By sharing my experiences here and at eBook Marketing Journal, my goal is to give you a brutally honest look at what it takes to make a living selling ebooks online. It’s not always a million dollar experience. Sometimes it’s not even a thousand dollar experience.
We always hear these stories about how a couple of ‘absolute newbies’ stumble onto the scene and make $16,237 within 27 days. (Rule #8 of Internet Marketing Copywriting: Be precise!)
I’m not here to smash that reality. Absolute newbies DO stumble in and make $16,237 within 27 days. Trust me, I’ve seen much bigger dollar amounts first hand. But this is truly one of those “your results may vary” type of situations.
Most people struggle to get those first 100 sales. They get discouraged along the way because they’re not one of those absolute newbies with the five figure PayPal screenshots.
Hell, I’ve been there. If you read my posts from early last year then you know I was an A1 flop for longer than I cared to admit. Check out eBook Marketing Journal and you’ll see that I still singe a few hairs from time to time.
How do you make it right?
First, have a good hearty laugh at the whole internet marketing industry.
Second, realize that my results, other peoples results and your results will all be totally different creatures. Your skills are very different than mine. And people who I admire have very different strengths than mine.
Third, realize that time and timing have a lot to do with where you are.
I hang out with a lot of Amazon Kindle authors, and the general consensus is that the first movers made a lot more money a year or so ago – with fewer books – than they do today. There were fewer self-publishers back then.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t make a small fortune selling ebooks on Amazon. There are authors who started less than a year ago and are cleaning up there.
It just means that the strategy you read about a year ago might not be the same thing that’s gonna get you to the promise land today. As soon as you come to that conclusion you’ll be ready to move on to…
The 3 eBook marketing strategies for sellers suffering in silence
1) Volumize. The days of “I’m-gonna-make-$100K-from-this-ONE-ebook” are not as prolific as they used to be. One ebook probably isn’t going to be your savior. Two ebooks,? Nah! Three ebooks? Keep going. FOUR ebooks? Okay, now you’re getting into the comfort zone.
In Creating eBooks that are Impulse Buyer Magnets I say you should write no fewer than four ebooks for a given niche if you really want to maximize your profits.
With four ebooks you easily attract repeat buyers. Your average sale amount is higher. And at that point you’re more easily perceived as an expert rather than a fly-by-nighter. That type of status IS a major selling point.
If you read John Locke’s How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! one of things he advocates is volume. You don’t even have to read it. Just look at the number of titles he’s got up and running on Amazon.
I just read a story from an author who has over 100 titles up on Amazon. He said he didn’t even break the triple digits (per month) until around month three. At month eight, he earned over $20K.
Mind you, these aren’t 200 page ebooks, either. The vast majority are short stories. Piddly little things that are 10 pages or less! Surely they’re not award winners, but he has volume on his side.
You will never understand the sheer power of volume until you’re knee deep in it.
2) Promote like a barracuda. Though you may want to throw in the towel, the worst thing you can do is stop marketing. I’ve seen the most gosh awful ebooks do tremendously well, not for their literary value, but because the author was a marketing barracuda.
You just have to do a little bit each day. Guest blogging. Blog commenting. Twitter. Building a blog. Lots of tiny little steps accumulate over time.
I just said it the other day… when I started writing on Squidoo, I really had to hustle to see the sales come in. I wanted to give up after the third article because traffic was so dismal.
Now with 14 articles (and growing) at Squidoo, ebook sales come in on their own. You just have to keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. And most important, don’t stop.
3) Be everywhere. As soon as my first ebook went up Amazon, I noticed an immediate uptick of ebook sales here (on this blog).
Seems a bit counter-intuitive considering my Amazon ebooks are only priced at $2.99, and everything here is $10-$20. But I don’t sell all of my ebooks on Amazon. (A strategy I decided to experiment with.)
So if someone wants Impulse Buyer Magnets, they’ve gotta get it here. This helps me to sustain during the lean times while I’m building my Amazon empire. I know that I’m getting sales on Amazon and because of Amazon.
Now I don’t think this particular strategy would work if I were selling fiction only. But for nonfiction (which I know many of you reading this blog focus on), it’s golden.