How to Write & Sell an Ebook – Podcast Ep.12

Dec 7, 2020 | Entrepreneurship, Podcast

If you want to learn how to write and sell your own ebook, tune into this week’s episode! We go over alllll the benefits of having ebooks in your product suite, how to validate your idea, how to make your first ebook come to life, how to price it, host it, promote it, and sell it.

Audio Transcript

Hello entrepreneurs. And welcome back to The Wanderlover podcast. This episode is launching on December 7th, which means, Oh my God.

(47s):
This year is almost over so crazy, right? I think we spent most of it in Brazil and we started in Argentina and now we’re still in Mexico going back to New York in a few weeks and wow, 2020, what a year. However, if you are in my Facebook group, if you currently work with me, you’ll know the year’s not over yet. And there is still so much that can be accomplished and we will not lose our momentum. This week’s episode is all about how to write and sell an ebook, which is really exciting because Instagram for business, my newest e-book is launching next week.

(1m 27s):
So in this episode, I really just want to pull back the curtains and give you guys a lowdown on if you want to do it yourself, this is step-by-step how you can as well. And it’s really not as hard as it seems so before we get started, I just want to give the hugest shout out and warmest welcome to the newest member of The Wanderlover team. Her name is Alex, and she will be at my newest VA, which stands for virtual assistant. And it’s just so crazy how the universe works and how everything falls into place. Alex is super creative and we actually were best friends in high school and kind of lost touch over the years.

(2m 9s):
But recently she has just been showing up more and more in my Facebook group. And I was getting more and more frustrated with outsourcing to people I couldn’t really trust and rely on. And the same day where I was telling rags, like, you know what I think I want to just bring Alex on. She messaged me the same exact day and I was like, Oh my God, this is a sign. I must talk to her. I don’t know if she’s interested, but I really want to like, you know, pitch this and pass it by her. And it’s just such synchronicity and everything fell into place. I’m learning from her. She’s learning from me and I’m really excited to start this journey with her. So if you see her on my Instagram, just say, hi, she is like the biggest sweetheart.

(2m 54s):
I also wanted to share with you guys after one of me and Alex’s like first conversations, I was telling her how for the past four years I’ve been using a passion planner. And if you guys know me in real life, you probably would have seen my passion planner. Cause I have it everywhere with me and everywhere in the world. I go, I rave about it because it’s essentially this life planner that breaks down your yearly goals or your lifetime goals into yearly goals and then monthly goals. And it’s a daily planner where you can work on things every day to achieve, you know, your three month, one year three-year lifetime goals.

(3m 37s):
So I’ve been using that for the past four years. Every year, I have a major goal, you know, in 2017 it was to quit my corporate job in 2018. It was to be a full-time entrepreneur and move to a different country, et cetera. However, when, I told Alex about this planner, she actually told me that she had it for a little while and instead moves on to a new planner called Clever Fox which worked better for her and me, ou know, being so stuck in my ways and like raving about passion planner for so long. I was like, you know, like it’s so true because I’m so stuck in my ways.

(4m 20s):
I honestly haven’t looked at any other planner in the market. She as tried and tested both of them and likes Clever Fox better. Let me look into Clever Fox and lo and behold, like within 48 hours, I am purchasing a clever Fox planner for 2021. I’m really excited because every time you introduce new people, new ideas, you learn more, right. And this is what this podcast is about always learning, expanding what you know, and I will report back to you guys, like I’m going to start using it. I watched a few YouTube videos and reviews on it. And one of the main things that I noticed was different between the two planners, is that with clever fox it’s not a weekly, like nine to five, or what is it like 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM planner where In passion planner, you know, you’re like breaking down your day by hour and it’s more a weekly comprehensive view.

