Hi there, friends. On this day, I’ve self-admittedly patted myself on the back for finally figuring out (and validating the process) to curate, design, and successfully publish content in the form of eBooks.
Over the past 10+ years, infatuated by the ability to craft, well, anything, and put it together for others has been a
passion, er obsession, of mine. One for freedom and creative thought, I enjoy collecting knowledge and (what I perceive to be helpful) tips, to pass along to others. Why? Because life is tough, so if I can give someone else a helping hand, why not?
Also, I highly enjoy the process of turning nothing into something. That “nothing”, of course, isn’t nothing, but instead just a burning desire or thought. Even the inkling of this spark of passion excites me, and it’s why I love helping other people develop their businesses. Of course, maintaining good health and grounded spending habits helps with that!
Anyway, about 9 months ago (oh man, I literally “birthed” this project), I felt the seed of incentive to begin writing a book called “Boss Babe’s Guide to Business and Branding.” It’s taken me over a decade to understand the fundamentals of website design, marketing, business management, social media practices, and staying balanced as a busy businesswoman. So, I wanted to create this guide specifically for the female entrepreneurs out there. I also wanted to craft this workbook to supplement the Women in Business monthly meetup I host every month. You can learn more about that here.
So, in this article, I’ll recap the essentials you should know if you intend to utilize tools like Canva, Kindle Create, Scrivener, and Microsoft Word to self-publish your words.
1. Start with a topic and a brainstorming session
Like my mom, a well-known English and journalism teacher in the Black Hills of SD, always says, start with a topic and a good brainstorm session. Get all the ideas out on paper and ask yourself the tough questions. Grab a matcha or chai tea, curl up in a blanket with materials in front of you, and dive into the nitty-gritty of what you want to create.
This can be tough, but in my opinion, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the process (yes, it’s a journey!) because it allows you to expand your thinking to get focused on what it is you want to bring forth. Read my book, “Boss Babe’s Guide to Business and Branding” to receive more advice and support on how to accomplish the process of “developing a vision.”
2. Document the outline
Now, open Pages, Word, Scrivener, or whatever tool you use to document your thoughts. Take time to organize the flow of the book.
- What should be in the introduction?
- What are the 3-5 main points you want to get across?
- Will you have any resources, photos, or interactive pages?
- How many pages will your book be?
- How does the conclusion tie the main points together and point back to the introduction?
3. Invest in your book by writing every day
Even when you don’t want to, sit down and write. Open a document, save the title as a working draft, and begin inserting the outline. Add a title, subtitle, dedication page, and leave room for the table of contents. Someone else can help you edit and format your book. Your job now is to impart your wisdom and write.
The trick here is to be persistent. Every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, sit down and write. Open up the document, take a deep breath, and it all meld together so you can get it down on paper.
4. Review, review, review
Great! Your first draft is done. Way. To. Go. Take a swig of wine, pat yourself on the back, and maybe take a day off. But then? Get back to it. Keep committing to that 30 minutes to 1 hour daily writing session and review your work. You are your harshest critic, so make it work for you! Review your book at least 3-5 times before moving on to the next step. Edit it to the point of flawlessness.
5. Hire an editor
The next step is to get at least one editor to review your work. One is a minimum, two is ideal. Make sure their editing styles are somewhat similar and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.
I use www.Upwork.com and post fixed projects, like “Edit my 60-page eBook” and can usually hire a successful, verified, and high-ranking editor for $75-$120 or so a project. If there are more pages, you might spend more.
6. Review the edits and make changes
After the first round of edits, pore over your book again. Think critically about what the editor commented and the changes they suggested (I like using Microsoft Word and “tracking changes”). Accept, reject, or get more information on the changes, and then continue sculpting your work.
7. Get another round of edits! (Optional)
Maybe you’re happy with your work. If so, skip to step #9. If not, repeat steps #5 and #6.
8. Design your book in Canva or Kindle Create
Either in Canva or Kindle Create, design your eBook! You can download a template from Etsy (there are some cool ones out there) or start from scratch and build an eBook format similar to your branding style. This part can be time-consuming, which is why many people hire designers for their books. I elect to do this part because I enjoy it and because it can easily cost $2,000+ to hire someone else. It’s not difficult, in my opinion, and really allows you to become more familiar with the process.
9. Export your eBook to KPF or ePub format
If you used Kindle Create to create your book, you can easily export it right to Kindle and publish it. Voila! Done. If you used Canva, you’ll need to import the PDF file into Kindle Create (downloaded onto your Mac) and then upload it to your KDP Amazon book listing. Fill out all of the details when creating your book (such as price, description, product tags, categories, how it will be distributed, etc…).
10. Upload a cover image and publish!
Lastly, you’ll need to upload a Cover image to your KDP listing. You can create one easily in Canva or using the Kindle Book Cover software. You can also hire someone through Upwork.
How much do these tools cost?
A yearly subscription to Microsoft products is $70 and Canva is $12/month. Sometimes, I’ll purchase a template or theme from Etsy to utilize on Canva ($10-$60) and then take charge of the self-design process. Hiring an editor is the highest and most important expense, and it’s not worth skipping in my opinion. New readers will avoid you if your literature is riddled with grammatical errors.
If you want to author content and/or document your journey, thoughts, and input, this is one of many ways to transfigure your insight into resources others can benefit from. If you create something that offers value (and this can be done even on a budget but with patience, precision, and persistence), you can easily turn a profit and maximize your chances of growing your platform and/or gaining recognition as an author.
Thanks for reading! Please check out my newest book, “Boss Babe’s Guide to Business and Branding” on Amazon. You can also visit www.BlackHillsFinancialPlanning.com and download the book for FREE after you sign up for the newsletter.