Every once in a while, someone will listen to advice about repurposing articles. And they will begin to wonder, “What is the difference between an eBook and an eZine?”
The two are completely different.
Both are digital products and both are primarily written. But that’s about as far as the similarities go.
An eZine or digital magazine is based on the concept of a traditional magazine. It is a collection of small articles usually on a recurring theme. While some of the articles will have been previously published, the term repurposing is somewhat of a misnomer. Basically, this model is based on republishing articles rather than repurposing them. Typically these are short, simple articles of between 400 and 600 words. So the length is considerably less than that of a paper magazine. It may take time to design and assemble but generally not a great deal – or at least not as far as the writing goes.
An eBook or digital book is a book in a particular format – digital. But mostly it’s a book. And like any other book it is a complex piece of writing. It will, by its nature, be much longer than an eZine. Generally even an eBook will be at least 15 pages while a good book will approach 60 pages or more. An eZine is typically 1 to 5 pages long. In addition, while it may be possible to create it by repurposing articles, the articles will need to be rewritten in order to ensure continuity of style and also to ensure that transitions are included. The best technique in fact, is to use the article’s outline to help create the outline for the book. And then write the book using paragraphs or sentences from the articles as appropriate.
A book will therefore take much longer to assemble and rewrite than an eZine will. Even if you account for the difference in size.
This is in part justified by the basic financing model each uses. A book may be given away as a freemium. However, it typically is sold and has a particular value. An eZine however, tends to be ad supported. While it may be sold if it has a particular niche which values it enough to subscribe, it will tend to try to pay for its costs by selling advertising. This is similar to the models used by books and magazines in the traditional paper world.