Writing your first ebook is exciting. But once it’s finally written, you’ve got to find a way to get it in the hands of your audience.
After all that hard work, long nights, and endless research, it would be a shame if your book went unread.
Those of you who have recently written an ebook, are in the process of writing one, or planning to write one in the near future need to start thinking about your distribution methods.
You could be the best writer on the planet, but if you don’t know how to market yourself, nobody will know about you and your writing.
That’s how you need to approach your ebook distribution strategy. Think like a marketer. Not everyone with great writing skills is a marketing expert.
If you need some guidance on getting tons of downloads for your newest ebook, you’re in luck.
I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create a waterfall of downloads. Here’s how you do it.
Start taking pre-orders
Don’t wait until you’re done writing the ebook to promote it. Taking pre-orders in the early stages is a great way to build hype for your ebook and brand.
If people know they can get the ebook in advance, it may seem even more appealing.
This approach is great because it gives people a reason to pre-order the book. Anyone who pre-ordered this copy was able to download the first five chapters right away.
They’re also promoting some limited gifts, which were undisclosed. Both of these promotions can pique the interest of potential readers.
Getting to download chapters in advance gives people a feeling of exclusivity. They have something that not everyone has access too.
Plus, if they enjoy the first chapters, they could even start promoting the book themselves.
Come up with other ways to give people an incentive to pre-order your ebook before it gets released. If you’re charging for downloads, you can offer a discounted rate for anyone who pre-orders it.
Even if people don’t order it in advance, putting it out there creates a buzz around your ebook before its release, exposing it to your potential readers.
Record an audio version
Not everyone prefers reading ebooks. Recording an audio version can make your book more appealing to a wider audience.
According to the Pew Research Center, print books are still more popular than ebooks and audio books:
Ebooks are more popular than audio books, but as you can see from the data, there are still people who prefer listening to audio books.
But how does releasing an audio book increase downloads for your ebook?
Pair the two together. Say your ebook download comes with a free audio version as well. Pitch this any way you want.
Or you could charge for the audio book and offer the ebook as a free download.
If you continue to release different formats of your ebook, it will appeal to a wider audience and increase the number of downloads you can get.
Create blog posts out of each chapter
If you have an active blog, you need to take advantage of that channel as a marketing resource.
You’ve already got an audience familiar with your voice and visiting your website to read your blog. Those are the people you need to target first.
It’ll be much easier to get downloads from your blog audience than from people who don’t know who you are and have never heard of you before.
Rather than just blogging about your ebook once or twice, you can generate lots of blog content by writing a post about each chapter. There are many benefits to this marketing strategy.
First of all, it gives you a way to add fresh content to your website. This is great for SEO purposes and improving your Google ranking, which can drive traffic to your website.
But blogging is also great because it gives you an excuse to promote your new content on your other marketing channels.
For the past four years, bloggers have been using social media as the primary method of driving traffic to their posts:
Each time you blog about a new chapter, you have an excuse to post on your social media accounts.
Another reason why you should employ this strategy is because these posts will be super easy for you to write. You’ve already done all the heavy lifting with your ebook.
These blogs will be summaries of the chapters, which you already know like the back of your hand. It won’t take you lots of time and effort to write this content.
If you can keep your readers engaged with these blog posts, you’ll get ebook downloads. Just make sure you don’t give it all away in the blog. Otherwise, your readers won’t have a reason to download the ebook.
Tease your audience just enough to keep them interested, but make them download the ebook to get all the information.
Place a download link all over your website
Obviously, you need to promote your ebook on your website. But don’t restrict that promotion to just one landing page.
Put the download link all over your website. Just make sure it is not overwhelming or doesn’t appear as spam. Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.
For example, put a CTA button on your home page, side bar, and slider menu. If someone navigates to another page on your website, have a pop-up window appear with a download link.
Doing this will make it obvious that your ebook is available for download.
Right now, marketing experts are not properly utilizing CTA buttons:
Fewer than half of websites have a CTA button that can be spotted in less than three seconds. That’s far too long. More than 70% of businesses don’t have their CTAs on the interior pages of their websites.
Don’t make this mistake.
You should also start A/B testing your CTA button’s placement, size, wording, and color. These tests will help you improve your site’s efficiency so you can get maximum exposure.
Try to get downloads from your email subscribers
As I said earlier when discussing blogging, you need to try to get as many downloads as possible from people already familiar with your brand.
