This week we’re going to answer the question: “What can I use to write an eBook?”
The short answer is… virtually anything!
With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can write an eBook using any device and any app. You don’t need pricey hardware or special software to produce a book. You just need a computer or mobile device, internet access, and a willingness to learn.
Here’s the long answer.
Why Are eBooks Popular?
eBooks have been around for decades, but never really took off as a mainstream method of reading and writing content. Truth be told, many people wouldn’t even consider an eBook to be a legitimate ‘kind’ of writing.
Although the term ‘eBook’ originally stood for ‘electronic book’, today it can refer to any document or content stored and distributed in a digital format. That means an eBook can take any form you’d find in a physical book – from a collection of articles to a novel or short story – and you can use just about any tool or app to create it.
The Appeal of DIY Publishing
One of the biggest appeals of writing an original eBook rather than using a pre-existing one is that you get to choose the platform, the writing software, and the genre you’d like to explore. You don’t have to follow any constraints of a preexisting template. When you’re done, you can simply share your eBook with the world (or a specific group of people). That’s a huge plus when you’ve got a tight deadline or simply want to share your work with a smaller audience.
The Many Applications For DIY Publishing
There are so many advantages to writing an eBook rather than a standard piece of content. As we mentioned above, you get to choose the platform, the genre, and most importantly the software you need to work with. You can also add a few other parameters, like cover art and formatting, and still retain a lot of control over the final product.
That means you can take advantage of all the tools and resources available online. No matter what kind of writer you are – whether you’ve got a compelling story to tell or are just looking for ways to ‘test the waters’ – there’s probably an app for that. And if there isn’t, there will soon be.
What Is The Difference Between A Book, An eBook, and A Diary?
Like the previously mentioned apps, you don’t need a gadget or special hardware to write a book. You just need a computer or mobile device, and a willingness to learn.
A book is a collection of written words constructed in a sequence which usually (but not always) has a discernible narrative structure. The size and scope of the collection varies, but it is generally accepted that a book will contain at least 105,744 words in order to qualify as such.
An eBook is a digital version of a book, generally composed of short (ideally amusing, informative, or entertaining) pieces of written content that are designed to be accessed and read on electronic devices.
A diary is simply a type of book that is intended to be kept private, usually by a single individual, and only revealed to a small group of trusted people. Diaries are generally less structured than traditional books, and can be used to chronicle nearly any type of event or experience.
While all three are valuable and worthwhile resources, they also have distinct differences that make them more or less appropriate for certain tasks. For example, a diary is a good choice if you want to keep your writing private, but you don’t necessarily need to structure it in any particular way. Book publishing, on the other hand, usually requires more planning and thoughtfulness, and a traditional publisher will help you get that polished book ready for the world.
How Do I Publish My Book?
With a traditional publisher, the process starts with you sending in your manuscript, usually in the form of a complete draft. Once this is accepted, you’ll work with an editorial team to tighten up the writing and add some more polish. During this process, you’ll have the opportunity to make minor corrections and changes, and of course, the final book will be edited to the very spec — much to your dismay.
Self-publishing is a lot more streamlined. After you’ve finished writing your book, the next step is to choose a platform and format, and to design the cover. Once you’ve picked a cover and finalized the layout, you can prepare the eBook file and publish it directly from your computer or mobile device.
If you need some help, there are many websites that can guide you through the entire process. Simply type ‘self-publishing’ into your browser and you’ll be presented with a wealth of information, including how to get started — and what tools to use — right from the word go.
So, what’s next?
Where Can I Sell My Book?
The world of book publishing is certainly not limited to physical books and printed documents. Thanks to technology, anyone, anywhere can become a publisher and upload their books to electronic stores, like Amazon, for sale.
If you’ve written a science fiction novel about flying vehicles and alien invasions, you can put it online and see if anyone is interested. The catch is that you’ll have to abide by the content rules and guidelines of whatever website or store you decide to sell your book through. That means no strong language or sexual content, as these are two of the red flags that often get books banned. If your book doesn’t fit within their guidelines, you’ll have to find a different way to get it distributed to the public. Remember: without a publisher, your book will remain uncounted and unseen by potential readers.
The Bottom Line
Even if you’ve got a compelling story to tell, odds are you haven’t told it in the right way. Being able to publish your book, whether traditional or self-published, gives you the opportunity to fix that. Plus, the more you put in it, the more you’ll get out of it — at least, according to ‘The Writer’s Advantage’ by Steven Johnson. So, if you’re looking to take your writing career in a new direction, consider becoming a book publisher — it might just be the key to finding your happy place.