Ken Reno DIDN’T Make This!

So, I received an email that mistakenly gave Ken Reno credit for my latest EZ Ebook Template Package.

I’m writing this post to be sure that everyone knows I created every EZ Ebook Template Package without any help from any outside sources, beyond all the terrific tools I use that is.

That’s why I put in a “READMEFIRST” PDF file in every package. Not only to let you, as the buyer, know what you can and cannot do with the package, but also, to let you know who to contact in case you need further help using the package.

Ken, while a great guy, didn’t create any of the packages, but is a legal reseller.

There’s a big difference there boys and girls.

And, I’m positive, Ken had nothing to do with the slip up.

I’ve put in a support ticket to the company who sent out the message so they can make everything correct. So we’ll see how that goes. — *UPDATE*: Yes! The company sent me a personal email and told me they are making the corrections giving me credit.

To further clarify….

I purposely only offer Master Resale Rights to my packages for a good reason…..

So that I can finally get some recognition, whether good or bad, from the hard work I do. Period.

Sorry Ken, but I’m taking my credit back! :-D

All right, rant over.

What Do YOU Want To Learn?

Since I’m not a very good psychic, I’d like you to tell me what you want to learn how to do with OpenOffice Writer and EZ Ebook Templates.

No matter how silly you think your request is, post it up here and I’ll place up a tutorial explaining how to get it done.

Why am I doing this?

To make this site a better fountain for learning. And the best way to do that is to hear from you!

So, just post up a quick, or long, comment telling me what you’re having trouble with and I’ll create a freely available tutorial just for you.

And, before you get too sheepish about adding your request, just remember, you may not be the only person struggling with an issue :-)

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Let’s work together to make this site a better place to learn!

In the first portion of this tutorial, we assembled our tools. And, discovered some free places to amass even more cool stuff to add to our own OOo ebook template designs.

Now, in Part 2, we’ll actually begin the first steps to building our own OpenOffice Writer ebook templates. Don’t worry, it’s really easy to do. For simple designs. We’ll cover the tougher stuff in later tutorials :-) .

So, let’s get started. . .

STEP 1: Open Up OpenOffice Writer

Pretty self explanatory, just open up the OOo program and create a new Text Document. You can do that by clicking on “File> New”, but since you’ve just opened up the program there should already be a new Text Document there waiting for you to add content to ;-)

And here’s what it should look like:

STEP 2: Insert A “Default” Header & Footer Into The Document

Again, pretty simple, but here’s the actual ‘break down’ on how to do this . . . .

Go To: Insert > Header > Default

You will now see a new table looking portion at the top of your new text document:

Now, to insert the footer, do the same thing:

Go To: Insert > Footer > Default

Again, you will see a new table portion at the very bottom of your new text document:

The next thing you should do is enter some basic text inside both the Header and Footer.

Normally, I simply add “Ebook Title Here” or “Author Name” inside the Header section along with the Page Number that I either set to the far left or far right.

**Quick Tip : You can also add in a table to better separate any text and page numbering to make things flow better inside your headers and footers.

To add a Page Number count, simply go to: Insert > Fields > Page Number and it will show up wherever you place it. You can find the text alignment settings in the upper toolbar inside OpenOffice Writer shown here:

And here’s what I came up with for my Header default text:

To separate the “Ebook Title Here” text and the Page Number, I just added extra spaces with the space bar.

Now, do the same thing with the Footer. Personally, I like to add something like: “copyright(c)2008 Your Name or Site Link Here” in this area, but you may want to do something different.

Again, you can right align, left align, or center align this text just as you did with the Header text in the same manner.

Here’s what I ended up with:

To get the neato copyright symbol, just go to: Insert > Special Character and a new window will pop open, then just find the copyright symbol, click on it, hit OK and it will auto insert it.

You can also insert a table to add and separate text and special fields section such as Page Numbering( as mentioned earlier ).

Do this by following: Table > Insert > Table

You can make further adjustments to the inserted table after you have put it inside the area you want it to be in by Right Clicking inside one of the table portions, or “cells”.

A new window will pop open giving you plenty of options for adding colors, borders, background colors, table size proportions, and more. Just play around with the settings to see what you can come up with.

Also, to adjust the column widths, you can simply left click and hold the button then drag the middle column line.

STEP 3: Select A “Page” Background Image & Add It

To add an image to the entire ebook, or “Page”, background area, you will need to right click somewhere inside the new Text Document “white area” — this is exactly what it sounds like — the “white” area within the text document that isn’t inside the Header or Footer areas you just added.

This will bring up a menu. Inside this menu, find the linked word: “Page” and left click it once.

A new window will be brought up that looks like this, or similar to this depending on your computer operating system:

Remember too that you can use any .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif image you want for the background.

