Archive for March, 2018

Virtual Covers for Ebook Success

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Even in the digital world, we still judge books by their covers. Virtual covers are essential for the success of your e-book. Don't believe it? Well, check out books for sale on the Amazon website - ecovers are essential (even for Kindle editions.) Read the rest of this entry

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Do you have a book published for the Amazon Kindle? If so, Amazon is releasing a new feature for the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD. Starting on September 14, 2012, these Kindle owners will see an "About the Author" feature that lets them learn more about you and discover your other books. Those other books, of course, will be one screen-tap away from being purchased.

The data that feeds this new feature comes from your Amazon Author Central Account. If you haven't set up your account yet (and you should), this is a good time to get that done. Here's my Author Page if you want to get some idea of how to set one up. There is a link at the bottom of the right-hand column that will take you to the Author Central sign-up page.

In the email I got from Amazon they recommend the following:

  1. Claim all your books in Author Central. You have to manually link your books to your account. Doing so will ensure your Author Profile shows up for all of your books and that readers will discover your entire catalog when reading about you.
  2. Make sure you're happy with your profile picture. All About the Author pages will use the image that you have designated as primary in Author Central. Make sure that you have an image uploaded. Readers want to connect with YOU, so use a nice portrait of yourself. Steer clear of crazy pics or amateur-looking iPhone snapshots - unless that is the image you are trying to project.
  3. Update your biography in Author Central. Readers are going to your profile because they want to know more about YOU. They also want to see your books. You need to sell yourself here. Give them a peak inside your life and let them know why you are qualified to write the books you write.

Your Author Central page is one of the key tools you have to promote your books inside the Amazon marketing system. It is the first, and most important, step in the 10 Step Kickstart Kindle Promotion system. So, make sure yours is ready to go on September 14th.

Surprise Bonus: Once your books are linked to your Author Central Account, you will gain additional tools for formatting and editing your book descriptions. You will also gain access to additional marketing data about your books (if you have print editions, you can get some amazing data about your readers.) Spend a little time on the Author Central site and see what's there.

Promoting Your Ebook For Maximum Distribution

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Online promotion is a huge topic and this article is only intended to help you get started. I highly recommend you purchase a copy of the “Traffic Manifesto.” It is an invaluable resource in my own marketing library and comes with a 30 day plan to begin driving visitors to your pages. The manifesto will get you visitors!!!

If you are not ready to invest in theTraffic Manifesto and kick your promotion into overdrive, here are a few time-tested ways to get people to your site. Most are free (but take time and effort) and others might cost a few dollars.

  1. Visit related forums and include a link to your sales page in your signature. Then, start contributing to the forums and people will follow your link. A similar tactic is to leave comments on relevant blog articles and link back to your site. Don't spam the blogs and forums, contribute valuable information to the discussion. Otherwise, this tactic can backfire. Visit to get a huge list of discussion forums covering hundreds of topics.
  2. Another tried and true method is to write a number of keyword targeted articles of 350-800 words and submit them to article directories like and with links back to your website in the author's resource box after the article.
  3. Create a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign using Adwords, Yahoo Search Advertising, or Microsoft Adcenter to send traffic to your sales page. For more help planning a PPC campaign, study the XXX guide.
  4. Distribute a Press Release about your newly released product. There are a number of sites on the web dedicated to circulating press releases. You can use these to generate traffic by writing press releases. Sites like and will let you post a free release on their sites which will also get syndicated around the web. They also offer a paid service that guarantees your release will be listed on the major search engines too, but this is not required to get some traffic.
  5. is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get ranked in the search engines for your chosen keywords/niche. Google loves Squidoo and quickly indexes new pages on the site. So, pick a few target keywords and build a Lens around each one. Include links to relevant resources (including pages on your own site - of course!) Then, people who find your Lens will also discover the links to your site and many will follow through and become visitors to your website. You Can Master the Power of Squidoo 100 Times Faster When a Seasoned Master Shows You What To Do...
  6. Create a topical video and release it on the major video sites like and, or
  7. Place online classified ads at sites like or

There are dozens of options for driving traffic to your new ebook. This list barely scratches the surface of the traffic techniques available. The most important thing to do is develop a specific strategy for promoting your site and create a written plan of action. Otherwise, you will spend hours chasing after traffic here and there without building any momentum or the ability to evaluate your success.
I highly recommend the 30 Day Traffic Plan that is included with The Traffic Manifesto. It will lead you through every step of the process and create the traffic momentum you need. You can use the time you would have spent creating a promotional plan implementing this proven process.

If you choose to go it alone, make sure you do every step on the list above (number 3 is optional if you want to stick with free options.)

