Create And Sell Your Own Ebooks By Mastering Six Aspects: Planning, Writing, Designing, Protecting, Pricing And Promotion
Remember, ebooks are amongst the most popular knowledge products. Most Knowledge Commerce marketers like to begin with these. Ebooks allow budding entrepreneurs to cut their teeth in the business without much risk.
We’re talking here of books to sell through your own site. We’re not including books for Amazon Kindle which are a slightly different ball game.
There are two ways to look at ebooks as part of your whole repertoire of current or future knowledge products. You can price your ebooks at profitable levels, as your prime money spinners. Or you can sell ebooks as “tripwire products” – small-priced products that whet consumer appetites for pricier items like courses or monthly subscription memberships.
At Solohacks Academy, we believe creating and selling ebooks will speed you on the learning curve towards selling big-ticket, slick courses and memberships later. They are your best “earn-while-you-learn” program.
1. Planning Your Ebook
Planning your ebook well is nine-tenths of the game. So do it with a lot of focus. What you should be aiming for is to pick an ebook topic that will make it easy for a prospective customer to become a purchasing one. Your ebook is meant to sell itself, as well as generate leads for subsequent bigger products you have, so keep that goal in mind. Now let’s see how to pick the right topic, plan your book outline and actually do the writing.
a. Choosing The Right Topic For Your Ebook
Do you know your unique expertise niche thoroughly? Do you know your target audiences well? If you’ve done your homework, you should be sure you know your audiences’ pain-points, problems, or areas of perplexity or doubt. The first tenet in ebook planning is to take care and choose a topic that aligns with your target audience’s needs or pain-points.
What this means is that your ebook shouldn’t meander away into topics unrelated to the niche-specific content you are creating for your business. In fact, your ebook should ideally be a “deeper dive” into some subject of your niche that calls for a depth of understanding. Educating your customer through ebooks should lead to more and more purchase behavior.
An example of how to choose a topic for your ebook
Let’s take an example. If, for instance, you are in the health foods niche, and you sell knowledge about spirulina (a form of algae) as a superfood, it’s a topic new to most of us who may never have heard the name “spirulina” and may not have the faintest idea of how to consume it or why. Maybe you have a lot of blog posts to suggest ways of eating it … but, then, you could also publish an ebook with all the scientific studies done on spirulina and its health benefits, because people who know more will adopt the eating of it more readily.
Choosing topics that educate better is one way of choosing great topics for an ebook. Another way is to offer an ebook that answers the most vexing queries that your target audiences have on your niche subject. Problem-solution ebooks sell a lot because they promise more than theory on a topic – they promise a sequence of solution-steps. A third idea is to collate lots of information from different people on their ideas around a topic and create an ebook of how people have practically found answers to a common problem. A lot of the time, audiences love reading case studies, because these have a storytelling flavor.
Looking for market gaps in the market around your topic
If you spend a day searching Amazon for various books on a chosen topic, you will see the rich diversity of angles taken by different authors, all tackling the same subject. Use that as your inspiration to come up with a topic angle that you feel will resonate with audiences because they haven’t quite seen things that way before. Test your ebook topic ideas out with a few close people similar to your audiences. If you largely get a nod of appreciation, make a start on your ebook. Don’t give in to procrastination. As your ebook evolves, you may find ways to chop and change your original idea into something even more interesting, so start immediately with an open mind.
b. Researching For Your Ebook Content
How will you research the topics of your ebook? How can you plan the sub-topics and contents of your ebook to cover all the information people are most interested to know? And how will you offer all that content in a way that’s cogent to both topic-newbies and those with a bit of previous experience on the topic?
Where to research for ebook content inspirations
Researching content for your ebook is the easiest thing to do. Go to Amazon and look up a lot of books on the same or similar topics to yours. Thankfully, Amazon allows you to look inside books at the Table of Contents. Note all the chapters and the sequence that other writers have followed. That should start shaping your own thoughts into some structure.
But don’t stop there. Go to the online course sites like Udemy and see if there are good courses on the topic you want to write about. See the curriculum list for all the courses. You’ll find some excellent sequential structures there too. The more examples of books and courses you research, the more your own thoughts will become refined. Previously unsuspected ideas will begin to occur. Note all this down.
