September 10, 2015

Designing and Packaging Your Ebook - Sylvie McCracken

This week, I'm answering another popular question when it comes to creating and selling ebooks that sell like crazy. 

The first and most important question was about how to know what to write about, which led to this cheat sheet I made for you to download: How to Start The Right Ebook That Sells Like Crazy

Today, I’m discussing  your options for designing and packaging your ebook, whether you're going the DIY route, or hiring a professional designer.

Click below to see my 5 minute video reply:

YouTube video

If you’re working on an ebook and wondering about the design and packaging, such as whether you should do it yourself or hire a designer, then this is for you.

I love teaching entrepreneurs how to create passive income with ebooks. I’ve been asking my readers to ask me their questions about how to make money from e-books. If you want to submit your question definitely go to and leave it there.

Today I want to answer the question from Leah and from Chantal.

“When starting out with your first book and money is tight, is it advisable to outsource the final product to be tidied up, graphics, images, layout, etc.? Can you even finish a book without this help?” – Leah

“How do you know when it’s worth hiring a designer to help with the e-book when I’m not very graphic savvy? It’s overwhelming enough spending so many hours writing that it’s hard to shell any extra cash.” – Chantal

First of all, can you even make an ebook by yourself without any help? Absolutely. Today you can do any yourself, especially with, PicMonkey, and all the other design and packaging tools make it easy.

A friend of mine who has a best-selling ebook literally made her ebook as a Word document and added images there and then exported it into a PDF. The end. That was her ebook. And she had the idea to eventually go back and upgrade it to make it better, but never ended up doing that and it worked just fine and it sells like crazy. So that’s definitely something that you can do.

Spoiler alert: I prefer to outsource everything.

I’m a huge fan of outsourcing. You’ll notice on my blog that I talk a lot about outsourcing work to assistants. The reasons are:

1: Money buys speed.

When I started creating my e-books I was working full-time so I didn’t have a lot of time, and I wanted to outsource absolutely everything that I didn’t have to do myself. So that’s a big reason why I did it.

2: I love the pro look.

This is a bit of a preference thing, but I really love that polished look that comes when a pro designer does my ebook. I also think that this does help a bit with the pricing. You are able to price your ebook in a way which matches its quality.

You’re already writing a really great ebook with solid content, and you are proofreading it. You’re not going to put out something that’s crappy, right? So, if this is something that you are proud of, then the design should match it. That is why my preference is to outsource the ebook design and packaging.

But, if you can’t afford pro design, please do not let that be the reason you don’t write that ebook!

Just write the ebook with what you have now. Bootstrap it if you have to, doing everything yourself.   Then, once you put your ebook up for sale and you’ve made those first few hundred dollars, use the money to hire a pro designer. Send that same redesigned ebook to people that have already purchased, they’ll love you forever, and put that newly designed pro version up for sale. And, if you want, increase the price at that point.

Here is one marketing tactic you could do: Have a special sale where your book is $12. Offer it to your readers for a limited time at that lower price, and tell them that they will get the new one for free. Once you get the redesigned professional version, include a bonus and start selling the ebook for something like $20 or $25.

Chantal: if you’re in the process of writing, kudos to you because the hardest thing is starting. In your question, it sounds like you are having a hard time shelling out any extra cash. But you also said that you aren’t good at design. So, I’d really encourage you to hire a pro designer if you can afford it. You have to believe in your ebook and tell yourself that it will make back the few 100 dollars that you will invest in design.

That is why all 3 of my ebooks have been professionally designed. I paid anywhere from $600 all the way to a little over a thousand for each one of those depending on length and complexity and that kind of thing. And I’m very, very happy that I did that.

But again, start with what you have to work with now and upgrade when you can.

So I hope that was helpful! If you have any questions, comment below, and I would love to answer them in a future video. Thanks!


Designing and Packaging Your Ebook - Sylvie McCracken

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6 thoughts on “Designing and Packaging Your Ebook

  1. This is great, Sylvie. I designed, wrote and packaged my ebook. It’s not flying off my website though. I think i need a marketing pep-talK, – Sylvie-style!

    1. Hi Christine, were you on my webinar late last year all about SELLING ebooks? If not, I’m thinking I’ll do an encore in a few weeks (date TBD). Will gladly give you a pep talk during Q&A time at the end if you can make it! (Keep an eye on your inbox and I’ll be sure to email as soon as we’ve nailed it down). 🙂

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