Content Creation

How to Create an Effective E-Book


March 24, 2016 (Updated: February 28, 2020)

When you want to stand out as an expert in your field, a great e-book can make your brand shine. To position yourself or your business as an industry leader, you’ll need to make sure your e-book is a top-notch piece. Learn the process to create an effective e-book, from brainstorming to marketing.

Reasons to Write an E-Book

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An e-book can be valuable for your business, as long as you approach the project with the right intentions. Most businesses decide to write e-books for the following reasons.

Grow Your Audience

A blog post can only be so long and generate a limited number of leads, but an e-book can take your blog to the next level. When writing an e-book, you can write thousands of words and show knowledge of a subject. With this platform, you can also build your audience and generate new business for weeks, months, or years.

Become an Expert

When readers consume your blog content, you can’t be guaranteed that they’ll make their way past a single article. In an e-book, you can share knowledge, experience, and research that show how much you know. With an e-book, you can position yourself as an expert in your field.

Build Your Brand

If you already have a personal or business brand, an e-book can help you build on earlier success. Use your e-book to connect to sectors you’ve been unable to reach, get on the radar of thought leaders in your field, and increase your brand’s credibility as an industry leader. In the process, you’ll expand awareness and increase your brand profile.

Methods for E-Book Ideation

All types of content require careful thought and planning, but producing an e-book takes this process to a new level. If you’re not sure what makes an idea worthy of an e-book, consider some of the following concepts.

Collect Blog Posts

If you’ve already devoted significant time to producing carefully researched, high quality blog posts, try repurposing them into an e-book. This idea offers a great way to create a comprehensive resource that directly relates to content you’ve already created. An e-book also lets you provide more value to your audience by collecting information in a single, searchable resource.

Answer Questions

If you intend your e-book to position you as a leader in your field, try answering some of your industry’s most pressing questions. Compile these questions from your general knowledge of the sector or ask for questions directly from your audience. Involving your audience in the ideation phase can be a smart tactic for keeping readers interested throughout the creation and marketing stages, potentially increasing your sales.

Use Your Analytics

When you’re not sure where to start, your own blog’s analytics often hold the answer. Take a closer look at your analytics to decide what your readers search for the most and where you rank highest for keyword searches. Expand that topic into an e-book, and you’ll have yet another tool that will continue to drive traffic.

How to Structure the Writing Process

From the length to the structure and overall concept, the way you write an e-book is different than the way you create a blog post. To make sure you’re headed in the right direction, start with an outline to get the structure on paper.

Establish a timeline for writing and editing, but don’t let this process take over your larger workflow. In most cases, an e-book should supplement your existing content strategy, not replace other production channels completely.

No matter how passionate or knowledgeable you are about the topic, however, producing an e-book is the ideal time to bring in the professionals. Consider hiring an experienced writer or a professional copy editor to make sure your e-book has the impact you want.

Best Practices for E-Book Design

Content is a critical part of any e-book, but the design plays an equal part in the product’s success. As you lay out your e-book, adhere to some basic design best practices.

Create a Solid Title

Readers will see your e-book title before anything else, so make sure the title generates interest. Use a title that accurately conveys the nature of the e-book, but make sure the title also prompts curiosity, answers an intriguing question, or promises in-demand information.

Be Interactive

An e-book composed entirely of text won’t hold many readers. Make your e-book memorable and increase its value by adding interactive media. These media forms can be as straightforward as incorporating links back to top content from your blog or as complex as producing interactive infographics that give your story new life.

Know Your Format

To make sure that your e-book looks the same across devices and is easy to consume straight from your website, PDF is often the best option. To make your e-book available in Google Play Books, iBooks, or some other platforms, go with EPUB format. If you plan to sell your e-book through, you’ll need to format and create a MOBI file.

Best Ways to Market E-Books

Even great e-books don’t generally sell themselves, so have your marketing plan of attack in place before you release your product. Put the following marketing techniques at the top of your list.

Create a Landing Page

The best way to put your e-book to work of generating leads is by making a landing page on your blog. Keep this page simple by highlighting the benefits of your e-book and creating a clear call to action that prompts readers to send their contact information in exchange for your e-book.

Share With Your Email List

Marketing e-books is a great way to build your email list, but be sure to also share the news with your existing list. Invite your subscribers to download and share your content to emphasize the added value that your brand continues to offer.

Promote on Social Media

When you promote your e-book on all of your active social channels, be sure to use distinct links to your landing page. These links allow you to track the effect each platform has on your e-book’s success and better understand where to channel efforts in the future.

Creating an e-book offers a great opportunity to build your brand and expand your audience, but the learning curve can be steep. Follow the process above to make the work more manageable, and you’ll be on the road toward creating an effective e-book in no time.

Author Image - Anna Sonnenberg
Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over five years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.

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