A High Tech Way To Make Your eBook Go Viral

Any good salesperson will tell you that the very best time to get an enthusiastic customer recommendation is immediately after a customer has just had a great experience with your product.

If you could provide your reader with a way to send a personal recommendation directly to a friend along with a link to your ebook’s Amazon sales page while your customer has just finished your ebook and is still holding the e-reader is his or her hand, would you do it?  Who wouldn’t want to do that?

Here is one very effective way to do just that. In summary, the technique is as follows.

The e-reader needs to have connectivity with the Internet for this to work. Your ebook will provide a hyperlink to a web page on one of your web sites.

When customer clicks on the hyperlink and the web page opens up in the e-reader, the customer simply types in a personal message along with friend’s email address into a form on that web page and then hits “Send.” That’s it. An email is then sent immediately to the friend with the message and a link to the ebook’s Amazon sales page.

The web page is created with PHP and I will provide the code. PHP sends the email directly from the server that hosts the web page. Nothing happens on your customer’s computer or e-reader. No email functionality is needed on your customer’s end, just Internet connectivity.

Before I get into the details and the code behind all this, let me show you what it looks like. I have written several children’s educational books that do some interactive stuff using KF8. Here is what a reader of one of these books would see and experience when going through this process.

First, the customer would arrive at a page in the ebook that contains a link to the web page on my site. Below is a page in one my kids’ books that does that (Yes, that’s me in a clown suit).

Email-to-a-Friend_eBook_Page

Email-to-a-Friend_eBook_Page

If the e-reader is connected to the Internet, the hyperlink shown on this ebook page, http://bit.ly/sendhappy2 , links to the following page on my web site that is shown below.

It is always a good idea to shorten your URLs with a URL shortening service like bit.ly as I am doing here. If your customer’s e-reader is not connected to the Internet, your customer will have a much easier time remembering the shortened URL than the actual URL.

If you click on that link in the ebook, you will be taken to the web page below.

Here is the top half of the landing web page on my web site and directly below is the bottom half of the web page:

Send-To-A-Friend Web Page On My Site

Send-To-A-Friend Web Page On My Site

I will provide the code to create this web page with PHP shortly.

You can fill out the form as shown below and hit “Send.”

Filled-In Send-To-A-Friend Form

Filled-In Send-To-A-Friend Form

This page is written with PHP (I’ll present the code). Hitting the send button activates the php email function located at the server hosting my site. No email functionality is required on the customer’s end. Everything is done from the server hosting this web page.

Hitting the “Send” button will send an email message to the email address: mark@epubandebookhelp.com that appears to come from this sender:

DonaldDuck@Disney.com

with the following Subject Line:

Donald Duck Sends a Link About an eBook Your Child Will Like

Open up the email and the body of the email will be a text message as follows:

Your friend Donald Duck recommends this eBook – Happy’s the Clown’s TAP-N-SPELL 145 Fun Animals Flashcard eBook:

http://www.amazon.com/TAP-N-SPELL-Kids-Reading-Fun-ebook/dp/B008NWZFJ8/

Donald Duck thought you and your child might really enjoy it.

Donald Duck also had this to say about this fun and educational ebook:

“Hi Mark, Your son or daughter will really like this fun ebook. It\’s full of great jokes and very educational! Cheers, Donald Duck”

There it is.  The friend can just click on the link right from the email and be sent directly to the Amazon sales page for the book.

Here is the code for the web page. This page uses PHP version 5.5. The coding language PHP is more difficult to master than HTML. If you wish to create a web page like this and you are not strong with PHP, you’ll need to find someone who is.

