You may be asking yourself, “Where’s the best way or place to sell an eBook (or Self Published Book)?”. Once you have finished your eBook (or self published book), it is time to decide where and how you will sell and/or distribute your work. In addition, you need to learn ways to market your eBook, and how to create a sales page. There are several great options for you, and I will try and tell you the most popular one’s in this chapter.
The most popular ways to sell and distribute your eBook or self published book include: Your own website, eBay.com, Createspace.com (and Amazon.com), Lulu.com, Mobipocket.com, and other miscellaneous sites.
Selling and/or distributing your eBook on your own website or blog is highly recommended. Even if you do not actually sell the book yourself (and you have it on Amazon.com or something), you can promote it on your own site as well. So this is a great way to increase the “marketing” of your book, and drive sales and build a web presence.
I have sold many eBooks via my own websites, as well as having sold them on other sites. You don’t necessarily just have to do one or the other, you can sell it on all of the above!
If you do not have a website, it is easier than ever to set one up these days! You can go to Godaddy.com and register a domain name (that is you .com) for less than $10/year. You can get a .com address that matches the title of your book, or it can be something related to your book.
You will also need website hosting, which Godaddy.com can also provide you with for as little as $4.99 a month or so. Once you have these, you can develop your site.
At this point, you must decide whether you want a blog or static website. If you want a blog, then head on over to WordPress.org and download the latest version to install on your hosting plan. You can then get a free theme, and off you are to blogging and promoting your eBook or self published real book!
If you want a static website, then you can still use wordpress.org, or another free platform such as drupal.org (a content management software application). Again, both of these come with themes, and the installation is easy (there are instructions with both sites).
Once you get past that point, you can proceed to build a “sales page.” It is important to make a nice long sales page that really “sales” the book or eBook. You must stress the reasons why a person may want or need your guide. This is crucial, and if you aren’t “up to the challenge,” don’t hesistate to get someone (a marketer or copyrighter) to do this part for you!
You can also use digital delivery to accept payments via Paypal.com, Clickbank.net, or another payment processor so you can allow for easy payments and download. I will have a later chapter on digital delivery to help you distribute your guide electronically and automatically!
So again, I would highly recommend you consider promoting your eBook or self published book on you website and/or blog regardless of whether or not you sell it on the other sites I will cover below.
Selling Your eBook or Self Published Book on eBay
eBay no longer allows you to sell eBooks via digital download (which is a huge bummer). Your only options are to either take out a classified ad and drive traffic to your own website, or, you can simply burn the eBook to a blank CD and ship it.
I have sold many eBooks on CD, and it is really quite simple once you get everything set up. Granted, it does take up a little more time than just having them download, but it is a great way to increase your overall income with your eBook.
Keep in mind that you will have to deal with eBay selling fees, so you will need to be conscious of those and ensure it will be profitable to sell on there. You will also have to pay for shipping if you distribute it on CD. You can usually ship via first class mail for less than $2 (cd, shipping, and envelope included).
Also, you will be collecting payments via some type of payment processor (most likely paypal.com). So if you are unfamiliar with Paypal, you may want to learn more about how it works. I have used both eBay and Paypal for years, and they work great!
So you should really consider eBay as a way to sell your eBook as well. It isn’t what it used to be. However, eBay does still get a decent amount of traffic, and it can be a great way to sell your eBook or self published book.
Selling Your eBook or Self Published Work on Createspace.com (and Amazon)
Createspace.com is another great site you can use to sell your eBook or self published work. They will allow you to distribute your work as an eBook, or you can also turn it into an actual real book.
Createspace.com is becoming very popular among self-published authors. The great thing about createspace.com is that they can help you get your eBook or self-published work onto Amazon.com.
If you get your work on Amazon.com, you greatly increase your chances of making more sales, and perhaps even being picked up by a distribution or book publishing company (especially if you book grabs someone’s attention). They also have distributor relations that can get you a chance to get your foot in the door to major bookstores around the world.
Createspace.com also has great instructions and tutorials to help you upload you work and get everything set up. So I definitely recommend checking out this site as a possible method to sell and distribute your work!
Selling Your eBook or Self Published Work on Lulu.com
Lulu.com is another site similar to createspace.com. They allow you to both upload a PDF, and also you have the option of turning that PDF into an actual real book (or both).