(5m 19s):
It does break it down by day, but it’s more focused on the bigger goals. You know, it’s not about a to-do list and there’s more reflection. So I’m going to try it out. I think I might actually like it better, but it just didn’t enter my world until this past week. And so thank you, Alex. I am really excited to just have her influence and ideas and a fresh new pair of eyes in the business. Okay. So now let’s dive into this week’s episode, how to write and sell an ebook. And as you may or may not know my journey with eBooks started 2018.

(5m 59s):
When I launched the first edition of the travel influencer handbook, I have relaunched it every year. So in 2019 and volume three, this past February in 2020, and currently I am finishing my latest newest e-book Instagram for business, and that is launching next week. So I want to first go over why I love eBooks and why I keep rewriting them and keep writing them. And what, like what has prompted me to even create one in the first place three years ago. So I’ve always loved the idea of having a physical product and selling it.

(6m 41s):
And if you’ve listened to a few of my past episodes, you’ll know that when I was working in corporate finance, I was shipping. I was selling on Amazon FBA. I had a like store on my wander lover blog to even where I was selling, like travel necklaces. And I had like affiliate links to backpack. So it was like a compilation of different products where either I was, or wasn’t holding inventory, but e-commerce was a world I was really familiar with. And then over time, what I learned with e-commerce is like, you know, with shipping, there’s always complications with returns, with a customer service and a lot of overhead and cost of goods sold.

(7m 25s):
So when I was first exposed to the concept of an e-book, I was like, wait, I can write this once. And I would make, you know, a huge profit margin. I didn’t have to worry about shipping and dealing with suppliers. And it just seems like such a better business model or model to kind of direct my attention to not to say that I was always planning to just make the wander lover and have this one ebook and have it sustainable for the rest of my life. That was never the case with any shop. You always want to diversify your products. And you’re always thinking about new ways you can add to your income streams.

(8m 8s):
So going from like drop shipping and e-commerce and Amazon into launching an ebook for the wander lover, it just seems like the best way to go. And the next thing to do. And so in total 2018, I launched the first edition of the travel influencer handbook. And since then, it’s just been an asset for my business. So eBooks are usually lower price items and you convert more of your audience. It takes a bit of work upfront, you know, with like writing and editing and making it look all nice and marketing, but then it’s more or less passive if you continue to just drive traffic to your own webpage.

(8m 50s):
And we will get to that later. Another reason I’ve continuously been and writing new eBooks is it showcases your expertise. If you have this asset on your website or on your Instagram, it shows that you are an expert in the niche that you have a book on because more or less like experts write eBooks. And so we’ll also get into this later, but this is why I also would recommend having an ebook as part of your brand and not necessarily, you know, distributing it on Amazon, although it also is a viable way. It all depends on you, but I’m just going to go through what I have personally done with each and every one of my eBooks.

(9m 36s):
So let’s start in 2018 when I had the idea to write my first e-book and what I did the first step is always to research your market and research demand, because if you’re going to go through the effort and time of putting everything together, we want to make sure that there is a positive return on investment and how I personally went through this and how I recommend you go through it is just look at your DMS, look in your network and see what people are coming to you for. Whether you get the same questions over and over, you know, whether you have different inquiries from the same type of people who want to know kind of the same answer.

(10m 18s):
And so, in my case, it was a lot of people being like, how do you land collaborations? How do you travel and work online? And this was, you know, two years ago and I was traveling. So every, every place that I went, I would get the same question and I’m like, huh, maybe I can just package it all together. And if people aren’t coming to you or aren’t DM-ing you yet, you know, like you’re not constantly getting asked the same questions. What you can also do is go into Facebook groups and see what people are struggling with. So find a niche that you are comfortable writing about, and you want to have an ebook on and just research and those Facebook groups, there’s constantly people asking for advice, asking for help.

(11m 2s):
And if you can offer value in that regard, then you know, that there’s demand for it. Right? Another way I love conducting market research is asking my audience. So even if they’re not maybe like coming to me on a regular basis, I can always reach out one-on-one or reach out to my stories and see what people need help with and what they’re struggling with. So these are all really great ways to kind of just validate your idea and make sure that there is demand for whatever it is that you want to write before you actually start writing it. And this not only goes for eBooks, but it goes for, you know, any type of product or service out there, because it’s all about supply and demand, right?