I’ve removed all PHP security measures from the code below to keep it simple.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”&gt;
<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”&gt;
<head>
<meta content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ http-equiv=”Content-Type” />
<title>Send a Link To a Friend</title>
<link href=”../CSS_Style_Sheets/excel_book.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” />
</head>
<body style=”background-color: #000080″>
<div align=”center”>
<p></p>
<div>
<div style=”background-color: #FFFFFF;      border: medium solid #FF0000; padding: 10px; margin: 10px; width: 500px”>
<?php  #  Script email.php
//          Check for form submission
if (isset($_POST[‘submitted’]))
{          //          Minimal form validation
if (!empty($_POST[‘name’]) &&
!empty($_POST[’email’]) &&
!empty($_POST[‘youremail’]) &&
!empty($_POST[‘comments’]) )
{          //          Create the body
$name = $_POST[‘name’];
$comments = $_POST[‘comments’];
$subject = “{$name} Sends a Link About an eBook Your Child Will Like”;
$body = “Your friend {$name} recommends this eBook – Happy’s the Clown’s TAP-N-SPELL 145 Fun Animals Flashcard eBook:\n\n http://www.amazon.com/TAP-N-SPELL-Kids-Reading-Fun-ebook/dp/B008NWZFJ8/ \n\n{$_POST[‘name’]} thought you and your child might really enjoy it.\n\n{$name} also had this to say about this fun and educational ebook:\n\n\”{$comments}\””;
//          Limit length to 200 characters
$body = wordwrap($body, 200);
//          Send the email
$email2 = $_POST[’email’] ;
$youremail = $_POST[‘youremail’] ;
mail($email2,
$subject, $body,
“From: {$youremail}”);
//          Print a message
echo ‘<p></p><p><em><strong><span style=”background-color:#FFFF00″>Thank you for emailing the link to your friend.<br />
Your friend and child will really appreciate it.</span></strong></em><br /><br/>
f you would like to send this link to another friend, go right ahead below.<br/><br />
</p>’;
//          Clear $_POST so that the form is not sticky
$_POST = array();
}
else
{
echo ‘<p style=”font-weight: bold;
color:#C00″>Please fill out the
form completely.<br />
Sorry but something was missing.</p>’;
}
}          //          End of main isset() IF
//          Create the HTML form
?>
<p>
<img alt=”Happy the Clown’s TAP-N-SPELL Flashcard eBook” height=”200″ longdesc=”Happy the Clown’s TAP-N-SPELL Flashcard eBook”
src=”../Images/Email_Pages/Clown_5_Bending_Right_White_Background_149_200.jpg” width=”149″ /></p>
<p style=”color:blue; font-size:x-large” > You enjoyed Happy the Clown’s<br />TAP-N-SPELL Flashcard E-book.<br />
Why not send a link to the Amazon page to your<br />
friend with children so they can enjoy it too?<br />
<br />Send the link right from here:</p>
<p style=”font-family:arial” ><strong>Fill In Your Name, Your Friend’s Email Address and Yours,<br />
Add a Comment, and Send the Link.<br />Your Friend Will<br />
Really Appreciate It.</strong></p>
<form action=”” method=”post”>
<p>Your Name:<br />
<input type=”text” name=”name” size=”30″
maxlength=”60″ value=”<?php if (isset($_POST[‘name’]))
echo $_POST[‘name’]; ?>” />
</p>
<p>Your Friend’s Email Address:<br />
<input type=”text” name=”email” size=”30″
maxlength=”60″ value=”<?php if (isset($_POST[’email’]))
echo $_POST[’email’]; ?>” />
</p>
<p>Your Email Address:<br />
<input type=”text” name=”youremail” size=”30″
maxlength=”60″ value=”<?php if (isset($_POST[‘youremail’]))
echo $_POST[‘youremail’]; ?>” />
</p>
<p style=”color: navy; font-size: 1em; font-weight: bold; text-align: center; font-style: italic”>We respect your email privacy.</p>
<p>Your Comments:<br />
<textarea name=”comments” rows=”5″
cols=”30″><?php if (isset($_POST[‘comments’]))
echo $_POST[‘comments’]; ?>
</textarea>
</p>
<p>
<input type=”submit” name=”submit” value=”Send!” />
</p>
<p>
<input type=”hidden” name=”submitted” value=”TRUE” />
</p>
</form>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

I definitely recommend using bit.ly–shortened links whenever possible. In addition to being easier to remember if a person needs to go somewhere else to use the Internet, bit.ly also tracks how many people have clicked on the shortened link so you’ll know very quickly if you’re getting a lot of click-throughs.