Most importantly, see how other authors have started with topics that make sense to beginners in the early sections of their books or courses, and then progressed it to the levels of advanced readers by the time they reach the later sections.
Read mere blog posts than you think you need
When you’ve done all the spying for the key sub-topics to include in your ebook, check out as many good blog posts as you can online, to see how each sub-topic can be packed with useful and smart content. The more you read the more ideas you will get. Your mind will broaden around the topic you have chosen to write about.
Never fear that you have too much information to hand than you can handle. In the next section, we’re going to see where you can keep and sort all that information to make the flow and sequence of your ebook smooth and coherent.
c. Mindmapping To Collate Potential Content Topics
You will be gathering a whole truckload of information nuggets as you research, and will need a place to keep ideas to later sort them. A great tool to use at this stage would be a mindmap.
What are mindmaps and how are they to be used?
According to SimpleMind, the tool I like to use, “A mind map is a tool for the brain that captures the thinking that goes on inside your head. Mind mapping helps you think, collect knowledge, remember, and create ideas. Most likely it will make you a better thinker.”
A mindmap looks somewhat like the diagram shown below.
Image courtesy: Iris
As you gather ideas, you branch out from the center of the topic into branches that seem logical. You put the ideas you keep collecting under any branch where they seems to fit. You also keep adding branches if new ideas you gather don’t fit under existing branches.
Don’t stop to sort it all out perfectly as you gather ideas together. Your goal should be to make your mindmap a kind of repository for all the ideas, thoughts, quotes and other information bits and pieces of value you collect, putting it all into some kind of quick-and-easy logic that feels temporarily right.
Sorting and rearranging your mindmap
After you are through with gathering all the information you’d like to use in your ebook, then sort the mindmap. See if the topics and branches need rearrangement – or a different kind of hierarchy. See if the content ideas need to be under other branches than the ones you’ve put them in.
Tools like SimpleMind not only allow easy drag-and-drop manipulation of the mindmap, but after you’re through, SimpleMind also gives you the option of outputting your mindmap as a “hierarchical contents list” based on how you have ordered your mindmap. If you like, that list can become your ebook’s “Contents Page”.
2. Writing Your Ebook
Writing your ebook has become so much easier these days, because there are so many tools that help polish and perfect your work and also make your work easier. But remember this. Yu can’t write well without first having clarity of thinking. The clearer your mind is, the more fluid your writing will be. All the tools in the world can’t save cluttered writing from a cluttered mind. You’ll also leave readers more confused than they were before they bought your ebook – and that would be unforgiveable.
a. Writing Your Ebook To A Definite Pattern
Good writers never write in an unsystematic way. You can do one blog post or one article that way, but unless there’s a clear pattern and consistency to your writing, it will neither benefit you nor your readers.
What is a consistent pattern to follow?
There is no one ideal pattern. What is important is that you follow some pattern that readers can get familiar with and comfortable with – and you too can use and reuse as your template for giving your writing some structure.
For example, in my case, after much evolution of my writing patterns, I have evolved a template I always use, to both think and write out my ebook chapters. It goes something like this:
After the title of the chapter, I add one introductory paragraph about the meaning and value of the chapter to the reader and a second paragraph on what the chapter contains. I then divide the contents of the chapter into 4 main subheadings, with 4 sub-points to elaborate on the point made by each sub-heading. In each sub-point (under each sub-heading), I explain 2 benefits and 2 usage examples. After the 4 subheadings are completed, I end with a summary of the chapter with bullet points. And finally, I add three quotes from famous authors to support the points made in the chapter.
When I have this pattern set in my mind, my thoughts begin to flow like fill-in-the-blanks. I know what to add next, and next, and next. My research on the subject follows this plan too.
Writing to a pattern brings comfort to a reader’s mind
The advantage to the reader is also immense if I write my chapters to a framework that’s set. When they need to re-read a particular passage, they’ll know where to find it, because they have become accustomed to my pattern of writing.
