Blogland is amazing. We are blessed to have so many inspiring women pave the way for those of us still attempting to strike out on our own.
And today, we are fortunate to have one of our own DIY bloggers help us tackle one of the most popular forms of publication these days, The Ebook.
With us today is Shaunna, from her blog, perfectly imperfect. Painting furniture was the focus of starting up Shaunna’s blog 2 years ago, which also allowed her to showcase her other passions: family, interior decorating, designing and writing. So it comes with no surprise that an ebook was in Shaunna’s future.
Shaunna desired to author her ebook, “Creating your Masterpiece” because she felt there needed to be a beautiful and creative guide for anyone to have the confidence and learn to paint their own furniture.
Thanks for coming over today Shaunna!
How long did the process take you from start to finish?
I began laying my ebook out (writing an outline, forming content, beginning to work on projects and photography) in October of 2010. In January of 2011, I wrote the ebook and began working with my friend and graphic designer, Lauren Cochran. The majority of the work was done in 2 months…but that was hard work! It was published and available for purchase on March 1. So, from early start to finish, 5 months.
What kept you motivated?
Writing, creating a haven for my family, & people are my passion. I mean, TRUE passions. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a little girl, and honestly, writing my blog was an early extension of that dream. Knowing my readers could have all the info they wanted on painting furniture (and creating art in doing so) and be able to refer back to that resource was a huge motivation for me. I feel free to tackle projects in my own home, which has given me happiness, a sense of ease, and saved us money; I want that for all of my wonderful readers and those who stop by my blog. Listening to good music while writing didn’t hurt either.
How did you manage to create new blog material AND new ebook material at the same time? Daunting!!
Well, again, I would say I was writing about something that really spoke to me…and something I had already written a year’s worth of posts about. Practically, I was able to use a lot of my previous content, editing and adding much more detail to it. The area that took the most work was the photography. Since much of the ebook contained painting furniture tutorials, I had to not only write the content, but take coordinating photos, edit them, and consider how it would all lay out on the “page.” It’s all about balance, really. One day I would focus all of my energy on the ebook, and the next time the sitter came, I was writing blog posts and editing those photos.
What program did you use to write your book, then ultimately publish it?
I used DNL reader to create an interactive version with turning pages and videos on the pages. There are many programs out there, and I will probably give another a try in the future. I also created a PDF version, which is great for anyone because it requires no additional software to download (or to create), and people are able to download the ebook to their iPads and digital readers.
Did you need to hire pro (or any) help for any of the steps?
I wanted my ebook to feel like a real, live design book. This meant I wanted lots of photos and visual interest–you’ll find tips circled all throughout the book, etc. Reading a book on how to paint furniture has the potential to be BORING, so I not only wanted to write it creatively, but I wanted the page layouts to draw you in. I did work with my talented friend and graphic designer, Lauren Cochran, to design the pages in Photoshop. It was the BEST decision I made, and she is so gifted…I love the way she brought my words and photography to life.
Some are converting ebooks to accommodate hand held readers these days… did you?
By creating the PDF version, we handled that part…and I’m so glad we did! I love the idea of someone painting to their hearts content while flipping back to my ebook on their reader. Super cool.
How many books have you sold thus far? (you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to LOL!!)
Over 2, 000 and counting. 😉
I have dreams of doing a series of them. Crazy huh? Would YOU do it again?
Totally! I loved the whole process, save a little of the tech support…that’s not my area, but luckily, I have this amazing husband who’s become my partner on the blog–and he happily handled the bulk of that. There’s one thing you can count on from me–I’m always sitting around, dreaming up new dreams and wanting to push myself creatively. I can’t wait to nail down my next ebook! 🙂
Do you also have dreams (like me) of writing a paper type of book?
Oh, this is my earliest dream. I have written half of a novel, only to let it fall to the side…but I know I’ll finish it one day. Now I also have dreams of writing about what I do–creating a perfectly imperfect home and about embracing what creating beauty in our homes is all about. So, yes!! Many, many dreams of my first book sitting on a coffee table in my living room. 🙂
What would you want to say to a beginner (holding up hand!) who wants to start their own ebook?
Don’t write an ebook as simply a way to make money. Authors are successful because they are genuine and they write about what makes them tick. That genuineness comes through in their writing, and whether overnight or over a period of time, they are celebrated and praised for their willingness to create. From a DIY/Home Decor blogger’s perspective, there are a million topics you could choose to write an ebook on–but only do that if you’re excited to write and share more with your readers and the online community. Choose something you’re passionate about. Have insight to offer and have your readers in mind…your ebook will then take on a life of its own, and you’ll be so blessed for having written it.
Thanks so much for having me, Donna! I feel quite giddy visiting here, and I hope this de-mystifies the process of writing an ebook a little and encourages someone to go for it! I’m happy to answer any questions or help you guys in any way–happy writing!
Wasn’t that amazing? And it just gets better….
Shaunna wants to give you something.
5 of you will win a
“Creating your Masterpiece” ebook!
Simply comment below, telling us what the subject of your own ebook would be if you wrote one and you’re in!
Winner must have an email avail through their blog or in their comment in order to win.
Winner will be drawn by random.org Oct 31st and announced shortly after.
Thanks for your amazing generosity Shaunna and for helping inspire this wonderful group with your info and gift!
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