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Selling eBooks: 7 Unexpected Ways to See Big Sales

I too often hear folks in the publishing world make comments implying that eBooks don’t matter–that hard copy sales are the legitimate kind of sales… and eBooks sales are just a nice byproduct.

We have to get over this mindset.

The numbers don’t lie. eBooks are a notable chunk of the non-fiction market (about 15%), and even more significantly, they’re a major play for self-published authors who aren’t ready to pony up the investment for the print game.

So, whether you’re a self-published author with only eBooks in the marketplace, or you’re a traditionally-published author with both hard copy and eBooks in the game, it’s important to know how to market eBooks.

In some ways, eBook promotion matches that of promotion for hard copies–but in some ways, it’s a different world.

I always encourage authors to consider all formats (hard copy, eBook, and audiobook) of their product as they bring it to market and then keep it floating. There are potentially different audiences for each format and different promotion windows for each. It’s essential to know what works!

Today, let’s talk eBooks. Below are 7 ways to see sales.

1- Downprice!

Believe it or not, majorly lowering the price on that eBook now will lead to sustained “regular price” sales later. Downpricing is a strong strategy for sales because it allows you create buzz around that cool sale, seem super generous, and get your book into the hands of folks who will become your brand ambassadors.

2- Promote it on an eBook deal email list.

There are lots of options out there for eBook deal email lists, and some of the most avid readers subscribe to them. BookBub is probably the most well-known, but others are Fussy Librarian and BookGorilla. These services produce lists of eBook deals and are effective in getting books in front of readers’ eyes. For most of these eBook lists, you simply go to their website and submit your title.

3- Create and share a presentation via Slideshare.

Use powerpoint or keynote to present the key points and/or chapters in the book and then upload it to Slideshare. Make sure to include the book landing page URL and any special offers you’re running. This is a great way to present the core of your book uniquely and a key opportunity for SEO and organic exposure.

4- Offer it free for a limited time.

Similar to the downpricing, free now equals sales later. Give your book away for free through a specific retailer in order to gain exposure and get word of mouth buzzing. Plus, if on Amazon, “free” will land you in a couple different “freebie” categories which book lovers look at; it’s awesome for discoverability.

5- Promote strategically around news cycle or calendar events.

If your book is about parenting and Father’s Day is coming up, leverage the day. If your book is about Egypt and Cairo is in the news cycle, leverage the day. If your book is endorsed by Oprah and she makes a splash in the headlines, leverage the day. You get the idea! Know what’s going on and use key dates and news events as “reasons” to talk up your book or majorly discount it.

6- Offer an awesome free incentive.

Authors are always surprised by how simple this is. Purchase incentives–if they’re well-advertised and right for your target audience–work! Give people a buy bonus that’s clearly valuable, and they’ll jump at the opportunity. Make it known that if someone buys your eBook, they can get a free accompanying book or soundtrack or poster, whatever is of value to your target audience.

Buy incentives work like magic--but only if they’re well-advertised & right for your audience. Click To Tweet

7- Build an eBook that can do something that a physical book can’t.

As I said on Tuesday’s blog, eBook enhancement is a growing trend. Create your eBook with audio or video embedded, with narration built in, with photos included, etc.–something a reader can find in an eBook that a hard copy can’t offer. I love thinking about marketing opportunities as early as the product development stage, and this is a prime example of that.

Tell me what you think! What’s been the most significant tactic you’ve come across for eBook sales? Anything in particular that’s really moved the needle? Tweet me up at @ccannon.

 

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  • tylerjones

    Chad, your blog is like a fountain of knowledge. Every post I’ve read is extremely helpful, and stuff I’ve never heard before. Keep it up!

  • tylerjones

    Chad, your blog is like a fountain of knowledge. Every post I’ve read is extremely helpful, and stuff I’ve never heard before. Keep it up!

  • Robyn Bennett

    I’m currently writing an e-book on minute taking and trying to provide value with exercises has been challenging given the nature of the topic. I never thought, or knew you could, embed videos into e-books. That completely changes my thinking about all sorts of things. Thanks for article!

  • Robyn Bennett

    I’m currently writing an e-book on minute taking and trying to provide value with exercises has been challenging given the nature of the topic. I never thought, or knew you could, embed videos into e-books. That completely changes my thinking about all sorts of things. Thanks for article!