New Kindle Countdown Deals Promotional Tool

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Amazon has just added an exciting new tool to its Kindle publishing platform that I think will be a powerful tool for indie authors and publishers. It is called Kindle Countdown Deals. It taps into a huge sales psychology trigger that is as powerful (and more profitable) than their KDP Giveaways. Let me tell you what it is all about. Read the rest of this entry

    eBook Publishing Resources...

Best Products To Sell Online – Ebooks

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Ebooks are one of the best products to sell online. The popular PDF format ebook is easy to create using low cost or free tools and can be market at a wide variety of price points depending on the content.

Ebooks are small, so they can readily be downloaded by clients without placing excessive demands on a server. There are many services available, such as E-junkie, PayDotCom, Clickbank, and others designed to handle the order processing aspects of selling ebooks. Services like E-junkie will even deliver the file from their servers.

When delivering the ebooks from your own server, it is important to take steps to prevent people from sharing the link to your download page. Software like DL Guard will protect your download pages and your download links.

When you are just starting out, it is likely you will use PayPal to process your payments. Later you might move on to a full fledged merchant account for your business.

Services like E-junkie and PayDotCom interface with PayPal. Payments are processed there and order tracking and delivery are handled on the site.

Ebooks are easy to produce using free tools, easy to deliver on your own website or through digital product payment and delivery services, and can command a very high price. That makes them one of the best products to sell online.

Rise of the Machines, by Kristen Lamb

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"Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World"is a social media marketing book aimed at authors who are trying to use social media to promote their work.

The machines have taken over. People don't talk, they text. Frineds meet for dinner only to spend the entire time glued to their smart phones interacting through it instead of face-to-face. It seems like the machines are taking over.

In this new machine-centric world contemporary authors need to reach out to readers and connect with them. They need to promote their work without turning into spammers intruding on the lives of the very people they hope to seduce with their writing.

Kristen Lamb has charted a way forward for authors. In her book, "Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World" she explores how branding has broken free of the world of advertising and become wrapped up in personal identity. She demonstrates how to infuse your digital communications with your humanity - to build relationships as you grow a following of loyal readers.

This is a smart and practical guide to using social media like a human being as you promote your work.


“For writers, the purchase price of Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machines should easily become the best investment you’ll ever make for your writing career. In Kristen’s brilliant and easy-to-grasp book, not only will you learn how to become a successful marketer of your work—whether it’s published by a legacy press or self-published—and achieve significant and ever-increasing sales of your work, but you’ll learn how to without spending hours and hours each week to do so. Rise of the Machines is the standard—the cutting edge."
-- Les Edgerton, award-winning author of HOOKED and FINDING YOUR VOICE


“In Rise of the Machines, Kristen Lamb has provided an invaluable compass for navigating the uncharted waters of 21st century publishing. I pity the writer working today who doesn’t take advantage of the wealth of valuable insights and breakthrough methods contained in these pages.”
—David Corbett, award-winning author of THE ART OF CHARACTER

Click here to purchase "Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World"

Marketing And Promotion With E-Books

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There are innumerable ways to use E-Books to promote your business and drive quality traffic to your website. Once posted on your site, you can turn them into a daily course, which brings your customer back to read the next chapter. You can use them as a free gift for making a purchase or for filling out a survey. Put your E-Book on a disc, and you will have an innovative brochure. Blow your competition away by inserting the disc into your sales packages.

The most effective marketing products are those that are unique. Copyright your E-Book, and immediately, you have a powerful tool that you, and you alone, can offer to the public. People will have to visit your site to acquire your E-Book, which increases the flow of quality traffic and the potential of sales and affiliate contacts.

Make sure that you keep your E-Book current. Update it frequently as the market and trends change. Add new advice and techniques to show your prospects how your goods or services can enrich their lives. By constantly keeping abreast of new trends and techniques, you can continue to see profits from your E-Book for years after your original creation.

Another phenomenal advantage of E-Books is that you can test their marketing potential without putting out hardly any cash at all. You can even produce an E-Book one copy at a time, each time you receive an order, eliminating the need for storage and inventory. By this method, you can gauge the salability of your E-Book, and make adjustments as necessary until the orders start pouring in. E-Books allow you to learn about your market and customer habits and motivation over a period of time, without risking your precious financial resources. They also provide you with an invaluable way to gather marketing information, which you can use in many different facets of your business.

Use your E-Book to discover what the specific goals and problems are in your specific industry. Then figure out how to solve these problems, and publish an E-Book with this invaluable information. This will increase the value of your business, upgrade your reputation, and get you known as an expert in your field.

