This article is primarily about how to write an eBook for your business promotion and a little about what you can achieve as a result of writing an eBook. It will also inspire individuals who have been thinking about writing an eBook for personal reasons – as a memoir or a way of documenting experiences. Firstly, what is an eBook? An eBook is short for an electronic book which can be used on multiple, portable electronic devices to read on the go. Secondly, why are ebooks so popular? Well, it goes without saying that they are very convenient to read. Also, and more importantly, business ebooks help spread ideas, knowledge, worthy information, techniques and create a foundation for author/reader relationships for the future. Ebooks allow businesses to spread the word about their chosen field, expose their ability to solve a problem, inform readers of future publications and offers, and tons more! So let’s dive into how to write an eBook for your business promotion: Write an eBook that is suitable Ebooks don’t have to be hardback novel style 1000 page books. Not at all. You’re are not writing a chart buster epic, but a book to educate and inform the readers on a niche topic that can be short. By all means, write a novel in your own time but for your business, stick to the core idea and make it 100% relevant. When you are writing an eBook for business, you can concentrate on a single subject and if necessary, you can draw in a few other subjects just as long as they are relevant to each other and tie in well within the capacity of the eBook. Brainstorm the main concept, hypothesis and build your ideas from there Completely ignore the title of the book for now and give maximum concentration to the content of the book. It’s as if you’re working backwards and that’s ok, you’ll be more qualified coming up with a fantastic title for your business eBook when you’re done with the content. The title must be outstanding! Generating ideas for writing an eBook Generating ideas for writing an eBook need not give you sleepless nights. And if they do, it’s not the ideas, but probably the thought of how you are actually going to pull this off. Great ideas are all around you, you simply need to focus on what matters to your target audience the most. Say if you were a travel agent specialising in cultural cuisine excursions, can you think of topics that your audience would like to be more informed about? – For example; which countries offer the best cuisine excursions and why, top cooking destinations for organic food lovers, the local food experience the Caribbean people never told you about, and the concepts go on and on. Writing an eBook that your audience wants will trigger the best response and appreciation. I recently consulted a business who I thought was in a very niche industry – Crisis and Disaster Prevention. How to write an eBook was one of our discussion topics and this is what we came up with – When disaster strikes and panic sets in what should people do, you’re the boss and your buildings on fire – abandon ship or work like a captain, a manual for a safe evacuation of a school…. Ideas are all around you, give your audience the ability to have what you would have wanted if you were in their position. Share the passion for your business with focus directed on the end user – the reader. How are you going to write the eBook One of the reasons that ebooks have become so popular is because they are fairly inexpensive to produce. The ebook cycle is normally a three step process – create book, promote book and deliver to reader, and with the amazing technology available this can be processed almost instantly. The questions you need to ask yourself before you begin writing an eBook are fairly straight forward; 1. What is the concept? 2. Who is the target audience? 3. Will you publish the eBook in the future? 4. Are you planning on writing it or are you hiring a writer? 5. Will your eBook contain images and graphics? 6. Is it interactive with videos, task forms and navigation? 7. What message are you expecting the reader to take away from it? 8. Will the eBook be free or is payment required? From experience, these would be the core questions which can be broken down into more sub-questions. For example, ‘Will the eBook be free or is payment required?’ question will be followed by how do you plan on delivering the eBook and on which payment platform. Don’t worry, as you brainstorm, questions will naturally arise and you will comfortably answer them. The eBook has been written and now what? If you are the writer hence the author, there are a few technical elements which you will have to bear in mind. Firstly, once you write the initial content in text format, you’ll need to transfer it to a page layout and design application such as Adobe InDesign or Apple’s iBooks Author. This will enable you to design the feel of the eBook in a professional, deliverable way. You may need to hire a graphic designer for this part. Secondly, you will need to output the eBook in a compressed, portable format which can be uploaded and downloaded from the web easily. The best format to use is a PDF or Portable Document Format. Lastly, you will need to upload the eBook onto your website or blog’s server at the same time giving with reader access to the eBook from the front-end of your website or blog. This is where it gets more complicated. Whether you’re giving the eBook away for free or payment, a smart thing for you to do is capture the readers details through a sign up or registration form in exchange for this amazing eBook. Why? So that you can inform them of future publications, sales or offers as they may be interested. If it’s paid for, you’ll also have to implement a secure payment platform procedure on your site or alternatively, use a distribution