Today we have a guest post Paul Wolfe. Paul talks about things near and dear to my heart. E-Books. More importantly, he talks about all the things you can do with an eBook once you have taken the time and effort to create one. It is all about maximizing your effort.
The eBook is dead – long live the eBook!
You may have heard exaggerated reports of the eBook’s apparent demise in your trawls around the old Interwebz. Those reports have been grossly exaggerated – and whilst it’s true that in some markets the focus has switched to higher value content (e.g Video), not only is the eBook not dead. But it’s gaining in popularity.
Although Amazon are notoriously tight-lipped in giving specific sales information, they were reporting Kindle books outselling hardcovers by 2 to 1 in May 2010. And analysts predict that for 2011 Amazon will actually generate more revenue from Kindle book sales, than from sales of the readers.
And what’s a Kindle book – it’s a good old-fashioned eBook in new clothes!
So whilst some gurus may have been trumpeting the demise of the eBook – mainly so they can sell their own information for 2K or more – in fact the eBook has stealthily slipped into the mainstream.
Writing an eBook is something that few people do – yet the potential benefits are enormous. And there are many ways you can use a humble eBook to benefit your online business – either to generate revenue for your business, or to help build an audience
Here are 18 ways you can use a humble eBook to help your business. Some – but not all – of these strategies can be layered on top of other strategies for further leverage.
Firstly let’s look at the strategies that you can use to generate revenues:
#1. You can sell it on your website.
This is an obvious strategy. You create an eBook. You create a Sales Page. You send an email to your list letting them know you’ve got an eBook for sale. And you advertise it on your website too.
This is the basic eBook strategy that most people think of when they consider creating an eBook.
#2. You can use it as a bonus for a higher priced product on your website.
Although the eBook was created to sell on your website, you can also use it as a bonus if you create a higher priced product on a similar topic. You’ve already written the book – simply adding a few lines to your sales page can create a higher value package in the mind of your potential customer.
#3. You can create a Kindle version and sell it on Amazon as a lead generation device.
It’s now ridiculously easy to self publish to Amazon’s Kindle store. So you can take your eBook and publish it to Kindle. You could do this either to generate revenue and expose your work to a wider audience – or you could price the eBook much more competitively on Kindle and use it as a lead generation device.
If you didn’t know the Kindle is starting to become a major player – there’s a 26-year-old fiction writer called Amanda Hocking who sells around 100,000 eBooks every month on Kindle. They’re priced between $0.99 and $3.00 and she gets to keep 70% of the revenue – do the math on that!
#4. You can create a version for Apple’s iBooks Store
Although the Kindle is currently the device for electronic reading – the iPad is coming up fast. And Apple being Apple they have their own electronic book store. And if you’re publishing on the Kindle, you should probably publish on iBooks too.
Analysts questioned by Fortune Magazine estimate that Apple has sold between 5 million and 8 million iPads in the first three months of 2011 alone. This is a market that’s going to get bigger in 2011 in my opinion – so you need to be there to take advantage of it.
Self-publishing to iBooks is more complex than Kindle – you need an ISBN number for a start – but it’s not rocket science. If your eBook strategy is to generate revenue then you definitely need to be on iBooks too.
#5. You can self publish the book in physical form.
There are several ways you can do this.
The easiest is to use Amazon’s own physical self-publishing arm – Create Space.
If you’re eyeing longer term gains, you’ll make more profit per unit sold by publishing with Lightning Source.
Or if you want the book as something you can give away to offline clients, then Lulu.com gives you a third option.
Whichever way you go, creating a physical version of the book is not over complex. And here’s an unexpected bonus – 9 times out of 10 the purchasers won’t know that it’s a self-published book.
#6. You can create an audio version.
The technology to create your own audio books is now relatively cheap – both the hardware and the software. Turning your eBook into an audiobook will add value to your overall package, or you can sell the audio as a standalone product. (Again, you can ‘self publish’ CD versions with Amazon’s Create Space if you wish to sell a standalone product and not have to deal with fulfillment issues).
#7. Bundle related eBooks together to create a higher value package.
If you’ve written more than two or three eBooks on related topics, then you can bundle these eBooks together and create a ‘value’ package. E.g. you can offer your customers four eBooks for the price of 3.
Creating simple upsells like this is a good way to make eBooks you’ve already written continue to generate revenues for you. Repackaging them in this form gives you something to launch to your market that appears fresh – when all that you’ve created is a collection.
#8. Convert your eBook into a teaching course
If your eBook is a ‘how-to’ type book, or an instructional book, you can convert that book into a higher value teaching product. Either by adding video instruction or audio instruction.
To create even higher value you can add personal coaching/feedback into that course.
NOTE TO THE 2K GURUS: writing on a white board or reading out powerpoint slides IS NOT effective video teaching. Only add a video element if that is the best way to present the teaching material.
