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Sell $20,000 Worth of Your Next Ebook

This guest post is by Sarah Mae of MarketandSellYourEbook.com.

Marketing is the act of buying or selling in a market.

Where is your market?

Do you have one? Do you own one? Do you shop at one? In the new world of invisible wires where connections are made 24/7 all around the world, the starting place for successful marketing begins at your market … your space … your platform.

How is your platform looking?

Once you have established yourself as an influential voice in your market (your blog, other blogs you’ve created, social networking, conferences, meet-ups, etc.), then you can expect to sell at least $20,000 worth of ebooks if you do a few simple but significant things (assuming the ebook has been written, edited, and is ready to go with content people need).

Have a slammin’ cover

People judge a book by its cover, if it weren’t so people wouldn’t be hiring designers to create something magnetic for the cover of our words .. .we want to draw people in. My advice? You must have a professional looking cover, so unless you’re a graphic designer (and a good one), hire someone. I recommend Insight Blog Design (brilliant, easy to work with, affordable).

Involve your community in the ebook process

The more you involve your community, the more your community is going to want to be a part of what you’re doing. Some things you could do to get your community excited about your ebook:

  • Have them come up with the title or subtitle of the ebook.
  • Ask for their tips on the subject matter and include the best ones in the ebook.
  • Ask their opinions on things regarding the ebook.
  • Have them vote on the cover (two choices).

Get your ebook on Kindle and Nook

Have you read this? Digital sales are dominating—take note and get on the ships that are delivering! If you aren’t tech savvy, hire someone to format your ebook to Kindle and Nook. You have to do this if you want to be a serious contender in the game. Some tips:

  • Make sure to fill out your author profile with your blog/s and Twitter handle … also, a nice picture.
  • Before you tell the world that you’re on these platforms, make sure you have reviews (you’ve got to ask!).

To get your book on Kindle, go here For Nook, go here

Send your ebook to your friends and network community

Ask your friends to read your ebook, give you a quote if they like it, and leave a review on Amazon. Also ask if they would be willing to review it on their blog and/or host a giveaway.

Prepare a community … that you’re a part of

You need to set up a website dedicated to your ebook that includes:

  • a one-liner at the top that effectively describes your ebook and makes it desirable
  • quotes from people who have read it (try and get quotes from well-known people/bloggers)
  • a call to action—”Buy the Book!”—with links
  • pages: about the book, about you, people involved (link love is good), sample chapter, forum, blog, reviews, and anything else you can offer that benefits your community
  • a video of you talking about your ebook—this is no time to be dull (unless that’s what people like about you)! Also, keep it to two minutes or you’ll lose people!

You also need to set up a Facebook fan page and Twitter hashtag or handle.

  • Get your Facebook page up and ready with your ebook picture, description, and links—you will need to be involved in the community for it to work—leaving quotes, interacting, starting discussions, etc. Always answer questions!
  • Have a hashtag ready to go (that isn’t being used at all) and if you will work it consistently, a Twitter handle as well—you need to interact with your community!

Create a video

It’s all about connection. You want to make a connection with your audience, your community. A video allows people to hear and see you, your expressions, your passion, and your heart for what you have written. Creating a thoughtful video (not something just slapped together) will significantly increase your reach and your sales. Tips:

  • If you’re selling your book using E-junkie, use their YouTube branding to get more traffic to your ebook website.
  • Make sure to put the whole URL of your ebook website in the description—make it the first thing there.

Price it right

There are tons of opinions on how you should price your ebook, and you can utilize Google to find them all out. My opinion is that you should consider your audience and then make a decision. My audience is made up of mostly stay-at-home moms, so I decided to price my ebook at $4.99 (also, no weird numbers please, like $4.97 or $6.93—simple is always better). My reasoning? Who doesn’t have five bucks?

Build buzz

The minute I decided I was going to put out an ebook, I began to talk about it and get my readers involved. Build excitement. Read Top Things I’ve Learned in Selling an Ebook, by Tim Ferriss.