It is not a bad idea to have both a PDF and real “hard copy” available just in case. That way, you can satisfy both types of buyers. Lulu.com also allows you to promote your book on their site, which is visible world-wide. So this can be great exposure for your eBook or self published book.
Again, you can never market your eBook or self published guide “too much.” Having it on as many sites as possible helps you to increase your chances of making sales (which equals more money)!
So I would also check this site out as well. Both createspace.com and Lulu.com will charge various fees (usually only when you sell an item). But they handle all of the “work” and you just collect a royalty check.
Selling Your eBook on MobiPocket.com
Mobipocket.com is a side company of Amazon.com. They also work with other publishers such as Createspace.com, and others. So if you use one of the publishing partners in Mobipocket.com’s, you could already be on there.
If not, you can request to have your material added. You will have to ensure your eBook is in mobi format, but this is really simple and you can convert the PDF to mobi format quickly and easily using their website.
Using Other Miscellaneous Selling Sites To Sell or Promote Your eBook
The sites I mentioned above are the most obvious and “biggies” you don’t want to over-look. If you sold or marketed your eBook only in on your site and those listed above, you can easily be successful.
However, it is worth mentioning that there are a plethora of other small selling sites that you may consider using if you have the time (and you feel it would be worth the effort).
Sites such as Ioffer.com, onlineauction.com, tradebit.com, bonanzle.com, payloadz.com, craigslist.org, and more.
There are always new sites popping up that allow you to list your eBooks or self published books for sale! Just make sure to have a plan in place, and consider all of your options for selling and distributing your eBook!
Also, don’t forget that so far you have written your eBook, and listed it for sale (or are preparing to list for sale). That, believe it or not, is the easy part! Marketing your eBook, making sales, and customer service are the hard parts!
Now that you have learned about the various places to sell your eBook, it is time to develop and marketing plan. I cannot stress this one point alone: Marketing can make or break your eBook sales (or any sales for that matter).
If no one knows about your eBook, they will not be able to buy it. You could have the cure to cancer and death, but if no one hears about it, they would never know how or where to buy it.
Therefore, the marketing plan must be well thought out and executed with precision. In this article, I will talk about all of the tools you can utilize for your marketing mix. You don’t necessarily need to use all of these, but you do need to use something! Pick and choose any of the methods below and apply to your own situation.
This will be divided into a couple of sections: Ways to market your eBook (free and not free). Also, remember that when selling your eBook, it isn’t much different from any other business or product. So take note of all advertisements you see, and get ideas from that.
How to Market Your eBook Using Advertising (Paid) Methods
Here is a brief list of all the methods you can use to market your eBook:
- Online Ads or Classifieds– This is best done through a program such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Publishing, Microsoft, or one of the other very popular advertising/publishing networks. These methods will usually be based on either clicks or impression. You choose keywords, and then bid on them. Or, you negotiate a certain price for each impression (hit) the ad receives.
- Newspaper Classifieds–If your eBook has wide appeal, you can consider advertising in the appropriate methods in a newspaper. This usually isn’t quite as targeted as an online ad campaign, but it can still be a method to consider.
- Direct Mail Advertising–If you have a method to obtain a targeted mailing list, this too can be a great way to reach potential customers for your eBook (or real book). To do this, you can check with local advertising companies that specialize in direct mail.
- Online Infomercial or Commercial–This probably isn’t for everyone, but some specific type of eBooks or self published books may do very well when advertised on an online infomercial type scheme.
- Email Marketing–You can utilize email marketing to send out emails to lists of subscribers. To do this, you can build your own list and use a service (such as Aweber) to send the emails yourself. Or you can hire a marketing company to do this for you.
- Magazine and/or Publishing Ads–This is similar to the newspaper classified ads. In this method, you could choose targeted magazine publications if your eBook or book applies to the target readership. This can be a great way to boost sales.
- Radio Advertising–Know a radio station or program that has listeners that may be interested in your book? Perhaps you can consider marketing and advertising your eBook course on the radio.
- Affiliate Marketing–You can always set up an affiliate program to entice people to drive sales for your product on a commission basis. This works well for many companies, and there are many affiliate software scripts and programs you can use (such as commission junction, clickbank.net, etc.)
