Like many other photographers out there, I write and publish my own eBooks. Rather then constantly giving commission to other parties on a regular basis, I make the effort to market, advertise and promote my eBook all on my own.
Of course that does have a downside, and a very big one at that. You see, if you go through a publishing company they would have a much larger audience and greater reach than a single person.
However, part of the fun is and challenge is seeing if you can do it on your own.
Heck, if lucky the book can get picked up and re-published.
Until recently the eBooks that I published wouldn't be ones that could sell tons. But my latest eBook is. The eBooks covers the process of photographers capturing long exposure photographs. It's a 55-page eBook complete with tutorials, advice and a gallery (of course).
With how valuable the eBook is, I also made the price more than others I have. This eBook is selling for $27 on my website, and $37 bundled with my 144 presets for Lightroom and onOne Software. My other eBooks sell for $5 and $10. As you can see, that is much more - but for good reason.
So to market the eBook I had a plan, which looks something like this...
- I started by sending the eBook to a variety of well-known photographers with a request for feedback and testimonials.
- While waiting for feedback, I created a landing page with an explanation of the eBook, included social proof (testimonials with headshots), and a slideshow of some of my long exposure photographs.
- I created the product within my WordPress site and included it in my eBook store, driven by the free Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
- I then compiled a deal for Photo Dough (like a Groupon but for photographers) and sent it off to them. A couple of days later the deal was live with a 5 day expiration. I decided to include all of my photography presets within the Photo Dough deal and still charge less than the eBook on its own through my website. It's 49% savings, which is pretty huge.
- Hours before the Photo Dough deal went live, I emailed my email subscribers an exclusive discount code for the eBook with even bigger savings. The reason I did this is because an email list is something special. It can be a website's "baby" and revenue generator. By providing the best possible discount to people who gave you their email addresses, they feel valued.
- Once all that is out, I am using BufferApp, Flipboard and good ol' fashion "asking" and conversations in order to promote the eBook and Photo Dough deal through social media.
- I created the eBook in Apple's iBook Author so that I can easily submit it to the iTunes iBookstore. So while steps 1-6 are going on, the iBook is submitted and waiting for Apple's approval. Only 3 days later and the book is available in iTunes. Because of Apple's pricing structure I had to lower the iBook price to $24.99. I think it's fair considering that for an extra couple dollars the PDF (through my website) can be used on practically any eBook reader.
- The landing page I created will continue to be updated with new testimonials with capability for sharing. I will also continue to promote the landing page as time goes by.
- Depending on the feedback received, I will make necessary edits to the eBook and advertise it on social media (like Facebook and Twitter).
So far the plan has been pretty successful. In addition to the Photo Dough deal doing well, I have made many sales on my own website. There have also been requests for the eBook in a few other formats.
The key to getting started publishing your own eBook is as follows:
- Read Guy Kawasaki's APE
- Have a WordPress driven website that can easily sell your eBook
- Create a marketing plan
- Create a social media plan
- Utilize email marketing
- Ask for feedback
I can't wait to see what the future holds for my eBook. But now I want to hear from you. Are you publishing or have you already published an eBook on your own? What was your plan and how's it going? Comment and let me know.