(11m 47s):
Like we, aren’t going to open up a bikini shop in Antarctica because it just wouldn’t it. So if you think about it in the internet world or the online world, like you are essentially testing out your idea and validating it and making sure that once it’s out there, you will get Sales. So next Step is to think of a name. So after you’ve validated your idea Idea and your topic come up with a name for your ebook. And What I like to do is just Open up a word document Down with a bottle of wine. I personally write so much better when I’m a little tipsy, it just like cuts the edge off.

(12m 29s):
And I’m not going back sentence after sentence, seeing if all the grammar and punctuation are perfect, you know, this is just an ideas dump. Okay. I usually write out a very general table of contents and Just start typing and typing and typing everything. I know this usually takes a few days because I’ll always think of something that I want to include later. Maybe take out some other parts, but just a free flow of words and ideas you don’t need to add in any images or screenshots Start. It should only be text and yeah, As you’re writing, don’t focus or don’t be worried about the number of pages or the number of words or the number of chapters that your ebook Has.

(13m 17s):
Just think what Your readers are expecting to learn from this ebook and deliver on that to the best of Your ability, right? It’s all about before reading your book, what is it, The position that your reader is in and then after reading your book, what has he or she learned? So as you’re brain dumping and writing, what I like to do is also highlight sections where I want to include a screenshot or insert a graphic or whatever afterwards. So I can come back to those sections as well as, you know, other parts that I may need to find a quote for, or I want to include something else, but the first draft will always just be text and things that, you know, you want to write about and you can always edit it later.

(14m 4s):
And once you feel like you have basically all the texts, the structure that you want, that’s when you can go in and start adding the photos, the graphics, the quotes, and what I love using for this part is Canva. If you guys don’t have a camera account yet, I just highly recommend it. I use this for all of my eBooks, for all of my headers, for basically anything creative for the wander lover. It’s just such a huge asset and a great platform for you to explore. And so I’ll go on Canva and upload some quotes and some designs and just put everything together.

(14m 44s):
And here you actually have the option to either do it yourself and create your ebook in Canva. So you can copy and paste the text from your word doc, into a Canva graphic or a Campbell like ebook template. Or you can just use Canva for certain pages and two, the other way around, like, copy your camera, graphics into your word document. And personally, the first year I launched a travel influencer handbook. I did everything myself. I didn’t work with a designer. I didn’t hire anyone to help me put everything the way I wanted it to be.

(15m 23s):
And it was like a one man team. And honestly, as long as the information is there, it’s all a learning process. You don’t need to do bells and whistles with design. If that’s either outside of your timeframe or outside of your budget or comfort zone, it’s totally possible to just create an ebook yourself. And so the first year I did that and put it together, I exported it as a PDF, of course, like, you know, you edit and you revise it and make sure it’s the way you want it to look. But then after doing all of that, you just basically export it to a PDF and you have your ebook, right?

(16m 4s):
It’s really not that complicated. It’s kind of like, it reminded me of writing an essay in high school where you would just have texts, insert some citations and you’re teaching and researching and putting everything together. And then in the end you make it look pretty and save it as a PDF under your own names. So, yay. If you followed that you have created your first ebook, but that is just the beginning. And so in the next part of this episode, we are going to talk about the ways that you can host price and promote your ebook, which is, I would say even more important than the creation process.

(16m 47s):
So if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of being a travel influencer, the third edition of the travel influencer handbook is now up on my website. It teaches you everything from growing your accounts, landing collaborations, with brands to getting paid for doing what you love. You can find it on my website at the wander lumber.com/travel-influencer-handbook. So We have your ebook created. Let’s talk about where to host and distribute your ebook and take a shot.