You can extend the value of single E-Book by breaking the book down into chapters for a serial course, into special reports available on your website, or into audio or visual tapes. E-Books can be broken down into several different promotional materials by accepting some of the articles and using them to promote your product. You can include a catalog in your E-Book to promote all the products or services you sell. You can include a thank-you note for reading your book and an invitation to download a trial version of your product. Or you can include a form for your audience to contact you for further information or with questions, thereby building your business relationships and your mailing list.

Using E-Books in this manner helps to cut the cost of individually producing separate promotional materials. You can use a single E-Book to entice new prospects and to sell new products to your current customers.

No other medium has this kind of flexibility and ability for expansion. Think of your E-Book like a spider spinning a beautiful and intricate web. Now go and create that web, and see how many customers and prospects you can catch!

Why Sell E-Books?

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"Everything worth saying has already been written."

The little voice in the back of your head might be saying this, but know one thing... is NOT TRUE!

Since that unfortunate axiom came into use, the whole world has changed. Technology has changed, ideas have changed, and the mindsets of entire nations have changed.

The fact is that this is the perfect time to write an E-Book. What the publishing industry needs are people who can tap into the world as it is today – innovative thinkers who can make the leap into the new millennium and figure out how to solve old problems in a new way. E-Books are a new and powerful tool for original thinkers with fresh ideas to disseminate information to the millions of people who are struggling to figure out how to do a wide range of different things.

Let's say you already have a brilliant idea, and the knowledge to back it up that will enable you to write an exceptional E-Book. You may be sitting at your computer staring at a blank screen wondering, "Why? Why should I go through all the trouble of writing my Book when it's so impossible to get anything published these days?

Well, let me assure you that publishing an E-Book is entirely different than publishing a book in print. The advent of the Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Direct Publishing platform allows you to easily publish your content for free and reach a global audience.

Let's look at the specifics of how the legacy print and digital publishing industries differ, and the many reasons why you should take the plunge and start writing today!

When submitting a print book to legacy publishing house or to writer's agent, no matter how good your book actually is, or how many critique services and mentors have told you that "you've got what it takes," your submitted manuscript keeps coming back to you as if it is a boomerang instead of valuable information.

Perhaps, you've explored self-publishing and found out just how expensive a venture it can be. There are many "vanity presses" that require minimal print runs of at least 500 copies, and even that amount will cost you thousands of dollars. Some presses' minimal run starts at 1,000 to 2,000 copies. And that's just for the printing and binding. Add in distribution, shipping, and promotional costs and - well, you do the math. Even if you wanted to go this route, you may not have that kind of money to risk.

Other print-on-demand (POD) publishers don't force you to purchase books from them, but do try to sell you expensive editing, design, and layout services. They claim to offer marketing services, but that usually consists of little more than adding your book to their online catalog and a few bookmarks and posters you could print yourself at the local copy shop. In exchange, they own the files for your cover and your book design and the ISBN for your book. They pay a small royalty on every book sold.

A Different Publishing Model

Let's say, instead, that you already have an Internet business with a quality website and a quality product. An E-Book is one of the most powerful ways to promote your business while educating people with the knowledge you already possess as a business owner of a specific product or service.

For this example, let's say that you've spent the last twenty-five years growing and training bonsai trees, and now you're ready to share your knowledge and experience. An E-Book is the perfect way to reach the largest audience of bonsai enthusiasts.

E-Books will not only promote your business - they will help you make a name for yourself and your company, and establish you as an expert in your field. You may even find that you have enough to say to warrant a series of E-Books. Specific businesses are complicated and often require the different aspects to be divided in order for the reader to get the full story.

Perhaps your goals are more finely tuned in terms of the E-Book scene. You may want to build a whole business around writing and publishing E-Books. Essentially, you want to start an e-business. You are thinking of setting up a website to promote and market your E-Books. Maybe you're even thinking of producing an E-zine.

One of the most prevalent reasons people read E-Books is to find information about how to turn their Internet businesses into a profit-making machine. And these people are looking to the writers of E-Books to provide them with new ideas and strategies because writers of E-Books are usually people who understand the new cyberspace world we now live in. E-Book writers are experts in Internet marketing campaigns and the strategies of promoting and distributing E-Books. The cyberspace community needs its E-Books to be successful so that more and more E-Books will be written.

You may want to create affiliate programs that will also market your E-Book. Affiliates can be people or businesses worldwide that will all be working to sell your E-Books. Think about this. Do you see a formula for success here?

Figure out what your subject matter is, and then narrow it down. Your goal is to aim for specificity. Research what's out there already, and try to find a void that your E-Book might fill.

