Content Creation

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an Ebook


Published: February 9, 2016 (Updated: February 28, 2020)

Used as effective marketing tools for businesses ranging from home improvement companies to auto dealerships, ebooks share knowledge, delve into niche issues, and serve as definitive guides to important topics. Because of their popularity, however, many well-intentioned authors and business owners make easily prevented mistakes. Thinking about creating an eBook for your business? You need to understand basic eBook best practices, and make sure to avoid these nine mistakes.

Misunderstanding Your Market

Image via Flickr by Office Now

The first mistake that eBook authors frequently make is one of intent. Before you take the plunge and decide to write an eBook, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Writing on a topic you’re passionate about might give you a sense of satisfaction and personal gratification, but if it’s not a subject that garners market demand, you might be looking at long hours of work with little payoff. Before you take the brainstorming sessions too far, assess interests in your field, and ensure that you’re making a smart investment.

Failing to Edit

If you’re looking for a place to cut corners, editing isn’t it. After all, content is the meat of your eBook, and even a couple of errorscompromise the overall quality of the product. While editing your own work might be better than no editing at all, it’s not an ideal solution. Keep in mind that writing and editing are very different skills, and most people don’t have both. Even great writers benefit from a second pair of eyes reading over their work and helping them craft just the right tone.

Choosing Bad Images

From low-resolution images to pictures without sufficient rights, bad images can ruin the look of an eBook and risk its bottom line. In other cases, choosing bad images can sell an eBook short. For instance, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the same old static images when you have more advanced options at your fingertips. The highest-quality eBooks incorporate interactive content like infographics, quizzes, and animation to grab readers’ attention and add new levels of engagement.

Creating an Unappealing Cover

If you think the cover of your eBook isn’t important, think again. Not only does the cover introduce readers to the topic at hand, but it can also go a long way toward selling your eBook. At worst, a poorly designed cover might discourage potential readers from purchasing your product. Keep in mind, however, that even an average cover design can negatively affect your book. When it’s competing for attention with dozens or hundreds of other books, an unappealing cover can seriously limit an eBook’s selling potential.

Branding Inconsistently

A great eBook can go a long way toward establishing your business, and all of the products you create should work together to build your brand. Instead of producing your eBook in-house, consider working with a professional designer to give it the flourish it needs to stand out as an authoritative product. A pro can ensure consistent and effective branding not only in a single eBook, but throughout a series or an entire product line.

Using the Wrong Platform

Not all eBook platforms are created the same, and committing to the wrong one might mean losing out on countless sales or cutting out an entire market sector. Creating an eBook in PDF format and selling it on your own website might be the easiest route for publication and distribution, but it’s not always the most lucrative. Start by assessing the various options available through Amazon, and understand which can help you expand your audience while still helping your bottom line. Don’t fail to understand how selling your eBook through that platform can significantly boost sales and reputation.

Though Amazon is the biggest name in the publishing game, it’s certainly not the only major distribution channel you have at your disposal. Take the time to consider some of the other big names, like Apple or Barnes and Noble, both of which have proprietary eBook platforms. Keep in mind that the eBook market evolves rapidly, so be sure to reference current resources to inform your research.

Lacking a Marketing Plan

Most businesses don’t produce eBooks simply to share industry information. Instead, these products serve as powerful marketing tools that can do anything from making a case for your business’s products and services to establishing you as a voice of authority in your field. That’s why it couldn’t be more important to establish a marketing plan long before you publish. Consider how producing a landing page, soliciting reviews from experts in your field, guest blogging on relevant sites, creating related content on your own site, and leveraging social media can all work to promote your eBook.

Setting an Inappropriate Price Point

Navigating eBook, but the price tag can make or break your eBook sales for a variety of reasons. Pricing that’s too high will almost certainly eliminate some of your potential readers, and not considering the price of a competitor’s product can also compromise your sales. In contrast, pricing too low can limit your return and risk your investment. Before setting a price point, research your market to understand best practices in your industry, and do the math to determine your ideal price point.

Thinking Like a Writer

One of the biggest eBook mistakes is also one that might sound counterintuitive. Although content is key in an eBook, it’s important to avoid thinking like a writer when considering the bigger picture. A writer might be inclined to cover every aspect of a topic under a single cover, but a publisher knows that lengthy eBooks are often uninviting for readers relying on digital screens. Along the same lines, a writer might want to create a comprehensive look at a challenging topic, but a marketer understands the value of breaking an eBook down into a series with higher sales potential.

Whether this is your first eBook or your 10th, you know that creating a marketable product is no accident. Learn from these common mistakes, and produce an eBook that builds your brand, generates new leads, and moves your business forward.


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