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Initial Sales

easyreader What would be the quickest  way to start making money from ebooks?
Is traditional advertising an option?
e.g. dropping leaflets through doors, adverts in mags etc.

Posted on: 11:12 pm on July 23, 2005
Tania I think dropping off little ads at local stores would probably be a good idea. I know that at a few grocery stores around here they have a bulletin board set up at the entrance for there customers to post ads on.

Posted on: 5:17 am on August 12, 2005
easyreader I've actually tried a few ideas recently and a lot of local people can be quite helpful; The doctor's waiting room, my local kebab van and also the community centre have  allowed me to put  up an advert for free. My target audience  are the parents and guardians of children so these places have been ideal.  I have also  done a small number of door drops which has yielded some response- about 20% which isn't bad at all.

Posted on: 9:23 pm on August 12, 2005
Storyman Easyreader,

Is that 20% reponse people who visited the site or sales?

Posted on: 2:35 am on August 13, 2005
easyreader only visit site I'm afraid

Posted on: 9:17 pm on August 14, 2005
Storyman Of those visitors would you mind sharing the percentage rate for those who made a purchase (conversion rate)?

Personally, I don't see much value in posting a card at the supermarket or dropping leaflets into neighbors mailboxes. The time would, IMHO, be better spent learning Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) and CSS.

That's just my two cents.

Posted on: 12:32 am on August 15, 2005
easyreader Search Engine optimisation?, I've read that pay per click is supposed to be a fast way of driving traffic to your site. It hasn't been that successful for me.
I know a guy who alledges he makes 1000 sales per day and his site is nowhere to be found from search engines. Apparently he makes most of his sales from direct mail and joint ventures.The joint ventures way seems viable but it involves a lot of cold calling.
I'm very new to ebooks and am just looking for away to get the ball rolling.

Posted on: 10:20 pm on August 15, 2005
Storyman SEO is not the same as pay-per-click. If you do go the PPC route SEO will enhance the results.

There are a lot of people on both sides of the fence when it comes PPC. For me it comes down to one thing. Driving visitors to your site is not the same thing as attracting the people who are in need of your product.

One guy said that he got around 10K visitors using PPC. Problem was he made less than a handful of sales--barely breaking even. This same guy then focused his efforts on SEO and although the traffic is 1/10 of what he saw with PPC he received 5 times the sales (and without the expense.)

Search for SEO and CSS and you'll be heading in the right direction for attracting visitors.

Posted on: 10:28 pm on August 15, 2005
easyreader okay, but what is CSS?

Posted on: 11:02 pm on August 15, 2005
Storyman CSS = Cascading Style Sheets

It is used to layout your web page. The up side is that you can do a lot of things that used to require javascript (like roll-overs), but can be done with CSS without the bulky code.

You'll find quite a few good books on the subject at Amazon.

Posted on: 12:49 am on August 16, 2005
easyreader I have heard of cascading style sheets, but when you talked of them in conjunction with search engine optimisation I didn't make the connection.
How do css help with search engine optimisation? Is it because the search engine dosen't have to wade through lots of code to get to your meta tags and keywords?

Posted on: 9:18 pm on August 16, 2005
Storyman With CSS you still use Meta tags (even tlhough a number people don't thing that they do a hoot of good with the three major search engines.)

Your right about search engines not having to deal with javascript, tables, and the like. It is also possible to move the content to closer to the top of the page.

When you search for SEO you'll find a lot of references to CSS.

Posted on: 11:15 pm on August 16, 2005
KellyClarkBaugher Hello all,

My novel was just released through Fictionwise and eBookad and various other resellers. According to the latest Fictionwise data, the novel is in the top ten percent of 28,000 books and is the top seller for my publisher. In the romance genre, it's in the top 6 percent. I am ecstatic over this, but I worked HARD to get my book out there. I'm a first-time writer and no one had ever heard of me until I began promotion. I'll share some of the things I found helpful.

First--Get a webpage and keep it up to date with the book's progress and add a free excerpt for people to read.

Second--Optimize your site with all of the search engines. Design an effective meta tag. My site is creeping up in the romance site listings on Google.

Third--Join forums. And don't just promote and run. This is terrible netiquette. Talk with other writers and readers about your book and common interests.

Fourth--Add your book information to free online classifieds. Most will run the article for thirty days.

Fifth--Get an invisible counter on your site that tracks your daily visitor percentages and referrers. This lets you know what works and doesn't work.  

