Benefits of Short Form E-books
Today I finished outlining a short e-book. It’s for a series tied to my book-in-progress, The Query-Free Freelancer. It will be a part of a series of short e-books, inspired by friend and colleague Lori Widmer. The e-book series is designed to give readers something to tide them over while I finish the book. It will also help with brand recognition for the book (or series) and hopefully serve as a good platform piece to draw in others who might be interested in the later book.
The price of this e-book will probably be $4.95 — half the price of the last e-book which was a bit longer, and significantly less expensive than my more comprehensive Web Writer’s Guide e-book (also intended to be a series).
While this project is in the works, I thought it might be a good time to talk about the benefits of short e-books like these (25 pages or less for the sake of argument).
5 Benefits of Short Form E-books
- With very short e-books, you can price low to appeal to new readers without de-valuing your work or the information provided. Keep in mind we’re talking about “low” prices in terms of information product e-books — not fiction on oversaturated marketplaces like Amazon where rock bottom pricing has turned into a marketing frenzy.
- Short-form e-books let you release longer content over time. You might actually make more for the same amount of content if you break it up in smaller chunks than you would with a longer book — especially if you’re new to e-publishing and don’t already have a solid reader base.
- There are different standards for shorter e-books. A 15 page tutorial-based e-book for example won’t have to go through the same process as a print book to sell well. You can get by without several editors, a typesetter, or some other traditional publishing professionals. Of course how much you can do on your own depends on your release plan. I sell these only through my own sites as I already reach a good portion of my target market. If you want to compete on large marketplace sites, you might want to go for that professional design work afterall.
- These e-books are quicker to produce than longer versions. They get right to the point and can be written in a matter of days. I wrote my first in a Saturday afternoon and released it the following Monday. That one was for my former client base to explain concepts I found myself repeating to different people almost daily. While I now give it away for free, it used to sell for $17 (at 18 pages in the original version).
- Along those lines, short e-books can be wonderful portfolio pieces. Keep them informational. Teach people something. And show off some of your expertise. If you’re a service provider like I am, those short e-books can bring in quite a lot of work. In addition to selling the short e-book I mentioned above, it also brought in thousands of dollars in new client projects.