I see a question asked repeatedly by writers and webmasters... "How can I market my e-book?" Well for starters, that's something you should have thought about before writing it, now isn't it? But OK... you'll see the same responses surface each time:
- Launch an affiliate program.
- Write a long sales letter.
- Get testimonials.
- Submit to article directories.
- Start a newsletter.
- Use pay-per-click ads or other online advertising.
Now that's all fine and dandy, . Personally, I don't care for long sales letters, and refuse to buy any product marketed with one. I don't give much credence to testimonials, because frankly they can be "bought." I don't believe in paying for advertising when you can get the same results for less - advertising should be a last resort as far as I'm concerned. I won't deny that affiliate programs can work, but again, I'd use it as a last resort. If you can make a nice income without one, why share your profits? I despise article directories with a passion and look at people writing for them as a bunch of hacks. Newsletters are the only typical marketing tactic I hear that I think is completely respectable, efficient, and effective.
You don't have to agree with my feelings on some of the other tactics that I mentioned. I really couldn't care less one way or the other. My point is that these typical e-book marketing tactics aren't necessarily the most effective path, yet people eat them up and stop looking beyond them.
It baffles me... why do people act like e-books are some completely unique product type that needs to be marketed in its own special way? They don't!
There is no "e-book marketing" plan out there that's unique to the medium.
So if you're trying to market an e-book you've written, begin by getting out of that mindframe, and accepting two things:
- An e-book can be marketed very much like a book in print.
- An e-book's website (or sales page if you insist on being that stereotypical) can be marketed just like any other website or blog.
There's no magic formula for e-book marketing. Just take traditional marketing methods, and tailor the tactics to your needs. For example, here are a few book publicity tactics that you can use to market your e-book:
- Book Tours - Instead of a traditional book tour, launch a virtual book tour hitting the blogging circuit.
- Book Reviews - While top book reviewers may not want to make time to review an e-book, plenty of bloggers and influential people in your niche would probably love to. Send out advanced review copies just as you would with a print book.
- Press Releases - Send out an e-book "launch" news release and a release for any events you may hold to promote the e-book.
- Seminars - You can still hold seminars (or better yet, webinars and e-courses) to promote an e-book, just as an author of a print book might do.
If you treat your e-book as professionally as you would a print title, there's no reason why you can't follow tried and true book publicity and marketing plans to bring in a lot of sales and recognition. The same goes for your e-book's website. Look at what authors and publishers are doing to promote their print books online, and tailor the tactics to meet your needs (set up a social networking profile, blog on the subject of your e-book, etc.).
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