What’s the difference between an Ebook and a White Paper?

In their great book Content Rules, Ann Handley and CC Chapman describe the difference between an ebook and a white paper as follows… (Page 171)

White Paper

• Generally aiming to be authoritative
• A deeper read – probably longer
• Often filled with data
• More likely text heavy
• More formal
• Written as an expert

Ebooks

• Often shorter
• Less data
• More visual with diagrams and images
• More casual
• Written for your peers and colleagues

Whilst this is a great comparison and contrast, there is a more important issue here…

What does your audience call them?

If you’re working in the area of academia or professional service firms, white papers might be the term you use. Alternatively, if it’s a more general audience, you might call them ebooks.

And the same applies to the style in which you write. The goal here is how best to communicate your message. If data is your stick go there, if visuals are your thing do that.

More Updates

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Life's Work

Your life’s work won’t just happen automagically by itself. To fulfil your life’s work you need a plan. But what’s the best way to do this?

Four Questions to Win the Game of Life

I’m a sports nut. I’ll watch almost any sport – especially Aussie Rules football. And from watching and playing a lot of sports, I know

Four Declarations for when things don't go to plan

Forest Gump’s mum famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.” For me, life is