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How to Extend the Profitability of an E-Book Beyond Launch Week

Much has been written about how to launch an E-book to maximise sales with a big bang in the time surrounding a launch. I wrote a few weeks back about my own $72,000 E-book launch and received a lot of feedback from readers on their own big launches.

What happens after an E-book launches?

Once all the bells and whistles of the initial offer fade – do E-books continue to sell or do you need to keep launching new ones (or re-launching the old ones) to keep turning a profit?

Side Note: We just did launch a new E-book on DPS – this one is an introduction to understanding how cameras work.

These are some of the questions I’ve been pondering lately. Don’t get me wrong – a $72,000 opening week is fantastic – but what happens next?

One Strategy I’ve had Success With

After the launch week of the portraits photography book mentioned in the post linked to above the sales of the E-book did fall dramatically. Once the opening week special price ended and some of the buzz died down sales dropped to 5-10 per day. This was expected and not something I worried too much about – however as any entrepreneur I am always interested in increasing sales so I decided to start experimenting with adding some more subtle promotions.

One strategy that I’ve used is to integrate a promotion for the E-book into my newsletter auto-responder sequence.

I’ve previously written about how I use a combination of weekly updates, promotional emails and themed emails in my newsletters at DPS so I won’t fully go over the topic except to give you this visual.


This sequence is partly automated with an Auto-responder sequence and partly manual (the weekly updates in particular).

What I’ve done with my E-book promotion is to insert a new ‘promotion’ email into the auto-responder sequence. All new subscribers of the newsletter get this email 8 days after they first subscribe to the newsletter.

I’ll show you the email I send below but in short it is a fairly low pressure sales email that thanks people for subscribing and offers a 25% discount on the E-book for becoming a subscriber. I gave old readers of DPS 25% off when the E-book was first launched so I give new readers the same opportunity. Here’s the email – with the discount code deleted – you’ll have to subscribe to get it :-).


Aweber (the newsletter service provider I use) allows you to set auto-responders to go out on certain days of the week. This one only goes out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (as weekends have not converted as well for me and my weekly updates go out on Thursdays/Fridays and I don’t want to double up with two emails on those days).

Sales on the days that these go out have consistently been between 20-40 per day (Mondays are best as they go to four days worth of subscribers).

Not only have sales been really healthy but I’ve had some really good feedback from new subscribers who get the offer – it’s seems to be fitting well into that first 8 days of being a subscriber as an unannounced little discount/bonus.

PS: interestingly while the launch week of the book was a great result at $72k – with these types of promotions AFTER the launch the E-book will probably earn as much, if not more, than it did in the launch week over the year that follows that first week. Daily sales are certainly not that spectacular as in the launch week but with a little extra effort what comes after the launch is what will really matter to long term profitability.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. That is so much money! I am totally new with blogging, but it is a shocker to see those numbers I have never made a dollar online yet but I can’t wait to launch my first e-book I think I would be happy with 1/3 of that with my e-book but I will shoot for higher.

  2. As I am a beginner I don’t want to get into this tedious one.

  3. You definitely need to be blogging to keep making sales. If you just do a product launch and then don’t follow it up with consistent content there will only ever be sales from the initial launch.

  4. There goes Darren explaining the true power of email lists. In the previous email you build rapport, establish trust and give something away.

    Once you have authoritative position in the eye of the subscriber, you are sure to get good number of sales.

  5. Great post and liked the image where the strategy to promote the e-book is illustrated.

    Good work and quality information.


  6. Darren, Aren’t you “leaving money on the table”?

    After sales start to slow down dramatically, wouldn’t it make sense to also start selling the book on Amazon?
    I know Amazon cut is like 40-50%, but Amazon offers ‘on demand printing’, ebook & kindle downloads. (I know kindle may not be the best thing for a photog book, but for others)

    You’ll sell a ton of books on Amazon to people that never heard of your site and was just looking for a photography book.

    Also have you sent a copies of your book to photography magazines for a book reviews? I see a bunch of photo magazines every time I go to B&N.

    I remember when a friend of mines had his sales jump through the roof when a software mag reviewed his mac app.