This is the fun part! You have worked hard and are ready (albeit nervous) to get your book out “there”! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Have a launch day celebration with giveaways. I contacted companies and had them donate to the release of my ebook. I used both of my blogs to launch, and had different giveaways for each. Giveaways and fun build excitement and spread the word.
  • Be everywhere. You’ve got to get (and keep) your ebook in front of people. Ask bloggers to do reviews and/or giveaways (get tons of these … and don’t stop). Guest post. Perhaps even pay for advertising on strategic sites—but only if they write a post along with an advertisement. The posts are gold.
  • Give your ebook away. Free is always good. I gave my ebook away free for one day only to anyone who would spread the work via social media channels. I gave over 2000 away for free, but this proved to be the best decision I could have made. You’ve got to break through your own sphere of influence. Giving away my ebook by having others spread the word everywhere in the online space broke through. I gave away over 2000, but I’ve also sold over 11,000.
  • More freebies! What can you offer that will reward those who have purchased your ebook? Think “free printables” or “extra chapters”, “bonus material,” etc. Have a readers-only downloads page.
  • Find a way to keep your ebook fresh. For example, my ebook has challenges in it. I listened to the feedback from readers, and decided I needed to have easier challenges for those in a different stage of life. I created the new challenges and then made them available for free to those who purchased the ebook. Be creative, and listen to your readers.
  • Find a way to make your ebook work in groups. The power of groups can make your ebook go viral. Can you put together a group challenge of some sort? A book club with questions (that you perhaps put on a reader downloads page)? Again, think creatively.
  • Pay attention to what bestselling authors do, and then do it. Look at @garyvee and @tferriss—brilliant marketers.

What tips can you add from your experience launching and selling your own ebooks? Add them below!

Sarah Mae is the author of the new Ebook, “How to Market and Sell Your Ebook – Everything You Need to Know to Make Money with ePublishing” and the bestselling ebook “31 Days to Clean—Having a Martha House the Mary Way You can follow Sarah Mae on Twitter @sarahmae or on her blog, LikeaWarmCupofCoffee.com.
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  1. Brilliant advice as always Sarah Mae!!! Thanks so much!

    • Ashley,

      I couldn’t agree more! Sarah’s done a pretty fantastic job of laying out an ebook launch strategy. If I’d paid for the information in this post, I would have thought it was well worth it.

      @ Sarah: Reading this has really got me thinking about my membership site, Niche Site Mastery. (I teach people how to build a portfolio of Adsense sites). Perhaps I should make an ebook from the content in the site? My members rave about the content, so I’d have to guess that creating a ebook version (membership site contains lots of video) would probably go over very well.

      Darn you for adding to my already overloaded pile of projects!

      Thanks again,

      • This is a post is worth some commercial value for sure. And I would not mind if does increase my workload as I am already in the process of writing my first ebook and I intend to give it away for free.

        Sarah thanks for the invaluable post detailing the steps to an ebook launch.

  2. Wow Sara Mae, consider me impressed. Where do you get the time to do all this in addition to A Warm Cup of Coffee and Relevant and your kids? (People ask me this all the time too.) You might actually convince me to write an eBook.

  3. Congratulations Sarah Mae! And thanks Problogger for hosting someone I look up to so much!

    So…you really think anyone…not just Sarah Mae…can sell $20,000 in eBooks? Would love thoughts on this from the perspective of a smaller blogger.

  4. “… expect to sell at least $20,000 worth of ebooks if you do a few simple but significant things…”

    That puts a kick in procrastination’s behind….!

    You GO, girl!!

  5. Sara Mae – solid advice and I especially like your suggestions about getting your audience involved. One of my students came up with my book title and it was so much better than anything I had ever dreamed up. I’m trying to figure out how to get a color ebook easily to market, as my last quilting book was four color, on museum-quality paper, and PRICEY to produce.

  6. Mainline Mom

    Well, in the words of my husband, I’m “nuts.” What he means is, and what I do, is set aside a week to go full-bore into writing an eBook while friends come over and play with my babes. Then, when that week is over, it’s done (except for what I can do here and there). As for LWCC, that’s sporadic, when the mood hits, and Relevant is only time consuming at the end, otherwise it’s Saturday morning stuff (my hubs watches the babes on Saturday mornings so I can go to Starbucks).

    Hope that answered your question!
    And by the way, GO FOR IT! ;)

  7. Fantastic and useful information for me. I am thriving to learn more about e-book promotion and with the powers of Laws of Attraction, Sarah Mae has wrote an outstanding and informative posting today. I give thanks Sarah for creating this post,and relaying this information.

    As with the advice, I have a hard time with selling an E-book for a low price. I will be creating a huge e-book with at home activities and will want people to get there bang for there buck. Also there is more $5 books out there that has useless info and it will be harder to stick out.

    Sarah Thanks again.

