How long should a marketing ebook be?

in Ebook and white paper copywriting

So you’ve decided to write a marketing ebook for your business to help you demonstrate your expertise and attract leads. Great! How long is it going to be?

I said in my blog, What is an ebook and why do I need one?, I think of an ebook as a lightweight but valuable guide. But lightweight isn’t a euphemism for ‘short’. Instead, it’s more about:

  • the tone of voice, the way the text is broken up into short, readable chunks and the design, which should help pull out the interesting snippets of information drawn out in the text.
  • the topic – the ebook format is well-suited to subjects it would be useful to explore but would be over-explained or over-stretched the heavier format of a white paper.
  • the audience it’s for – not every industry’s subjects lend themselves to the lighter format of an ebook.

You also need to be aware of giving good value. If someone has been prepared to share their email address with you in exchange for the information you’re offering, it’s good practice to make their exchange feel fair.

All this isn’t meant to frighten you! It’s just designed to explain why an ebook shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to cut corners or as the easier alternative to the rigour of a white paper.

So, how long does an ebook need to be? Well, in my opinion, you should be looking at around 2,000 to 2,500 words. But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. For example, there may be times when fewer words would be appropriate – perhaps when one diagram would explain what you want to say better than 500 words ever could. But by keeping the figure of 2,000 to 2,500 in your head you can be confident you’re creating something of sufficient weight to feel valuable but not so intense as to be overwhelming.

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