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Should I sell my eBook on Amazon or on my Blog?

VicFountain

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Hi everyone. I've seen many people sell their eBooks on their own blog, and it seems to be the most profitable way. However, it clearly depends on how much traffic the blog receives overall. And here's my problem. I recently finished writing an eBook, but I'm unsure whether I should sell it on my blog or on Amazon.

My blog has almost 0 traffic right now, as I've been focusing almost exclusively on the ebook for the past month. I know, bad move. Nevertheless, I started the blog 2 months ago so it didn't have that much traffic before, either. Now that I finished the eBook I'm definitely going to focus more on my blog.

From what I've read, the benefits of selling on your blog have more to do with profitability, even though it's easy for people to steal and pirate your book (correct me if I'm wrong).
On the other hand, selling on Amazon reduces your profit but gives you more security in terms of pirating. At the same time, though, you have to compete with other books displayed on the page.

As a general rule, what's the best way to sell eBooks from your experience? Thanks to everybody in advance.
 

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ChrisGav

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Why not try both? Spend the next 9 months building up your blog and posting on there every day, but in the meantime have it put up on Amazon to try and drive sales there as well. What is the book about?
 

MTF

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Please give me some details and I might be able to help.
  • Genre/general niche (if you're comfortable sharing)
  • Size of the audience (as in, how niche the topic is?)
  • Target price
  • Length
  • What's the goal you want to achieve with this book - royalties, visibility and expert status, traffic?
  • Do you plan to publish more books?
I might have more questions later on but it will help a lot if you share these details.
 
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VicFountain

VicFountain

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Please give me some details and I might be able to help.
  • Genre/general niche (if you're comfortable sharing)
  • Size of the audience (as in, how niche the topic is?)
  • Target price
  • Length
  • What's the goal you want to achieve with this book - royalties, visibility and expert status, traffic?
  • Do you plan to publish more books?
I might have more questions later on but it will help a lot if you share these details.
Thank you very much.

Genre: Self-improvement for men
Size of the audience: Quite big (even though there's clearly a lot of competition in this niche)
Target price: 10-15$
Length: 105 pages (22.000 words)
Goal: Sales and increase the traffic to my blog
Yes, I plan to publish more books, always related to the main topic.

I'm going to be honest and say I'm still a beginner. I know the general rule "Don't do what you like, do what the market needs", but I started all this mainly as practice as I'm still quite young. I don't expect to become a millionaire just by doing this.
 
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MTF

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You won't be able to sell a book with this length on Amazon for $10-15. The highest you can go with 70% royalties is $9.99, but the problem is that your book is too short for this price. The usual price on Amazon for a self-published book of this length and in this niche is $2.99-$3.99.

Since your blog is not getting much traffic, even if you try to sell it on your blog for $10-15, you'll still probably make fewer sales than on Amazon which should generate some organic sales if you have a good cover, content, reviews, etc.

Your goals of sales and traffic to your blog are contradictory. You either maximize your sales or you get more traffic, with a compromise not really making much sense here. Generally speaking:
  • $0.99 for books that you publish as your first contact with a potential client, then you lead them to your back end products (the $0.99 price is to limit freebie seekers - this doesn't make much sense in your case because you currently don't have anything else to offer them,
  • $2.99-$3.99 is for maximum royalties, with $2.99 generating a bit more sales (if you write multiple books, you can make a good living - but most likely not millions - from books alone without a blog),
  • free is for driving maximum traffic to your site since you'll probably get at least 10-20x more free downloads than sales (the drawback here is that free books attract freebie seekers and this might not be the type of traffic you want, even if you get more of it than if you were to sell your book).
If you plan to publish multiple books (5+) on the same topic, I'd go with Amazon. You can use the first book as book 1 and introductory to your series. Then in book 2 you'd expand on the topics, the same with book 3, 4, 5. This way you can set the price of the first book at $0.99 and then offer the subsequent books for $2.99 or higher. In each of them, you can mention your blog.

I think that revenue-wise, I'd rather focus on books first and on blog second because it will probably take you months, if not years, to get substantial traffic on the blog while it's easier to get visibility on Amazon. I'd also think of your blog as a separate platform where you'll offer other, related products, like video courses, email courses, and stuff like that. The books would then for the time being serve as your main source of income, and later on, help you get qualified leads to buy your other, more expensive products (if that's the way you want to go).

Also, I wouldn't worry about privacy. Who wants to pay for your book will pay for it. Who doesn't will find a way to get it for free (or just look for something else).
 
