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An introductory guide to eBooks for your business

Advice

An introductory guide to eBooks for your business

If you are well-versed in your chosen field, consider e-book publishing as a way of increasing your public profile and getting the word out - literally - about your small business.

If you are well-versed in your chosen field, consider e-book publishing as a way of increasing your public profile and getting the word out - literally - about your small business.

Between iPads, Kindles and notebooks, customers are spending more time reading screens than ever before, leading to an expected rise in eBook sales. There’s been a spike in electronic self-publishing in the last few years, something small business owners were typically barred from because of time restrictions and tech know-how. But with the capability to distribute widely without cost, and some simple tools to help get you on your way, putting your ideas in tablet form could greatly benefit your business.

Why does it benefit you?
A publication is an event, regardless of where and how you do it. Putting something out into the world (assuming it’s not total waffle) is a pretty big deal and can attract publicity accordingly.

Sure, you can send out a press release about a sale you have on camera lenses, but imagine if you wrote an eBook documenting the best lenses from around the world? This is branded content that you own and can be used as an authority in future transactions with both clients and other businesses.

Think about reach.
Even if you don’t charge for your book, the gains come in building a larger audience -  the generic, open-source format of most eBooks can be downloaded onto almost any device, including mobile phones. Your current audience is limited to those on your email list. An eBook can be shared and found by absolutely anyone who is searching for information on your topic.

How to get started
There’s no need to be daunted by them - eBooks are published in a universal format, which is essentially a glorified PDF. Preparing your material on any word processor is the best way to start, breaking up sections into chapters so they are easily digestible for your readers, who will be viewing on a variety of mediums.

When it comes time for laying out the pages, there are various options you can take depending on how comfortable you are with publishing. Some local sites offer software which can convert your document into an optimised eBook format.

For those with extra budget, other sites offer services more like regular publishers, proof-reading your material and creating the file for you, sometimes even promoting it.

Advanced tech wizards can use Adobe Creative Suite tools (such as InDesign) to layout your own eBook. The more time you spend researching, the easier it is to do more of the project yourself.

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