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White Papers For Dummies: Here’s what people are saying

The reviews are in, and they’re glowing!

White Papers For Dummies is being called “a must-read… an invaluable resource… a real treasure… priceless… terrific…

“Outstanding… comprehensive… fantastic… the best book of its kind… highly recommended… required reading… absolutely phenomenal… ridiculously good value… everything you ever wanted to know… excellent in every way.”

cover of White Papers for Dummies


Plus this title was named one of the top 7 books for content marketing success by the Content Marketing Institute.

Many thanks to all those who showered this title with praise via e-mail, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Amazon… where the book has received more than 50 5-star reviews.

Scroll down to see what B2B copywriters and marketing experts are saying about it.

Skip the reviews to see what’s in the book

The new classic on writing white papers
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

If you’re involved in white papers in any way—as a writer, designer, marketer, CEO or entrepreneur—then you must read this book. It’s that simple…

Gordon has a booming practice working in the trenches with companies on their white papers. So he knows, first hand, how to plan them… how to write them… and how to market them.

I can think of no one else I would recommend more to guide you in creating a white paper that works.

Steve Slaunwhite B2B copywriter and coach

An invaluable resource
A must-read book if you’re considering writing white papers—and an invaluable resource if you’ve been writing white papers for years… from one of the most experienced white paper writers in the business.

Ed Gandia B2B copywriter and coach

Priceless information
White Papers For Dummies is a “must-read” for anyone interested in the subject. Gordon Graham’s book contains priceless information you just can’t find anyplace else.

If you ever have to write a white paper or supervise the creation of one, have this one-of-a-kind book by your side!

Ivan Levison veteran direct-response copywriter

I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I spent a good hour dipping into it, and it’s terrific.

I don’t think anyone has done the thinking and analysis of what makes a great white paper that you have!

Bob Bly the copywriter’s copywriter

This book is gold
If your business wants to produce a white paper, don’t start until you read White Paper for Dummies.

If you’re a freelance writer who wants to offer white paper writing to clients, don’t start pitching your services until you read White Paper for Dummies.

And if you’re in business and don’t know what the heck a white paper is, read White Paper for Dummies.

When it comes to white papers, this book is gold.

Paul Lima writer and business-writing trainer

Comprehensive guide
White Papers For Dummies is the most comprehensive guide to writing white papers that I have ever seen.

Not only does it fully describe how to write the three major types of white papers, it also provides ample advice on how to promote your white papers to reach a larger audience and increase your marketing ROI.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who writes white papers—whether this is a new area for you, or you have been writing white papers for years but want to improve them and achieve better results.

Rachel Foster B2B copywriter

Compelled to finish in one jaw-dropping sitting!

Amazed, delighted, and astounded by the thoroughness, the juicy details, and the accessibility.

This book is not only good for white paper writers but gives a quick overview of the whole, mysterious content marketing field in general.

Plus your writing style gives the reader a sense that, well, there is a real person who’s not just trying to make a profit, but also has his reader’s interest as his focus. Thanks, my friend.

—personal e-mail January 29, 2018 from Susan Wilkins

Will increase a writer’s confidence by 100%
Over the course of my career, I’ve written dozens of white papers, particularly for technology companies.

Oh, how I wish I’d had Gordon Graham’s book at hand when I was cobbling together those first few white papers. (I did get better over time, painstakingly teaching myself in those pre-Google days)…

Graham goes into depth on topics ranging from picking a topic, naming your white paper, conducting research, writing effectively, and promoting your white paper…

In typical For Dummies fashion, the book points out helpful tips, not-to-be-missed points, interesting stories and “danger” zones.

As a writer, I can say without hesitation that my fellow scribes would find this book invaluable, especially if they can write well but don’t yet have a lot of experience with white papers.

White Papers for Dummies will increase their confidence by 100%. And, if you’re a B2B marketer who’s not using white papers, why not?

Donna Papacosta consultant, writer, speaker and podcaster

A great, informative reference
I bought White Papers For Dummies and I’m learning something new every other paragraph. I have stickies and highlights and all kinds of pen notations, which is always the sign of a good reference book.

Thanks for a great, informative book that gives me new avenues to explore in this crazy writing career.

Lisa MacColl freelance writer and editor

Will stay a classic for years to come
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

This is absolutely the finest book on the subject to be found anywhere. If you’re a B2B writer and you follow the guidelines in this book from start to finish, it can catapult a career for you as a writer of white papers.

