A Review of Designrr’s Agency Plan
Strange to be writing “a better way to create ebooks online” so shortly after posting a scintillating review of Designrr but a few short months ago. Particularly when you consider the speed with which you can have a customized ebook. It literally took minutes to create my first ebook, 15 Keep-it-Simple Tips for B2B Networkers . I don’t even want to think about the hours/days/months putting together my other books and ebooks.
So that initial review was based largely on three things. The speed with which you could create ebooks. The quality of those ebooks. Finally, the ridiculous $27 to buy the standard version of Designrr. Talk about a no-brainer.
Was Designrr perfect? No, but you shouldn’t expect perfect. Just value. And the incredible value made me want to take it up a notch and purchase Designrr’s Agency Plan. Especially after I was able to create some ebooks for clients and charge more than double the cost of the Agency Plan.
Making better ebooks
You may have heard the expression “more is less”? That doesn’t apply when comparing Designrr Standard vs. Designrr Agency. You have more templates to choose from, bigger photo library, more cover designs (a lot more), etc. Yet the more that helps the most has to do with the number of formats that you can create an ebook from.
With Designrr standard, you are limited to blogs and copy and pasting text as well as importing one-time from Facebook groups. With Designrr’s Agency Plan, you can import your text from MS Word documents and PDFs, as well as unlimited imports from Facebook groups.
Importing from PDFs is a huge benefit. The book I mentioned in the previous blog, Recipes for the Roommate-Impaired, was written in 1992. I stored it on a floppy and by that I mean 5-inch floppy. That left me nothing but the hard copy to convert a book I spent an entire year on into an electronic format.
That left two options: scan it or re-type. I chose to rescan. With the PDF from the scan, I could create a Kindle version of Recipes for the Roommate-Impaired. I could not do that with Designrr’s Standard.
So Designrr’s Agency Plan does make it easier to get text into the document.
Working with the text remains a challenge. You have to use the backspace button rather than the delete. The version of your document you upload better be as close to final as possible. It’s probably not as bad as I’m making it sound. It’s just not as convenient to edit text as Word.
Other features for making better ebooks
The extras in Designrr’s Agency Plan are subtle but do go a long way toward creating more professional ebooks. For example, you can create ebooks with two columns instead of one. So your ebook can look more like an ebook than a Word document you saved as a PDF.
You wouldn’t think page numbers and a table of contents would be such a big deal in a 20-30 page ebook. Surprisingly, it does matter to the reader. After all, who wants to be scrolling down or page up/page downing all the time?
Creating the TOC is another feature that can be a little difficult to work with. It would be nice if it would automatically update. You have to manually do it and it takes some time using Designrr to feel comfortable with how to do it. CONFESSION: I have looked up how to do this in the help section more than a few times. Yet that’s actually another positive about all Designrr plans. It’s pretty easy to find an answer or get a response from tech support.
Some additional features for creating better ebooks
Again, if you’re looking to create more of an ebook as opposed to a PDF, you have a few options that help in that endeavor. One is the 3D cover creator.
Like the name implies, you can create a 3D cover, which looks kind of cool. Designrr has a tool that enables you to create the 3D image and then it’s just a matter of replacing the image you started with. You would like to think it might be a bit easier than that. Still, it’s not that difficult and gives your ebook a bit more of a professional appearance.
You could say the same for the flip-book feature that’s in the Agency Plan but not the Standard. To be honest, this feature is a bit of a letdown. You can create the flipbook but you can only view it by its unique url. Here’s an example of a book I created for a client.
As you can see, the flipbook looks kind of cool. But when you try to download it, you lose the flipbook effect. Is it the end of the world? No. But it is a minor drawback to a very cool feature.
Creating ebooks with video
This is or isn’t a big depending on the intent of the video. If it’s a lead magnet, this feature adds a lot. Especially to an “About the Author” section where the video can talk to the reader. How cool is that?
Send in the clones
Copying. That’s probably the least sexy but biggest upgrade from Standard to Agency. You can clone an ebook and edit as a separate document. This is a huge development whether it’s a lead magnet or you’re creating ebooks to sell on Amazon. Much like the website, ebooks are working documents. There’s always a change or upgrade you would like to make or that typo that snuck through. Cloning enables you to keep the previous iteration and create a next version to edit.
Last but not least: Kindle-ready
You cannot understate this fact. Once you create your ebook, Designrr enables you to save it in .mobi format. That’s the format to upload Kindle books to Amazon. So, if you have text to create an ebook in less than an hour you can get that book ready for sale in far less time like that.
Again, I will reference my three book publishing experiences. Recipes for the Roommate-Impaired, a self-published paperback, took 18 months to complete. My first ebook, 25 Ways to go from Stepfather to StepDad, took six months. Finally, creating my next ebook, 15 Keep-It-Simple Tips for B2B Networkers took less than an hour.
About creating ebooks online in less than 10 minutes
There is a little salesmanship to the claim of creating an ebook in less than 10 minutes. Yes, construction of the first version of the book will take that long. And there’s the large assumption that you have the existing content. But let’s presume you do and you want to create an ebook that’s not more than 10 pages. You can create it in under five minutes.
Actually, there are a lot of buts to this and it has nothing to do with Designrr as a product. While you may have five posts on a related topic, you will need to create a little cohesion between each post for the ebook. That will take a little time.
You may want to sprinkle in some images with your blog posts. Those images will not transfer seamlessly from the blog post. So you will need to finesse those in a bit there. Maybe mess around with sizes, etc.
You will also want a call-to-action for your ebook/lead magnet. Yes, that could simply be “give us a call” or “check out our website”, but you will want to put some thought into.
Then, there’s editing/proofreading. Even with previously published content, you will want a second set of eyes—preferably skilled eyes—to review your ebook. It’s not uncommon for typos and grammatical mistakes to occur in a blog post. Those take on a greater significance in an ebook or lead magnet that’s positioned to show you as a subject matter expert.
Finally, as a writer, we are perfectionists. You do want to make sure all the proverbial i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. So you will piece together your ebook, review it , have somebody else review it, and then do it again yourself. Maybe even a time or two more. And all that takes some time.
With that said, Designrr makes creating an ebook online an incredibly fast way to put together an ebook/lead magnet. And it’s not an overstatement to say you can have a finished product in less than a day. Even in less than a morning.
Conclusion: Creating ebooks has never been easier
Once you get accustomed to using Designrr, you develop a confidence that you can create a quality ebook without being a graphic designer. As long as you can navigate a template. And if you can successfully create an ebook using Designrr’s standard plan, you can create an even better ebook using the Agency plan.