Key considerations for releasing an e-book

May 12, 2015 by
Key considerations for releasing an e-book

Becoming an established thought leader within your niche is one of the greatest advantages that comes with running a successful blog.

IMG_2503Once you’ve made a reputation for excellent content and built a loyal audience, the next step is usually getting serious about creating value for yourself, and in terms of blog monetisation strategies, e-books are a popular choice. If you’re already in a position where people are enjoying your content and are returning to the site on a regular basis, it’s not too much to ask to charge a fee for content which is extra special. And by extra special, I mean content that delivers truly superb value.

Picking a subject

Don’t just release an e-book for the sake of it and hope for the best. If you really want to release something excellent – something that people can justify paying for – then you have to address a genuine need or gap within your discourse.

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame has released countless e-books and has written about the lessons he’s learned along the way. Having his own digital photography site and being highly involved in the field, Darren ascertained that a common problem of photographers was that their subjects were unable to pose correctly, which would ruin otherwise great shots. As a response to this, Darren released an e-book offering instructional advice regarding posing for photographs. This provided invaluable knowledge to his fanbase and generated an entirely justified profit. What kind of unresolved needs do your niche audience currently suffer from? The answer to this question will most likely provide you with an excellent e-book subject.

Don’t jump the gun


If you’re salivating at the prospect of making money before you have a wealth of content-rich articles on your blog, not only should you probably not be blogging in the first place, but neither should you be considering releasing an e-book. Establishing a loyal following requires dedication and great, regular content. This requires a lot of effort and time. This is an organic process which cannot be skipped – although it can be expedited with excellent SEO, high authority inbound links and plenty of networking/promoting, both online and offline. Only once your blog is thoroughly established and you’ve built a solid community of followers will it be time to start considering releasing an e-book.

PR blogger Kayla Hollatz has a few choice words about establishing a readership before you choose to monetise:

“Instead of creating content to sell right away, I’ve given away a ton of free, actionable content to see what my audience connects with. When I do decide to monetise, which will be coming in the (near) future, I will have a better understanding of what my audience is interested in and what topics they will want to learn about in depth.”

Don’t be afraid of outsourcing

Launching a new e-book may seem like a gargantuan project.While you may wish to write it yourself (or not), you’re likely to want to bring other people onboard to help you with the other tasks. Darren Rowse is known to have other authors do the writing for him, and he picks them based on their proven writing skills and intimate knowledge of the subject at hand. This frees up his time to work on the promotional side of things so he can ensure the launch is a success. Other tasks you may wish to outsource include: editing, research, design work and proofreading. It also helps to have a team of dedicated enthusiasts ready to throw around ideas in order to create the guidelines for the book to and provide feedback, both for the artwork and for the writing.

Creating a new e-book and seeing the final PDF properly formatted with excellent graphics and a flashy cover is undoubtedly exciting. However, in order to make sure that the e-book is a success, significant promotion needs to take place with a clear focus on the launch date. How to do this will be covered in the second part of this article.