If you’re thinking about diving into the fast-growing medium of ebooks, here are six questions to ask before you take the plunge:
1. What is your objective? Are you out to gain wealth and fame, build your brand or reputation or connect with people who share your passion? Ebooks are not a quick ticket to success. They take a lot of expertise, time and skill, even if your goals are modest and especially if they are grand.
2. How can your expertise help people? You have probably spent years building a deep body of knowledge that you update constantly. Figure out the itch your expertise can scratch, so people have a reason to read. Talk with potential readers or conduct formal research. Develop your theme, ideally expressed in a catchy working title.
3. Do you have archived content to draw on? Whether you have white papers, podcasts or journal articles, your existing material will help you get started. You’ll probably have to sift through the quantity to find the quality, even if you’re using a skilled editor, because you know your expertise best. What’s more, you’ll have to revise to reflect your objectives and that dynamite working title.
4. Are you willing to invest the time? Don’t fall for the pitches about writing an ebook on a weekend or in a few weeks. You have to be prepared to invest the time to produce a book that will compete with the coming flood of ebooks as well as traditional publishers. And don’t underestimate all the time you’ll need to invest in promoting it.
5. What do you need to outsource? Many of the get-rich-quick offers advise would-be authors to hire cheap ghost writers or editors from the internet. Remember you get what you pay for in terms of quality. You’ll likely waste time on revisions if you don’t work with a reliable professional who understands you and your topic. For specialized services such as formatting and cover design, epublishers offer easy templates and quality services. Your name is going on your book, so you have to do everything right.
6. Are you prepared to keep updating your book? If you work in a field that changes, you can’t be offering musty old information. Ebooks, as well as their print-on-demand companions, are living books, that should continue to respond to developments in the world and feedback from your community.
Ebooks are a commitment, not a weekend fling. Just like other parts of your life, the more committed you are, the more likely are they to work for you.