I get this question on a regular basis from people who have never worked in publishing: Should I create an ebook to market my idea/product/brand?
NO! It’s a bad idea for many reasons, starting with:
- They introduce delays and barriers to people reading what you have to say. Ebooks usually require a login process to access the content, which may be a lead-generation form (if it’s a PDF) or an Amazon account (if it’s a Kindle book).
- If the target audience member does not have the right device to read them on, you are excluding them from your message. Not everyone has a Kindle or a tablet, or wants to read an ebook on their phones.
- Some audiences rarely read long-form content of any kind. This is particularly true of younger demographic groups, which are more accustomed to shorter reads, videos, and social media messaging.
- Ebooks are a pain to produce. You will neither need to create a PDF or epub file. Yes, there are templates. Yes, you can export from Google Docs or MS Word. But unless you have an experienced designer helping you out, the results will look amateur hour.
- Ebooks are not easy to share. So someone loves your ebook. Great! If you’re lucky, they’ll leave a five-star review or share a link to the detail page on social media. That’s it. They can’t embed the book, pass it directly to a friend, or share it in the same way people do with YouTube videos or social media posts.
In summary, don’t bother writing ebooks to spread an idea about your product or brand or whatever. Few in younger target audiences such as millennials or Gen-Z will read them, and they introduce numerous barriers considering the requirements to prepare them and get them in the hands of readers.
For marketing ideas or products, a far better place to start is YouTube and/or a good Facebook presence. These will not only reach more people, they can also serve as the foundation of an important marketing channel once views and subscribers begin to build.