The human mind likes order and arrangement because these are how the mind stores information. Writing to a pattern thus helps the reader’s comfort, because his mind doesn’t have to try and create order and arrangement out of my information.
b. Using Grammar Tools To Make Writing Perfect
The real polish in writing comes from polished ideas. It does not come from polished words and sentences. Writing polished content for your brand requires putting thought on content value first. Then come the four hallmarks that separate brands and their writing styles. These four hallmarks are creativity, confidence, credibility and conviction.
That said, there are some free and excellent tools to help you polish up your writing skills …
As the name suggests, the Hemingway App is a free online tool that helps you write in the very polished and easy-to-read style of the great writer, Ernest Hemingway. Mr. Hemingway believed that English must be written in a simple but strong way – without confusing sentence construction, overuse of weak adverbs, or excessive passive voice. If we avoid these three errors, he felt, language would become very classy and stylish.
In the image of the Hemingway App shown above, everything is self-explanatory. Type in your text directly or copy-paste from another document. Using color-codes, the app tells you where you are using fussy sentences, weak adverbs, and passive voice. Till you correct the sentences, the colors won’t disappear. Finally, when you have pared it all down to meet Mr. Hemingway’s high standards, all your text will be black on white. That’s when you’ve done a good job. Isn’t this a fabulously easy way to keep to the high standards of a man noted for his depth of vocabulary and smart communication of ideas?
Grammarly declares itself to be an “AI-powered application to help people communicate more effectively.” Millions of users rely on Grammarly to make their messages, documents, and social media posts clear, mistake-free, and impactful. The free version is more than good enough for most writers. If you just install Grammarly’s free browser and MS Office extension, it will help you write language that’s deemed correct.
Grammarly not only points out and rectifies your grammatical mistakes but also makes your writing more understandable. In addition, it is able to check the tone of your writing, by making synonym suggestions to make your text more readable and precise. I find it to be invaluable because it underlines in green every word or phrase that looks or sounds wrong – and it gives me alternatives that I can just click to use instead of the words I did.
c. Using Audio Tools To Make Writing Easier
There are two nifty tools that most writers never think of – but they can be enormously useful in speeding up your writing time. One is a speech-to-text software – and another is the opposite, a text-to-speech online app. You’ll never guess what these two audio-based tools can do for your writing till you’ve tried them.
I’m one of those writers whose thinking is very fast, but typing skills are very slow – and full of typo errors that need time-consuming correcting. On the other hand, I can dictate my thoughts in good natural sentences to my Dragon Naturally Speaking Software. It’s now become such a smooth process, that I can create an ebook of ten or twelve chapters in just three days. I then give myself a couple of days more to do some final polishing up and tweaking, which is usually minimal.
Dragon Naturally Speaking costs a bit of money ($49.99 and upwards), but it’s worth every penny to a writer who wants to produce reams of content at a good speed and in a conversational tone. Dragon is especially good for people with different speaking accents. My own speaking accent is Indian. Free or cheap online free dictation software doesn’t often understand my accent. Fortunately, there is a Dragon Naturally Speaking version for Indians.
How does it all work? Dragon primes itself by making you read one “training paragraph” it has cleverly constructed to catch all the kinds of sounds you make while speaking. You have to read that paragraph over and over and correct it’s text typing, till it gets it 100% right. After that priming (it takes about 15-30 minutes) it’s all set to understand and convert to text whatever you dictate, in your own unique pronunciations, diction, and accent.
If I were you, I just wouldn’t quibble with the price to pay for Dragon Naturally Speaking. It has speeded up my writing by at least 10X. I was squeamish about spending that money, initially, but after I pushed myself to get Dragon, I feel I have never made a better investment.
Now, you may be wondering why a writer would need a text-to-speech reader. In fact, I’ve chosen the most basic, free online one you can use, as I frequently do. The idea is that it’s really so much easier to proof-read your writing, especially a lot of it, if you could hear a voice read it than if you were to tire your eyes out correcting every missing letter here and there.
You may be using free spelling-and-grammar tools like Grammarly, but still, the ear never misses what the eye can. Eyes get tired easily when they have to look at masses of text. Especially when you are the writer, you are so clued into your own writing style that you never are able to spot errors like a fresh person reading it would. Having it all read aloud to you helps enormously.
