Electronic Publishing Explained
An eBook is basically a document in the form of web pages that are put together, using special software, which is released in the form of a file that can be downloaded onto your computer's hard drive. Many people may think it is no different than a web site, but there are important differences.
You may happen upon a site that is offering a free eBook download you are interested in. When you actually download the eBook you are downloading an ".exe" file, which is the most common format. Some eBooks are also offered in PDF format as well. When you double click on this file it then opens the main page, which is in HTML, web page format. There may be many pages included in the eBook but you cannot access them unless you open the eBook itself. When you download the ".exe" file that is all you see until you activate it by clicking on it. From the main page the author gives you access to what they want you to have access to.
One important feature of an eBook is that you can choose to not allow printing or copying. This may be very important to you if you have material that you want to protect. You may have written a book on "How To make A Waterfall Mirror" and give the reader snippets of the book in your eBook, but you don't want them to be able to print or copy any of the material. Not that the material is completely safe, after all there are people out there that are going to copy or steal your work if they get a chance, no matter what steps you take, but it gives the reader the idea that the information is valuable to you.
On a web site, to get the some of the same protection, you would have to include directory or page protection on your site and have the visitor register for a password, which many will not. Then even if they do register, they may loose their password or not come back at all. If you don't know much about CGI scripts or how to set password protection through your server's control panel then this becomes difficult, unless you can afford to hire someone to do it for you. Even with that once the visitor is into your site, using a password, they can still copy as much of the material they want. With the eBook, once you set the "No Copying" and "No Printing" option, the reader would have to actually copy the material by typing it out him or herself. This offers more protection for your material. One of the challenges of a web site is keeping the visitor on it as long as possible so that they find something that they are actually interested in. Even if you have material that the visitor is genuinely interested in, many things can happen that may cause you to loose that visitor forever. The power may go out while they are on your site, they forget to bookmark your site, they may get distracted and shut the computer off, etc. With the eBook, once downloaded, the information is on the reader's computer until they decide to delete it. I've come across eBooks and files that I have downloaded months before and forgotten about but have stumbled across on my hard drive while searching for something else.
You can even set the eBook to include an icon on the reader's desktop to remind them to read your eBook. If the reader sees your icon each time their desktop loads you may get a few more visits, maybe even a sale or two.
You can include links back to your site, or any other site in the eBook to direct the reader to more information or to a sales page. Keeping with the same idea above you may want to have a page on other woodworking or fountain books for example that goes to Amazon. com or to other sites. You may have affiliate programs that you are associated with that you can earn commissions from any sales resulting from people clicking through from your eBook.
You can have your readers personalize it themselves. People get excited when they see their name on something. Most eBook software allows you to setup the eBook so that people can actually put their own personal information in the eBook, and give it away themselves on their web site. This is called "Regrinding". If you see a free eBook download and it states that you can "Rebrand" it, that is what it means, you can personalize it. You can even run your own affiliate program and have others personalize the eBook and have the opportunity to earn some money. That's a great incentive for people to advertise your products or services.
We will have more information on how you can develop your own eBook, distribute it, run your own affiliate program and have others selling your products and services in later articles.
In conclusion eBooks maybe seen by some as just glorified web sites but in fact with the option of protecting your material, the ability to allow others to personalize it, and the chance that viewers will add it to their desktop and view it at a later date, eBooks give you much more flexibility in your online business marketing efforts.
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