Want To Promote Your Ebook Right Across The Internet? Ebook Promotion Is 80% Of The Job. Learn To Be As Great A Marketer As You Are A Writer
Writing an ebook is about 20% of your job done. The remaining 80% of success depends on aggressive and consistent promotion of your ebook.
Unfortunately, most writers lose steam for promotion after they’ve finished writing the masterpiece. Or they think they are no good at marketing, and hire expensive “book promoters”.
There are good and bad ebook promoters out there, but by the time they’ve done your job for you, your ebook will be a measly earner, after paying off the promoters and the places where they promote your books. So learn to market your ebook yourself, to convert your sweat and toil into money for you.
At Solohacks Academy, we don’t think ebook promotion is rocket science. It’s easier than you think, and can be learnt. The simple idea is to help your book become more visible, more easily findable, and more desirable to your readers.
1. Create an awesome ebook landing page, giving audiences a sense of arrival
You may wonder why I’m beginning this article with the last point of the ebook buyers’s journey – the landing page on your site from where to buy the ebook. This is because this landing page is what you have to keep ready first before you start attracting people to buy your ebook.
If your landing page is awesome you can convert all those visitors to sales – or at least most of them. If your landig page is sub-optimal, think what a waste you other promotional efforts would be.
The landing page on your site for your ebook is the sales-clincher page. It’s the page where you want people to click the “BUY NOW” button with total confidence.
Landing page construction is an art in itself, because it is where the rubber hits the road. It has to do a splendid job of converting last-minute ditherers to make that decision in your ebook’s favor.
What should go into a landing page – and what should not
Let’s say we have a splendidly-written ebook on “puppy training” as an example. See the the example below to know the elements that any good landing page should have.
Keep all the elements you need on the landing page to seal the deal, but brevity is important. You don’t want to delay a customer from taking action by giving him or her too much to digest.
Most important: Notice how a landing page never has anything else that’s clickable, other than the BUY BUTTON. That’s why landing pages are usually standalone pages that never show you site’s navigation bar, or sidebar, or any other distraction.
2. Promote your ebook within your own website – to use your own real estate
There are good places on your own website to promote your ebook. See if you can exploit all these before you look for other places across the Net.
Put your ebook promotional widget on your site sidebar
No matter which article on your site people read, they always tend to notice the topmost widget on your site sidebar. That’s where you should advertise your ebook. Look at the image below to see how well that works to catch the eye, every time a visitor to your site is on any page. Make sure the widget bears your book title, a short but pithy blurb, a great image of the book – and the button at the bottom of the widget should lead to your ebook’s landing page, where people can read more or buy the ebook.
Put your ebook promotional widget on a popup
We’ve always heard people complain about the distraction of popups but they sure click on them. Research shows popups to be extremely effective as promotional tactics. So make sure you have just one discreet popup on your site (for the ebook promotion), that appears once for every visitor, when he is near the top 30% of your blog post. Here’s how it can look when the dark overlay opacity is set to 75% black, and hides the rest of the text on the page, to highlight only the pop up. It’s good etiquette to give a “close pop up” button.
Put your ebook promotional widget below every blog post
People who scroll to the end of a blog post – either having read it fully, or to grasp the summary points – always land at the foot of the blog post. They could be ready for some action if you give them your ebook promotion as a CTA (Call-To-Action). Again, keep it simple and lead back from the clickable button to the landing page of the ebook. For branding consistency, it’s a good idea to keep all your different types of ebook promotion widgets similar-looking in colors and format.
3. Promote an ebook months before your book launch – build a ready-to-buy audience
With ebook promotion, there is no such thing as starting too early. If you want your marketing to be spot on, you can and should think in terms of promotion well in advance. Build up a calendar of activities to complete from 2 months ahead of book launch, to a month before book launch, to a week before launch, to the actual launch date.
2 months ahead of book launch
Here’s a quick list of the kinds of promotion to kick-start at this stage:
- Check out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Tumblr, Snapchat, or other places where you think book readers will congregate. Make friends. Tell them all that you are writing a book. Get them to see your website.
