E-books are everywhere! You can find them in all different genres, from romance novels, mysteries, self-help books and more. It’s easy to find a book on pretty much any subject you would like to read. This is what I thought too, however, it turns out, there aren’t that many interactive travel e-books especially ones that you can take along and help you get from point A to point B. I wanted to write a book that would help people find the hidden gems and treasures only locals know about and create an unforgettable travel experience.
If you aspire to write a book, any book, go for it! Today e-books are a great way to have your story told or help a lot of people out.
I was a little nervous about writing a book, unsure about my writing skills, use of the English language, etcetera. But I love what I do travel, teach and help people connect. I also surround myself with lots of free-thinkers, and positive, smart people. Thanks Julie! (JACoffey) for inspiring me! Here is how I started writing and self-publishing my first few books.
These are a few steps that got me started ~
1. Gather data and information
The first thing I did was begin with some research. Similar to how I put together itineraries and blogs, I started gathering intel of travel books I liked and thought were good resources. I took bits and pieces that were helpful to me and wrote everything down. Lots and lots of notes ~ I started asking myself what were some of the questions people ask me all the time and what could I offer that would be useful for them.
2. Create an outline
Outline’s are tough for me, as an adult with ADHD, I would be working on an chapter and start fantasizing about traveling to that place and what else needed to be discovered there.(SQUIRREL!) Focus, focus, focus. But basically I began with topic ideas then came back to it when I had more information. Julie helped me a lot with consistency and branding, she’s a PRO!
3. Just start writing
Once I had the outline, I just started writing, seriously. Anything and everything on that topic. At first I would start out with random streams of consciousness and then I would fine-tune it. Again and again and again. It’s o.k., at this stage, it was for “my eyes only.”
4. Which software or program to use?
There are tons of ebook writer software or free templates out there. But, I found a lot of help on Pinterest and YouTube videos for template suggestions. I found using Microsoft Word and following a video for formatting helped me a great deal. There are several programs out there, if you would like to really start off with a professional start that will walk you through it from beginning to end. I ended up choosing Word for Mac and saving my book to a pdf.
Whether it’s understanding and comprehending your new software or unexpected life interruptions, hiccups happen. It’s o.k. Try to dedicate at least an hour a day to writing, I would set an alarm on my phone (writing) to set aside time to write, edit, research or review. If you get side-railed don’t worry about it, just come back to it when you can. Sometimes, those hiccups can be incorporated into the book and make a funny story as well.
6. Get help
Julie was fantastic and so incredibly helpful. A successful writer herself, she helped me figure out pot-holes, missteps and make corrections. I also read a lot of blogs that seem to have common themes for writing an E-book. Although none were specifically on writing Travel E-books ~ I got the gist. Some of the articles lead to other products to purchase while others were informational. Here are a few articles I really liked ~
- The Book Designer – great for E-book starters
- The Random Passion Project – lots of resources for beginning to write
- Mandy Wallace – writer, blogger
This is possibly the longest part of the whole process for writing your book. At least it was for me, elicit help here too. With a few trusted friends and confidants send your work off to be proofed by them and ask them for an HONEST opinion. Don’t take their critique personally if it comes back all red-marked or hashed up. That is a GREAT friend you have. Good friends will tell you the truth. Trust it! I would much rather have my friends tell me my font is wrong or I’ve misspelled a word five times in the whole document then send it off professionally with my name on it.
You may have to read your copy ~ again and again. It’s o.k. proof it all the way through, after your “friend edits,” proof it again and then one more time before you send it off. This is a minimum.
8. Designing the book cover
I use Canva a lot as my design tool. It helps me create a professional looking FaceBook and Instagram posts and now create my book cover. This free website makes your work look incredibly great and is very user friendly. I love how it keeps my old designs so I can also create a consistent branding image that is recognizable. Canva allows you to save your image as a .jpg, .png, or a .pdf. All very compatible with Word and most writing templates to insert as your front cover page.
9. How to sell and promote your book!
Editing is done, book cover is designed, now it’s time to get them on-line. For e-books there are two methods of selling, through Amazon or self-publishing (promoting on your own website.) I chose the latter. Although, I probably might have made more money monetizing with Amazon, I feel confident with my decision. I have a very select group of people here in Stuttgart I am trying to help. I did look into selling through Amazon, however, it seemed like way too many steps and they “hold” and promote your book for a long time. I’m pretty protective of my creations and prefer the human connection and interaction.
For me, my website and social media are the main platforms for promotion of my E-book. Since it’s not a physical book, yet, I depend on on-line chatter to help get the word out. I use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Although, I’m not setting any world records with sales, it’s o.k. I know I have helped quite a few people travel or hike to new places, explore and discover this part of Germany.
For specifics on how to sell through your website ~ contact me below in the comment section.
10. Follow up!
Another advantage of creating an E-book is easily adding follow-ups and edits to your copy. Once you’ve created that first version you can continue to add to your book, update links and information and more! You’ll also have contact information to keep up with your clients and receive feedback and suggestions for future copies. Make sure you listen to your customer. It makes creating your next project a breeze.
O.k. now that I’ve given you a little taste of how to get started maybe ask yourself ~ Do I have an E-book inside of me? You probably do ~ write what you love! You never know, it might help someone out, make them laugh or help them plan their next day trip!
It’s always an adventure when you ©Travel with Wendy!
Here’s my next book coming out soon ~