June 4, 2012
Recent statistics indicate that shorter social media formats that deliver quick bursts of information continue to replace long-form written communications.
Regardless of such trends, audiences for extended written pieces remain engaged.
Amazon introduced Kindle Singles in January 2011 (works of 5,000 to 30,000 words sold for $0.99 - $4.99), and reported two million individual sales of the format in March of this year.
E-books that Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble sold are distinct from those circulated freely on the Web — the former in commercialized ePub or Amazon Mobi digital formats and the latter commonly as PDF files. However, either distribution method can introduce authors to new audiences.
According to an April report that the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released, one in five Americans read an e-book within the past year. About 43 percent of American adults say that they have either read a book or other long-form content (magazines, journals, or news stories) in the past year on an e-reader, a tablet, a computer or a cellphone. And 28 percent of Americans own at least one device for e-reading, either a tablet or an e-reader.
Marsha Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations and author of “Celebritize Yourself,” says that books establish expert credibility and create a platform for speaking, interviews and generating consulting revenue.
Tapping the thought leadership influence of print or digital books requires aligning your thinking and composition process with your goals and audience. Friedman’s advice includes defining why you are the ideal author for sharing specific expertise and to make your points unique from what someone else has already written about a topic.
Offering free e-books is an inexpensive method of spreading your message and generating awareness. People commonly share tiny URL links to e-books shared on social networks.
On the other hand, pricing your e-book for commercial distribution conveys value worth paying for and exposes your material to people who may not have found it elsewhere. Pricing can also generate incremental revenue. In addition, Kindle allows you to share e-book passages on Facebook and Twitter.
Offering both free PDF and priced digital editions of your e-book is another worthy consideration — expanding reach while also supporting reader preferences.
Is an e-book right for your company, client or cause? Explore these resources to learn more.