While paperback books are still flourishing in many ways, you better believe that traditional publishing houses are still quite concerned about the e-reading phenomenon. The frenzy has been great for authors because of instead of waiting around for a big money publishing deal, they can publish their own manuscript in email format and potentially be just as successful. But as we are constantly learning, ebooks aren’t just for storytellers. They also have something to offer marketers.
Although having something that is well written and makes sense is important, you don’t necessarily have to be a natural born writer to pen a great book. All you need is a relevant topic with an audience, and a passion to succeed. From blogging and email marketing to IT hosting and book publishing, businesses in just about every industry can benefit from an ebook.
Multiple Markets to Engage
You may only specialize in a limited number of areas, but with the flexibility ebooks bring to the table, you automatically have a couple of submarkets to work with it. For instance, you could target people who consume books on smartphones, tablets, or genuine e-readers, as well as those who still prefer to read them from a desktop computer. Choose your favorite platform or target them all to maximize your efforts.
Access to a Bigger Audience
Some businesses make their ebooks available for sell on distribution sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Of course this a great opportunity to generate revenue, but you don’t have to sell your work directly to prosper. Instead of selling it, you could offer it free as an incentive to get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Don’t worry about losing out. The relationships you form with those subscribers could possibly give you a much bigger return than you would have gotten from ebook sales alone.
Added Credibility and Expertise
ebook marketing is a highly effective way to gain an edge in your industry. Let’s be honest: how many of the companies in your niche are using one as a leveraging chip? Probably very few, so having an ebook instantly gives you the opportunity to stand out as an authority. Even if you’re stuck in a market with a bunch of tech savvy forward thinkers, this tool can help you establish more credibility and benefit from your expertise when you make sure you’re offering something of value.
Greater Brand Awareness
At the very least, an ebook is great for branding. Intellectual property rights are always a cause for concern, but you should think about making your content easy to share. Your title gets passed around from Kindles to iPads, then word starts to spread in the social channels. Before you know it your book and your business name are all over the internet. There is work to be done, no doubt, but if you incorporate the necessary branding elements from design to promotion, you can make a powerful impact in the digital channel.
Creating a Killer ebook
ebooks offer a plethora of unique and exciting benefits, but as hinted above, the creation process is crucial. There are several important factors to consider, formatting among them. Thanks to the broad range of reading platforms, formatting can be a strenuous task as your book will likely render differently across different devices. There is also the actual design to think about. Forget the old saying. People will judge your book by its cover, so you at least want to present something that is professional and eye-catching.
I’d be sending you out there ill-equipped if I didn’t emphasize the importance of the actual written content. If you’ve got the writing expertise onboard to get this thing done, great. But if the combined efforts of you and your team barely mount to a decent paragraph, you better think about bringing in a professional writer. A good writer will take your ideas and convey them in a message your audience can understand. You may also want to consider outsourcing aspects such as cover design, formatting, and other stuff you’re not equipped to handle internally.
We’re in the midst of a digital revolution, and this is a world in which ebooks are thriving. You may not necessarily need them, but when incorporated into a well-round game plan, they can do nothing but help your efforts.
Any experiences about using an ebook as a marketing tool? Feel free to share them in a comment.
Francis Santos is a writer for Benchmark Events, a best practices event marketing company.
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