Personally, I would try and stay away from backgrounds that don’t provide a center “white” area for your ebook contents. This would make reading much more difficult for your audience.

However, you can always add a table right on top of the background image you select that is filled with the color white. That would solve the problem :-)

STEP 4: Add Your Ebook Content

Now that you have your background in place — if you choose to use one — and your Header + Footer added, all that’s left to do is add your ebook content.

When I use the word “content” I’m mostly always referring to text contents. But, you could be creating a graphical ebook. At any rate, all that’s left to do is add your own stuff inside your ebook template.

STEP 5: Save Your Work & Export As A PDF

Pretty easy here.

Just hit: “File > Save”

or, you can also use the little blue floppy disc icon on the toolbar — just left click it once

Either one will save the document. And of course you’ll have to give your new ebook .ODT file a name.

Then, all that’s left to do is hit the little PDF icon and presto! You have your own uniquely designed ebook.

In both editable .ODT format and non-editable .PDF format to pass out to your customers/readers.


Don’t be afraid to play around with font settings for your text, sizes, colors, adding plain colors to your ebook background, and changing your header/footer styles.

You can come up with great looking ebooks no matter what your skill level. It’s all about playing ;-)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

I’ll be adding more in the near future.

And, while you wait, be sure to have a little fun out there!

3 New FREE Ebook Templates Added

Took a while, but I’ve managed to add 3 all new free OpenOffice Writer ebook templates to the Free Templates page.

I’ll try to get a few more up in the next week for you to download as well.

But, for now, enjoy the new templates!

Before we get into the actual creation of our very own OpenOffice Writer Template, we’re going to need a few tools.

Now, for the basis of this, and other tutorials available freely on, I’m going to make some assumptions about the tools you actually have. I’m going to assume that you have the same tools I do.

But don’t worry, I’ll also have alternative suggestions for the higher priced tools that I use ;-) .

Okay, with all that out of the way, it’s time to get down to the first portion, which is. . . . .

Being Prepared By Having The Right Tools Handy

Simple, right?

But, having the right tools can make a huge difference in what types of OOo ebook template creations you can come up with.

So, here’s what I use:

1.) OpenOffice Writer — Duh!

2.) Photoshop 7

3.)’s Color Picker Tool

4.) A Good Resource For Color Schemes — like

5.) A Slammin’ Place To Generate Web 2.0 Stripe-y

6.) A Few Extra Graphic Resources — like Photoshop Layer Styles, Photoshop Brushes, Ebook Cover Actionscripts (that’s for Photoshop too ), Royalty Free Images that can be included inside “for sale”, or “commercial”, template designing, a place to help with template ideas, etc.

Now, if you’ve got good resources like those listed above, coming up with killer OOo ebook templates is much easier to do.

But, don’t be fooled. It’s still kind of tricky to do, and does take some time. However, it’s nothing you can’t learn with a little bit of help ;-) .

So, if you don’t have the things on the above list, it’s time to let you in on where to get them and some great cheaper alternatives to some of the tools.

1.) OpenOffice Writer Alternatives
Um. Okay, why would you need one??? It’s FREE dammit! Plus, it’s really the entire basis of this tutorial, and the entire site, so if you don’t have it and you want to continue on, then GO GET IT!!

2.) Photoshop 7 Alternatives
Really, I think you should be using Photoshop when following along, but I know it’s pretty expensive. Even for the older version I’m using.

So, a good alternative, that’s also FREE, would be GIMP.

Lots of people use it. And it works fine for them.

However, there are certain things that we’ll be using in the following parts of this tutorial that will require you to have Photoshop, like Brushes, Layer Styles, and Actionscripts. Those are designed to work solely with Photoshop, so it may be a good idea to download a free 30 day trial of the program from Adobe.

At least that way you’ll have 30 days to play around and learn how to use Photoshop :-) .

3.)’s Color Picker Tool Alternatives
Well, I don’t know why you’d need an alternative since the tool is free. But, if you do, you can purchase a similar tool from But again, you really don’t need an alternative to free. . . . .do you??

4.) Good Resources For Color Schemes
The color schemer site isn’t the only place to check out cool color schemes. There are a few more places. Oh, and every one of them is free to check out the color schemes, so there’s no worries about cost here! – for those of you that prefer to create your own unique color schemes :-) – a terrific place to spy all kinds of neato color schemes, patterns, and other cool colorful stuff

ColorSchemer Gallery – the standard for checking out tons of color schemes

Daily Color Scheme – nice site that offers new color schemes every day

Page Painter Color Scheme Gallery – a number of color schemes to check out

Adobe’s Kuler – pretty cool site with very attractive color schemes

5.) Web 2.0 Stripe-y Generator Tool Alternatives
Well, again, the Stripe Generator site online tool is free to use. Plus you can browse other people’s stripe designs and get some great ideas of your own. So, I think this one is the only one you need :-D

6.) Extra Graphics Resources
You can never have too many of these sites bookmarked. The tricky part is finding sites that offer free, or not too expensive, graphics to use inside designs you plan to sell. Those are few and far between at this juncture, but I’ll do my best to provide you with a few places . . . .

