Yes, you really can put together a physical book in one afternoon – and get it published on Amazon!
I've done it myself – and I want to take you behind the scenes of how I did it.
(here's the proof – 'Online Marketing Success – Volume #1: The Best Of The Blog')
But first I want to say something. Nothing adds credibility to you as a marketer in any niche than having a printed book published and available for purchase.
It doesn't have to be a thick book.
It doesn't have to be the best book in the world (but, it does have to be well written and well presented).
It does have to reflect you and your interests.
And you have to know three things to help you create a perfect book:
#1 – How To Write Your Book
This is most important.
Now, you may be writing a great book that will sell lots of copies. I certainly intend to do that.
But, in my case, I wrote the book as a 'proof of concept' – just to make sure that I knew how to put it together in a professional manner.
So, what you need to do is, compile the book (don't write it from scratch).
My first book is a collection of eight posts from this blog. They're eight of the best posts, they're well presented, and I've done minor formatting edits so they work in a printed book rather than online.
But, apart from that, they're untouched.
If you have at least eight posts on your blog, you can do the same thing. With pages for to cover such things as copyright and contents, there doesn't need to be that much content.
Even if you don't have your own blog, there are plenty of ways to put content together both legally and creatively.
#2 – How To Present Your Book
You just create your book in Microsoft Word, or whatever word processing software you prefer.
Don't try and get fancy and add lots of extra graphics – it's not worth it.
Look in any book you've already got on your bookcase for an idea of the format.
Choose a standard page size, set up the page numbering, a simple style for headers, and a simple style for the main text.
Here's how you structure the insides of the book:
- Page 1 – Title Page
- Page 2 – Brief Copyright Statement
- Page 3 – Dedication
- Page 5 – Contents (Automatically Generated)
- Page 7 – Chapter 1
- Final Pages – Resources (links to your site)
Start each new chapter on an odd numbered page. That means it will appear on a page on the right of the document.
Export the file as a PDF. From newer versions of Microsoft Word, this is available by choosing the 'Save As' option.
You also need to create a graphic which wraps around to form the cover of the book. As your book's short, you don't need to worry about adding text to the spine.
I purchased a graphic template and edited my details in so that my book would look different to the norm, but the solution I'm recommending will produce a cover for you if you follow a few simple steps.
#3 – How To Get Your Book Online
You use CreateSpace. CreateSpace is an Amazon service for printing books on demand. In effect, they're your publisher, and they supply you with an ISBN number for you book.
CreateSpace offers both paid and free options. My recommendation for a book like this is to choose the free option in every case. If you want to write a masterpiece then you might do more, but for getting your first book online, this is enough.
The process for listing books is quite straightforward. You fill in all the information that you want to be displayed on Amazon, choose a price (the percentage you will end up with after Amazon sales is quite small), then upload the contents.
You also need to create a cover. Amazon's tool for doing this is fine. The important thing to remember is to add text of your own, as well as one of your own photos (this is better than using one of the Amazon ones, but either take this yourself, or make sure you have permission to use it).
Think of the text printed on the back of the book as a mini advertisement, just like you'd see on any book you could buy in the bookshop.
You need to order a proof copy, which is sent to you through post. This is the only part of the process where you need to spend any money.
My proof, sent to the UK, cost about $8 and took one week to get to me. Most of that cost ended up as postage.
Once you then approve the proof (and my book looked excellent – with no hint that it was a 'Print On Demand' product), your book will go on sale, and after three of four days, the details will appear on Amazon.
The Finished Article
Here's a glance at what the product page looks like for 'Online Marketing Success – Volume #1'. I've made a few customisations, but generally this will look good out of the box if you follow the guidelines.
There's a lot more you can do with this strategy, with the ways you compile books, and the use you put the finished products to – but the first step is just to get a book online.
I'm currently investigating all kinds of other options and hope to report back with them here over the next few months.
Have You Written Your First Book – Or Are You Compelled To Start?
It needn't be difficult if you're quick and creative, and I highly recommend it.
If you follow this system, you really can write your first physical book in an afternoon – and see it live on Amazon just a few short days after.
Let us all know about your books and what you've got planned by commenting in the box below.
Feel free to add any questions, and I'll be happy to answer whatever I can.