Is It Worth Giving Away Ebooks For Free?

December 19, 2008

Many people give away ebooks for free, as part of their marketing strategy. I’m writing a couple of free ebooks myself, so I’ve been doing a bit of research into ebook sales. And I’ve found that some ebooks work well and others flop, depending on how they’re distributed.

Some People Give Away Free Ebooks To Get Folk To Subscribe To Their Blog

Giving free ebooks to gain subscribers might seem like a good idea but it’s rarely effective. Everybody knows that most of these subscribers will never read another word you’ve written. And you might have been told that high subscriber numbers impress advertisers but most advertisers aren’t that naive. Times are tight and they want to get their ads in front of readers, not subscriber numbers.

Giving Away Ebooks For Free To Make Money From Affiliate Links

This is a little better than giving away free ebooks, just to gain subscribers. But it’s still not ideal. If your reader doesn’t buy when they first click through your affiliate link and their anti-virus, or browser deletes cookies, you’ll lose your commission.

Giving Away Free Ebooks To Get Folk To Subscribe To Your Newsletter

It can be well worth giving away ebooks for free, to get newsletter subscribers. If you have an interesting newsletter, it will help you sell more products and persuade readers to come back to your blog.

But you have to hope those subscribers will actually read your newsletter to begin with. If it’s too frequent, or you try to sell stuff in every copy, most people will just delete it. Plus, you’re only likely to attract readers who visit your website or blog to begin with.

To Get Lots Of Ebook Readers - You Need To Encourage Folk To Pass It On

We live in an era of information overload. Some of that info is good and some of it sucks. So, you need to give someone a damn good reason to download and read your ebook and tell other people to read it too. And unless you’ve written something to rival the Da Vinci Code, or you have millions of readers, your ebook will flop.

So what do you do? You can’t launch a pay per click campaign, or an affiliate campaign, because the ebook is free.

Make Your Free Ebook Viral

This method appeals to me most. But to pull it off, you’ve got to give folk an incentive to pass your ebook on. I discovered how to do this in a simple, short, free ebook I read. It shows you how to write an effective viral book that people will want to pass on. And you also get the opportunity to download a template, to make your own free viral ebooks.

It also shows you how to persuade people to pass on your ebook. And it works, because they’ll get paid for doing so. Your ebook will still be free but there’s an intriguing twist that encourages folk to pay for it.

Plus, you also make money from the ebook yourself. First you profit from some of the sales, because there are two prices. And anyone who opts to sell your ebook, winds up on your mailing list. This is better than having everyone who downloads the book on your list. You’ll get the names of people who are genuinely interested in your topic, so they’ll buy future products from you.

I discovered how to do all this and get a template to create my own free, money making ebook, in this great free viral ebook. And I’m confident it will work for my own product, as I’ve even made money from the free viral ebook.

Do you read ebooks that you’ve been given for free, or do you value paid ebooks more? Do you like the idea of the viral ebook and what would persuade you to recommend a free ebook to others?

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Don’t Write An Ebook Until You’ve Read This

November 30, 2008

If you’re planning to write an ebook, there’s something you should know before you begin. Otherwise, you may never finish your ebook and something that could have made you a decent amount of cash, will remain in your head, instead of in an ebook.

You see, I’ve written short information products in the past, but not a full length ebook. And I had an ebook inside me that was screaming to get out, so as I’d already reviewed the 7 Day Ebook, I decided to use it to help me write my own ebook.

Now, I just want to point out that I’m not attempting to write an ebook in 7 days. I’m sure it’s possible, if you want to work on your ebook full-time but I have too many things on the go and not enough hours to get them done. So I just want to write an ebook as quickly as possible, in the limited time I have.

And the 7 Day Ebook is a great guide but there’s one piece of advice in there that caused me to hit a huge stumbling block. You see, the 7 Day Ebook advises you to write the sales page, before you even begin your book. It says that doing this will get you excited and enthusiastic about writing the actual ebook.