#9. Sell your eBook with re-sale rights.
Depending on the market that you’re in, a further way to derive value from your eBook is to sell versions of it with resale rights. (Resale rights give the purchaser the rights to rebrand the eBook with their own name, business, etc and do what they want with it.)
Personally I can’t conceive of EVER doing this with my own content – but there are people who do it. And charge good money for it too.
#10. Unbundle your eBook and sell it as PLR content
If you’ve written your eBook in line with my article How To Write An eBook – The Outline And Bundle Method, then you could decide that the most profitable way to use the eBook was to unbundled the articles and sell the eBook as a PLR package.
Now let’s look at the ways you can use an eBook to build your audience or attract traffic to your website.
#11. Unbundle the articles and post them to your blog.
You can unbundled the articles and post some of them to your blog to either promote your website or blog, or promote the eBook.
#12 Post the unbundled articles to Facebook
If you’ve got a Facebook presence those articles should be posted to your Facebook page too. This can be used to either promote the eBook, or to promote your website or blog.
#13. You could create audio of the individual articles in the eBook
Rather than convert your eBook to an audiobook that you sell, you could convert the sections of your eBook into Podcast Episodes and post those podcasts to the podcast directories. iTunes of course is the biggest podcast directory out there – but it’s not the only one.
This is an area that few of your competitors are tapping into – so it could be a good way to repurpose your content and extend your reach to a potentially new audience.
#14. You can use the eBook as an ‘ethical bribe’ to build your list.
This is a tried and tested method of building a list – in return for people giving you their email addresses, and more importantly giving you permission to email them, you give them a free eBook as a ‘Thank You’ or incentive to join your list in the first place.
In 2011 it’s becoming a bit passé to give away an eBook though – if you are going to do this make sure that it’s of the highest quality.
#15 You can promote your website via document sharing sites
There are several document sharing sites where you could post your eBook for free – providing that it’s good quality and providing that it links back to you, this strategy will attract traffic back to your website and potentially subscribers too.
#16. Convert the individual articles to video articles
Video is the new black – and YouTube is the daddy when it comes to video aggregators. Script your articles and turn them into video articles and then post them via TubeMogul.com or Pixelpipe.com to the main video aggregator sites.
Tip: If your eBook articles are instructional/how-to in nature, make sure that you get those videos onto the ‘instructional’ video sites like Howcast, 5Min.com, Graspr and VideoJug.
Make sure your video articles have a clear call to action that leads viewers back to your website.
#17. Get others to spread the word out about you – give them your eBook as a thank you
This strategy is something that we’re just starting to see on the ol’ Interwebz. Basically you give someone a download of your eBook in exchange for tweeting about it, or giving you a Facebook like.
For the person on the other side of the equation, this is now easily handled with something like ‘Pay With A Tweet’ or Glenn Allsop’s Cloud:Flood system.
This can be a good way to use your eBook to get exposure to a much wider audience.
Tip: for this to really work your eBook needs a killer headline!
#18. Use your eBook to create a list of buyers
You might think this belongs in the previous section – but it doesn’t. With this strategy you give affiliates who market and promote your eBook 100% of the commission. That gives them a powerful incentive to get out there and sell your eBook – you then control how the eBook is delivered and can generate a list of proven buyers.
You can then target that list of buyers with other eBooks or information products that you’ve created. The statistics I’ve read are that someone who has already bought from you is something like 8 to 10 times more likely to buy from you again, than someone who has never bought for you.
When you throw in upsells, membership programs, and other monetization methods you should start to see the appeal of this strategy. Again, it all starts with an eBook!
Which strategies you would use would depend on what you were seeking to achieve. If you’re in ‘audience building’ mode, then try out some of the strategies from the second half of the list.
If you’ve built an audience and are looking to generate some revenues, then go to the top half of the list.
Once you’ve written several eBooks you can have eBooks out there whose ‘job’ is to attract an audience. And eBooks whose job is to generate revenue from that audience.
And of course your business model can add on higher priced items like coaching, group training, or other items. But it all starts with an eBook!
What eBook strategies did I miss? Post them in the comments and let’s create a vital resource for the community here at Steve’s website!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I did. Paul is a great writer, with a wonderful new site. You can find more articles on blogging, writing, content creation, creating eBooks and online business in general by heading over to Paul’s website http://www.onespoonatatime.com.
Be sure to check out his multi-part series (currently at three) for content marketers lessons from Tiger Woods. It is truly excellent!
For further information about the “how to” of getting those eBook’s done check out a few of these great SSS articles:
- How to write an eBook
- How to Create and Launch a new eBook (a Moon Hussain guest post)
- How to Create a Lead Magnet to drive your opt-in rates