What about an E-Book about a wedding cake business? Or an E-Book about caring for elderly pets? How about the fine points of collecting ancient pottery?

You don't have to have a masters degree to write about your subject. People need advice that is easy to read and understand. Parents need advice for dealing with their teenagers. College students need to learn good study skills - quickly. The possibilities are endless.

After you've written your E-book...

Getting your E-Book into the hands of readers is going to be your focus once you've finished writing it - just as it is with print books. People will hesitate to buy any book from an author they've never heard of. Wouldn't you?

The answer is simple: give it away! Amazon Kindle allows you to promote 'free days' for a Kindle e-book enrolled in their KDP Select program. This allows you to reach a huge global audience through the Amazon website. You can also give away free PDF ebooks through document sharing sites and your own website.

You will see profits in the form of promoting your own business and getting your name out. You will find affiliates who will ask you to place their links within your E-Book, and these affiliates will in turn go out and make your name known. Many famous E-Book authors have started out this way.

This doesn’t mean you should stop here. Eventually, when your reputation is established, you will move on to selling your ebooks!

Another powerful tool to attract people to your E-Book is to make it interactive. Invent something for them to do within the book rather than just producing pages that contain static text. Let your readers fill out questionnaires, forms, even crossword puzzles geared to testing their knowledge on a particular subject. Have your readers hit a link that will allow them to recommend your book to their friends and associates. Or include an actual order form so at the end of their reading journey, they can eagerly buy your product.

When people interact with books, they become a part of the world of that book. The fact is just as true for books in print as it is for E-Books.

That's why E-Books are so essential. Not only do they provide a forum for people to learn and make sense of their own thoughts, but they can also serve to promote your business at the same time.

Packaging Your Downloadable Ebook

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You can always distribute your ebooks as simple downloadable PDF files. But, if you do, you will be missing an enormous opportunity to promote your business and earn more money. I always recommend creating a 'download package' which is a ZIP file containing several files in addition to the ebook itself.

Your e-book will probably be delivered in PDF format and you could simply upload this file and be done with it. But, you have an opportunity to re-enforce your customer's purchasing decision, encourage consumption or usage of the product, and cross-promote other products. You can also slip in some unannounced bonuses too. The way you do this is to include several files into one single ZIP archive file for delivery.

Typically, I create a document labeled 'Read_First' which thanks the customer for purchase, recommends the next steps the customer should take to benefit from the product, states the rights that the customer has purchased to the product (this is particularly important when selling resale rights products or permitting others to giveaway your viral ebook), and usually includes a promotion as well. If you want to encourage customers to sign up for an email list, one good strategy is to offer an unannounced bonus and require them to sign up in order to get the download link for the bonus. The 'Read_First' file is the perfect place to announce the bonus.

Creating a 'Read_First' file is even more important when you are selling resale products that you have purchase the rights to distribute. Many resale products do not allow you to modify the content of the e-book, so you do not have the opportunity to add your own links inside. The addition of this extra file inside the ZIP file you deliver to your customer is your chance to build your business beyond a single sale.

If you would like to see an example of a download package for a resale product, check out This site promotes a resale product I purchased the rights to sell. Feel free to read over the sales page (its not my best work), but what I really want you to see is the exit pop-up and the product package I deliver with the free sample.

When you try to leave the sales page without purchasing, a pop-up window appears offering a free sample download – in exchange for your email address. Once you download that free sample audio, unzip the file and you will find a 'Read_First' PDF file and the audio MP3 file (the seminar is one of my favorites – I hope you listen to the first hour.) The 'Read_First' PDF file includes a special offer to purchase the rest of the seminar audios at an amazing discount that is designed to be so tempting that no one could resist purchasing.

Let's review what happens here. I tempted a visitor who wasn't prepared to buy with a free sample. And got his name email address in exchange. This gives me an opportunity to contact the visitor in the future with other information and offers. Then, inside the distribution package, I included a special offer in the 'Read_First' file designed to entice an order for the full audio seminar package. The 'customer' can sample the product, decide if it is right for them, and then take advantage of my special discount offer.

I could have easily used the 'Read_First' file to promote another product or encourage prospects to visit a specific website. The key element involved is to make sure to include some type of promotion and not to offer more than one (the more options you give the less likely your customer will take any action.)

It's worth going through the sequence on this website just to see everything in action. (For anyone who might purchase the full set of audio files - they are excellent - you will see the E-junkie e-commerce system in action - including the use of discount codes. And, you will experience how fast the download speeds are for large files. E-junkie is the primary e-commerce solution I use in my own business.)

Ken Giddens: Profiting from eBooks

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