Note: For my most current advice on writing and selling your ebooks, check out my guide eBooks The Smart Way (Editor’s Note 09/2015).
Welcome to the 8th part of the “How to Publish an eBook Series.” It’s been a fun series so far, and it’s pretty cool to tell my story along the way and re-live exactly what I did to get to where I’m at today. The fact that this series is so long should tell you that it does take a lot of hard work and time in order to be successful, but your hard work will pay off.
I have a little something cool planned for The Smart Passive Income Blog in the near future, probably sometime in May. There will be a slight redesign of the website and the addition of a newsletter as well. The newsletter will incorporate the complete eBook series as a free gift for signing up. I’ll go over these things with you in more detail later on as they are being implemented. Then, you’ll be able to not only read about how to incorporate a newsletter into your website, but watch it as it happens on mine too. Sweet.
Today, I’m going to go over some free marketing techniques that you can use as you launch your eBook which will hopefully increase your sales.
Wow, this is a lot of stuff, but it’s all important in my opinion:
- Part 1—Why I chose to go with an eBook rather than a hard copy version.
- Part 2—How to Get Started after you have an idea about what you want to write about.
- Part 3—Important things your eBook you should include.
- Part 4—Getting Ready to Sell it Online.
- Part 5—Tools, websites and Automation.
- Part 6—10 Steps to a Great Sales & Landing Page
- Part 7—Pricing Strategies
Create a Buzz Before You Launch
Before you actually launch your eBook, it can be a really smart tactic to create some buzz about it beforehand if possible. If you do this correctly, you can have massive sales on your very first day!
I’ve heard of a few people launch eBooks and courses that had such a big buzz, that they earn upwards of $15,000–$20,000 on their first day! Craziness. This was something I regret not doing during the launch of my eBook, so I’m letting you know now—create buzz!
So, how do you create buzz? Here are some things you can do:
- You can talk about your progress on your eBook as you’re writing it on your website or blog
- You can have a webpage dedicated to your upcoming eBook which collects people’s email addresses for a newsletter. In your newsletter, you can broadcast to your followers about your eBook and just basically hype it up and be able to let them know when it’s ready for sale.
- If you know anybody that also has a related website, have them help you hype up your book too! They’ll want to help you, especially if you offer to sign them up for your affiliate program once it’s ready and you offer a nice cut. I’ll talk about the specifics about affiliate marketing later.
- Create YouTube videos about your product which links to your website.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to let people know about your eBook before it’s even finished.
Playing With The Price
As I mentioned in Part 7, it’s really easy to change the price of your eBook. There are a few things you can do with it to help you sell more books:
Whenever you want, you can lower the price of your eBook slightly to help boost sales. You’ll want to make sure people know the price is lower so they’ll feel the need to “get it now” before the price goes up. Here are some examples of when you could do this:
- when you first launch your book
- any sort of holiday
- when a certain deadline is approaching
- just because
Y ou want to make sure your customers know you’re holding a special promotion, so you’ll want to update a graphic just for the occasion. Here is a graphic I normally have on my website with a “stamp” on it just for promotional purposes.
Here are some sayings you can use to go along with your promotion:
- Special Offer Today!
- Today Only!
- For a Limited Time!
- Promotional Price!
- [Holiday] Special! (i.e. New Year’s Special!)
- XX% Discount!
Take Advantage of Discount Codes
DIscount codes (sometimes called coupon codes) are codes that when entered in to a shopping cart, immediately give your customers a discount. If you use e-junkie, it’s really easy to set up different discount codes for your products. See the screenshot below for an example (these are not the real discount codes I use):
As you can see above, the discount codes are meant for specific groups of people. It’s smart to do this because if your offering a discount within a newsletter, for example, when people see the discount code “NEWSLETTER”, the readers will know the discount is just for them, and they’ll feel more compelled to take advantage of it.
You can also use this same philosophy to offer special promotions to people during certain times of the year. So, if you want to offer a Christmas special, you don’t have to lower the price of your book, but instead just offer the discount code CHRISTMAS (or word of your choice) to people instead.
Some of my most successful marketing efforts were done for free on other blogs and forums related to what my eBook was about.
When my eBook was finally finished, you could find me in a bunch of the related forums promoting my book. BE CAREFUL THOUGH! When promoting your website or products on other websites, the last thing you want to do is sound like that’s all you’re there for. Forums are meant to help people, and if you’re there just promoting your product that isn’t much help to anyone. It’s just hurting you as you gain a reputation as “that guy” (or girl). Don’t be “that guy.”
My tip would be to first register for the forum and then answer questions, join in on conversations, and start your own topics if you want—but don’t make any references to your eBook just yet. You can, however, put your website link in your signature. That way, if anyone is curious, they can click over.
After a few days and some posts, then you can reference your eBook, but only if the opportunity presents itself. What I mean is that if anyone has a specific question, or if there’s a topic that being discussed about something your eBook addresses, offer your advice and just ever-so-slightly mention your eBook in there.
Here is an example of something you could say:
@Craig, I know Pay-Per-Click advertising can seem pretty difficult to understand at first, but it’s all about your ad copy more than anything. How you choose and use your words within your ad can make a world of a difference. There are tons of examples out there of both good and bad ad copies. I actually did a whole study on ad copy optimization which I published in my book, which can be found at [my website’s html]. If you need any help, let me know and I’d be happy to help you out.
I just made that up, but do you see how the book reference is just a small part of the answer and it’s relevant? It’s a lot friendlier than: “Hey I just wrote this book, check it out here!”, and more people will let it slide, because it actually helps. If you can hyperlink your book, instead of writing out the entire website link, that would be preferable too.
This same idea goes for blogs too, although you have an even greater chance of your comment being deleted, since the blog owner is usually more picky and observant about what is said on his or her blog.
The best part is that if you do offer good advice, people will begin to learn who you are and mention any resources that you have to others when you’re not around. This has happened to me, and I’ve since laid off posting on the forums, but I still visit it sometimes and see intheleed.com being mentioned.
My recommendation to you would be that if you ever plan on writing an eBook about a certain subject in the future, even if it’s months or even a couple years away, get involved in related forums today. Make a presense, answer questions, and ask them too if needed. When it’s time for your eBook to launch, your community on the forum will definitely back you up if you’re not “that guy.”
In my next post, I’ll be going over some techniques to market your material that you’ll need to front a little bit of money for, such as advertising with Google Adwords and Facebook. If you don’t do it right, you can easily lose a lot of money really fast. Stay tuned!