This guest post is by Sarah Mae of MarketandSellYourEbook.com.
Marketing is the act of buying or selling in a market.
Where is your market?
Do you have one? Do you own one? Do you shop at one? In the new world of invisible wires where connections are made 24/7 all around the world, the starting place for successful marketing begins at your market … your space … your platform.
How is your platform looking?
Once you have established yourself as an influential voice in your market (your blog, other blogs you’ve created, social networking, conferences, meet-ups, etc.), then you can expect to sell at least $20,000 worth of ebooks if you do a few simple but significant things (assuming the ebook has been written, edited, and is ready to go with content people need).
Have a slammin’ cover
People judge a book by its cover, if it weren’t so people wouldn’t be hiring designers to create something magnetic for the cover of our words .. .we want to draw people in. My advice? You must have a professional looking cover, so unless you’re a graphic designer (and a good one), hire someone. I recommend Insight Blog Design (brilliant, easy to work with, affordable).
Involve your community in the ebook process
The more you involve your community, the more your community is going to want to be a part of what you’re doing. Some things you could do to get your community excited about your ebook:
- Have them come up with the title or subtitle of the ebook.
- Ask for their tips on the subject matter and include the best ones in the ebook.
- Ask their opinions on things regarding the ebook.
- Have them vote on the cover (two choices).
Get your ebook on Kindle and Nook
Have you read this? Digital sales are dominating—take note and get on the ships that are delivering! If you aren’t tech savvy, hire someone to format your ebook to Kindle and Nook. You have to do this if you want to be a serious contender in the game. Some tips:
- Make sure to fill out your author profile with your blog/s and Twitter handle … also, a nice picture.
- Before you tell the world that you’re on these platforms, make sure you have reviews (you’ve got to ask!).
Send your ebook to your friends and network community
Ask your friends to read your ebook, give you a quote if they like it, and leave a review on Amazon. Also ask if they would be willing to review it on their blog and/or host a giveaway.
Prepare a community … that you’re a part of
You need to set up a website dedicated to your ebook that includes:
- a one-liner at the top that effectively describes your ebook and makes it desirable
- quotes from people who have read it (try and get quotes from well-known people/bloggers)
- a call to action—”Buy the Book!”—with links
- pages: about the book, about you, people involved (link love is good), sample chapter, forum, blog, reviews, and anything else you can offer that benefits your community
- a video of you talking about your ebook—this is no time to be dull (unless that’s what people like about you)! Also, keep it to two minutes or you’ll lose people!
You also need to set up a Facebook fan page and Twitter hashtag or handle.
- Get your Facebook page up and ready with your ebook picture, description, and links—you will need to be involved in the community for it to work—leaving quotes, interacting, starting discussions, etc. Always answer questions!
- Have a hashtag ready to go (that isn’t being used at all) and if you will work it consistently, a Twitter handle as well—you need to interact with your community!
Create a video
It’s all about connection. You want to make a connection with your audience, your community. A video allows people to hear and see you, your expressions, your passion, and your heart for what you have written. Creating a thoughtful video (not something just slapped together) will significantly increase your reach and your sales. Tips:
- If you’re selling your book using E-junkie, use their YouTube branding to get more traffic to your ebook website.
- Make sure to put the whole URL of your ebook website in the description—make it the first thing there.
Price it right
There are tons of opinions on how you should price your ebook, and you can utilize Google to find them all out. My opinion is that you should consider your audience and then make a decision. My audience is made up of mostly stay-at-home moms, so I decided to price my ebook at $4.99 (also, no weird numbers please, like $4.97 or $6.93—simple is always better). My reasoning? Who doesn’t have five bucks?
The minute I decided I was going to put out an ebook, I began to talk about it and get my readers involved. Build excitement. Read Top Things I’ve Learned in Selling an Ebook, by Tim Ferriss.
This is the fun part! You have worked hard and are ready (albeit nervous) to get your book out “there”! Here’s what you need to do:
- Have a launch day celebration with giveaways. I contacted companies and had them donate to the release of my ebook. I used both of my blogs to launch, and had different giveaways for each. Giveaways and fun build excitement and spread the word.
- Be everywhere. You’ve got to get (and keep) your ebook in front of people. Ask bloggers to do reviews and/or giveaways (get tons of these … and don’t stop). Guest post. Perhaps even pay for advertising on strategic sites—but only if they write a post along with an advertisement. The posts are gold.
- Give your ebook away. Free is always good. I gave my ebook away free for one day only to anyone who would spread the work via social media channels. I gave over 2000 away for free, but this proved to be the best decision I could have made. You’ve got to break through your own sphere of influence. Giving away my ebook by having others spread the word everywhere in the online space broke through. I gave away over 2000, but I’ve also sold over 11,000.
- More freebies! What can you offer that will reward those who have purchased your ebook? Think “free printables” or “extra chapters”, “bonus material,” etc. Have a readers-only downloads page.
- Find a way to keep your ebook fresh. For example, my ebook has challenges in it. I listened to the feedback from readers, and decided I needed to have easier challenges for those in a different stage of life. I created the new challenges and then made them available for free to those who purchased the ebook. Be creative, and listen to your readers.
- Find a way to make your ebook work in groups. The power of groups can make your ebook go viral. Can you put together a group challenge of some sort? A book club with questions (that you perhaps put on a reader downloads page)? Again, think creatively.
- Pay attention to what bestselling authors do, and then do it. Look at @garyvee and @tferriss—brilliant marketers.
What tips can you add from your experience launching and selling your own ebooks? Add them below!