How to Stand Out from The Crowd When You Publish Your EBook

Once you have done all that hard work actually writing your EBook the next step is how you make sales. There is a huge demand for EBooks, but the market is crowded. You have to do something extra if you want to stand out from the crowd. Here we look at some ways that you can distinguish yourself from the competition.

The Cover Can Make or Break Your EBook

If you have a bad cover for your book this is the easiest way to make sure that you only sell copies to close family and friends. Your EBook is judged on its cover. It will make an instant impression of either something that is going to be terrible or something that has the promise of being great. You know which one you need to choose.

Unless you are really good at design do not attempt to make your own cover. A homemade looking cover really isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. A decent quality design is not going to break the bank. There are many services online which can provide you with a decent looking EBook cover for an affordable price. You have put a lot of work into your EBook – don’t destroy your chances of making good sales simply by not having the right cover.

Pick a Great Title for Your EBook

The title of your book really does make a difference. You have to capture a reader’s interest from the start or they will simply move on to the next book. This is the first thing that potential buyers will see when you publish your EBook and it is very important to get it right.

Don’t worry about your title from the very start – you do not have to think of what you are going to call your book before you start writing. This can lead to serious avoidance and procrastination! You will probably have a much better idea about good titles when you have been immersed in your subject matter writing your EBook.

Give The People What They Want

Your EBook is never going to stand out if it is something that people don’t want to buy. Always do your market research to see that there is a demand for the book that you want to write. You may be very passionate about a subject, but if no one wants to read a book about your chosen subject you are never going to be able to sell it.

Think of Ways to Market Your EBook That Others Are Not Doing

Many writers publish their EBook and expect sales to suddenly start. It doesn’t take long before they realize that the strategy of doing nothing doesn’t bring in sales. You are not going to be able to give up your day job and start selling EBooks full time if you do not learn some marketing skills.

You have to spend some time marketing your EBook. There are many ways to promote your book. Don’t just confine your marketing to after the book is published. You should have a launch strategy to maximize the benefits of your campaign.

Another very effective way to market your EBook and stand out from the others is to use video. It is undeniable that people love video content. If you learn how you can apply this to your EBook marketing strategy you will be ahead of what most writers are doing.

6 Mistakes You Must Avoid When You Create and Publish Your EBook, Part Two

4) Thinking Editing Means Running Spell Checker

Editing is an essential part of the EBook publishing process. It does not just mean pushing the spell checker button and correcting the spellings whilst you watch television. Editing is a serious business and it really needs to be done properly if you are serious about publishing EBooks. Readers are smart and they will soon call you out on reviews if your book needs proper editing. If enough people say this in reviews it can be enough to sink your book without trace.

The ideal is to have a professional editor look at your EBook. Unfortunately, this is a luxury which many can’t afford. You can ask friends and they will most likely get some of the errors. Joining writer’s groups can also help as many people will be prepared to proofread things for others in the group, providing you are willing to reciprocate.

You can also look at finding an inexpensive editor on an outsourcing site such as fiverr. This can be a great way of finding inexpensive editors.

5) Forgetting That a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

If you are going to spend money anywhere on your EBook it has to be on the cover. Unless you are good at graphics you really should get a professional to design your cover. This is your only chance to make a first impression and if your cover is not eye catching and professional, it does not matter how great your content is, readers will just never buy your book.

You do not have to spend a fortune on an EBook cover. There are plenty of online services out there which will provide you will a pre-designed cover for an affordable price. This option is not as great as the custom design, but when you are publishing your first books you will not have too much money to spend. Set a budget and spend as much as you can afford on a cover. It will make all the difference.

6) Publishing Your EBook and Expecting it to Sell

If famous authors publish a book they will sell many copies just because readers liked their previous books. Authors such as J.K Rowling, Dan Brown or Jodi Picoult would still sell books without ever spending another second on marketing. We are guessing that you do not have that kind of advantage. You are going to have to do something to market your EBook. It isn’t enough to write a great book. You have to promote it.

Big publishing houses have big marketing budgets. You can’t compete with that, but you can make an impact. You are going to have to learn some marketing techniques. There is plenty of information out there about how to use the internet and social media to promote your book. You will have to be a writer and a marketer if you want to make sure that your EBook has a chance of being a success.