Louis J Wasser copywriter

Great reference for everything you need to know about white papers
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

This could easily be a dry subject, but Graham spices it up just enough to hold your interest.

What I like in particular is his candor when it comes to discussing the chances of relying on white paper writing to earn a living. He says it’s very difficult… but he also lays out several scenarios—realistic ones—that make it feasible.

All in all, this book is chock full of information covering everything from A to Z, and it’s an easy read.

If you’re interested in writing white papers or just want to learn more about how white papers can affect your marketing mix, I would highly recommend this book.

Alex M. Milo B2B copywriter

Add it to your library—it will serve you well
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

A white paper is the ultimate proof piece that validates your positioning… and as Gordon points out, weak-minded, feeble research and vague generalities have no place in a proof paper…

His section on sources for white papers, along with the rules for “evidence” like proximity, authority, timeliness and relevance were terrific…

The most valuable new information I learned was his checklist of “must” and “could do” promotions.

Like he says, why spend so much effort to produce a persuasive white paper and then not get it out there to generate leads?

Congratulations on a terrific book that will help beginners and advanced white paper writers alike.

Ted Finch software marketing consultant

Excellent reference!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

Gordon Graham’s White Papers for Dummies is a well-organized, excellent reference guide for writers looking to expand the services they offer to B2B clients.

Graham has an established track record crafting hundreds of white papers… but his expertise is delivered in a friendly and approachable voice, as he outlines strategies for success for the beginner and seasoned expert alike.

The book covers everything you ever wanted to know about white papers, from how to structure the document, price projects, manage client-writer communications, and avoid common pitfalls.

Jane Langille professional health writer

Simply outstanding
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I’ve read books on how to write white papers in the past. This is the best.

Gordon Graham cuts through the fluff and gets right to the heart of what you need to know and the process you need to go through to get a good white paper written.

The first question he answers is “What kind of white paper do you need?” That’s the all-important question most marketing managers can’t answer. But it’s crucial to getting the right marketing piece written to the right audience at the right point in the sales cycle.

Overall, I found it to be a very easy read with a lot of sensible tips and tricks that anyone can implement on their next white paper. Highly recommended.

Eric Lynch CIO and IT copywriter

Ridiculously good value
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I write white papers and marketing collateral for technology companies. The content here is so valuable (to me, professionally) I’m a little embarrassed how little I paid for it.

It’s not only about writing—the sections on promoting white papers, and on finding clients, are a welcome bonus.

Unlike so many in the Dummies series, this is a very, very good book.

Chung King technology writer

Best book on the topic
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

In my other life as a marketer and copywriter, I’ve sought information about writing white papers. I’d acquired some hardcover books written by an alleged expert. This book was better in every way, exceeding my expectations many times over.

Graham gets right to the point. He explains who reads white papers and why; I’ve never seen such a clear discussion of white papers vs case studies vs other types of writing.

He identifies three “flavors” of white papers, using an analogy that’s memorable but not overly cute. He goes through the outline of white papers, section by section.

Even better, Graham explains the role of a white paper writer and explains how to hire a white paper writer…

Graham’s formula works for many kinds of writing: Think like a lawyer, write like a journalist and promote like a madman. The section on promotion seems especially strong.

This book turned out to be excellent in every way… a standout in the series and the current catalog of business books.

Cathy Goodwin author, speaker, consultant

Excellent guidance from a white paper pro
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I’ve written white papers for years and yet I learned a lot from this book. Highly recommend it to beginners and long-time writers. It’s now a permanent book on my resource shelf.

Nanette Gage copywriter

Cream of the crop!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

Concise, well-written, and done by a true consummate professional.

If you’re in the market for hiring a white paper writer, considering tackling the job yourself, or just looking for a lucrative career, this book will move you toward your goals. Graham is the man, you won’t go wrong here.

I just used this book to help me write a white paper for the trucking industry… it’s full of nuggets of wisdom and I highly recommend it.

A footnote: if you need a really good white paper, head over to Graham’s website and hire him… if you can!

Jesse Moskel copywriter

Very useful introduction and how-to guide
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

This is a great overview, introduction, and how-to guide on producing white papers…

The author was thorough, both in covering the basics of designing and writing a white paper, and in identifying pitfalls and common mistakes.

