I’m often approached to write “free” books and ebooks, as I said here, Want to Write a Business Book? Here’s How:
“Will your book be ‘free’? Why?
When clients come to me, they often plan to give away their book once it’s written. However, I normally caution against this.
Yes, you can give away some copies, but if your information is valuable, you need to sell it. People tend to value something for which they’ve paid even a nominal amount. This is especially true on the Internet. Most of the free material that you’ll see offered online isn’t worth the time it takes to download it, much less to read it.”
There are other reasons I suggest to clients that they write their business books as commercial products.
One reason is your mindset. When you know that you’ll be charging for a book, you know you need to give value.
Think of your book as something which is apart from your business. These days, with the growth of ebooks, and people reading on their phones and tablet computers, your business books can continue to sell for years.
Consider giving away a free report based on the topic of your book, but do sell the full version. Over time any book builds your reputation and brand. You can give away the free report in digital form on your website, and sell a paperback version of your book at your speaking events.
The other reason is the attitude of your peers. You’ll get more respect when you create value in your book. This is directly related to your mindset of creating value.
Writing a book takes time and energy, even if you hire a ghostwriter. Many business people want to write a book — research suggests that while one per cent of the adult population wants to write a book, few do it.
If you’re one of the few who does it, give value in your book, and you’ll get respect.