Similar to a white paper, an e-book, or electronic book, is a piece of long-form content presenting complex issues in a visually attractive and easy-to-read format. The main difference is that they are longer, often less technical, and filled with quick takeaways and illustrations. Like white papers, the main focus of an e-book is to educate and engage readers.
E-books come into their own when you want to share information more cleawrly, getting straight to the point. Their format lends itself to breaking down information into smaller chunks to facilitate skim-reading.
Main benefits: to educate readers and establish thought leadership
Tops tips for creating an e-book
1. Consider your audience. What problems do they need to solve? How can you help them solve that problem? Make sure there is a market for your e-book; is there search traffic for what you want to write about? A quick and free way of identifying your audience’s problems is to read Amazon reviews on similar subjects.
2. Think visually. Use illustrations, graphs, pictures, bullet points and sidebars to make it visually appealing and easy to read.
3. Plan how you will promote the e-book well in advance; it won’t promote itself.
4. Conclude with a call-to-action or even include one on every page. Even if it’s a simple “for more information, contact us today.”
5. Prospects are often willing to exchange contact details for a e-book, so make it gated or semi-gated content and develop your email database. To do this, create a specific e-book landing page with no distractions and a simple subscription process.
6. Think carefully about the length of the book. People won’t read 500 pages, but neither will they take a 3 page book seriously. The purpose of the e-book will help decide on the length.
7. Come up with a good title. Remember that numbers work well (there’s a limited number of things that your audience needs to know), use phrases like Easy, Simple and Step by Step, and highlight how your audience will benefit from reading it.
8. Create an outline describing the problem, highlighting the solution and summarising what you have learned. Then fill in the blanks.
9. Don’t try to write perfectly; start with the outline and then just get your thoughts down on paper, otherwise you may never finish it. Make the e-book a conversation between you and the reader, and re-write later to remove repetition, correct mistakes and improve structure.
10. When you have written and edited your e-book text, you’re ready to turn it in to an appealing, downloadable e-book.