eBooks: Free Marketing Tools That Promote Your Product

    June 20, 2003

When I first decided to publish an eBook I wanted to test the market, so I produced a free eBook just to work through the process. My aim was to do this as inexpensively as possible. This giveaway, titled “How To Sell Your Competitor’s Book Online,” is downloaded approximately 100 times a month from various locations.

What I discovered during this process was that it’s quite easy to produce a perfectly good eBook for less than it costs to buy soup and a sandwich. This resulted in the publication of my second eBook “How to Publish & Market Your eBook for Just $5”. I sell that book through Booklocker.com for less than $10. Within a few months it made the best sellers’ list and has remained there for the past year. At one point it went as high as number two.

I still haven’t spent much money to promote “How to Publish & Market Your eBook for Just $5” — I’d estimate about $50 total in the last year. I used web space I already had to put up the Author’s Caf web site (http://www.authorscafe.com) and bought the dot com. Aside from Booklocker, Author’s Caf is the main “home” for my eBook. My main promotion tools have all been free ones. I used three main marketing tactics: a newsletter, that I publish monthly for free through Topica.com; I submit free articles, such as this one, to eZine publishers and I list the eBook on every free listing site I can find. The latter project was the most work intensive since it’s often difficult to find free sites, especially ones that do not require a link back, which I didn’t want to do.

I’ve managed to find about 50 sites where an author can list her eBook, offer free sample chapters, get reviewed or interviewed, or post a review or interview. I’ve packaged this up into an eDoc (I don’t like calling anything under 80 pages an eBook) and now I sell that to authors from my Author’s Caf site.

The original free eBook I offered has expanded into a small business. While I’ll never retire from the profits, my eBooks have taken on a life of their own and work for me. Each month I can depend on a royalty cheque. I’m not getting rich, but when my son wants a new bike,or the family wants to eat out at a nice restaurant (there are five of us) I know I can count on my eBook sales to pay for it.

Anyone who has a marketable idea or information to sell can easily make a profit through eBook publishing. The nice thing is, the initial investment (aside from your time) is only pocket change. Some of the best selling eBooks have come from everyday interests people have, including how to build sand castles, how to make gel candles and how to organize finances for a small business. So, what’s your best selling eBook topic going to be?

Cathi Stevenson
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