- Paid Reviews–You can also use a company such as reviewme.com to help you get reviews and traffic from people reviewing your eBook. This way you not only build up buzz and a web presence, but many times you can get a backlink to help drive traffic to your site.
- Press Release–A press release is another great way to potentially get your book some publicity. Authors submit press releases all the time to let everyone know of a new book they have written. If your press release gets the attention of a news station or a story, then that can be a big payoff in terms of sales.
- Buy Domain Name—Are there any domain names you can buy that are expired or get a lot of type in traffic that are related to your eBook topic? If so, this could be a great way to pick up some of this traffic and convert it to sales.
- Have a Contest or Promotion–This is a great way to attract some traffic and attention. Give away a prize or have a mini-contest to help get the word out about your new product.
Ways to Market and Publicize Your eBook or Self Published Book for Free
In addition to the paid marketing methods above, there are also TONS of great ways to market your eBook for free! Here are some ideas below:
- On you own Blog or Website–Don’t miss the very obvious and cheap (or free) way to market your book by setting up a blog or website. This is a great way to really attract potential traffic. Make sure to include lots of great keywords, a great sales page, some frequently asked questions, and more.
- On Social Networking Sites–Visit Myspace, FaceBook, Twitter, and other sites? Be sure to market your eBook on those sites as well. Don’t spam, but market it in a way that is appropriate and you could gain some sales.
- In email signatures–You can always include a signature on your email with a link that links to your product. This way, any and every person you email is a potential customer, and they will know exactly where to get your product.
- On YouTube–Create a cool video talking about your eBook and release it free on YouTube and other video sites. Take time to make a great video highlighting your eBook or self published book’s content. You may even want to answer some questions, give a “preview,” have an interview, and other things. This is a great way to drive sales.
- Go on Talk Shows–Many authors try to visit talk shows to help promote their books. If you can pull some strings and do this with your local news, or with a show that has a relevant audience, this can be huge.
- Visit Seminars, Debates, or Clubs–Networking with other people in your field is a great way to attract sales. If you can visit a club or meeting place and exchange cards, you may gain a potential customer or business partner.
- Wear a T-Shirt–Get a Shirt that has your site’s logo on it and wear it in public often. This may help you to get some traffic. Also, do the same with your vehicle, and any other thing you can think of. Hey, it can help!
- Create a Promotional Page on Squidoo–If you take time to write a good article that promotes your material, you can literally spread that all over the web. Include your sales page on sites such as Squidoo, free article directories, and more. These can help drive valuable traffic to your site and increase sales.
- Send a Newsletter–Send out a free newsletter, announcement, podcast, or other things that can help you keep and attract potential customers. This is a proven and effective way of increasing sales.
- Website Forums and Bulletin Boards–There are website forums for just about any given topic. Sign up to be a member and place your URL in your signature or profile information. Then, try to post as much as possible to network and get your name out there.
How to Completely Fail At Selling Your eBook or Self Published Book
I have just provided 22 potential ways to market your eBook (with 10 free ways). If you really want to fail, simply do none of them. Want to succeed? Write a great and relevant eBook, and then market it using any or all of the methods above! Yes, marketing is a huge deal. That is why companies take so much time to advertise on the web, radio, tv, fliers, and more.
Again, if you don’t market your product, it has literally a zero chance of selling anything. If you market it, you at least have the chance to make sales.
Just be cautious and count your costs. Make a budget for advertising, and pick the methods above carefully that best suite your product. Then, continue to evaluate the different marketing methods to see which one is producing the best results.
Now that I just covered some great tips on how to market and sell your eBook, I thought I would backup and talk a little more about how to ensure you have a great sales page.
How to Create a Great Sales Page for your eBook
Many of the top eBook gurus spend an incredible amount of time perfecting their “sales pitch” on the pitch page for their eBooks. And guess what? They do it for a good reason.
You could have millions of visits to your sales page, but if it is ugly, doesn’t make sense, contains misspellings, and more, who would really want to buy your eBook? Probably not very many people.