6 Mistakes You Must Avoid When You Create and Publish Your EBook, Part One

It is very easy to publish an EBook these days. Gone are the times when you had to get the approval of a publishing house to get your book published. Now, anyone can publish their own book. There are many great things about being able to publish an EBook so easily, however there are some pitfalls to avoid. Here are some ways to avoid the common mistakes which many writers make when they publish an EBook.

1) Not Being a Good Writer

This is a really obvious point, but one which is sadly overlooked by many people who publish EBooks. We have all seen some truly shocking EBooks which would never have made it over the first hurdle in a publishing house. Just because you can publish a book doesn’t mean that you should. Ask yourself the fundamental question of whether your abilities as a writer are actually good enough.

We don’t mean that you have to be perfect. No one is. Even bestselling authors admit that there are things that they have written which they would rather forget about. Take the time to learn your craft. Don’t let the drive for perfection hold you back, but if writing really isn’t your thing you should rethink the whole idea.

2) Writing Something That No One Wants to Read

You may be passionate about your collection of antique candlesticks, but does anyone else want to read about it? Do your market research and find out what people actually want to buy. Check out the bestseller lists and see what sells. Do not be afraid of the competition. There are some niches which are incredibly popular and there is still room for growth.

If you see an area where a lot of books are selling, then there is probably still room in the market for another book. Look at areas where you know that people are actually spending money. Not in places where you think things should be selling, but they really aren’t. This is not the time to guess about what is selling and what isn’t. Learn how to conduct simple research on where the markets are. You will be spending your time wisely in doing some research before you take the plunge and start writing.

3) Writing About Something You Know Nothing About

It is possible to spend a great deal of time on research and write about a topic that you know nothing about., but why are you doing this. The latest hot topic may be “How to Survive a Zombie Attack” or “How to Quit Your Day Job and Make a Living Posting Cat Videos on Social Media”, but if you don’t know anything about it, it’s unlikely that you are going to create a great book about it.

Of course there are people who can write about pretty much anything, but are you one of those people? Be honest with yourself. You may find that you do have this skill, but why make things difficult in the first place? It isn’t as simple just to say write about what you are passionate about, but you do need to consider writing about something that you will enjoy. Writing about things which you don’t find interesting or inspiring is a difficult task. Do not do it unless you absolutely have to.

 

5 Ways Your Blog Can Benefit from You Publishing an EBook

You may know that it is now very easy to self-publish an EBook. Technology has advanced so quickly that it is very simple to publish your EBook on a variety of platforms. There are many people who make a living from this very lucrative way to make money from writing. However, did you realize that publishing an EBook is also a great thing to do if you have a blog? Here are some ways that your blog can benefit from you publishing an EBook.

1) Give Away Something for Free

This seems to have multiple good effects.  By giving something to your customers, they may feel obligated to use your services in the future.  Many blogs and websites are built upon this idea, including this one!  I worked with the best water damage repair company in Trenton, NJ to write a small EBook.  In exchange for the EBook, which is branded for NJ Disaster Restoration, customers give their email address.  NJ Disaster Restoration uses the email for a slow drip email campaign.  When you give away information, templates, an EBook, or something else, you reinforce your knowledge and experience, and most website owners do it in exchange for an email address.  We’ve seen local businesses that do this to great effect, since competitors aren’t giving away “trade” secrets, if they even have a website.  EBooks aren’t just for entertainment anymore!

2) Getting Readers to Your Blog from Different Platforms

Getting to page 1 of Google has always been difficult. Now it is almost impossible for many niches. The big players ted to dominate and it is difficult to stand out. It’s a crowded internet world out there so anything that you can do to create different ways for people to find you is a good thing.

Publishing an EBook gives you another platform. Amazon is the biggest player in the market, but there are many others too. If you publish an EBook you could reach a whole new group of people who may never have seen your blog. It’s a very simple way to expand the reach of your content without doing very much extra work. You can even curate your blog posts and publish this as an EBook. Many bloggers have used this technique very successfully. You do not have to do much additional writing, but you reach a completely different audience.

You should always make sure that there are easy ways for people to connect to your blog from your EBook. You can simply put links in the book and you will get some traffic. You can also offer more free content if readers opt in to your email list. Make sure that your readers know where they can find you. Be subtle. Don’t annoy readers by mentioning your blog on every page, but make sure it is obvious how they can find more of your content if they want to. If your content is good they will want to come back for more.

3) Becoming an Authority

People want to read content from people who are experts. They need to know that they can trust what they are reading on the internet. There are so many people out there who are claiming to be experts and know what they are talking about, it is very difficult for readers to know who to trust. You need to be recognized as an authority on your subject and this can take a very long time simply by creating posts on your blog, no matter how good they are.

