How to Make a FREE E-Book

by © Judith Tramayne-Barth

If you've been on the net for two minutes, the first thing you learn is there are plenty of e-books available for you to read.  Everybody and their sister has written e-books on the best way to Market, HTML tutorials, etc. and are offering them free.  Why?

Because they are an excellent vehicle to bring visitors to your web site, create instant credibility and tout your products in a non­intrusive way.  The bottom line here folks is the bottom line.  Free e­books, if done right, will bring you income.

Now this article is not going to do anything but tell you the simple way to create an e-book.  I believe in the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy.  Everybody thinks there is some special authoring tool you are supposed to buy or use, some magical way you are supposed to format (i.e., PDF, RTF, XML, etc.) -- well, I'm here to tell you it's a matter of choice.  Who's choice?

Yours, of course.  You're writing the dang thing.  True, you have to take your readers into consideration if you are selling your e­books but since this article is about free electronic books, I am going to talk about the easiest format to create it.  Use HTML.

What's that you say?  HTML is for creating web pages -- well listen clueless -- it's also used for creating e­books.  You have to have some type of viewer so why not use the one most people have.  Yes that's right, a browser which everybody either got when they bought their system or else they got ripped off.

By creating your e­book in HTML, you are not going to spend any money.  Get it?  Free means free both to the reader and you - the writer.  Now it's not as hard as you think.  It is definitely easier than a web page.  All you need to know is a few Basic things.

  1. Use a text editor — I use EditPad which you can download at because it allows me to have loads of files open at the same time.  You can also use notepad or wordpad depending on the length.  If you have Windows 95 or 98, Click on Start, go up to Programs, Accessories then over to Notepad or Wordpad and click.

    Note: I am showing you this method because why write your ebook in a word processor when you are going to convert it to HTML.  Save yourself a step.  Remember this book is free and is not going to be put in any other format. 

    Mac users, you are on your own — I know nothing related to Macs other than they have something called SimpleText.
  2. Put the following in the blank part of either text editor you've selected:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">

          <title>Name of your e-book goes here</title>

    Don't put anything in your body tag if you want a white background with a black text.  Since I hate staring at a white screen for any length of time because my eyes grow tired, I use the following:

    <body bgcolor="#008080" link="maroon" vlink="maroon" text="#121160">

    It is a muted blue/green background with a dark blue text.  You of course can put any color you wish as your background and text color.  I don't use a jpg or gif for the background because I only want one file people have to download and open or one html file I can send to Mac users via email.

    Next, I put the following in so the browser knows I want my book to have margins on the right and left side no matter what size monitor the person is using.  I've been told by someone who owns a Rocket e­book, this table looks good on it also.  Not having one, I have to take their word for it.

    <table width="75%" bgcolor="#88B0B0" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
    <tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#88B0B0" valign="middle">&nbsp;
    <table width="95%" border="0" cellpadding="25">
    <tr> <td bgcolor="#fffff7" cellpadding="4" valign="top">

    After this, it's a piece of cake.  I write using Basic HTML codes -- you know the ones:


    for Headers with the "x" changed from 1-6 to change size.  One being the largest font and 6 being the smallest.  Actually, I only use from h1 through h4.  The rest I've found are too hard to read.

       <p align="justify">
       <p align="center">
       <p align="left">

    tells the browser how I want my text to be aligned.  I normally use <p align="justify"> for my paragraphs on a non­fiction ebook because with the table width I use, the margins are justified and I like this look.  I absolutely loathe ragged edges.  But, again this is a personal choice.

    Don't forget to put your ending code </p> in because with the Open eBook Standard, which will more than likely be implemented, requires you end or close all your codes.  So you might as well get used to writing for it now and save yourself the agony of putting them in at some future date.

    And, I usually like my text in the following fonts:

       <font face="arial, helvetica, geneva, sans-serif" size="3">

    But this is a personal choice and you can change it to whatever you want.  Specifying more than one font means your ebook will be seen in most browsers the way you intended.  If the user does not have the first font, they will more than likely have the second or third choice and sans-serif just tells the browser to use a generic font that isn't fancy.

    Now you are ready to write your ebook. Just make sure when you start new paragraphs, you put in the <p align=xxxx> codes and your ending </p> codes.  After you're finished, don't forget to put in:


    because a nested table was used and if you don't put in the required amount of ending codes, the Netscape browser won't show your wonderful pearls of wisdom.  Finally you finish off with:


Hopefully while writing your ebook, you've been saving it.  If not Click on File, Save As, put your file name in and make sure you use the .html extension.

Every now and again, you will want to check how your e-book will look in your browser.  It's a lot easier to catch mistakes in it than looking at your text editor.  To see an example of what the code above looks like click,

Finally, you can zip up this html file by using a free zip program at:


where you will find some more zip programs.  Most Mac users can extract files from a zip program and if they can't, you can always send them your free ebook via email if it's only one HTML file.

So there you have it, all the technical "know-how" you need to create your free ebook.

About the Author:

Judith Tramayne-Barth's "Up Your Income With Free eBooks" is available to members of "A Good Read Art & Book Club" along with 50 ebook covers.  For more information, visit:



When you've finished creating your ebook, a glowing review has excellent promotion value.

The most professional reviewers, I think, can be found at:

At this site you can also subscribe to a bi-monthly review newsletter featuring more inciteful reviews of the latest books/ebooks around.

Word Weaving edited by Cindy Penn - one of Amazon's top fify reviewers. Cindy awards The Word Weaving award for worthy books. Her reviews are published onsite. Her site also features loads of articles on ebooks and publishing.


A site that makes stunning free banners that would help advertise and promote your ebook or site

Articles on Promotion and Marketing of Your Ebook

* Net Serveint Com


Adding your ebook url to search engines is a must if you want people to find it.

* Search Master

Free Traffic Tools!

* Ebook Heaven

Click here

Add Me!

ExactSeek Search Form #2 HTML Code:


A Dynamic Online Program For 3d Text Creation

Just type in your text, choose the color, font and style, and your graphics will be created.



* 5D PDF Creator - This is an excellent free program to compile documents from within Word into PDF files. You can include graphics and coloured backgrounds. To access the program, you need to join the forum - takes seconds and it's free.

* HTMLDoc - This program generates indexed HTML, Adobe PostScript, and PDF files from HTML files that you create using your favorite HTML editor.

* PDF-o-Matic - This is a simple PHP script that uses HTMLDOC to convert the web page of your choice.

* Gymnast - Gymnast provides a no-frills conversion of text files to Adobe Acrobat PDF format without the need for any additional Adobe software

* KeeBook - Keebook combines texts, images, HTML pages, animation, sounds and videos in a rich media environment, which can be accessed using any standard web browser.

* The preceeding information was taken from an excellent, free email course:
4 DAY EBOOK COURSE by Dirk Dupon

A Free Ebook By Shelley Lowery:

Ebooks - A Complete Guide to Self Publishing

This excellent ebook is a complete guide to creating a professional looking ebook and includes the following information:

* Researching
* Brain Storming
* Designing Your Ebook
* Compiling Your Ebook
* Uploading Your Ebook
* Designing Your Ebook's Website
* Writing Effective Sales Copy
* Creating a Download Link
* Promoting Your Ebook
* Accepting Payment
* Setting Up an Affiliate Program
* Increasing Your Ebook Sales