It seems like every day I come across a new link to an eBook that claims it will revolutionize the way that I do this or that. Each time I research the eBook, it is nothing more than a poorly written word document that some no name person is selling for about 5 to 15 dollars. Most of the time this is information that can be easily found elsewhere on the internet. I am not saying that all the eBooks are bad, Cameron Moll has a great one relating to Mobile Web Design, and Freelance Switch has their wonderful offering. However these are the exception and not the rule.
Basically most of these eBooks are just plain crap that is being sold to turn a quick buck, and most people have become very aware of this. I spent an entire summer internship creating eBooks for a university sponsored organization. Along the way I was fortunate enough to learn the correct way to do so. If you are going to attempt an eBook I would suggest following these guidelines to assure your book is both successful and more importantly, professional.
- Only write about what you actually know. Too often do people try to step outside their areas of expertise when writing an eBook. When they do this, it is normally very apparent that the author is not an expert in the subject they claim to be. It is never a good idea to try and trick people into thinking that you know what you are talking about, when they find out the truth they will be more than happy to tell the world about how bad a product you have sold them. With the power of Google, a bad review is only a quick search away.
- Collaborate with other experts. Teaming up with or hiring another expert in a related niche to write an eBook has a number of great benefits such as increased credibility, a larger amount of content, and multiple places to promote the book.
- Create a logical structure. Believe it or not many of the eBooks currently on the internet lack even the simplest forms of structure. Using a table of contents, and defined sections can go a long way to making not only your content easier to write, but easier for your customers to process.
- Find an editor. In the world of self publishing, anyone can be an editor. It is even possible if not encouraged for multiple people to help with the task of editing. It is somewhat accepted that an eBook does not go through the same level of proofreading that a book created by a publisher would so this process does not have to take forever, however you should make sure that all obvious grammatical mistakes are corrected. Repeat this process as many times as is necessary to make sure that you are absolutely happy with the content, it will only benefit you in the end.
- Cite your sources. Make sure to cite all of the sources that you use. Not only is it necessary to avoid any possible plagiarism charges but it also adds value to your eBook by providing references to other resources that your readers can use to find out even more information on your topic.
- Embrace design. Too many eBooks are nothing more than poorly formatted word documents that just appear plain amateur. By taking the time to design your eBook you will stand out for the crowd and give credibility to your book.
- Establish your credibility. Basically, no one wants to read what you have to say if they do not know who you are. By making sure that people know who you are, why you are justified in writing about a subject, and what your background is you can assure that any reservations clients might have had are not an issue. The final three tips are just a couple of suggestions that can help increase your credibility.
- Write a guest post on a blog. Most bloggers will allow you to post a short link to your eBook in exchange for a well written article. This essentially allows you to piggyback off of the blogger’s credibility and increase you perceived experience. The short link and description also allows your eBook site to gain some SEO and traffic, which has benefits of its own.
- Send some copies to bloggers within your niche. If you are too busy to write a guest article for a blog, you can also try sending top bloggers within your niche a copy to review. As long as you have created a quality product, this is a great way to get exposure without appearing like a sales pitch.
- Give away a piece. The best way to make potential customers feel like purchasing your eBook is not a waste of their hard earned money is to give them a sample. By giving away a free chapter you can let them read enough to get hooked and establish your credibility at the same time.
Remember that creating a professional eBook will befit you much further than rushing out a cheap worthless document. If you take the time to create a worthwhile resource, you will find that people naturally refer your product and increased sales will be the result.