E-books and your digital marketing strategyPosted 14 September 2011 by Sandy Cosser
If you’re bursting with information, and even if you’re not, you might want to consider writing an e-book and integrating it into your overall digital marketing strategy. E-books work because they let you say everything that won’t fit into a blog post. Of course you could distil all your information into a series of posts, but that places you at the mercy of fickle readers. The risk is that they might lose interest or forget to come back or, heaven forbid, find someone else who doesn’t muck around with series posts and gives them everything they’re looking for in one go.
Let’s clarify: there is nothing wrong with a series of related posts. A series can be a good way to stimulate interest and bring readers back. You will need to keep your posting schedule and you will need to maintain the same level of enthusiasm throughout, however. Deviation is not acceptable.
E-books are hard work, but they allow you to publish information in one sitting. You aren’t pressured to produce related posts every day, second day or week. You can take your time and get it word perfect. With a little vested energy (and some money) you can get some software and polish your e-book until it gleams like the professional work you want it to be.
Advantages of e-books
- E-books help establish your professional credibility. You can showcase your expertise and set yourself apart from your competition.
- E-books enhance your online profile. An e-book under your belt adds significantly to your presence online, boosts your reputation and gets you the attention of a whole new audience who might otherwise not have been aware of your existence.
- E-books can be most profitable.
Writing an e-book
As mentioned, writing an e-book is not easy. Quality is not negotiable. If you’re not a good writer (and you need to be honest), you can work with a ghost writer to achieve the desired degree of eloquence.
E-books take time. First you need to plan them.
- You need a topic on which you are extremely knowledgeable.
- You’ll need a unique angle.
- You’ll need to map out chapters.
- You’ll need a killer introduction and poignant conclusion.
- You’ll need a marketing strategy.
- You’ll need to determine pricing.
- You’ll need to spend time on the finished product.
The final point relates to the overall appearance of the book. This includes the font, certain types are easier to read on screen than others; graphics; format, you’ll need to consider how it will appear on traditional computer monitors, smartphones, and tablets like the iPad and Kindle; and the cover.
People are urged not to judge a book by its cover, but we all know that this is hardly ever the case. Spend time creating an eye-catching cover and you won’t be sorry.
Research prices for similar e-books in your market to ensure that you are competitive. Sometimes it’s a good idea to give your first e-book away for free. In this way you can establish your credibility and people will queue for your next one. It can also be a good way to generate publicity.
On the other hand, people are suckers for a good deal. One sneaky way to capitalise on this is to run a “special promotion” on your book. The sneaky bit is that you don’t have to knock anything off your price; all you have to do is tell people how much they are “saving”. Of course, you’ll have to make it cheaper than your competitors.
Marketing your e-book
You will need a landing page for your e-book. If you already have a website all you have to do is add a page. If you don’t have a website you will have to create one from scratch. The page should be dedicated to all things e-book related. Provide snippets of certain chapters. Provide a bit of background for the book and don’t forget to provide your credentials. If you have more than one e-book, have links to the other pages.
Write blogs on your website. Build the hype beforehand, announce its publication and periodically remind people of what’s available.
Write articles for ezines and press releases for distribution. It might be worth your while to purchase a high-end package from a few PR distribution sites to garner proper coverage.
Write guest posts on other people’s blogs (negotiate mutually beneficial terms if you have to).
Send power bloggers in your industry the book and ask them to write reviews on their sites. This could backfire if you haven’t put the necessary work into your e-book. But that’s just incentive to get it right.
Get busy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and other niche social networks, but don’t be spammy.
Have competitions with the e-book as a prize.
Joe Konrath is something of an e-book guru. He has loads of pithy quotes to keep you on course:
It’s about what you have to offer, not what you have to sell.
Hard work trumps talent. Persistence trumps inspiration. Humility trumps ego.
If you can’t be smart or funny, be brief.
Take the final quote to heart.
(Image by NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)