Internet and Business Online – Would Old Ebooks Still Stand Up Today?

I have a simple question for you. Would an old eBook that you bought seven years ago still stand up today? In other words, would it still be useful? Before you answer that question yourself, you might want to sit down and think about your answer. It’s really not as clear cut as you think. This article is going to explain why an old eBook might still be useful or might be totally worthless depending on what it’s about.

Let’s take a subject that, as marketers, we all know something about…pay per click advertising. In the early days of pay per click, there were very few books, and the ones out there didn’t go into a lot of detail. Mainly, they focused on how to setup your account and write some simple ads. There was very little info as far as keyword research because, at the time, it was all so new. But even a book that’s just a year old could be worth very little today because the rules for pay per click advertising change so much.

But what if you’re interested in a book on copywriting? Well, up until recently, with the FTC crackdown on testimonials, copywriting really hasn’t changed much from the early print days before the Internet. If you look at just about any sales page today and then look at Joe Karbo’s “Lazy Man’s Riches” ad, you will find the exact same principles at work. The truth is, you could pick up a 30 year old book on writing sales copy and it would still be useful today. Some things really don’t change that much.

So, the question is, how can you tell if the old books sitting on YOUR hard drive are still worth anything? The only way to tell is to go through them and read them. If they apply to things that you normally see everyday, you’ll recognize things that are still used and things that have been tossed to the side. If a book talks about blogs and there is no mention of WordPress, then you pretty much know that the book is quite outdated and will be of very little use if you’re interested in setting up a WordPress blog.

A lot of it comes down to common sense. Technology oriented books will probably become outdated very fast, whereas books on evergreen topics like list building and copywriting will usually contain some valuable information no matter how old they are.

So before you toss your old ebooks into the trash bin, give them one more read just to make sure there isn’t some buried treasure somewhere in those pages.

To YOUR Success,

Steven Wagenheim