Small business marketing and eBooks

eBook Idea
You’ve probably come across eBooks on many occasions. Have you considered how they could be used to help market your business?

I’m currently working with a few clients on eBook related projects, and its really interesting the number of different ways they can be put to use. Here are two to get you thinking right now.

eBooks to generate traffic to your website
If you operate a website and want do drive more traffic, publishing an eBook can be a great way to attract the attention of a niche audience. Most small businesses aren’t after huge volumes of traffic – what we want are visitors to our sites that are interested in something specifically relevant to us. So publishing an eBook on a niche topic can be a way to get yourself noticed to a very specific audience.

Once people notice your eBook and want to download it, its a good time to ask for an email address and if they want to opt in to receive further information on this topic.

eBooks to generate revenue
Even though I’ve known about the strong case for eBooks for some time, I was blown away by 37 Signals and Getting Real. Their book is great, but what was really fascinating was their comparison with another book they had published previously (and sold 8,000 copies, a very successful book). Bottom line, by the time they had about 10,000 people pay for the book online (and about 10% paid for a ’10 copy’ licence), they had made over $200,000 in profit from Getting Real, compared to $11,000 profit from Defensive Design (their prior book).

As they say, a great set of numbers.

Now 37 Signals are a high profile company and great marketers, and 10,000 online transactions might not be everyone’s target. But the profitability is around 20x greater, and that alone makes it worth considering how you might generate revenue from eBooks.

The mechanics of selling an eBook online aren’t that complicated. If you need some ideas, get in touch.