Exploring The eBook Market in 2021

The first week of March is #ReadaneBookWeek.  The eBook market has been growing year-on-year and is expected to see further growth in the near future. I’m going to give you some insights on the eBook market in 2021 and let you decide if marketing through digital books could be the next venture for your brand. Let’s get into exploring the eBook market in 2021.

What does the eBook market look like in 2021?

The global eBook market was worth USD 18.13 billion in 2020 and is projected to be valued at USD 23.12 billion by 2026 – a CAGR of 4.9%. The driving force behind the growth in the market is technological developments. These include developments in eBook readers such as Kindles which have been providing better reading experiences for users as time has gone on. Furthermore, the demand for large touchscreen phones has risen and with that, has come a secondary impact on eBook sales since reading eBooks on these devices has become a more pleasant experience.

However, despite seeing overall growth, the eBook market is not a stranger to dips in sales and it should be noted that a CAGR of 4.9% for a large industry is at the bottom end of the scale of strong growth. In the US, sales of eBooks fell by 5.7% in the first three months of 2020. This is attributed to a corresponding rise of audiobook and print book sales and could also be linked to the uncertainty at the time surrounding the future impacts of COVID-19.

In fact, although the market had steadily grown over the past decade overall, sales of eBooks in the UK had been dropping since their peak in 2014. Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association attributed this decline to what he termed as ‘screen fatigue’ – a feeling from consumers that too much time was spent looking at the screens of multiple devices.

At the height of the first wave of  pandemic reporting in the UK, eBooks saw a surge in sales – an increase of 17%. This was driven by a huge drop in sales of printed books due to bookshop closures as a result of the pandemic. It should also be noted that the cost of eBook readers has been steadily dropping, with consumers now able to purchase a new Kindle at around 60 USD. With advances in technology, lower costs passed on to consumers, and lockdown driven sales, the market is strong once more. So now is an opportune time to get your eBook out there.

Why does my brand need to create an eBook?

The benefits of branded eBooks can be huge. Here are just four reasons you need to be thinking of eBook marketing for your brand.

#1 To expand your email list

Email is one of the strongest marketing strategies in 2021 and with eBook user penetration expected to rise to 14.9% by 2025, eBooks are a fantastic way to expand your email list. Always ask readers to submit their email in order to download your eBook. Now you’ve instantly boosted your brand’s qualified / GDPR savvy database. Avoid spamming subscribers, sending salesy emails or passing on their emails to other brands even if you own them. That’s not cool.

#2 To strengthen your credibility

An eBook is one of the most effective ways to show consumers you are a credible brand. This is especially true for finance brands. Release an eBook packed with financial insights surrounding your specific industry and you demonstrate to readers that you are a competent and intelligent brand. Additionally, when your brand has an eBook and your competitors don’t, you are exemplifying that your brand is innovative and a leader of your industry. Add quotes from your CEO or stats from your risk manager to increase authenticity and boost credibility.

#3 To open doors for collaborations

Firstly, if you approach others with the intent to produce an eBook, it could be possible to secure a collab with movers and shakers in the industry, incalculably boosting your credibility. Secondly, once your eBook is published, the industry will see your brand as a viable leader and doors open for future collaborations. Lastly, your brand can leverage your eBook to heighten your visibility to both other brands and audiences since it’s likely that a great eBook will be promoted throughout the industry. You can also try including a joint offer with another brand- eg a discount off their product or a VIP pass to try their tools.

#4 So you can repurpose content

If your brand has already been posting content to your blog, site, or socials, an eBook provides a fantastic opportunity to repurpose some of that material that resonated best with your audience. This means you aren’t tasked with creating an entire book from scratch. But also that content you spent time and energy composing, is able to be put to good use once more. And talking of repurposing… your eBook can become a Slideshare later on too!

What should an eBook incorporate in 2021?

A branded eBook is not just a book available online. Typically, they’re fairly short (around 5-10 pages), are packed with visuals, and are interactive.

  • Relevant content

eBooks should always serve to inform readers, fast. eBooks are one of the best ways a reader can gain a good understanding of a particular topic niche with minimal effort and time. Pack your eBook with well-researched, no-fluff content. The joy of eBooks is how quickly they can go from the design and writing stage to the viewer’s eReader or phone. Readers expect your eBook to be up-to-the-minute. For finance brands, you’ll want to include lots of up to date stats and insights on current events that are moving the market. Or, you might want to take a longer approach educating on a concept or product that isn’t subject to change.

