If you have a blog, a regular audience and an email list (even a small one), selling eBooks is one of the best ways you can make a sizable passive income and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Thousands of bloggers are making money by selling online courses, trainings, eBooks and other forms of digital products. But studies show that there’s demand for more.
In the U.S alone, eBook sales are expected to cross $8 billion by the end of 2016.
Clearly, there’s a lot of money to be made if you can create the right eBook for your audience.
However, even if your eBook has lots of value in it for the readers, there are still chances you might not make a lot of sales.
Why? Not because there’s anything wrong with the content of your eBook. But because you’re likely to be missing out some of the other crucial factors that are necessary for a successful eBook launch.
And you’re not alone.
The majority of eBook launches fail to reach their potential because of poor preparation. Most bloggers are so focused on creating the content of their eBook that they forget about creating the right launch pad.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that can dent your eBook sales even if it offers immense value to your audience.
1. Offering a Poor Buying Experience
Since everyone in your niche seems to be launching eBooks and courses themselves, the purchase experience on your blog or website can be one of the biggest differentiation points in your eBook sales strategy.
Studies show that as many as 66% of your potential buyers might leave without purchasing your eBook just because of poor user experience and a complex buying process. Even more surprising is the fact that only 55% of companies are doing online user experience testing.
But what are exactly makes up the buying experience on your blog? Here are a few key factors to keep in mind.
- A clear indication of where and how to buy your product (hint: an attractive Buy Now button)
- Detailed information about the product and what it offers.
- Multiple and secure payment options, especially PayPal, for buyers.
- A short checkout process with minimum redirections and text forms.
- A responsive/mobile friendly website design.
In general, you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for your buyers to purchase and download your eBook. But you also need to make your product look attractive. So you can’t just display the direct download and payment link on your sales page.
A much better option is to go for a modern digital selling app like Selz, which allows you to create attractive and mobile friendly product widgets that can be embedded on your blog with a “Buy Now” button.
It also allows your buyers to pay with multiple secure payment options like PayPal, Master Card and Visa, and integrates seamlessly with your email marketing tool – ticking all the major user experience points.
Unfortunately, many bloggers don’t focus enough on creating a user friendly buying process which costs them heavily in the form of lost sales and dejected customers.
2. Designing the eBook Cover Yourself
Unless you’re a professional graphic designer yourself, I would strongly advise against designing your eBook cover.
Why? Because a poor cover can have a drastic impact on your sales. In a recent study, nearly 79% of book readers said that book covers played a decisive role in their purchase decision. While 60% consider the book cover as the sole reason behind their decision to purchase a book.
Clearly, the cover design of your eBook can make or break your sales numbers. So taking it lightly and designing it yourself may not be the best idea.
Unfortunately many bloggers don’t understand the importance of their eBook cover, and use different DIY tools just to save costs.
Don’t make that mistake.
Even hiring an expert designer doesn’t cost much, especially if you invite design concepts on portals like 99Designs and Upwork.
You’re an expert in writing, not design. Don’t ruin your hard work to save a few dollars.
3. Not Building Anticipation Before the Launch
You’re proud of your eBook, right? Then why are you shy of announcing it to the world?
Many bloggers, especially the ones selling eBooks for the first time, are too shy to get the word out about their new product. Many would just quietly add a link to the sales page in their blog’s side bar, or send an email to their list once.
That’s not how you launch an eBook. You need to create some noise and spread the word about your new masterpiece.
Here are a few things you should definitely do.
- Start mentioning your eBook in your blog posts months before its launch. Tell your readers that you’re working on something epic. Create anticipation and excitement.
- Ask your audience for feedback on your eBook cover design. Get them involved and make them a part of your journey.
- Offer an exclusive discount for pre-lunch orders.
- Host a webinar on the topic of your eBook.
- Approach other bloggers in your niche to host joint webinars.
- Create a series of emails focused on your eBook and the value that’s inside.
- Once your book is up for sale, write guest posts on the top blogs in your niche to spread the word.
The world won’t know how valuable your eBook is unless you tell them about it. There’s just too much noise on the web and, unless you create anticipation before your launch, no one would take notice.
4. Not Using Paid Advertising Channels
Selling eBooks is a business, and every business needs to invest in marketing and promotion. If your blog has a strong SEO foundation, you will receive traffic from search engines. But that is not enough in most cases.
You need to take your product to the right audience who’re willing to pay for it. This is much easier now thanks to the different paid advertising options available.
Facebook ads, in particular, offer a huge opportunity for eBook sellers to aggressively promote their product and reach their customers before anyone else does.
Facebook has more than 1 billion daily active users and the majority of your target customers are already using it.
Why not approach them on a platform they’re comfortable using.
Facebook offers advanced audience targeting features that will allow you to zoom in on your potential customers and maximize your sales.
The costs incurred in paid advertising is a small investment that you should definitely make in order to boost your eBooks sales. Think like a business owner, not just a writer.
5. Creating a Weak Value Package
If you avoid the four mistakes that I’ve mentioned in this post, your eBook launch is likely to be a success. However, if you really want to change it into a block buster sales campaign, offer something valuable in combination with your eBook.
Think like a marketer.
Instead of giving them just the eBook, package it with different value added products such as worksheets, templates, free tools or a free consultation call with you. Convert this simple eBook into an irresistible offer.
Create three different packages for different kinds of buyers. Offer just the eBook at its base price in your basic package. Add a couple of worksheets and resources related to the eBook to create a mid-level package. Add a bit of more spice with a personal call to create the third package.
Price them differently to attract all kinds of buyers. This will also give you the opportunity to upsell buyers later.
Here’s a good example.
Packaging your products intelligently can help you significantly boost your sales numbers and increase the perceived value of your product.
The consumption of eBooks is at an all-time high right now, and the trend is likely to continue for several years. Publishing and selling eBooks has also become much easier thanks to the different tools available on the web. So your chances of success are already pretty high.
You only need to avoid these silly mistakes to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Once your eBook is ready for selling, put your marketing hat on and think from your customer’s point of view.
Have you ever sold eBooks to your blog readers? Any plans of doing it this year? If yes, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the post.