Wednesday, March 28, 2007

E-books: Charge for Them, or Give Them Away -- Which Makes You More Money?

I wrote my first e-book a few years ago, and was instantly hooked on this easy way to get - and dispense - information. I've since written 7, and an e-course. As I said, it's addictive.

While I knew I was going to sell the first few I wrote, with others I thought, "Hmm, should I use this as a free giveaway, or charge for it?" Well, as with most things in life, I learned that - it depends. On what?

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What Do You Want to Accomplish with Your E-book

Quite simply, it depends on your goal. Is your goal to increase your subscriber list, qualify your prospects, make immediate money, etc.

An e-book can do all of this - it depends on how you market it.

Marketing for Subscribers with an E-book

Almost every online marketing guru will tell you that e-books are a great way to increase your subscriber list. Use your e-book as a giveaway.

Eg, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free copy of the article marketing e-book, Everything You Wanted to Know About Article Marketing! which will tell you how to increase your sales by distributing free articles.

Qualifying Prospects With Your E-book

E-books can also be great qualifiers. What do I mean? You can separate the tire kickers from the serious inquirers. While some will always just want a freebie, the vast majority of prospects who request a free, informational product are those who are really interested in making a purchase.

Think about it, the more serious you are about something, the more time you're apt to spend researching it. So, after a speaking engagement, for example, you might say, "If you're interested in learning more, email me to request a copy of the free e-book, The Small Biz Owner's Marketing Kit!

Those who are really serious are much more likely to follow up with you than those who just had a passing interest in what you had to say during your speaking engagement.

Making Direct Sales with Your E-book

Creating an e-book to sell adds to your bottom line in a multitude of ways: i) it enhances your credibility within your field, which eventually leads to more clients; ii) it puts money directly into your pocket via direct sales; and iii) it gives you the opportunity to create a line of products around the e-book (eg, t-shirts, pins, coffee mugs, etc.).

No matter how you use e-books, they are a great marketing tool every freelancer should utilize.

Tomorrow's Post: A career-changing opportunity -- it's big, but I can't decide. What is it? I'll tell you tomrrow.
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