  • Attention-grabbing and -keeping visuals

For maximum skimability, include stats and insights as well as highlighted quotes. Readers are short on time, and may not always read every page carefully. Make your most helpful and informative content stand out by using great visuals that serve a purpose such as infographics and enlarged key quotes. Also, stay on brand by using your company’s colours and themes. And remember, you don’t need to fill every inch with text!

Multimedia

eBooks are not constrained to ink upon paper like traditional media forms. As well as incorporating impressive visuals, you could include audio, video, animations, quizzes, and more.

Not all publishers will accept eBooks (notably, Amazon) with these medias, and it won’t be possible to embed them into all file types (like PDF). However, you could always include links to YouTube or secret landing pages on your site with your files to add a little bit of allure to your eBook. Whatever you include, make sure it enhances the writing and doesn’t just create noise. Speak to Contentworks to have quality video or multimedia content made for your brand.

CTAs

Collecting readers’ contact info pre-download is one effective way to generate leads, but you can also funnel leads directly from your eBook. It’s common to see CTAs at the end of an eBook but that doesn’t mean you can’t add in a few at relevant points along the way. Or, you could add a page that introduces your services before you get into the topic. Check out our eBook on blockchain marketing.

 

These are subtle ways to direct readers to your site without taking away their attention from the main body of the text. An eBook riddled with demanding CTAs at every turn creates a low-brow and pushy tone. But, if you feel a particular page of your eBook could seriously benefit from a well-placed CTA (such as a link to a product your brand offers that is being discussed on that page), then go for it. Remember, readers typically land on eBooks because they want to come away informed on a topic, not because they want to be sold something.

How can I promote my brand’s eBook?

Once your eBook is published it’s time to get as many people as possible to read it (and by doing so, leaving their email) – how?

Use a landing page

Firstly, create a stellar landing page to act as your base of operations for the promo of your eBook and link your audience to this page on all channels. Your landing page should be minimalist, clean, and with as few distractions as possible. You can run ads to your LP from social media but make sure the visuals and messaging matches to avoid bounces.

  • Structure your page to influence visitors and guide them to action.
  • Keep your pages consistent with ad matching, and design guidelines to bring in more conversions.
  • Choose visuals that showcase the benefits of what you’re selling.
  • Create social proof like testimonials and customer logos to build visitor confidence and prove credibility.
  • Make it easy for your visitors to convert with optimised forms and mobile pages.

Give a sneak peek

Readers won’t want to go through the hassle of leaving their contact info and downloading your eBook if they think they’re likely to be disappointed with content that’s not relevant to their needs. If you feel it will be beneficial, give a little bit away or a sneak peek at what’s inside. You may choose to let readers see more than this – perhaps a great infographic or some fresh stats so they can get a taste of what’s to come when they download.

Cross-promotion, cross-promotion

This doesn’t just mean using your social media channels and website (which you definitely should be using). But also reaching out to other authority sites for guest blogging opportunities so you can plug your brand’s eBook. You can also repeat your promos on social media using different images, hashtags and captions. If the eBook is evergreen you can schedule posts throughout the year as long as they are not repetitive.

Add it to slideshare

SlideShare is an American hosting service for professional content including presentations, infographics, documents, and videos. Users can upload files privately or publicly in PowerPoint, Word, PDF, or OpenDocument format. Content can then be viewed on the site itself, on hand held devices or embedded on other sites. Here’s an eBook we repurposed by adding to Slideshare.

The Takeaway

eBooks have been on a somewhat tumultuous journey. Once heralded as the future of literacy, next as obsolete against print books. Now, it seems, eBooks have found a comfortable middle-ground where they are appreciated for what they are which is up-to-date, informative authorities on niche topics. If you’re ready to get your brand’s eBook off the ground, get in touch . Our skilled team of designers, writers, and marketers can have your brand’s eBook fit for publishing in a matter of weeks.

Happy #ReadaneBookWeek – What’s your favourite eBook right now? Tweet me your recommendations @Charli_Says