With so many people getting into online marketing as a way to avoid having a J-O-B, they’re wondering exactly what kind of online career they should get into. When they start thinking about ebooks, they often think that maybe it’s too late to get into ebook marketing, or that there aren’t any good topics left to write about, or that they’re not smart enough or expert enough to write a book, or that ebooks take a long time to write.
Well, none of these are true. So let me set the record straight and debunk four ebook marketing myths that continue to this day.
Myth #1: It’s too late to write and sell ebooks. That ship has sailed!
There are lots of ways to sell ebooks, but one of the most popular is ClickBank. ClickBank is an online marketplace whose business it is to sell digital products like ebooks, as well as audio and video products. It turns out that ClickBank sells ebooks at the rate of about 26,000 every day. They’ve got 12,000 publishers and over 100,000 affiliates ready to sell ebooks like yours. In pure dollars and cents, ClickBank has sold over 1.4 BILLION dollars of ebooks and other digital products at the rate of about $300 million a year.
Though ClickBank is the largest single aggregator of ebooks, far more ebooks are sold independently on shopping cart systems that belong to individual authors. Private ebook businesses that generate $100K to $500K are not at all unusual, and brand new ebook platforms are just now becoming popular with major companies like Amazon (with their Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), and Sony (Ebook Reader).
Just goes to show that the ebook market is growing. And fast. It’s not too late to get into the ebook business — it’s just the right time!
Myth #2 — All the good topics have already been covered! There aren’t any good topics left to write about!
Ah, I love this myth because it’s so amazingly untrue. In fact, it’s maybe one of the easiest myths to debunk with just a little bit of creative thinking (which I’ll do for you). As evidence, the myth-believers will tell you that there’s “too much competition” for ebooks in their topic (i.e., in their “niche”), and that they can’t think of a new niche to go into.
Well they are actually thinking about this all wrong. The worst thing you can do is try to invent a new niche, or go into a niche where there aren’t any competitors. With rare exception, niches without competition are niches that aren’t profitable. Chances are that other people HAVE tried those niches, but have just not been successful in them. It’s the niches with competition that are profitable.
The trick for new authors is not to go after the whole niche, where many other authors have a strong foothold, but to “niche the niche,” and find a sub-niche in your niche that you can become the king of. So don’t go after the golf market with another “How to Play Golf” ebook. That will surely fail, because it’s far too big a market to make a dent and get noticed in.
Instead, you could write a golf ebook directed at Seniors, or Women, or Senior Women. All three of those groups have special needs, thoughts, and goals when it comes to golf. You can also niche a subtopic (the short game, putting, or driving), or certain unique situations. If you get just a tiny bit creative, you can niche your niche for huge success.
Myth #3 – But Mark, I’m not really what you’d call an “expert” in my topic. Don’t you have to be an expert to write an ebook?
Well, I’d agree with you if you were talking about writing a book on something critical, like open heart surgery (though I don’t think there are many ebooks on that). But for most topics, to be an expert only means two things: 1) That you know more about your topic than most other people, and 2) That you are willing to tell the world about it.
Now, I may be revealing a secret that most ebook authors don’t want leaked, but most authors become “experts” merely because they said they were an expert. In fact, in many cases, it’s their declaration that makes their expert status come true.
When Joel Comm first decided to write his AdSense ebook, he wasn’t known to be an AdSense expert. Still, he thought he was an expert (as evidenced by his Google paychecks). His friends thought he was an expert (as evidenced by the changes in their Google paychecks when they followed his advice). But no one else knew he was an expert.
Joel was a bit shy about calling himself an expert at the time. To be frank, it was the publishing of his AdSense ebook that made him an AdSense expert. No one else anointed him. No one else gave him a certificate. He didn’t have to wait for a quote from Oprah. He said it himself. And then it became true.
It’s the publishing of his book that made him an expert. And it’s the publishing of YOUR book that will make YOU an expert.
If you know a little bit more about your topic than most people, don’t be shy. Share what you know. Quite frankly, what you know can be a gift to many thousands of people who want to know what you know.
Myth #4: Even if I did decide to publish an ebook, it’s going to take a year to get the thing written, isn’t it?
LOL. No. I wrote one of my best ebooks — a book about how to market, run, and publish teleseminars — complete with screen shots and simple step-by-step guides, in just two days. The book is about 60 pages and comes with email templates, registration page templates, and lots of other stuff.
Not everyone can knock out an ebook in just two days, but my “Ebook Accelerator” course teaches people how to write an ebook in as little as 21 days. Is that fast enough?
The basics of my technique start with stuff we’ve already covered, and it all goes from there. I don’t have space here to give you all the content from that course, but here are some of the highlights:
1) Start by going back to the niche discussion from above: niche your niche. And one of the great ways to niche your niche is to direct your ebook at a particular kind of person. Write a full description of who your customer is, including his problems, his frustrations, his history, and even his gender, name, and age — to get crystal clear on who you are writing your book for.
2) Think of the kinds of questions that your reader — perhaps the senior golfer, or the aging tennis player with arthritis in his shoulder — would ask. And for each one, imagine a follow-up question. If you’ve already got a mailing list in your niche, or a blog, then ask your readers directly what their questions are. The answers will be illuminating.
3) Think about your sales page! Yes, now! I don’t mean writing every last bit of your sales letter, but now is the perfect time to think about your headline and your bullet points. No one is going to buy a book if they don’t know why they should buy it. And quite frankly, understanding why someone would buy your book is the most important part of creating one.
Note: Writing an ebook to match a sales letter is a LOT easier than writing a sales letter to match an ebook. (Trust me on this.)
4) Convert your headline and bullets into a major outline for your ebook. There are lots of ways to organize your ebook, but one thing is always true: Your ebook should follow through on the promises your sales page makes. Organizing your ebook to mirror the bullet points in your sales letter is a great way to make sure you keep your promises — and sell more books.
Tip: Use a step-by-step outline for How-To ebooks that have processes to make writing the book super-easy and laser-fast.
5) If you know the answers to the questions you’ve listed, simply fill in the blanks and answer the questions. If you don’t know the answers to all of your questions, then just search Google for the answers to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Find two or three answers and rewrite them into one answer in your own words.
You’ll never get writer’s block if you write this way.
Note: This is the point at which you can easily outsource some or all of your writing. I like to write my books myself, but if you want to outsource it, ALWAYS give your researchers and writers an outline to follow. That way, you’ll get back a book that matches or exceeds your expectations.
One Last Tip
If it’s not clear already, let me point this out. The most important part of an ebook business is not the ebook itself. The most important part of an ebook business is actually the marketing.
The marketing starts with knowing who your customer is — even in an oversaturated and competitive market. And it continues with figuring out that unique situation that he finds himself in. That is the key to becoming successful in the ebook business.
There will always be people who want to save money, make money, save time, make things easier, eliminate pain, get healthy, and have more fun and pleasure — in any and every part of the world, and with any and every topic.
If you can help them do that with your ebook, they’ll happily pay you good money in exchange. The ebook business isn’t dead or dying…it’s booming. Time to get your share.
To Your Success,