- Join social groups where you can converse with other writers. Comment on the pros and cons of writing, subtly letting them all know they can soon expect a book from you.
- Make a campaign out of a set of images that go well with the chapters of your “ebook-in-progress”. Put some key sentences from your ebook on them, and make them little adverts you can post on social media. Brand these with you ebook title and a “Coming Soon!” banner.
- Co-opt potential readers by posting social updates or blog posts where you share your experiences in writing the ebook. Tell people stories of how your ebook creation helped you come across so many new people, insights, data, ideas …
- Offer a “lead magnet” on your website of the first chapter of your impending ebook, with a “subscribe to download” form. Collect as many email addresses as possible to build your own community of readers-on-the-ready.
- Send out buzz-filled emails to your mailing list, and to other authors in social groups, announcing your launch date for your book. Start a countdown clock.
1 month ahead of book launch
Here’s a quick list of the kinds of promotion to create momentum at this stage:
- Upload you completed ebook to your website or other places from where you will sell. At this stage, don’t yet start selling. There’s some groundwork to do.
- Make sure you’ve listed your ebook under the right category of products, and think hard about all the keywords you may want people to search by to get to your ebook. Make sure the write up about your book includes those keywords.
- Find influential book reviewers, send them your ebook, and ask for a review on your website.
- Find influential book bloggers, send them your ebook, and ask for a review on their blogs.
- Create a sizzling ebook trailer video and post it on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other hot online hangouts. Use the right hashtags to evoke interest. Your hashtags shouldn’t be just about your book title or your name as the author. You need hashtags on the topics your ebook covers.
1 week ahead of book launch
This is your ready-reckoner checklist as launch date nears …
- Send out emails in sequence (a week before the launch, three days before it, and a final reminder on the day). Build up the excitement.
- Get a select group of people you can trust to write well and create your “book launch team”. Get them to tweet, post or give your upcoming ebook a shoutout from every platform they’re on.
- If you can pay for good PR, it’s really worthwhile getting some good PR agencies to do writeups on PRWeb.com for your ebook.
- If a PR budget is an issue, set up your own PR team by selecting good advertising copywriters from Fiverr.com and get them to write an outreach campaign to all kinds of other writers, bloggers, and magazine editors.
On your Big Day Of Ebook Launch and thereafter …
Here’s where the rubber hits the road:
- Make yourself available for questions, contact, online events, interviews and podcasts. Don’t wait to be invited. Moot the idea yourself to those who run great podcasts or video interviews, or do your own interviews with other writers where you can both discuss your ebooks.
- Write open letters online (on your blog and on social media), to all those who helped create your ebook with you, to give them some publicity and to air your ebook.
- Appoint affiliates to help sell your ebook for a commission. Find affiliates who know the game of selling ebooks, and make sure they earn handsomely too.
4. Promote your ebook on different kinds of formats, using eye-catching ways
The good thing about marketing is that no one really knows how it works, or what exactly works. Marketing is defined as “telling people over and over again about your product in as many ways and in as many places as possible, so it catches the eye of someone wanting just that thing.”
Here are a host of supplementary formats and places you can promote your ebook in …
- Make a short YouTube announcer video
- Make a set of “Retweet This” quotations from your ebook with your ebook title and author name at the end of the Tweet
- Make a bunch of social media ebook-trailer short videos for Instagram
- Reach out to influencers in related niches who may like to promote your ebook
- Repurpose key passages from your ebook as a slidedeck to put on Slideshare
- Form a free Facebook Group to discuss topics around your ebook’s core knowledge
Aside from doing things like these that everyone does, you’ll be smarter to find some innovative ways of your own. For example, a knowledge-commerce entrepreneur I know published an ebook on “new job skills to have” – and then promoted it heavily via HR people he found on LinkedIn. He offered them big discounts on bulk purchases, after selling them the idea of giving away his ebook free to their potential customers.
You have to constantly think to yourself, “How else can I put the word out – in bulk?” Ideas come to the ones who are always in a seek-mode.