The above adds just one extra page to your ebook, but what a worthwhile page !

ePub Marketing – How Do I Set Up and Sell My eBook On My Own Site With ClickBank?

If you have written a book and also maintain a web site or blog focused on the same topic as your book, you may have a match made in heaven. You can monetize all that traffic to your site or blog if you can entice some percentage of your visitors to purchase your book. You could send interested prospects to your Amazon sales page but I suggest you close the sale right there on your site.

I’ve been selling my eBooks from my web site: http://excelmasterseries.com/  and my blog: http://blog.excelmasterseries.com/ a lot longer than I’ve been selling eBooks with Amazon Kindle. It has been a profitable undertaking for me because eBook sales from my web site is my second largest cash flow stream behind Amazon combined sales (Kindle  plus hardcopy print-on-demand units sold). The blog article written right before this one discusses the Pros and Cons of selling from you own web site using ClickBank for payment processing. This blog article discusses  how to set up your web site and account with ClickBank so you can sell your eBooks directly to visitors on your site.

First of all, what is ClickBank?

ClickBank was founded in 1998 and is a secure online retail outlet for more than 50,000 digital products and 100,000 active affiliate marketers. ClickBank makes a sale somewhere in the world every three seconds, safely processing more than 35,000 digital transactions a day. They serve more than 200 countries, and are consistently ranked as one of the most highly-trafficked sites on the web. ClickBank is privately held with offices in Broomfield, Colorado and Boise, Idaho and is a subsidiary of Keynetics Inc.

For me, ClickBank is my payment processor.

Visitors who purchase an eBook from my web site will go through this purchase and payment process with ClickBank:

1. A site or blog visitor arrives on one of my product sales pages: http://excelmasterseries.com/ClickBank/Students/Student_Excel_Master.php 

2. If the visitor clicks a purchase link on the above sales page, he or she would be directed to a ClickBank order form for the specific product Here is the ClickBank order form for the product in the sales page above: http://31.solvermark.pay.clickbank.net

3. When the visitor completes the order form, ClickBank processes the credit card or Paypal payment. As soon as the payment is approved, ClickBank redirects the visitor (now a customer!) back to the product download page on my web site. My product download page has links to  download the eBook in three formats (.pdf, .epub, and .mobi) and links to download free e-readers  for each format (Adobe Reader for .pdf, Adobe Digital Editions for .epub, and the mobipocket reader for .mobi). I also provide my book in the .lit format but I don’t count .lit as a valid format any more because Microsoft has discontinued servicing that format. The following four consecutive images below show what the download page for this product looks like:

  

 

Download Page on My Web Site For a Product Sold Using ClickBank As The Payment Processor

 

There is really not much to setting your web site up with ClickBank to process payments for the sale of your digital downloadable products. After you have set up a vendor account with ClickBank and created your digital products, you are immediately ready to begin selling those products through ClickBank.

Setting up ClickBank to Perform Payment Processing For a Digital Product Involves Just the Few Following Steps:

1. On your web site, create a sales page and a download page for each product, similar to what is shown above.

2. Log into your ClickBank account

3. Go To Account Settings / My Products / Add New Product

4. Provide the name of the new product and a brief description. Finally, provide the URL of the sales page and download page (called the Thank You page by ClickBank).

That’s all there is to it. There are guidelines that must be followed when creating the sales and download pages. These guidelines can be found on the ClickBank site.

When a sale is made….