Let’s say you have accidentally typed the word “the” twice in a sentence. You wouldn’t notice it because it is not a misspelled word, nor a wrong one to use. It’s just appeared twice. When a text reader reads it back to you, though, it would stutter over “the … the” and you’d spot the error faster. Hearing sentences read aloud also makes you aware if they seem overlong, or too fussy with clauses and meanderings. If the text reader reads a crisp piece of writing without a flaw, your proofing is easy-as-pie.
3. Designing Your Ebook
Although many people say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, unfortunately that’s the way things usually work. How your ebook looks is a big part of its potential for delivering its sales objective. So let’s see what goes into great ebook design …
a. Designing Your Ebook Cover
Fortunately you don’t have to do the whole designing of an ebook look and feel from scratch. The Internet is replete with ebook design templates. Here are just a few of the best sources:
- 13 Beautiful New Ebook Templates [Free Download] – HubSpot Blog
- Ebook Templates – Visme
- Free eBook Templates & Examples to Help Build Your Brand – Lucidpress
- [eBook Templates] How to Create a Fantastic eBook in 48 hours – ConvertKit
- Free Online eBook Creator. Find Templates & Design For Your Own Ebook – Crello
- Free Online eBook Maker: Design a Custom eBook – Canva
- Huge List of eBook Templates You Can Download for Free – GrowTraffic
- Top InDesign Templates to Showcase Your Ebook – Envato
Each of these “ready-to-use solutions” above comes with a gallery of examples and detailed instructions – so you don’t really need to pay someone to design the cover art of your ebook for you.
Here, for instance are just a few of the templates from Visme. They are so easily customizable that a child can do it.
Image courtesy: Visme
Just one thing to bear in mind: if you plan to publish a series of ebooks under your brand name, see that you choose a design that is capable of endless adaptation with different colors and images, but with coherence in design as a series. Brands acquire memorability through consistency of look and feel.
b. Using The Best Colors For Your Ebook
Ideally, experts will tell you, your ebook should reflect your brand colors, albeit in a new and refreshing way. Your ebook cannot look like your website design has been reduced to an ebook cover, but a hint of your brand colors on the ebook cover design, used strategically, is a very powerful idea.
The psychology of color and its effects
Aside from using brand colors, the psychology of color is one of the most talked-about and controversial areas of online marketing. The notion that certain colors can evoke specific emotions is already very interesting, but the further idea that colors can actually change purchase behavior is absolutely compelling for brands.
A lot of recent studies indicate that online marketers can use the psychology of color to instigate very specific user behaviors – they can send positive or negative messages, encourage sales, calm a social crowd, or even push people to click on the “Buy Now” button.
Here is a chart that shows you one way to view the psychology of color. See how brands have used colors for their logos. Doubtless, when they publish ebooks, some coherence with their brand colors will go into ebook cover designs also.
Image courtesy: TheLogoCompany
Why is the psychology of color more important online than offline?
Experts believe that in the offline world our perception of color gets muted because we always tend to see the foreground colors against the backdrop of myriad other background colors. Online, however, when we are glued to the screens of our laptops, mobile phone or tablets (as with ebooks) the focus of our attention is much narrower on what we are looking at – and so the impact of the colors we are exposed to hit us harder and more exclusively.
There are lots of books on the psychology of color on Amazon, so pick up one or two of the latest ones. The effect of different colors on people is an area of research that is changing its tune every couple of months or so. So if you want to be “with it”, blend the most recently recommended colors for audience-behavior-shaping with your brand colors – and you may be steering in the right direction.
c. Inclusions And Calls-To-Action In Your Ebook
When you are using charts and graphs from various sources to illustrate your text, it’s hard to find consistency. Every chart and graph will tend to look different, and if there are many in your ebook, they can mess up the look and feel of your carefully formatted text if you just use them as they are.
But even if you cannot alter their colors and contents, you can surely bring in your own standardization to the inset images you use. You can make them all of an even size, or you can give them all a colored border of a certain thickness so they all look in harmony with each other. You can also standardize the way you number or caption them.
