2.1 What Platform to Use to Write Your Book (Hint: it doesn't matter!)

You'll spend days, weeks, and typically months writing your book.

So it makes sense that where to write your book is a common question among writers.

Should I write in Microsoft Word? Wordpress? Pages? What's best? What will help me write the fastest?

The best place to write is the place you always write.

You want to use a program that you already know so you don't have to waste your precious mental energy learning something new when you need to focus on writing your content.

I wrote most of my book in Pages. It's familiar, it's easy to navigate, and there are few distractions.

However, the difficult part of which program to use is when it comes time to export. Your file for a Kindle should be in .mobi. This is a weird fluid file type that will work on all Kindle readers, so it's important you get this part right.

I could NOT figure out how to properly export a .mobi from Pages. (We ran into the same issue when we used Scrivener for Heath's book.)

I tried a million times and failed every single attempt.

Where I ended up writing my book

Overwhelmed with stress, I asked a friend for help. She referred me to Pressbooks hailing that it was amazing and just like writing a blog. I was not excited about it, since like I mentioned, there wasn't a lot of mental energy left to learn something new.

But Pressbooks looks EXACTLY like Wordpress, something I already knew backwards and forwards from blogging. YAY!

I copied over all my chapters from Pages (actually she helped with this, so thank you!) and started working on formatting.

Chapter view in Pressbooks

I was able to copy over each chapter and then create "front matter" and "back matter" as well, AKA your dedication, prologue, glossary, acknowledgements, etc.

Organize level view of Pressbooks

Because it looks so familiar, I picked it up in no time and felt ten times lighter knowing that this software did all the heavy lifting of exporting the right formats for me! Seriously, all I had to do was click one button. Amazing!

Just one giant button to click. I love it.

But unlike Pages or Microsoft Word, it isn't free. You pay per book (not per export, which is great because I've exported approximately 100 different versions of my book).

It's $20 for the ebook, and $99 for ebook + PDF (AKA the file type you need for a paperback).

I started with purchasing just the ebook level, and later decided to publish a paperback. When I went to pay for the PDF level, I only had to pay $79, since I'd already paid $20 for the ebook level.

Because of how easily you can export books with Pressbooks, I recommend going this route. It's one less thing to worry about! For everyone in the course, I do have a coupon code for you! Use the code RVE at check out for 25% off.

Google Docs

If you already use or love using Google docs (great for co-writing!) here is a super helpful video on how to write your entire book in Google Docs:


I personally don't like the idea of scrolling through 100 pages to get to my next chapter, but for ease of use, Google is always good.

Kindle Create

If you want to stay more loyal to Amazon, they do have a program called Kindle Create. You can download it to your Mac or PC and learn more about it straight from the horse's mouth here.


It seems great, however, I haven't used it nor do I know anyone who has used it. So I can't tell you too much about it!

Since it's created by Amazon, I would assume it's the best option for writing your book, but when you're in the middle of writing a book, the last thing you want to do is learn something new. That's why I prefer Pressbooks. Since it looks exactly like Wordpress, I didn't have to learn anything new. I just focused on my writing.

Homework:

  • Choose where you'll write your book and start writing!

Discussion

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