Targeting your email subscribers is perfect for this. These people are interested enough in your brand and voice to sign up to hear from you on a regular basis.
It’s much easier to target your existing audience than trying to find readers elsewhere. Check out how Help Scout uses this technique in their email newsletter:
It’s direct and straight to the point. They aren’t trying to promote anything else except for this new ebook.
The message ends with a clear call-to-action button that’s serves as a link for their subscribers to download the ebook.
Those of you charging people for an ebook download can try to entice your email subscribers to buy it by offering them a discounted rate.
Publish infographics with research from your ebook
People love visuals.
Infographics are great because they help drive more traffic to your website. Here’s why.
If you start publishing high quality infographics, other websites will use your visuals to improve their own content. As a result, you’ll get a referral link.
This will increase the chances of your book getting exposed to a wider audience.
You can even add a logo or some other identifying mark to all your infographics with the title of your book. The headline of each infographic could include the title of the chapter you were referencing.
If you have never made an infographic before, don’t be intimidated. It’s quite easy.
There are plenty of free online tools and resources available that let you create customized infographics. Check out Canva to start.
Don’t turn down guest-posting opportunities
Remember I said earlier that blogging on your own website can benefit downloads? Well, you can also get more ebook downloads by writing guest posts.
Guest posts expose your ebook to a new audience. People who read other blogs may not be familiar with your brand and voice. But you can get their attention with your guest post.
Just like with infographics, you’ll be able to get referral links for your guest posts. You can even have these referrals go straight to the download link.
I see way too many people turn down guest-posting opportunities. In fact, more than 40% of bloggers don’t write guest posts at all.
This is a complete missed opportunity. Anytime someone offers you a guest post, you should jump on it. Just make sure their website has the same core values as your brand.
You don’t want to be associated with anyone who is not in line with your morals. If nobody is offering you guest-posting opportunities, find them on your own.
Websites will be thrilled to offer guest-posting because they get to publish new content without having to do any of the work. This is a win-win scenario for everyone.
Read sections on a live video broadcast
Live videos made the list of my top marketing trends to look for in 2018. This is a great opportunity for you to reach and engage with your audience on social media platforms.
Start with platforms such as:
- Facebook Live
- YouTube Live
- Instagram Live.
Use whichever platform has the largest social media following. If you’ve got lots of followers on all of these networks, that’s great. Host live video broadcasts on all of them.
Just make sure your live stream isn’t boring. You’d want to read some passages to give people an idea of what they can expect from your book, but that’s not all you should do.
Marketing experts say live video is a great way to deepen your engagement with your followers:
Answer questions in real time about your writing process, research, and inspiration for writing the ebook.
You could even give away some copies to people watching the live stream.
Leverage social media platforms
You want to make sure you exhaust all your marketing distribution channels to promote your ebook. I’ve already discussed your website, blog, and email subscription list.
In addition to using social media to broadcast live videos, you’ll also want to take advantage of the other features on these platforms.
Post pictures and videos to get the word out to your followers.
Encourage shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter. Add a download link to your Instagram bio.
Think about all the followers you have on these platforms. Target them before the release. Promote the release date hard. Even after the book is written, keep up your social media marketing strategy to get more downloads.
You can try to work with social media influencers on these platforms as well.
Promote your personal brand
Why should anyone read your ebook?
You need to start promoting your personal brand. Position yourself as an expert on the subject.
If you have a degree in a specific field or any personal success stories relevant to the content of your book, let people know about that.
Answer these questions to help you define your personal brand:
What makes you qualified to write an ebook?
If you brand yourself properly, it will add credibility to your book. As a result, more people will be interested in hearing what you have to say.
This will lead to more downloads.
Writing an ebook isn’t enough to get downloads.
You need to take proper steps to make sure people download your ebook.
Start taking pre-orders to build hype and gain exposure before the book is released. Record an audio version to make the book more appealing to people who prefer listening to books.
Blog about it. Use each chapter of your ebook as an inspiration for a blog post. You can even take advantage of guest-posting opportunities.
Create infographics to drive more traffic to your website. Make sure your site has a clear CTA on every page with a download link.
Target people who already know who you are. Use social media as a distribution channel, and stream live videos to create an authentic interaction with your audience.
Always promote your personal brand so people know you’re an expert on the topic and qualified to write this book.
If you follow these tips, you won’t have a problem getting tons of downloads for your latest ebook.