Marketing E-books Post-Launch

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on October 27, 2008 in E-books, Marketing
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We've talked about book marketing here, but e-book marketing has been relatively neglected. So today, in honor of the recent launch of my own new e-book, I'd like to talk about e-book marketing after the launch phase.

I'm the first to admit I didn't put nearly enough effort into pre-launch marketing for my new release - the Web Writer's Guide to Launching a Successful Freelance Web Writing Career (which is the first in my Web Writer's Guide e-book series being launched through WebWritersGuide.com).

It took slow months piecing the e-book together, and by the time it was completed, out for feedback, and then edited, I wanted to launch so badly that I didn't setup a virtual blog tour, prepare for an affiliate program, etc.

While an affiliate program was setup, I haven't seen a single affiliate sale yet, and sales overall have had a very slow start.  Rather than just privately work on a marketing strategy, I figured it might be helpful to share some of my plans here to help improve the situation, and allow other e-book authors to share some of their own e-book promotion ideas or strategies to help others.

So Far, Not So Good

The sales that I have made have come from promoting the e-book on my own sites mostly (and the newsletters attached to some of them). The affiliate program isn't helping yet. I did one interview prior to the launch - a BlogTalkRadio interview on the topic of writing and marketing e-books. I also put out a launch press release.

Future Plans

I'm not a fan of article marketing when it comes to article directories, especially in trying to build a professional reputation / status to help sell services. However, I've decided to give EzineArticles one last shot despite past screw-ups, hoping they'll be a tolerable way to promote a product. We'll see. I put two articles up so far (maybe one more this evening), which are waiting for approval.


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I also have a few open requests asking me to write guest posts for blogs. I'll take them up on it and include a credit link to the e-book page.

I'll probably do at least one or two more press releases, depending on whether or not I find a decent angle to work with.

I just increased the affiliate commission rate from 25% to 50%, and announced it on my two most relevant blogs, so I'm hoping that drums up a it more interest in the affiliate program. I won't be increasing it more than that though - if it still doesn't pick up steam, I'll simply be removing the affiliate program altogether and going back to selling directly through E-junkie rather than paying Clickbank's extra fees for no good reason.

I'm thinking of adding an email subscription option to the Web Writer's Guide blog, where the e-book can be promoted more directly than in a traditional RSS feed subscription.

I need to place ads on other sites of mine to help promote the e-book.

I definitely need to spend more time commenting on related blogs - link juice aside, the direct traffic from comments should be worthwhile.

I'll write a few more Work.com guides related to the subject matter, and look for other related niche sites that would be good to target with article submissions.

I have no plans to do PPC or other advertising as of yet - that's a last resort in my book. I should probably put a bit more conscious effort into SEO though. I noticed that site doesn't even have page-specific meta tags setup, so I need to add my typical plugin that allows me to do that.

What Would You Do?

When you launched your last e-book, how did you go about it? What tactics did you find most successful? Perhaps oddly, forums were my most successful tactic for my previous e-book being sold. I don't expect them to work as well as things like blog comments for this particular audience though.

After the "excitement" of the launch phase is over, how do you like to keep the interest coming?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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6 Comments

  1. Bookmarketing Newbie October 29, 2008 Reply

    For online marketing, the best things that have worked for me are guest posts on other people’s blogs and press releases. I’m with you on not being too keen on article marketing, although I did it early on and had some success. Forums have also been good if you can find one that is in your niche. Best of luck.

  2. MLRebecca November 6, 2008 Reply

    Congratulations on launching your new eBook. It may be off to a rough start, but I’m sure sales will pick up. If I were you, I would continue to take advantage of the social media space in an effort to get out the word. Your future plans sound very exciting. Good luck with all of your projects, including your eBook!

  3. Kim Richards Gilchrist December 27, 2008 Reply

    Perseverance is the key. Keep at it. Part of the sales slump may be the economic times right now. That will pass, though it may take time. Just don’t give up! Have you thought about speaking at writer’s conferences? Even the online ones, like The Muse would be beneficial to you, I’d think.

  4. Dorothy December 29, 2008 Reply

    Congratulations! When I first started promoting my ebook, I tried a virtual book tour. Have you thought about doing that? I sold lots of ebooks for my tour which ended up being the beginning of my vbt business, but a vbt is sort of like what you have already suggested doing. I strongly strongly suggest pursuing article banks using your key search words so that people when looking for ways to help the writer with freelance web writing will find you. Not to mention the hits they garner to your website. Major nice. I would love a guest post from you, btw, for Book Marketing Buzz….anytime!

  5. Jennifer Mattern January 15, 2009 Reply

    I’m actually planning a small vbt in early February – just finished lining up the blogs. If that goes well, I’ll do a larger one a little further down the road. :)

    I’m not a huge fan of the article directories (I prefer more direct article marketing on relevant sites than the catch-alls). But I did make an exception. I won’t promote services there, but I decided to promote the e-book, using some repurposed content from my other blogs. It’s helping a bit.

    The economic times actually seem to have increased sales. :) Lots of folks are considering freelancing for some extra money (or to replace a full-time job they lost). The bigging boost in attention to my e-book is coming from the new visitors to my All Freelance Writing blog–as traffic picked up there with folks wanting to learn more about freelancing, so did sales. :)

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