Can I just do an ebook?

Doing an ebook alone is usually seen as a way to reduce costs, but if you’re using your book as a marketing tool for your business, you should see it as an investmentebook.

You can do an ebook only, but when self-publishing for your business it’s not a great idea. Here’s why: let’s say you’re in a meeting with a potential client and you mention that you’ve written a book. The potential client says, ‘Hey, that’s great. Where can I get a copy?’

You can respond in two ways:

Option A: ‘It’s available on my website. When you get back to the office, go to www.mybusiness.com.au, click on the book page, and then download the EPUB file. Then, you can read it on your computer, or you can copy it to your tablet or smartphone using Dropbox or similar software, and open it in an ebook app, except if you have a Kindle. If you don’t have ebook reader software, simply do an internet search, download and install the software, and then you’ll be able to read it.’

Option B: ‘I have one in my suitcase. Here it is.’

Which response do you think is more likely to get your book read?

There’s nothing like being able to hand over a printed book to somebody on the spot, rather than expecting them to download it later. Australia’s number one small business author Andrew Griffiths calls this ‘thud value’, and it is very valuable indeed. Successful business authors always have a box of their books in the boot of their car and give them away at any opportunity. You simply can’t do this with an ebook.

I’ve seen authors struggle greatly when they do an ebook only. It’s simply much harder to get people’s attention. I know authors who, when other people are handing out business cards, they pull a copy of their book out and hand it over. You certainly can’t do that with an ebook.

So, the answer is, you can do an ebook only, but you probably shouldn’t.