5 Short-Term Strategies for Building Long-Term eBook Sales

This is a guest-post by Alexis Dawes. She earns six-figures a year selling information products.

What’s the #1 deterrent that keeps people from writing and selling their own eBook? According to the people who e-mail me for advice, it’s the so-called grandeur of the task.

Even though most people want to write a book, there’s something about it that rings of big, scary and un-doable. And actually this impression couldn’t be further from the truth.

I published an eBook back in 2005. Took me around 4 hours to write it. Another week to perfect the sales copy. And another few hours to create the ads.

That very eBook continues to generate sales today, even when I’m on vacation… sleeping… watching American Idol… you get the message.

It’s not that writing and promoting an eBook is difficult. It’s that most people don’t understand how small actions can snowball into profitable e-publishing ventures.

This post will show you five actions you can take to help assure success in your eBook sales future.

Strategy #1. Always think “Is this an eBookable topic?”

I started teaching my daughter to read at the age of 3. Now at the age of 5 she’s reading at a second grade level. Plus, she’s writing 3-4 sentence stories based on picture prompts almost daily.

My teaching routine is an idea for an eBook. In fact I’m working on it right now.

Several years ago my cousin ran into some financial difficulties. A friend of hers happened to be a mortgage originator, and gave her some tips to help avoid the bad credit blues.

When my cousin told me about the advice, I thought it would make a good eBook. I ended up interviewing her friend for mortgage related tips and turned it into an eBook.

If you’re exceptionally good at a task you do at your day job, that’s an eBook. If you’ve ever done something exceptionally well (e.g.- created a $100K wedding on a $5K budget) that’s an eBook. Did you overcome a difficult time in your life? What were your coping mechanisms? That’s an eBook too.

Strategy #2. Pick a passion and study it periodically.

I’m a photography buff. At one point I almost gave up writing to become a portrait photographer.

As you can see, I never did. But my love for the craft still has me buying photography books and magazines. I take pictures of my daughter. And if a friend stops by, they know to make sure it’s not a bad hair day, because at one point they might get snapped.

Even though I’m not a professional photographer, I’ve gleaned enough information about photography over the past 6 years to churn out several photography eBooks.

If you’re like most people, you may not have the time to devote yourself to a “this-is-what-I-do-in-my-free-time” type of hobby, but you can probably spend a few hours each month learning about something that you’re truly interested in. And that accumulated knowledge can eventually become an eBook.

Strategy #3. Don’t hesitate to dictate.

In the summer of 2007 I sat down to write a series of eBooks. I was in Florida visiting my parents, which meant free babysitting and an enormous amount of time to write.

However after the first two weeks I found it harder and harder to type. My shoulders were tight. My wrists were applying for carpel tunnel status.

I’d been more-or-less nervous about experimenting with dictation software. (I just didn’t think I could speak what I wanted to type.) But I also knew that I had to at least try it for the sake of my aching arms, shoulders and back.

Well you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I finally gave Dragon Naturally Speaking a try and LOVED it.

I initially found myself speaking the words as if I were typing them. So there were a lot of pauses. But after a week the pauses diminished and my output increased by 20-30 percent easily.

I have no problem saying that if your goal is to write many eBooks, Dragon Naturally Speaking is essential. Period.

Strategy #4. Read a sales letter a day.

If you’re going to sell eBooks, you’ll have to know how to write sales copy.

You can study copywriting techniques and practice writing sales letters, but you can ramp up your skills even faster by being committed to reading one sales letter every, single day.

So where do you find sales letters to read?

Clickbank.com and Paydotcom.com are popular payment processors for eBook authors. Looking through their respective directories will show you that the most popular titles are listed first. These are the eBooks whose sales letters convert the best.

Study them. Study the ones for topics you have no interest in.

What do you like the best? The least? Does it make you want to buy the product? Print the sales letter and make notes. Incorporate those ideas into your own sales copy.

Strategy #5. Build name recognition before you need to.

I write eBooks on several different topics. Most of them are promoted on a set-it-and-forget-it basis, meaning I perform a series of marketing steps upon launching, then I let the eBook sell itself.

But there’s one niche where I constantly strive to build name recognition. That’s eBook creation and marketing. When I talk about it, it generates the highest level of excitement for me. Not to mention it generates excellent profits. (Just keeping it real!)

Whether you write about 1 or 100 different topics, there’s always going to be your favorite. That’s where name recognition is key. Especially when it comes to topics where there’s a significant amount of competition.

The more visible you are early on — even before you launch your eBook — the better.

That means putting up a lead generation web page before you even write your eBook. You can offer visitors a free report or white paper related to your topic, in exchange for their e-mail address and permission to e-mail them new articles periodically.

Once you do that, find blogs and forums where you can post comments. Commit to a minimum of two ‘quality’ posts a week. And be sure to use your lead generation page URL in the signature.

Once you’ve officially launched your eBook, you’ll already be looked upon as a trusted member of the community. And that’s a profitable position to be in.

To learn my step-by-step strategy to creating information products that sale, visit my website Desperatebuyersonly.com

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