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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. When you do ebooks, I suggest that you should offer it in other formats other than pdf.

  2. Publishers just do not get it. If they price ebooks the same as hardbacks, they are going to lose a huge chunk of their customer base because people will not pay hardback price for a book they cannot even touch, even with enhanced features. Publishers are letting greed get in the way and they are completely missing the point.

  3. There are some really interesting comments on this post aswell. I am also one that worries about how to best protect my hard work and writing, with torrents and such. But, then it almost seems inevitable that it will get pirated. Congrats on a great launch, btw.

  4. A friend wants to launch a book in the near future, and I think these little insights you share here would really be helpful to him, so thanks much.

  5. I was reading about this on the problogger forums, sounds like a great strategy!

  6. Great post… This is so commonplace and not many people talk about it. Ihave heard from a few friends of mine about how they thought after the first week that they were sitting on a gold mine, only to see sales taper off to nothing. We do a great job of advertising, marketing, and hyping for the launch and forget to sustain. Thanks for the advice!

  7. i like problogger
    thank you for make nice post

  8. I find that my e-newsletter is a big boost to my business. It is sent out monthly and gives your contacts an opportunity to remember you and your product without harassing them.

  9. I read every day e-books for marketing and SEO – this is great idea for everyone
    Best regars

  10. I was still a little vague on the sequence until you put the matrix type chart in the article. Now I see the big picture, Thanks Darren, and I hope this one is a big hit for you, as I know from previous reading that photography is where it all started. This is truly a labor of love.

  11. Could you use someone to carry your camera the next time you’re on a photo shoot for your follow-up book. I work cheap!
    Seriously, I’m very happy for you and hope this one has legs that will carry it for a long time.

  12. Its always good to follow up with emailing your customers to can them updated on what you are up to. Continuing different offers and so forth. Upcoming ebooks etc… Good post and great income. Keep up the good work!

  13. I’ve always wanted to produce a product, something like an ebook would be excellent. I just need to gather together enough information and form one. This post has given me some excellent information about E-book promotion. Hopefully I can put it to use :)

  14. Periodically discounting the product will keep buyers interested.

  15. I liked that you put out a sample of your newsletter. I like what you call the low pressure sales technic. That was educational for me. I have a website for multicultural moms (http://www.bloggermoms.com) and I think newsletters have great potential for us. I dont know if I have missed it but I would like some more ideas on using newsletters.

  16. Interesting article. I am working on e-book at the moment and this source of information was helpful.

  17. A very good post and i think im going to look at how i send my emails out to my subscribers after reading this to see if i can tweak my sales conversion thanks again.

  18. This is actually a great strategy.

    I have just realeased my first ever FREE eBook so although I’m not trying to sell it, this is still very much worth bearing in mind.

    Great post.


  19. I need to bookmark this post for when I venture into my own e-book one of these days. Not to that level yet though.

  20. I really want to have one soon. But i think, before i do this, I have to optimize first the visits in my blogs.

    for sure, after a year and my blog is already publicized, I will be creating an e-book too…

    nice content.


  21. You’re better off submitting the free ebook to free software submission sites for backlinks. LOL

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

  23. I have just realeased my first ever FREE eBook so although I’m not trying to sell it, this is still very much worth bearing in mind.

  24. Hey Darren,

    What you are saying is that we should build a list from our blog, be interactive with the, and then “ping” then continuously about the product we launch.

    This is something that really can work. But, I think, there won’t be much buyers in the “crowd”. You build a list by providing a free gift. And those people are looking for freebies? Right? So, why would they buy a product from an email?

    Please clarify!


  25. thanks for the info
    i do sell books too but because i have a website and not a blog, people visit all pages equally and not just the newest posts and that’s the main reason my ebook sales didn’t drop

  26. great tip! thank you..

    see also my article on starting your ebook business..


  27. nice post Darren and these tips are very useful . this is a wining strategy.

  28. Hi,
    I am new to IM having just completed my first ebook I have found your post very interesting. Thanks for the information.