There is nothing like being a published author to build credibility in your field. The fastest route to credibility is having a New York Times Best Seller, but that just isn’t realistic. Most people just aren’t going to achieve that accolade. Fortunately, there are easier ways to expert status than writing a national best seller.

Self-publishing is one of the quickest ways to establish yourself as an expert. People want proof that you know what you are talking about and that they can trust the information that you are giving them. Having a great EBook, or ideally a whole series of EBooks, is going to go a very long way in helping you get noticed.

4) Driving Traffic

Most bloggers want more traffic. It is rare that any blogger will say that they have enough. Traffic itself can be low or high quality. Traffic itself gets you absolutely nothing if people don’t come back, buy your products or click on your money making links. So you should be seeking better traffic, not just more volume.

One way to get higher quality traffic is by publishing an EBook. You will be exposing yourself to new audiences who are interested in your topic. Provided you make it easy for them to find your online content you will find that this increases traffic to your blog. They will already know they are interested in your content and are likely to find what they want. This high quality visitor is more likely to stay longer on your blog and visit more pages.

 

We all wish we knew what the Google algorithm was, but in reality all we can do is make educated guesses of what gets you high search rankings. One thing that seems very clear is that Google wants high quality content. One way that they can measure the quality of your blog is how long people stay, how many pages they read and whether they keep coming back. Any way to have a strategy to improve the quality of your traffic is worth it, and publishing an EBook is a very good way to do this.

5) Building an Email List

You may have heard the phrase “The money is in the list.” When autoresponders became readily available, marketers soon realized that an excellent technique for selling anything online was to be able to build an email list.

What better way to sell things to people than by them giving you permission to send them emails on a regular basis? You have a captive audience of people who have given you permission to talk to them. Permission marketing was the new thing and it has stuck around for a good reason. It works. The internet evolves very quickly, but the basic principle is true. If you have a blog, you really need to build a list. Having the email addresses of your fans can be useful in many different ways.

The simplest way to take advantage of an EBook is to offer it free on your blog in return for your reader signing up to your email list. You give them great content and they give you permission to contact them. They see that you gave them great content and they start following your blog. It’s simple, but it works if you always provide high quality content.

Some Ways to Promote Your EBook That You Probably Haven’t Thought Of, Part Two

Have a Contest

This can be a simple contest which creates attention for the launch of your book. You can offer a free copy of your book – this works best for second and subsequent books where you already have a readership. If you do not think this will be a good incentive, then offer something that is relevant to the readers that you want to gain. If you are promoting an EBook which you are launching on Kindle, consider an Amazon gift card as a prize. If you want Nook readers, then offer a Barnes and Noble gift card. Think about what would motivate your ideal reader to enter your contest.

Be Interesting on Social Media

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Photo from Sean MacEntee

If you are starting to have a following or just starting out, think of ways to engage your followers on social media. Many writers think that it is enough simply to tell readers their book is available. This really isn’t going to make you stand out at all. Sure it may get you some loyal readers, but it won’t go beyond that. Try and think of something that will really capture their interest.

Think about your EBook launch like one of those expensive movie trailers that you have to watch whilst you are waiting for the main feature. They tease content so that people get excited and want to go and see the movie. Think about how you can tell potential readers just a little of the story. Teasing content is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book, but it is little used in the EBook promotion world. Think of the buzz it created when J.K Rowling told the world that a major character would be killed off in the Harry Potter series. We know she wasn’t exactly short of sales by this point, but the stir it created got people talking. The technique works.

Another technique that you can use with fans is to get them involved with the writing of the story. Or at least think that they are involved. If you already have an established set of characters for your fiction series, you will find that your audience will have strong opinions about them. Ask them questions about what you think a character would do, what you think their favorite food is, what you think they should name their dog. Anything which is going to make your readers feel more involved with the characters. This kind of technique works incredibly well with a fiction book series as readers become very invested with the characters.

Some Ways to Promote Your EBook That You Probably Haven’t Thought Of, Part One

There are many tried and tested ways to promote your EBook, but sometimes it is a good thing to think of something different. Here are some interesting ways to promote your EBook that you probably haven’t ever thought of.

Face Your Fear – Make A Video

You probably already know that video is a great way to promote pretty much anything. YouTube has over a billion users. That’s a pretty big potential audience. However, many people really don’t want to get involved with video and they are making a big mistake.

