How to Create Your Own E-book

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It’s easier than ever for anyone to write, publish, and distribute an ebook. There are a lot of tools you can choose from, but we wanted to outline some best practices about how to make an ebook to set you up for success to use PigeonLab for distribution. This page will cover:

  • Writing tools
  • Cover Design
  • Ebook Conversion
  • Distribution
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Writing Tools

What program should I use to write my ebook?

We get this question a lot. All of these tools work great and each has its own specific advantages.

  • Microsoft Word: As the go to word processing program for more than a decade, many authors are familiar with how it works, and that can be a comforting advantage while you’re writing. For the actual formatting, though, Word is tricky. If you use Word, we recommend getting it professionally converted into the various ebook formats by one of our partners.
  • Open Office: Open Office is essentially a FREE version of the Microsoft Office Suite. Their word processing program acts almost exactly like Word, with the added bonus that you can export your file as a PDF straight from it. And did we mention it’s free?
  • Scrivener: It’s a great writing program designed for authors so that you can organize your book and add notes, paragraphs, or chapters as you come up with them. Scrivener’s advantage is that it organizes your writing as a book in sections rather than making it one huge document. If you’ve started in Word or Open Office, you can import those files and rearrange them in Scrivener. They offer a free trial, but to download and use everything costs $45.
  • Draft: Draft is a straightforward web application for writing. With Draft you can easily write, collaborate with editors, and publish your writing for free. Once you have your book completed in Draft you can export the text and use of our recommended conversion tools below to create your ebook.

Ebook Cover Design

Designing a great cover for your ebook is critical. Your ebook cover will need to look good as everything from an icon to a full size cover on many different E-readers. That’s tough to do if you haven’t done it before, so we recommend hiring a professional. That said, here are some great options for going about it.

  • Writer.ly: Writer.ly is a marketplace for self-publishing authors to find freelance vendors. You can post your need for a cover designer and your budget there and professionals will bid on the project.
  • Hopfer Design:Ben Hopfer is a creative professional living in San Francisco. He loves the design process and gets excited for creative projects. Having worked in the in industry for 10 years, he knows that a creative mindset, a keen eye and the ability to adapt will get you far. Specializing in Art Direction and Creative Concepting. He has the skills to turn any idea into a finished project.
  • DIY: Ok, we know some of you still want to do it on your own. If so, read this article on 7 Steps to DIY eBook Cover Design {The Art of First Impressions}

Ebook Conversion

Once you have your ebook written and want to get it published, your next step is to convert it to the .epub and .mobi file types. Whether you want to convert the files yourself or have someone else do it, here is who we recommend:

  1. eBook Architects will convert your .doc, .pdf, or any other document type into a beautiful ebook file that will work on every ebook reading device: www.ebookarchitects.com
  2. Folium Book Studio offers an easy-to-use tool for conversions if you’re a DIY author:www.foliumbookstudio.com
  3. PressBooks: PressBooks is a free online tool for creating eBooks. You can import books from your word processing application into PressBooks and it will export a fully functioning ebook for you.

Ebook Distribution

“Why isn’t this working!?! Why can’t I get my book to display properly…?”
– Frustrated author distributing an ebook
It’s true that you can convert and distribute your ebook on your own, but if you’re not familiar with the process it will involve a lot of trial and error, and plenty of frustration. Even worse, you may end up missing some opportunities that are specific to each online marketplace to optimize your book for maximum discoverability.
This is where we come in!

We help writers who don’t have the time or the desire to figure out distributing eBooks themselves. We’ll make your ebook available on every major ebook retailer and you don’t have to lift a finger – except to go cash that royalty check.

Here’s how it works:

1. Set up an account

Do this for FREE at www.pigeonlab.net/create-account.

2. Upload your information

Click the “Book” menu link to upload the book information that we will need to distribute your eBook. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ebook Files

3. Distribution Magic!

We will distribute your book to retailers and email you links to your book’s page at each retailer.

We’ll send you a monthly earnings report in your PigeonLab account and send you payments for sales each quarter via check or PayPal.

Once we have everything from you, your book will begin to appear in the various retailers in about 5 business days.

FAQ’s About Ebook Distribution

  • Where will my ebook be sold?
    • Amazon Kindle Store * Kindle eReaders
    • Barnes & Noble Nook Store * Nook eReaders
    • Apple iBookstore * iPad, iPhone, iPod
    • Kobo eBook Store * Kobo eReaders
  • Who sets the price for the ebook?
    • You set the price for your book and you can change it anytime you want to by emailing us.
  • How much does this cost?
    • Just $99 per book + 10% of the net sales proceeds from your book, after the retailer’s fees. That 10% basically covers sales reporting, book information changes, and uploading new files if you update your eBook. There are no yearly subscription charges or other hidden fees.
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