19 Ways to Promote Your Ebook

Ebooks are a tried and true method for getting the word out about your expertise as well as creating a nice flow of income. However, a big obstacle for many ebook authors is finding the best way to get the word out and promote their fabulous ebook.

This comes up time and time again with clients and readers. Recently in the survey Ellen Britt and I conducted about digital publishing, one of the top questions online entrepreneurs had was about marketing, promoting and selling ebooks. Though the report will be published soon, in the meantime I decided to go to my network and tap their wisdom to find out how savvy entrepreneurs are promoting their ebooks. What follows are 19 tips; some you know doubt know about and implement, others may be new to you. Here's the question I asked on LinkedIn:

What's your #1 tip for promoting an ebook?

First things first

Rivka Kawano

The most important thing is that you have an overall plan. Any one of the strategies will likely not give you the results you want. And trying to do all of them will only exhaust you and still yield few results is you are just shooting everywhere without a clear target. 

Take some time to really figure out your target market and where they hang out, what they do, what they love, what makes them tick. Then craft an overall plan that meets them where they are. Once you make the plan – stick to it! Sustained, ongoing, strategic effort is what will really help you break through.

Here's a link to an entire series about book marketing that is available totally free. All of them have great info that applies to e-books, but especially listen to the second one with Danny Iny who is an amazingly successful e-book author.

As with all marketing, you need a good plan for launching and promoting a new eBook.

  • First, build your list and create anticipation.
  • On launch day, throw a party for your eBook on your main social media platforms, have giveaways such as a sample chapter, offer special discount for a few days. (Guy Kawasaki gave away PDF copies of his "What the Plus?")
  • Then, keep hammering on with consistent marketing messages, remind your list – because people forget and are busy – that the special discount is going to end. Keep promoting through new channels that open up.

Web Marketing

Jermyn Shannon El

You want to be sure your website is colorful and branded similar to the book's presentation. Be sure you have an option to purchase and download. Also, make sure you capture testimonials to further substantiate your content and material.

Tony Guthrie

Make sure that your website URL (domain name) that promotes the book is named using keywords, NOT the name of the book. People search the web using keywords.

Donna Krech

Make a really good video about your eBook and put it on YouTube. You can leave that as your calling card on social media. Plus it’s more informational than a sales letter on an eBook or just a plain ordering page.

Give away a chapter

Quite a few people commented on the effectiveness of giving away the first chapter or two or three. This certainly can spark interest and sales if your first chapters are compelling and create curiosity to get the rest.

Dave Maskin

Give away the first chapter as a download… When they pay you, you send them a code that unlocks the rest of the book.

Angie Pedersen

Use Pay With a Tweet (http://paywithatweet.com/) to offer a free excerpt (or the whole book!) in exchange for a tweet promoting the book. Instant viralization! [Love this!]

Pawel Grabowski

I tried a number ways to promote my book, to various results. What worked amazingly well was the simplest of them all in fact, offering 2 free chapters for download. I think the reason it worked was that an eBook market is over saturated with low quality products and most buyers are fully aware of that at this stage. I can only imagine how many times my readers were stung with worthless eBooks that they have purchased in the past. 

By allowing them to download 2 chapters of the book for absolutely nothing I was able to reduce the fear of purchase and thus increase my sales. 

Quick tip: to increase conversions, include a few reviews at the start of your sample. They will add an extra layer of validation to your product. 

More on give-aways…

R. Scott Frothingham

Create and give away a report using select information from the book … at the end of the report let the reader know how they can get the full book. If this "teaser" report has value to the recipient, it is a natural next move for them to buy the book. Here is an example of a free report — 5 Quick Self-Motivation Tips that promotes a full book  – NOTE: you can also collect contact information by having interested parties opt-in to an e-mail list to receive the free report.

Jim Britt

Give it away for free for a period of time then sell it for $3 or so, then for a limited time after a few weeks free again then take it to $4 and so on. That will get the word out and raise your stats on Amazon gaining more attention.

Tea Silvestre

Join Amazon's KDP Select program. This gives you the opportunity to offer your eBook for free for any 5 days over a 90-day period. Use the free download days to get the word out about your book. Couple the promotions with other giveaways (perhaps bonuses for buying the paperback/hardcover version) and then reach out to your list of influencers and ask them to share the download info with their networks. I did this for my book and on the first free day reached nearly 1,000 downloads and sold three dozen paperbacks. Also be sure to make your book loanable (so folks who grab your book can loan to friends with a Kindle Reader app) — you'll still earn money and your book will be read by more people!

