With the rise of eReaders like Nook and Kindle and the explosion of the iPad and other tablet computers, ebooks have become the latest craze, with numerous writers deciding ebooks are the way to get their work out there and start their careers.
But why? While there have certainly been a number of big success stories, Amazon currently lists over a million Kindle ebooks, the vast majority of which are barely selling. And many “sell” for free or next to nothing. Maybe it seems worth it for people who solely want to be writers to put there work out there, but is there a point for your business to do it? If you feel like you’ve got something useful to say, absolutely! Ebooks make sense for a wide variety of reasons – and in fact with people or businesses for whom they are merely a source of side income, there’s little reason not to do it.
Publishing an ebook is free. That’s right, free. The only thing you’ll lose by doing it is time, but unless you’re creating the content from scratch (many businesses that publish ebooks simply compile and edit their own existing content with a few slight changes), most of that time “loss” goes away.
It’s easy marketing. While most forms of marketing need to be constantly updated and watched, an ebook is something that lives on its own and can gain you new followers and customers without you doing a whole lot beyond the initial writing and publishing of the book. Of course, you’ll have to market it, too, but if you’re already doing that for your business, it’s pretty easy to add the ebook into your existing campaign.
It gives you credibility. Right now, you’re the guy with a blog who sells baby merchandise, but if you write a book about babies, then you’re the baby expert who has his own line of products. That’s sure to lead to quite a few extra sales.
It’s another source of revenue. Unless you’re willing to put a lot of time and effort into the marketing of the book, chances are you won’t become a million-seller. However, even if you sell a few thousand books a year at 99 cents each, it will probably be a nice source of extra income. And beyond those sales, it’s almost guaranteed to bring a few readers in as new customers for your main business.
Additionally, some companies offer ebooks for free or as a bonus for signing up for certain services. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise and feel more “valuable” than a blog entry.
No matter what route you decide to go, you want to ensure a professional presentation, so that this new venue for your content doesn’t tarnish the brand you are building.