When a sales is made, ClickBank will immediately send an email to me with contact information for my new customer. I will then send the new customer a personalized thank-you email right away (nearly always that day). This has enabled me to start a number of deep relationships with my customers. It also goes a long way in reducing the number of refunds requested. In the two-and-a-half years I’ve been selling through ClickBank, I’ve only had a handful of refund requests and I believe the personal follow-up emails are a big part of that.

ClickBank charges 7.5% of each sale, plus $1. That’s a lot less than Amazon Kindle and Lightning Source charge. I gross 35% of the retail price of each Kindle eBook sold and about 30% of the retail price of a print-on-demand hardcopy sold from Amazon. Each eBook sold from my web site through ClickBank grosses me between 85% and 90% of my retail price.

ClickBank send out electronic payments three weeks after a sale is made. My payments have always been prompt and correct.

ClickBank is also one of the largest affiliate companies. You can drop your digital products into their affiliate network. I have not done so because I feel that my information products are not well-suited for sales through affiliates.

I’ve been using ClickBank for quite a while and I am a big fan of theirs. I especially like ClickBank’s ability to smoothly process payments from every corner of the world. I can’t recall every having had a problem with that aspect of ClickBank.
 
I like to use Paypal’s convenient invoicing system if I want to send an invoice through email for a service such as converting a book to epub format. For downloadable digital products however, ClickBank payment processing can’t be beat.

ePub Marketing – What Are the Pros and Cons of Selling Your eBook From Your Own Web Site With ClickBank?

Many self-published authors can create a strong and dependable cash flow stream by selling their eBooks from the own web site. I sell my eBooks from my web site/blog using ClickBank as the payment processor and the results have been very good. My web site/blog has now become my second largest source of book sales behind Amazon. The purpose of this blog article is to provide a list of pros and cons of selling your own eBooks from your own web site with ClickBank as your payment processor based on my own experiences of having done it for a few years.

Here are the Pros of selling your own eBooks from your own web site using ClickBank as the payment processor:

1. Top reason, the money! Every eBook you sell from your web site is nearly 100% profit to you, with a small payment to the payment processing company (ClickBank in my case). Amazon Kindle Direct doesn’t get to keep 65%. Barnes and Nobles doesn’t get to keep 50%. The print-on-demand company doesn’t get any of the loot either. The money is all mine, mine, mine! Downloadable information products such as eBooks are perhaps the most profitable thing that can be sold on the Internet. Every part of the sale can be completely automated and the overhead is negligible.

2. The payments from ClickBank are weekly. Everyone else pays monthly. The payments are electronically deposited and I’m happy to get them every week.

3. ClickBank payments are sent out much more promptly than any of my other sources of online sales. For example, Amazon Kindle Direct pays out at the end of the second month after sales are made. Lightning Source pays out at the end of the third month after any print-on-demand hardcopy sales are made. ClickBank pays out three weeks after sales are made.
 
4. ClickBank combined with my web site expands my global sales much wider than Amazon does. At least a third of the eBooks I sell from my web site are sold outside of the US.  You can take a look at the customer testimonials of one of my books to get an idea of how wide-spread sales can be from your own web site: http://excelmasterseries.com/ClickBank/Students/Student_Excel_Master.php None of the well-known online book stores seem to have a strong presence outside of the US. My own Amazon eBook sales from outside the US are a small fraction of my US-based Amazon sales. My ClickBank sales come from every corner in the world.

5. ClickBank can handle credit card or PayPal payments in just about any currency and from any location. I don’t deal with any aspects of payment processing for sales from my own web site. ClickBank has been a very satisfactory, cheap, turn-key, multi-national payment processing solution.

6. Second top reason – ClickBank sends me contact information (name, email address, and location) of every customer who makes a sale from my web site as soon as the sale is made. This is HUGE! Every time I make a sale from my web site, I email that customer a personal note thanking them for the sale. I also try to mention something nice and interesting about where the customers lives. These emails are usually sent out within a few hours of each sale. The customers are delighted to get a surprise personal email from the eBook’s author right after the sale is made. I have been able to create a quite a few very close relationships with my customers that all started with that one follow-up email. I also have a large email list of every customer whoever purchased from my web site. Is any of that possible when selling eBooks through an online book store? Nope. Amazon and B&N aren’t about to give up their customer lists.

