Copyright 2006 Matt Canham
For anyone thinking about writing an ebook, the first step requires sitting down to determine your interests and passion. You should already have a niche market in mind before you start and your ebook has to offer much more than an offline book. Part of that relates to creating a community aspect and you can also use links to other sites, audio, video and bonuses to add value to your ebook.
The first ebook I ever purchased was by Anthony Ellis and it was about weight training. There was the actual pdf manual, but beyond that, he had a members area and a real sense of community, which was something I wanted to emulate.
But what should an ebook be about?
The recent experiment conducted by Stephen King shows there is no substitute for a real book when it comes to entertainment. His planned system of selling off chapters one at a time was less than successful, so much so he discontinued it.
A successful ebook then, will offer solutions and answers not entertainment. People interested in a particular subject want to know how to get involved immediately. An ebook should contain everything they will need and are likely to want to know. It should be simple, clear and easy to follow and when done most effectively, your ebook site should become a community where you are the resident expert. As you build your opt-in list, your profile will grow and you will become the expert in your particular area, but with that comes some responsibility.
Under promise and over deliver.
Sales letter writing is an industry of its own, but this is one mistake I have seen time and time again. The product promises to solve the customers problems, but the actual ebook fails to deliver.
One example of this was an ebook I read recently about moving to a new area. The ebook promised inside tips on how to get set up immediately, but the ebook was simply a collection of articles written by others on the subject. No mention of the authors own experiences at all. I was actually reviewing the ebook, but would have asked for a refund if I had purchased it.
Many people believe longer guarantees will result in less refunds. I disagree. I think the key to limiting refunds is to under promise and over deliver. If your ebook is excellent and provides more than they expected, they won’t ask for a refund. Simple.
Another big factor is customer service – you only get one chance to make a bad impression. The idea of selling and forgetting should be completely out of your mind. You are there to support the people anyway you can, otherwise don’t write the ebook in the first place – that market is already saturated.
The following is taken from an actual ebook page. “Please don’t send in emails asking us how you go about finding work. I get around 30 of these a day and to be honest everyone is so different, so the only practical thing I can tell them is get the ebook. So if you are emailing me to ask me how to find a job all I can say is, get the ebook.”
That person may actually make sales in spite of themselves, but it is an extremely poor example of customer service. Some people won’t just take out their credit card and buy the ebook. They want to interact with a human and ask a few questions first. Most people don’t expect you to provide all the ebook content in an email, but it is a chance for you to remain helpful and over deliver with prompt, friendly customer service. I can’t count the number of sales I have made simpy by answering questions in a timely manner.
Auto-responders are fantastic for your opt-in subscribers. Provide them with some free information they can read instantly and they will start to trust you. Provide them with an excellent ebook and they will start to like you. Support them and help in any way and they will start to love you.
You can test your auto responses and keep doing so until you start making what I call “immaculate sales.” The reader visits your site, opts-in, reads the free report, then buys the ebook. It will happen because they can see through the testimonials you are someone they would want to do business with.
Respond immediately to their email enquires and they will want to do business with you. Think of all the times you have received rapid responses to emails you sent out. It doesn’t happen very often, but you always remember it. Consider this – “only 51% of online marketers reply to customer email and of that only 30% actually reply within 1 business day.”
I challenge you to be in the top 1% – answer every email you receive and do it as soon as you read the email. Before long, you will receive the recognition, the praise and the sales you deserve. And above all that, you will be really helping people.