How you publish an eBook depends on what platform (or distribution channel) you want to use. If you want to have an eBook on your site to use as an opt-in lead generator, that’s a very simple process and we’ll cover that in this blog post. If you want to use an electronic book platform such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc., that’s another process and we’ll tackle that in our next blog post.
Part 1: Publishing an eBook on your Website
The “Why” of Publishing an eBook on Your Site
Why would you publish an eBook on your site? If your site has a lot of traffic and you are selling the eBook, you can eliminate the middle man and collect the full sales price of the book immediately (less your merchant account processing fees, of course) as opposed to a 30% – 70% royalty that you have to wait 30-60 days for.
You can also charge a price that might raise eyebrows on most electronic book platforms. For example, I have a real estate eBook that I have been selling since about 2008 for anywhere from $29 – $49. (I play with the pricing to see if it affects sales.) I originally put it up to see if I could sell something online and while I don’t promote it or the site that it’s on, I probably earn around $500 a year without paying any attention to it. (Or as I call it, better than a sharp stick.)
Many online marketers have high-priced eBooks that have specialized knowledge which warrants the price. If they put the eBook on Amazon’s Kindle, for example, their royalty would be 30% of the retail price. That’s a pretty steep chunk for many people. Especially when you consider that the cost of delivery is close to nothing.
The other reason to offer a downloadable eBook on your site is to generate traffic and generate leads. Offering the eBook on your site drives traffic to your site and hopefully, once someone has been there and downloaded the book, they will stick around and explore. More importantly, you wisely had them fill in an opt-in form in order to gain access to the book, and you now have their name and email address in your autoresponder system so you can continue to market to them.
The third reason you might publish an eBook on your site is the amazing ease of doing so. Which is what we’ll get into next.
The “How” to Publish an Ebook on Your Site
What you will need:
- Your eBook in pdf format
- Your Cover/Book Graphic
- A thank you email with a download link in your autoresponder
- An opt-in form which links to your autoresponder
I like to start by uploading the eBook and graphic and so I have them ready to go in my media library. (I use WordPress for all my sites.)
The first page you should create is the Thank You/Download page. This is the page people will be sent to after they have given you their name and email address. It’s where they can download your book.
Sometimes I just create a new page, put the page title in, and save the page as a draft so I have a URL handy to use in the email and when I make the opt-in form. I go back later, after I’ve done all the other set up and create the page copy.
This page can be very simple. I like to say thank you and give a little copy to remind people what the book will do for them. I let them know they will get an email with the download link in it in case they can’t download the book for some reason. I also tell them if they don’t get the email, to check their spam/junk file and ask them to please white list the site’s email address.
Once that is done, I create the landing page or sales page.
On the landing page, I tell people what the book will do for them and (hopefully) get them excited about the book. I like to use bullet points that tell a feature and then give the benefit to the reader. I put up the graphic of the book and the opt-in form. Keep your opt-in form simple – just name and email address. The more information you ask for, the less people will opt in.
When you create your opt-in form, there should be an option to redirect people after they have submitted their information. Redirect them to your Thank You/Download page.
Save your page then check your work. You should be able to enter your name and email address, end up on the download page, be able to download the eBook, and also receive an email with the download link in it.
What if You Want to Charge for Your eBook?
That’s just one more step. On your landing or sales page, instead of an opt-In form, you will have a purchase button of some sort. Depending on who you use, go in and create a payment button for your eBook. You should be able to both redirect the buyer to the download page after they have paid and automatically add that person to an autoresponder list.
You may need to tie your autoresponder in with your payment processor. Most autoresponders have tutorials to help you do this or you can hire it out quite cheaply. Many times just hitting the “Help” chat box will bring up someone who will walk you through the process.
Publishing an eBook for downloading from your site is a fairly simple process. You can use this for eBooks, free (or paid) reports, checklists and other content upgrades. It’s a great way to build your list and after you’ve been through the process once or twice, you’ll be a pro. Or at least faster and more confident.
In my next blog post, I’ll go through how to publish an eBook from an online platform such as Kindle. Check back, or… scroll down a bit, look at the sidebar to your right, and subscribe to my blog. You’ll be sent each new blog post as they are posted, about once a week.
Are you ready to publish your book? Need some guidance? You’re in luck. I have just finished my new mini-course Self-Publishing Made Easy. Check it out!