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20 + Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook

20 + Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook

If you’re building an online business, chances are you’ll need to create a simple PDF ebook at some point. And yes, you could outsource it, or buy fancy software.  But wouldn’t you agree that some of the very best ebooks get straight to the point, and offer you the answers to your questions with out the hype or drama?

A clean ebook (like a clean simple website) doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Today we’re looking at free resources (many you may already have installed on your computer) to help you create a simple pdf styled ebook.

Desktop Applications:

Whether you’re using a Mac of PC, chances are you already have Word, Pages, Powerpoint or Keynote already installed.  All of these programs will create clean simple PDF style ebooks with ease.  If you don’t have these products, check out Open Office as an excellent free alternative.

 

Microsoft Word

Create your document with graphics, header footer, Header 1,2,3, lists and insert a quote box here and there.  When it looks good enough (not perfect) go to File > Save as > and choose PDF from the drop down menu.

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My Simple Ebook Microsoft Word

    Open Office

    Much like Microsoft word, you can create and edit inside Open Office (free open source software) and then File > Export as PDF

    Pages

    Create your document and then choose Print > to PDF

    Powerpoint 

    Layout your content on slides (like you would for a powerpoint presentation), and include hyperlinks, images, key points then go to File > Save as PDF

    My Simple Ebook Powerpoint

      Keynote

      To create a PDF file that will be viewed only onscreen (not as a printed hardcopy), choose Share > Export and chose PDF as the file format.

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      My Simple Ebook Keynote

        Scrivener

        For Mac or PC.  Although not completely free, but it works for 30 uses – not a 30 day trial  – usually long enough to complete a full project.  Most often Scrivener is used for writing large books, Scrivener helps you gather all of your notes in one place and put the book together in an organized way.  You can then use the Compile feature to save as a PDF or most of the other digital formats (like epub)

          Online Applications:

          Skydrive

          includes simplified versions of Word and Powerpoint – Follow the same steps as you would in a desktop version, but instead of “Save as PDF” you’ll choose File > Print > Print to PDF 

          (Same steps in Powerpoint & Word on Skydrive)

          My Simple Ebook Skydrive Word

            Google Docs or Presentations

            Sometimes the formatting gets a bit tricky with Google Docs when you save as a PDF, but it’s worth giving a try with a simple 1 or 2 page document to see if it will work for your project

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            Google Drive Doc Presentation

              My Simple Ebook Google Drive

                PDF Escape.com

                PDFEscape as a completely free account where you can upload your word documents or create one from scratch (I recommend uploading an existing Word Doc, working in a browser can be tempermental).  This is a great tool to use for creating fillable PDF’s too

                   

                  Looking for Topic Ideas?

                  Not sure what to write about? Obviously the best solution would be to ask your ideal customer what she or he would like to learn from you. But sometimes that’s not an option. Here are a few other suggestions to get you started.

                  1. Go to Quora or Yahoo Answers and search for your main topic and read the questions people are asking. Your book could answer groups of questions you’ve found, or answer one big question people are asking.
                  2. Join groups on Facebook & Linked In and listen to what people are discussing.  Listen for the painpoints & what they’re challenged with. If you have a true solution to their problem, use that topic as inspiration for your book

                  Putting Your Content Together:

                  Pen and paper can be handy for putting together your ebook content, but if you gravitate towards aps and cloud options consider the ones below.  Most of them have iphone or android aps as well.

                  • Evernote – great for organizing many things in life, including notes you might be collecting for your next ebook. Tag, clip things from the web or forward things from your email account to be added later.
                  • Onenote – Onenote can be used in the same way as Evernote. Including phone aps and tagging to keep everything in one place.  Onenote is packaged with other Microsoft programs (“free” if you already have it installed)
                  • Mindmeister  – Use Mindmeister to gather your ideas and create a mindmap outline of your ebook
                  • Freeemind – Same as Mindmeister for building out your ideas in a mindmap
                  • Trello – great for organizing all kinds of big and little projects. Create a Trello board for your ebook and add in all the steps you want to complete, along with topics and title ideas
                  • Remember the Milk – use it in a similar way to Trello to keep your thoughts organized.
                  • TeuxDeux – TeuxDeux is a popular “to do list” and can be used to keep your thoughts organized and help you stay on task.
                  • Asana – usually used for managing small teams, but it can also work really well for projects for solo-teams. Create a new project and enter in tasks and due dates and start checking things off.
                  • Dragon Naturally Dictation for iphone (I believe it’s still free) – speak your book into your recorder and edit it later

                  Creating Covers and Graphics

                  After you’ve created your ebook you’ll want to create an image that will represent the ebook / report. It might be easier to have one designed on Fiverr.com for $5.  But if you’re up for creating one yourself, here are some free tools that will help.

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                  Gimp –  An alternative to Adobe Photoshop

                  Microsoft Paint.net (with the PSD plugin added) – this is my current “go to” plugin & if I can’t edit it in Paint.net then I know it’s time for me to hire an expert who can really take it to the next level.

                  Scribus  – the best way to explain this is “an open source version of InDesign”.   Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and spot colors, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.

                  MyEcoverMaker.com has a few free options or one creation downloads of $4.95

                  free ecovers
                    So, there we have it! Tools and resources you can use to create your very own simple ebook.  What will you create? And, let us know in the comments below what I missed from this list? Do you have a great free resource that helped you create your ebook / ereport?

                     

                    Featured photo credit: Maria Elena via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                    50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                    50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                    LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                    Job Search Experts

                    You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                    1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                    2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                    3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                    4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                    5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                    Management Experts

                    They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                    6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                    7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                    8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                    9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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                    Productivity Experts

                    By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                    10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                    11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                    12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                    13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                    Marketing Experts

                    14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                    15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                    16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                    17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                    18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                    19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                    20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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                    21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                    22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                    23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                    24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                    25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                    26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                    Personal Branding Experts

                    Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                    Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                    27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                    28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                    Other Notable Experts to Follow

                    29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                    30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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                    31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                    32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                    33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                    34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                    35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                    36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                    37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                    38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                    39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                    40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                    41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                    42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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                    43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                    44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                    45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                    46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                    47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                    48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                    49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                    50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                    These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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