Creating Online – so far, looks like you can pick up some free stock photos and can use them multiple times within your designs without having to purchase an extended use license, but this is for the FREE photos listed ONLY

Wikipedia Public Domain Image Resource Page – this has a pretty good listing of places to get “so-so” images you can use commercially for free

Image*After – a decent resource offering free images that can be used commercially in your designs – this use to be a great place to pick up some free images to use within your template designs, but they have since changed their terms and this is no longer allowed.

but, you can get some great ideas for desiging by browsing through their gallery.

and, if you’re just making ebook templates for your own use, then adding their images is all right, so long as you’re not reselling it? messy stuff, i know!

feel free to read through their terms of use, maybe you can decipher the usage rights.

Big Stock Photo – this site is a little bit more lax with their terms of usage, but if you’re going to be reselling your template multiple times, then you’ll need to purchase one of their “special licenses” for every photo/image you use.

again, check out their terms of use before using any images in your “for sale” products.

Free Photoshop Brushes – contains a nice list of places to pick up personal use and commercial use PS brush sets

bsilva’s Squidoo PS Brush List Page – even though you’ll have to pay $9.99 for each commercial brush set you want to use in any resellable works, b includes some really nice free Photoshop brush sets you can play around with, along with tutorials and other interesting stuff

SpoonGraphics Urban Brushes – these can be used within commercial designs( read the comments on the page and you’ll see what I mean ) and they are very, very good

Emma Alvarez’s Butterfly Brushes – a lovely collection of soft butterfly shapes that can be used in commercial designs with a few restrictions

Nice And Easy PS Brushes – free for commercial use, a few sets that are interesting and could be useful to you :-)

Free Web 2.0 Layer Styles – the best web 2.0 styles I’ve found anywhere online, free or otherwise. i prefer to use these on my text and sometimes within a header/footer design. they’re fantastic!!

Okay, that was a LOT to digest.

I know. But think how much more prepared you’ll be when we start designing our very first ebook template. And how much simpler it will be.

Tomorrow we’ll start getting into creating a simple design that doesn’t use a whole mess of extra graphics.

Then, future tutorials will include creating more complex graphics and how to turn them into killer ebook templates.

How To Edit EZ Ebook Templates

All right. Several people have asked me about how to edit the EZ Ebook Templates, and really, it’s not that complicated at all. That’s why I call them “EZ” Ebook Templates ;-) .

But, if you are on the fencepost as to whether or not you should purchase the package due to a “learning curve”, this detailed tutorial might help you make a clearer decision.

How To Edit An EZ Ebook Template Easily

This section will explain to you how to go about making use of any EZ Ebook Template.>

First, let me say that each of the included ebook templates were saved in .ODT format. The reason for this is to make using them much easier for those that are well seasoned in using OpenOffice Writer, and for those that are not.

You can save them as a “template” for reuse in your version of OpenOffice Writer in just a few easy steps.

I would recommend though that you first get the template looking just as you want it to before saving it as a template for OpenOffice.

Here’s how to save it as a real template. . . .

STEP 1: Load The Template You Want Inside The OpenOffice Writer Program

To do this, simply navigate to the folder that contains the .ODT file you wish to open.

Then just double click on the ebook template file you want to open, as pictured above.

STEP 2: Save It As A Template

Once it’s opened up, all you need to do is click on >> File > Templates > Save. .

Then you can make any further settings necessary such as template name, etc.

Again, saving these .ODT ebook templates as actual “templates” isn’t a necessity to use them. Most people are going to want to simply open them up, make adjustments to them by adding their text, images, etc., and then hitting the “One Click PDF” button to generate a PDF ebook.

You may want to adjust the font settings to something more suitable to your ebook needs. The font being used throughout many of the included .ODT templates is called Myriad. And in two different styles: Myriad Pro and Myriad Pro Condensed.

Myriad Pro Condensed is what is being used for these words as you see them here.

It has been set at a 13 px size. Again, this can be adjusted to your liking. You may decide to go with something a bit easier to read.

You can make adjustments to the fonts by highlighting all the text you wish to change by left clicking and dragging over the text area with your mouse, and then selecting a different font from the drop down menu on the text tool bar above in the upper left hand side (as pictured below).

You can get more information on how to make further adjustments with the EZ Ebook Template Manual that is included with the EZ Ebook Template Package #2.

In other tutorials, I will explain in greater detail how you can make adjustments to the header and footer graphics for the templates using Adobe®Photoshop® 7 or higher.

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