In addition to images, you may like to intersperse your writing with source-attributed statistics and quotes (if they are really relevant), and also with Calls-To-Action (CTAs) that help people take some next action or engage with your business, beyond just reading your ebook. For instance, a CTA can lead to another offer, or your evergreen webinar’s registration page, or even a product landing page.
Key points to remember about Calls-To-Action in ebooks
One thing to remember with in-ebook CTAs is that they have got to do two radically opposite things. Firstly, they have to fit in with the rest of your book. They can’t be too different from the context in which they are shown. Yet, contrarily, they also have to stand out in some way, so they are seen as separate from the core contents of the book. You’ve got to achieve these two opposite ideas, strange as it may seem.
Here’s an example of how HubSpot achieves harmony in its CTAs despite the dichotomy inherent in these situations. Every Hubspot eBook dedicates at least one page (nearer the end of the ebook) to a Call-To-Action that makes sense in the overall context of the book, and yet is distinct enough from the rest of the book to attract special attention. In this example below, the use of reverse coloring – black background with white lettering – helps create contrast with the rest of the ebook. But the orange color (a brand color of Hubspot) is used for the highlighted text in the CTA. Thus both coherence and difference are created.
Image courtesy: Hubspot
4. Protecting Your Ebook
If you’re distributing free downloadable ebooks it doesn’t matter, but if you’re trying to sell ebooks, theft and piracy are huge problems. There have been all manner of solutions suggested – ranging from software locks, specialized hardware for reading ebooks, changing the laws, and naming and shaming ebook thieves on the social media.
Unfortunately nothing has worked till date – but I think I have found an answer that at least totally discourages ebook theft … prevention is better than cure. Read on …
a. Securing Your Ebook Against Theft
Yuwanda Black in her article “Ebook Theft: 12 Things You Can Do To Stop Someone From Copying And Selling Your Ebook” says:
Any time an industry matures, the bad apples come out and start lying, stealing and cheating to get their slice of the pie. Here, I’m talking about ebook theft. Unfortunately, the short answer is, no, there is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent someone from duplicating your downloadable ebook. Ebook piracy, copyright infringement, content theft, etc. is alive and well and it’s never going to disappear.
Yuwanda is right, isn’t she? All of us who find it easy to convert our ebooks into PDFs (for ease of customer reading on laptops, tablets and mobiles) are perennially worried that PDF-encryption-cracking is an industry that’s enjoying itself.
Apart from the pirates who crack the encryption codes of pricey ebooks, there are of course the well-meaning people who like to buy our low-priced ebooks and then email them to their friends and family, so everybody can get the goodness.
Gosh, it’s no place for the genuine ebook writer with small means and reasonable expectations that the self-same ebook will not soon be on the market as if written by another author.
Preventing ebook theft – some of the ideas to try
In her article Yuwanda suggests many ways to prevent theft, so these ideas from her are good practices to follow:
- Corner the thief’s payment provider
- Name your file in a way that’s hard to copy
- Use a secure digital service provider
- Keep changing your download link often
- Prevent file-sharing (as some tools allow you to do)
- Use encryption methods/software
- Use password protected ebook files
- Do periodic online checks to see if your ebook has appeared under another author’s name
- If your book is valuable, considering suing the thieves
- Get the thieves’ websites shut down if you can prevail upon their hosting providers
- Secure your ebook PDF from copying or editing
- Promote your ebook aggressively so that word proliferates that it is your work
These are simple enough ideas, but we now need to go into a more elaborate subject called DRM …
b. Pros And Cons Of Digital Rights Management (DRM)
DRM (or Digital Right Management) provides a form of digital content protection, set out by booksellers, which works in addition to traditional copyright laws, to keep your intellectual rights intact. As Kotobee, a full-service ebooks publishing company, write in their article “Ebook DRM & Security: What is it and How it Works”:
You can use DRM much as a security system protects a house, in that it’s a protective barrier for your artistic property. It works in the same way as digital music and films are protected against file-sharing tools by their own forms of DRM. In a nutshell, DRM stops users from copying, printing and sharing ebooks – and protects revenues coming in from each sale. In the capitalist context, to protect sales and revenues, you need DRM to restrict how, when, and by whom the books are used, to make sure people keep buying the ebook.”
