First things first, everyone needs to begin on the same page (pun intended). This means having the same idea of what success looks like. An e-book is ultimately a downloadable asset designed for lead generation. It needs to present a problem, offer a solution, and have useful insights peppered throughout. The information inside it needs to be compelling enough to entice a reader to give up their email address. So, tell a story that matters.
Now that everyone is in agreeance on the intention of the e-book, it’s time to start kicking off the execution process. While the ‘book’ part of the e-book may make the task seem daunting, the act of creating an e-book is fairly feasible when you break the process down into realistic steps.
Start with an abstract (or two) that you pitch to stakeholders – everyone needs to be on board with the concept before you draft thousands of words. Once you’ve got a conceptual green light, make a workback schedule that feels achievable. For your workback, you should break your drafting schedule out across a few weeks, sectioning off an hour or two a day to make a dent on your e-book. Once you’ve got an abstract and an approved schedule, it’s time to build a comprehensive outline that dictates the exact structure of your book, from the introduction to the sub-sections to the conclusion. Uncover a few holes in your technical knowledge when you make the outline? Fear not. That’s what subject matter experts (SMEs) are for! Don’t hesitate to ask for help and get counsel or expertise from the people who know the product or process the best.
From there, you should be ready to draft. When you start smashing them keys, just remember to pace yourself. Take the e-book section by section, day by day, with your outline acting as your North Star. If you’re feeling stuck, come back to the draft a few days later with fresh eyes. The best writer is the best editor, so don’t be afraid to redline your work, just as long as all revisions are made with the narrative arc top of mind.
Now, what happens when everything is signed, sealed, delivered? When your massive e-book undertaking is a finished product? Time to promote, promote, promote. An e-book is such a great asset in the first place because it can inform an entire campaign, maybe even an entire quarter of the content. Since an e-book is kind of a big deal, treat it as such. Start your campaign out with teaser content that warns users a valuable thing is coming their way. Then, when it’s time to push the asset live, get all hands on deck and slice and dice the crap out of your e-book. Since the asset is so much content, it can be used to inform blogs, podcasts, video, creative, etc. Plus, since it does have so much content to it (and that content is often evergreen) you can promote your e-book for quite a while, as well as re-promote it during timely events or opportunities.
In short, creating an e-book isn’t as hard as it looks, folks. Ready to get drafting your next pillar asset? Learn your e-book ABCs by listening to our latest episode, “Confessions of a Content Creator: The ABCs of E-Book Creation.” And stay tuned for our next episode where explore all things SEO (or, in some cases, SE-uh-oh).
To catch more episodes of “Confessions of a Content Creator,” be sure to rate, review and subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and most anywhere you get your podcast on. Happy writing!