There seem to be two main hurdles that people think that they can’t get over when it comes to video. One is the technology. Two is that they don’t want to be on camera. Both are very easy problems to deal with.

You need to acknowledge that you do not have to be Steven Spielberg to make some great visual content. You don’t have to create a masterpiece. Technology is so simple these days. You can easily make a video using your phone or some really simple screen capture tools.

If you still think you can’t do it then try explaining that to your ten-year-old and they will show you how they create a great video in minutes. Do not make technology your excuse. If you can’t do it yourself then outsource it. You do not need to pay a lot of money. Get someone on fiverr to create a short video for you and cross promote it on social media. You may be surprised at the results.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you absolutely have to appear on camera. You really don’t. There are many ideas for a video to promote your EBook that do not involve you actually appearing on the screen. Get creative.  Check out this video:

Once you have made a video there are many ways to cross promote it on social media.

Connect with Influencers

There are few things more valuable than your EBook being recommended by an influencer with a relevant audience. The saying goes that “It’s not what you know it’s who you know,” and this holds true for the digital world as well. There is a very big world of influencers out there. You need to make sure that you make a big effort to connect with them.

Do not be intimidated and think that there is no way that these influencers will be interested in your EBook. People are always looking for great content to promote to their readers. Have the courage to ask and you may be surprised with the results. Take the time to build up the relationships with influential people who are in your niche.

Don’t Forget Your Own Blog

All authors need their own website. It doesn’t matter if you are writing romantic fiction, thrillers, biographies or non-fiction EBooks. If you don’t have this, you need to remedy this immediately. Again, don’t be afraid of the technology. Grab a domain name and put up a simple site. If you can’t do this go to fiverr and get someone to do it for you. It’s not going to cost you very much.

Simply writing blog posts about your book and promoting them on social media might get you some attention, but probably not as much as you need. Think of different ways to promote your EBook on your blog.

The traditional method on a blog is to give away free content in exchange for an email address. This can help you build reviews for your book and to gain a readership. Why not do something a little different? Have a no opt in download of the first chapter or two. Some people have opt in fatigue and will be tempted by this relatively rare technique. Offering a chapter for free will ensure that the reader knows that your product is high quality. We all know that many EBooks are simply not good. This will help you stand out from the crowd.

Top 7 Ways You Can Make Sure Your EBook Doesn’t Suck, Part Two

I’m continuing the previous article on how to improve your ebook writing.  Better writing means more sales!  Part one can be found here.

5) Edit Your Work

Proofreading and editing often get overlooked in the EBook world. With some books it sticks out a mile and your readers will notice in an instant. Even famous published works have mistakes in and they have undergone a vigorous editing process. A couple of mistakes are forgivable. A book full of them really is not. If you think that all you need to do is use the spell checker, you really are mistaken.

The ideal is to pay a professional editor, but we realize that this may be an expense that you want to avoid. Good editing is money well spent and really does make a difference. However, if you really can’t justify the cost of a professional editor you should make sure you don’t forget this vital step.

It is usually easier to self-edit your work if you leave it for at least a couple of days after you have finished your book. The brain tends to pay tricks on you and you will see what you want to see. This means you may miss vital things if you are too close to your content. Take a fresh look at it when things are not quite so familiar to you.

Get a friend to look at it next, but choose someone who you know will be honest with you. There is no use asking someone who won’t want to give you negative feedback.

If you already have an established readership send free copies out to select people who you know are already fans of your work. Ask that they give feedback about your work. You may be surprised as to how much your readers are prepared to help.

We still think that you really need to get an independent editor to look at your work. You can often find someone good, at a reasonable price, on sites like fiverr.

6) Pay Attention to The Cover

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Let’s not gloss over this. Everyone judges a book by its cover. Having a great cover for your EBook can mean the difference between being a bestseller and sinking without trace.

We know that you may not have much money to invest in your first EBook, but you really should invest as much as you can in the design of the cover. Unless you are particularly skilled at graphics it usually is not a good idea to create your own. You do not have to go for the full service custom design. There are many services out there using stock phots and designs which are modifiable to your requirements. These cost less than a custom design, but are still a much better option than a homemade cover.

7) Make the Title Great

The picture on the cover is very important. So is the title. These two elements are the first impression that anyone gets of your EBook. You need to make an impact. The clichés are true. You do not get long to capture a reader and persuade them that your EBook is worth taking a second look at. A boring title will just cause potential readers to move on. Your book could be amazing, but you will lose readers if your title is bad or boring. Don’t fall into that trap.

