E- Books – Marketing

An e-book is an electronic version of a traditional paper cover book. A lot of people think that you need to purchase an “E-Reader” in order to enjoy an e-book, this is not the case. You can view e-books from your cell-phone, tablet, or computer with ease. 

There are e-reader apps that you can download from the Google Play Store for your Android tablet or phone for free. The e-reader apps give you more options such as bookmarking pages, highlighting and saving portions, and make notes like you would be able to with traditional paper books.  Although these options are available, you still do not need to download an app in order to view e-books via PDF files. You just won’t have the options you would have with the e-reader apps. 

When it comes to the cost of e-books, you can get some free or discounted books, but most of them cost the same as paper copies. e-books can occasionally be more expensive than traditional books. 

The following material comes from the book Social Media Marketing – A Strategic Approach

Creating an E-Book:

Step #1 – Assess needs – It is necessary to have a clear vision of the goals you wish to achieve. After you define your goals, you should define your audience, having a clear idea of the audience will help you later determine what material to add or keep out.

Step #2 – Plan – After or during the first step, start planning how the book will be constructed. Consult with a sales department to see how your book will be integrated into the sales process, and how it will be distributed. Next decide responsibilities, and estimate costs. A polished e-book will require research, writing, illustration, editing, and review. Calculate your out-of-pocket expenses as well as labor costs to provide a rough figure for time and resources needed. 

Step #3 – Acquire Information – Relevant knowledge can be obtained from reading and research or through interviews. Interviews are especially important for uncovering information that may not yet be broadly available. After gathering facts, analyze how they can support your goals from step #1. 

Step #4 – Organize Content – It wouldn’t be surprising if step #3 has uncovered an unimaginable amount of information. Now comes time to organize. Determine the most important, and it would be helpful to create a simple outline with groups and subgroups to represent different themes or strands of information. *Too many subgroups can complicate things later on* Hopefully after you have created an outline, you will have a road map for the final case study.

Step #5 – Design the Look and Feel – Different audiences may have varying expectations for presentation and formatting. Think about what your model reader would prefer. If you have help with graphic illustration, they will be able to create the “look” after being given general guidelines. If no help is available, try using a preconstructed page template. They come with most word processing software. 

Step #6 – Write – Now comes time to start the writing process. Fill in the content that was outlined earlier using details gathered through research. Keep in mind that your audience will most likely be educated, but don’t get bogged down with too many technical details. Prevent miscommunication with readers by explaining all acronyms, and by using consistent wording. Keep your writing style direct and uncomplicated. For the first draft, focus on explaining your material well. 

Step #7 – Illustrate – Good e-books contain visual as well as textual elements. This keeps your readers engaged. It is especially useful when you have complicated material. Visual aids are essential in keeping the focus of your audience. You should create your illustrations at the same time as the writing process, so they go well together. Ensure that your illustrations convey the primary content and selling points of your e-book.

Step #8 – Review, Revise, and Approve – In the first viewing, your e-book should be evaluated by experts in the field, or ideally by some of the people interviewed during step #3. This will help catch factual errors in your material. The final copy should also be reviewed by senior management of the company who is sponsoring your e-book. Some examples of improvements to the final draft include: writing style revision, improved flow of text/images, grammar check, spelling, and so on. Before sending to publication, make sure you check with legal and accounting departments to avoid later conflicts. 

Step #9 – Publish!! – Always check the final output to ensure that it correctly transferred from final draft, to a final product version. This nine-step process may seem exhaustive. However, it reflects an industry standard. 

Marketing with E-Books:

Generally, e-books are used for identifying a problem, and supplying an answer to the problem. In most cases, the ultimate goal for e-book marketing will be the same: draw attention and develop a company’s reputation for thought leadership and then use that expertise to generate sales. In order for this to be successful, the audience must not perceive the content to be overt marketing material. It is important to keep a distinction between overt and convert goals. An e-book will require more subtle framing than with a standard advertising pitch. Do not include the product name or description in the title of the e-book. Instead, describe a problem, some common solution, and then finally discuss what special benefit the product being marketing has in solving this problem. You need to develop a clear case, and need for this product. Do not miss the larger opportunity to advance a brand’s image and reputation by making the mistake of treating these publications as purely a marketing platform. 

Happy e-booking!

– Kelsey xox