The Why and How of Adding E-Book Promotions to your Wix Site

8 Jul 2019

First, let me define what I mean by an e-book promotion. This is a spotlighted area on your website, and on social media, that announces the free availability of your e-book, and provides a way to acquire it. The method of getting the e-book might be via a request / subscription form, or by a click-to-download link.


The first and thereafter newest e-book offering works best when displayed on your home page. From a design standpoint, I'd recommend having only one e-book promotion on the home page at any one time for clarity. When you have at least three e-books to offer, set them on a separate page, while still putting the most current on the home page.



The Why of Offering an E-book


The WHY of adding e-book promotions to your Wix website is that it's a good bit of marketing for your website and your business. Psychologically, a meaty and free download enhances your reputation as a knowledgeable professional and helpful resource.


A well-organized, succinctly written, easy to read e-book gives potential clients a taste of who you are and what it might be like to work with you. For them, it's a low risk way to experience your services.


In addition, from an SEO perspective, downloadable documents such as e-books get indexed by Google, providing you with additional snippets in search result pages. 



The How of Offering an E-Book


There are several stages in the how-to of creating an e-book offering:


  • writing the content

  • formatting for easy reading

  • adding optional internal links

  • adding a cover sheet

  • saving as a pdf document

  • creating a cover thumbnail image

  • installing thumbnail image to your website

  • uploading and linking image to document


Writing the Content -- The best content for an e-book that serves as a marketing piece for your business is something that answers the most burning questions your client niche has -- especially those that you spend time talking through with every client. This could be a description of the causes of a particular problem, with standard and alternative treatment options. It could be as simple as a two page set of coping tips.


Another type of good content is a checklist that helps your client niche be prepared for a detailed consult. Describe what is needed and how it will be used, and provide space for clients to write in their details.


Formatting for Easy Reading -- The general public reads at a 5th grade level and skims most written information rather than reading in depth.  Simple vocabulary, short sentences, and short paragraphs are best. In addition, there are some formatting tricks that are best when your anticipated reader is likely already under stress. Those include:


  • liberal use of bullet or numbered lists*

  • 11 or 12 point type for most content

  • 16 or 18 point type for section headings

  • san serif font: Arial or Helvetica 

  • black or dark blue on white background is best

  • limit additional colors to headings only

  • 1.5 inch left and right margins

  • .5 inch bottom margin 

  • 1 inch top margin

  • page numbers in the footer

  • copyright or disclaimer in footer

  • your contact info in footer


* Bullet lists should be single line, partial sentences, with no punctuation. Numbered lists can be full sentences with punctuation, but if your numbered line goes more than 2 lines you are writing a paragraph, not a list.


Optional Internal Links -- If your document would benefit from a table of contents, it would be nice for your readers to have each item in that table to be linked to the place in the document where that section starts. To do this in MS Word, follow these steps:


  1. Highlight each section heading, then in the Word tool bar for the Home tab, click on the Heading 1 style option. Do that for each heading.

  2. Near the top of your document, write a list of each section heading on a separate line.

  3. Highlight each section heading in that list, then click on the Insert tab to open the links tools.

  4. Click on the Links icon, and on the 2nd one, then on the line that says Insert links.

  5. On the left side of the dialog box that opens for you, click on Place in Existing Document. Find the section heading you want to link to and click on it, then click the OK button.

  6. You should now see that the line in the table of content has turned blue and is underlined, to indicate it is now a hot link.

  7. Repeat for each line in your table of contents


Proofread your document to catch all typos and be certain it appears and reads the way you'd like it to.


Adding a Cover Sheet -- This is an optional step, but one that helps make your document look more professional. It also provides the source for an identical thumbnail image to use in social media and on your website to encourage niche clients to download or request your document. 


The easiest way to add space for a cover design is to insert a blank cover sheet. From the Insert tab in the Word tool bar, click on the far left icon for Pages, then click on Blank Page. This keeps your page numbers intact without adding a page number to the cover page.


On this blank page you can add any photos, graphic design, and title words you want.


Saving as a PDF Document -- When you're all done with your cover, save the document first as a Word doc in case you might want to add to it later, then save it again as a PDF file. The reason for doing this is that PDF documents will display the same on every computer. Word docs may shift around, especially if you've added photos inside the document -- those can end up in places that make no sense.


Creating a Cover Thumbnail Image -- The easiest way I know to convert a document page or part of one into an image file is to use the free tool called Jing. This is software to add to your computer. It's available here: . All images captured by Jing are saved as a png image file which renders as a high quality image. 


Alternatively, if you have a version of Microsoft Office that includes the Publisher program, you can create a cover design there and save it either as a png or jpg image.


Installing Thumbnail Image to Your Website -- Because your cover is now also saved as an image, you can upload it to your Wix image library in the same way you have uploaded other photos for your website.


If you already have an e-book spotlight on your home page, just click on the thumbnail image there and then click on the button for changing the image. This should automatically resize the new cover image to fit into the space designed for it.  Be sure to change the text in the spotlight area to reflect the new e-book.


If you don't have a home page spotlight section ready for promoting your e-book, you can add one or ask me to do that for you in a way that won't disrupt the rest of your home page design. 


Uploading and Linking Image to Document -- Once your thumbnail cover image is set into your home page, click on the image itself and then on the paperclip icon that indicates the tool for creating a link. 


In the dialog box that pops up, in the list on the left, click on Document. Then on the right click on the button for Choose File. Next click on Upload Media button and find your pdf file in your computer files and click on it to upload to your Wix media library. Then, in the usual way, once the pdf file is in your Media library click on it to link it to your thumbnail cover.


Now that the document is linked to the thumbnail cover, when your website visitors click on that cover image, the pdf file will open in their Acrobat Reader.  They can download there, or just read it online.




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Why I've Retired

It's possible this will come as a surprise to you -- it certainly has snuck on me that I'm well past retirement age. Over the last year or so, my heart has been pulled in other directions, and while I still love the creative aspects of website design, I want to use my time making a life rather than devoting my energies to making a living. So I plan to travel, attend writers' retreats, work on learning to take good iPhone photos, and just be open to where my spirit guides take me. I have also stepped back from my esoteric work for 2020, and who knows what the future holds for that.

Please see the blog post for my two Wix designers who have earned my highest recommendations for serving my client niche.

All the Best to You!