Want to sell ebooks? Of course you do, that’s why you write them. Let’s look at how you can sell more copies, more ways. You can use these methods for both fiction, and nonfiction.
1. Sell your ebook in additional formats.
The easiest way to sell more copies is to offer your ebooks in more formats.
“Make It Easy for Readers: Launch Your Ebooks in Several Formats
Your ebooks can sell for many years. Therefore, offer them in several formats. In addition to PDF, consider additional electronic publication formats, such as that for the Amazon Kindle.”
Tip: be aware that if you enroll an ebook into the KDP Select program, Amazon requires exclusivity.
Formats for fiction…
- Offer your novel as a serial, both in ebook form, and via email;
- Sell an “enhanced” version in PDF, audio and video;
- Sell an audio version of your novel.
Formats for nonfiction…
As above, for fiction.
You can also offer your nonfiction ebook as a course, or an online class, or a subscription “members only” website.
2. Consider paid advertising: use (some) of your profits.
You’ll sell more copies if you advertise. However, advertising can be expensive. You’ll need to test your chosen advertising, and sometimes your tests won’t work, or they’ll be more trouble than they’re worth.
By “more trouble” I mean that you can spend time writing ads and fiddling — time which would be better spent writing more ebooks.
You’ll need to decide what you prefer to do; I prefer to spend more time creating, because that’s what I enjoy, rather than bending my brain over the mysteries of paid advertising.
You may feel differently, so by all means try it.
Use a percentage of your profits for advertising…
Traders set marketing budgets, as a percentage of their overall budget. You can do something similar. Decide to use a percentage of whatever income your ebook makes for advertising.
Tip: never, ever spend more than your profits on advertising. Use free methods, as below, to advertise. Advertising is always a risk. However, if your ebook is selling, then you know that there’s a market for it. If your ebook isn’t selling, it’s pointless to throw good money after bad, so to speak.
3. Use social media to build a community.
If you’re passionate about your ebook’s topic, create a community around it. There are many free forums online, which you can install onto your domain, or have someone install for you.
Creating a forum is an ideal option if you’re going to create several ebooks in the same subject area — weight loss, for example.
Tip: if you decide to go the forum route, be aware that forums eat up your time. You need a way to monetize the forum, other than selling copies of your ebook. You could post advertising on the forum, for example.
Alternatives to creating a forum…
Create a Facebook or Google+ page, or group. Creating pages and groups on social media sites is free, and takes little time. You’ll need to monitor these, of course. However, since the software is handled by the social media network, this takes much less time than setting up a forum.
4. Content sells: use content marketing.
Content marketing means blogging, and other forms of social media. You’re creating content to promote your ebook. It’s worth doing, because it won’t cost you anything except time, and your content can continue to make sales for you over time.
Tip: if you decide to use content marketing, be aware that this can be a huge time sink, as can all forms of marketing. Make sure you’re getting a return on the time you invest.
I originally wrote this article in 2011. Revised and updated: May 23, 2014.
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