Oh, how I love to receive advance copies of books. It makes me feel special to read something and perhaps begin to use some great ideas before the book goes on sale and others have a chance.
Michael Stelzner whose blog I have been reading sent me an advance review copy of Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged (thanks Mike). This is an excellent guide for anyone who would like to take advantage of delivering compelling Web content in the form of white papers. Beginners will learn the basics, but there is a ton of valuable information for people like me who have written a lot of white papers over the years.
The chapter on creating a compelling title by itself is worth the price of the book. The chapter begins: “What’s the value of a title? A title is a nice suit, a cocktail dress, a pretty face, a head-turner or any other metaphor that grabs your attention.” I’ll be using the advice on titles frequently as I struggle for titles to book chapters, columns, and speeches.
Done well, white papers deliver authentic thought leadership, branding an organization as one to do business with. Sadly, many white papers are simply product pitches that annoy readers. Throughout his book, Stelzner shows you how to get it right. He’s written nearly 100 white papers himself for recognized companies, including Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola, Monster, HP and SAP so he speaks from experience.