How to Market Your Ebook

You can spend $97 for a marketing book you find listed first when you Google the terms "How to Market Your E-book" or you can peruse these tips for free: I'm going to assume here that you wrote a good ebook, made sure it was edited for content and grammar and have uploaded it to several retail sites (e.g., Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes & Noble). Assuming that starting point, try the following.

1. Pay to have someone create a cover for your ebook that is graphic and eye-catching.

2. Write a succinct book AND author description for your e-book that includes keywords related to the subject of your ebook.

3. Upload a sample of your book to Wattpad, Scribd and other community reading sites to generate initial impressions and buzz.

4. Send free versions of your ebook to friends and ask them to write reviews for you on the retailer sites where you sell your ebook. (Note: Amazon is clamping down on this, but reviews still matter.)

5. Use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to announce your ebook for sale often. But remember to post interesting items not related to your book in-between your announcements.

6. Write a blog post about your ebook.

7. Submit your ebook to be reviewed on subject related websites and blogs.

8. Email your network of friends, relatives and colleagues to announce the book is on sale.

9. Include links to your ebooks on sale in your email signature block.

10. Mention your ebook on forums or community boards related to the subject of your book.

11. Set a competitive price for your ebook and then experiment with changing the price.

12. Create a video for your ebook. You can do a trailer or an author interview or even a making of the ebook video.

13. Timing. Release your ebook and grow its sales just before consumers traditionally expect it. For example, weight loss books are usually sold in January so if you were selling a weight loss book you'd want to get it out into the market a few weeks before New Year's Eve.

14. Offer incentives or give-aways to ebook purchasers.

15. Do a give-away on Goodreads (you just need an author account).

What am I missing? What have you done that's been effective?

My ebook: 20 Things I've Learned as an Entrepreneur

Banner Ads

After being immersed in the online advertising world for many years, I can't help but still notice developments in the space. This caught my eye: the IAB recently released new recommendations for banner ad sizes. The standard sizes used to be 728X90, 300X250 and 160X600. Now we're looking at even larger banner ads and more website real estate. See:

I'm not sure why the Bureau thinks going bigger will be better in this case. It's kind of like shouting louder to be understood.

Hypothetically Speaking

Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Baba Shiv, showed in a recent study, how "hypothetical questions don't merely measure our current attitudes: such questions can actually sway opinion and affect behavior." He explains the phenomenon of "push polls." This is when pollsters call up a voter and ostensibly asks for the voter's opinion but is really trying to push a viewpoint or agenda. The pollster can affect what a voter thinks about a candidate by posing hypothetical questions. The issue is these hypothetical questions bring up stereotypes in the voter's mind and can then taint what a voter thinks of a candidate.

"For example, if one of your stereotypes of politicians is that they're corrupt, then hearing a hypothetical question about a politician who took bribes will remind you of that stereotype, making you even less likely than before to vote for that politician in the near future."

Pretty sneaky, huh?

Why the Voice You Hear is Female

Ever wonder why most automated voices are female? Even that of Apple's Siri? This Atlantic article does a great job of breaking down some largely unacknowledged biases. From the article:

"In 1987, people didn't rely on their devices the way we do today. They didn't trust them as much. Apple needed to build that trust and wanted its then-imaginary personal assistant to project an air of competence. Natural choice? Manly avatar. But as people have gained confidence in their gadgets, the question for Apple has shifted from performance to likability. And that brings us to another point Nass makes: marketers have an easier time finding a universally likable female voice than a male one. This dovetails with the way stereotypes work; our prejudices make us dislike hearing a man go about secretarial work."

I think vs I feel

This question comes up a lot for users of gottaFeeling. What is a thought versus what is a feeling?

It's a complicated question but here's a shortcut: If you can substitute "I am" for "I feel", you have expressed a feeling. If you can substitute "I think" for "I feel", you have expressed a thought or a judgment. Said another way, when "feel" is followed by "that," "like," or "as" you are most likely expressing an opinion or thought, not feelings. For example, saying "I feel that you are not paying attention" is an observation, not a feeling.

Interestingly, a new research study out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business looks at the question from a marketing perspective, and it turns out which you use matters. You can see an abstract of the study here.