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.

HERE IS WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“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"

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...

...it 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 www.InfoProductSeminar.com. 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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How To Make An Ebook

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Frustrated first time authors, you are about to discover exactly what you need to know to learn how to make an ebook. So, you can stop searching the web, break out of the perpetual research loop that stops so many people, and get your ebook written fast. Read the rest of this entry

Creating Killer Cover Art For Your E-Book

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Sample Ebook Virtual CoverA quick visit to Amazon.com (or any other website that sells digital books) will clearly show that virtual covers are essential to selling your e-book. People really do judge a book by its cover - so you need to make it great.

There are a couple ways to get great cover art for your ebook. The first is to create it yourself. This is the most time-consuming of the options and most likely to end badly.

Creating Your Own Virtual Book Cover - Most Challenging Option

To make your own cover, use your favorite drawing, painting or graphics software. Draw a rectangle. Add a book spine and pages to give your rectangle three dimensions to look like a closed or partially open book. Fill your drawing with interesting colors or patterns. Add your title and author byline to the front and spine. Embellish and revise ad nausea.

The process sounds simple, but the devil (as they say) is in the details. If you don't have any graphic design experience, this is not going to be easy. The software alone has a steep learning curve.

Still want to try doing it yourself? Well, then you'll be wondering which graphics program to use - and there are many to choose from.

Some standard office programs provide the ability to create graphics, including MS Word. Trying to use one of these programs to make a cover for your e-book almost guarantees bad results. So, don't be tempted - it won't end well.

Professional level, but more complicated graphics software you could use just as well includes Macromedia Fireworks, CorelDraw, or (the gold standard) Adobe Photoshop. Professional cover art designers and graphics artists tend to use the pure, flexible, more complex, programs for their work and there is a very good reason. The results speak for themselves.

A more recent development in the area of DIY cover design is the advent of web-based tools like the ones at Fast E-Covers Online. No more purchasing and installing software - everything is online and you just log in and get to work.

Developing your cover from scratch is do-able, and even you could do it if you were so inclined. But I don't recommend the do-it-yourself approach. This is because, if you're short on software skills, artistic talent, or time or if you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, then there are more efficient ways to get cover art.

DIY Killer Cover Shortcuts

Shortcuts to the build-it-from-scratch approach include using templates, action scripts and style presets that 'plug-in' to a program like Photoshop and automate some of the steps, or using dedicated ebook cover art software.

Templates are available for purchase on the Internet, and some sites even offer free basic templates if you will link back to their site. Buying or borrowing templates will still require you to add your own text and additional graphic elements, so you'll still be investing some time, just a little less time than drawing each line of the picture from absolute zero.

You can also buy specialty ebook cover software from a number of web sites. I don't recommend this either. The software generally is a glorified set of templates, but gives you more choices and more freedom to change this and that. You will still have to do the work of designing your own cover.

If you do design your ebook cover art using free or purchased templates, or free or purchased software, you own the copyrights to the finished artwork and to anything else you design with the templates or programs.

Hiring An E-Book Cover Designer - The Best Option

To get the best results, I recommend that you hire a designer like Vaughan Davidson at Killer Covers to prepare your cover art. There are numerous reasons why this is a better option. When you hire a designer to create your ebook cover art, you will get the following benefits:

  1. You get full copyright and exclusive ownership of the finished artwork.
  2. Professionals with professional skills can turn around your project quickly. Sometimes in a matter of days.
  3. You avoid wasting time fighting with software to create your own artwork.
  4. Designers are familiar with what types of colors, fonts, and overall designs are better for marketability.
  5. An artist can likely also help you create matching graphics for your web page menus, headers, etc.

Artists who design ebook covers generally charge from $50 to $500. If your investment of, say, $100 results in an additional 100 ebook sales, wouldn't that be a good investment? YES! This is why I recommend professionally designed ebook cover art. The cost is completely offset with improved marketability and increased sales.

Cover Art Resources

A full set of resources for creating virtual covers for your e-book are listed on the Recommended Resources Page.

How To Make Your Ebook Go Viral

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Ebook marketers dream of their lowly little project 'going viral' and getting passed around to hundreds, thousands, and millions of people - who all flood to their website and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

This is a powerful fantasy driving many marketers, but they often have no idea how to actually make their e-book go viral - or how to motivate the readers to connect back to the author.

The seeds of the problem are present in the little fantasy I described a few sentences back - no thought has been given to what motivates people to pass along an e-book and what motivates them to visit the author's website afterward? Why do they pass an e-book along...

The short answer is: SELF-INTEREST!

WIIFM: What's In It For Me?

What makes a report go viral is building in a compelling reason for the user to pass it along.  This can be as simple as wanting to appear trendy by being the first to pass around some cool new thing, or the hope of making money with little effort by re-branding the affiliate links in an e-book someone else wrote and passing it on to earn an affiliate commission or two from future readers.

