What makes eBooks so popular?
There are many reasons why the humble eBook still continues to be a top digital product. The reasons we believe are deeply psychological. Reading and writing books is fundamental to human societies. Books remain fundamentally a great way to present thoughts and ideas. No wonder popularity of eBooks keeps increasing and in all likelihood, it is going to stay this way in the 2020s.
Are eBooks easy to promote?
An eBook is one of the easiest things one can sell or distribute. This is one of the main reasons why selling eBooks has become such a massive trend online. Social media has made it easier than ever to target the right kind of audience for every possible niche interest out there. From fiction to deep technical guides to health & wellness books – there is a reader out there who is willing to read your book.
So how easy is it really? We believe that most authors will be able to sell a book of reasonable quality by simply following the following steps:
#1: Create buzz on social media.
This is simple. Create as much buzz as you can on as many social platforms as you can. Always be engaging your audience. Maybe just share a selfie: but you need to be out there.
Don’t wait to finish your book. The best authors prioritize promotion over writing. This is probably why you have heard of them in the first place. No, this doesn’t mean you have to become a full time sales person – However, if you want to sell copies of your book, you have to make an effort to promote it.
As a creative person who aspires to write a book, it is likely that you will fundamentally be averse towards marketing and self-promotion. Some say this is because creators tend to be shy. Whether it be writing books or building software or creating movies or music, creators focus more on creating than selling. But selling and reader feedback is critical and cannot be ignored. If you want to be a successful self-publishing eBook author, you have to be creating buzz.
It is always a great idea to start with a Facebook or Instagram page or a Twitter handle – maybe initially accessible only to a few friends. The key is to start. It will help you receive the initial feedback you need. Almost all writers change their book titles and content while they are still writing it, based on feedback they receive from users. It is an iterative process. Don’t wait for perfection – get out there and talk to potential readers.
Post snippets from the eBook on social media. Observe the kind of feedback these snippets receive. Not only will this help you fine tune your book, but it will also give you an idea of how interesting your book is to real audience. Don’t be hesitant to share the interesting or the more incomplete bits from your book : your goal here is to grab the attention of your prospective audience.
#2: Learn to use Social Media smartly.
WARNING: Social media is addictive, and you want to be careful to not get sucked in. When you are trying to work online, your exposure to social media increases.
This is an underrated work hazard. It is easy to go to Facebook to post an update to your users, but get distracted in the process and waste hours scrolling through the feed. You want to get inside, do your promotion, and get out immediately. Facebook and other social media platforms can severely damage your productivity.
A great way to avoid getting sucked into social media, is to use third party post schedulers. We highly recommend using a post scheduler for social media. Not only do they help you manage your time on social media, but it is also smarter to simply schedule posts for social media for the coming weeks. Most post schedulers have a calendar view, that gives you a great high level view of your future social media posts – something that helps greatly in understanding if you are over or under-communicating certain aspects with your audience.
Your aim should be to create high quality unique content. Rehashed content won’t get you very far. Use hashtags – they allow users to discover your content. Pin your posts on twitter. Make sure your profile has all the relevant links for your visitors. People spend hours looking at each other’s social media profiles. Make every profile visit count. Have you recently written your book? It should absolutely be pinned as a post and on your profile. How else will your readers find out about it?
#3: It is okay to be silly. Share images, flyers, memes, videos, podcasts & all your moments.
The way we communicate with each other is constantly changing. When you do something silly on social media, you are perceived as more genuine. This is the reality we live in. Feel free to go out there and post a video from that cheap webcam of yours. It doesn’t matter if only your friends are going to see it. At least you start building an audience – which is the most critical part of it all.
There are more easy to use tools available than ever today. There are plenty of marketing tools for non-technical users. It is easier than ever to create a meme or do a podcast. If you feel like you lack the skill to do something, a YouTube lesson is usually just a few clicks away.
#4: Work with other writers.
Find ways to work with other people in your niche. Find others like you on Social media, and build a rapport with them. Help them share their content. Eventually they will help you too. Ask them to provide you feedback on your work.
Are they too big and are actively ignoring you? Find someone who is not. People with genuine following, can really help grow your audience very sustainably.
We heavily discourage people from buying post likes/comments etc from influencers with millions of fake followers. Build long term genuine relationships with your audience, and your audience will reward you with their loyalty. Algorithms of all the big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter eventually catch and penalize fake engagement. Unnatural behavior is easy to catch for algorithms.
It is better to have a quality following, even if it is small. This is specifically true early on, and for people who are targeting niche audiences.
#5: Grow your own community.
The future and the past of the internet has always been about communities. Chat rooms, social media groups, discussion forums – the list grows on. Grow your own community. Provide your followers an easy way to start discussions and engagements with each other. This will help you grow exponentially.
Be realistic with your expectations. If you are not a popular author, no one will join your group. If you want to write fantasy like Tolkien, maybe create a Tolkien style fantasy fan group and invite your friends. Share interesting content, and promote engagement in the group.
Share your work with people, and ask them for your feedback. Moderating a group will give you great ideas about the kind of content you want to include or exclude from your book. Writing a great book requires a lot of research, and we believe online communities are a great place to start.
How many successful health Ebooks were simply written by fitness advisors who were moderating online message boards? The answer is “far too many”. It is simply easier to sell a book to an existing audience than to a new audience.
#6: Use your website for re-targeting your audience.
There is nothing more efficient than investing in a modern website that helps you automatically target and engage your potential readers. If someone discovers you on social media and visits your website, you should offer them to sign up to your mailing list for updates. Monthly newsletters are one of the best ways to engage your audience. It is also a great way to sell more copies, by offering exclusive discounts to your website visitors and newsletter subscribers.
We have written a great free guide to help you understand the features your eBook website needs. Please checkout our article “The six critical features every eBook website needs“.
#7: Invest in social media marketing.
Paid ads are a fool proof way to get new audience. Find your popular content, and promote it on Social Media. If you have the ability to re-target and have followed our advice in #6, you can get amazing return on your paid ad investment.
But isn’t all this expensive? In our estimate, an upfront investment of a few hundred dollars, and an ongoing monthly expense of less than $500 is more than adequate to build and grow an online audience sustainably.
This cost would include basic graphical content such as logos or book covers, that you need to establish your digital brand with. Please note that unique visual graphical assets and videos are not always cheap – especially if your want “great” and “original”.
So when do we get to read your book?
We hope you found that useful. An eBook is a wonderful way to use your expertise and experiences to improve the world. We hope that these tips will help you increase the visibility of your eBook on social media and help you establish yourself as a successful author.
Liked what you read or want to tell us more about your books? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.