Bonus tip: Offer a free advanced copy of your book to folks in your network in exchange for a review on Amazon. Give them a target date and follow up by email with a reminder. This will help you jump start your reviews before the release date.

Leah Graves

Get it on the list of Free Friday Books for Nook. I have a lot of eBooks from Free Fridays that have actually made me purchase eBooks that that author wrote that are not free.

Don't forget to remind your audience that you do not need an e-reader to read the book (you can download the free app onto your Mac or PC).

Christine Hueber

Run a relevant contest to give it away to winners, add a call to action to your headline here and FaceBook Fan Page headline, promote it daily with a link on your social media sites, share the first chapter with your list, your social media audiences and joint venture with those who also successfully engage your audience.

Bonus content

Janice Shokrian

Host a substantial webinar that covers the big picture of the eBook, then provide the link to purchase the eBook at the end of the webinar for the user to have more in-depth knowledge. The eBook can be discounted for the webinar attendees.

Caley Van Cleave

Marry your eBook with other more dynamic resources that support the content in the eBook. For example, worksheets, slideshows, tutorial videos, etc. The more engaging the customer experience, the more likely they will be in referring others to download it too!

Have others sell your book for you

Stephanie Hillberry

Take advantage of affiliates! Energize them with your ideas and then equip them to promote your book through their personal networking channels. They earn money, you earn money, and the reader gets a great resource. Everyone is happy.

And my bonus tip? Make sure to include your sales funnel within your e-book in multiple places so you can learn about your readers, build your prospect list/followers, and cultivate long-term relationships.

Elizabeth Cottrell

If your eBook is related to a group or industry that has a trade or other related membership organization, the book can be pitched to its administrative staff to use an incentive of some sort. They might wish to use it to encourage new members to join or get on their email list or perhaps as an incentive to attend an organization event or buy an organization product. A related tactic would be to pitch it to a company that sells a compatible product to use an an incentive for purchase.

I'm working on an eBook about personal note writing, and I plan to contact a major fine stationery company to see if we can collaborate.

Step by Step

Joel Chudleigh

There are 3 steps:

  1. Tap up your networks for reviews and testimonials for the ebook landing page – there are shed loads of ebooks on all subjects out there – why should someone buy yours – there needs to be social proof. If you can get video testimonials then even better.
  2. To get wide exposure create a list of 20-30 high profile (but non competitive) bloggers in your niche and make contact with them. Perhaps for you you could try SEO bloggers and social media bloggers. Do not dive in straight away but build a little rapport before explaining that you have an ebook that you would like to promote that you think would be helpful to their audience but not competitive with their content. Offer them a cut on all sales of the ebook that occur from their visitors if they will promote your ebook through a blog post and/or an email to their subscriber base. 
  3. Give away a free chapter in return for an email address; then upsell the book a few days later – ideally with a case study of someone who used your ebook to make a practical difference to the way they work and got results. 

And my favorite for overall value to the customer

Stephanie Sammons

Offer a free mini coaching course along with the eBook (when someone opts in for the course they get the eBook). This was the primary opt-in on my blog and one of the most effective lead capture strategies I've ever utilized.

This allowed me to "guide and coach" the reader/subscriber through the content, so it was more valuable than just your typical eBook download. (can't tell you how many eBooks I've downloaded and never read or made it through them).

For delivering the mini coaching course, I used an auto-responder and it was a series of 10 emails delivered every other day. The last email is all about asking the reader to share the course with others if they found it to be valuable, and you could also ask for a testimonial or book review on Amazon.

Within the email series you can link to other relevant posts on your blog, or even a video or podcast that goes into more depth on the content.

Lastly, instead of just promoting the eBook on your blog, in your email newsletter, and in social media channels, you promote the package…the mini coaching course.

Now it's your turn…

Have you tried any of the 19 promotion tactics listed above? Or do you have another, more unusual method for promoting your ebooks? Share it in the comments along with a link to an example how you're promoting your ebooks.

Finally, get on the early bird list for notification for when we publish our digital publishing report for online entrepreneurs!

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  1. says

    I am a bit overwhelmed with my first ebook, hopefully publishing in next couple of weeks. This information is very useful. Do you think for a first timer the KDP is the right way to go? I don’t have a big email list, so need all the extra attention I can get. Thanks !

  2. says

    Sometimes things come in front of you just when you need them.
    These days I am planning one book to launch and suddenly I saw this article. For sure I am going to implement them and then I will share my results with you.
    Thanks a ton. :)

  3. says

    I am still working on my ebook, it seems to be taking forever. But these tips will definitely come in handy when I am ready to start promoting it. Thanks for sharing them.

