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Creating the Better E-Book
by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Aside from free programs, ebooks are gaining popularity among online marketers, web masters and ezine publishers as effective marketing or promotional tools.

They are used as come-ons or "baits" by publishers to increase their ezine subscribership.  Web masters offer free ebooks to drive traffic to their sites.  And online marketers make use of ebooks to provide free and useful information.  At the same time, they include their products and/or business information as part of the free ebook download.

The Irish group, Cranberries, came out with an album a couple of years ago: "Everybody's Doing It So Why Can't We?"  This is exactly what every online marketer, webmaster and ezine publisher should ask when they're thinking of utilizing the marketing power of ebooks.

Yes, everyone does seem to be in the middle of the ebook craze, offering free ebooks left and right.  But, the question should be followed by, "How can I be better at doing it?"

Yes, you CAN create ebooks and offer them for free as promotional tools, but how do you put together an ebook that's better than the rest?  Ultimately, it won't be a question of who did the ebook thing first, but who made the better ebook.  It won't be a re-invention of the wheel; it's how an existing marketing and promotional tool was enhanced two-fold or three-fold to get the maximum response from potential customers.

So what makes a better ebook?  What can you do to offer a better ebook and make that ebook work for you?

The Knowledge Factor:

You wouldn't be publishing an ezine or writing about something if you weren't an expert on something, right?  You wouldn't have put up your own web site if you didn't have something important to share.  Or you wouldn't have started your own business if you weren't equipped or experienced in the field.

This is where you'll get your ebook idea: your knowledge or area of expertise.  What do you know that you can share with potential customers?  If you can write four or five short but meaty articles based on your area of expertise and compile them into an ebook, you're well on your way to creating a good reputation for you, your business, your web site, your ezine or your products.

The Gold From The Dirt:

Your prospective customers will be able to tell if you're offering them a valuable and information-laden ebook or if you're giving them nothing but advertisements of your business or products.

This is the mistake most people offering free ebooks do when they promote their business, ezine or web site.

Yes, you're offering a free ebook, and while people are most responsive to the word "FREE," this shouldn't give you license to bombard the free ebook with blatant sales talk and promotion.  More than anything, using ebooks this way will only turn off prospective customers.  I doubt if they'll download another one of your free ebooks in the future after finding out that the first free ebook you offered them is 75% blatant advertising and self-promotion and only 25% information.

So before you go gung-ho and load every page of your ebook with banners, referral links and red-lettered sales talk, think twice.  Offer them valuable and usable content first, and be cautious with your use of banners, logos and any other blatant self-promotion. I guarantee you, they'll remember you better this way.

Getting The Good Words In:

Nothing beats the power of other people's recommendation, approval and reviews to promote your ebook and business.  Even if your ebook is free, you can solicit reviews on it by people: those who already have a name for themselves or are experts in the field you are in or a satisfied customer.

Use their recommendations when promoting your free ebook.  You can also include testimonials in lieu of advertisements in the pages of your ebook.  This is by far better than peppering your ebook with your own sales talk or banners.

If you want to establish your expertise and a good reputation for your business or service, then let satisfied customers who've used your business before do the talking for you.

Now that you know exactly how you can create the better ebook, get into gear and start writing that ebook!

About the Author

Shery Ma Belle Arrieta is an Officer of the Internet Musketeers, Inc.  To receive more great articles join our merry band of Musketeers, marketing professionals one and all, as we work to return the values of truth, honesty, and integrity to the world of online marketing. Get straight-to-the-point practical articles that cover all marketing issues and all skills, from the novice to the expert, and great value freebies that will make your marketing life easier.  Be educated and be challenged in each stimulating issue of The Internet Musketeers Newsletter.  Send a blank e-mail to subscribe here: InternetMusketeers-subscribe@topica.com or visit us on-line at:

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