7. When I sell my eBooks from my own web site, I can sell in any format. Amazon Kindle eBooks are all .mobi. B&N (and most other online book stores) sell .ePub eBooks. Several online book stores, such as the Google book store, provide downloads in the .pdf format. If you purchase any eBook from my web site, you get all three types of downloads at no extra charge.

8. When you sell from your own web site, you can include extra bonuses with each purchase as an extra incentive to make the purchase.  If you click on this link once again:  http://excelmasterseries.com/ClickBank/Students/Student_Excel_Master.php and scroll down the page a bit, you’ll see the extra bonus e-manual that I provide each customer. Certainly this extra bonus e-manual was the right nudge that turned at least a few fence-sitters into customers. To my knowledge, Amazon does not provide authors with the ability to offer bonus eBooks. That might be an effective sales tool for Amazon.

9. Selling eBooks on your web site through ClickBank allows you to create a very personal download page. When a customer’s payment is successfully processed, ClickBank directs the customer back to a download page that is on your web site. Your download page provides you with all kinds of great opportunities, such as upselling and writing a personal message to the customer. You have nothing of the kind going on with Amazon.

10. Unlike Amazon browsers, your web site visitors will not be shown eBooks that compete with yours. I’ve always wondered how Amazon customers who were just about to buy one of my books changed their mind at the last second as a result of being shown something else by Amazon?

There are more Pros that could be added to the list, but we should also discuss the Cons as well. I have found selling my eBooks from my own web site through ClickBank to be overall very worthwhile, but every good thing has downside.

Here are the Cons of selling your own eBooks from you own web site:

1. Your web site sale cannibalize your Amazon sales. The more units that one of your books sells on Amazon, the higher Amazon will rank that book in its search engine. The higher your book come up during Amazon searches, the more you will sell. Instead of making a sale on my web site, I could direct interested prospects to the Amazon sales page of the same eBook. If I did that, I certainly would have higher Amazon sales right now. Selling my eBooks from my web site no doubt has reduced my Amazon sales. How much, I’ll never know.

2. It’s a LOT of work put together an effective selling web site. I put my whole site together myself: http://excelmasterseries.com/ but I bet I would have saved myself an enormous amount of work if had I simply used a template available for such a  web site. You need to have pretty good graphic design skills and along with solid HTML, CSS, and PHP knowledge to do it yourself. You could hire someone to do it for you, but that’s not cheap.

3. If your works are nonfiction, you’ll need a blog, I believe. Nonfiction writers need to establish themselves as experts in their field and blogs are a perfect tool to quickly do this. Blogs are excellent traffic builders. Google loves a site with a blog because blogs normally provide up-to-date, relevant information on a topic. You can place a sales form right in your blog, as I do in mine here:  http://blog.excelmasterseries.com/  In case you are interested, the Excel Master Series blog is a Blogger blog and the blog that you are now reading is a WordPress blog, just so you can see the differences. The downside of a blog – It is also a LOT of work to regularly write good articles. Before you begin a blog, you’ll need to make sure that you have a passion for the topic and won’t run out of material after 10 articles. You can install analytics (I use Google Analytics) into your blog to find out how many of your sales are coming directly from blog visitors.  You will probably find you blog to be an excellent source of direct eBook sales, but, once again, it’s a LOT of work to maintain a blog.

