Earlier this week, I read an interesting blog post by author Dean Wesley Smith on how he promoted his ebook with book cards. He had rack cards (similar to large postcards) printed up with his book cover on one side and a link to download it on the other side, and then went around handing them out an event.
I love this idea and it reminded me of the music download cards available at the counter in Starbucks. Those are closer to business card size and include a promotional offer for a new song. Why not do that with your ebook?
Book cards make ebooks tangible. You can print discount codes on them, give them away for free, or sell them at an event and write in a code for downloading online. Lots of options!
Lately a lot of people have been asking me about ebook marketing and I tell them the same thing: It’s not much different than regular book marketing. You have to go out and find your audience. You have to get people talking about your book.
One strategy that I’ve used is to offer ebooks as bonuses with new paperback books. When LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business came out, I offered a collection of bonus ebooks and reports to all buyers for the first couple of months. Buyers seemed to love the promotion and it helped give the book a good jump start.
I have a new book coming out in January and I’ve already decided that I will give away the ebook free and clear for a period of time. I plan to do this to help build buzz–buzz that leads to more sales in the long run, especially for the print edition. Incidentally, you can do this by setting up your ebooks with Smashwords and creating coupon codes for 100% off!
One other thought about ebooks (and traditional books)–they are great for marketing your business. Here on Authority Publishing, when a new user signs up for the mailing list they receive the ebook edition of Booked Up! How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book to Grow Your Business. I also use a service called Pay With a Tweet that allows users to get a free copy in exchange for a tweet about the book or a mention on Facebook.
Why am I giving my ebook away so much? Because it’s good for business. That book in particular has helped bring new authors as customers to Authority Publishing. It doesn’t matter to me whether I ever sell another copy of the book; it has already paid for itself many times over.
So yes, lots of options for promoting ebooks!
What are your thoughts? Please share any questions or comments below!