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Selling EBooks - One Reason Your Site May Not Be Selling

Jul 16, 2008
So you've written your first ebook and you believe you have a great site from which to sell it. And--you are getting visitors, but you're not getting the conversions you had hoped for. What's happening?

Hey, your problem isn't uncommon. It happens every day to people selling ebooks. Let's look at the make-up of your site itself. You've probably got some good content and let's assume you are making a good pitch for your ebook. But what about the graphics?

One of the number one frustrations one encounters when visiting web sites is slow loading graphics. Hey, remember--there are still plenty of people out there without high-speed connections. Someone with a dial-up account is going to get a migraine waiting for a site to load that is filled with 300-500k graphics! Almost all will click to close your site rather than letting their coffee get cold while your graphics load.


Think about this: When you visit your own web site (and you've done that tons of times in the past) your system has likely cached all of the images. This means that they will load out of your cache rather than off of the network. But someone visiting your site for the first time will be loading images off of the network--and this is much slower. So while you say, "Hey, my site is loading really fast," visitors may not have that same experience!


One thing to do is to check the file sizes of all of the images on your site. Anything over 50k has got to go. I try to keep them all below 25k (I know that can be hard). If you have images that were created at very high resolutions, go back and change them to a lower resolution to decrease the file size. And remember, if you insert an image file to your web page and it is too big, just because you re-size it by dragging the corners in, the image will appear smaller, but the file size remains the same. Go back into your graphics program and re-size the image to the actual size you need and then re-import it into your web page.


Of course the obvious thing to do is to try to limit the number of images on your site in the first place. People visiting web sites who are interested in perhaps buying an ebook want information, not a glitzy looking phosphorescent freak show of images, motion, and high-tech junk that distracts them from reading about the product. Keep it simple.


A nifty trick is to go to www.netmechanic.com and use their free tool to check the HTML and image loading speeds under different modem speeds. It can tell you exactly how long each image on your site takes to load at 14k, 56k, DSL, cable, etc. They even have a tool you can use which will decrease the resolution of your images automatically (to decrease files sizes) and show you how your images will look at different resolutions. It's worth a peek. Selling ebooks isn't hard, but you've got to do the little things right!
About the Author
Mike McMillan has written over 40 nonfiction books and e-books. He has been interviewed on over 80 radio and TV programs such as ABC World News about self publishing. Mike's on-line self publishing course is offered through over 1,400 colleges and universities. Download his FREE, "Selling Books & eBooks" mini-course. Learn the ebook power-seller's tricks today. Download Here
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