4. Sales from your site are totally dependant upon the traffic to the site. You need to become a good Internet marketer to generate that traffic. Becoming a competent Internet marketer is a long road filled with countless fruitless, frustrating dead ends. I can’t tell you how many “sure things” that I’ve tried which didn’t move the traffic needle even a blip. It’s hard to predict what will work and what won’t. Sometimes only one out of five things you’ll try will bring more traffic. I haven’t hit a get-rich-quick speed bump yet in my pursuit of Internet marketing wealth. I know I’m a lot better at it than I was a few years ago, but each step forward usually came after a couple steps back. Generating substantial Internet traffic to your site is a long-term proposition involving a LOT of work.

So, there you have it. The Pros and Cons of selling eBooks from your own web site, based on my experiences of doing so. At the end of the day, selling my eBooks from my own site has been a profitable and worthwhile endeavor, but not the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

ePub Marketing – Should You Sell Your eBooks Directly or Use a Third-Party Aggregator?

In theory, third-party aggregators should be the most efficient way to sell your eBooks. You just submit your eBook to a third-party aggregator with the a large network of online retail partners (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Apple iTunes Book Store, etc.)  and that’s it! The third-party aggregator places your eBook into its network of online retail partners and handles all details from start-to-finish. At the end of the day, you receive a royalty check from the third-party aggregator for cumulative sales from the entire network.

In theory, sounds great. The reality tells a different story. I tried a third-party aggregator for a while and I would not do it again. I heartily recommend going direct to each major online book store and not doing it indirectly through a third-party. Here is the experience that I had using a third-party aggregator:

I use a company called Lightning Source to create all hardcopy, print-on-demand versions of my books and all of my clients’ books. Lightning Source does an outstanding job at POD and also has the largest network of online retail partners through which your hardcopies will be sold. Lightning Source is a third-party aggregator for POD hardcopies and they are the best in the business. I wouldn’t use anyone else.

Lightning Source is also a third-party aggregator for eBooks. A while back, I was considering using a third-party aggregator for my eBooks. At the time I was already selling my eBooks directly through Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble. Lightning Source was also doing a great job as the third-party aggregator for hardcopy, POD versions of all of my books. Lightning Source seemed to be the logical choice to be the third-party aggregator for my eBooks as well, so I signed on the dotted line.

The experience didn’t go as well as I expected. I don’t want this blog article to be a knock on Lightning Source’s eBook distribution services because I really thought their service on this end of the business was quite professional and prompt. They probably do this as well as or better than anyone. Lightning Source is an outstanding company and I’m one of their biggest advocates. The main purpose of this blog article is to highlight the general issues that will occur anytime you use a third-party aggregator to distribute your eBooks.

Here are the issues that occurred during my experiences with a third-party aggregator which convinced me to go direct from here on out:

1. No Control Over Prices – You do not have control over the retail prices that your eBooks will be sold at throughout the third-party aggregator’s network of retail partners. Invariably some of the network partners will sell your eBook at a large discount. This will wreck your profits with Amazon. Amazon will set its retail price of your eBook based upon the lowest price that your book is sold anywhere else. You will then be paid your 35% or 70% Kindle royalty based upon that discounted price that your eBooks are now selling at on Kindle.

2. Retail Discounting Will Wipe Out Your Amazon Kindle Profits – You have no way to stop the above discounting of your eBooks except to completely remove your eBook out of the third-party aggregator’s distribution. Believe it or not, this is no easy thing to do. When my eBooks where being sold through Lightning Source’s network, they wound up being sold at a huge discount at the Borders online book store before Borders went out of business. Amazon Kindle Direct reduced the prices of all of my Kindle eBooks to match Borders prices. It quickly became apparent to me that Lightning Course could not control how Borders priced my eBooks. The only solution was to pull all of my eBooks from Lightning Source. That I did. It was definitely not an instantaneous shut-down. My eBooks remained in Borders’ online store for quite a while afterward. I had to make a number of requests to Lightning Source to get my eBooks out of Borders. It seemed to me that Lightning Source did not have firm control over their eBook retail partner network. I had a lot lower royalty payments from Kindle during that time than I would have if my eBooks had not been discounted. Amazon is the Big Dog. If you take care of the Big Dog, the Big Dog will take care of you.

