You've Written an eBook - Now What? eBook Publishing Strategies
By Tamara Baranova
You have your ebook ready and are not really sure of who to turn to next to get it published. Or you have repurposed some of your previous work and know that your audience/target market would like the option to download or print your book. With an ebook, you need a system to receive an order and then deliver an order automatically (e.g. download link). It's rather a large area to delve into so we will try and simplify things and give you some ideas.
Dependent on your product and the sales you expect to generate, PayPal + free shopping cart plugin for your site is an inexpensive and simple way to get started. If you have only one product and your sales expectation is low, Jigoshop offers digital download sales. The number of downloads can be limited to one from a generated link. For marketing you can link AWeber (small fee) and process payments via PayPal. Downside - all documents and sheets need to be sent as one file and your file in its raw form will be stored on your site. This means that despite all precautions the file can be found on Google and then downloaded for free.
Another option is to set up a Membership Area, so that customers need to sign up to access the download file and any other resources. Membership can be limited by time, perhaps a week, which will limit the number of downloads possible. Files can then be secured and only accessed by someone with a login during their membership. Again, you can link with AWeber for marketing and PayPal to process payments.
For a higher level of security your files can be stored on Amazon S3, where they are secure. They are also safe from Google who are unable to find them.
If you intend to sell more products/services in the future or have affiliates an option is to use 1shoppingcart system. Cost initially, without affiliates, is $34/month. Your product is securely stored in 1shoppingcart system, that will send links that can be either time-sensitive or limited by the number of times it can be downloaded. It can be linked with Aweber for email marketing and PayPal. Using 1shoppingcart you can manage all your customers in one place and market your services/products more effectively. The Downside is the cost and complexity of adding another system.
InfusionSoft and Office Autopilot are upgrades to a premium marketing/shopping cart solution. They are able to do everything that 1shoppingcart, Aweber can do and more: market your products, manage affiliates, process payments, send download links, manage customers and offer upsells and upgrades.
Pro Plus Digioh gives you a slightly different approach, it can be linked to your AWeber account. Customers pay by PayPal, get added to AWeber list for customers, confirm their membership and receive an email with a secure download link from Digioh. You will need their Pro Account ($29.99) but you are able to then sell multiple products. You can specify the maximum amount of downloads and customers trying to download without being an Aweber customer/list member can be directed to the sign up page. Your download page can be customised to offer upsells/offers. Some files can be used as 'list growers' - links are available to free downloads but people who are not subscribers in your Aweber list will have to sign up in Aweber before receiving the free download.
These previous options are suitable, if you don't expect your customers to want a printed book/folder or ebook viewable on Kindle and other mobile readers. If you think this is likely, then there are even more choices!
Then there's Lulu.com - they offer books and ebook publishing (including traditional physical books) in all possible formats and will include books for Amazon and Barnes&Noble. The downside: you will lose part of your sales on either commission or to cover the initial publication costs. Lulu PDFs will only be sold on their marketplace, which is good if your main sales are via your website/newsletter as you will keep more of the commission. Your book can be exported into ePub format and then placed with both retailers and marketplace, so you can also consider other retailers e.g. Amazon for Kindle.
So main differences between Lulu offering and your own website system (OWS):
- you keep all sales with OWS (minus PayPal commission)
- you drive traffic and sales through own marketing, SEO, PPC, offline marketing to promote OWS
- you can use affiliates to drive more sales with OWS but you'll lose % on sales
- you can sell in any format, design, size, any type of content without any restrictions whatsoever with OWS
- you might get queries from customers re payment issues, non-delivered emails, non-working links etc with OWS
- you'll lose % on each sale with Lulu (and retailers), 10-30%
- you still need to promote your book with own marketing, website etc to get sales - as you can't rely on your book just being published and that's it
- with Amazon and iBookStore you could get affiliates to promote the book, retailers pay their commission from your %
- you have to comply with Lulu & retailers formatting guidelines, content guidelines etc in order to take part
- if your book is very good and goes viral, you could reach more people easier through retailers. Some also offer display ads you can use to promote your book to visitors already using retailer's website or their existing customers.
- there's no technical maintenance or customer support to think about, it's handled by Lulu or retailers.
Hope this gives you some ideas how to proceed with getting your eBook available to customers or readers. If you know of other options you found useful - please do share below including links to your published eBooks!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Tamara Baranova. I run TJConsulting and I help small business owners grow their business by delivering effective online marketing mentoring, support and training. My clients see their business succeed, grow fast, and generate healthy profits through online marketing strategy that works.
Want to know more? Go to my website http://www.tjconsulting.co.uk to grab my free eCourse 7 Steps to Online Marketing Mastery and learn how to plan your unique social media strategy. Use our step-by-step jargon-free guides to master all popular online marketing tools: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, blogging, and more!
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