DRM can help your ebook in several ways, including: controlling ebook distribution (e.g. preventing downloading, uploading, accessing, lending); controlling how many devices you can download the ebook onto; restricting the copy-paste feature; and so on.
Unfortunately DRM has not been as successful as expected
Just Google the search keyword “DRM cracking” and see how many tools there are that make mincemeat of DRM. I just saw “Top 5 DRM Copy Protection Removal Software”, “How to remove ebook DRM”, “How Do I Get Rid of the DRM on My Ebooks and Video?” and “eBook DRM Removal”. So much for any kind of protection!
But don’t lose heart. As I said, I have found the near-perfect psychologically-discouraging way to protect my ebooks. Read on …
c. Using WP PDF Stamper Plugin – Your Lifeline
In my search for a near-foolproof PDF protection system I came across this absolutely nifty WordPress plugin called the WP PDF Stamper Plugin from the company TipsAndTricks.com. Look at the clever little idea it uses …
When a person buys your ebook from your site, he naturally has to give you his postal address, his email address and so on, doesn’t he? Now, at that stage the PDF Stamper kicks in … and just before he is about to download his ebook, it stamps all the pages of the ebook with his personal data (in the clever guise of licensing the book to him).
It takes his personal data from the data he gives you at the time of purchase, to complete the purchase online. What is this personal data that gets stamped on all pages of the ebook like a licence? Look below to see the result …
Image courtesy: TipsAndTricks
Who’d ever want someone else even seeing this ebook?
Stealing and selling it, or lending it out to friends, is hard when very personal details are indelibly stamped on every page. The buyer (who is often the first culprit of re-distribution) will be your safest ally – because he has to protect his own personal details from other eyes.
Isn’t this kind of preventive tactic far better than suing thieves after they have done the piracy? Works for me every time.
5. Pricing Your Ebook
Ebook pricing can be a tricky decision. If you’re just an author, your focus may be a lot on earning income from sales. But if you’re a Knowledge Commerce marketer your goal may be less on profits per book.
You may want to use the ebook as a starter to sell many more, pricier knowledge products to a buy-happy customer. You may be hoping to gain a reader whose buying tendency and loyalty you can grow.
I want to give you three sides of the pricing picture. Some pundits aver that lower-priced ebooks are the way to the knowledge products game. Others claim that higher prices have helped them earn millions. Yet some others say you have to discover your own price incrementally. Read on – it’s your decision on which way to go.
a. Opinions In Favor Of Low Ebook Pricing
Smashwords, an online ebook publishing and marketing business, states that lower-priced books almost always sell more copies than higher-priced books. For instance, if priced at $2.99 the ebooks will sell up to four times more copies than ebooks priced over $9.99. Also, at $2.99, the ebooks will earn more than those priced at more than $9.99, because they gain more readers.
The best price for a full-length non-fiction ebook is usually said to be between $5.99 and $9.99. In general, a longer book deserves a higher price than a short book.
Value is different from price. People must believe that the value of your ebook is far greater than the price of your ebook. An example: let’s say you sold a book of $2.99 showing the location of a treasure trove of $100,000. Is there any doubt that the value of the book is greater than its shelf-price?
Over-pricing can be bad, but the solution can’t be desperate under-pricing either. Consider the cost of competitive books, and then price with a slight premium. This reinforces your brand-superiority without the book seeming overpriced.
b. Opinions In Favor Of High Ebook Pricing
Mike Geary, who wrote the highly successful ebook “The Truth About 6-Packs Abs”, in an interview, states he has been selling his ebook for $47 and he sells a lot. He has earned nearly $1,000,000 per month via his ebook.
He goes on to say he tested different price points, from $29.95 to $97.00. For his particular product, a fitness info ebook, the $47 price point worked best.
