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Selling Ebooks - Using Prospect Baiting

Jul 16, 2008
So you've got a site and selling the heck out of your ebooks--good for you! But anyone who is selling ebooks successfully on-line is always looking for their next big book to sell. And if you're in that situation, chances are you've got a title in mind too. This article will address a powerful way to generate sales of your ebook almost immediately.

I'm assuming you have a pretty sizeable opt-in list of subscribers to your newsletter or mini-course to begin with.

You really need to plan this sales technique even before you write your new ebook. Suppose you are going to have about 60 quality pages in your new publication. What I would do using this technique is to break your ebook up into two separate publications. One would contain about 30 pages of introductory material. Include the objectives of the ebook, introductory definitions, etc. In this first ebook give the reader some good information, but don't give away the nitty gritty details--save those for the last half.

Okay, so let's say that you have about 3,000 names on your opt-in list. In your next newsletter offer to let all of your subscribers download the first half of your new ebook for free! This will give them a taste for what it is all about, but like I said, it won't give them the nitty gritty details you have included in the full version.

Giving your subscribers something for free is always a good idea, but this technique does even more. The people who get your ebook (the first half) will feel sort of incomplete. They feel like they have something valuable, but not all of it. People like closure. They like a sense of fulfillment. But those that have only half of your ebook feel like they are mission something.

If the first half of your ebook did a good job of creating a balance between giving them good information readers perceive as having value--and promoting the details found in the full version--you will get a much higher conversion rate than if you simply mention that you have a new ebook in your newsletter.

I would suggest that you have the free "first-half" ebook and then also have the full version for them to buy. The full version should have both the free intro PLUS the second half all as one publication. You might even consider having a statement included on the first page of the free version telling readers that they may freely give it away or let people download it from their site. This would give a viral aspect to your ebook.

Make sure that on the front and last page in your ebook you explain that it is only the first half of the book. Also give your web site's address so that people know where to order the full version.

I call this technique "prospect baiting" because you are baiting your mailing list subscribers with a teaser for your complete ebook. The key is to create a balance between giving them enough good information in the first half (the free ebook) and yet not giving away all of the best details. You want to create a thirst, but not quench that thirst in the free part of your ebook.
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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