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Hardcover Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged Book

ISBN: 0977716937

ISBN13: 9780977716937

Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged

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Book Overview

The white paper is a crossbreed of a magazine article and a brochure. White paper guru Michael Stelzner reveals his secrets for creating compelling white papers that attract readers in droves. The... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Strong resource for writing white papers that engage not bore

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. Most of the book's contents focus on writing information technology-related papers -- probably because they're the most technical and difficult to write about -- however, one of the examples is about personal accountability. The book doesn't stop at the white paper writing process. Its last chapter focuses on marketing white papers. The book demonstrates how to make a boring topic engaging -- a problem that often faces the writers of white papers and contains two examples of white papers that retain my attention even though I'm not the prime audience. The book engages the reader making it a surprisingly fast read. Writers, technical writers, and marketing professionals will benefit the most from this well-organized, insightful, and clearly-written book.

Need to write a white paper? Read this book!

Just have to say that the book is excellent. I started out years ago as a freelance product copywriter for Nike; I'd never written a white paper. And then, lo and behold, a new mass notification industry client requested one. Panic! Could I do it? I had daily anxiety attacks and probably didn't sleep for a week. I ordered the book, read it, panicked some more, and then submitted the paper. My client loved it and had no changes to my first go! The book was so much help; I would not have had any idea where to even start. So thank you, Michael Stelzner! You rock!

The Best Book Available To Date on Writing White Papers

Gain credibility writing white papers. Make money too. But first, you have to know how to write them. There are not many guides out there right now. But, alas, here's the answer. Michael Stelzner has shown his stuff in writing and organizing this valuable book. It guides you safely and easily through the maze. It even gives you some templates to use to create successful white papers. While Bob Bly's book on the same subject tells us how good a white paper is at creating value and marketing our products and services, this book goes on to show you how to write it, how to format it and how to make it a success. I can't think of anything that's been left out. The book has a wonderful appendix with sample white papers and lots of valuable resources. If you want to learn to write white papers or if you need a refresher course, buy this book. You won't regret it.

The Most Comprehensive Book on White Papers Available

Michael is the recognized guru in the white papers industry. He does a fabulous job taking you through the steps to create a successful white paper, whether you are asked to write one for your own company or have been hired to write one. He writes in a very conversational tone that makes it easy to understand, for the layman and those who have no real idea what a white paper should be. He takes you through the complete process step by step, from client requirements, content creation, to how to market the white paper. I will be teaching a class on writing white papers at our local community college and this book will be used as our primary textbook. If you've been asked to write a white paper and want to do a bang up job, read this book!

How to provide valuable information, not just another obvious "infomercial"

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. engineers) and decision-makers, and government white papers which usually discuss implications of policy decisions. Here's a key point which both Stelzner and Bly stress repeatedly: A white paper must never be -- or be perceived to be -- an "infomercial" in print form. A white paper has value to the extent it provides information and counsel which help its recipients to answer questions and to make decisions. What's in it for the provider? There are several significant benefits which include positive association with the given answer or solution, the recipient's appreciation (i.e. good will), and perhaps most important of all, maintaining direct and relevant contact on a non-solicitation basis. What I especially appreciate about Stelzner's approach is that he provides a step-by-step framework for what can - and should - become a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effect "game plan" for the production, distribution, and promotion of white papers (regardless of type) which will have the greatest appeal to what should be their carefully selected recipients. The ten-step process which Stelzner explains may - and probably will - require a segmented database. These are the sequential steps: 1. Clarify the topic ("focus your lens") 2. Identify your ideal reader (s) 3. Decide on
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