(17m 31s):
Every time I say ebook and this episode, I just started to notice it. And now I’m like ebook key book anyway. So you basically have two options. You can either host online on your own website, you know, on your own domain, or you can go through a marketplace such as Amazon. And I would think of a marketplace As like the Barnes and noble of eBooks, eBooks, eBooks, eBooks. There are Pros and cons to each the biggest being the audience size. So if you do choose to go through Amazon, you have basically everyone who reads and downloads digital files on Amazon at your disposal.

(18m 13s):
Whereas with hosting on your own website, you don’t have access to that, right? However, if you do choose to go through the Amazon route, your pricing options are a lot more limited because you’re also going up against so many other competitors. And why I personally choose to continue solely hosting on my website is because I used to sell on Amazon. I used to do FBA. So I’m Familiar with how Everything on there works and it still takes a lot of time. It still takes promoting your products on there, you know, like spending money to get it up to the top of the search results. And I think just having This control on my website, that’s originally why I wanted to create digital products and host them on the wander lover in the first place.

(19m 3s):
And I’ve learned that this is just what works the best for me and my business, what has worked best for my clients. And I would recommend for you to do the same. So let’s go back to pricing because I mentioned on Amazon, your pricing options are limited. I think the average in the marketplace for eBooks are three to $5. However, when you are hosting and uploading your file to your own website, you can price it at whatever you think, your value, your information, whatever it is that you’re teaching is worth. Right? So the travel influencer handbook, the first year I launched it, it was $57.

(19m 43s):
And for the past two additions, it has been priced at $67. And I found that that sells really well. And it works really well for me, for Instagram, for business. When I launch it, it’s also going to be $67. I’ve seen eBooks go up to $99. I’ve seen them start at $10 and it all just depends on your brand equity, how much value what the transformation is, and whether you have a lot of other competitors In your market. And if you want Or unsure on how to price, any book that you may be writing right now, feel free to DM. Me and my DMS are always open. And I’d be more than happy to talk through some questions, give you some clarity and guidance into how to price yours.

(20m 30s):
So once you have your ebook and once you have your price, the next is to put it all together and give people a way to be able to pay you for it. What I use and what I’ve been using for the past three years is send owl is so easy to use. I believe you can get started $10 or like $9 a month. And what it does is it connects the PDF files. So you can either upload it directly to there, or have a link to your website where it’s posted And it’ll come Up with like a sales page. You can set your own price, it collects payments. It gives you analytics, and it has a bunch of different marketing tools and resources for you, such as you can set up affiliate links, right, and do affiliate marketing, or you could do discount codes.

(21m 18s):
And it’s just really simple to use really comprehensive. You can also integrate woo commerce into your website. I think this is another really popular feature. I also have woo commerce, but what I’ve found is that they have a lot of hidden charges. So if you want to add an additional feature, there will most likely be something else you need to buy. Whereas with send owl, I really haven’t had to request them to add any new features. Like everything that I’ve wanted has always been within my plan. And I think I have the business enterprise ones. So that’s a little more at $39, But highly highly recommend.

(21m 58s):
And Of course just connect your PayPal and your Stripe so that people can purchase using either their PayPal account or their credit card. And usually like payments all around the world will be able to be processed using these two. Now let’s get into ebook promotion. And I want you to think about this as same thing as a physical product, right? Just because the internet has the ability to reach, basically everyone in the world doesn’t mean it’s going to go out of its way to promote your ebook solely when you watch it. And I feel like this is a misconception because of course, if it’s like one of your first eBooks, it’s your baby.

(22m 40s):
And you put so much time into it. And you’re like, why aren’t people buying? Like why doesn’t the world see this? And it’s because the promotion aspect as with anything, if people don’t see it, they’re not going to buy. So you have to find ways to put it in front Of people’s faces. And That sounds a little forceful, but I just want you to think of Barnes and noble. When you walk in, there’s usually a new promotional section, right? When you walk in where it’s all new releases and authors who have just launched a new book and they really want to get their name out, right? So they have this whole launch, they put it front and center in Barnes and noble, and that’s how they get it in front of people’s faces and the internet and the online world is the same.