5. Guest-post a lot, around your ebook launch, to familiarize people with your ebook title
Even if you are not normally a blogger who likes to guest-blog, try to do it just for promoting your ebook. But don’t just pitch random articles to random sites to get your ebook’s name in the author bio. Do guest-posting with a clear strategy.
Choose blogs where people are writing on the exact or similar subjects that your ebook is about. Then convert (or repurpose) the chapters of your ebook into articles that you can offer to different sites as guest posts.
At then end of your articles, add your author bio, with a subtle last line that says something like: “Read my brand new book: ‘Marketing to The Millennial Mind'”. Remember to link that ebook title to the landing page of your ebook on your website.
6. Put your ebook’s “quick ad” on the bottom of all your email signatures for visibility
Firstly, what do I mean by a quick ad? It’s something that sells with just one title, and one image, and a “LEARN MORE” button. It isn’t hard to add an advertisement like that at the bottom of your emails (as part of your signature). Every email you compose (or reply to) can thus carry a promotion of your ebook.
If you have an overlong email signature, with your big list of contact details and social accounts, you may want to truncate all the needless stuff. Make the ebook quick ad the hero of your email signature.
For example, I’ve shown you my email signature as it usually is … and the version of it I use when I publish an ebook and want my signature to work as a promotion tool. Notice here what is important to keep and what is important to leave out of your signature to accommodate the ad for the ebook.
It’s a good idea to insert an image of the whole quick ad for your ebook, rather than compose its headline image and button on your signature. That way, it will not change it’s appearance and arrangement when people resize their emails. Hyperlink the whole ad image to the landing page of the ebook.
Below the ebook promotion ad in the signature, I also change the social links so they point to posts where I have detailed my ebook (instead of leading to my social account timelines).
7. Follow a “semi-ready-to-buy-customer” doggedly with some retargeting for big results
What is retargeting? Well, have you noticed that after you visit and browse some products on some websites, thereafter on the Net wherever else you go, if there’s space for ads, the ad of the product you browsed seems to follow you? That’s retargeting at work.
Retargeting lets you show specific ads to people who’ve already visited your website, but were unready from converting. They could have been interested – but not enough to cross the threshold into buying.
If they haven’t left you their contact email address either, how then do you ensure you can be in touch with them? You can add a tracking pixel to your website. This tracking pixel will track these potential buyers and beam your ads at them (on all sites they visit thereafter that feature banner ads).
A big benefit of retargeting is that you know some people are half-interested already, so you’re targeting an audience who is warmed to your ebook. A little repeated exposure in various places they visit that day can tilt them over the edge into buying, couldn’t it?
The problem with retargeting is that most marketers don’t know how powerful it can be. Ignorance of its efficacy shouldn’t hold you back. Here are some key stats about retargeting from 2018. Things have only gotten better and bigger since then, Chew on this.
Image courtesy: ReadyCloud
8. Offer a little extra to the first hundred buyers – a free workbook, or a case study
One of the things new ebook authors hate to hear is the sound of crickets when they first launch their ebooks. It is demoralizing to have no ebooks sold, or worse just one or two ebooks sold. To galvanize potential buyers to buy in larger numbers when an ebook is first launched there are some ways to make your offer attractive to, say, the first hundred buyers.
Give away something really valuable and yet not very expensive with the ebook – limited only to early-bird buyers.
- You can give away a worksheet or workbook that is helpful to action the steps discussed in the ebook.
- People love case studies, so if you have a few that take the advice in the ebook into actual practice, it would be worth giving an add-on booklet of related case studies.
- If you have a reciprocal joint venture with another author, you can offer a discount coupon for his course or ebook that is a great companion to your ebook.
One very enterprising author I know even went as far as offering a discount coupon on an Apple iPad (after working out a great affiliate deal with an iPad retailer) because the author felt people read ebooks most on tablets.
Think different, and think of what would be real value to the book-reader. The price of the giveaway can be anything – from nothing to a few big dollars. But the value in the deal has to make more ebooks fly off the shelves for you to get your initial traction.
