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How to Extend the Profitability of an E-Book Beyond Launch Week

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of January 2010 Featured Posts, Miscellaneous Blog Tips 120

Much has been written about how to launch an E-book to maximise sales with a big bang in the time surrounding a launch. I wrote a few weeks back about my own $72,000 E-book launch and received a lot of feedback from readers on their own big launches.

What happens after an E-book launches?

Once all the bells and whistles of the initial offer fade – do E-books continue to sell or do you need to keep launching new ones (or re-launching the old ones) to keep turning a profit?

Side Note: We just did launch a new E-book on DPS – this one is an introduction to understanding how cameras work.

These are some of the questions I’ve been pondering lately. Don’t get me wrong – a $72,000 opening week is fantastic – but what happens next?

One Strategy I’ve had Success With

After the launch week of the portraits photography book mentioned in the post linked to above the sales of the E-book did fall dramatically. Once the opening week special price ended and some of the buzz died down sales dropped to 5-10 per day. This was expected and not something I worried too much about – however as any entrepreneur I am always interested in increasing sales so I decided to start experimenting with adding some more subtle promotions.

One strategy that I’ve used is to integrate a promotion for the E-book into my newsletter auto-responder sequence.

I’ve previously written about how I use a combination of weekly updates, promotional emails and themed emails in my newsletters at DPS so I won’t fully go over the topic except to give you this visual.

Screen-shot-2009-10-29-at-1.24.14-PM.png

This sequence is partly automated with an Auto-responder sequence and partly manual (the weekly updates in particular).

What I’ve done with my E-book promotion is to insert a new ‘promotion’ email into the auto-responder sequence. All new subscribers of the newsletter get this email 8 days after they first subscribe to the newsletter.

I’ll show you the email I send below but in short it is a fairly low pressure sales email that thanks people for subscribing and offers a 25% discount on the E-book for becoming a subscriber. I gave old readers of DPS 25% off when the E-book was first launched so I give new readers the same opportunity. Here’s the email – with the discount code deleted – you’ll have to subscribe to get it :-).

thank-you-promotion.jpg

Aweber (the newsletter service provider I use) allows you to set auto-responders to go out on certain days of the week. This one only goes out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (as weekends have not converted as well for me and my weekly updates go out on Thursdays/Fridays and I don’t want to double up with two emails on those days).

Sales on the days that these go out have consistently been between 20-40 per day (Mondays are best as they go to four days worth of subscribers).

Not only have sales been really healthy but I’ve had some really good feedback from new subscribers who get the offer – it’s seems to be fitting well into that first 8 days of being a subscriber as an unannounced little discount/bonus.

PS: interestingly while the launch week of the book was a great result at $72k – with these types of promotions AFTER the launch the E-book will probably earn as much, if not more, than it did in the launch week over the year that follows that first week. Daily sales are certainly not that spectacular as in the launch week but with a little extra effort what comes after the launch is what will really matter to long term profitability.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Good work and quality information. Great post and liked the image where the strategy to promote the e-book is illustrated.

  2. Nice job. very interesting. Should try this. thanks for sharing

  3. oh by the way, great post.

  4. I’m a huge fan Darren, really great post! I love all of your work, especially everything you’ve done with Problogger and it continues to be a huge source of inspiration for me. Keep it up!

  5. it is a good stuff ,but i think we can get more method to promote ebook

  6. I don’t think I’ll be launching an E-Book anytime soon. But it’s great to see what you are doing. I have been doing smaller thinks or attempting to so that I can supplement my income.

  7. I am launching my own little ebook tonight, and I think your advice is always brilliant. I think you always have a great, healthy, non-annoying balance with promoting stuff. There is a fine line, and you never cross it.

    I find it hard to go out and sell myself… and that’s what this is all about.

    It’s all a huge learning curve. x

  8. 15 years ago, I created an e-book site. Your post was filled with valuable information indeed.

  9. Great but if you want another approach here’s Mr. Mark Victor Hansen’s technique on how to write a book and how to publish and market it to become a best seller.

  10. good one, but not every one can get the huge launch sales like you did.
    It will be better to plan a strategy to build you a constant sales for at least the first year of launch before launching

  11. You should consider selling it on amazon.

  12. Ebooks are a great way to get your word out and yes, they do “hang around” for years. A properly done ebook with the correct amount of links can be a fantastic way of promoting your business opportunity for years!

    I like your writing style…..

    James

  13. Very useful post.Definitely user for someone looking make profits through e-books.

  14. Creative ideas for ebook launches Darren. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Read the ebook it was quite good but not one of the best.

  16. Darren, may I know if you used that (pre-) launch course from one of those marketing guru’s… who was it? Frank Kern? John Reese?

    Maybe it’s a good idea to write an article about how to use his product launch strategy for launching new blogs.

    • Dave – yes I’ve done a fair bit of Product Launch Formula – I’ve not embraced 100% of it but there is a heap of stuff in there that is good value. It actually helped me a lot in my own launches (including this idea of relaunching my e-books to new subscribers).

  17. Could you give a little more info on what you call a themed update, thanks.

  18. hey guys thanks alot for all the insight. really liked the part. and iam starting to give it a shot. if you receive any other nice books or places on the content, love to hear from you. thanks once more.

  19. Ohhh by the way thanks.

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