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Ebook Answers #4 – Will my Ebook Sell?

Among all the questions that I’m receiving on my blog about ebooks, probably the most important one is this one. Because without this question — and a good answer — not much else matters. Bob wrote… "First, thanks for the info in your e-mail and, yes, I would like a copy of your template(s). I […]

Among all the questions that I’m receiving on my blog about ebooks, probably the most important one is this one.

Because without this question — and a good answer — not much else matters. Bob wrote…

"First, thanks for the info in your e-mail and, yes, I would like a copy of your template(s).

I have a wide background in business and usually have no trouble writing but how do you find a topic that will really draw interest?"

Well, Bob, I wish more people would ask that question before sitting down to write (and then writing me for help) because everything — ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING — becomes easier once you answer this questions properly.

* Your title pretty much writes itself, and speaks DIRECTLY to your prospect.

* The ebook content becomes CLEAR to you, so writing the entire book becomes EASY.

* Almost all of the hard marketing work is already done, because you know exactly who to market to, who NOT to market to, and who’s going to buy your book.

And lots of questions never need to be asked, like…

"Why isn’t anyone buying my book?"

(That’s pretty much the worst one!)

Okay, so how DO you pick the right topic.

Well, my friend John Carlton has a way to put it. But I warn you, he’s not a subtle guy. John is one of the best copywriters in the world — and a mentor of mine — so he knows a thing or two about what makes things sell, offline or online.

So what I learned from John is this image.

(Again, I warn you, this is graphic.)

What you’re looking for is a customer with a bleeding neck.

Why?

Because a guy with a bleeding neck doesn’t ask the price, he doesn’t ask about tiny little insignificant details of the procedure…he just wants to stop the bleeding, and he wants it done NOW!

I warned you…it was graphic. But it illustrates the point.

So let’s use "bleeding neck" as a metaphor. What it really means is an urgent need that a customer MUST have satisfied NOW.

The urgency doesn’t have to come from a life and death situation.

* It can be a financial situation — either to make money or to save money.
* It could be a quality of life issue — like if you save someone some time, and show them how to do something faster.
* It can be a health issue — can you somehow decrease your reader’s pain?
* It could be something in the pursuit of pleasure or fun — Hobby ebooks make millions every year.

If you think about the customer you’re planning on writing your book for, does he have a bleeding neck? Is there some sense of urgency? Is there a burning need or desire inside of him?

If not, would it be difficult to create one?

The question to ask yourself, before you write your ebook, is WHY would someone buy this book?

And your next step, right after that, is to Title your book in a way that instantly communicates the major benefit you’re going to deliver.

Copywriters spend dozens of hours — sometimes days or weeks — coming up with a headline for their sales letter. Authors, who don’t often think of themselves as marketers, seldom put as much time into their book’s titles.

But I think you should.

If you want to share your topic idea — and you CAN do that without giving away all your content — then go ahead and leave a comment below. And feel free to ask other readers if they’d buy a book about your topic. And propose a title and ask for feedback.

I think you’ll be surprised at the answers you get.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. Last week, I set up a download page for my ebook template. So far, exactly 663 aspiring ebook authors have downloaded it, and you can get it too, free of course.

Here’s the link to download it: http://www.BigBucksEbook.com/freetemplate

All I ask is that you tell me your MOST IMPORTANT ebook question. Leave it as a comment below, no matter how basic or complicated it might be. And I’ll do my best to answer it for you.

Okay?

Go get the template now.

(Oh, and by the way, simply requesting the template will be worth about $50 to you…I’ll tell you how in a day or two.)

-M
 

21 replies on “Ebook Answers #4 – Will my Ebook Sell?”

How important is (visual) design in producing an ebook. I like to lay out my work attractively, with fonts and spacing that make things easy to read, and taking care over the positioning of quotes and illustrations. It offends my eye to see the very basic layout that many people adopt. But am I wasting my time in making things look attractive rather than ‘good enough to read’?

I have a friend who has asked for some marketing help. He is a ‘master professional’ golfer, which is a large step up from the pro at your local club.

He is one of only 22 Master Golf Professionals in the history of the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association (CPGA), Mr. Schurman has spent more than 40 years teaching the finer points of the game and has likely instructed more than 10,000 people from across the country.

