Blog to Book: Turning Content into eBooks
eBooks are relatively simple to format, publish and distribute and can even turn a profit on their own.
If you’re ready to wade into the world e-publishing, here’s a few tips to help you get started.
Treat it Like a Real Book
The process of converting blog posts into an e-book is deceptively simple. Simply cutting and pasting old posts without a unifying theme can seriously damage your reputation.
Look at those old posts as a framework to build on and do something to add value to them. Some may fit easily into a book, others may need some work. The key here is tying them together in a cohesive manner that provides something of value to your readers.
Affiliate Links in e-Books
Including affiliate links in your e-book is perfectly acceptable and readers will likely be expecting as much. Some e-book gurus suggest holding off on the affiliate links until the end of the book where they can be included in a Resources section.
If you’re writing about casino gaming gaming, a final chapter titled, Top Online Poker Rooms/Sportbooks/Casinos is a perfect place for all those links. The idea here is that by the time you get to the affiliate pitch, you’ve won your reader over with valuable content.
Formatting a Free e-Book
In their simplest form, ebooks are little more than .pdf files with some graphics. If you’re going to use your e-book as a giveaway to build e-mail lists or newsletter subscriptions, this is definitely the way to go.
These kinds of e-books can be emailed or downloaded directly from your. There are tons of tutorials on basic e-book publishing out there, but this one from PC World is particularly good.
Distributing an eBook for Sale
If you’re more interested in selling your book through retail channels, you’ll have to up your game a bit and expect to jump through a few additional hoops.
One of the big differences between publishing on your own and going through Amazon is that you’ll need a cover. Because the cover will be displayed prominently, you’ll want something that really pops.
Uploading a book to Amazon for use by Kindle users is very straightforward and can be done in a relatively short time. Getting a book into the iBookstore for iPad and iPhone users is bit more complicated and will definitely take more time.
Both Apple and Amazon provide a 70% royalty rate on each sale.
There are a few reasonably priced services like SmashWords that will format and distribute your ebook for a small cut of the action.
For a complete step-by-step guide to distributing your ebook through paid channels, check out this great blog post from C-Net.
Breathing new life into old content through ebooks is a win-win on all counts. It’s affordable, easy-to-do, and can be a great conversion tool.
Have you repackaged content in an e-book? Share your experiences in the comments section below.