Friday, October 30, 2009
How to Write (and Market) a Quality E-book
An e-book can satisfy your desire to write, act as a business building tool, and provide true value to others in many ways. There are guidelines you should use to guarantee its quality.
Here are several key points you want to use to improve or guarantee value for readers. Consider them before you write or type the first word of your e-book or any other product you intend to sell to or share with readers. While you read these, notice how they apply to how you can market what you offer more effectively, as well.
You’ve decided on your topic. Who are your target readers and where can you find them? Don’t answer “everyone,” because you’ll reach no one with that approach. Who, specifically, is your e-book supposed to serve? You want to speak directly to them. This helps you stay true to your topic, create a title that let’s them know what to expect or gets them to at least consider what you offer, and helps you fine-tune marketing language so the right audience finds you.
What problem do they want to solve that you can assist them with? What about their life or experience will change because of the information you provide to them? What are the benefits they can expect from the content you include? Benefits can be the obvious ones, as well as what your information can help them avoid going forward.
Avoid the temptation to attempt to solve a lot of problems in one e-book. Focus on a core issue and directly-related impacts on readers’ lives; and give them a system to use that helps them move forward. Provide them with a system that is, as much as possible, easy and effortless, and repeatable. Use narrative to explain why the system works and how to use it, and offer examples of your own story and/or experiences that support your information.
Make value more important than length. If you can provide a genuine method to assist them, how long your e-book is won’t matter to your targeted audience, only that you fulfill your promise. If this were an e-book you sought, what would you expect to find in it and how would you hope the information would be presented? What would your ideal outcome be after you read it?
Include a summary chapter. Offer encouragement that supports their Why—why they sought your e-book in the first place, which was a commitment to move something about their life experience forward. Be sure to give them a way to connect with you whether it’s a designated email address, your Web site link, Blog site, or whatever way allows them to have a guarantee that if they need to ask you a question, they can easily reach you.
If you have other products, services, e-books, books, reports, audios, and so forth available, include the titles, formats, and links to where they can find them. Tell them something about yourself; but just enough. You can direct them to your formal bio on your Web site or wherever it’s posted.
Don’t be afraid to be authentic and original. You may follow the basic format used by someone who offers something similar to what you do, but do everything in your own words and with your own flair. Your authenticity (and your authentic commitment to assist them) will come through to readers, and this can create connection. Especially if they feel you get them and the impacts on their lives of the problem they wish to solve. Don’t try to “sound” a certain way, sound the way you are. Write in your voice.
Let your audience hear the real you, and let them know that you hear them.
Joyce Shafer, LEC and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say, and Write, Get Published, and Promote, helps novice writers of self-development e-books move through the self-publishing process: 6 weeks, 7 steps. http://lifecoacheswriteebooks.webs.com. See reviews of all her books and e-books at Lulu’s online store.