eBooks: Enjoying Success with One Reader at a Time
The majority of articles focused upon digital marketing and publicity campaigns tend to centre around methods such as social media, website design, SEO and client engagement. Although all of these are very useful tools, the humble electronic book (eBook) is another excellent way to spread your unique ideas across a very wide demographic. These tightly packed bundles of information are much more relevant than they may initially appear. Not only can they get an important point across, but they will allow you to present this concept in a highly structured format. Let’s take a look at why eBooks are useful before moving on to the creative process itself.
How Useful are eBooks?
Some believe that the printed word has fallen out of fashion in favour of digital images and infographics. So, it is no great surprise that the eBook has not enjoyed a great deal of limelight in recent times. However, statistics do not lie. According to a recent study, eBook sales are predicted to represent 25 per cent of the total number of global book sales by 2018. 221 million of these books were sold in 2015 alone and as portable readers such as Amazon Kindle become more ubiquitous, these figures should only gain ground. So, why have we witnessed such a success and how can you leverage this momentum to your advantage?
There are several unique aspects which have allowed the eBook to gain a foothold within the digital marketplace. Some of the most relevant are:
- These books are environmentally friendly.
- They can be downloaded nearly instantaneously.
- They are entirely portable.
- They often contain hyperlinks to relevant websites.
- Many boast interactive elements such as audio snippets and slide shows.
- They can be accessed while offline.
From a marketing standpoint, these are all excellent attributes. We should also mention that the average eBook is very cheap to make; there are no traditional concerns such as packaging or physical distribution. In terms of sales, an eBook can be purchased in a matter of seconds and with little hassle. So, how can you create an eBook in order to spread your unique ideas to the general public?
A Look at How to Create an eBook: Becoming a Digital Author
There is no single “golden rule” in regards to how to make an eBook. Much like a writer from the previous century, you will first need to clarify your ideas and come up with a rough outline. This can be accomplished using common tools such as Microsoft Office although some authors prefer to physically write out their concepts with a paper and pen. The process itself is completely up to you.
Let’s assume for a moment that you know your target audience and that you expect your topic to quickly go viral. How can you create an eBook from the digital ether of your mind? The most common method is to use a writing program such as Open Office or the aforementioned Microsoft Office in order to flesh out your general ideas. This material can be shortened, edited or even discarded at a later date. Of course, there are some other variables that you should address. The contents need to be palatable to the reader. Some top tips in order to create an eBook above and beyond the competition include:
- Using images to break up the text.
- Placing hyperlinks within your content when applicable.
- Choosing a font that will easily display on portable devices such as tablets.
- Having it proofread and edited by a professional.
The main takeaway point is that if you are planning to use this eBook to sell a product or service, you will need to approach the creation process from the perspective of a marketer as opposed to an author alone.
What Format is the Most Appropriate?
Formatting is another common question that should be addressed. One of the mistakes that first-time writers often make is to create an eBook that cannot be accessed by specific devices. The best way around this is to convert the completed work into a PDF document. If you are entirely new to the eBook industry, there are a host of unique formatting tools to consider. Vellum has been designed for Mac users while Scrivener is available for Windows systems. After all, what is the purpose of creating an eBook if a certain segment of your audience is unable to view its contents?
In terms of the length of the eBook, the topic will play an important role. If you are explaining a rather light-hearted subject such as the best ways to celebrate the holidays, it is not a good idea to write an oeuvre equivalent to the length of War and Peace. On the other hand, more complicated concepts such as a guide to trading within the commodities markets will likely require a substantial amount of text. Regardless of the exact subject, be sure to stick to the main idea and above all, avoid filler content.
Publishing Your eBook: A Look at Your Options
Publishing has always represented a major stumbling block for authors and thankfully, many of these traditional pitfalls can be avoided. You have two main routes in terms of eBook publishing:
- Individual websites
- Larger online aggregators
Examples of some very popular websites which solely cater to the eBook community include iTunes Connect, Nookpress, Kobo Writing Life and of course, Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP). Your other option is to use online distributors such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital, as these will market the work across multiple eBook platforms. These can often be useful if you do not have the time to manually register with multiple websites. On a final note, be sure to read through the terms and conditions associated with any of these providers. Some will ask for royalties while many are associated with limited subscription periods (such as 90 days) before your account will have to be renewed.
Creating an eBook is a fun and exciting way to address an audience and to generate much-needed revenue. Above all, entering into this world will allow you to express your ideas and to have a lasting impact upon your readers. Sit back, relax and let the writing begin!