With the explosion of mobile reading devices has come an explosion in eBooks. Or is it the explosion of eBooks that has created an explosion in mobile reading devices? Whichever it is, eBooks, whether it be for the Amazon Kindle platform or another platform, are being sold by the millions. Amazon now claims to sell more eBooks than physical books through their site.
Which means you should be definitely be offering up at least some of your content in a digitally published format. The number of digital platforms will probably continue to grow, but the 800 lb. gorilla in the game is certainly Amazon with its Kindle Reader.
Regardless of the platform, the biggest challenge you will face in getting people to consume your content is that many will download an ebook for later and then forget it. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.
If you can get your reader to identify his or herself quickly as a buyer of your eBook you can employ some consumption techniques not available if you don’t know who bought your eBook. If it was purchased directly from your website—great, you know who they are. And you can employ follow-up consumption autoresponder messages to drive people back into your content for an eBook just as you can for any type of information product.
But if they purchased on Amazon or another site the seller doesn’t shoot you an email to tell you who has bought your eBook. That’s why your book has to contain bounce-back offers designed to drive them from the book to your website where they will opt-in for additional content. Then you’ll have them on your list to send your consumption autoresponder series as well as market additional products and services to.
Ideally, these bouncebacks should be as early in your eBook as possible.
You don’t want the reader to have to get all the way to the end of your book to find those bonus items they have to go online to collect. Some people have had great success mentioning a bonus item and telling where to retrieve it right on the cover of their book. Then people don’t have to have read any of your eBook at all to possibly get on your mailing list by going to collect your bonus. Heck, they don’t really even have to have bought your book—they may have just previewed your cover online.
Of course, we hope people will buy our eBook and start to eagerly consume our content. Once people get into your content the biggest issue that will affect continue consumption is the formatting of your eBook. If it is poorly formatted it makes you look like an amateur and people won’t take you or your content seriously. It has to look good or it makes you look bad.
Before you make any Kindle book or other eBook live be sure to take advantage of any tools provided to make sure things look good. Kindle has a previewer that will show you what the finished product will look like. Use it.
Look at your eBook in the various reading apps—Kindle, Nook and Apple iBook. Have others look at your eBook before it goes live in these apps. They will often spot issues you never saw yourself even though you’ve proofread your own work ten times.
Bad formatting will simply kill the consumption of your eBook. This is one thing you have to be sure you definitely get right.
Don’t hesitate to use linking within your eBook to increase interactivity. Both internal links and external links can be used to increase reader involvement in your book. An involved reader is more likely to fully consume your book than an uninvolved reader.
Let’s face it—eBooks are here to stay and you should be taking advantage of digital platforms to help you distribute your content. Make sure it is well formatted and, like with any book, physical or digital, make sure that you are delivering quality content that will engage your reader and have them anxiously looking to you for more.