    Also, if this mythical Apple iSlate actually exist, you may want your book available on itunes.

    Just a some of my opinions.

  7. I can’t believe I haven’t thought of the coupon code in the thank you email yet! Darren, I know you didn’t invent it, but thank you for bringing it up. I can totally see how I’m not using the excitement of my new customer to the best of my abilities.

  8. Attracting buyers with a discount coupon always produce good result.

  9. Do you think people will ever get sales overload? If everyone does promotions like these, I feel like you could get overwhelmed.

  10. This is great way to get more value out of all that work.

    This same system can be used by those who promote affiliate products.


  11. It’s interesting to know the figures. It’s possible that you would get more sales over time from “word of mouth” as well and also a new edition every few years would boost sales.

    I’m working on an e-book at the moment so I read problogger everyday to get tips on building my email list and traffic.

    Thanks Darren!,


  12. This blog post was very informative. I have always wondered how I can profit from my ebook aside from the launch and you have answered my questions.

    P.S. – The case study about the photography eBook was helpful.

  13. Darren –
    My main question would be what service are you using to sell your e-book? I’ve heard good things about LuLu, but haven’t been able to find anything about giving out coupon codes.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

    Elyse of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog

  14. This is great – I had some questions about how to create a cycle for my newsletter, and the handy little diagram pretty much answered it.

    Here’s a question – how long would you consider plugging the book to continue sales before people got tired of reading the same message? It was mentioned earlier that people may tire of being sold on something.

  15. @Rob: You’ve got a great point there. Amazon as well as finding people to review the ebook can work wonders post-first launch week.

  16. Great tip Darren, but not good enough. I would like to find 30 ways to market my next ebook. I currently have only 12.

  17. Definitely a lot of people let their e-book lose momentum, thinking that there’s nothing they can do. I have not launched an e-book yet (I am currently working on two), and this will certainly come in handy. Thanks!

  18. I am starting a new motivational and inspiration website and have plans for an e-book in the second quarter of this year. As he outlines with the illustration, the e-book must come out from a trusted source, and sent to people that have opted into your newsletter and weekly blasts, otherwise when you launch it – it’s just spam. Key is to build your audience and maintain that relationship so you’re a trusted sender! Good Advice PB!

    Follow me on twitter @GOtheROAD and our site is http://www.GOontheROAD.com – Motivation 4 Life ~

  19. Hi Darren. Congrats on the Ebook. I’ve recently launched my site (which you feature in strongly) and have been considering a similiar issue. Once you go through the process of submission to all the social media sites etc and have some intial success how do you keep this traffic coming in order to get those all important email address.

    Would be great if you could maybe do a series of posts based around grabbing email addresses.

  20. I just returned from a w/e conference that highlighted the value and ability to market well via the internet.

    Among the tips learned there was the reminder to do your best as a marketer to have authentic relationships with your target market.

    I really like your graphic showing the cycle of communication to keep your product in front of your audience. I realize that autoresponders are doing the work, but, you have earned the privilege to put your message in front of the reader.

  21. I’ll be back to take another look at the picture after I launch.

    Thanks again for great information. Information backed up with real facts. Such a rarity these days.

  22. Darren – Thanks for continuing to share this great tips on ebook promotion based on your experiences with 30 DBB and your photography books. I wish you the best with your endeavors and look forward to more insightful posts like this.

  23. For those that need it, Aweber can be found at https://www.aweber.com

  24. Hi Darren, thanks for the case study. This post highlights the power of email lists again. I’m not sure if I’ll do an e-book launch – it was something I was looking into earlier. Your post has given me food for thought :)

  25. That’s a decent earning… Great information. I have totally lagged on my Ebook. But posts like this one are quite motivating.

  26. Thanks for posting this series on launching ebooks. It’s extremely helpful. Congrats on your sales and may they keep rolling in over time! In a future post, I’d love to hear answers to some of the questions posed in the comments – like regarding Amazon (are you waiting until summer given today’s pricing announcement?), itunes and services such as LuLu or fastpencil. Cheers!

