If you don’t have a blog yet for your online business, you should install one. They’re pretty easy to install, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to run one.
And, as a side benefit, if you get in the practice of writing in it frequently, it will make writing your ebook a LOT easier. In fact, some people just scoop up all of their blog posts and publish them all together as an ebook.
You gotta love THAT idea!
But one of the reason I love blogs is that I get to find out what YOU are thinking. We’ve been talking about ebooks a lot recently, and I received a comment to one of my posts today that is indicative of several others I’ve seen — as well as many emails I’ve received. Reverend Roland asks a question that is top-of-mind for most new ebook publishers because they’ve got NO IDEA what the answer is.
The Reverend writes…
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…<snip>
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 55.95. 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”
This question plagues a LOT of new authors, but I’d like to set your mind at ease about it. And that won’t be hard to do, because there’s something very different about pricing ebooks versus pricing regular books.
But first, let’s talk about the difference between value and price.
Price is a simple concept. It’s the amount of money you want to collect in exchange for selling your product. You decide the price.
Value, on the other hand, is not quite so clear. Value is the total benefit that your product can give to the buyer. The value can be measured in comparison to something else. Or it can be measured on its own. But in any case, it’s the customer who ultimately decides the final value of your product.
It’s easy to tell your customer the price.
It’s an art to help the reader arrive at the value…BEFORE he buys the product.
If you’re skilled at this particular art, you’ll never again worry about what people will pay for your information because you’ll be able to establish that value for them, as clearly as the nose on their faces, so they can see exactly what they’re getting.
Yes, this skill includes copywriting. But it begins INSIDE the product itself. That’s why I say a “big Money Ebook’ has value built into the ebook. If you don’t build the value in, it will be near impossible to write a compelling sales letter…and even harder to sell your product.
Before you write your ebook, think about the information from the reader’s perspective, and then write down a list of the things that he or she would want to know.
And make them up to be as compelling as possible.
Remember that you haven’t created the product yet at this point. You’re just going to make a list of what goes into the book…things like…
* “Four ways to get a $5,000 wedding dress for under $200”
* “The one sentence you need to add to your catering contract that will guarantee you never get hit with unexpected charges or a last-minute extra bill.”
* “How to choose the right DJ, and get him to instantly knock $750 to $1,000 off of his fee”
Now, I have no idea what these things might be — I just made them up — but if I were going to buy a book on wedding planning, these are the kinds of things that would get me to buy the ebook.
And so, if I were going to be the author of a book on wedding planning, I’d make a long, long list of these things.
And THEN I’d go do my research to find out how to do what I’m promising. And if it turns out that I can only find two ways to save $5,000 on a wedding dress, then I’ll change the number.
The point here is that I’m thinking about the marketing before I start writing the ebook.
Because it’s not hard to look at a list of promises like these and see that I’ve already saved the bride and groom about $6,000.
And if YOU could save your customer $6,000, do you think it really matters if the book sells for $19.95 or $99.95? Or $199.95?
But you’re probably looking for guidelines & tactics for pricing your book. Right?
Here are Three…and then I’ll tell you why it doesn’t matter.
1) One simple thing to do is compare your book to other books on similar topics. A quick glance at www.Clickbank.com shows a few other books about wedding planning priced from $19.95 to $39.95. One of the most popular books on wedding planning sells for $29.95.
2) One of the things that pricing allows you to do is determine how many, and what kind, of customers you want to serve. Very few companies ever got rich by being the low priced leader. In fact, most price wars result in both companies suffering greatly. On the other hand, there is great value in being the most expensive and exclusive.
A higher price not only earns you more per sale, but also helps create your story. After all, if you’re charging $100 when everyone else is charging $20, there’s GOT to be a reason.
3) Run a test. Put up your sales page and set up some testing software, like Google’s website optimizer. Make the pages identical, except for the price. The testing system is smart enough to show the same price to someone every time they look at the page. Now let the testing software count the sales. Usually, one of them will beat the other…and sometimes the winner will surprise you.
So…why did I say it doesn’t matter what price you set?
It doesn’t matter because ebooks are not inventoried. They don’t have price tags on them, and you don’t have to stock a warehouse with them to start your business. So, yo ucan change the price at any time.
If you set the book at $9.95 and sell a zillion of them, then start testing $19.95. You might find that doubling the price does NOT cut sales in half, and that you can sell fewer books and make more money.
And in some cases, the higher price INCREASES the perceived value of your book, so you might actually find that being the “expensive” alternative makes you a MINT more money.
So, don’t get stuck about the price of your book. I promise you that the longer you wait to try to figure it out, the longer you’ll have ZERO sales. Once you set a price and make your book available, you can start earning the sales you deserve.
…and the brides and grooms will have the information that they need.
A motto of mine is “Pretty good is better than Perfect.” Don’t try to be perfect. It will kill your business.
That’s enough for now. (This was supposed to be a short letter!)
Got any thoughts of your own about pricing an ebook? Do you have a question about pricing or anything else about writing and marketing ebooks? Leave a comment below.
To Your Success,
P.S. Reverend, Your product’s name has a lot to do with the perceived value of the book. “Your Dream Wedding” doesn’t have quite the motivating tone as “Fire your wedding planner”, which is one of the top selling books in this niche. Take a look inside your book and see if you can identify a concept of yours, or a theme throughout the book that you can extract a title from.
How about “How to hold a $20,000 storybook wedding for under $4,000, with less stress, more fun, and enough energy and cash left for a Fantastic Honeymoon!”
It’s a bit long for a book title, but you get the idea,right? Concepts like these can be distilled to their shorter, clearer core.
P.P.S. My Free Ebook Template is still available for free, if you want it. Just ask for it here:
More helpful ebook info coming soon.