Who, exactly, is an expert? Who qualifies? I don’t know that there’s any definition or standard that one must go by. To me, my clients are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, consultants, coaches, speakers and educated people who’ve been practicing their skills for 20, 30 or more years. They’re experts.
Wikipedia defines an expert as someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study.
I guess just about anybody can call themselves an expert, especially if they have knowledge and skills that others don’t. Writing and publishing an ebook doesn’t make you an expert, but it certainly shows your knowledge, experience and value as such.
Why Write an Ebook instead of a Printed Book?
There is no denying the shift that is happening in the book industry: ebooks are on the rise and here to stay. Check out some of the latest industry data:
- E-book sales grew dramatically in the first quarter of 2010, jumping from just 1.5% of total US book sales in 2009 to 5% of the market in the first quarter of 2010. Source: R.R. Bowker
- The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) reported U.S. wholesale ebook sales for January, 2010 were $31.9 million, up 261 percent from the same month a year earlier.
Reports from Amazon
- Ebooks are now outselling hardcover books at Amazon, selling 180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers.
- Jeff Bezos told the USA Today that he predicts Kindle ebook sales will outsell all books (including paperback) within a year.
- The Kindle is now available at Target and Best Buy.
- Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009.
Most experts I know believe that by publishing an ebook, they’ll get known by a larger number of people. They’ll establish credibility by writing about what they know best. They’ll connect with readers who may have exactly the kinds of problems they can solve.
To me, writing and publishing an expert ebook not only makes sense, but is a requirement for anyone who wants to use the Web to get found, get known and get clients. What do you think?