Once you move a lot of ebooks off at start, you’ll get more reviews, more word-of-mouth, more visibility, more everything. So make initial jumpstarting one of your key goals, even if you will lose a bit of money just to push those first hundred books into the hands of readers.
9. Run an evergreen webinar on your ebook and its contents, both pre-and-post-launch
Among all marketing and promotion formats, webinars are immensely powerful. A Content Marketing Institute study found this: webinars are in the top five effective marketing tactics.
The problem with webinars may be that you are an already overburdened solopreneur in Knowledge Commerce. Your content creation workload is always enormous. You may thus have no bandwidth to be conducting live events like webinars to push your ebook selling a notch higher. Right?
Well, there’s a smart solution you can use – by creating “evergreen webinars”. What’s that? Evergreen webinars are webinars where you don’t need to run regular live events, but you can achieve the same results as if you did. They are pre-recorded and run. These days evergreen webinars do a fabulous job of offering the experience of live webinars, complete with interactivity simulation.
How do webinars, per se, work so powerfully?
The term “webinar” comes from the words “web seminar”. Webinar marketing, in and of itself is a powerful selling tool for marketers of all kinds of products online. Webinars have the feel of a 45-60 minutes classroom – a video tutorial – where the marketer lays out a structured or semi-structured presentation of his topic and his product. He also invites questions that he can answer from participants.
By the end of the webinar there is also a good discount offer on the product the marketer is selling – to sweeten the deal for those who’ve invested time attending and listening to the webinar. Why webinars sell products so well is because people like the experience of an event that helps them over the edge from hesitation to confident buying.
What are “evergreen webinars”?
Evergreen webinars are webinars that you can record once, and replay again and again. They look and feel like live webinars. You have a speaker teaching something – or a marketer selling something. But you also have a simulated side-panel to the main teaching screen. It acts as if live discussions are taking place among attendees. The speaker can even answer some of these questions from these “attendees”. People would then feel even more like they are attending a live webinar.
With evergreen webinars you can either schedule them (say, for four fixed times every day) or make them “on-demand” for those who want to attend at any time of their convenience.
Remember, you can use evergreen webinars as a promotional tactic before the launch of your ebooks – or as a post-purchase reward for those who have already bought your ebooks. The format is powerful, so use it to best advantage.
10. Create a great instructographic with your ebook – people love useful charts
Instructographics are infographics that teach you something. If you plan to include a free instructographic with your ebook, it can be a major attraction – if it could be something people would love to preserve for always because of its sheer usefulness.
Long after your ebook is read, the instructographic, if preserved, printed out or pinned up by the reader, can keep you, your brand and your ebook always top of mind.
Want to see how well instructographics can work? Let’s say you have written a book on healthy recipes – and so have hordes of other authors. Now as a competitive edge, your ebook can offer an irresistible extra – an instructographic like this one below, showing a measurement chart for recipe ingredients. Readers will want to keep this chart forever, printed out and pinned up on the kitchen wall.
Image courtesy: SBLaatinDesign
If there are a lot of competitive ebooks like yours, on healthy recipes, readers may want that instructographic chart so much that your ebook would be the one you eventually buy.
Never underestimate the value of the preservable charts and pinnable instructographics you can give with your ebooks. It may seem odd that a whole ebook on which you have labored should be sold on the strength and attraction of a small chart that goes with it. But that is consumer psychology.
We are a generation that buys skin-tan lotions that come with a tan-shade scale, free with every tube of lotion. We buy a microwave oven just because we fall in love with the two free bowls that come with it. The extras, if they have practical or utility value, often become the bait by which the main product is sold.
What does it cost to make an instructographic like this one shown above? Not even the cost of a designer – the design is so basic, a child could have drawn it. But think how valuable this chart would be to anyone measuring out ingredients for recipes.
If you can’t even draw something like this, you could look for charts already drawn as instructographics by other artists, and do a deal with them. Offer their charts or instructographics as your “with-ebook promotion”, in return for a percentage of book earnings. It would be a win-win for you and the chart designer.
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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