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VicFountain

VicFountain

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Thank you for your time and help.
You won't be able to sell a book with this length on Amazon for $10-15. The highest you can go with 70% royalties is $9.99, but the problem is that your book is too short for this price. The usual price on Amazon for a self-published book of this length and in this niche is $2.99-$3.99.
Fair enough. I didn't take that in consideration. Should I rather expand the topics in the eBook to make it longer?
If you plan to publish multiple books (5+) on the same topic, I'd go with Amazon. You can use the first book as book 1 and introductory to your series. Then in book 2 you'd expand on the topics, the same with book 3, 4, 5. This way you can set the price of the first book at $0.99 and then offer the subsequent books for $2.99 or higher. In each of them, you can mention your blog.
Should the first book be a simple introduction of what the next 4 books are going to be? That would mean reducing the content of it, though. Otherwise, some concepts will be repeated over and over and there's the risk of redundancy (that's because all the topics are strictly related).

Could you please explain why I see some guys sell bundles of relatively short (40-50 pages each) e-books on their blog and price them very high? I've seen some bundles priced at 60$ for like 4 ebooks. I mean, that seems to be a black-hat marketing strategy, however, they seem to sell.
 
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MTF

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Should I rather expand the topics in the eBook to make it longer?
Not necessarily. There's a market for shorter books, too, and that's what you can specialize in. Your book isn't that short (if it was below 10,000 words you'd probably need to expand the topics).

Should the first book be a simple introduction of what the next 4 books are going to be? That would mean reducing the content of it, though. Otherwise, some concepts will be repeated over and over and there's the risk of redundancy (that's because all the topics are strictly related).
I wouldn't worry about repeating yourself as long as it's just mentioning the same basic principles a couple of times throughout each book. It doesn't have to be a series in a fiction sense where everything has to be 100% tied well and original; not everyone will read your books in order and each should also work as a standalone. Just make them related enough that they can form a series as it will increase the LTV (lifetime value) of your average reader.

Could you please explain why I see some guys sell bundles of relatively short (40-50 pages each) e-books on their blog and price them very high? I've seen some bundles priced at 60$ for like 4 ebooks. I mean, that seems to be a black-hat marketing strategy, however, they seem to sell.
Unless it's a very specialized premium niche the biggest reason why they sell them for such a high price is because that's the only way to promote them with paid traffic, affiliates, etc. I have never been a fan of this model. It depends on what you do whether it's black hat or not but generally speaking, it often does involve scammy tactics like fake counters, fake scarcity, fake testimonials, fake discounts, etc.
 

andrewsyc

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Thank you for your time and help.
If you want more a chronological change of the landscape over time I'd recommend MTF's insider thread (one of the truly spectacular process threads like the paintbrush cover or Eyeglass wear thread) and another good user (that hasn't posted in a while) is @Held for Ransom
 
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Entre Eyes

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Congrats on completing a Resource now the Marketing Hat.

Hat on...

First off know where your target audience hangs out. Who knows you can find a way to get in front of them directly with helpful contributions and a link to your site.

Study Funnels.

Affiliate Networks.

Creative Joint Ventures like offering your eBook as part of a Bonus to their list but you grow your own list.

Influencer Outreach

Copy Writing for Sales Page and Conversions and email marketing.

List Building

Think bigger is a good mental exercise.

Then just break it down in priorities just go step by step.

Your blog is the tool that helps develop your Authority and build trust.
 

Johnny boy

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Whichever problem the ebook solves, make content for that audience.

YouTube videos helping that audience solve problems

Instagram page entertaining that audience based around the subject of your brand

Blog articles helping your audience solve their problems through great articles and an authentic voice

You need to attract them to you where they are paying attention.

Then, find a more profitable and unique way to help that audience other than just an ebook, maybe coaching, a custom plan, maybe speaking, etc.

Now you are in business for real and not sitting around wondering why you have 4 sales for your ebook after 2 years.
 

RazorCut

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I recently paid almost $100 for an ebook. It is accessible only via the web site and you can't download it at all. Nor can you access it without a user name and password. Something to think about if you want to protect your property.

I bought it as the author created a lot of credibility through his closed FB group which has over 10,000 members now.

Again something else worth considering. The only caveat being you are building an audience on someone else's site so there is the issue of control.
 

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Dan_Cardone

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A direct response marketer I follow just sold a physical book for $997 (yes almost one thousand) dollars to people on his list and he made a killing.

If you're targeting people who know the value of good information then price is less of a conern to them.
 

Walter Hay

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From what I've read, the benefits of selling on your blog have more to do with profitability, even though it's easy for people to steal and pirate your book (correct me if I'm wrong).
If you open a PayPal business account, that provides restricted access to your book for paid customers only. You would need to integrate a PayPal buy now button in your blog. The PayPal book download page is impossible to locate until PayPal have processed the order, and it is a once only access.

There is one caveat regarding the protection that provides. Black hat thieves are often happy to buy a copy and sell it without your authority. The best defense is to incorporate relevant affiliate links, so that the black hats are boosting your affiliate income.

Walter
 

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