page, but rather in a hidden location.

      Once you upload the Ebook PDF to your website, all that customers need is a link to where it is stored.

      Example: http://www.YourWebSite.com/d7sf6gb3sdf/ThankYou/YourEBook.PDF

      You could simply include that link on your “Thank You” page, or “Product Download” page, etc… As soon as customers click on the link, the download window opens for them.

    8. LC

      Hi Eric,
      I’ve loved all the lessons so far but,
      I haven’t recieved the lessons after this one. Is there a lesson 48 plus more?

    9. Mark

      Hello Eric,
      I’ve been diligently working on my New Niche website. I think I have a very large market for this Site, but the problems I am having are not getting barely any traffic to the site. Do you have any suggestions of a few tricks to get people to visit?

    10. Eric Post author

      Keep up the good work. Yes I’ll be covering traffic generation in depth later in the lessons 🙂

    11. Pierce

      Hi Eric, thanks for sharing such detail information on how to create an Ebook. I have several products that would work perfect as a Ebook. But I have a few questions that I need answers to. I hope you can help with them.

      1. What steps do I have to take to sell my Ebooks online. Do I need a clickbank account setup before time.
      2. You spoke about sending people to your website to purchase your Ebooks. Do you have a website, and if I do what is the less expensive way to get one. If not what do I?

    12. jessie

      hello Eric

      Your lesson came perfect. I have my eBook ready but i have these question as to how do I get some experts to review my book to get some testimonials. Or are testimonials really necessary? What about doing a jv with them but how to make this a win-win proposal.

      I know i may be asking bit too much but I hope you can give my some tips on how to go from here.

      Million thanks!

    13. Eric Post author

      Good question. Testimonials most often increase the perceived value of a product and greatly improve conversion rates. Testimonials from experts as well as from customers are helpful.

      As far as experts… part of it depends on your niche. In the internet marketing world, it’s hard to get top guru’s to pay attention to your email because they simply receive too many requests. So I would suggest 2 ways of getting their attention…

      1) Do something for them first. Promote their product, write them a testimonial, etc. Email them regarding their own product before asking for a testimonial for yours.

      2) Go to a seminar. If you can bring a hard copy of the product to the seminar and grab a minute with an expert at lunch or whatever, most of them will be nice enough to say something about your product (which you should record onto a pocket recorder or write down).

      If you’re in a less competitive niche, or something outside of the make-money world… it may be easier to get expert opinions. For example if your niche is genetic engineering, you could go to your local university or email a local professor and they may be happy to provide their comments about your book.

      For JV partners… just ask them to give a testimonial! (and be sure to put a testimonial disclaimer in the legal docs of your site).

      For customers… make it easy for them to give a testimonial. In lesson #42 I talk about how I collect testimonials: http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson42/

    14. Geraldine

      Hi Eric – I have just bought Ecover Engine but it has come in a .exe file which is a Windows application. I have a Mac and so cant open it. Have you a version for Macs? I am all fired up to go……….Is it possible that when you recommend software you can ensure it will work on Macs too – or at least maybe give different links or something……
      LOVING the lessons……thanks so much

    15. Selwyn

      Your tutorials have been very helpful in designing.
      Perhaps sometime you can let us into some stats.
      of which designs etc. have been more encouraging than others.

    16. Eric Post author

      Sorry about that 🙁

      It does say on the sales page that it’s for Windows. We don’t have a version for macs. If you happen to have Photoshop on your Mac, there are some very good ecover action scripts available that you can plug into Photoshop such as this one.

    17. Geraldine

      Oh – I missed the bit about it only applying to Windows. So can you please advise me how to get a refund then? Also – I ordered the pdf Templates – will I be able to use those OK? (I downloaded Open Office for Macs) Thanks Eric

    18. Lyndsay Searle

      Hi Eric
      Like every one else I am so grateful for what you are doing.
      I have written my ebook (that was the easy part as I had it all in my head) got my domain and hosting and am all ready for it to go but do not know how to get people to a payment page and for them to actually get the ebook in return. I am hoping that in your next few lessons you are going to cover that for us.
      Thanks for everthing.

    19. Guillaume D

      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for inspiring tuition. My only and biggest ebook problem is the template’s and the creation of the ebook cover. I have content i.e. i have written a ebook called the Spotted Kittens of Africa with real great photo’s, but the text and photo’s sit on my hard drive.

      Any recomendtions would be really apprechiated.


    20. robert

      will you cover cpanel in detail?i have it but ii’m kinda stuck with what to do with it.it shows a list of thing and i’ve going all the way down the list checking each item out..are you suppose to select what you want?or are they all part of your cpanel?maybe i need to go back to the lesson on cpanel to see if that will clear up things for me.i’m eager to get started but i keep tripping over myself. the simple tour of cpanel did nothing but confuse me. to bad someone hasn’t written an ebook about how to work with cpanel.oh well i’ll keep plugging away thanks for the lessons.

    21. Pierce

      Eric, how can I view lessons 28-33? I sent you a few more questions on last week. Have not heard back from you.

    22. Prince Samuels

      Wow I’m a little relief about creating an ebook. I like the way Eric presented it. He made so simple and the easy step by step was no brainer. I might be looking into creating an ebook soon. Thanks Eric for the easy step by about ebook creation.

    23. Kent Stryker

      Eric,I am hanging in there.I am on lesson 26and studying every day. I was very happy you chose Belize; a very special place
      Please be sure no one eliminates me! am still studying! Keep me in.

    24. Rachel


      Can you advise?. I have an E-book and set up a Clickbank account to sell it. I want to set up a ‘thank-you’ page that only the people purchasing the product have access to. In wordpress I can set up a page that has a password, however going through the checkout of Clickbank there is no place to advise the customer of the password. Any ideas?? very much appreciated. Have been unable to gain any replies in wordpress. Thanks Rachel Ps. Reading the blog is such a help along with your videos. Great to hear other peoples solutions/thoughts and yours!