(23m 27s):
So over time as your brand Grows, as your book grows, as the visibility grows slowly, Slowly as you’re promoting more and more, that’s how you’re going to rake in the sales. And it’s not all going to happen on the first day. If you have a great launch plan that probably will drive in a lot of sales on the first day, but it’s an ongoing effort. So the biggest misconception I see is that you have to spend time writing an ebook and just set it and forget it. And it’s going to be passive. That’s not the case. There’s constant marketing and promotion behind it as with anything else, such as a physical Book.

(24m 8s):
The biggest question, when you have your ebook on your website is how are you going to promote it and how are you going to drive traffic to it? So, yeah, We can go into launching in a completely new podcast episode, but let’s say you started collecting emails even before you launch. Maybe you did like a pre-launch and have orders coming in. How are you going to continue that momentum and get new cold leads onto your web page onto your Instagram? And how are you going to get more people who don’t know you yet to see this amazing new ebook that you’ve just created? And so the two routes that we are going to talk about today is organic promotion and paid promotion with organic promotion.

(24m 53s):
We first focus on all the platforms that you’re currently On. So Facebook, Instagram, You know, using Instagram stories and Instagram highlights, LinkedIn, your online shop and all of these different platforms, you have to be talking About your newest e-book okay. And over and over again and get people excited. You know, sometimes it takes people Like five times, even More, maybe 10 times after hearing something to actually take action and swipe up, to check out the sales page. And sometimes it might seem like you’re being annoying, but that’s what you need to do in this online space to be heard, because there are so many creators Out there.

(25m 37s):
What I also did The first few years with the travel influencer handbook is sign up a lot of affiliates. So all of my influencer friends, I asked them to create a sundial account. So through my affiliate platform on sundown, I was able to generate 30 to 40% commissions for all of my influencer friends. And with affiliate marketing, you really want to find people who are invested into your product, who want to see you succeed, and also who are Great fits for your specific topic, right? So brainstorm, Brainstorm, 50 people. You could reach out to see if they would be interested and you can offer A free copy as well as 30 To 40% commissions, which I’ve Found or just works really well.

(26m 27s):
And if you Want to set up an affiliate program for your ebook and you send owl for your business, I will link my affiliate link in the description of this podcast episode. Other ways to drive organic traffic to your ebook landing, Pinterest Marketing, SEO, weekly emails to your email list and Including, you know, including a link to check out the new book in every single email offering discount codes and sales, Holiday sales, or word Of mouth, getting your friends and family to help you promote getting featured in podcasts and talking about your book, getting featured in news outlets, finding someone to help you with publicity, with PR And the biggest misconception, right about writing an ebook and having it become passive.

(27m 20s):
Is that right? It takes work just because the internet, again, Just because the internet has access and has connected people around the world doesn’t mean that if you Put something out there without promoting it, that it’s just going to continue gaining traction, you really have to build your authority and continue promotion. So think about like even the most successful authors or the most successful influencers, let’s take Tony Robbins. You know, if Tony Robbins way back when just wrote an ebook and launched it without people knowing exactly who he was without having the marketing efforts, without having the workshops and live conferences and all of his other books and courses, the ebook that he originally wrote probably wouldn’t do well.

(28m 8s):
Right? But now after he has built All that and he has digital products, those Efforts are now paying off and he probably sells everything passively. So when you are just beginning, It’s not only driving Traffic and you’re not just trying to make a sale, it’s really building your whole business from the ground up so that you have visibility on every platform on YouTube, or you’re constantly generating leads or from your podcast. And you have all of these in place. And the goal is to make your sales more passive in the background, because there’s just always new traffic, right?

