Creating Your Book as a PDF by Gini Graham Scott


 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business



Finally, another way to format your book as a PDF, which you can create, promote and sell in various ways.    Here are some of the ways:

– Creating individual chapters as blogs, which you can use to build traffic to your website;

– Using a chapter or section of a chapter as a “gift” to offer to prospects in a sales funnel, so they go on to purchase your whole book or related services and products;

– Using the PDF as a bonus for people who buy your book or take a course from you;

– Writing individual chapters as articles or blogs, which you later combine into a complete book;

– Using the PDF as a handout in a workshop or introductory meeting about what you do;

– Selling a short PDF on a specialized topic, where you are offering special high-value information, such as new investment opportunities, how you can save money on getting a mortgage, or how recently passed laws will affect your business.  Such high value information can be even one or two pages, since individuals are buying the information and are not concerned that this is in a much shorter format than a book.

Typically, PDF books range from a few pages to about 35-50 pages, and often they are double spaced like a manuscript rather than a published book.   Sometimes they are straight text, but often they include photos, illustrations, graphs, and charts.

Of course such a short PDF can also be published as a very short book, such as through CreateSpace or IngramSpark, but it doesn’t have to be.  Rather, you can offer it for free, as an incentive or bonus, or for sale and then provide it in the form of a download, which you can handle manually, if you have a small number of requests or orders, or you can set it up with one of the automatic responders, such as AWeber (, GetResponse (, or MailChimp (, so anytime someone places an order or sends in an email in response to an ad, they automatically get a link to your PDF which they can download.


Creating Your PDF


Since virtually everyone knows how to create and read a PDF from Adobe, I won’t go into how to do that.  But what many people don’t know is how to create a printer-friendly high resolution PDF with embedded fonts.  You need this for some printer programs, such as Ingram-Spark, which I already described, plus you may want to do this if you are selling your PDFs direct, especially if you are including photos, illustrations, and charts, which will show off better in a higher resolution PDF.  Typically, your PDF will be in the standard letter-sized (8 ½”x11”) format.

The way create a high-resolution PDF is to print your original Word document as a PDF, rather than using the “Save as PDF” function in Word.   Or if you are working in an Apple MacIntosh environment, you can do the equivalent in Pages, or save your document as a Word file.

Then, when you print your Word or other document, indicate that you want to print an Adobe PDF document and go to properties.  Then, instead of the standard default setting, indicate that you want to print it as a PDF/X-1a:2001 document.  That will provide the higher resolution and embed any fonts.  Or if you have used fonts you can’t embed, such as special fonts where you need a license to use them, you will get a message accordingly, and you can select another more common font that will embed.


Creating a Cover for Your PDF


While you don’t have to create a cover for your PDF, this is a nice touch, which you can place on the front of your PDF by simply inserting the cover page.  You can also use the cover to promote your PDF on your website or other online sales network, such as ClickBank (

To create the cover, create a design like you would for a front cover for a printed book or e-book.  You can use illustrations, stock photos, have a designer create a cover for you, whatever you want.  Just regard the cover as a promotional tool for selling your book from your website or landing page.


Including Sales Material in Your Book


You can include a sales page, just as you would in a print-book or e-book.  This can go in the front of the PDF, in the back, or both.  Presumably you can use it to sell whatever you want — from other PDFs or published books for sale to related products and services.

The sales page should include a link to your website or landing page where people can obtain the book.  It can also include links to Amazon, if you have any books or products for sale there, since you won’t run into problems for pitching a competitor, as is the case if you are publishing an e-book on IngramSpark, since Apple, which is one of IngramSpark’s distributors won’t market a book which has an Amazon link.  But you aren’t selling your PDF as a published book through any of these distributors and retailers.  Rather you are selling it direct to customers through your website, landing page, or an email or online marketing campaign.


Selling Your Book through Your Website, Landing Page, or Online Marketing


Exactly how to best market and promote your PDF book can be a complicated process, since you have to take into consideration your market and how to best reach your audience.  So I won’t cover that here and leave that for a future book.  Here I just want to cover the basics of setting up your book for sale.  The four basic ways to sell or use your PDF as a gift or incentive include the following, and you can do any or all of them:

Creating an offer on your website.  For this you can create a section on your home page or on a sales page, where you feature the cover of your book and the text of your offer.  Then, if a person clicks, you can then obtain information from them and a typical sequence is to either have them purchase it if for sale with a credit card or PayPal account or send them to a landing page if a gift or incentive, where you collect their email, send them an email from that address to verify they have given you a correct email, and that includes the link to click to get their PDF.

Creating an offer on a landing page.  This works the same way as an offer on your website, except you normally will have a stand-alone page that simply describes your PDF and provides a button to click to buy or a button to provide you with their email so you can send them the gift or incentive.

Offering your PDF in an email campaign.  In this case, your offer is coming through an email sent to a prospective customer or client.   Then, anyone interested in learning more, clicks a button to go to your website or landing page, and then you proceed as above.

Offering your PDF in an ad campaign.  In this case, your offer is coming in the form of an ad, such as through Facebook or Google AdWords.  As with the email campaign, the ad should direct the person to your website or landing page, where  you can provide more detail about the offer, and then you proceed as above.


Turning Your PDF into a Published Book


Just as you might turn a series of articles or blogs into a published book, so you can turn a PDF or series of PDF into a book published in any of the other formats.  For example, if you haven’t already published the whole book, you can build on a chapter turned into a PDF to complete the whole book.  Or if you have turned a blog or article into a PDF, then combine a series of them into the book.

You can then publish the PDF in any of the formats previously described — print, e-book, audiobook, or a class in a course.

One advantage of starting with a PDF is it can be a quick way to get started towards a larger project.  It can also be a way to test the waters to see what kind of interest there is in the project.  And if can be a way to introduce yourself to an audience for this subject, such as if you are setting up an introductory meeting and doing a workshop.

So if you aren’t already publishing a book, this can be a good way to get started.  Or use your PDF as a supplement to help introduce and promote your published book.


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GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and