3. No Sales Tracking – You have no idea where your eBook sales are coming from. As a marketer, I don’t like having no idea where my sales are coming from. Also, there was always in the back of my mind a sneaky little suspicion asking whether I was really being paid for all sales. How would I know if I wasn’t? I wouldn’t. I totally believe that Lightning Source completely on the up-and-up, but you will always be wondering whether you’re being paid for all of your sales if your eBook is being sold through a third-party aggregator.

4. Loss of Cover Images – Your front cover image won’t always make it out to all of the retailers in the third-party aggregator’s network. No one will buy an eBook online that does not have a cover image. That issue happened to me with Kobo. Kobo was one of Lightning Source’s third-party network partners. The cover images for all of my eBooks somehow did not make it from Lightning Source to Kobo. My eBooks were being sold on Kobo without cover images. I contacted both Lightning Source and Kobo repeatedly but it never got fixed.
 
5. No Control Period – Even though I have shut down all eBook sales  with Lightning Source’s third-party aggregator service months ago, my eBooks are apparently still be sold through them. I receive a little payment for eBook sales from Lightning Source every month. The amount is negligible, normally between $50 and $100, and it’s nice to get, BUT….. it worries me that they have that little control over their network that they cannot stop the sales of my eBooks at my request (actually, my repeated requests).

So, there you have it – my unvarnished experience with a third-party aggregator. Once again, this is not a knock at Lightning Source. They have all of my POD business and they’re great at it. With eBooks however, I highly recommend going direct with each major online book store. One of the most enjoyable parts of my day is to log on to the online retail books stores to see the latest eBook sales. Why deny yourself that pleasure? Go direct with the online book stores you can count your new money every day as well.

ePub Marketing – How To Use the Amazon Kindle Book Lending Program To Make More Sales

When you upload a new eBook to Kindle at 35% royalty, you are given the option to enroll your eBook in the Kindle Book Lending program. All Kindle eBooks sold with 70% royalty are automatically enrolled in the Kindle Book Lending program. If your eBook is in the 35% royalty category, I suggest enrolling the eBook in the Kindle Book Lending program because it can help increase sales.

Check the Kindle Book Lending Program Option When Uploading an eBook To Amazon Kindle

Check the Kindle Book Lending Program Option When Uploading an eBook To Amazon Kindle

 Before we discuss how you can use the Kindle Book Lending program to increase sales, here are the major details about the program:

– The Kindle Book Lending program enables customers who have purchased your book to lend the book to friends for 14 days.

– You, the author/self-publisher do not receive any royalties and are not notified when your eBook is lent.

– You, the author/self-publisher may also lend your eBook, but only once.

Here are a couple of great reasons why the Kindle Book Lending program helps your sales:

– Lending your book is a strong endorsement of your book.  A testimonial by a friend is the best testimonial that your eBook can ever be given.

– The Kindle Book Lending program can be thought of as another free marketing channel, and a very powerful one at that. The Kindle Book Lending program provides an easy way for an enthusiastic reader of your book to become a public advocate of your works. Ever lent a book to a friend? You’ve probably only done that for book that you really liked. Lending a book to a friend is nothing short of a ringing endorsement of that book. That’s exactly what you want for your eBooks.

– Contrary to the way it may at first seem, the Kindle Book Lending program will not cannibalize your sales. Most likely the people who are borrowing your book would not otherwise have had contact with it. They would therefore probably never have had the opportunity to purchase the book.

Here’s how you can use the Kindle Book Lending program to increase the sales of your eBook:

– Write more books! The Kindle Book Lending Program enables your best advocates to pass out tasty samples your works on toothpicks to their hungry friends. After they’ve had a nibble, they’ll want more. Got more?