    25. Website Builder

      I didn’t know OpenOffice had that feature, I was using their spreadsheet up until I started using Google Docs. Another way people can create PDF’s is to use a web based PDF generator. Just do a search and you should find a few.

    26. Eric Post author

      I will be talking about thank-you pages in lesson #54. In the mean time… there are a few options…

      1) you could make a password protected area as you mentioned, and you would email the password to each person who buys from you. This is extremely simple, but may cause a delay in the customer being able to download the product since they have to wait for the password from you.

      2) you could make a “membership” type of area, where they create their own username/password and can login anytime after paying… this is more complex. (See lesson #32)

      3) You could use a script to protect the download page, where people can only reach the page upon a successful paypal payment. But they can’t come back later to download it. This is a common way to do it and is fairly simple, but can be a pain if people for some reason don’t reach the page or close their browser before downloading the product. A popular script is this one

      4) You could make an unprotected download page and simply give it a long and complex page name so people can’t guess it. You can then just send them directly to the page from clickbank. On the downside, after awhile there’s a chance the page could get listed in a search engine, but if that happens you can just change the page name.

    27. Doug

      I am trying to conceptulize the sequence of events when someone clicks on your IdeaCash website. After they are on the landing page, at what point are they able to view the 91 pages of modified PLR content that you created? Upon submitting an e-mail address? Will this be a download to the customer after they make a purchase? I guess I would like to know what you envision the order of events will be for your site. I think that if I can see the process it may help me have more clarity for my site. I currently am working on content for my niche and have been intently following your lessons. Thank in advance, Doug

    28. Eric Post author

      Good question. This will be shown in some of the later lessons. Ultimately, the home page will probably be a squeeze page with a small amount of free information offered, and then after they opt-in I will try to sell them the entire ebook as a special one time offer.

    29. Rachel

      HI Eric,
      I purchased the ECover Engine and have used an ecover on my site http://www.recordmyfamilyhistory, along with a few of the other graphics.
      The graphics I have included on the site all look like they have been cut and pasted onto the site, with a bow around them. Not too professional looking.
      Is there a feature in the ECover Engine that rids of this box, or do you think it may be a wordpress template issue?
      Can you advise how I create Johnson boxes? Thank-you. As always appreciate your lessons and loving the guidance.
      Rachel Johnston

    30. Eric Post author

      I think it is a style setting in your wordpress CSS file. You could probably track it down, but try simply adding this attribute to all your images:


      As for Johnson boxes, I use HTML tables. Just set the border and background color according to how you want them to look. Here is a tutorial: http://w3schools.com/html/html_tables.asp

    31. Richard

      Hey Eric,

      This is slightly off topic, however it is about PDF’s. I have seen some PDF’s that have been used as ‘handouts’ for webcast etc. That are ‘editable’ i.e you receive the PDF written by the provider with the notes that you use to follow along with the webcast; in the body of the PDF are areas that one can actually write [on your computer] … adding your own notes to the already written PDF. The best I can these PDF’s are in some arena’s referred to as ‘green pdf’s’ [not need to print!]… However I have not been able to find out how the heck they are created….!
      Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    32. Soros Steinz

      Thanks Eric,

      I’ve been looking at the lessons and working on the action points (well, most of them!) for the last few days. I’ve even bought a couple of your products along the way – without really knowing how I was going to use them, which I know is counter to your great advice of ‘stop buying stuff’. These last few lessons about information products have really focused my thoughts. I suppose the best way to describe it is while I don’t have a neatly packaged product of my own at the moment – I am now totally confident that I have the resources to create one with the ideas you have given me. Thank you!

    33. Ramesh

      Dear eric , i have seen your family pictures posted on your website .i wonder how can you manage thousands of websites and still finding time to answer all the queries posted on your site..you are some one i really want to be man.
      thanks again for all your lessons

    34. Eric Post author

      First, a lot of them run on autopilot. Second, I hired someone to help with support. Third, I work hard!

    35. Gigin George

      Eric is it a good idea to purchase PLR ebooks from websites and re brand it. If yes, is there any other reputed sites selling PLR materials?

    36. Eric Post author

      Yes it’s a good idea IF you know what you’re doing. A lot of people buy PLR stuff and never use it. But if you’re gonna use it, it’s a good idea. There’s a wide range of quality when it comes to PLR stuff. If it’s “common” PLR material (widely disbursed, sold with master resale rights, etc), then just google it and find a cheap price. If it’s more exclusive (higher quality and/or limited distribution) then it may be worth paying more for. I frequently acquire high quality PLR whenever I see it for sale. And I’ve also sold a fair amount of higher quality PLR stuff (including some content that I’ve created myself).

    37. Chelsea Sharp

      Hello Eric!
      I’m a senior in high school and I wrote a research paper for English class. And it ended up being 12 pages long, so I’m going to turn it into an eBook soon and I’ll be the second person in my town to write a book I’m very excited! Any keys to making it easier?
      Thanks Chelsea Sharp (:

    38. Jalu

      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for making this tutorial public its fantastic.
      Regarding the copied/pasted ebook- did you do any rewriting of the text or just the modifications you mentioned? Would you recommend a rewrite or is this just extra work and its better to get it done since it wont be circulating in g__gle’s realm?

    39. Eric Post author

      It really just depends on the quality of the material. If it’s good enough to stand on it’s own, and you have permission to use it, then it’s probably fine ot leave it as-is.

      If you’re creating a higher priced product, then you’ll probably want to put the effort into it and make it unique.


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