10 Essential Things to Consider When Selling e-Books Online

I’ve recently been involved with launching two e-Books for sale online, including the Grassroots e-Book “Twitter for Business”.  During the process I did a lot of online research to figure out the best way to do things.

Below is a list of the things we took into consideration, including key resources and tools that were used for selling e-Books online; some of which I knew about already and some that gave me new ideas.

To start with you’ll need to have a topic and content for your e-Book, but that’s not covered in this article.

1. A Good Designer

Work with a designer to create a professional and easy-to-read template for the e-Book.  Your designer can also create a book cover image and advertisements that you can use in your marketing.

You might be able to play around with the design yourself but in terms of this aspect, I think it’s worth paying a good designer to make the e-Book look tip top.

2. Feedback from your Target Audience

Select people from your target audience and ask them if they will review the e-Book and give you feedback. You can either collect feedback via an survey tool like Survey Monkey, or ask them to email you their thoughts.

I find this step invaluable. Different people will focus on different aspects of the content and the feedback really helps you create a better product.

You can also ask the people who liked the product to write a testimonial that you can include on your sales landing page.

3. Pre Launch Marketing

Create some buzz before you launch the product. Build a list of people who would like to be the first to know once the e-Book is launched.  For example, you could run a competition and give away some free copies of the product as an incentive for people to sign up to the list.

The Launch Coach has tips for product launches and I also enjoyed the Product Launch tips in this ProBlogger article.

4. Website Landing Page

If you’re going to sell an e-Product you need somewhere to sell it from, ideally your own website.

If your website is set up in WordPress, it will be easy to create a landing page where you can sell the e-Book.  Ideally have a landing page that doesn’t include your sidebars, so that the reader can focus 100% on your landing page sales copy.

5. Delivery Method

We’ve used two main tools for selling e-Products online.  Once you get used to it, e-Junkie is simple to set up as a way for your e-Products to automatically be sent electronically to purchasers.

Another option is Digital Delivery App.  For the Twitter e-Book we chose Digital Delivery App because the download screen looks a bit cleaner and more up-to-date than e-Junkie, and the back end makes it really easy to see how many products you’ve sold and therefore how much money you’ve made.

It’s likely that you’ll need to save the document as a PDF in order to distribute it. If you have a Mac you might find that the file size gets much larger once the document is a PDF (like 10 times larger!) Ideally ask someone with a PC to save the PDF file for you.

6. Payment Tool

Like loads of other people, we use Paypal to accept online payments easily and securely. Before you start selling your product, check what their fees are so you know how much of the total payment you’ll actually receive.  You can download reports from Paypal to keep track of your customers’ details.

7. Launch Special Offer

Create a Special Offer to encourage people to buy your product quickly. You could offer a reduced price, or extra bonuses, or both.

8. Opt In Email List for Marketing

Building a list during your pre-launch marketing and generally as part of your online marketing plan means you’ll have a database of people in your target audience to market your product to.

We use Mail Chimp for our email campaigns, which is simple to use and free while your list is under 2,000.

9. Social Media

Along with building your email marketing list, build your connections on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Then make your connections a special offer that they can’t refuse!.

10. Affiliate Program

When you’re ready to reach a wider audience with your e-Book, you can look to set up an affiliate program. E-Junkie and  Digital Delivery App both allow you to set up an affiliate program, or you can check out ClickBank and other well known affiliate websites.

You can also make your e-Books available in the Amazon Kindle Store with Kindle Direct Publishing.

What other resources have you found useful for selling e-Books online?