How To Write An Ebook: The What

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In this, the third and final part of the ebook series, I will go into the specifics of the WHAT to do once your ebook is written.

In this series I’ve covered:

  1. Why (should you write an ebook)
  2. How (to write an ebook)
  3. What (to do once it’s written)

I have to take a step back when we’re talking about WHAT to do once your ebook is written because you need to market your book before it’s written. What?! Yes, it’s true. Ever wonder how some authors get elevated to Number One Bestselling Author status on Amazon on the day their book first hits the market? It’s all about pre-marketing. Those savvy authors have built their audience, pre-sold the book, and in many cases offered giveaways and incentives to those who pre-order. Then, on release day, all of those pre-orders are filled and voilà–for many–instant bestseller status. What author wouldn’t want that label attached to his or her book? I can’t think of any, can you?

How to Market an Ebook

How To Write An Ebook: The What

When you’ve made the decision to add “author” to your resume, you need to be in it for the long haul. Being an author, especially a successful one means you need to devote a lot of energy to that task. You need to write the book and then continually market the book. Knowing the reasons why you want to write an ebook will lead you toward determining how many hours you devote to the marketing of it once it’s written.

If you want to write an ebook to use as your “business card,” your marketing efforts will be different than if you want to use your ebook to pay the mortgage on your vacation getaway. The effort, the focus and the emotion behind the marketing of your book will hinge on your reasons for having written it.

What do you need to do to market your book before it’s written? 

  • Let your community know you’re writing a book. “Tease” information about it on your website, in your social media updates and at networking events. The caveat with this, though, is if you let people know you’re writing a book, they will ask you about it and may even nag you to find out when it’s going to be released. Your announcement of the book just might be the accountability you need to make it a reality.
  • Blog about some of the topics that will be in the book. Choose those topics that are actionable and that will get a potential reader excited to buy the book once it’s released.
  • Put together a pre-marketing package. This could include giveaways and handouts and other items you can offer up to entice people to buy your book on the day it’s released. This can propel the book to number one seller status on Amazon.
  • Look for networking events or conferences at which you could speak and promote your book. Promote yourself as, “Author of the soon-to-be released XYZ Book.” Adding “author” to your speaker sheet just might score you more opportunities.

Does the topic of your book lend itself to a “hook release date”? This is a date upon which you can hook your book to ride the wave of a trend. For example, if you’re writing a book about, “Get your schedule together this year!” then having your book launch in early December makes sense. You are “hooking” your book release date to the beginning of the new year, when everyone is in “resolution-setting” mode and getting control of their schedule might be what they’re seeking.

Search for holidays–traditional, nontraditional or pet-related–that you could plan your book release date around. Choose the date, write it on the calendar and make that a working goal. Give yourself at least a month to get the book edited, proofread, the cover designed, and it uploaded to Amazon or another platform of your choice.

When you do this, you can also trickle out social media content that offers your followers your unique thoughts on “getting your schedule together.”

Look for book promotion partners. You can solicit a group of “beta readers” to whom you can offer insider information and even small gifts in return for reading your chapters, sharing their excitement of your upcoming book with their audience and helping you with the launch of your book. Building your network and getting in front of the networks of others is an ideal way to not only sell books, but to gain new followers for your unique book topic.

Start a mastermind group around the topic of your book. If your book is teaching-intensive, you could start a mastermind group and teach the lessons to the members of your group. This is a great way for you to share your expertise and to see your words in action.

Facebook Live or vlogging. Hop on Facebook and share some great information from your book. Give a tip. Share advice. Sign off. Don’t make it a long, drawn-out affair. Also, you don’t have to mention every time you’re live that you’re writing a book. Don’t always be selling. If you don’t want to go live, record a vlog and share snippets of useful information about your book.

Create a webinar. If your book lends itself to it, put together a webinar or an online training course. You don’t have to give away so much information that there’s no reason for people to buy your book, but if your book is a teaching tool, then you need to become that teacher.

Shameless self promotion. Unless you’re going to hire a marketing and PR firm, you will need to write press releases about yourself and your book, and you will need to share those with local media. Let your local newspaper know that you’ve written a book about “XYZ” and it will be released on X date. Remember, though, you need to make your press release be about how your book will help the reader, not the fact that you’ve written a book. As an example, “Susie Jones, local writer, has penned her first novel, ‘Get control of your schedule this year.’ (some of the body of the press release). “I’ve discovered that so many parents today are overwhelmed. They can’t keep up with their children’s schedules, the homework, their own jobs, finding time to simply relax with their significant other and spend quality time with the kids. The tips in my soon-to-be released book, ‘Get control of your schedule this year,’ will offer your readers short, actionable tips that will help them live happier, more in control lives.” See? You’re making it about the reader and his/her problem. Add in your contact information, your photo, a mock up of the book cover. You should reach out to the paper/local media when you have a firm release date fro the book.

If you will be speaking at events, send out a press release to announce just that. “Susie Jones will be speaking at XYZ Conference and sharing insight and information from her upcoming book, ‘Get control of your schedule this year’ with the overworked and overwhelmed members of the group.” Don’t rely upon a conference organizer to toot your horn!

Use email to its best advantage. Change your email signature to make note of your book, its title, the release date and a copy of the cover. In your email signature, let people know that you can/will speak on topics related to your book.

Contact local bookstores and see if they will host you for a booksigning. Look for ways in which you can promote the event to make it more than just your sitting there waiting to sign a book. Can you give a brief talk or demonstration based on the topic of your book? Can you bring in a guest who can help you demonstrate something from your book. I’ve done booksignings and it is no fun when you’re just sitting at a table, surrounded by your books, giving puppy dog eyes to passersby. Make it more an event than a signing.

Reach out to other authors or bloggers and collaborate. Plan a virtual book tour. Share content. Cross promote. Build your tribe.

Ask for testimonials. Reach out to people you admire and ask if they’d be willing to read your book and give you a testimonial or a back cover blurb you can use in your promotions. Find someone who is respected in your niche so you can say, “WOW, look what JANE DOE had to say about my soon-to-be released book!”

What marketing techniques have you used to get your book read and to make sales? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author,  full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. If you’re interested in learning about my new 30-Minute Writing program, email me, let’s talk. (Robbi AT PositivelyWoof DOT COM)

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