The stratetgy of publishing ebooks as part of web marketing to promote your business may not be at the top of your “to do” list. But perhaps it should be.
Being a published author – and this includes the author of an ebook – gives credibility to your knowledge base, whether you are an air conditioning service company or a labor relations attorney.
Let’s take the air conditioning service company as an example:
If you wrote an ebook (this can be short) about the important elements of cooling residential and commercial buildings, your prospective customers could read your information before hiring your company.
Why not just provide a free report on the same topic?
Because having an ebook available for purchase on a site such as Amazon is more credible than simply providing a free report via your website.
The marketing advantages of having a Kindle ebook on Amazon:
Amazon is the big elephant in the room for ebook sales. And Amazon wants to stay that way. To do this, Amazon has created numerous opportunities for traditionally published and self-published authors to “promote” their books on Amazon. (And, yes, if you publish an ebook on Amazon you are an author.)
One way to promote your book is to create an Amazon Author Central profile. On this profile you can include information about – to continue with our example – how you have based your book’s information on your own experiences in the air conditioning service field.
The same or similar information can be included in an author bio in the ebook. And if you put this bio at the beginning of your Kindle ebook, instead of at the end, the bio will be included in the automatic “Look Inside” feature on your book’s Kindle sales page.
How about if you are a labor relations attorney?
Writing an ebook can be very effective for your business because you can help make people aware of sand traps in a company’s labor relations. Yes, you will be providing information that the book readers can follow themselves.
But I would wager that a large percentage of your ebook’s readers who have such issues will not want to handle the legal aspects themselves. They will need an attorney to do this. And who better than you?
KDP Select option on Amazon:
Amazon offers the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select option when you upload your ebook. This option requires exclusivity for the ebook (a physical book format is not included) in 90-day periods.
In exchange for granting Amazon this exclusivity, you get two major benefits:
- Amazon Prime members can borrow your book for free (and Amazon pays you for each “borrow”).
- Five free days in any configuration during each 90-day period. Numerous sites offer the ability to post your free KDP Select days – providing exposure for your book to expanded target markets.
Wait a second you may be saying! Why give away your ebook for free?
Because – and this is very important to remember – you are using an ebook NOT to sell books but to enhance the credibility of your business. Thus the more people who have downloaded your book the better.
(People do NOT need a Kindle ereader to read your Kindle ebook. Amazon very wisely provides free Kindle apps for PC, Mac, iPad, etc.)
Warnings about Kindle ebooks:
After self-publishing numerous ebooks on Kindle, I have fallen into sand traps (and extricated myself from these).
Two of the most important sand traps to avoid:
- If you hire a company to convert your manuscript to the Kindle format, make sure that the ebook is uploaded to your own KDP account and NOT the account of the ebook converter or you will lose control of your own ebook.
- If you hire a company to convert your manuscript, make sure that the conversion software being using includes KindleGen rather than a third-party software such as Calibre, which is no longer supported by KDP.
Now the above warnings raise the question of why not simply upload your own Word doc to your own KDP account and let KDP convert it to the Kindle format?
The answer, according to people who know, is that the resulting formatted ebook is not the best it can be. And people do write scathing Amazon book reviews about poorly formatted books.
In conclusion, consider how writing an ebook, or a series of ebooks, can enhance the reputation of your business.