Ten Steps to Go from Idea to E-book for Sale
Have you ever thought about writing and publishing a book, but didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you were afraid of ending up with hundreds of copies gathering dust in your garage? Perhaps you’ve even started writing, but you don’t yet have a plan for getting the book printed and sold.
If any of these are you, then you should consider publishing your work as an e-book! Why? Because…
• An e-book won’t cost you an arm and a leg to publish.
• You can sell it online without having to deal with printing, storing, and packing or mailing books—saving you time and making you more money.
• You can test various titles and marketing concepts to find the one that works best.
• You can get your wisdom into way more people’s hands without having to go on a book tour, or beg bookstores for shelf space. Heck, I’ve had someone in New Zealand buy one of my e-books.
• If your e-book sells well online, it’s much easier to find a publisher who’s willing to take you on…And actually give you the budget and marketing support you need to make it a winner.
• Plus it’s better for the environment.
How exactly do you turn your idea into an e-book for sale?
Step 1) Write your e-book. E-books usually range from about 25 to 200 pages, and include a Table of Contents that ideally links to the appropriate page in the e-book.
Step 2) Format the pages of your e-book. You want plenty of white space and a sans serif font so it’s easy to read on screen. It’s best to do this in a program like InDesign if you ever plan to get it published in print. Otherwise, you can do this in MS Word though there are some weird software glitches you’ll have to work around.
Step 3) Get an e-book cover created. A number of different people specialize in just this, and I suggest you hire one of them versus using your regular graphic designer. You’ll get a better end result for less money.
Step 4) Turn your e-book into a secure PDF. Plenty of free programs can do this for you I like and use Primo PDF to create all my PDF documents.
Step 5) Create a mini-Website, or a sales page on your current site, to promote your new e-book. Usually these are long form sales letters that give people all the information they need to make a confident purchase. Though sometimes a short blurb will do (especially if you’re selling your e-book for less than $20).
Step 6) Upload your new e-book, then create a Thank You Web page with a link to download the product.
Step 7) Hook up some sort of shopping cart system so people can buy online. If you don’t have a budget for this, you can start with PayPal at no cost. However, some people really hate using PayPal, so I recommend using a full-fledged shopping cart as soon as you can afford it.
These typically give you a shopping cart plus an email autoresponder system at a very reasonable price. It’s much easier to run your online business if the two are integrated. Again, you can check out the resources page on my Website for specific recommendations.
Step 8) Create a minimum of 3 emails to promote the launch sale of your new e-book. I like to do a one or two-week launch sequence with one email at the beginning, on in the middle, and a final reminder the day before the sale ends. Though you can do a shorter sale for sure.
Step 9) Create at least one follow up email to go out by auto responder after someone buys to make sure they got the product. Be sure to include the link to the download page. This will save you tons of follow up when people don’t download the e-book immediately and can’t find the link. Once you have more than one product, you can also set up additional emails to cross-promote your other e-books or audios.
Step 10) Start promoting! Send your first email. Add the URL to your email signature. Mention your new e-book in your bio, on your blog and in your newsletter. Put it up for sale on Amazon or Clickbank. And so on.
If you already have a decent sized email list (500+), and you’ve written your e-book on a topic of interest to those folks, you should be able to sell some e-books. The bigger the list the more sales you’re likely to make.
Just keep in mind...One promotion for one e-book does not a revenue stream make. You have to market it regularly. And ideally you need multiple products and services you can sell, up-sell and cross sell.
So think of your e-book as one piece of yours sales, marketing and product pies. Then get ready to enjoy the sweet taste of success.