February 18th, 2015
E-books give you the opportunity to generate leads, give away free content, and tackle hefty topics with the breadth and depth they deserve. They should be a tool in every inbound marketing arsenal, but they can be intimidating to even the most veteran content creators. What do you write about? How do you lay it all out? How do you get people reading your e-book?
The topic will make or break your e-book. It determines whether you have a solid, informational piece of content that gets people to your sales team or several pages of fluff. Spend time doing some research and finding a topic that either offers enough depth for you to explore in several sections or branches out into other closely related topics.
Start with an outline. Break the topic into chapters, headings, and sub-headings. If you’re having trouble coming up with sections, consider tweaking your topic or delving into new avenues of related knowledge.
Some content creators believe that an e-book is nothing more than a series of blog posts pasted together. While you should feel free to approach each chapter with the same attention to detail as a blog post, remember that this is a book. One chapter should flow to the next, and the work as a whole should have a definitive beginning, middle, and end.
Some other things to keep in mind as you write.
Make sure you also include:
Hiring a designer to structure the e-book, format the text, and provide icons, illustrations, and other design elements where necessary results in a super slick, clean end product. Unfortunately, this also tends to be the most costly option. If you don’t have a dedicated designer in-house, you’ll have to search within the freelance pool.
No designer? No worries! You can make a solid, sleek e-book with the tools you have on hand. Powerpoint is surprisingly robust, giving you all the tools you need to format text, add color, insert images, and create headings in a simple, intuitive way. Not sure where to start? Hubspot offers five free e-book templates. Simply paste in your text and customize as necessary. Export as a PDF or save it as a slideshow and promote on Slideshare.
And don’t forget Word. It may not offer as vibrant or dynamic of an end product, but Word still has the tools to compile a clean, professional e-book–it’s all about how you use them. It’s not perfect and requires some adjusting, which can get tedious, but the simple formatting goes a long way. Some tips:
Some additional resources you can try out for e-book creation include:
Experiment with these different methods to see what works best for you. Remember, e-books take different shapes and forms, so choose a method that makes the most sense for your current resources.
You’ve written an amazing piece and put it together into a visually appealing, easy-to-read work. You have your final e-book proofread and perfected. Now it’s time to get that e-book into the hands and hard drives of the masses.
Now you have everything you need to create and promote e-books for your business. Good luck! If you have any tips for creating e-books or getting them out there, let us know in the comments.
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