What’s the Difference Between an eBook and an Information Product?

Reading time 2 minutes

With Internet marketers and online gurus selling ebooks as the next big “information product”, it can be a challenge pinpointing exactly where the line is between regular eBook and an “information product.” Just what is the difference?

Lead with Value

Master copywriter, Bob Bly, extols the virtues of creating information products that deliver the kind value that far exceeds the retail price of the product. That sentiment is in line with Gary Vaynerchuk’s resolve that you start every relationship by focusing on giving value long before you think about selling anything.

Unlike regular books and eBooks, people buy information products for more in-depth information.That means there should be a difference between the content you put in an eBook and the value of the content you put in an information product.

 

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Information Products Create Turnkey Solutions

Look at the picture above from Suzanne Evans’ Be the Change program. Whether digital or physical, this is what your customers are expecting from an information product. The person who buys an information product is looking for something very close to a turnkey solution.

So, an eCourse on copywriting cannot be developed in the same way one would develop the content for a 40-page eBook on copywriting. No. A course has far more depth.

According to Bly, information products should provide detailed instructions on how to doinstead of just pointing readers in the direction of what to do. It is this depth that justifies a price tag of $49 or $297 or $5,997 for an information product.

It is true that for some people, even a turnkey solution is too much work. You may pour your heart out to provide turnkey but they will complain because they wanted magic. You and I both know building any business at all takes time. It takes energy. It takes focus and resilience. And it takes money. So don’t worry too much about those people. They probably aren’t going to do what it takes to succeed anyway.

Still, if you are developing an information product, you should seek to be the only solution your customer ever needs. Use your information product to detail every thought, strategy, action and result your customer can expect. Anything short of that is probably an eBook that you should sell online for $19.99 or less.

Filling in the Blanks to Create an Info Product

What if you don’t know enough to lay out every thought, strategy, action, and result? Well, you probably need to learn more before creating an information product.

Start learning not just your job, but your industry, your market, your competitors, and the names of the thought leaders in your space. Find out who is good at what, and leverage their knowledge to your advantage. An encyclopedia doesn’t reveal new findings. It only aggregates what has already been published. In the same way, creating a quality information product requires you to be the resource. Be your customer’s encyclopedia. Teach them what to do and why, but make the crux of your effort explaining to the reader how to do it.

Finally, have a tool whereby customers who buy your info product can receive continuing support on their efforts. That may be in the form of a membership to your VIP circle, access to a special online forum, or even just an address for them to email you questions and have you respond.

Whatever your choice, focus on becoming your customer’s primary resource for news and insights in your industry.

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