AskPat 617 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 617 of AskPat and thank you so much for joining me here today. As always I'm here to help you by answering all of your online business questions, five days a week.
We have a great question today from Monique but before we get to his question I do want to thank today's sponsor which is Design Crowd, which helps entrepreneurs and small businesses, outsource or crowd source custom graphics logo and web design from design areas around the world. They have more than 5,000 designers from over a hundred different countries ready to help you with any creative design projects you might have, check out designcrowd.com to learn more and get started at designcrowd.com/askpat. That's designcrowd.com/askpat a very special VIP offer just for you so, check it out.
All right, now heres today's question from Monique.
Monique: Hi Pat, this is Monique from India, my question is that, you know I'm starting an online business and I'm working on an ebook. I have a word document of the ebook and I want to work that into a PDF document and a good looking PDF document with you know, great background, I would like to put pictures, URL, and all of the stuff that is useful to make it look beautiful and useful.
I'm not an expert on word document so, I'm actually interested in knowing if you have any few tips and strategies of you know, converting a word document into a great looking PDF files that can sell and that look good. I'm using a Mac and I do have a word document on Mac so, thank you so much and I'm a big fan of your work, keep doing the great work its really inspiring. Thank you Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey, thank you so much for the question today, awesome that you're working on an ebook. It brings me back to, well, not that long ago, because I just finished my book. I've done several ebooks in the past, but I remember when I first started out I was really really big on just, you know, I knew I had to get the content down and I did put it all in a word document because, you know, I was so worried for awhile about what it was going to look like and how I was going to sell it but I wasn't getting anything done. So, eventually I just wrote everything down in a word document, created the whole book and then focused on okay, well, how do I design this thing, how do it sell it. And, it worked out really well because you're supposed to be focusing on one thing at a time so hopefully I can help you out—whether the book is written or not—this will be useful for you.
Now, once you have that word document, what's going to be helpful is to just, first of all, realize that you don't need to make it look beautiful just for that sake of making it look beautiful, you need to make it look great by adding in graphics, adding in illustrations, pictures that will enhance the content—charts and graphs when necessary, images that are relevant not just random.
So, just make sure that you keep that in mind you don't have to add, you just don't want to add decoration just to add decoration that's where a lot of people especially people who design websites or who use themes, that's where they kind of fall short. We're no longer in the Myspace days where you just want glittery moving things and marquees here and all over the place.
We are where design should enhance functionality and that should be the same with your book. So, that's the first thing so, that should help because it'll just keep everything on the right path and make sure that you only need and should add graphics and illustrations where they are needed.
My biggest tip to you would be if possible find somebody else to do this for you. You have this great word document, and I've done this with every other ebook except for the first two that I wrote, the first one was the LEED Exam walkthrough which was published at GreenExamAcademy.com which was study guide and there where images in that too, all charts and graphs nothing fancy and that sold really well. That was probably the most generic looking ebook that I've ever come out with but because the content was great it sold really, really well and that's again just a testament to making sure the content is great first so hopefully you're working or finishing that up and you're making it great before you start worrying about the graphics and stuff.
The second ebook I did was Ebooks the Smart Way and I recommend you all get that if you want to check it out, it's one of those small sort of 20-30 page PDF files that I really worked hard to make look great. It's not complicated so if you check that out go to ebooksthesmartway.com, you can actually download it for free and you'll get on my email list and get some good stuff coming your way that way too.
You'll see how that book is laid out and there's a number of different ways to do it, that one is actually done in landscape fashion with three columns, you can do two columns, you can do just portrait mode, what I would recommend is look at other ebooks like mine and several others out there—there's a lot of people who offer upgrade magnets or ebooks for free, actually—and see what style you think fits best for you and your content, and your audience.
For me a lot of people were doing these sort of portrait styles or regular layouts with just one page per chunk of content you know, and, I found a book in the photography space that was laid out in a landscape manner with three columns that I really like and I adapted that for my book and a lot of people said that they liked it because it was just different and unique and it worked with the kind of content that I was publishing.
Find somebody to do it for you if possible. You can check out fiverr.com, you could check out upwork.com, you can even go to your network or if you have a list of followers already a lot of people in our followings are great graphic designers who might be able to help you too. So you can go that way and, find somebody else to do it for you so they'll take this written content that you have and design it for you. And make sure that they start with sort of a design template or a layout and not just go full force and surprise you at the end with what it looks like, because you can come in with some great design suggestions and changes before all the work is done just with a simple template or blue print of what that thing is gonna actually look like.
And, so, make those decisions first, then let that person go buck wild with putting the whole thing into that format. You could, if you are up to the challenge use word and actually place images and it's a little bit easier on pages for Mac I did a book on Pages for Mac that where Ebooks the Smart Way was done because Apple stuff is more design orientated so it's a little bit easier to work with as apposed to Word.
Even though you have Word on your Mac, Word is still sort of a Microsoft program so you're gonna have a harder time designing and putting images in and making all the pages layout the way they're supposed to. But one of my best friends is a page break and I say that because that helps me determine you know, what content stays on one page, this is for both Pages for Mac or for Word. You can use a page break and that helps determine, okay, where the cut off is before the next page starts and then you can kind of work things around. What I like about Pages is when you drag an image in everything smooths around it and it again it's very friendly in that way.
But, if possible like I said earlier you'd want to hire somebody else to do it. If you can not do that, if you're boot strapping, try your best. Don't worry about being perfect, just make it look decent. That's all you need to do and if it's not perfect at the beginning you can always make changes later.
But you know you've got great content, you've gotta get it out there and put it into people hands and think about this: the more illustrations, the more graphics you put in, which hopefully you'll do, make the graphics that you embed into your book as small file size as you can and that way the PDF file doesn't become this huge file that people have to download. That's a struggle that I had that again other people that do this they know how to crunch those numbers and make the pictures look great without it actually taking up too much space.
So, I remember one time I wrote an ebook and it was almost a hundred megabytes because of all of the images I was using and I eventually ended up giving that ebook to somebody else to do and they were able to convert that to something that was below 10 megabytes. And you want these PDF files to be easily downloadable, easily consumable, printable perhaps if that makes sense for your content. If they're work sheets and exercises that people can take, make them printable don't put too much color on those specific pages because people mostly have black and white printers and yeah those are some things to keep in mind, Monique but I recommend like I said, if possible find somebody else to do that for you.
Thank you so much for your question. I appreciate it and were going to send an AskPat t-shirt all the way to India for you and I definitely want to visit India one day. That would be awesome because I know I have a lot of fans there and it would be fun, so one of these days—maybe when the kids are older—I can take them along, too, and my wife.
But anyway thank you again so much for the question. I appreciate it and for anybody else out there that has a question, if you would like to have it potentially featured here on the show just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
And I also want to thank, again, Design Crowd, which helps entrepreneurs and small businesses, crowd source your custom graphics logo and web designs and it comes from designers from all around the world. Again, over a half million designers from over one hundred countries who are there ready and willing to help you with any creative design projects you might have, so check it out for a special VIP offer go to designcrowd.com/askpat. That's designcrowd.com/askpat.
Thank you so much for listening in. I appreciate it and I look forward to serving you in tomorrow's episode. Until then here's a quote to finish off this episode from John Romero, he said, “In marketing I've seen only one strategy that can't miss and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last. Your best customers first, your best prospects, and then the rest of the world.”
Take care I'll see you in the next episode of Ask Pat, bye.
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