If you’re looking for a unique way to stand out as an expert in your field, writing an e-book is a good way to gain attention. With an e-book, you determine the topic, the length, the approach, the price, the distribution model and every other detail. With the ease of access to e books that Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Program (KDP) has created—not to mention other alternatives such as Kobo, Smash Words, and PubIt—anyone can publish an e-book.
The question is: should you?
While it’s a great idea in terms of promoting yourself as an expert (and a way to generate some extra income), there are some things to consider. There’s a saying floating around some self-publishing circles that says: Just because you can publish an e-book doesn’t mean you should.
Before you sit down to hammer away at the keyboard, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you going to have time to finish writing a book? True, there are some e-books out there that are no longer than 5,000 words or so. But if you want to convey the idea that you truly know your niche topic and are an expert in your business, you should try to commit at least 12,000 words—20,000 words is even better.
- Is there an audience for your book? After you hit the Publish button, will there be anyone outside of your family and friends that would buy it? If your niche topic doesn’t have a built-in audience that would be interested in the information, maybe you should stick to writing the occasional blog post instead.
- Will you have the expenses to hire a professional copyeditor and cover artist? In the world of e-books, the covers in particular are key to grabbing the attention of a potential reader. You don’t want to use something you threw together in 10 minutes with Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint.
- Are you willing to spend time promoting it online? This includes social media and seeking out websites where you can ask to guest blog. This sometimes takes just as long to work out than the writing of the book itself.
And you thought sitting down to write the book was the hard part!