The ebook we’re discussing in this post is the kind that businesses create as part of a content marketing strategy.
With that said, some of these tips probably apply to individual authors looking to create and sell ebooks. Novels, non-fiction, whatever.
But I’m thinking of a business that’s creating perhaps a guide or a state of the industry type of ebook. Maybe it’s even a collection of blog posts or transcriptions of videos.
Often you’ll see businesses publish these ebooks on their website. They put a lot of effort into researching the content. Then writing the content. Then organizing and designing the ebook.
Then they leave it on the site and hope for SEO to take over.
And it certainly could.
Visitors to the site may download the ebook. They may reach out to the business after. The business may market to that person via email.
But there is even more involved in the marketing part of content marketing.
Here are some tips for promoting your business ebook.
1. Individually Email Your Contacts
Like anything in life it really comes down to the work. There aren’t really any secrets.
If you want people to know about your new ebook then start telling them. One at a time.
But I don’t like the idea of sending the same message or a blast message to everyone.
You can do that if you already have a subscriber list built. One that’s used to regular messages.
But I’m sure you’re doing that already. And I’m thinking of your closer contacts. The people you work with at other businesses. Clients. Partners. Colleagues.
Reach out to them individually. Give a quick “how’re you doing?” and then get right to the point that you have a new ebook that you think they might find interesting.
A few days later reach back out and ask if they have any feedback.
I call this being a guest or guesting.
It’s one of the classic ways to promote something and you’ve seen it many times.
Those guests on late night shows? They’re all guesting. They’re all promoting something.
Movies, tv shows, music, books, etc.
The creators of the content go where the audience is.
You have to do that too.
If you just create an ebook with great tips for cleaning kitchens then you need to do all you can to guest on house-related sites, shows, videos, podcasts, blogs, etc.
Search for these by googling [your industry] + “show” or “podcast” or whatever. Try to find 100 if you can.
Then start emailing them (they usually have contact forms) introducing yourself and your ebook. Then offer a story you could tell or a tip you can offer their audience.
You have to give to get. Give away some details from the book.
3. Free Copies To Influencers
Go to social media and start searching for influencers in your industry. You might already know them.
Check the people you follow in your industry. See who they follow.
Look for contact information. Influencers usually have websites with contact forms.
Reach out and send them a free copy. Either attach it or create a hidden link to the PDF version on your website and send the influencer the link.
4. Include A Coauthor
Here’s an even better way to include influencers.
Ask them to contribute. And give them co-authorship.
You might need to do 99% of the work while only getting 50% of the credit, but the influencer is bringing 99% of the audience to the book.
You can then build your audience and take more credit on the next book. Or you could coauthor with another influencer.
5. Create Snippet Content
SlideShare, Webinars, Videos, Blog Posts, Podcasts, Quotes/HotTakes, etc.
When authors are making their guesting rounds they’re often discussing the “hot takes” from the book. The really juicy stuff that makes for great headlines. It builds buzz.
I remember when Hank Haney came out with his book about his time with Tiger Woods that one of the hot takes was how Tiger had a popsicle one time and didn’t offer Haney one.
For some reason people found that fascinating. It was one little anecdote in a great book, but it helped sell tons of books.
You can also snippet your content in other ways.
For your own blog posts. You can host webinars. Create SlideShare presentations. Give a talk at a conference with those slides. Create your own podcast episodes or series.
The key is reusing the content you’ve already created.
This was a very cool trick I read about.
Scroll down to #6.
When you launch the ebook put on your autoresponder. Say something like:
I’m crazy busy this week with my new ebook: [title and link here]
I’ll respond once I get my head above water.
Now everyone that emails you will have a link to your new ebook.
Ebooks are still a great way to market your business. You’re offering value to your audience. You’re earning their trust. And in return you can build a subscriber list (that you can market to later) and you’ll probably earn some attention and new business.
But you can’t forget the marketing side of the equation. Use the tips in this post to help boost your next ebook experience.