Writing a book can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In today’s digital world, many business owners are using e-books as a marketing tool to establish their expertise and help build their business’s reputations. You don’t have to be a brilliant author to create a high-quality e-book that customers and potential customers will find useful.
E-books have many advantages as marketing tools:
- You do not have to worry about printing or inventory.
- They are a relatively easy way to reach a global market, especially if you set up distribution through a site like Amazon.com.
- They are a great, free promotional tool. You can build a landing page on your site which lets visitors receive a free download of the e-book in exchange for a name and e-mail address.
The first hurdle to creating the e-book is coming up with an idea. E-books don’t have to be long (something as short as 10-20 pages will suffice), so the topic can be a solution to a specific challenge. Think about the questions you receive most often from your customers. Don’t be worried about giving away too many of your secrets—if your e-book helps customers overcome a small problem, it will build their trust in you. They’ll come to you again when looking for solutions to bigger problems.
The tricky part for some businesses is the writing. Some tips: create an outline, stay on topic, and pack in as much useful information as you can. If you give away a free e-book that doesn’t offer anything new to the reader, it can lead to more bad feelings than good. Once the writing is finished, make sure to edit your work for clarity and then proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Nothing says “unprofessional” like an excess of mistakes. If you are not confident about your writing or editing skills, consider hiring someone to work with you on the e-book.
The design of the e-book is equally important. Though readers will never hold a physical copy of your book in their hands, your cover still needs to be eye-catching. Whether on your Web site or on Amazon.com, the cover will be what catches people’s attention.
Once completed, you have to get the e-book to your customers. There are many different distribution options:
- Simple PDF – Your e-book can be a PDF that you offer on your Web site, for people to read on their computers or smartphones.
- More complex – You can convert your e-book to be used on e-readers, such as Kindles and NOOKs, and distribute through a vast network online sites, including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. An online search will turn up numerous options for conversation services, and The Write Place offers assistance with all stages of e-book creation.
For more on this topic, read our e-book FAQs.