Top 7 Ways You Can Make Sure Your EBook Doesn’t Suck, Part One

Anyone can self-publish an EBook. The advances of technology and the rise of the digital book have brought some great authors and content into the world. It has also brought some really bad EBooks into existence.

In the good old days of book publishing there was at least some quality control because your book had to be accepted by a traditional publisher, or it would never see the light of day. Now anyone can publish an EBook. How do you make sure that the EBook that you want to write doesn’t suck and fall into publishing oblivion? Here are some ways that you can avoid that fate for your EBook:

1) Be Interesting

Everything that could be written about, has been written about. You don’t need to come up with something completely original (everything has been done before), but you do need to be interesting. Standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult in a very overcrowded digital world where everyone is vying for attention. Always be thinking of ways that you can distinguish yourself and stand out.

2) Write Well

This is pretty obvious point, but anyone who has ever spent time reading EBooks knows that good writing skills are not a requirement to be published. There are some incredibly badly written books out there. Make sure that you learn your craft and constantly strive to improve as a writer.

3) The Planning Stage is Vital

Always have a plan. It doesn’t have to be a huge document, but it will help you enormously at every stage of writing. Take some time to sit down and plan a coherent outline. You may well find that half way into the book you realize that Chapter 7 belongs after Chapter 10, but this is fine. You can deal with that. An EBook without a plan will be difficult to write and unless you do something to fix it before it is published, the reader is going to know that you really didn’t think this through at all.

4) Have Character Outlines

If you are writing a fiction book you will find that as you get to know your characters they will develop. It really can be a process of getting to know the characters in your book. However, it is essential that you get basic details correct.

You do not have to do extensive character outlines at the start, but take the time to put down some basic thing about your characters. It is surprising how easy it is to get things wrong if you don’t. Believe me your readers will notice the smallest things. You can start will basic things such as height, age, hair color, eye color, siblings and family details. If you do not work out these things at the start you are likely to make mistakes. Your blond character becomes brunette. The minor character who had two children in the first book now has none in the fifth book in the series. These are all avoidable mistakes, but they do happen.

What You Really Need to Know Before You Create Your First EBook

Are you wanting to create an EBook, but don’t quite know where to start? Publishing EBooks can be a great business, but there are some things which you really need to know before you publish your first book. Here are the essential things that you should realize about publishing an EBook.

Not Everything Will Sell

Do your market research. Do people actually want to buy the book that you are going to write? If you are writing nonfiction books are people looking for information about your chosen subject? If it is fiction is it in a genre which sells? You should write a book that you are interested in, but you should also be confident that others are going to be interested in it too.

Learn How to Format Your EBook

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This doesn’t need to be that complicated, but a lot of people still get it wrong. Before you start writing make sure that you understand what you need to know about formatting. There is plenty of information out there about how to do this for different platforms so make sure you get it right. Doing in that way is a lot easier than correcting it when you realize your formatting is messed up after you hit the publish button.

Appearance is Everything

You need a good cover!

ebook cover photo

Photo by Mark Cantrell

ebook cover photo

Photo by Ronald Lewis

ebook cover photo

Photo by Ronald Lewis

We know that it seems wrong that a book is judged on its cover, but rather than being in denial about this, it really is better to just accept it! You need an EBook cover which is at least good, and if possible, great. If you are a writer with no skills in design you should hand this task over to the experts. Do not try and create your own EBook cover. It usually just isn’t worth it. Stick to what you know and stay away from the graphics. Get an expert to help.

Although a custom made cover would be great, they can break the budget. There are many services which offer a predesigned cover. There are some really good ones available.

A good title will grab attention. A bad one will make readers move on. Your title is just as important as how the book cover looks. Make sure that you spend some time thinking of a great title.

Marketing Is Essential

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Photo from Frau Hölle

An EBook does not sell itself. You have to know how to promote your EBook so that people actually know it is available to buy. There are many ways to market your EBook and you are going to have to be prepared to devote time to learning how to do this.

There are many different ways to promote your book. Having your own website is very important, particularly if you are writing fiction. Readers want to know about the person behind the books.

Social media skills are also required to promote your EBook. Social media platforms present many different opportunities to let people know that your book exists. There are so many ways that you can use social media. Run some Facebook Ads, promote a giveaway, create a Pinterest Board for your heroine, make a video for YouTube. There are so many possibilities.