If you're at all familiar with the online crafting community, you've probably heard of Diane Gilleland (aka SisterDiane). She is the creator/founder/editor of a veritable treasure trove of informative and inspiring stuff, like her CraftyPod podcast, her blog, and her online classes & ebooks. I took her Crafty Ebook class earlier this year, so when she asked me to review the ebook version, I was happy to do so.
Write, Publish & Sell Your Crafty Ebook is exactly what it sounds like - an in-depth tutorial on compiling, formatting, and marketing an ebook especially for the craft market. The book is divided into four chapters, each diving into the specific aspects needed to bring an ebook to market.
- Chapter 1: Things to Think About Before You Make an Ebook
- Chapter 2: How to Make a PDF Ebook
- Chapter 3: The Dreaded Technical Parts
- Chapter 4: Marketing Your Ebook
- (see the full Table of Contents on the book sales page)
Diane draws upon her years of experience in the online crafting community to offer a tutorial that's rich in detail and resources. It's full of crafty links and examples that will not only help educate you; it will also help inspire you to produce an equally professional product. The book is visually engaging with gorgeous photos and images, and moves through a buttload of information at a good pace. This is a reference book that you will turn to again and again.
You'll find this book is valuable whether you're a techie newbie or have already published an ebook or two. I have a couple of ebooks available (Launch Your New Scrapbooking Product and Build Buzz with a Virtual Book Tour), and I learned a lot about different software to use for layout design, and particularly found the marketing section helpful, since it is geared toward a crafty audience. She also goes into considerations on ISBN's, pricing, file hosting, and digital copyright issues that I hadn't considered.
The one thing I wish she had covered more was making ebooks interactive - she didn't really cover how to include links, either navigating to content within the ebook or linking to outside web resources. I understand that creating links really depends on the software you use, whether Adobe Acrobat or Pages, or whatever, so it's hard to address that issue when people are using different software. But that was something I was specifically looking for in the content, and didn't get.
As far as I can tell, this is the same content she offers in her online course. The only thing different is the group interaction. In the online course, there is a group message board and several real-time chats. I really enjoyed the interaction, getting to know other crafters and learning about their intended crafty ebooks. It was actually during this class that I met Shayne Rioux, editor of GeekCrafts, and we struck up a conversation that led to me writing for the GC blog, which led to my fourth book deal! Crafty connections abound in the class! I also found it very helpful to have Diane available for questions that came up as I was going through the class material. Diane doesn't offer the class all the time, so be sure to sign up for her newsletter for updates on when she'll offer it again. (Find the subscription box on the left sidebar of her homepage.)
I would highly recommend this ebook to anyone considering writing their own ebook - it's a thorough exploration of ebooks in general, with special attention to the crafting audience. Two thumbs up!