As I move forward with the white-paper project which led me to buy this book, I’ll certainly refer back to this book multiple times.

Mark J Welch online marketing consultant

Excellent, excellent read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

Gordon has an easy flow about his writing; and does a masterful job of breaking down concepts to where they are easy to understand, digest, and execute.

I found this informative and an invaluable resource, whether you are new to white papers, or are a seasoned pro looking for fresh ideas to streamline your writing process.

Gordon Akinpelu writer

Packed full of useful info
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I wish I had this book when I started my career as a technology marketer!

White Papers for Dummies is packed full of practical information about how to plan, execute and promote a white paper.

Readers can’t help but save themselves time and hassle if they use this book to guide their next white paper project…

Useful tricks of the trade are sprinkled generously throughout… I especially liked the section on how to promote your white paper once it’s done.

Buy a copy for yourself, and give one to your VP of Sales & Marketing!

Gregory Graham strategic planning consultant

A great place to start!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

White Papers for Dummies is a great introduction to the world of writing white papers. Before this book, I had heard the term but did not really grasp what it meant.

Writing an effective white paper can be tricky, but Graham… goes over the issues that can make it a stand-out showpiece as opposed to a mediocre, boring, sales pitch.

Though I am just starting at being a commercial freelance writer, this was just the book I needed to get a better idea how the process is done.

I would highly recommend it for anyone faced with writing a white paper for the first time or even after having a few of them under their belt.

Christina Paul writer and film producer

First book to buy on the topic of white papers
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

This book is longer and more recently published than the Stelzner book which has been the standard text for writing white papers.

It is also cheaper and broader in scope, covering not only how to write and promote white papers, but also providing guidance for managers hiring talent for white paper projects.

Loren Woirhaye direct-response copywriter and internet consultant

Required reading for content marketers
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I recently took on a white paper project for a digital marketing firm, and this book saved my life.

It goes into wonderful detail on how to select the right kind of white paper, outline the white paper, research, format, work on a team to produce the white paper, etc. This book is my white paper writing bible.

It’s also very engaging and easy to read.

I have the Kindle version, and it’s wonderfully optimized for its format, with tons of in-text hyperlinks to different parts of the book for easy reference.

If you need help writing a white paper, this is the only book you need. I’m so grateful it exists, I actually wrote a review.

Saluki copywriter in Florida

Required reading for content marketers
★ ★ ★ ★ ★   5-star review on

I’ve been a fan of white papers for almost a decade, and I’ve read the leading books on the topic…

White Papers for Dummies takes the story further in several ways.

It’s a must-read for freelancers and staff writers who prepare white papers, as well as those who supervise white papers created by others…

I especially liked the author’s analysis of three types of white papers, which he refers to as Vanilla, Strawberry, and Chocolate. Using this basic 3-part characterization permits him to go deep into the whens, hows, and whys of using different flavors of white papers for different purposes.

Freelancers and newcomers to white papers are likely to appreciate his description of the white paper procurement process, and the steps involved in working with the numerous individuals likely to be involved in creating white papers for corporate clients.

Promotion is another area where White Papers for Dummies goes further than competing volumes…

I’ve been on several webinars where Gordon has presented, so I was primed to expect a lot of practical, carefully organized details.

When I received a review copy, I was pleased to find more than I expected in a highly readable format.

Roger C Parker best-selling author and designer

What’s inside White Papers For Dummies

A fast and easy way to write winning white papers!



The fact-based documents known as white papers have been called the “king of content.”

No other B2B marketing piece can do more to generate leads, nurture prospects, and build mindshare.

Where white papers were once used only by technology firms, they are becoming “must-have” items in the marketing toolkit for almost any B2B firm.

Practically every startup must produce a white paper as part of its business planning.

But writing effective white papers is a big challenge.



Now you can benefit from the experience of a white paper specialist who’s worked on more than 320 white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Finland, from tiny startups to giant firms like Google and Verizon.

Author Gordon Graham—also known as That White Paper Guy—provides dozens of tips and tricks to help your project come together faster and easier.

