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Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged Hardcover – October 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

White papers are at the forefront of an educational marketing revolution. Powerful enough to lure readers and able to persuade with unyielding strength, the well-written white paper is a super weapon in the marketing professional's arsenal.

Wearing many hats, the white paper can talk business or converse technically, and it can inform or influence. Best of all—it is highly sought-after. The white paper's underlying strength rests on this premise: If you give readers something of value, they will give you their loyalty, and ultimately their business. This book aims to equip anyone with the tools necessary to immediately begin writing white papers that attract readers and keep them engaged.

About the Author

Michael Stelzner is one of the world's leading authorities on the topic of writing and marketing white papers. He has written nearly 100 white papers for many of the world's most recognized companies, including Microsoft, Federal Express, Motorola, Monster, Hewlett-Packard, Cardinal Health and SAP.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: WhitePaperSource Publishing; 1 edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977716937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977716937
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Stelzner is the founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com (one of the world's largest business blogs), author of the books "Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition" and "Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged." Michael is also the man behind large summits, such as Social Media Success Summit.

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/mike_stelzner
Facebook: http://Facebook.com/smexaminer

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For those who are interested in understanding the potential value of white papers to business development and customer relationships, this book and Robert Bly's The White Paper Marketing Handbookare the most valuable resources on the subject that I have as yet encountered. I strongly recommend both. Opinions vary as to the origin of the genre. Both Bly and Stelzner seem to agree that white papers can be traced back at least to early in the 20th century when what was then referred to as a "white book" consisted of information published by a national government. Perhaps the most famous is the "British White Paper of 1922" (also known as the "Churchill White Paper") in which the political conflict in Palestine is discussed. Interest in the commercial potentialities of white papers has increased rapidly and substantially in recent years and my own opinion is that exploration and fulfillment of those potentialities has only begun.

In this volume, Stelzner offers his detailed definition of a white paper: "...a technical or business benefits diocument that introduces a challenge faced by its readers and makes a strong case why a particular approach to solving the problem is preferred. A white paper usually proposes a solution to a problem, but can also introduce a new concept or describe how to perform technical tasks.

He explains with rigor and eloquence "how to capture readers and keep them engaged."He suggests that there are four primary types of white papers: technical white papers tend to be targeted at engineers, business benefits white papers are usually targeted at decision-makers in management positions, hybrid white papers are usually targeted at both influencers (e.g.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on January 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to Web sites and email newsletters, white papers have become a great way to market a product or service. A visitor can get a free white paper in exchange for signing up for an email newsletter or basic information. People can't resist a free offer and white papers -- when done right -- can educate and inform.

Sure, a business wants to show how it has the solution to the problem identified in the paper. But a well-written white paper does more than market a solution. It also establishes a person or business as a thought leader, introduces a new idea or concept, and explains how something works. Too many white papers turn into infomercials and Stelzner walks the reader through the process of creating an effective white paper.

Stelzer covers everything including needs analysis, research, interviews, and other important steps in the white paper writing process beyond the actual writing. I've downloaded or received many white papers and few get my attention. For some, the title can scare a reader out of reading it. These titles sound like something written by a PhD for others in the field.

As a freelancer writer, I've written a few white papers and not with as much confidence as I would like. Writing White Papers gives me all the information I need to thoroughly and confidently write the next one without any lingering doubts or fears.

Writers who write few or no white papers will appreciate the chapters on "Interviewing," "Researching," "Writing the First Page," "The Compelling Title," and "Writing Tips and Strategies." The advice in these chapters applies to various types of writing.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Writing white papers is a "necessary evil" of the technical world. While there are few publications that extol the virtues of white papers, those that provide a "how to" are scarce. Hence, it is refreshing to see a book devoted to the mechanics of writing white papers.

Stelzner covers all parts of writing white papers from the perspective of an outside writer. This includes defining the paper's scope and outline, conducting interviews, researching literature, and drafting the paper. Stelzner also provides helpful hints on style, formatting and speaking to intended readers. The chapters on crafting a title, writing the first page and using white papers as marketing tools are informative.

The book's focus is on IT. The risk is that some of the examples that relate to IT may not transfer to other industries. Examples and references to papers from non-IT industries would provide the breath that this book lacks. Research methods focus primarily on Google searches, almost crowding out the wealth of other sources--especially the non-web based ones--that are easier to search and are more efficient in providing relevant insight.

Using white papers as marketing tools focuses almost exclusively on web-based search engines, severely limiting the marketing options available. Most readers assume that authors are knowledgeable in their subject matter. Thus, the introduction containing Stelzner's personal history is unnecessary.

Chapters 1 and 2 would greatly benefit from better organization, and chapter 8 would be more readable if it were divided into smaller chapters. Figures and sidebars are not labeled and are not referenced in the main text (Chapter 10 is a notable exception).
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