Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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

            Advertising

            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.

                  Advertising

                  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

                    More by this author

                    20 + Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook 9 Lean Budget Tips: Run A Business For Less Than You Spend On Coffee 18 Simple Ways To Put Laughter Back Into Your Life

                    Trending in Work

                    1 How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work 2 How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business 3 20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated) 4 How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career 5 8 Critical Skills for Workplace Success and Career Advancement

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Published on March 25, 2019

                    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

                    But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

                    Advertising

                    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

                    4. Show Initiative

                    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                    Advertising

                    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

                    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                    Advertising

                    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                    7. Find a Mentor

                    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

                    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                    Advertising

                    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                    The Bottom Line

                    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                    “Half of life is showing up.”

                    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                    Remember, your career is your business!

                    More Resources About Ever-Growing

                    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

                    Read Next