12 Lessons I Learned – and You’ll Learn too – from Publishing My First eBook
I finally had it with my share of eBook failures. I’ll call these hiccups, or “practice.”
I released a few inspirational eBooks 2 years ago and a blogging-themed bomb earlier this year. Each experience was positive; when I chose to learn from my mistakes, and to take the lessons with me going forward.
I recall asking for feedback a number of months ago.
Stinging, was the word I remember or more accurately, the feeling I recorded after hearing some criticisms of my failed eBook.
Good thing; I needed the feedback to start Blogging from Paradise – the eBook – more intelligently.
Blogging eBooks and You
Hey, I’m not above receiving criticism/feedback/opinions. I dig feedback. Even if my ego feels a bit hurt by getting blown out of the water here and there.
Assess your blog right now. Do you offer an eBook? Is it good? Helpful? Inspiring?
Now, here’s one kicker of kickers: can readers download it within seconds or minutes?
I recall visiting a blog recently. Anybody who wanted to buy an eBook had to go through a series of steps which ensured, that after the steps were taken, the individual would receive a message from the blog owner within a few days.
That information led to another exchange.
The eBook may arrive in a day or 2 after that.
Nobody will wait to make payment using such approaches. Or if 1 person does, that’s one out of 100. We’re impulse buyers. You’re an impulse buyer. If you can’t whip out your credit card or debit card and buy an eBook within 1 or 2 minutes, or 5 minutes tops, after opening an account through a merchant, you’re gone for good.
Sometimes, you may not think clearly or logically when it comes to addressing your blogging fears, or life fears, and this lack of logical, common sense thinking can torpedo your blogging success, or your eBook sales.
It’s like the common sense train has just left town sometimes when I think about my eBook history, up until my current successful release, Blogging from Paradise.
When you do release an eBook intelligently you may:
- Gain an endorsement from a New York Times Best Selling Author
- Gain endorsements from million dollar earners online
- Gain endorsements from some of the more successful community builders in the blogging niche
- See a nice increase in sales as soon as you release the eBook
- Build a strong branding tool through a successful, well-thought-out, eBook
OK, on to my – and your – lessons.
Make it Easy for People to Buy Your eBook Quickly
My current digital store – selz – makes it easy to buy my eBook. Users can whip out their credit card or debit card and buy in a minute. Customers see the MC and Visa icons, as well as a trust icon, and bingo, they can purchase and satiate their urge to impulse buy.
My prior eBook was sold through a vendor which only accepted Paypal payments.
Ouch. Good luck with that. Folks had to click the buy button, log in to Paypal, pay through Paypal, and if they didn’t have a Paypal account…..you get the drill.
Which is exactly why a few folks – literally – bought my prior eBook.
People buy on impulse. Even if they trust you, they’re likely to forget to buy your eBook if they can’t purchase it within seconds or minutes.
Make your eBook easy to buy.
Pick a Clear Topic
My current eBook teaches you how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
That sounds clear to me. Blogging from paradise. People see the title, and tagline, and know what they’re getting. You gotta deliver clearly for your eBook to be delivered to people’s email inboxes.
My old eBook was vague. The topic was a hazy mystery. So no clarity, no sales….or a few sales.
Get super clear on tackling one blogging topic, or heck, any topic, through your eBook. Make sure the topic is easy to see, or easy to visualize.
You think in pictures. We all do. So if it’s easy for you to clearly see yourself blogging from paradise, and retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging, you’re more likely to buy the eBook.
Make a Delicious Promise
Few people I know would be bored, or unimpressed, with an eBook that teaches you how to blog from paradise. Few would be blasé about how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
If I told you that I’m typing these words from Savusavu, Fiji, you’re likely gonna dig it, right? And if I promised you an eBook that would explain how you too can blog from Fiji, or Bali, as a pro blogger, island hopping all over the place, you would be likely to buy into the promise, I believe.
I promised big on this one. I promised a big old, spectacular, HOW, which is how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
My old eBook had no real promise. Blah.
My new eBook promises something pretty darn sweet.
Make a delish promise.
Over Deliver on the eBook
My new eBook breaks down, soup to nuts, how to blog from paradise, as a pro blogger.
Here’s the deal, if you make promises you don’t keep, people won’t trust you. If you keep your eBook title/tagline promise, via a scintillating eBook, rife with spectacular imagery, and practical, easy to follow tips, to make the promise come true, you’re golden.
Your sales will increase and more importantly, you’ll gain the trust of your readers.
Trusted authors sell future eBooks with ease. Trusted authors attract blog subscribers.
Why? You just know that when they promise big promises, they follow through on the delivery.
My old eBook actually delivered fairly well but my promise was muted. My promise was small potatoes. So I did over deliver but wasn’t able to capitalize, as my promise was weak.
As for my new eBook, my intent was pure in writing the piece so naturally, I feel that I over delivered.
I rocked it out, I believe at least, because it felt so enjoyable to write the eBook and I see many of my readers/reviewers/endorsers feel the same way.
Ask People to Buy the eBook…..a Lot
OK, public service announcement time. I’ve had a bunch of respected, successful, professional bloggers buy my eBook, and they’ve offered me such positive feedback.
