White Paper or E-Book: What’s the Difference?

White Paper or E-Book: What's the Difference?

White Paper or E-Book: What's the Difference?

Content marketing is often about selling products or selling services. But certain forms of content marketing are instead about selling solutions, strategies, or techniques.

The two main ways to market a strategy is with a white paper or with an e-book. Which option you use depends entirely on type of strategy or solution you are offering.


As the name suggests, an e-book is a significant quantity of writing. The average e-book has multiple chapters and at least one hundred pages.

You write an e-book when you are offering advice, strategies, or solutions that are generally applicable to an industry or specific subsection of an industry.

For example, an e-book designed for lawyers might discuss strategies for maximizing asset splitting in divorce procedures.

White Papers

White papers are more focused than e-books. As a white paper writer, you identify a very specific problem and then offer a single solution to that problem. Your white paper is a focused and efficient piece of writing.

Most white papers are relatively short, usually maxing out at about 10 – 20 pages, and potentially only a page or two.

An example of a white paper designed for lawyers might be the discussion a specific strategy about how to win possession of the family home while minimizing the compensatory assets during a divorce procedure.

Marketing White Papers

Despite the growing prevalence of e-books, white papers are still marketable, and actually offer numerous opportunities. The most effective way for a white paper writer to take advantage of these opportunities is on an industry blog.

An informative blog engages readers and sparks interest. Use a blog entry to introduce the problem and frame the solution, placing the full solution, your white paper, behind a pay wall.

Alternatively, a white paper is actually a rather ingenious way to market an e-book. If you’ve written an e-book, simply excerpt a single chapter or idea from the e-book to create a white paper.

Offer this white paper for free via social media, an industry blog, or other marketing vehicles. This will interest readers who you then direct to your e-book, hidden behind a pay wall, for additional information on the subject.


Article by

Mickey has degrees in linguistics and logic from a top 25 university. He has been writing online for the approximately five years, specializing in gaming, hobbies, and media. He has never missed a deadline. Quality and speed are equally important to Mickey and he'll never sacrifice one for the other.

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