Knowing how to sell ebooks is crucial to earning a living as a writer. Here are seven tips that make selling ebooks seem easy — but it still takes time and effort. These marketing tips aren’t just about selling more books – they’re about figuring out who you are as a writer (your brand) and sharing the news!
Before the tips, a quip:
“Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.” ~ Will Rogers.
The first and most important way to sell your ebook is ensure it’s the best product you can produce in terms of content, writing, editing, format, and layout. And the best way to write the best ebooks is to learn as much as you can about creating stellar content. It’s not just about writing well, it’s about writing web content that attracts and engages readers. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business is one of Amazon’s bestselling books on writing web content — it’s worth a read!
And here are seven tips for marketing your ebook…
How to Market and Sell Your eBook
Create and keep repeating your brand name
What’s your handle, your shtick, your brand name? Pick something that appeals to you and projects the image you want for your writing career. Then, repeat it until it’s as “you” as the back of your hand. “Repetition is key to creating a brand names,” writes John Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “If you decide to try to establish your company name as a brand name, repeat it in all your ads and feature it on the covers of all your books.”
Schedule a few hours a week to sell ebooks
Unless you can afford to hire a public relations firm or marketing expert, you’ll need to spend time marketing and promoting your ebooks. One of the most effective tips for increasing your ebook sales is to allot time to learn how to market, and sell your ebook. It doesn’t happen overnight, and some writers never stop promoting.
Experiment with affiliate programs like e-Junkie and ClickBank
I’ve used e-Junkie and ClickBank to promote other people’s ebooks, but haven’t promoted my books there. It may be an effective way to increase ebook sales, but I just haven’t found the time to figure it all out. But as a blogger, I know that affiliate programs are extremely effective ways to sell products – which is why I’ve made it my goal for the next quarter!
Set a marketing budget for selling your ebook
This is a “you have to spend money to make money” tip for increasing ebook sales! Here’s what John Kremer says in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: “Have a clear plan of how you intend to spend your advertising dollars, reserving the major portion for your prime markets and media. Word of mouth is still the most cost-effective way to advertise your books, but set aside at least one-third of your marketing budget for promotion and publicity.” What’s your marketing budget? Maybe you could put 50% of your ebook profits into marketing and promotion. Capitalize on your success!
Consider pay-per-click search engines
“At first you may be reluctant to pay for visitors,” say the folks at Publish Your Own eBooks. “However, unlike regular advertising, you will at least know how much each visitor cost. And if you know that 1 in 20 visitors buys your eBook, then you can easily calculate how much you can afford to spend per visitor. The most popular services are from Google Adwords and Yahoo Sponsored Search.”
Join an entrepreneurs’ or small business owners’ group
I joined a small business owners’ club in September; we have breakfast every Tuesday morning and discuss ways to promote our business. I leave those meetings jazzed and energized! There are so many ways to promote your writing career and increase your ebook sales – and the more you learn how other entrepreneurs do it, the more ideas you’ll have for your own business.
Experiment until you find the tips that work for you
My primary way to sell my “Quips and Tips” ebooks is through my “Quips and Tips” blogs. None of the other ways to increase ebook sales – such as the quick tips listed below – work for me. To sell ebooks, don’t just blindly follow the masses. Instead, experiment until you find what’s most comfortable for you and what you can incorporate into your regular schedule.
Quick Tips for Selling eBooks
- Write guest posts
- Teach classes in-person
- Ask like-minded bloggers for reciprocal links
- Set up affiliate programs
- Exchange ebook reviews with fellow writers
- Experiment with publishing partners, such as Smashwords and Amazon
- Use social media (Facebook fan pages, You Tube, Twitter, etc)
- Leave your business card in unexpected places (eg, with the tip for the waitress, in the envelope if you pay your bills via snail mail, in library books, in the change room at your gym, or in the bathroom at parties)
- Give talks at all types of places: libraries, writer’s clubs, garden parties, churches, book fairs, colleges, schools, civic groups, senior citizen’s groups, PTA’s, chambers of commerce, businessmen luncheons, workshops, conferences, cruise ships – anywhere that welcomes speakers.
- Specialize in your topic. The more specialized you are in your genre or field, the easier it’ll be to keep writing and selling books. Specialization allows you to market your books together and build a strong network.
“If you really want your book to fly, you need to know that the reality of the publishing business is that publishers print and distribute,” says David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber. “The author has to be willing to market their book, because no one else will.”
To learn more about writing and selling ebooks, read 5 Writing and Self-Publishing Tips.
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Do you have any questions, thoughts, or tips for increasing ebook sales? I welcome you below!