Session: How to Write EBooks That Practically Sell Themselves
Speaker: Ali Luke
There’s tons of great advice out there about launching an eBook – and for good reason: you’ll get rapid sales in the first week or two. But unless your eBook is incredibly topical, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t keep on selling well, long after the launch is over.
And this isn’t just good for you … it’s also good for your audience. Chances are, new folks are stopping by your site (or following you on Twitter, or liking your page on Facebook) every day. Your new readers might love to get their hands on your eBook – but they need to know it exists.
I’ll start off with the easiest, quickest tips and work up to more time-consuming ones.
#1: Add a Link to Email/Forum Signatures
This will only take you a couple of minutes – and could get your eBook in front of hundreds of people. Just add a line to your email signature. It can be as simple as this:
Author of EBOOK TITLE, available from LINK
You might also want to include a brief quote from a testimonial, or a note about who the book is for.
If you use any forums, check whether it’s okay to link to your eBook sales page in your signature – different sites will have different rules about this. On private forums, such as the Third Tribe, you might want to include a custom discount code.
#2: Mention it on Your About Page
If you take a quick look at your blog’s analytics, then you’ll probably see that the most popular static page is the About page. New readers want to see who you are and what your blog is all about. The About page is a great place to mention any products or services – including eBooks.
Since you’ve got a lot more space on an About page than in an email signature, you’ll want to give enough information to draw readers in. Add your eBook’s cover image, plus a short description of key benefits (perhaps in bullet-point format). Encourage readers to “click here to find out more” rather than “click here to buy now” – it’s not such a big commitment.
#3: Send a Sample to Everyone on Your Email List
Your newsletter or mailing list is a great marketing tool – assuming you use it right. That means avoiding overloading your readers with offers and promotions … whilst ensuring that you’re not completely silent about your eBook.
One great way to promote your eBook is to provide an exclusive free sample to your email list. Your readers will be thrilled – and you may well make some new sales. Make your sample genuinely useful (perhaps a quarter to a third of your full eBook) and use the last page of it to tell readers how to get the full eBook.
If you don’t have an email list yet, or if your list is very small, a free sample of your eBook makes a great sign-up incentive.
#4: Guest Post on a Relevant Blog
Perhaps your own blog doesn’t have many readers yet – a few dozen, or a few hundred. You could keep promoting your eBook to them, but chances are, they’re going to get a bit bored of hearing about something they’ve already bought (or already dismissed).
Luckily, it’s not too hard to get your eBook in front of an audience of thousands – or ten of thousands – of readers. How? Write a guest post, and promote your eBook in the bio.
For maximum effect, look for a blog that:
- Has readers who are used to buying eBooks (e.g. ProBlogger or Copyblogger).
- Hasn’t done any large promotions recently.
- Allows a link in the body of your post, as well as in the bio.
- Is on-topic: you’ll want to write a guest post that’s related to your eBook.
You might even want to give a special discount code for that blog’s readers: this offers an extra incentive to buy, and also helps you track where sales are coming from.
#5: Hold an EBook Sale
We all love a bargain – so putting your eBook on sale for a week or two will help undecided buyers to make up their minds! Sales are more powerful if you don’t hold them too often, and if you offer a significant discount.
It’s a good idea to have a reason for a sale (and “I need to pay my taxes” isn’t ideal). You might try:
- A charity sale: all or some of the money will go to a specific charity.
- Your birthday, or your blog’s birthday.
- A summer, Thanksgiving or January sale (though bear in mind that lots of other bloggers might be doing the same).
- A “secret” sale for a specific group of people – e.g. your Facebook page, email list or Twitter followers.
A sale is a great time to revamp your promotional copy: do you have new testimonials to add to your eBook’s sales page, or case studies that you can include?
#6: Write a Related EBook
Writing a second eBook isn’t a short-term option – but it can be a hugely effective marketing technique (as well as a new source of revenue in itself).
If you’ve got two eBooks on related topics – for instance, “How to Get Started With Your Digital Camera” and “How to Take Great Portraits With Your Digital Camera” – then you can easily create an up-sell, or give a discount code to buyers so that they can get the other eBook. That way, the new eBook will boost sales of the first.
And you don’t have to stop at two. I’ve got three eBooks (so far!) in The Blogger’s Guide series, and this has meant that I can provide all three as a bundle, offering readers a significant discount. Plenty of other eBook authors use the same technique: check out Holly Lisle’s “writing clinics bundle” for another example.
So … if your eBook is gathering dust on the virtual shelves, pick two ideas from above (one shorter-term, one longer-term) to get sales going again. And if you’ve got a tip to add to the list, please share it with us in the comments below.
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Ali Luke is speaking at BlogWorld on “How to Write EBooks That Practically Sell Themselves” (Saturday 5th Nov, 3.30pm). She’s also the author of The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible EBooks, currently just $29, and blogs about writing at Aliventures.