The subject of e-books and e-docs has come up several times in the last few weeks. Lip-sticking's parent company, Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC is being re-designed to offer print-on-demand publishing with--we hope-- some unique additional services. When mentioning our goals for WME, whether through e-mail or discussions in our local networking groups, folks seem excited and impressed, yet for the most part the concept, use, and power of an e-book or an e-doc still mystifies them. What are they? Why are they important? Who cares?
** First of all, let's understand that women buy and read more actual books than men do. That's a fact.
** Second, let's understand that women entrepreneurs are opening businesses at nearly double the rate of others, according to the Center for Women's Business Research.This is also a fact.
** Third, 85% of women questioned in a NOP survey for the publisher Penguin said they would be more attracted to a man who talked about literature.
** Fourth, one way to attract women to your website is to give them good content to look at, and read. Content that offers more than your product description or your management background. Women appreciate sites that offer ways to make life easier for them. To that end, you should tune in tomorrow to learn this week's 5 Powerful Ways to Engage Jane at Your Website.
One of those ways, of course, is to offer her a book to read. Or a white paper (document) for easy download. Something that has value...information on how to rearrange her kitchen cupboards; a list of Venture capitalists looking for the next big thing in business or technology; quilting advice; medical advice; financial advice. What you offer need not necessarily be part of your specific product or service. Indeed, as I have advised before, surprise Jane by stepping out of the box and giving her information that relates to women's issues in government or an historical perspective on women's rights, give her reason to add your site to her favorites by being different, standing out from the crowd. Be entertaining, update her on her soap operas, on the latest tabloid news, on what happened one hundred years ago on this day in the U.S.
Amazon.com has a special department for e-books and e-docs, proving that they are a viable income producing tool. However, don't let Amazon's ability to sell digital copies of your work persuade you that this is a good way to get traffic and make sales. Do some research and find out how to write an e-book (putting your expertise to paper...i.e. on a word processor...is a good way to start. However, don't rely on your writing talent if you're not a professional writer. Hire an editor and a proofreader before completing your e-book and adding it to your site.)
The Open eBook Forum reported in June that "e-book revenues totaled over $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2004." This is a good indication that someone is downloading e-books and reading them. Bet many of those someone's are Janes. I know...because I'm one! I downloaded several e-books in the first quarter of this year. All were for business purposes, some were free, others I paid a nominal $5 fee to read. Well-worth it. For those folks who want to read novels as e-books, there are e-book readers from Adobe and Microsoft. Predictions are for the cost of these readers to come down drastically over the next few years, which is another indication that e-books are going to continue being produced.
While Mary Westheimer of Bookzone says that print sells better, she also says that the numbers attributed to e-books that include PDFs, Word docs, and HTML docs, are "undercounted." When Westheimer was interviewed by MarketingSherpa in April of this year, one piece of advice she offered stuck in my mind; she said, "Instead of making consumers choose either/or [print or digital] offer them a third option of getting both the e-version instantly plus the print delivered in the mail for a special package price. This satisfies the online shopper who wants instant gratification plus the comfort of a nicely bound copy."
I believe we've answered the 'what are they?' question [digital books or documents offered to an interested audience willing to pay a small price for them], and the 'why are they important?' question [because they enable you to be recognized as an expert in your field, they can bring in extra income, and they save trees if people read them online instead of printing them which many people do], now on to the 'who cares?' question.
Who cares? Jane cares. If you show that you care about the things she cares about--charities, cooking, gardening, any of the topics already mentioned, you will be more attractive to her as a company at which to purchase goods and services. Remember that Jane shops online at all hours of the day. She may download your e-book or e-doc at midnight after the family is asleep, or at 5 a.m. before she sets off for work. No out of the way trip to the library, no long wait for the mail to arrive, and money left in her wallet. To buy your products or hire your services, perhaps?
What's not to like about that?