channel such as Apple’s iBook Store, Amazon or similar. If you don’t feel comfortable with implementing the last registration and payment procedure, I would recommend hiring a techie to do so for you. Also note, there are many different devices like the Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo and more for which the eBook can be tailored for. I won’t go too much into this area for this is mainly about how to write an ebook. Promoting your eBook Writing an eBook can be just as challenging as marketing an eBook. The fact is if it’s as good as you say it is, which should be the case, then the word will spread from the initial readers and it will self promote. Nevertheless, you must keep marketing the eBook on a constant basis as if it were a product or service. You can market the eBook on the various social media channels, have it available on your blog, send your customers an email announcing the launch of the book, announce it on your company website, share it with your online industry groups and so much more. Content marketing is a great way of driving traffic to not only your blog and website, but also to this eBook. It is a great way of drip feeding valuable information contained in the ebook to your readers via your blog. The blog posts could be a dashboard full of valuable information, but in order to get the juicy stuff they have to download your eBook. Use your Twitter account to make announcements about your blog content and your eBook. Share a link to the eBook page on your Facebook channel whether it be a company page or your personal profile. Ask your friends to share it, you never know who might be interested! Are you a prominent member in a LinkedIn group? Why not share it with the members they may thank you for it. Opportunities are everywhere, you simply have to create enough value and benefit in your message for people to take notice. I think the promotion and marketing of an eBook can be an entire post on it’s own and so, I intend on bringing you some fantastic tactical eBook marketing strategies soon. In the meantime, remember the reasons why you’re writing an eBook for your business – ebooks are convenient, positions your business as an asset through great knowledge, creates viable business opportunities, can add a profitable revenue stream and most importantly, delivers benefit and knowledge to the end user, the reader. Have you got some ideas for writing an eBook for your business you’d like to share? If you’ve already written one, can you share your journey of how to write an ebook? Subscribe to BusinessBanter.com Join 6,000+ fellow business people and marketers Get the latest articles straight to your inbox Learn from experienced business people Sign up today for FREE and be the first to get notified of new stories, podcasts and learning modules. We'll never spam you. Powered By PopUp Domination TwitterLinkedInFacebookGooglePocket Felipe C. Content is king. Excellent post Shameer! Thank you for your contribution. Charlie King Shameer excellent blog. It is something I have discussed with clients many a time about ebooks and having a step by step process like this can really help people plan. I do however think that more could be said about writing the book yourself or bringing in a writer because if you want to write it yourself the timeframe of putting pen to paper can be a lot longer than originally thought. David Woods of LID Publishing is explaining next week the real pros and cons of bringing in a ghost writer. http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Thank you very much Charlie. Quality ebooks are always time consuming but can bear great rewards for both the reader and author. Zadin Lalji This is an inspiring article. I love to write an ebook, but have not achieved yet. One day I will write on too. http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Thank you Zadin. Just do it! Focus on what you’re good at and do it. Samuel Awesome post with great tips Shameer. As you have rightly pointed out ebooks are a process, a journey that can be elaborate or very simple, but they must convey a message that is valuable to the user. How long did it take yourself or business banter to write the above book? Thanks Samuel http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Hi Samuel, thanks very much for your kind words. The ebook available above took me about 6 months not including research. It is a 60 page book and my first one so, I guess it was inevitable. bamps Great tips – it’s been an ambition of mine for as long as I can remember. http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Thank you Jeremy. Set a goal and do it! There will never be a right time to produce your ebook, you just have to set a target and get stuck in. Thanks for stopping by. James I can see the pros and cons of both free and paid for ebooks. What’s your experience with this? By the way, really good post! http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Hello James, both Free and Paid ebooks are viable ways of creating and producing a qualified database for marketing and spreading your knowledge. The bottom-line with both is that they must delivery value and benefit to the reader in a way that lends in creating a good reputation for you – unique content coupled with value! I have personally not offered any Paid ebooks, but only Free. And it is working wonders for the readers as they have testified. I hope that helps. Karl Rainer Hi Shameer this is a lovely post on ebook making. It’s to the point and as you say, it can help anybody who’s looking to put together an ebook, do exactly that with ease. Thanks for sharing some awesome tips!! http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Thank you very much for your comment Karl. I truly hope it helps you in all your endeavours.