Two reasons to get stoked and make an ebook

Happy Cyber Monday (by the way, I hope you had an amazeballs holiday weekend)! People will be buying new tablets – iPads or their mini-mes, Kindle Fires or Droids and join the growing tablet consumer base.


photo credit: Jules Holleboom via photopin cc

You can write. We write on a daily basis in text messages, blogs, emails, Facebook and Google chats, the rare snail mail, and we write in the air when we speak or sign.

So…why don’t you write an ebook to adorn these new tablets? I suspect some of you are groaning and I feel you. But you can. There are two key reasons why business owners, community managers or website owners should consider writing an ebook. Woot! Let’s get the fire under your tush going, no?

Lead Generation

Ebooks are an effective way to get subscribers to your blog, newsletter and increase exposure. When you build a base of loyal subscribers over months and years, your chances of revenue increases (i.e. customers will be inspired to call you for consultations, buy more books in the future, or refer you to someone in their network).

Short and appealing ebooks are easily shared and saved, leading more unique vistors or repeat ones to your website. I have a folder on my desktop full of helpful ebooks at my disposal and I love it. Repeat exposure is positive. We reread books, watch our favorite movies more than once because we love them.

You can read this great how-to blog from Aweber (one of the most popular email marketing tools) to send free ebook to your subscribers. I know there are other ways to achieve the same goal for your blog, including MailChimp (free for beginners!) and I’d be tickled happy to have you share your tools and experience in the comments.

Digital Books are Smarter (and you’ll get smarter too)

TED is about ideas worth spreading and golly have I got one for you. I got to attend a TEDx event recently and one of the speakers was Dominique Raccah from Sourcebooks.  I will say I didn’t expect it to be one of the most memorable speeches. When the printing press came out, it was revolutionary. In the old days the technology enabled ideas to act as change agents and circulate in mass publications. Now, digital books are today’s most compelling change in how we interact with literature and the ideas are shared much more rapidly.  Read about a killer example from the Sourcebooks blog: Shakesperience - how the user interface improves the learning of Shakespeare.  You can include social media for sharing or links to relevant context to help the reader and enrich knowledge for all, including yourself as you write and research to prep for your author debut(s)!

Bonus: Even there is a Google analytics for ebooks – Hiptype. Sign up for their beta version!

Hold your horses…a few tips before you make an ebook:

  • Do not make it too long. Two to ten pages would be fine (but if it’s on the longer end, it should have a lot of visual breaks and comfortably sized text). People want to digest ebooks easily especially for free. Paragraphs, short sentences, quotes that take up half of the page can work. If the reader is serious about investing time and learning, they’re more likely to look for a book to purchase or read longer books and you don’t want to shoot for this the first time.
  • Eye candy. Pictures, quote bubbles and a few bold colors.
  • Ponder about the audience. What problem does your ebook solve? How will it better their lives or business?
  • Have a tweetable and epic title that makes everyone else 1) wish they had thought of it and 2) feel they’re missing out if they don’t download it.
  • Worry about the format later. Get the important stuff out. Hijack your creativity.
  • It HAS to convert to PDF before it’s universally downloadable. Open Office or Word can work just dandy!
  • Good content won’t get anywhere without design to enhance its appeal and readability. Blurb is a stunning hub for self publishers and even includes Instagram, Blog, Facebook or Wedding print books and ebooks.
  • Our own Phil Gerbyshak, a new Steamfeed member, recently came out with an ebook of his own. Check out The Naked Truth of Social Media and you’ll see why a catchy title and graphics will make you go “Oh, I’m SOLD.”
  • Write when you’re actually stoked about the topic!

Who’s excited?? I think ebooks also make a fitting New Year’s resolution…

Anne Reuss
Bringing new definitions to communications on social media, Anne Reuss is a social media business development consultant and community manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm. She's got a penchant for tech, startups, adrenaline, slurpees and Illini football. Find her on mutiple tweets on @AnneReuss. She is originator of the ongoing 'Signs of Startups' challenge, a collaborative project positioning startups to ramp up brand inclusion by creative communication.
Anne Reuss

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  1. Daniel Rosca says:

    There are so many reasons to make ebooks, but as you also specified in this article the ebook should not be so big nor even so small. Personally, I am writing the most important posts parts-structured so that in the end I can easily export everything into PDF and keep a small and well-organized ebook.

  2. Anna Rydne says:

    Very good advice, Anne! Being provided with these useful links, I will consider writing en ebook myself some day. For those already having a blog, I guess a bit of rewriting of the existing content will form a good base for a book.

    • Anne Reuss says:

      Thanks so much :-) For sure – there could be another whole blog post on how to repurpose content you've already written. You could expand, crowdsource some expert tips, write about what to do vs what to not do or add humor…..I hope you have fun and keep us in the loop! (I'm working on one too!)

  3. David Brier says:

    This is exactly what I did this weekend. I took a HIGHLY visual hardcover book of mine, Defying Gravity & Rising Above the Noise, and made into an ePub…

    It's on the longer side but so visually stunning, it's a fast read.

    I am VERY stoked about. Here is the link for your readers to enjoy:

    It's UNLIKE any other eBook I've ever seen and shows how to brand, rather than endlessly rambling on about it.

  4. Daniel Hebert says:

    Great post Anne! And very timely!

    DJ and I were just talking about starting up a newsletter for SteamFeed a couple days ago – and had mentioned using Ebooks as a way to create more leads. :)

  5. TheJackB says:

    I keep saying I am going to bear down and write my book, but I haven't done it yet. I appreciate this push to get it done and the links to the various resources.

  6. A very helpful post Anne, I have been struggling with producing a book and the choice of an ePub has certainly filled much of the planning. The guidance you have provide is solid,

  7. jacobkcurtis says:

    I've always been under the impression that E-books are difficult to produce. Of course I came to this conclusion before I even gave it a shot.

    After reading your article and hearing "Do not make it too long. Two to ten pages would be fine " I'm now looking forward to giving it a shot! I had no idea!

    Thanks for clearing the air!

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