    Regards Steve

  29. To extend profitability of e-book or even to increase it, it needs creative campaign method. Yes, I agree by offering 25% discount on the E-book for e-mail subscriber is great technique to attract physological buyer. Thanks for sharing

  30. You are doing an awesome job, though I suspect you know that already. I’d like to increase my visitors, so I’m subscribing right now. Thanks for going all out helping bloggers like me.

  31. I’ve been wanting to make my own e-book and sell it. But the problem is, I don’t have enough credibility and influence in order for the market to want to buy my e-book. It’s frustrating to know that we should first build our reputation as experts in the field that we want to pursue before writing an e-book about it. What if I am simply a good researcher and a good writer, but I don’t consider myself as an expert in the field that I will be writing about? How can I sway the market towards entertaining my e-book?

  32. Amazing, I always think that creating e-book can’t make huge money, because google.com can do anything

  33. wow, it’s so cool
    i had never thought that kind of email cycle before…
    thanks for the illustration :-D

  34. Well, it’s the daily sales that count if you’re looking for a passive income. Otherwise you would have to keep pumping out new products on a regular basis – and working on them.

    Sound advice and useful tips on using Aweber. Haven’t used it yet but it’s right there on my to do list:)

  35. I really like the way you illustrated the e-mail technique. I’m not in the business of selling books, but you have inspired me. Thanks.

  36. I really want to have one soon. But i think, before i do this, I have to optimize first the visits in my blogs.

  37. Hi Darren

    I have written something about you in my blog. They are my personal feelings about Problogger and you.

    Hope you like it :)



  38. Hey Darren, Thanks for this info. I’m constantly in a position of worrying myself with what I should be doing with regard to emailing my list. You’ve really cleared it up, cheers mate

  39. My opening week for my E-book was more like $72. I will definitely give the ideas here a shot and hopefully get more sales.

  40. I really like the way you illustrated the e-mail technique. I’m not in the business of selling books, but you have inspired me. Thanks.

  41. I really like the way you illustrated the e-mail technique. I’m not in the business of selling books, but you have inspired me. Thanks.

  42. Darren, I am a big fan of all of your work. I currently am putting together my own e-book and I appreciate the information that you have here. Plus it looks like my fellow readers here at ProBlogger, have some great insight too! Thanks everyone.

  43. I’ve been selling the same e-book, How to Speed Read Piano Chord Symbols, online for seven years. It still generates income every month, although I’ve never made $72,000 off of my ebook in a year, much less a month or week. I’ve always figured it’s a specialized topic, so I’ve marketed it with free music tutorials that have gotten picked up the search engines. I never tried affiliates. Do you have a post where you talk about what affiliate system you used for your book?

  44. Hello,

    this was interesting reading.

    I am working on one e-book project and this article gave me useful tips.


  45. You have written few more advance tips, I am going to book mark it.

  46. Thanks for the blueprints for success on the web that you offer us all for free

  47. Great post, never made a bean online myself but I have big plans for my poker blog! lol
    I’m bookmarking this site so I can come back for more. As a newb to blogging and internet marketing this looks like a great place to start looking for helpful information.



  48. You can make some good money selling ebooks. My friend nick stewart does that althought hackers stole his download link and posted it all over the web.

    Today you can be a pretty popular blogger with a few thousand rss feed subscribers and, good marketing knowledge you will be able to sell hundreds copies of your ebook.

    Digital point is a great place to sell ebooks along with


    And many more. If you sold 500 ebook copies in a week and you sold them for 30$ a pop. Your looking at 15,000$ in cash!! You dont have to be a big writting to make big dollars. For a writter to make 15k writting he would have to sell thousands copies of his book. A 18 year old guy like me can write an ebook and promote it well and make just as much. Welcome to 2010

  49. I tried offering a free e-Book and then follow up with subsequent Aweber messages, but haven’t had much success. I’m was thinking of hiring a professional writer to create a series of follow messages that are geared toward a better conversion rate. The tips provided by this posting may convince me to do the work myself. Thanks!

  50. For me an e-book launce should really be worth creating a buzz. You have done a great job with your strategies and I only hope I would be able to do the same in the future. I also believe that if you really created something fantastic, it will still sell pretty intensely after a launch. I would continue to promote it and do the same strategy you’ve done.

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