Long story short… he has written a draft report (close to 50 pages) on perfecting your golf swing and would like to market it as an ebook and hard cover book.

He also has figured out a way to analyze anyones golf swing and make corrections via email using a few photos of the golfer.

With all of the competition in the golf ‘niche’, would a new book on this topic sell?

What would be a good title?

Bruce

Bruces last blog post..Feb 2, Ask "Am I this…or that"

Bruce,
One of the great things about the golf niche is that there are very PASSIONATE people who love the game, and by and large they have the MEANS TO PAY for your information.
Golf is not unique that way.
And neither would a book about “How to play better golf.”
A book like that would be lost among thousands of others.
What you want to look for, then, is a niche you can dominate. For example, let’s say that there is something in your Pro’s method that makes it possible to swing the club with less effort, yet send the ball further down the fairway.
Is that better for players with Arthritis? Joint problems? Seniors?
The trick for you, Bruce, is to come up with a concept or system that is designed to solve a particular problem that a particular set of people have. Once you do that, the title will write itself.
And so will the sales page headline.
Yes, there’s room in the golf market. But not if you try to tackle it all at once.
-Mark

Hi Mark,

I’ve never written an e-book or anything else for that matter, except for articles and website content of course.

I want to personally thank you for providing the template and let you know that I used it to create my free special report on my capture page. It is a great template and has given me the inspiration to create more.

I’m wondering, is there a good freeware application for creating book covers or some other application I can use for this task?

Thanks for all that you are doing for us,

Tom

Oh, BTW we live pretty close to you, we are up in Paradise/Chico area, small world, eh?

My title is chosen. The book is written. I’m waiting on a programmer to create my Landing Page(s) from copy I have written.

My book is actually a reference volume on social media marketing that discusses best practices for everything Web 2.0 with links to third party software and applications for getting the job done. It is truly one of a kind and I’m very excited to be able to offer it.

Actually, I didn’t start the project with an eBook in mind. I was trying to organize all the information I had gathered as I launched my own information hub. About halfway through the project, I realized I had the bones of a useful reference book.

Elaines last blog post..Jan 30, PPC Web Spy

I have developed a system of debt elimination that teaches someone how to get out of debt, INCLUDING THEIR MORTGAGE, in 7 years or less, using just their CURRENT INCOME. It will work for everyone because it is based on a mathematical formula.

The proposed ebook title is “Creditor Zapper – Zap your creditors like aliens in a video game.”

What do you think? Is the topic relevant? Does the title grab you?

Bill Kellers last blog post..Affiliate Marketing: Solid Opportunity… or Hype?

Hello Bill.
Creditor zapper? video games?
No, the name doesn’t grab me at all.
The topic, though, is EXTREMELY timely.
And even though it might work well for everyone, I recommend you niche it somewhat.
For example…
“If you make less than $50,000 a year, and have a mortgage of over $100,000…”
Now, that includes a LOT of people, but they’d instantly SELF-SELECT themselves into your group.
Of course, you can also explain how if you have an income over $50,000 … or even over $100,000… your debt would be eliminated faster. But target the best qualified of your prospects, whoever they are.
And as for your title and subtitle, I don’t think the image works well. You’re sending your prospects minds into outer space, where science fiction and fantasy live. And if I’m not mistaken, you want them to believe your solution is REAL.
So, I’d go for something down to earth, and less clever.
To Your Success,
–Mark

Thanks for all your terrific tips, Mark! I love the ebook template!

I’m working on a monthly program to help small business employers reduce their costs and boost their income by upgrading their employees: hiring better employees; training and developing current employees, so they perform better. I’m thinking of three possible titles for my sales page. Please give me an idea of which one grabs you more. This may also become my USP…
* Better Employees, Better Business
* Improve Your Employees, Improve Your Business
* Stronger Employees, Stronger Business

Finally, Bill: I like the sounds of your system and I like your title. I would buy your book.