(28m 49s):
Like how great does that sound? And now we are going to dive into paid advertising, which I like a lot. Like I use it every single day. I run ads to the wander lover. And it’s not to say that you can solely rely on it, but it is a more reliable way to generate traffic into your business And to your sales page. And I solely use Facebook ads when I was dropshipping, when I was selling physical products, I experimented with Google ads and I did a lot of keyword research And it just didn’t Have the same effect as Facebook does with the wander lover specifically, because I am so social media and travel and online business focus.

(29m 35s):
However, depending on your niche, I would highly recommend learning about Google ads taking maybe like a, a course or two, so that you’re more familiar with it. And as a business owner, you can decide which one works better for you. You can also experiment with both Facebook ads and Google ads and see which one has a higher ROI for me, for the wander lover, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, they are the most effective. And so I always have them running in the background and I’m just going to share some best practice tips. After years of using ads for my business, always have a nurture and a welcome sequence set up automatically in your CRM.

(30m 19s):
So I use active campaign and every time someone makes a purchase, they’ll automatically get emails about my story and what I do. And also in some of my funnels, I will up sell my initial purchasers to a higher ticket item. If I see that they are engaged and interested. So these are just things to know and things to maybe implement, because if you are spending money to get that initial purchase more often than not, people will be interested in other things that you have to offer. And all it takes is showing them, emailing them and saying that it is possible for you to buy it right here.

(31m 3s):
Right? So best practice. Number one is to have an email nurture and welcome sequence. Best practice. Number two is to include an upsell before or after the purchaser clicks purchase. So this is usually a lower price item. It relates to your ebook and it’s, it should be a no-brainer maybe like under a $20. And it’s just something that people can add on this is called an upsell, and it increases your average purchase order because you’re suggesting these things that other people may be interested in as they’re checking out. So if you think about this, like Amazon does the most amazing upsells because of all of their algorithms and their software.

(31m 47s):
You know, when you’re purchasing something, if you’re purchasing a, a flashlight, they’ll automatically recommend batteries for you to buy with your order, right. And maybe some other offers, right? Like maybe a helmet for you to attach the flight flashlight to, I have no idea. I obviously you have never bought a flashlight from Amazon before, but you get my point. Upsells are valuable. And if you don’t have them in place yet, I highly recommend you thinking about something that you can offer as you are selling your ebook. Okay. Best practice. Number three is to use a lookalike audiences on Facebook ads.

(32m 31s):
And what this does is you basically give Facebook an audience of, let’s say a thousand of your previous customers. If you don’t have that, you can say people who have interacted with your Instagram for the past 60 days, or who have visited your website in the past three months. And what Facebook does is it generates this completely new cold audience. Most of the time, like 1 million people, at least who have the most similar characteristics to that original list or audience that you’ve given them. And so imagine how powerful this is. If you have an entire list of customers and Facebook basically shows your ad to people who aren’t most similar to your past customers.

(33m 18s):
And so conversion rates with those are super high. If you’re not using that in your business right now, you are missing out. And I would highly recommend you look more into it. And I have an entire section about Facebook ads in my newest e-book Instagram for business. If you’re not on the waitlist yet, get on it. Now you can go to the link in my Instagram bio and sign up Instagram for business. The ultimate branding and client attraction guide is launching next Monday. I’m so excited. So it basically goes into everything we’re talking about in terms of marketing, but more in depth.

(34m 0s):
So I hope this episode was helpful. I hope you now have more clarity on how to write an ebook, why you should write one, how to price it, how to market it organically and with paid ads and all of this, you know, it’s a machine. So play around, test it and keep working and optimizing until you get a system that works best for you. And if you have any questions at all, with eBooks, with courses, anything that I talked about in this episode, feel free to DM me with any questions. I answer every single one of my DMS, and I cannot wait to get to know you and where you’re at with business.

(34m 41s):
That’s it for this week. Thank you so much for listening. If you’ve been enjoying this podcast, it would help me so much. If you could rate and review on Apple podcasts, if you haven’t already, I will see you guys next week in the new episode, sending you so much love!

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