To go viral, an e-book needs to provide an overwhelming "perceived benefit" to the reader to share it with someone else. The action required to make an e-book go viral must happen long before any benefit is experienced by the reader. You have to get them to 'see the potential' of sharing the e-book before they feel it.

Inside the text of your e-book, you must sell the benefit of passing along the e-book as well as deliver content this is valuable to the reader in its own right.

Do not expect your readers to know how to share your e-book (or even to think of the idea on their own.) Tell the reader exactly how to pass on the e-book and why they should pass it on to others. Break it down step by step so they don't have to guess what to do next.

You can motivate people to pass along an e-book by:

- Providing amazing content they want to share
- Paying them to share it (either money or some item of value)
- Allowing them to rebrand it and embed their own affiliate links using software like
Viral PDF

- Etc.

How Do You Turn Readers Into Visitors and Customers?

Now that your readers have a strong reason to pass along your e-book and a clear idea of how to do it, you need to make sure that it produces results for your business. There's no sense in creating a wildly popular viral e-book if it does not bring in new prospects or generate revenue.

The way you make this work out in your favor is to embed an offer inside the report for your own product/service/website and give the reader something valuable (related to the topic) which has to be downloaded from your site.

An example:

Put together a report on the critical elements of a successful sales letter. Within the report mention the importance of having a professionally designed sales page template so that readers don't reject your message before they even read it because it looks unprofessional.

Then, offer to give them a free professionally designed sales page template to use on all their sales pages as a free gift for joining your copywriting mailing list.

A similar tactic is to offer Part I of a report as your viral report and then send them to your site to get Part II. Mike Filsaime famously 'leaked' a chapter of his 'Butterfly Marketing Manuscript' which provided a copy of the full table of contents and a snippet of the content before and after the 'leaked' chapter. The content of that free chapter was so amazing, people wanted to get a copy of the full report - and they went in droves to the Butterfly Marketing Manuscript website to buy a full copy (editorial note: this is an excellent resource for understanding viral marketing online.)

Dr. Mani from the Warrior Forum promoted a free e-book on using free e-books in your marketing. The author offers some great advice (and models it too) in the subject and I highly recommend it (I printed out a copy and have been scribbling notes all over it as I plan out future viral marketing reports and e-books.)

http://www.GiveawayYourFreeEbook.com

Questions, comments, or success stories? Leave a comment below and let us know what you are thinking.

Hidden Dangers of Resale Rights E-Books

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Imagine this. Someone else writes the perfect e-book on your topic. It is exactly what you would have written - actually it is even better than what you had planned. Better still, the author is selling publishing rights to this book (commonly known as resale rights). You can purchase rights to the book, publish it yourself, and keep all the profits. Read the rest of this entry

Ebook Topics For Maximum Profits

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Choosing the right topic is the downfall of most aspiring ebook publishers.

Publishing a ebook seems like such a simple process (the mechanics are not that complicated) and they are blinded by dollar signs as they fantasize about how they will spend all the money that they earn from selling their ebook.

Within minutes of deciding to publishing an ebook, wannabe digital authors are busy writing about their favorite hobby or whatever great idea they dream up that they're convinced will be the ticket to easy street.

After weeks of work preparing the ebook and learning how to create a website to offer it for sale, they sit back and wait for the money to star rolling in.

And they wait, and wait, and wait!

Very often nothing happens at all and they quit in disgust and claim that "the ebook publishing business is a scam and it doesn't really work." Or, they earn a few dollars, but not nearly enough to be worth all the effort.

You and I know that the reality is that those wannabes don't understand who buys ebooks, why they buy them, or what makes them willing to pay top dollar for an ebook. In short, they haven't done their homework first and researched the marketplace.

There is a wide range of information that sells well on the Internet and some very simple ways to do research to determine niche markets were strong potential exists. But, there's one specific style of the book that sells well all the time and commands high prices.

9-1-1 ebooks

When we stop and think about it, the primary benefits of buying ebooks online is immediate access to useful and well researched information. People in the middle of an emergency need to instantly solve their problem.

9-1-1 ebooks solve the kinds of emergency problems that people desperately need help with. Tony Shepherd and Alexis Dawes both write extensively in their own ebook products about how to quickly identify 9-1-1 problems that can be solved with simple ebooks.

There isn't room in this article to explain the full process of identifying topics, researching, writing, and formatting ebooks, and marketing and selling them (Tony and Alexis both do a phenomenal job of that in their ebooks.) But I will steer you in the right direction. There are also other articles that cover those subjects on this site, so look through the article list in the side navigation.

To identify a profitable topic, look and see what kinds of problems people around you are struggling with. Soothing colicky babies, repairing holes in drywall, stopping a leaky sink, resolving a credit card dispute, avoiding foreclosure, the list goes on.

If you can imagine a desperate person searching the Internet for help, you have a potential product.

So, try a 9-1-1 product and see if your ebook business soars.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Desperate Buyers Only, by Alexis Dawes
Double Genius, by Tony Shepherd

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