It’s a big fat lie. If you’re like me and you suck at copywriting, it’s more likely to leave you feeling incompetent, drained and totally pissed off. The technique just doesn’t work, unless you’re a brilliant copywriter, who writes that kind of stuff on a regular basis.

Well, I don’t write sales copy often. And when I do, I have to keep a copywriting book open beside me. There’s heaps of great copywriting books available but I use Steal These Secrets the most. It’s not the cheapest option but it’s good. And I prefer using something that I can access on my computer, rather than having to leaf through a huge book to find what I need.

But a sales page isn’t something you can bang together in 30 minutes - and you shouldn’t try, if you want to make sales. And if you struggle with copywriting, as much as I do, you’d be far better off writing a rough version of your sales page, before writing your ebook. You can go back and write the sales page properly when you’ve finished the ebook, so you can give it the attention it deserves.

Aside from that one small point, I’m still finding the 7 Day Ebook really useful and I’m getting on far faster than I would have done without it. But you do need to realise that you will only complete your ebook in 7 Days, if you’re working at it flat out.

Have you written an ebook before? Do you have any great advice to share? Or have you considered writing an ebook? What’s stopping you from getting started?

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The Nutty Introvert And The Crimson Compass

October 3, 2008

Before I tell you about the Nutty Introvert, I’d like to introduce my new sponsor, The Crimson Compass. If you’ve been visiting my blog for a while, you probably already know the founder of The Crimson Compass, Davina Haisell.

Davina offers life coaching to help folks find their way. Whether want to start a business, need to become more creative, make transformations in your personal life, or you’ve got stuck in your comfort zone, Davina can help. You can find out more about Davina’s personalized service by checking out the Crimson Compass website.

I don’t do too many reviews on this blog. In fact, any product or service I do review is something I’ve bought and liked. That goes for the “things I like” section too. Nothing in there is stuff I’ve been asked to review - it’s all things I’ve tried and liked and think you may like it too. In fact, most of the time I don’t even link to a sales page, so I make no commission if you buy those things.

So, a whole bunch of review requests for products, books etc goes completely ignored. It’s not that I don’t like the folk who send me them, or that I think their products suck. It’s just that if I wanted to be a crash test dummy, I would have got myself a job doing something like that. I just don’t have time to test and read other people’s stuff.

The times when I do take notice is when the person who’s offering the product has actually taken the time to get to know me first and is also offering something insanely useful and interesting. And the Nutty Introvert did just that.

Those of you who are wondering who the Nutty Introvert is may know him better as Hunter Nuttall, personal development blogger and the guy who has a bee in his bonnet over the way some folk regard introverts.

Anyway it turns out that Hunter’s passion for studying personality types has taken over his life. He hasn’t been too active in the blogosphere lately. I guessed he was up to something, so I wasn’t surprised when his book: “Extroverts Are Assholes” turned up in my inbox.

Ok, I’m joking - it’s not really called that. It would make an interesting book title but Hunter’s book is far less gimmicky. “The Personality Puzzle: Understanding What Makes People Tick.” is based on Carl Jung’s - Myers Briggs Type Indicator. And take it from someone who has studied psychology and spent hours pouring over text books on the theories of folk like Jung, Mead and Freud and wishing Freud’s mother had drowned him at birth; Hunter’s book is a whole lot more interesting to read.

Being able to understand what makes different personality types tick has all sorts of advantages. If you have a business, it makes it easier to sell to customers, according to their personality type. If you have a husband, it makes it easier to get him to mow the lawn. If you have a boss, it comes in really useful when you want a pay rise, or time off. It really has unlimited advantages.

Hunter’s book is a bargain. A little while ago, I spent a day on a course learning how to sell to different personality types. The course cost me £375 (around $750). And it was nowhere near as good as Hunter’s book which is available at a fraction of that price. But don’t just take my word for it. You can discover exactly what is inside: The Personality Puzzle: Understanding What Makes People Tick by clicking here.

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