White Papers For Dummies will help you to:

  • Quickly determine if your B2B firm could benefit from a white paper
  • Understand when and how to use the three main types of white paper
  • Master the three phases of every white paper project: planning, production, and promotion
  • Decide what to include and what to leave out
  • Learn the best practices of seasoned white paper researchers and writers
  • See the powerful 12-step process field-tested on dozens of white paper projects
  • Choose from 40 different promotional tactics to help get the word out
  • Avoid common mistakes that beginners make

Whether you’re a marketing manager seeking to use white papers to promote your business…

or a copywriter keen to break into this well-paying field…

White Papers For Dummies gives you a wealth of practical, hands-on advice from one of the world’s leading experts in the field.





Learn everything you need to know about white papers!

Click to order your own copy now.




About this book

White Papers For Dummies strives to clearly explain the theory and practice of using white papers in B2B content marketing.

This book is organized to make everything easy to find and simple to apply.

It starts with an overview of the power of white papers and the huge opportunity they present to both marketers and copywriters.

Then it drills down into the details, including:

  • The three main flavors of white papers
  • A proven step-by-step process for creating these documents
  • A wealth of practical advice on how to research and build an argument
  • Tips on how to express your points in clear and accessible language
  • 40 tactics to help promote your finished white paper to the four corners of your market

You won’t find this kind of detailed treatment of white papers in any other book on the market. I know, I’ve read them all.

And whether you’re just getting started with white papers or you’ve already created several, White Papers For Dummies has something for you.

If you’re a marketing manager, this book sketches in the benefits that white papers can deliver to your company, and shows how to choose the best format to meet any challenge at any point in the sales funnel.

If you’re a writer, this book is packed with tips on how to plan, research, write and design a compelling document that stands head-and-shoulders above most other white papers out there today.

Free chapters available

Get a taste of White Papers for Dummies by downloading the first two chapters free.

Chapter 1: Unleashing the Power of White Papers 

  • Getting familiar with the ultimate form of content: white papers
  • Acknowledging trends and avoiding typical problems with white papers
  • Tracing the rise of white papers in B2B marketing
  • Using white papers at the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel
  • Understanding which sectors use white papers today and which others could

Chapter 2: An Exciting Opportunity for Writers

  • The unmet need for white paper writes
  • Breaking into white papers as a former copywriter, journalist, or technical writer
  • Landing your first few white paper projects

Those first two chapters give a good sense of the book’s style and contents.

Bonus content available

No Dummies book is complete without a cheatsheet.

The cheatsheet for my book covers the three main types of white papers, six simple ways to improve the look of any white paper, and 15 must-do tactics for promoting a white paper.

Cheatsheet for White Papers For Dummies

And that’s not all. Even though this book is 384 pages long, we just couldn’t squeeze everything in. But you can find it online.

Looking for ways to make your white papers more engaging? Think about introducing rich media like animation, audio, video, or interactivity.

Incorporate rich media into white papers

Could you use help researching your white papers? Here’s some tips on working smoothly with a researcher.

How to work with a researcher when writing a white paper

And finally, every writer needs to safeguard our work, right? But not everyone remembers to back up their files.

Here’s an article that sums up four ways to manage your documents and avoid losing anything.

Managing your computer documents during the writing process

Plus, there’s a unique 4-page infographic you can use as a quick-reference when planning and writing your next white paper. Just click on the image just below this article to get it.

infographic on 3 flavors of white papers from White Papers For Dummies

White paper infographic

And last, but certainly not least, here’s a 4-page PDF that sums up the basics of the three flavors of white papers, complete with a suggested table of contents for each flavor.

You can keep this by your desk for quick reference as you work on any white paper.

But wait, isn’t this book out of date by now?

Since this book appeared 10 years ago, that’s a reasonable question.

The good news is that 95% is just as relevant today as the day it first appeared.

Most of this book deals with timeless principles of good research, writing, project management, and promotion.

It covers my “three ice cream flavors” of white papers and two mashups.

It described how anyone involved in white papers should think like a lawyer, write like a journalist, and promote like a madman. I still teach all those principles in my white paper classes today.

The one area where this book is out of date, naturally, is when it mentions software like Windows 7 or voice recognition or text-to-speech. Today Word includes effective functions for Dictation and Read Aloud. So our technology has improved over the past few years.

If you read around those snippets, the rest remains helpful for any white paper writer or B2B marketer.

If this book was out of date, I would be working hard on an update. But I don’t think it really needs one.

So check out the free chapters and see if they sound relevant today.

And all the very best with all your projects.


This page originally published 14 May 2014. Last updated 9 November 2022