Less expensive than producing a "traditional" book, electronic books (or "eBooks") exist in various formats, including MS Word files, Adobe Acrobat pdf files (one of the most popular formats) and HTML files (which can be read using a web browser). Readers can download your eBook from your website, a third-party site (such as Amazon.com), or receive it as an email attachment. If you choose to create your eBook using HTML files, all you need to do is give your readers the URL so that they can view it like any other web page.
Looking to promote your products or services? Consider using an eBook in your promotions. For instance, a caterer might offer books such as "Entertaining for Large Parties at a Small Cost" or "Perfect Wine Pairings" and distribute them to prospective clients. She could also reformat the content into individual articles and submit them to specialized publications. An organizer might select topics such as "How to Set up a Home Office" or "10 Steps to Eliminating Clutter." She could feature these books on her website and create passive income by setting a fee for downloads. Someone opening a coffee shop might market her business with titles such as "How to Brew the Perfect Cup" or a "Guide to Global Coffees."
Want to define yourself as an expert in your field? Use an eBook to share your expertise. A house painter who finds that he's always being asked about painting might write books such as, "10 Things to Know before Hiring a Painter" or "Three Top Painting Techniques." He could market these books on his website, and offer them when meeting with prospective clients. Perhaps each month or quarter he could make a new book available for download or sale. He can market himself as an expert, while creating an additional source of income. Even do-it-yourself painters could benefit from his tips!
Have a group of articles you've already written? Compile your articles into an eBook, with each article as a separate chapter. Use your eBook as a manual for classes or talks that you give. Distribute your eBook as a "textbook" for your online classes. Are you involved in coaching or mentoring? Make your eBook available on your site as a download for your clients or students. Need to create instructions for a product you're selling? Put it into an eBook. Use your eBook as a "thank you" to clients, or as an incentive to prospective clients.
Don't underestimate the power of an eBook. You can use it for marketing, income, building writing credits or establishing yourself as an expert. Whatever your objective, use an eBook to get exposure for your business while sharing your expertise.
Deborah A. Bailey is author of several fiction and non-fiction books, and creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly podcast. For more information, visit http://DeborahABailey.com.