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6 Helpful Pointers for Choosing Ebooks to Give Away

I've always thought that one of the most exciting aspects of the internet comes in the form of tiny digital packages we so fondly call ebooks.

Knowledge and experience is transformed into digital form and packaged for distribution, all in a matter of seconds. And internet denizens hungry for more information devour them as quickly as they appear.

My computer is always full to the brim with all kinds, downloaded from so many places, I can't even begin to tell you where. Day after day, a layer of e-dust covers this monstrous pile!

Despite the dizzying parade of giveaways that greet your eyes each day, there is no denying the simple fact that giving away something for free drives traffic your way. In many cases, we're all happy for any traffic we can get.

It is no wonder that virtually in every website -- in our case, internet marketing -- that you visit, you'll be sure to find a large ebook library offering up the latest and hottest releases.

DON'T JUST FOLLOW THE PARADE If you already have a mailing-list or website, you're likely eager to do the same. And there's the rub: everybody else is thinking along the same lines. "Hey, I'll do that, too!"

Wait a minute! Take a pause and think things through...

When it comes to giving away ebooks, there are a few but essential problems you should consider:

- practically everyone is giving them away - there is a staggering amount of ebooks already out there - they vary greatly in quality (a needle in a haystack!)

On that note, I am going to share with you a few pointers that have helped me decide whether an ebook is worth giving away or not.

its Author

There's nothing like a big name to stamp instant credibility onto any ebook before you've even read it. But not everyone is familiar with the big names in their respective niches.

Try to get an idea of who the author is, either by visiting their homepage through the links in the ebook or by performing a simple search online. You may get dazzled and excited at how established and renowned the author is, or wonder why you can't find a single trace. All the same, read the ebook! You'll get a much better feel of the author, not just as a knowledgeable expert but also as a real person.

Is the author distant? impersonal? formal? Or is he/she relaxed? personable? friendly?

For me the answer to these questions bear a lot of weight when deciding whether or not to recommend, promote and -- perhaps in the long run -- sign up as an affiliate, if such a program is available. I would want to interact, communicate and do business with someone who is not only professional but also friendly, open, and approachable. Wouldn't you?

Does the author have something unique to share? How well does he/she communicate ideas?

In this case, many ebooks are repetitions or slight variations of the same subject. A good rule of thumb is to choose the ebook whose author covers the subject best.

Scope & Depth of Content

You may think that because you're not yet very familiar with the subject of the ebook that you cannot possibly assess the quality of the content. Believe me, you can!

Whether it's instinct or intuition, you can tell whether there's something to the material or not, merely by reading between the lines. You will see the difference between a mere rephrasing of an idea with nothing new to add, from a truly unique perspective and improvement of old time-proven methods or techniques.

How wide and how deep does it go? Is it merely a general overview? Does it get down to step-by-step gritty details?

Your decision will depend on what you want to achieve with the giveaway. You may want it to complement an article on your website, for example, so you would want it more detailed. Or perhaps you want to use it only as an introduction to your product.

This is a technique commonly employed by many pros. It is highly recommended by Terry Dean in his article "Give First & Prove Your Worth." Give away a high-quality ebook that provides a general but sufficient overview of a topic, and still provides plenty of valuable information. Your main product, in turn, reveals the full, in-depth, and detailed step-by-step instructions.

Reader Accessibility

Consider your intended recipient. Check whether or not the subject itself is familiar or of any interest to them. If not, is it explained in such a way that they can easily comprehend it? Also, is it closely related to the information they ask for? This simple check ensures that you do not alienate (or annoy) any of your readers.

Even if you have not written the ebook yourself, it would be a considerate gesture on your part to go over it and make sure that they have the best experience with your giveaway. It conveys the fact that you are genuinely looking after their benefit and not merely pushing an ebook for your own ends.

On the technical side of things, it is worth checking the format in which it is compiled. EXE is accessible only to PC users, not to MAC. PDF, on the other hand, is accessible to both.

Layout & Organization

Just as in your website design and content, you want to give your audience the best experience possible with your giveaway. Consider questions like these:

Is the ebook organized sensibly? Can you find your way through its contents? Are you faced with a sea of text? Is it divided in neat sections? Is the font type & size comfortable for reading? Are the colors distracting? neutral? unintrusive?

You may not mind these things yourself, but it doesn't hurt to make sure that, like your website, what you give away is equally attractive and professional-looking as well as informative.

In introducing the ebook to them, mention your impressions of the material and its presentation so that they know what to expect. When your intended recipient opens the ebook, he/she does won't frown and wonder what it is that you have given away. Better safe than sorry...


Depending on your niche, freshness can be a major deciding factor on your choice. On the one hand, certain subjects don't get outdated: old time-proven concepts, inspirational writings, etc. And on the other, applications of concepts and ideas online, for example, are affected by changing trends and developments in technologies. Collections of resources or links, for example, would warrant a thorough check online.

Your Own Assessment

This is one of the most important points to consider because you are responsible for what you give away to your visitors, in one way or another. Never use your audience merely for your own ends. Don't shove anything just to get them to sign up, so you can sell to them.

If you want to be truly successful, you must build a good reputation for yourself online. You achieve this out of a genuine intention to be of help to your target audience.

Give them something that you know will benefit them. Be someone who is ethical, trustworthy, and dependable. It will go a long way to benefit both parties. They will know that everytime they visit your website for information, they can always be confident of the value you provide. Having read the ebook, ask yourself:

How do you personally feel about it? Has it taught you something new? Has it revealed something you've overlooked? Would you happily recommend it to others? Would you stand behind it 100%?

IN CONCLUSION All things considered, always remember that your target audience comes first. By offering them only giveaways of high value and quality information, you can successfully build a relationship that will not only benefit them, but you and your business for many years to come.

About the author:

When not buried in ebooks, MARGAUX ALHANEN is compiling notes and gathering tools for internet marketing beginners at She is also the author of a new eNotebook entitled, "Starting Ahead: How to Develop a Winning Attitude in Business" Get your free copy today!