6 Elements of an Effective Ebook Allie Wolff The internet is full of tips, tricks, and strategies for writing an ebook. But what’s the point in completing an ebook if it isn’t any good? How can you ensure the ebook your business publishes is effective? You can start by making sure it includes these six elements. A Clear Value Add or Takeaway Why should anyone take the time to read your ebook? What will they get out of it? What will they learn? What will it enable them to do? If you can’t confidently answer these questions, you’re not ready to write an ebook. It needs to be clear what exactly the value of your ebook is. Will it help the reader: Market their business on a shoestring budget? Find new business in one month? Cut costs on their service business without affecting quality? Launch an effective PPC campaign without hiring an expert? Figure out what your ebook’s value proposition is and then make it clear in the title, in the intro, and in every chapter. Clean, Beautiful, and Professional Design We’re visual creatures, and while an ebook is ultimately judged on the merit of its words, it’s chosen based on its title and how pretty it looks. Apologies to every kindergarten teacher out there, but we definitely judge a book by its cover. Good luck convincing anyone that your “Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing” ebook is trustworthy if its title page is an off-center mess in bright purple Comic Sans. If you don’t have the graphic design skills to create your own cover, hire a professional. It doesn’t have to be legendary. It just needs to look presentable, so find a designer who can work within your budget. Believe us when we say that a beautiful cover is worth it. Create an Interactive Ebook The point of a business ebook is to boost engagement with leads who ultimately turn into customers. The first step is convincing them to download the ebook. The second step is encouraging them to actually read it and read it to the end. How can you motivate a reader to finish the ebook? If the ebook is about improving your personal finances, consider making it time-based and resource-driven. For example, an ebook titled, “How to Improve Your Personal Finances Within 6 Months” might include: Checklists Budget templates Spending tracker templates Resource lists This turns the ebook into something a lead not only reads but heeds as well. Adherence to Your Company’s Brand Ebooks are more focused on information sharing than selling, but they are still a product of your brand. It should reflect your brand from cover to cover in everything from its color scheme to its font. If you have a brand style guide, it’s as simple as following it. If you don’t, it’s time to create one. A brand style guide ensures your company is recognizable even when the name isn’t printed right on the page. An effective ebook not only helps the reader, it makes the reader think of your company while it does so. A Well-Structured Table of Contents Not everything in your ebook will be entirely relevant to every reader. That’s okay, so long as your ebook is easy to navigate. Let’s say a small business owner downloads, “How to Grow Your Small Business With Digital Marketing.” The first half of the book deals with traditional content marketing (i.e. blog posts, infographics, social media). The thing is, they already understand the importance of these concepts, and they’re currently implementing them. If there’s a table of contents, they quickly know not to bother with pages 3-8. Instead, they’ll notice that chapter 6 deals with influencer marketing, something they’ve heard about but don’t fully understand, and flip to that section. If that table of contents didn’t exist, they might have dismissed the ebook out of hand instead of scrolling through to find what’s relevant. On that note, never assume the reader will “give your ebook a chance” by flipping through it. Make it as easy as possible for people to find what they need. An Active, Vibrant Writing Style Everything from your title to your chapter headers to your body text should be energetic. Instead of writing, “Sales had increased due to Company XYZ’s engagement marketing” write “Company XYZ boosted sales with consistent engagement marketing.” Notice the difference? The first one sounds passive, lethargic, and corporate while the second sounds lively and enterprising. It has quite the effect on the overall tone of your ebook. An ebook offers a lot of value, and it’s an excellent way to convince visitors to part with their email address in order to become leads. But you shouldn’t limit your ebook to sales bait. Instead, use the above elements to attract leads, position your brand as a source of value, and properly engage with your prospects and customers.