So if you’ve already bought the eBook, thank you!!!
Please tweet this post to your buddies, to share with them, and of course if you chat about your take on my eBook, on your blog, I will be indebted to you here and now, and through my next 3 after lifes….whether I come back as a banana slug, Egyptian Pharaoh, or fine, vaporous mist…..I’m yours, my amigos.
Anyway, if you haven’t bought my eBook, pick it up here.
It’s an inspiring read for pro bloggers, newbie bloggers, office workers, college students, and the like, because it teaches you how to engineer a freeing lifestyle by running a blog….such a freeing lifestyle, that a broke, unemployed security guard on government assistance, could start a blog and then travel for the past 40 months, using said blog to fund his trips, hopping from tropical paradise to tropical paradise.
I asked people to pick up this eBook a bunch because I believe in it, for sure, but more than anything, I want to take you with me.
If you ask people to buy your eBook in a nice way, persistently, more often than not, people will buy it. Of course you must prove your worth by offering serious value on the front end….through your blog.
My old eBook; hell, I barely asked people to buy it, and when I did, I felt desperate, and conflicted. Naturally, they stayed away.
Persistently ask folks to buy your eBook. In a nice, entertaining way.
Purify Your Intent
I just finished my like 10th interview – or 11th, or 12th??? – over the past 5 weeks, and wow do I feel grateful. Never have so many folks wanted to hear my take on blogging, or on my eBook, or on blogging from paradise.
When folks ask me my blogging intent during these interviews I share a simple answer: I want to take everybody with me.
“Everybody” may be a bit broad but I want to take as many folks as possible with me. I want you to come along for the ride. I want you to enjoy the life I’m enjoying.
I carried this intent through my new blog. I wrote my eBook with this intent.
I want to take you with me.
My old eBook was written with about 10 intents, none all too pure. The end result was poor results.
I honestly believe that the purer your intent, the more fun the ride. Purifying your intent before publishing an eBook detaches you from outcomes. Purifying your intent also makes your eBook flat out rock.
Virtually all of your energies can be devoted to creating, not focusing on making money, or trying to get more readers, or trying to reel in more customers. A light, fun, airy nature pervades your being while you write.
You’re not writing to get famous or to generate sales. You just want to free people.
I want to free you. I want to take you with me, through Blogging from Paradise.
Purify your intent.
Get Your Cover, Covered
Cover your cover. Like, make sure your cover is eye-catching. Attention-grabbing covers inspire readers to pick up your eBook.
My old eBook did quite well in this department.
My new eBook also does really well in this department.
I have to thank my designer Phil Dews for this one; the guy designed both covers brilliantly. He inspired, and remained true to my brand, and my vision.
People just love eye candy too darn much to not be captivated by an attractive, inspired eBook cover.
Make sure your cover game is tight.
Don’t Over Think the Price
One introductory price vibed with me. I thought about the price once or twice. That was it.
No worries. No over thinking. I just charged a price because my intent is to take you with me. The price is an afterthought.
After releasing the eBook with an introductory price I since changed the price. Again, I picked a number.
No worries, no stress, no wasted energy. If I just want to inspire folks, and have over delivered, then I’m golden.
People will pay for the eBook because my energy has been clean around the price, and clear about the price because I barely thought about the price.
My intent was to take people with me, so folks like Chris Brogan, and Yaro Starak, and Adrienne Smith, and Matthew Capella, and Marc Andre, and Kevin Duncan, and Andrew Spence, they were on board, and endorsed my eBook.
When your intent is to free people, and you deliver a fun, inspired product, and get endorsements, the price takes care of itself. Meaning, you think about a price once or twice and set it, spending virtually no time worrying about the price, so people will just buy the darn thing.
If you do need a bit of guidance look around for people in your niche who are offering similar eBooks. Charge accordingly, then get back to creating fab content and connecting with niche authorities.
Endorsements REALLY Count….Get Them
I noted in the prior tip that I received eBook endorsements for Blogging from Paradise from:
- Chris Brogan
- Yaro Starak
- Matthew Capella
- Marc Andre
- Andrew Spence
- Kevin Duncan
- Adrienne Smith
Each blogger is accomplished, with huge communities of folks supporting them.
Chris Brogan is a New York Times best selling author. He’s a world renowned public speaker. The man gives advice to people like Paulo Coelho and Tony Robbins.
When you visit my eBook sales/testimonials page, and see that he tweeted his buddy Ryan Biddulph’s new eBook, it certainly makes one do a double take.
Yaro Starak is a leader in our niche. He’s earned millions online and he’s coached many people, helping them earn fortunes.
Matthew Capella is a leading digital marketer, teaching people how to grow prospering ventures while bootstrapping. He’s built a monster network of friends and supporters around him and has seen stunning success.
Marc Andre is an authority blogger, and he’s sold websites for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Andrew Spence is another super successful blogger who runs a Facebook Page with tens of thousands of ENGAGED, RABID fans. The man is a case study in inspiring your readers, Fans and customers to engage, which builds trust.
