What too many people do is spend time (and money) getting their manuscript polished and a slick cover designed, and then they put their e-book on Amazon and wait for the sales to roll in. If that’s your only strategy for selling e-books, you’ll probably sell a handful of e-books every year.
The big problem with just throwing your e-book in a market like Amazon, Nook, Kobo, or iBookstore is that your e-book is now lost among the thousands of other e-books the retailers offer. The chances of someone randomly stumbling across your e-book is low, and the chances that they’ll stumble across it and buy it is even lower. So if hope is your only marketing strategy, you might be lucky to sell one e-book every few months.
A better marketing strategy is to create a market for your e-book using a blog, website, and social networks. Here are two ways to market your e-book.
First, identify the audience for your e-book. If you’re writing e-books on stock trading and sewing, you’ll probably have two completely different audiences. That’s why it’s best to keep your first e-books focused on the same audience so that way you don’t scatter your energy trying to appeal to different people.
Second, once you know who your audience is, find out which websites and social networks they use and visit them regularly, posting useful comments as often as possible. At the end of each comment, promote your own site or blog so people who like your comments will likely visit your website or blog.
On your website or blog, provide useful information as well. Just keep pumping out useful information to keep bringing people back to your site. Eventually people who like your information will buy one of your e-books. People who like the useful information you provide on other sites will likely visit your site and buy an e-book.
Don’t expect everyone who visits your site to buy your e-book. Expect a low percentage such as 5% or less. That means the more people you drive to your site, the more people will buy your e-book. If you have multiple related e-books, a certain percentage of people will buy your other e-books as well.
So if you sell multiple e-books that target the same audience and you provide useful information on your own site as well on the sites of others, you’ll likely attract far more paying customers than if you simply left your e-book on Amazon and hoped people will find it. Hope may be nice, but it’s never a reliable strategy.
To see how dependable hope can be, stand on a street corner all day long and hope that someone will give you a great meal. Chances are if you don’t take some kind of action, even as simple as begging, nobody will give you anything. Likewise, if you put your e-book in a market like Amazon or Nook, chances are extremely high that nobody will know it’s there so they’ll never buy it, even if it’s the best written e-book with the fanciest cover in the world.
Don’t rely on hope. Take action to market your e-books yourself.