Of all the Internet marketing ploys used today, e-books are arguably your most valuable tool. Because they provide such a wide range of uses, they can fit into almost any industry and can be useful to any number of readers..
An e-book is simply a book published on the Internet, rather than in print. It is usually displayed in PDF format so that it cannot be copied into any other program. E-books are used to generate sales, provide information, and to educate the public about a specific product or industry, thereby increasing attention for your business.
E-books vary in length, though most are around fifty pages. Most are comprised of text, graphs, charts and graphics, and some come with quizzes at the end for the reader. Most companies sell e-books on the Internet in order to make money, though some provide them for free.
To get you started, here are a few creative ways to use e-books to generate sales:
1. Network with other businesses and provide clips of each others’ e-books on your websites. Link from there to the page where customers can buy your books.
2. List some of your best “teaser” excerpts on your website, with the link to buy the entire e-book.
3. Market your e-book in your home town with flyers, e-mails, direct mailings and posters. This will generate interest from your location, which will automatically stem out in all directions. People talk.
4. Network with consultants, retailers and other business people to promote your book to their clients. References are great ways to obtain customers.
5. Build residual income by offering updates to your e-book for small prices. Update your e-book once a month, and charge a minimal fee for the revamped version. This works exceptionally well with technological e-books, when the trends are changing daily.
6. Offer your weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter along with the sale of your e-book. This way, customers are not only receiving your product, but also a continuing service.
7. If you are in the business of selling products, offer freebies along with your e-book. For example, if you order the e-book, you automatically receive a $5.00 off coupon for your products.
8. Network using blogs, forums, and message boards where self promotion is allowed. Getting the word out is the first step.
9. Offer a print version AND an Internet version. This extends the possibility of double sales, and provides your clients with a hard copy if they want. You can add additional information to the hard copy version, thereby encouraging customers to buy.
10. Widen your market. You can write multiple e-books for different markets, while using the same information over and over again, just changing some of the specifics. For example, instead of offering a Marketing e-book, offer four different ones: B2B Marketing, Insider Marketing, Internet Marketing, and Telemarketing. The information will be the same, but you will reach a wider margin of customers.
That said, here are a few Don’ts of e-book sales:
1. Never try to trick your clients. Advertising something that you cannot deliver will end your sales immediately. Be as straight-forward as possible
2. Never misrepresent yourself. It is a great idea to list your qualifications for the subject matter, but don’t say that you’re a Harvard graduate if you attended community college. They’ll find out.
3. Never publish an e-book without having it edited. Poorly written e-books will not sell, and you will lose whatever client base you have already established.
4. Never write an e-book like you would a print book. Reading a book on the Internet is hard on the eyes and on the mind. Keep things as simple and concise as possible, and offer lots of pictures to supplement your text.
5. Never advertise something for free that you intend to charge for. I see this way too often on the Internet – an ad will guarantee free informat, but you find out it is actually a “risk-free investment.” Misleading customers will only result in your downfall.
6. Never plagiarize! All of the information in your e-book should be 100% originally written by you (or by a copywriter). Taking information from other e-books is a great way to inspire litigation.
For more information about e-book sales and marketing, visit these amazing websites:
This is one of the most comprehensive websites that offer information and helpful tips on producing e-books. Rather than appealing to a commercial audience, this website is particularly for businesses that need to use e-books for marketing purposes. Learn about the latest software, the current trends and visit blogs about e-books.
EZ Net Group
This website is dedicated to furthering the education of Internet marketers. It is a membership site, and two years of access costs $97.00. With your membership, you will get free newsletters, access to various types of media, and help developing a direct marketing list. This is a great resource, and is rated #1 among membership marketing sites.
Guide To E-book Marketing
The truth is in the name, and this website delivers exactly what its title advertises. There are hundreds of articles on this site that help new businesses create e-books and use them to their advantage. The site is easy to navigate, free to anyone who wants to learn, and even has an e-book marketing forum.