by Kenneth Rudich
If you’re looking for an effective, efficient and inexpensive way to elevate your business image, then this post is for you.
You can cultivate a greater perception of value with your target audience by publishing one or more ebooks or whitepapers.
Ebooks have become an intriguing promotional tool, especially in the B2C marketplace.
On the consumption side, people have come to entertain them as an agreeable alternative to hard covers and paperbacks. Amazon.com has seen nothing but growth in the preference for them. The numbers don’t lie. They have sold more ebooks of late than any other kind.
On the production side, anyone can publish and distribute an ebook. Forget about finding a literary agent or a publishing house. They are relics of the pre-internet past. The advent of the ebook has democratized the publishing world. It has put it in the hands of many, not just a few.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local realtor, lawyer, dentist, or gift shop owner, you can become a relevant author just by knowing what your customers need and want; and it can be distributed on-demand at your own website, as a book on Amazon.com, or even via the Kindle on Amazon.com.
The point is – and this is what literary agents and publishing houses hate – you can make your ebook widely available to customers and prospects with surprisingly little effort, little cost, and little publishing experience on your part.
why publish an ebook?
The beauty of an ebook is that it provides an avenue for establishing yourself as an expert at what you do – a “go to” person or business. People often tend to perceive a “book” as a credible source of information. Especially if it helps them to better understand something, or solve a problem they face.
Even if they don’t read your book, the mere presence of it can help you to build more credibility. This is attributable to a psychological phenomenon known as the “halo effect,” where one trait or characteristic can influence the perception of other traits or characteristics. In this case, the fact you’ve authored a book creates the tendency for others to believe you must have considerable knowledge about the subject and/or be good at what you do.
That’s why you’ll often see these books for sale at a very low price on Amazon.com or given away free on a business website. The underlying purpose is to capture the benefits of the halo effect, to cast you and your business in a favorable – and memorable – light.
And isn’t that, after all, the epitome of good business?
isn’t writing a book time consuming?
Pulling together an ebook can be done with little to no hassle for you. It doesn’t even have to be all that long. Many are short, as in fifteen to twenty pages.
One suggestion I’ve recently heard makes it breathtakingly easy. It’s a formula, really. It goes something like this:
Take the ten frequently asked questions about your area of expertise, and then answer them with the idea the responses will be converted into a book.
Next, formulate ten more questions you know people should be asking or are failing to ask, and weave those answers in along with the frequently asked questions.
If possible, incorporate some testimonials or case studies to make the content a little meatier.
You can even have a ghost writer do the actual behind-the-scenes work for you. All you need to do is record your verbal responses, have a transcription made, and then let the ghost writer polish it up.
Add a nice graphic or stock image to the book cover, maybe a few other visual touches to make it look bookishly authentic, and you’ll have your own authored work ready for distribution as easy as that.
In the B2B world, the whitepaper frequently becomes the better vehicle for doing the same kind of promotion.
The term “whitepaper” has its own magical powers, especially when it involves technical or scientific content. It conjures the image of an underlying scientific methodology combined with innovation. Even better, it offers the allure of containing important information, like a “must read” for those with a need to be in the know about the subject being covered.
Moreover, a whitepaper doesn’t merely teach; it edifies. The gratification of edification is a supremely satisfying experience for certain types of people.
I’ve seen whitepapers as short as three or four pages — and also longer ones, too. They’ve all shared the common characteristic of promoting a solution, usually waiting until the end to mention that their company happens to provide exactly that kind of solution better than anyone else.
By then the gratification of edification has put you in such a forgiving frame of mind that it seems somehow acceptable for them to slip in a little sales pitch. Why not? After all, you’re still going to walk away a better person for having been exposed to the content that preceded it.
self-publishing equals good promotion
You can put your hard won expertise to further use by leveraging the power of an ebook or a whitepaper.
You might even be surprised by how quickly it can circulate around the internet, or how much it can help with search engine optimization, or spur more word-of-mouth promotion.
All it takes is a little time and effort for a potentially large reward.