“Darren, I have written an eBook but am struggling with how ‘pushy’ to be with my readers in my marketing of it. I want to sell some but don’t want to annoy my readers. Any tips?”
This question hit my inbox today and I thought I’d share some of my reply here.
Great question – I remember these feelings vividly when I launched the first eBooks on ProBlogger and dPS.
On one hand, you want to sell as many copies as possible to make the long writing process worthwhile. You know that to sell those copies you need to let your readers know you’ve got something to sell….
But on the other hand, you don’t want your readers to all disappear because you never talk about anything else than what you’ve got to sell.
The answer is annoyingly… ‘it’s a balancing act’. There is no right or wrong answer but here’s what I’ve learned:
1. If you don’t promote it – nobody else will (at least in the beginning)
Most of us have the fantasy that we’ll release our eBook and that before we know it, word of mouth will make it viral across the internet and we haven’t had to much more than tweet that it’s available.
The harsh reality is that unless you’re Oprah (or you have access to Oprah’s Twitter account) – this is highly unlikely! While things do go viral and word of mouth can be an important factor online, the sooner you face the reality that you are going to be the one who will be needing to spread word of your new product … at least initially (and probably longer than that).
Down the track you might find that the people who buy your product begin to tell others about it but you need to be the one to seed that and to do so you’ll almost certainly need to promote it to the readers you’ve already got.
2. Make it an Event
When I first launched ‘31 Days to Build a Better Blog‘ I remember being really concerned about a reader rebellion taking place. Not so much because I was going to annoy readers by promoting the eBook but because I was selling them something for the first time – after years of providing free content.
What amazed me was the good will of my readership. The first time I mentioned I was developing something to sell on my blog (about a month before I