Kevin Duncan has seen massive success developing websites, and through his new blog. He has built a large, loyal following, and is a well-respected, smart, entertaining blogger who I deeply admire.
Adrienne Smith is the queen of engagement, the maven of networking, the wizard at building a huge, engaging, loyal, tight-knit community, and she runs a highly successful consulting business.
If people support you, and those people are pros, you better believe folks will buy your eBook because it’s a trusted commodity.
My old eBook had a few strong endorsements.
My new eBook has a bunch of rousing endorsements from influential people, with Chris Brogan being a New York Times Best Seller.
We’re all swayed by peer pressure, and when the peers have some serious clout, we tend to buy in, pronto.
Your Outreach Campaign Will Make or Break Your eBook
How do you get endorsements? Through blogging outreach.
Chris Brogan sent out a tweet for his buddy Ryan Biddulph because RB probably left 10,000 word’s worth of comments on CB’s blog, and RB tweeted his latest posts for months, and RB also chatted with CB about his newsletters, through email.
I built a bond, made a friend, and here we are.
I’ve built bonds with each person who endorsed me, so naturally, when I asked them, more than a few responded with a kind endorsement.
I didn’t even ask Chris Brogan to tweet my eBook link; he did it on his own.
Adrienne Smith freaking proof-read my ENTIRE eBook! How amazing is that? Kind friends will do kind things, that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, if you help them out as much as humanly possible.
Endorsements are gold, and blogger outreach sets up endorsements.
My outreach campaign for my old eBook was damn weak.
My outreach campaign for Blogging from Paradise has been ultra aggressive.
After making like 13 appearances on other blogs last month, through guest posts and interviews alone, and being referenced through another 5 or so posts, I’ll be interviewed on the wildly successful blogging site, Successful Blogging (ironic, right?) today.
Tomorrow, my guest post goes live on Daniel Scocco’s HUGE authority blog, Daily Blog Tips.
Sometime soon, I’ll be featured on wildly popular The Guy’s travel site, Flights and Frustrations. I just completed the 2400 word, in-depth, fun interview a few hours ago.
This has been a massive blitz, to get the word out about my eBook, and the endorsements, the guest posts, the interviews and the mini features have been the product of helping out a ton of folks, through promoting them and posting long, in-depth, helping comments on their blogs.
I made friends. I helped friends. I enjoyed the heck out of it. More folks trusted me, and learned about my eBook, and bought my eBook, all because I engaged in some major league blogging outreach.
Outreach folks. Your friends will make your eBook successful by spreading the word for you.
Craft a Hella In-Depth Sales/ Testimonials Page
My current sales page is the result of writing a really sucky sales page for my old eBook, and learning my lessons from that sucky sales page.
I decided to go above, and beyond, lacing my in-depth, informative, beneficial as heck copy, explaining why you should buy the book, with powerful testimonials from everybody, from celebrities, to some of the more inspiring bloggers in my niche.
The more you give up on the front end, the more likely people are to buy in.
If you’ve given folks 40 inspiring, convincing, all powerful reasons to buy your eBook, and you explain why you wrote the eBook, and list out more benefits, and share your pure intent, folks will buy it.
Go above and beyond, then, a bit beyond, when you build your sales page.
I’m talking, REALLY beyond. People want to know why they should invest their money and a few hour’s worth of their lives, to buy and read your eBook.
I made this sales page say….”This is worth your while!”, by being thorough, comprehensive, and just plain all-encompassing, when building my Blogging from Paradise eBook sales/testimonials page.
Go above and beyond on your eBook sales page.
Stop Promoting Anything but Your eBook
Every 20 minutes I see a commercial for the upcoming elections here in Fiji. Fiji First has been on an advertising blitz for the 8 weeks we’ve been here.
That’s why it’s called a “bliz.” All Fiji First, all the time, which will probably help this party win the elections in September, in a big way.
4 weeks ago I started promoting 1 thing on my social networks; my eBook. I promoted my latest posts of course, but in terms of products or services, my freelance writing services and my hootsuite affiliate sales promotion have both taken a back seat to the book.
I want people to hire me, and buy my affiliate product, but 9 out of 10 of my promotional tweets, and blogging calls to action, will focus on selling my eBook.
On a subconscious level, you program someone through repetition. Buy Blogging from Paradise, buy Blogging from Paradise, etc, etc…repeat, repeat.
As for my old book, let’s not even go there. I promoted 10 or more products, services or ventures back then. I’m not kidding. Epic, epic fail.
Lesson learned for my new eBook. All Blogging from Paradise, all the time, because that’s how an eBook promotional blitz is done.
Promote your eBook and put your other products or services on the backburner, at least for a few weeks, or for a few months.
If you haven’t picked up my eBook please buy it here.
Please share this post with your friends if you found it to be valuable.
Have you released an eBook?
Did you use any of these tips?
What tips can you add to this list?
Latest posts by Ryan Biddulph (see all)
- What Do All Successful Bloggers Have in Common? - October 22, 2014
- Island Hopping Tuesday: Photo of the Day - October 21, 2014
- Blogging from Paradise: 4 Keys to Creating My Dream Life and Yours Too (Whatever That May Be) - October 20, 2014