So, you’ve taken the plunge and invested in an electronic version of your title. What are the next steps to getting that eBook out and available to potential readers? You want to get your title on Amazon — but then what?
To start, treat your eBook launch as you would a print book launch. This means you need to develop a complete launch plan, including an official launch date. Before that date, make sure you have a website; blog; Facebook page, Twitter account, and other social media presence; as well as other digital assets live and ready. Especially for authors who have a print following, social media can be an amazingly effective tool for spreading the word about your digital titles. Be sure to consider retailers, libraries, and a direct-to-consumer sales plan for your website.
Retailers — Make a list of the retailer websites you want to sell your book on, and then create an account with each of them. However, be aware when you add your titles to their sites, you’re subject to their terms: For example, Amazon sets book prices. You also have the option to use services to create those accounts for you. These third-party distributors charge fees, so be sure to know the terms you’re signing under if you go this route.
Libraries — Content aggregators provide access to libraries: Overdrive, Hoopla, and many others offer access through partnerships with large publishers, but there are repositories for independent publishers as well. Self-e is one example. It’s as easy as signing the agreement to let them distribute your eBook, answering questions about your book and genre, and uploading it. Your eBook will go through an approval process, and it takes four to six weeks to find out whether they’ve accepted your book. A good starting point for finding the one you want to work with is to call your local library and ask which services they subscribe to that provide access to independent publishers.
Direct to consumer — One way to control your price and retain your sales revenue is through an eCommerce site built off your existing website. This creates the best opportunity for you to make sales, control prices, and get the added benefit of sales analytics. When visitors come to your site, you have their undivided attention: Your titles aren't competing with other books because they’re the only ones you’re promoting on your site.
If you need help establishing an eCommerce presence, Sheridan Connect offers an online storefront that allows you to sell your first eBook as well as subsequent titles. Put all the content you want on your website including print titles and, as you promote your books, you’ll have data on where your sales are coming from, what your margins are, and more.
Once you've decided on where to house and sell your eBooks, another important step is to re-evaluate your prospect-finding approach. Make sure you’re utilizing all possible resources to reach potential readers. An oft-overlooked method for increasing your network reach is to ask customers for reviews and shares, making sure to highlight influencers who provide feedback about your books.
A final consideration for online sales is to ensure you have a clear and consistent call to action for each interaction with potential customers. Where do you want them to go next and what do you want them to do?
A new frontier
With digital media popularity on the rise, your time and effort investment in this arena will likely come back to you quickly. As you undertake this foray into the electronic publishing world, seek out a trusted, experienced, and knowledgeable third-party partner to help you learn the ropes.