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Thread: Has Anyone here written an E-Book to market thier services?

  1. #1
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    Default Has Anyone here written an E-Book to market thier services?

    I was wondering how powerful the e-book method is and how many of you have gone this route and how successful it is/was for you?

    Also, did you/do you distribute your e-book freely, and encourage others to promote it, or protect it and charge for the download or require a sign up of some sort?

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    I haven't but it's something I think about all the time. Mostly a lack of time keeps me from putting one together..

    I also ask myself the same questions as you do about whether it should be free or paid and how it should be distributed. Don't think about it as though there's only one way to succeed with an ebook. The answers to your questions come down to what your goals are with the ebook.

    You can use an ebook for:

    1. Marketing/Branding - here you'd probably let anyone download it and encourage them to distribute it freely. You want as many people to see your name and read your ideas so do what you can to let the ebook itself travel.

    2. Increasing rss subscribers. Chris Garret has a couple of ebooks you can only get by subscribing. The link to download them is in the feed. He's not the only one to do this, but he's the first person I noticed doing it. I forget how he promotes the ebooks. They're on the page to subscribe I linked to above, but I think he also promotes the ebooks in other places.

    3. Additional income. Here you'd put a price tag on the ebook and advertise on your site and anywhere else you'd market a product. A friend of mine wrote an seo ebook and a few years ago told me it led to a few grand a year. It maybe took him a month or three to write and now it's a source of passive income. He's since written another ebook (maybe 2) for sale and as his subscribers have increased over time I assume he makes even more income from their sales.

    Aaron Wall built a business around his seo book, though he's since changed the business model to a membership site.

    4. Sales letter. Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame gave away free ebooks early for marketing, but in the last couple of years most of his ebooks are really a long sales letter. They're useful in their own right, but Brian uses them to ultimately sell something, usually a membership site.

    Here's his latest free report on seo copywriting. It offers some useful advice on copywriting for seo, but ultimately exists to sell membership to an seo copywriting tool. He previously offered an ebook that was a sales pitch for his teaching sells course. The course is currently closed so the ebook is offline, but if you send me an email to remind me, I'll send you the PDF.

    What the whole thing comes down to is what are your business goals. The ebook is one tool at your disposal that can be used for a variety of things.
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    Steve makes some very good points - the goal is what it is you want to accomplish - and the return you expect for the time and cost you put into it.

    If you plan on charging - don't short change yourself. I always feel that if something is free - it probably is not worth my time - usually just trying to move me in another direction to buy something else I don't want.

    Consumers still equate price with value. Thus, given the seo ebooks mentioned above, what you think you would find more value from - a seo ebook for $5.95 or one for $29.95?
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    Price is an interesting thing. I completely agree with you that we generally associate more value with the higher price. At the same time I know there's a reason most every product you see on an information shows a price of $19.99 as either a one time payment or as a series of payments. That seems to be a price point at which people will have no problem spending.

    Now that I have an Iphone I've also noticed that I'm willing to spend 99 cents of $1.99 on things I'm not all that sure I want. At that price I figure if I can get even a few hours of enjoyment from an app the money was well spent. Similarly with ebooks I'll hesitate when I see one priced at $97 and yet be willing to make an impulse buy at $4.99 or $9.99.

    I guess it depends on what you're selling and who you think is your market. It probably also makes sense to test different prices to see which leads to the most profit. You might sell less at $97 as opposed to $4.99, but will you sell 20 times less?
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    i hope you read how IttyBiz did her's...she sold 175,000$$$$ right off the bat......she detailed her launch of it on her blog....it may have been a course...not sure.. i think i mentioned it on here last year...
    i was properly amazed.
    i figure there is so much free info out there i dont consider it...maybe i should tho...like how to distress and rehabb furniture..
    actually i would love to sell something i dont have to manhandle out to someones car or truck!!! it sounds pretty neat.......ann
    Last edited by greenoak; 05-17-2010 at 01:26 PM.
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    Hi

    I think it depends on the industry. But I would tend to go with this plan:

    Create an newsletter (free) and sell your ebook. Here's why:

    If you create a newsletter (an ezine), you will establish and develop relationships with your subscribers. Make the content valuable, but brief. Give them information they need and find very useful, but don't give away the store, so to speak.

    The newsletter will help you develop an audience who likes what you have to say. It will keep people coming back and keep reminding them of you over and over, because people don't always buy the first time they land on your site. Needs change as time goes by, too.

    Then, through feedback and analysis, determine what your visitors need and want. Discover what information is really valuable to them. Put that in your ebook and sell it. You can offer it through your newsletter, but don't push it down their throats. That could make them unsubscribe. The right amount of subtlety works very well.

    Then, inside your ebook, dovetail the information with your offline business. This will help you convert ebook sales into long term valuable customers. You can offer your offline services through the newsletter too, but the ebook gives you another level through which to win them over.

    Now if what you really want is to convert them to customers and don't care about the ebook sales, you could skip selling the ebook and give it away for free. But you would miss out on intermediate revenue stream. Not everyone will sign up for the big sale, but they can benefit from the contents of your book. Plus, since they paid for the book, there will be a tendency to keep it and refer back to it, rather than deleting it as they would with something free.

    If you make them happy with the information you provide, you will create customers. And make sure to give it time, because often the conversions improve as time goes by. You should do testing to increase conversions, as well.

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    I have written a 330 page e-book. For years I had been blogging, posting on contractor forums, sending a newsletter, and writing articles for various purposes. When I realized the volume I had written, I simply compiled it all together and had a pretty sizable e-book. So, while it was years in the making, it didn't take too long to actually put together.

    It hasn't made me rich, but it does sell steadily and provides a little bit of passive income.

    More recently, I realized that a lot of the material had applications outside of my industry. So I eliminated the contractor specific material and produced another e-book. It is too early to tell how it will do.

    I definitely think that a newsletter is a good idea. I've done one for 10+ years. Last year I started doing an e-mail version as well.

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    Interesting Brian. I was thinking the same thing about my own blogging. I've written a ton of information and probably enough to compile an ebook. It would require organizing my blog posts into a more meaningful structure and I would want to rewrite a good amount of the content so readers who buy it wouldn't feel like they were paying for something they'd already read. More using the existing posts as first drafts. I also see where the ebook could be designed differently.

    Overall though it would save a lot of time in putting the book together since I wouldn't have to start from scratch.

    With newsletters do you write something new or do you send out your latest post or posts as the newsletter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    With newsletters do you write something new or do you send out your latest post or posts as the newsletter?
    The newsletters are always new articles. There is certainly overlap in the content between the newsletters and blog posts--sometimes I will expand on an idea, or present it from a different perspective, or something similar.

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    I think that's a good way to do it. I've seen it both ways. Some newsletters are just the latest blog post and if I'm already subscribed to the blog post it makes me wonder why I would need the newsletter too.

    I think it works best like you're doing it. Give me something new in the newsletter and then feel free to link back to your blog posts of forum threads or whatever other content you have on your site. Overlap is fine, but I wanted something unique in the newsletter otherwise why do I need to subscribe.
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