5 Free Easy Ways to Publish eBooks by @ajjuliani

Five free, easy ways to publish your ebook? Is it true? Are you ready to publish your first ebook? I am.  AJ Juliani @ajjuliani  educates us in how we can all publish ebooks. by AJ Juliani 

I admit it. I love publishing ebooks, whitepapers and online guides. Blog posts are great, but sometimes when you want to go more in-depth it requires a different format.

AJ bio

AJ Juliani is a K-12 Technology Staff Developer and author of 2 books “Teach Above the Test” and Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom.

In the past year I've helped create and publish seven different ebooks, an online course, and I just finished the first issue of our free digital magazine “The Best and Next in Education“.

What I've learned is that there are a variety of ways to self-publish, and depending on your end goal for the product, you should choose each option carefully.

Here are five of my favorite tools for self-publishing, and the best uses for each.

1. Liberio

Liber.io just came onto the market but I am ecstatic about what Cat Noone and company have done here. The premise is so simple: Write in Google Drive and immediately export your files to a variety of different ebook formats (ePub etc). If you are a Google junkie (like me) this may be the way to go because all of your content is already living in Google Drive.

Also, it takes the hard work out of formatting for ePub and other digital publishing formats. If you want to have a variety of digital downloading options this is the perfect way to go.

 [callout]I've updated this article as Liberio has shut down. If you grab a copy of my 178 things (below) you'll see lots more options for editing ebooks and creating them.[/callout]


2. Draft

Draft is where I usually do all of my writing. Nate Kontny has created (in my mind) the best pure tool for writing online. I wrote about the great features here, but for publishing here is what you need to know.

Anything you create in Draft can be immediately exported to a PDF, ePub, or Mobi (Kindle) file. This is immensely helpful. However, Draft uses “Markdown” to format…so if you aren't familiar with Markdown and want to add a lot of links and other specific formatting you may want to use another site. That being said, Draft can also immediately publish a folder to an online website, so it's potential for publishing is some of the best online. (Note from Vicki: See my Beginner's Simple Guide to Markdown to get started.)

3. iBooks Author

I used iBooks Author for my latest ebook, “Teach Above the Test” and my upcoming book for teachers who want to be tutors. If you have a Mac, iBooks author is an awesome tool for creating and publishing content. It will also help you make your content look nice…rather than just plain.

iBooks Author comes with some pre-built templates, but you can also download more from a variety of places around the web (like Book Palette). It's ease of use in formatting (especially with pictures) surpasses most of these other tools, but you can really only export it to an iBooks format or PDF.

4. LeanPub

I like LeanPub a lot. So much that we've used it for most of our free ebooks over at Education Is My Life. The clean and free platform allows you to set up a landing page for your book/guide, collect sign-ups, and publish your content in PDF, ePub, and Mobi formats.

The best thing about LeanPub is it's features for pricing. You can sell your work right on their site, and also let people choose how much they'd like to pay. Another bonus is that if you want to change the content later (or update the book) it will automatically send an update out to the people who downloaded your book before.

5. PowerPoint (or Keynote)

What??? Yes, that's right. You can use PowerPoint or Keynote to create an ebook. In fact, some of the most read ebooks online have been created out of PowerPoint. James Clear used PPT to create his “Transform Your Habits” guide and it's been downloaded over 20,000 times!

You probably already know how to use these tools to format your text, add pictures etc. The last part is exporting it to a PDF file for easy reading online and on a mobile device. It may not be the “prettiest” formatting but you can do a lot for free with each of these programs. A great way to start out with your first self-published piece.

Each of the tools I recommended here are free. However, there are many other tools out there that are great but you need to pay. My recommendation is start with a free tool to self-publish your first piece. Make it easy and get it out to the world. After that, you can explore, some different options.

If you are looking for some more in depth guidance on publishing an ebook or guide, feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to help!

Everyone has something they can teach the world. Don't hold it back from us, put it out there and help someone out with your knowledge!

Bio: A.J. Juliani is a K-12 Technology Staff Developer, and author of two books: “Teach Above The Test” and the upcoming “Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom”. He is also the founder the new (free) digital magazine for educators, “The Best and Next in Education”.

Note from editor: Be sure to check the rights for books published in various platforms. Some (most notably iBooks Author) make it harder to move your book to other platforms because of restrictive licensing so educate yourself on that before you publish. Many thanks to AJ for such an awesome guide. ;-) Vicki

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Sheri Edwards February 7, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Thanks for this info. It guides me to try several avenues and play around with the possibilities.

AJ Juliani February 9, 2014 - 4:20 pm

Thanks Sheri! Hopefully you can try it out and let me know if you have any questions.

coolcatteacher February 9, 2014 - 6:58 pm

Thanks, Sheri – AJ did a great job on this article!—
Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

Norah Colvin February 12, 2014 - 8:37 pm

This is a great article. Just what I am needing to know at the moment. I have some stories and texts that I would like to publish. Some I have made in PowerPoint, but I am looking for something a bit more ebook-or interactivebook-like. I also need to find out the step in-between: getting an ISBN and whatever else needs to happen after the writing. Thanks for this great advice. It will help me on my way!

coolcatteacher February 13, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Thanks, Norah – why not tweet AJ about it?—
Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

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