– Make it easy for the borrowers to buy your other works. Place links to the Amazon sales pages of your other works prominently and liberally throughout all of your eBooks. I also sell my eBooks from my web site and here is an example of how I place a link to a sales page in my eBooks:

Linking To Your Sales Page on Your Web Site Inside Your Kindle eBook

Linking To Your Sales Page on Your Web Site Inside Your Kindle eBook

– Tell everyone how great your other books are! Place testimonials about your other works prominently in your Kindle eBook. If you are good at CSS, you can create a real nice testimonial page such as: 

Placing Reader Reviews of Your Other Books Prominently In Your Kindle eBook

Placing Reader Reviews of Your Other Books Prominently In Your Kindle eBook

These are just a few of the countless ways you can use the Kindle Book Lending program to introduce new customers to your other works, and make more sales. You are limited only by your imagination.

ePub Marketing – Which Online Book Stores Will Produce the Highest Sales For You?

A question that just about every author who has written an eBook asks is, “Which online book stores should I sell my eBook in?”

I can answer that question with this question: ”Where do you buy books online?” Note that the question was not “Where do you buy eBooks online?” Book buyers like to shop for books and eBooks from the same place online. The reason is that an online book store which sells both hardcopies and eBooks will have larger selection than a store that sells only hardcopies or only eBooks. The convenience of a one-stop shop that has everything is huge.

If you were asked, “Where do you shop for books online?” Most likely your answer would be, “Amazon.” Many people might search in one or two other online book stores besides Amazon, but Amazon is generally a first stop for most people. It is also the last and only stop for most online book buyers as well.

Amazon is, therefore, where you should focus your selling efforts for your eBooks. Amazon is the big dog. The rest – all of them – are much smaller players. I’m sure this blog article might generate some flaming replies but I call ‘em like I see ‘em.

Here are the main reasons that Amazon owns the online book store space and will only grow more dominant in the future:

1) Amazon has been in the game the longest. They now have the largest volume of book-buying traffic by far.

2) Amazon has almost become the generic term for online book store. If someone suggests that you buy a certain book online, they would probably say without thinking too much, “Buy it on Amazon” not “Buy it at the Apple iTunes book store.”

3) Amazon has done the best job at creating convenience. Convenience is major factor in choosing an online shopping venue. Amazon’s buying process is the easiest of all the online book stores. Amazon has even streamlined the purchase process down to “One-Click” for repeat buyers. Amazon’s book selection is the widest. Today’s online buyers are simply not willing to spend time evaluating many alternatives if they can get a good product with good reviews at a reasonable price quickly.

4) Amazon’s product review system blows the rest of the competition out of the water. Everyone, and I mean everyone, checks out Amazon book reviews before they buy a book on Amazon. No other online book store has a review system that can touch Amazon’s. That trust factor that Amazon’s unvarnished and comprehensive book review system creates is an unbeatable and growing advantage for Amazon. Amazon has made social media its most powerful selling tool.

There is no reason not to sell your eBooks in other online book stores besides Amazon. Just make sure that your focus is on Amazon. What I mean by that is the following:

– Use Amazon to determine your correct price point. Amazon has the most online book store traffic by far. You’ll find out most quickly what works and what doesn’t.

– Focus your effort on getting Amazon book reviews. Reviews can make or break your book. Amazon’s product review system is miles ahead of the competitions and creates a trust factor among online book buyers that can’t be beat.

– Direct book buyers to your product page on Amazon before you send anyone to another online book store.

The online book store industry is starting to undergo a shakeout similar to the search engine industry’s shake-out over ten years ago. You might remember when there were many popular search engines. Now there is Google and everyone else. There is not even a close number two. Yahoo and Bing combined have just a fraction of the search traffic that Google has.

Google’s dominance has forced other search engines move to niches in order to survive. The same will happen to the online book store industry. Other online book stores that do not effectively differentiate themselves from Amazon will eventually follow Borders out of business.

The shakeout is on! Focus your online eBook selling efforts on Amazon. There is nothing wrong with being in the other online book stores, but Amazon is where you need to make it.