Notice that he has verified the best price-points for ebooks in his expertise niche. This is the critical thing. His niche has the demand to support this price. That’s why looking at both your niche demand and its price-sensitivity are important.
c. Opinions In Favor Of Incremented Pricing
Every ebook, no matter how similar to another, has its own price versus value balance. It depends on the value that audiences perceive in the ebook, and not what the author thinks is “value”.
To discover what the price versus value balance for your particular book is, try to “increment” the product contents and price. Keep the price and contents small, to begin with. Then add more content as you gradually increase price.
Soon, you’ll get to discover the optimal price for the value your readers want. Most writers think audiences want a lot of content at a low price. This needn’t be true. People want optimum content at an optimum price.
Defensiveness about your content is what makes you either under-price (out of guilt) or over-price (to artificially boost the perception of value).
6. Promoting Your Ebook
As a knowledge-marketer, I am sure you know that writing an ebook and publishing it is just part of the story. Every ebook needs fairly strong and aggressive promotion. Here are a few things you must do, to see that word about your book spreads across the Net, and reaches as many potential buyers as possible.
a. Create Your Ebook’s Dedicated Landing Page
Your ebook should be available for download through a separate landing page on your site. What is a landing page? It is a web page that describes your book in a bit of detail so people know what the ebook contains.
There needs to be a clear and well-positioned “BUY BUTTON” if it’s a book for sale.
One other objective of having a landing page is that most landing pages are stripped of all unessential information (like sidebars or other links to other parts of the site) so that a buyer is not distracted by trivia at the time of making a focused purchase.
Here’s an example of the landing page for an ebook … notice how there’s nothing clickable on the page except the SUBMIT button.
Image courtesy: JustPositionIt
b. Tactics For Your Ebook’s Promotion
Once your ebook’s landing page is in place, and you are ecommerce-ready at the back end to receive payments, you need to start your ebook promotion. Here are just a few things you can do for starters …
- Advertise your new ebook on your website, through your email signatures, and via your social media profiles.
- Write a related blog post and offer the ebook as “further reading on the same topic” … it’s called a “content upgrade”.
- Remember to email all your subscribers by writing about your ebook in your newsletters.
- See if you have the budget to leverage paid advertising, or any co-marketing partnerships through other powerful influencers.
- Liberally post social media updates on your ebook – and if possible, make the social update on your ebook a pinned post (one which always stays at the top of your stream).
- Offer the opening chapter of your ebook as a free download, to encourage people to buy a copy.
c. Tracking Your Ebook’s Performance
What’s the point of writing and promoting an ebook if you’re not quite sure how it’s performing? Particularly if it’s not selling as well as you expected, you need to know where the needle’s getting stuck. That’s why you need ebook analytics.
Kotobee, who as we explained earlier, are a full-service ebook publishing company. They have a system that allows you to track your ebook performance in Google Analytics. Among the things you can track are the following:
- The date/time that a certain title was opened.
- The name of the chapter that was navigated to.
- Any video that has been clicked to play.
- Any audio component that has been clicked to play.
- Any interactive image that has been clicked to animate.
- Any image that has been clicked to open in a media panel.
- Any book widget that has been opened.
- Any self-assessment quiz component that was solved, along with the user’s answer report.
In Summary …
- Choose a topic for your ebook that addresses an audience pain-point in your niche. Research systematically for your ebook, and use mindmapping to sort and arrange your chapters and content.
- Write your ebook to a definite pattern that appeals to readers’ desire for arrangement and order. Use the best grammar tools for polished writing, and some audio tools that make writing and proofing easier.
- Designing your ebook cover is easy if you use customizable ready-to-go templates. Choose colors apt for your brand and reader psychology. Streamline your images and inclusions, and add a Call-To-Action in your ebooks.
- Protect your ebook from theft using some tested methods that can help … but remember that the nifty WP PDF Stamper Plugin does a smarter job for ebook protection than any system that’s more expensive.
- There are expert opinions that advocate low ebook pricing just as there are those who advocate higher ebook pricing. Some experts favor incremented pricing. Know the pros and cons of all these options.
- Create a great landing page for your ebook, and pick from a variety of promotional marketing tactics. Make sure you also monitor your ebook’s performance parameters frequently.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
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