Consider this little nugget from the Association of American Publishers: Ebooks accounted for $282 million in sales in the first three months of this year, compared to $230 million for printed books. That’s some serious cash. And as you can see, ebooks outpace printed books. Everybody is running to hop onto the ebook bandwagon. After all, it’s cheaper to publish an ebook than a printed book, and quicker, too. But before you hit publish, make sure you’re not making these expensive ebook mistakes that can cost you time, money, and readers.
Five E-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Going DIY. Do-it-yourself may work for painting your kid’s bedroom, but it doesn’t work for publishing. Sure, you can upload your ebook for free to lots of places, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to it. Take the time to get the book professionally edited. Have a cover designed that captures the tone and feel of the book. Make sure the formatting is on point and professional. An improperly formatted ebook can distract and turn off your readers. Our company can help with this. Or you can do a Google search and find others.
2. Wonky pricing. Don’t just slap the same price on the ebook that you have for the printed version and think you are done. Readers are getting used to dirt-cheap ebooks. So you might not be able to price your ebook the same way you’d price a printed book, after all, you have fewer overhead costs. But that doesn’t mean all your books have to be .99 cents. Test your pricing and see what works for you. You may find that a free giveaway or offering one book for .99 cents can be a great way to introduce new readers to your work, then you price future works at $3.99 or $4.99 or higher. Keep in mind that the environment in which you sell your ebook also matters. While you may not want to set your ebook for $30 on Amazon, it’s possible that you may do just that on your own website, if you are selling an informative product that can enhance the reader’s life, business, or activities.
3. No marketing. Whether you publish in print or in an e-format, you’ve got to get the word out about your book. Market the book through social media, your mailing list, at events, etc. This is no time for “build it and they will come.” You’ve got to tell them you built it. And drive them straight to the door.
4. Wrong marketing. Almost as bad as no marketing, wrong marketing gets you nowhere. Look for ways to get in front of the people who read what you have written. Don’t fall into the trap of being too general. Many people market their books “for everybody.” That’s wrong thinking. Not everyone is interested in your type of book. So go to where the people who are interested in your type of books are. And tell them it’s there. It makes no sense to spend time — and money — marketing your book of 100 best beers to someone who has never had a drink. Doesn’t matter how groundbreaking, great, or fun your book is. Identify your ideal reader and go after her. She wants to hear from you. Forget the others.
5. Writing too much. Short ebooks tend to go over better than long ones. If you find that you have a ton of info, rather than cramming it into one fat ebook, consider organizing the info and creating two books. Let the second build on the info from the first. You’ll get a better result. You won’t make your reader’s head spin. Plus you’ll have two products instead of one. This doesn’t mean you want to throw out a half-baked first book and save all the info for the second. Each book you publish needs to be able to stand on its own. And it needs to be good. You’re not just publishing for yourself. You’re publishing for your reader.
What other ebook mistakes have you seen?