File: DMNCOL25

Topic: DM News -- column #25

Date: 10-14-04

Approximate length: 900 words

Topic: E-book Marketing



16 ways to sell your e-book online


By Robert W. Bly



            I recently published an e-book, which I commissioned from another author, titled “Overcoming Infertility.” It is now available online at

            Being a total novice in e-book publishing and marketing, I asked subscribers to my e-zine, The Direct Response Letter (, for tips on how to market the new e-book I had just published.

            Here are 16 of their ideas I want to share with you now. Some are specific to e-books, while others obviously have applicability to selling a broad range of other products online:

            1. Many of my subscribers recommended Google AdWords, a pay per click advertising option, as the #1 way of driving traffic to the microsite selling the e-book. Perry Marshall has a system for using Google AdWords; see

            2. Create a Google AdWords account with groups of different ads, each having their own set of key words. The ad groups allow you to create multiple ads with slightly different wording in each ad. According to Thomas Myer, ad groups allow you to track which pairings of key words and ad copy get the best results … and you know this within a few hours of implementing the campaign.

            3. Put a large number of links on your site to other sites; this will boost your ratings in the search engines.

            4. Diane Eble recommended as a method of bypassing e-mail problems with spam filters.

            5. Have an affiliate program which allows other online marketers to sell your e-book for you and receive a 50% commission on every sale you make. Notify them by e-mail (using an autoresponder) every time they earn a commission on a sale they generate for you.

            6. Have a back-end product or product line for upselling customers once they buy your front-end e-book. 

            7. Nick Blaze and Craig Garber both recommend you include an audio message with a picture of the e-book author. Harlan Kilstein says audio messages on microsites and landing pages increases his sales.

            8. Both Nick and Harlan say that you should not put the order link at the top of your Web page. “Tests indicate that putting an order link at the top of your page allows the ‘tire kickers’ to check out your price without reading through your copy,” says Nick. “Don’t put a link to the order page on your microsite until after you have described the product benefits.” Adds Harlan, “You don’t want them clicking to the order page before they are sold on the product.”

            9. Frame testimonials in red on a yellow background. Make the order button red. “Don’t know why, but it has been tested to convert better,” says Nick. Marc Stockman advises adding a red, moving arrow that points to the order button to call attention to it.

            10. Market your book on Overture ( Says Greg Gibson, “It’s even possible to do title testing on Overture, to determine which title sells best.”

            11.  From Joel Heffner, this suggestion: provide a chapter of your e-book as a free sample, either on your Web site or as a free download.

            12. If a visitor to your microsite attempts to leave without ordering, serve him a pop-up window with a survey asking him why he is not buying. “That way you can get competitive intelligence as to why people are not buying, and you can address the top concerns immediately,” says Marc Stockman. He recommends using for this survey pop-up.

            13. Another way to capture e-mail addresses of visitors who come to your microsite but do not order your e-book is with a pop-up window offering either a free e-zine subscription or other free content, such as a free special report.

            14. Dan Swanson recommends that you find someone who already has an e-list reaching your target audience, and have them send a joint venture e-mail to their list which endorses your product. In exchange, they get 50% of every sale as an affiliate for your product.

            15. Dan also recommends conducting a viral marketing campaign. You create a small special report or other information premium, packed with great content that is compelling, as a downloadable PDF.

            The special report gets passed around from person to person on the Internet because it is easy to send (a small PDF) and it is free; you encourage people to take and share it.

            Within the special report are links to your microsite for an e-book you are selling on the same topic. When the report readers click on the link, they are brought to the microsite where you sell them on buying the e-book.

            Alternatively, you can send them to a Web page where they give you their e-mail address in exchange for requesting a second bonus report or other free bribe. This way you capture their contact information and can market your e-book to them through e-mail marketing messages.

            16. Sara Stambler recommends co-registrations as a way to capture names. When you register on a branded site (e.g.,, a pop-up window allows you to check additional offers you may be interested in. You pay to be one of the advertisers whose offer is featured in this pop-up window.

            Note: Co-regs work for capturing leads only and building an e-list of people interested in your product, topic, or offer. You cannot sell your e-book directly from a co-reg.

 About the author:

            Robert W. Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of 60 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha). His e-mail address is and his Web site address is