How to Create Beautiful Ebooks

Create high-quality, professional ebooks using Sigil and other free tools, taught by an ebook developer.
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Instructed by Sabrina Ricci Business / Media
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  • Lectures 26
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 8/2013 English

Course Description

Create professional, high-quality ebooks, at no cost to you!

Using Sigil and other free tools, create and format your own beautiful ebooks. Don't know how to code? Not a problem! Learn how to easily make your own books to sell on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, Google, etc. Taught by Sabrina Ricci, an indie author and ebook developer who has worked for Simon & Schuster, NBC Publishing, and The Experiment Publishing.

In this class, you will:

  • learn the basics of ebooks
  • use free tools to format your own books
  • professionally create books to sell on major retailer sites
  • get a bonus enhanced e-book with even more videos and content

How to Create Ebooks has tutorials, infographs, links to additional resources and more!

Please note: This course requires some work with HTML and CSS.

What are the requirements?

  • Sigil (a free program)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • create professional ebooks
  • self publish
  • distribute and sell ebooks
  • formatting

Who is the target audience?

  • authors
  • writers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to E-Books
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The topics covered in this e-book course
  • Why you should create your own e-books

In this lecture, you will learn

  • types of e-book formats
  • different devices for reading e-books

In this lecture, you will learn

  • differences between EPUB and MOBI
  • features of EPUB files, including audio and video
  • which e-readers and tablets can support EPUB3 functionality


In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The importance and benefits of a well formatted e-book
  • Why you shouldn't rely on tools that convert Word docs straight to EPUB
  • What a poorly made e-book looks like
  • What a high quality e-book looks like

4 questions

Short questions covering the basics of e-books

Section 2: The E-Book Marketplace
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The e-book retailers with the biggest marketshare in the U.S.
  • The e-book retailer marketshare worldwide
  • Why it's important to consider publishing on more than just Amazon
  • Which device most people will be reading on within the next year
  • The demographics of e-book readers, and their reading habits

1 page
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The growth of self-publishing
  • Which self-publishing genres are most popular
  • How e-books are on the rise
  • Who reads self-published books
  • What four major companies specialize in self-publishing

Selling E-Books
2 questions
Section 3: The Basics of EPUB
Welcome to Section 3
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • Which files are required in an e-book
  • How an EPUB is structured

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The differences between EPUB2 (vanilla) and EPUB3 (enhanced)
  • The capabilities of EPUB3
Note: Currently no retailer fully supports EPUB3. Apple's iBooks is the major platform that is compatible with the most EPUB3 features, such as read aloud/media overlays, audio, and video. However, it does not fully support EPUB3 yet.

Inside EPUB Files
2 questions
Section 4: Sigil
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • Where to download the program Sigil
  • How to use Sigil

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The four components of the OPF file
  • How to arrange the order of your chapters
  • What code to include for Amazon

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The most used HTML tags for e-books
  • Common HTML files to include in e-books
  • How to add a cover to an e-book
  • How to easily insert content from a Word doc to an e-book

In this lecture, you will learn how to easily add images to an e-book using Sigil.

Helpful tip: Make sure there are no spaces in your image name (ex: "image 1.jpg" should be "image1.jpg") or else the EPUB will not validate.

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to create a table of contents for Kindle devices
  • How to create a table of contents for Nook, ADE, etc.

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to style an e-book so it looks professional
  • The basics of CSS
  • Where to find code for more specific formatting (borders, margins, etc.)

Coding E-Books
3 questions
Section 5: You Created an E-Book, Now What?
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to validate an e-book so it works correctly on all devices
  • What tools to use to look for potential errors
Helpful tip: Use a different ISBN for each format (EPUB, MOBI, etc.)

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • Which free tools to use to check the quality of your e-book
  • What to look for so readers don't complain

Checking E-Books
3 questions
Section 6: Distributing and Selling E-Books
In this lecture, you will learn:

  • The major platforms where you can upload and sell e-books
  • Why selling e-books on your own website helps your readers

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to upload an e-book to sell on Amazon
  • How choosing the right categories can increase your sales
  • How to add a cover to your Amazon book page
  • How to set the price for your book, and more

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to submit an EPUB to sell and distribute via Smashwords
  • Specific requirements for using Smashwords
  • How to earn higher royalties by being selective with which retailers Smashwords distributes your book

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to fill out a Nook book sales page
  • The pros and cons of uploading an EPUB with Nook

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to upload and sell books on the Kobo platform
  • Features of Kobo Writing Life

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How to upload your EPUB, cover, and metadata to Apple's iBooks
  • How to add additional information to make your e-book stand out
  • How to edit and update your sales page on iBooks

Section 7: More Information and Free Resources
8 pages
In this lecture, you will have access to over 300 additional resources to help with digital self-publishing. These links fall under the following categories:

  • Apps
  • Collaboration and Freelance
  • Conferences
  • Design
  • Distributors (both free and paid)
  • E-Book Conversion Services (included just in case, but you won't need after this course!)
  • Funding
  • Industry News
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Reviews and Blog Tours
  • Writing and Other
Also included in the supplementary material is Self-Publishing Checklist, a companion guide to help you navigate through the resources.

In this lecture, you will have access to an enhanced e-book with additional videos and more information on creating e-books, including other free tools to convert e-books. You will also have access to the sample EPUB code, mentioned in the previous lectures.

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Instructor Biography

Sabrina Ricci, Author and E-Book Developer

Sabrina Ricci is a freelance writer and e-book developer, with a M.S. in publishing from New York University and a creative writing certificate, emphasis non-fiction from the University of California, Los Angeles, Extension program. Currently she freelances for IndieReader, she makes e-books for indie authors, and she keeps a blog, Digital Pubbing. She is also co-dinosaur obsessor at I Know Dino.

She has worked and written for a variety of publications, including, Santa Barbara Magazine, Noozhawk, Yahoo! Voices, eHow, and And she has worked for the book publishers Random House, Simon & Schuster, NBC Publishing, and The Experiment Publishing.

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