Sixth--Get reviews early. Send out ARC's. Do whatever you can to get your book out there.

Seventh--Join webrings in your genre. (This will take longer. Don't expect immediate results.)

Eight--Join banner exchanges with sites that cater to your target audience.

Nine--Design an effective signature for all of your emails and posts, including a link to your site. (If allowed.)

I hope this helps. It did for me. But remember, book promotion is experimental. You have to learn what works and doesn't work. Also, now is not the time for modesty. You are a published writer. You worked hard to get where you are. Be proud and feel free to brag. Nobody has sold books by being modest!

Posted on: 8:58 pm on August 21, 2005
Ebook Architect I'de like to add one more thing as well. I've been working on a few ebook sites lately, and the sites that have done the best have been the most "sticky". By this I mean that you should try and build some type of community. Do so by adding unique and valuable content, start contests and add new information whenever possible.

the size of your site (i.e. number of internal pages) also have an impact on your search engine ranking!

Best of luck to everyone

Posted on: 11:14 pm on August 25, 2005
Storyman EA,

Another perspective to build an online community where users can connect with people that share a common interest.

Posted on: 12:37 am on August 26, 2005
KellyClarkBaugher EA and Storyman,

That's great advice. I know I tend to "linger" at sites with several interesting pages of content.


Posted on: 2:09 am on August 26, 2005
EBookCompiler Okay here's the inside skinny

1. The BEST long term way to drive free traffic to your site is SEO

I got into a little bit of an argument on another board (no I'm not asking for help), and to prove my point posted some examples of results, here

Be aware that to do SEO, you need to learn at least some HTML, and results are not quick (3-6 months is not untypical)

The main alternatives are:

2. If you want traffic now and are prepared to pay for it, advertise on AdWords or pay per click search engines

3. Ezine advertising (if you can find suitable opt-in ezines and track your results from each)

4. Get your name/product in the news

You can approach local press

or a press release at prweb.com costs $119, and as far as I know (I could be wrong) is always carried by Google and Yahoo! news and others. This helps with SEO too, as these are important incoming links.

If you don't know how to format a press release go to

5. Viral Marketing - getting people to pass on copies

This works better for some products than others, not just marketing topics, but I imagine it could be hard for a new fiction author.  There are some stories on these lines at ebookinterviews.com

Of course there are many other things you can do, but these are the main ones. For other ideas, some ideas less effective, but see Traffic4me.com for a big list.

BTW for SEO and PPC, before you spend time/money make sure you can POPULAR keywords that time in to your site.

I hate to harp on about it, but I bought The Rich Jerk yesterday and this crystallized some of my thoughts in this area. Anyway, the 2nd part of chapter 1, plus most of chapters 2, 3 and 4 are excellent reading for non-fiction (how-to) ebook authors.  The review is here

And BEFORE you start writing, you need to decide why you are doing it.

A. If you are writing in order to make money, then research how you will market it first. For example, it's no good writing an eBook about a subject which gets no relevant searches, if you plan to market using SEO, Pay Per Click or AdWords

Likewise if doing it for money, you need to have some hook that will sell it, and you should think about that before you start writing your eBook.

B. If you are writing for fun/love/hobby/etc. that's a different matter, and of course marketing is not really an issue (and if you make any money you might considere that a bonus)

But do NOT get the two mixed up. Be clear what your goals are.

If you're trying to make money, don't assume writing about a subject you love (unless you've researched how to market and sell it first) is going to make you a cent.

Posted on: 2:13 am on August 26, 2005
KathleenGageSpeaker I always begin with my existing database. Send a message to anyone who is in your current list about your eBook.

If you don't have a database you can quickly build one by submitting articles online and having a link back to your site. You want to have something of very high percieved value that you can give away from your site. Of course, people have to leave their name and email address.

Build name recognition with those who leave their contact information. You do this with period messages that also have high value to the reader. Ezines work well.

I just released my most current ebook within the last 24 hours and have sold quite a few by focusing first on those who are in my database. To see the newest ebook and how I have it set up visithttp://www.turningpointpresents.com/101nocostlowoffer.htm

(Edited by KathleenGageSpeaker at 9:56 am on Aug. 27, 2005)

Posted on: 9:53 am on August 27, 2005
easyreader Thanks for all the replies.
I've been offline for a while because of a dodgy internet connection, so it was a nice suprise to see all these comments.

Posted on: 5:31 pm on August 27, 2005

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