  27. Periodically discounting the product will keep buyers interested.

  28. Thanks for continuing to share this great tips on ebook promotion based on your experiences

  29. Are you a bit over-marketing your e-book now a days ?? :)

    just a thought…..

  30. Well done with the book Darren,

    Of course you have the contacts to help push your book and this is huge.

    I recieved Email from you when the Shoemoney launched and Email From Shoemoney when you launched your book, similar to recieving mail from John Chow about S.money and visa versa.

    Having these people who possess some of the biggest mailing lists around promoting for you is an awesome tool to be able to use.

    Continued Success,


  31. Darren..
    quite informative post. Now a days 100s of sites are selling ebooks online but very few people know how to do marketing..

    but I learn many new things from this post.
    thanx for sharing.

  32. Thank you for the share,

    Among my to do list I have been fully intending to create my own Ebook but yet to find the time. From reading this it has inspiered me to “get on my lazy lazzy” and get cracking!

    I wish you all the best and thank you for the update,



  33. Darren – Thanks for continuing to share this great tips on ebook promotion based on your experiences with 30 DBB and your photography books. I wish you the best with your endeavors and look forward to more insightful posts like this

  34. How do the coupon codes get generated. Does Aweber actually have an automatic method of doing this that integrates with your e-commerce platform or PayPal? Personally I can handle the small volume of coupons I need manually, but I don’t see how you could with your kind of volume.

  35. This one is insanely useful for me. I’m in the middle of setting up my list again while releasing an e-book. Thank you for consistently teaching what I went to learn… even before I realize I want to learn it.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  36. Hey, do you plan to actually test the days? For example, test sending the promotion on the 6th and then on the 7th day for example to see the profitability. You can get quite creative with testing and increasing profits

  37. I’ve been working on putting together my first ebook and these are great tips on how to promote your content.

    Using an autoresponder in a sensible manner cannot only be used to promote ebooks but can be used to promote any kind of business where you provide a solution to a potential customer’s problem.

    Thanks for the inspiration,


  38. Wow, once again I am flabbergasted by just how little I still know about blogging and launching an e-book. I’m getting ready to launch one later this year so this is some great info that I never even considered. Thanks!

  39. Obviously with the figures you pulled in the first week, small expenses are… small, but I looked into Amazon for my startup ebook and you have to register ISBNs and register, which make alternate distribution more appealing.
    Thanks Darren, this tip is more relevant to me than some others :)

  40. Makes sense. The difference between so many people knowing this stuff and doing it is what defines the successful.

  41. Good tips, the diagram makes total sense. I’ve recently been working on my very first E-book but know very little about E-book promotion as I’ve never had to do it before, so this post will help me on my quest, thanks. Going to go check out your $72 000 in E-books in a week post right now!

  42. I’m currently working on an eBook. I’m still in two minds whether to offer it for free or to sell it but if I sell it I’ll make sure to use your great advice. Thanks!

  43. Hey Darren,

    Yaro suggested in his blog about Six-Figure Launch to begin by giving an eBook away to get subscribers to their newsletter. I was just wondering if you agreed with that… do you think a free ebook is better in the beginning, or should you just try to sell it straight off the bat?

  44. I would really like to create an Ebook on Cisco Configurations. How to we keep it from the Torrents?

  45. There’s really nothing to it but to do it. Marketing is key but getting the e-book done is half the battle. After that you can’t sit on your laurels and expect the dough to come rolling in. You have to be proactive with all things online.

  46. I will make a plan to create my first free ebook soon! Thanks for your participation of motivating me about succesful life from blogging!

  47. i found weekly update very useful. after weeks of implementation, i earned twice as much as i used to get.

  48. Darren,
    Thanks for sharing your cycle idea. I am just starting to work on my auto responder series for my subscribers. It is about time in two years I collected over 10,000 subscribers and I have emailed them only about 6 times. Time to work the list.

  49. Purchased an e-book about seo 2 years ago and was promised updates, etc. but never received anything. Disappointing since I had paid 69.00 for it. Darren’s recommendations are are not only good, but true if you want to sell e-books successfully. Especially if you’re charging a higher amount.

  50. i think writing a book is better than blogging, lol
    thanks for the article.

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