Ruby

Rubys last blog post..9 Steps Before You Hire

Ruby,
Are you familiar with the book “TopGrading”?
It’s about the same topic as yours, and was very successful.
So am I saying there’s no room for your book? Not at all. There’s plenty. But let’s examine one small part of why that book was successful.
Top Grading is more than just a book…it’s a concept. When people discuss the author’s advice, they talk about topgrading their businesses.
It became a verb.
Here’s the subtitle: “How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People”
I frankly think they could have done better.
I just want to encourage you to do the same.
(And please send me a review copy! I’ve got 100 emails about my unpaid intern position I’ve got to fill, and want to fill it with the best candidate possible.)
Is there a concept spelled out in your book?
Have you named the concept?
–Mark

Mark:
I am in the process of editing an ebook (the first in a series of four). Most of these books I have decided upon on the basis of content. The first one, the core one, on which the others are based,(even after 50 pages–two chapters deleted) is perhaps still too long.

It is about 210 pages on my computer screen –8 X 11.5 page side.

Is it still too long? The chapters are cohesive–it works thematically– but I’m concerned about the length for download as an Ebook. It will also be published as a regular book.
And I want to use it laterv as a monthly chapter combined with chapters from the other books as a big course.

I WILL be able to separtate some individual chapters and make them available as reports, etc. Thank you.

Frank,
Let me ask you a question:
What seems like a better deal to a buyer?
a) An ebook
or
b) an ebook and 3 bonus ebooks…one about how to get ready to do X, and two on ways to make X go further.
Which do you pick?
One of the concepts I teach is how to create bonuses…sometimes from nothing.
And I gotta tell you, Frank, that 210 pages is an opportunity to create bonuses.
Trim the concept of your ebook to the core, and break off the leading and trailing chapters as individual ebooks, guides, action plans, and so on.
You’ll sell more.
–Mark

Hi, Mark. I appreciate your flow of information. I always learn something of value.

I have written a 130 page book which is now a downloadable PDF, on how to plan your own wedding. I have been told by examiners and proofers that the book is everything you think you oght to know about planning a wedding, and a multitude of things one will never think of. I believe its value is there.

I have also been told that there is a good flow of simple humor that enhances the feel of the ebook. I believe that from the feedback I have had, there won’t be many “money-back-returns.”

I have swept up and down in my evaluation of how much to charge. When I can save people sometimes thousands of dollars, and also add concepts of value and appreciation to the wedding day, what can I charge for this product? I have gone around with this, ending up trying from $29.95 to %5.95. I have to come to terms with this. The Inernet is so strange a marketplace, I just want to the book to sell. A small piece of a wide river is better than a big piece of a trickling brook.

I would love to hear anything that you might suggest.

Thanks, Rev. Roland Takaoka
Author, – “Your Dream Wedding”

Your emails have come at the perfect time. I just launched my first ebook. You can find it at the website I just gave. I would like to know what is the easiest way to market it to makes money fast? Is there such an easy, fast method?

Hello Mark. I’ve enjoyed reading your articls lately and I was wondering if you offer any type of consulting. I’m having a very difficult time right now understanding why I’m not selling more ebooks. The peopl that have bought and read my book love it. I get a huge amount of free traffic because a major fiberglass pool manufacturer has a link to my site of of theirs(www.leisurepoolsusa.com) but yet I’m just not converting. I need your help!

Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for all your help! Much has changed since I discovered you…

I have an ebook on line but it’s attracting little attention – I’m looking forward to re-crafting it and the promotion to see if that can improve, and any help in either or both is most welcome.

Regards,

Jim.

Mark, Thanks for another AWESOME post! Your posts are unique and pose questions and answers that I have yet to see anyone else tackle! You discuss topics that ALL marketers think about, but just seem to let the thought pass and never fully address it. I have been saving all of your posts in full text in a folder, as I find them all VERY helpful! Thanks for posing the questions and answers for things that other people only think about, and never really address! LOVE YOUR WORK! Keep it up and THANK YOU!

Truly,
Melanie Joy Vertalino

Hi Mark,

You allready knows how I admire your teaching…:-)

My next E-book’s project is on its way.
How is the “MySchizomania – How To Defeat Your Schizophrenia In Ten Days” sounds Ok?

Thanks for everything,
–Ronen

hi there
Im writing an ebook on building a PC at home. Its a comprehensive step by step guide. I havent even thought about the name for the ebook and if it will sell. I suppose i would be happy with only a few sales a week. Can you give me any advise on what i should call my ebook.

Cheers Nick

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