  8. Sara Mae-
    Excellent post! I learned some more tips from your post that I’ll be able to use for my ebook later this year or early next year.

    I like the YouTube video idea as well. I hadn’t thought of that.

    So there won’t be an issue distributing the book through Amazon & Barnes and Noble? Thx for posting the links I’ll have to read up on them later.

  9. Hello Sarah, this really is a great post! Thanks a lot for sharing this, you gave me some great ideas for my own ebook!

  10. Nicely done, Sara. My wife introduced me to your Warm Cup of Coffee blog a few months back and we got your eBook on opening day. I remember that you tweeted a few weeks later on a free calendar download created by a fan of your eBook. It’s great to see a community support and add richness to the already existing content.

  11. Love seeing you on ProBlogger, Sarah Mae! You are a gem!

  12. Great tips and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

  13. Awesome advice Sarah Mae! Now if that is what we are getting for FREE, then my curiosity is really peaked about what you have behind the covers of your e-book:D

  14. Absolutely love this post! Great information!!

  15. Woot! You go girl is all I can say! I’m so proud of you for casting your vision and chasing after it! You inspire me. I cannot wait to sit down at Relevant and pick your brain on a few things. We need to set aside a small coffee date! :)

  16. Good tips there, but nothing too exciting – nothing I couldn’t read elsewhere, no offense though. What about advertising on facebook? banner ads on large websites for a week before the launch? contacting large and small names in your field and asking for a guest post?

    • Hi Shuck,

      My goal is to show that the “everyday” person can find success selling an eBook without spending a lot of money to get there. I have a full-time income from one eBook, and I only invested about $500 total (cover design, header, blog buttons, and a few advertisements on blogs), and that only after I had sold enough to cover that cost (I had a sponsor for the eBook which covered the initial design costs).

      As far as contacting people for guest posts, yes. I talk more about it in the eBook. ;)

  17. Ah, so proud to see you on here! Can’t wait to read your eBook.

  18. Thanks for the helpful advice, Sarah!
    I’m actually in the midst of releasing my newest eBook, Lies, Damned Lies & Internships. Talk about an uphill battle! What would you say is the most helpful tactic an eBook author can do in publicizing their book?

  19. Such great info ~ and woot to your success! : )

  20. Wow, that’s quite a timing! I’m launching my first ebook tomorrow! I’ll be working on some of your tips in the following days!! I really didn’t think of making a video for my ebook but that’s a great idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing those tips ;)

  21. Just wanted to say this was a great article with lots of practical ideas.

    Thank you, and keep up the good work

  22. Sarah Mae,

    I did not see this on your F.A.Q. page: Mac or PC?


    • What do I use or what do I recommend? I use a PC, but my next computer will be a MAC.

      • Schweet!! And I have just the book for you before you purchase it. :-) https://www.createspace.com/3403435 Shameless plug, I know, but I just want to ensure you start off on the right foot. Let me know if you need any help, be glad to assist you.


        • Ha! Awesome, thanks! :)

          • Oh, and you talked above about the “everyday” person, well I wrote my book completely in Apple’s iWork Pages, their $79 office suite. No need for those fancy $700 applications, a professional editor gave me a “B+” for my efforts, so an “everyday” person can write a book and get it published. Now on to my ebook, you made it so easy to get it done now. :-)

  23. Haven’t read it yet but was surprised a little that it was pdf and not ereader format.

  24. I have often thought of writing an E-book. The ideas in my head deserve more of a market than they currently have! Your post certainly makes it seem easy and worthwhile to put in the effort. Once I have built up more readership for my blog I will definitely be looking into an E-book. Thanks for offering some inspiration to us blogging newbies.

  25. Nice article, Sarah.

    Your statement “Once you have established yourself as an influential voice” sums up the whole E-Book Sale / Website(Blog) Financial success thing, in a nutshell.

    Emphasis on the “Established” and “Influential Voice”.

    Without those two boxes being ticked, there won’t be a lot of E-Books leaving the virtual Bookshelf.

    • Not entirely true, not if you get book bloggers on your side. Every heard of Amanda Hocking? No platform when she started.

    • Daniel,

      I was listening to a teleseminar where a gentleman wrote a book for first time mothers about their health. He has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and guess what: when he wrote it he had no kids, was not married, not a doctor, and is a man!! As long as you put out QUALITY information, it does not matter who you are.

