Ebooks: Your key to profits and recognition

Nobody outside of Amazon knows how many Kindles have been sold, but the number is in the double-digit millions. Add to that the number of Kindle apps, free for iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, and Android; the number of Barnes and Noble Nooks; the number of other electronic book readers; and without even getting to the number of people who can read/print a pdf–basically, every person with access to a computer–you have a market for ebooks that defies quantification.

And here’s the deal: Your cost to produce an ebook version of your manuscript, once you’ve written it, is at most $150–and that includes getting into the Kindle market on Amazon, as well as into other ebook markets, like the iBookstore. With NO marginal cost per copy.

So if you want books to be part of your marketing plan, you would be foolish not to include ebooks.

Are there lots of people who still want hard copy? Yes, there are. Meet their needs and desires through print-on-demand services. But you can optimize your ebook’s price based on what the market will bear, without having to take any production or fulfillment costs into consideration. Your marketing plan, and those who read it, will love that.

Sell your ebook for $.99 for volume. Sell it for $19.99 based on value. Design your marketing plan such that you can experiment, testing different prices. The different ebook formats may sell at different rates for you. Try different things.

There are several ebook formats, but for $150 or less, you can have your manuscript in all of them–and available in their associated bookstores.

You could even offer your ebook through the Clickbank Marketplace, a site for affiliate marketers, where it can find active affiliate marketers who are seeking great products to promote to their lists. You can turn it into a free bonus, a giveaway to get people onto YOUR list, so that you can sell them other products and services. Again, that can be an asset to your marketing plan.

What should your ebook’s topic be? Use tools like Wordtracker.com to discover keywords that have 500 or more searches per day–and not much competition. Then write your ebook to match what your chosen market wants.

Comments

  1. Three points of contention: First, you need passion to write a book, not analytic tools. Yes, these will help you understand the market, keywords etc, but you need a lot of energy and commitment to write, publish and promote a book. Second, affiliate marketers aren’t going to bother with low-ticket e-books. Unless it’s about something where they can expect a high volume in their niche, they won’t be interested. Three, you don’t have to pay $150 to convert your book to different e-readers. The basic formats are fairly simple. If you publish with Smashwords, they do it all for you and let the purchaser select. I’m chronicling my adventures in publishing Write Like You Talk Only Better at my blog. I’m learning something new all the time. Check it out.

  2. Thanks so much for your comments, Barb! I don’t think these points are contentious at all. Let me address them one at a time:
    1. No argument: Energy and commitment are needed to do this successfully.
    2. It’s true: Affiliate marketers won’t pick up a $.99 book. But you can write a high-value ebook, and offer it for $47, if appropriate. You’ll find plenty in Clickbank in that price range.
    3. Smashwords is a great service; check them out, and also Bookbaby. And Google “smashwords vs bookbaby” to find the breakeven point: Smashwords takes a small royalty from each book; Bookbaby takes an upfront fee and no royalty.

    Your blog shows a lot of that passion you mentioned, and seems to have excellent writing suggestions. I just downloaded your book, and my first quick glance indicates it is chock-full of practical advice. I recommend readers check it out. (Click on Barb’s name above her comment.)

    Joel

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