That is why it is SO VERY IMPORTANT to not only have a visually pleasing web page, but also to have a great and convincing sales pitch for your eBook. Here are some things you want to ensure you have for your pitch page:
- First things first: Check out some of the top eBook gurus’ sales page. Go to clickbank.net, (or directly to an eBook guru’s site), and check out their sales page. Take not of things such as the basic template, the text sizes, colors on the page, graphics, and more. Now copy them! Note: I don’t mean literally copy! I mean get some ideas, put your own spin on it, and make a page with similar pizazz.
- Find a free template online and customize it. If you are a complete novice at this, you can always pay someone to do this for you. In fact, a fellow eBook seller may even do this for a small price.
- Write a sales page. Be sure to be as persuasive as possible. Explain all of the things your eBook talks about. Some people even give page excerpts, previews, and more. If you are terrible at writing, get a friend or professional to do this for you. Trust me, it is worth it to have a great pitch page!
- Testimonials Count—Get some great testimonials for your page. Here is how you can do this: Contact other people in your industry, or go to a related forum online. Then announce you have just written an eBook, and will give it to XX amount of people free in exchange for a testimonial. This way, you can get some great testimonials quickly. Also, tell them you will include their photo or site link in the testimonial. This gives them all the more incentive to do it.
- Add a video! Adding a video or quick podcast “sales pitch” on your page is a great way to gain customer confidence! This will make the customer feel more comfortable buying from you.
- Add a personal touch: Add a picture of yourself with your family or dog, add your blog or myspace link, and other things to add a personal touch to your sales page. It makes the customer relate with you more, and more likely to buy your material.
- Throw in some bonuses! Related bonuses are a great way to make a potential customer buy your product. Try to find something that is related to your product, and give it free. Some ideas are: Open source software, free eBooks that are related to your topic (especially ones that have no copyright and are in the public domain), give bonus templates, tutorials, or anything else you can think of to add value.
- Specify a return policy, and honor it! One way to build confidence is to give a return policy. You can choose to give a full refund before XX amount of days (for example, 30 days money back). You can give a partial refund (for example, 90% money back), etc. Just be prepared to honor your refund policy, because I can assure you that people will respond to it!
- Give a Free-bee—You can give a free “newsletter” that contains some goodies, but they will have to pay to get the full thing. If you do this, make sure to not give away too much info, but just enough to show you are the real deal, and that it will be worthwhile for them to buy your materials.
- Add a FAQ page–You will probably get lots of redundant questions. To help people, you can create a frequently asked questions page. Then, post the questions you get asked a lot, and post your reply beneath each question. This can help save you some time on customer service, and may help convince a potential buyer.
- Accept Their Money Easily—People get frustrated if they can’t pay easily, and may not buy your product if it will be too much of a hassle to pay and checkout. Therefore, try to use a payment processor that is easy and convenient to use. Some types are clickbank.net, paypal.com, and more. In fact, you can even use 2 or 3 if you want to ensure they have every option available.
- Use Calls to Action–Make sure to take advantage of all of the marketing “tricks” on your sales page. Things like, Reduced price, Sale, etc. are great (but be honest). Also, use a call to action to encourage ‘on the spot sales.’ Use things like, “This price will go up in 2 days,” and things like that. Again, you can get some ideas by checking out other sales pitch pages online by the “gurus.”
The Sales Page is So Very Important-Make It Perfect!!
The sales page is perhaps the most important part of the entire sales process. I have given several tips above, and I strongly recommend you use all or most of them.
You can always brainstorm and come up with your own twist, but you really need to make sure that your sales page looks like a pro did it. Also, the sales pitch needs to be great, professional, grammatically correct, and really entice people to buy your product.
Billy Mays (the OxyClean guy) used to use a slogan that I thought was funny, “Life is a pitch and then you buy.” It is true, all products usually come with a sales pitch. Your eBook will be no different.
It is your job as the marketer and seller to pitch to the customer the reasons why they might need your eBook. Highlight every good point, throw in a bonus or two if you can. Use persuasive language and marketing slogans. Call the buyer to action. Just be honest. Don’t fabricate testimonials, honor your refund policy, and more. Honesty is everything in business!
More eBook Topics
If you are in the process of writing or publishing an eBook, you will definitely want to read our online guides to help you self publish an eBook, how to get an ISBN for an eBook, as well as how to properly copyright eBooks. You can also learn about how to setup instant delivery for eBooks. Also, make sure to check out our tutorial on creating a great eBook cover design.