One of the most powerful forms of viral marketing today is e-book publishing. There are many people that successfully publish e-books and sell them for profit through various channels. In this article we are going to look at the use of an e-book purely as a marketing strategy. This significantly changes the emphasis of the book and channels used for distribution.
The audience for e-books is growing massively as more and more e-readers hit the market. Currently the market leader is the Amazon Kindle, but there are many other e-readers available plus apps for smart-phones and tablet computers such as the iPad and others. As more and more people move away from using paper books and switch to a range of alternatives, the options for marketing increase.
E-book marketing is best achieved by creating a high informative – easy to read – document that is very useful to your target audience in a specific niche area of your market. It should provide a specific benefit to your customers that your competitors do not provide.
Writing a book has specific benefits for you as an individual or business:
A book places you as an authority in your field, raising you above others in your market who may have the same level of knowledge but have not taken the time to share it with others.
If provided in the right way the book can be passed from person to person via email or social media allowing your message and reputation to be passed on at the same time.
A well prepared e-book can also be published as a paper book, which can be a highly effective business card, one that people are unlikely to through away.
The real value in the e-book comes when you use it as a viral marketing tool rather than a profit centre. By distributing your e-book in multiple formats on multiple platforms, including Kindle, Sony e-reader, Apple i-book, PDF etc, you can then sell or give it away for free. Some formats require that you sell the book whilst other allow you to distribute your book without charge.
Once you have your book and you have placed it on all the distribution channels possible, you now need to promote it like crazy. There are many ways to do this including:
Let all your friends know via social media and email.
Add a link in the footer of all your emails.
Add it to your business cards.
Publicise where the book can be found in the book – this allows people that want the book in a different format to the one they have been sent to get it.
Do a press release about the book and send it to all the trade related press.
There are many ways to promote the book but it is important to ensure that you remember your target audience and that they are your main source of business. If you are in a particular niche then you can also get your book reviewed by writers in your market and do specific promotional pieces for them.
The aim is to get your message out their and to promote yourself as an expert in the field, so make sure your e-book includes links to your business website and to other key resources that can further promote your business.