  26. James Greg says: 06/29/2011 at 5:19 pm

    $4.99 for an e-book is not too much asking. I like your strategy of free giveaways on the first day. Launching a book is really a tough part, you have all kinds of expectations and the audience can make any decision. That is the hardest part facing the outcome. Publicizing really is the most important part to make sale. Sarah Mae I haven’t read your e-book yet but from this article I’m sure reading your work has now become essential.

  27. Compelling post Sarah. So you think I can make $20,000 selling a worthy ebook? I’ll keep this noted..

  28. I write, write and write some more, but never thought, until now, about putting together an e-book. We are Realtors that embrace technology… You definitely opened up my mind to start looking for what to make the book about… Consumer based or Realtor based??? Huummmmmmm…. Thanks for getting my juices flowing :-) My BEST to you Sarah!!

  29. Wow. I’ve been going about e-books all wrong. Thanks for setting me right Sarah Mae.

  30. Thank you Sarah Mae, inspiring light. I love the practical doable steps..inspired action..keep sharing n growing

  31. Sarah,
    How exciting for you! You’ve worked hard on all fronts. Congrats, too, for making it on Problogger.

    Can’t wait to read your ebook. I’m off to print it now with pencil and hotliner. AND a big cup of coffee.

  32. I’ve read the e-book and I am more than happy with the content. Sarah Mae has really given us the ability to use our gifts and knowledge and make a living from it – from home! I am more than pleased that Sarah Mae is sharing her success story instead of keeping it to herself. There is plenty of room for all of us to make money by selling e-books… especially when you only charge $5!

    Good job, SM!

  33. Sarah Mae, so proud of you. Love seeing you here on Problogger!!!

  34. For anyone who was looking for the reader version, it is now available on Kindle: http://amzn.to/jhwyrz

    Nook tomorrow!

  35. Great post! I love the “create a video” idea. Thank you for sharing!

  36. I have a lot of work ahead of me… but oh well. time to stop procrastinating

  37. Hi Sarah,

    I’ve been doing some interviews with eBook authors and getting some awesome feedback. I’ve also sent Darren an email and hoping that he would do the interview.

    My readers already love the interviews and think they are a great help to them. Your tips here are awesome. Probably, I will contact you soon regarding an interview.

  38. I have a poetry book I was thinking about publishing along with a co-author/friend…but this really pushes me to do an e-book instead. Well written content, I like this site and the information you provide to all us other form or content bloggers. Definitely subscribing.

  39. Dorothy says: 07/01/2011 at 2:15 am

    Great info Sarah. I plan to apply a portion of all of your tips in the near future. Thanks so much for passing it on!

  40. Excellent advice. Luckily, my company is doing a lot of what is mentioned here, but are always dreaming up new ways to promote and build buzz. The most helpful new service is ebook reviewing. We can just email a PDF copy of a book vice going to the post office with a print copy. I’m enjoying this new world of indie publishing. :-)

  41. Phew! Lots of great ideas in there. Thankfully I am doing a lot of them for my ebook. Not sure if I am ready for YouTube or should that be the other way round?

  42. I’m so excited to read your book – I’ve followed you closely and tried to do everything I saw you do. I released my first ebook “Real{Fast}Food – Time-Saving Techniques for the Real Food Kitchen” last month. Considering my immature platform, I feel it has done well. (I’ve made over $300 in 3 weeks) I figure this is just the beginning, now that I’ll actually be able to learn and implement all your great ideas.

    Thank you, Sarah Mae, for helping me achieve a life long goal of publishing a book and showing me I can help support my family doing something I love. I can’t wait to give you a big hug at Relevant. :)

  43. Sarah Mae’s ebook 31 Days to Clean was excellent and so is her new ebook! I will be reviewing it next week (so excited and happy for her) and just did an interview with her Friday that you can read here: http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/2011/07/interview-with-sarah-mae-best-selling.html –Enjoy! Also, thank you so much, Sarah Mae, for showing us how you did it for such a great price. :)

  44. Great tip Sarah! I’m definitely looking forward to launching my first ebook. I’ll keep all of these things in mind and hope to reach the $20,000 mark at some point.

  45. Do you need financial assistant? visit http://www.bit.ly/iFR4qP or contact us via Email [email protected] for more info.

  46. brilliant. you’re simply brilliant.

  47. This is brilliant. Sarah Mae is awesome. I have her ebook on how to create and market an ebook. I am working on 2! And Erin from Design by Insight is AWESOME. She is going to begin working on my smoothie ebook November 1 :)

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