What makes an e-Book?

Posted on Jan 7, 2019 - By Paxton Sellers

E-books, or “electronic books,” are designed to look like print books but are optimized for a digital format. With an e-book, the content is available from any smartphone, computer or e-reader. The convenience is part of what makes e-books so popular. That’s one of the reasons why we focus a lot of our efforts on creating helpful digital how-to guides here at OnPoint. The other goes back to our motto.

OnPoint’s digital how-to guides/e-books fully inform consumers on a wide variety of topics, empowering readers to accomplish different tasks and goals. Whether you want to renew your driver’s license or are looking for tips on finding the best gear for ocean fishing, our easily available guides are the perfect resource for both convenience and information. But why should you create an e-book?

Why should you create an e-Book?

Numerous entrepreneurs offer e-books on their blogs or websites as a marketing tool. The modern user is saturated with ads and excels at ignoring them. Offering a quality e-guide is a marketing tactic that draws potential customers. Interested readers will trade their email for a free downloadable file, and this is an effective way to generate a targeted list of consumers who have a definite interest in your topic or product. In addition to generating leads, a published guide is a show of expertise. As Google will tell you again and again – consumers have greater trust in those that they consider experts, and so do search engines.

Additionally, there are no printing or shipping costs to publishing an e-book, allowing producers to create valuable e-books with low costs. The digital format also enables the use of multimedia elements like audio links or color images that would be too expensive to print. Furthermore, a downloadable file can be embedded in any link, so you can share your guide through your social media, your webpage or an email blast. Then, when you decide to write an updated version, revising an e-book is as easy as editing the file and posting new links. Once the guide is released, it will continue to generate passive income.

Writing Your First e-Book

If you have expertise on a specific topic and can write about 20,000 words, then you have what it takes to write an e-book. Unlike print books, e-books should be short. The digital screen offers a convenient experience for an on-the-go reader, but it is not conducive to hours of uninterrupted reading. This is why short e-books with frequent stopping places perform well online.

In terms of formatting, you have a few different options at your disposal. You can publish your guide as a .pdf file, as these are simple to produce and designed to mimic the size and shape of printed paper. In addition, you can also hire professional formatters to create .epub or .azw files. Keep in mind, if you plan to sell your e-book on Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon will require the file to be .azw or .azw3. Meanwhile, most other e-publishers prefer .epub files.

You should also hire a professional designer to create your cover and add other images that will appear throughout your guide. Otherwise, you may be risking the loss of readers who are turned off by an illegible design. It’s important to remember that your cover will display as a thumbnail, and it has to be attractive to customers to get them to click.

Once you have your book produced and ready to release, be strategic about your promotion. If you want the e-book to succeed, make sure to:

  • Select a purposeful release date. Consider when interest in your topic will be high. If you have written a self-help guide, demand will be highest around the New Year when people are making new resolutions. Meanwhile, a breakdown of modern political jargon and how it is used will be in high demand around election times. Timing is everything when it comes to your release date.
  • Get advanced reviews. Even if you plan to offer your guide as a free download on your site, reviews are essential. Reviews prove that readers should get your e-book over a different one on the same topic. Bloggers can solicit reviews from other high-profile bloggers, while businesses should secure reviews from respected industry professionals. Publishers planning to sell their file on Amazon especially need reviews, as a product without a single review is unlikely to appear in search results.
  • Promote the e-book. Even when produced as a marketing tactic, e-books need to be promoted. An e-book that performs well adds more credibility to the writer or company that created it. Embed links to the file in all social media pages, emails and web pages. Run Q&As on Facebook or Twitter. Send email blasts before and after the release. Send an inquiry to local media and request press coverage. If the e-book is an expert guide, consider producing short webinars or free classes to promote it. Make sure to try a few separate approaches for the best results.