  4. says

    I am a disabled author and have written thirteen western frontier eBooks over the last 2 and 1/2 years but can’t seem to tep into the market because of my limited financial resources and don’t know what to do beyond my author website.

  5. says

    I stumbled upon your website through one of the shares from Michael Hyatt and I am glad I did. There are many points that you’ve shared in this post which will help me promote my next book. I am working on with my partner to launch a book sometime in the second half of the year and collecting all information about publishing and online promotions. I am sure these are going to add some value to knowledge repository.
    Thank you very much.

  6. says

    I’m glad I found this site, these are some great tips. I especially like the advice on contacting bloggers for added exposure, while they receive a percentage of each sale. That is HIGHLY effective, especially considering traffic is the #1 factor for making sells. Without that–even the best books and on-page marketing strategies will be worthless!

    What I’ve found works best is jotting down as many ideas as possible (such as those on this post), and working each one for a specific period of time; and using the few techniques which are getting the most results.

    Oh, and I have an idea: Create a FREE eBook related to the subject of your PAID eBook. In that free eBook, have several links to buy the premium, related product for more information. Publish the freebie on as many FREE eBook sites as possible (such as http://www.free-ebooks.net), so that people who download it see the link to your paid product, and a certain percentage will inevitably buy it!

    This site has been bookmarked. :)

  7. says

    Like some of the other comments here, I give away my book via Kindle Select Program, I also run promotions frequently via my blog and Facebook page. I did a book launch party at my local pub Library Room and had a blast – sold enough books to pay for the whole event! Plus I created a 90 Day Program that I gave away for free as a bonus during the book launch window.
    I’d be lying if I said I’d cracked it, but persistence is the greatest asset you have. Keep doing something on a daily basis – once your book is ‘out there’ it has the potential to be found and go viral.
    Your job is to continue promoting it in as many ways as you possibly can ALL the time.
    Good luck! :)

    • says

      Hi there Stuart!!
      ASJ Publishing just released my eBook, so any steps you could advise me into promoting, I’d appreciate!! Was your launch party for a hard copy or an eBook? Thanks!!

      Scarlett Savage

  8. says

    Just what I needed Denise! I know that my launch date will be here before I know it, and if I don’t get a plan together, some good promotion opportunities will slip through my fingers. As a project manager – I know the importance of establishing a plan and a timeline, but it’s easy to get sucked into the “doing” without a plan first. I’m going to use you list to create my plan… there’s some invaluable tips here.

  9. says

    I have just finished my autobiography for Amazon. It is called ‘A Brain Tumours Travel Tale’. I would love to tell people my story. It is in Diary format. You will laugh, cry, smile, find out things you didn’t know before. There is love, friendship and more. I have been putting post on every social network site e.g FB/Twitter……… Is there anywhere else I should look into? Do you have a book that explains how to get this going? CB x

  10. Cathryn says

    Hi Denise, I LOVED this summary of ideas… I work in marketing and am writing my first novel in my ‘spare time’ (I work full time and also have an eight month old baby – you can imagine how much spare time I have. haha)… Reading this makes me SO excited about marketing my book! I just need to finish it first :) Definitely a page to bookmark and come back to in a couple of months when I’m closer to finishing the book. Thank you SO much!

    • says

      Hi Cathryn, thank so much for stopping by and for your passion. Good luck getting your book published and marketed. Look forward to your report on how it goes…blog on!

  11. says

    Denise, when I look back I knew nothing about marketing. Now, over 3 years since my book was published, I’ve learned about knowing your specific market. I learned that from Penny http://www.amarketingexpert.com/ and even found you from her newsletter.

    We authors waste so much time sending our stuff here and there and it’s pointless. And I so agree with you about giving samples of your writing. Besides, we write because we cannot not write; it’s a joy! Generosity helps the world in every way possible.

    Thank you for these great tips. Love how digital has spread our books into the world.

    Mary Jane Hurley Brant
    Author of When Every Day Matters
    Simple Abundance Press

    • says

      Hi Mary Jane, thanks for stopping by. Glad to know you got value from the tips. And appreciate that Penny pointed you in my direction. I commend you for learning how to market your book. Many authors don’t want to deal with marketing and then fail to sell as many books as they would like.

  12. says

    Denise, you are appreciated! I am going use these promotion tips with my upcoming book, 62 Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block. This is very timely.

  13. says

    I love how you built this article around the contributions offered – such a great way to compile and organize the information, while giving contributors high visibility. I especially appreciate Stephanie’s idea of the mini-coaching course – and thanks so much for using my suggestion!

  14. says

    Couldn’t have been better timing for me Denise. I’m working on a new book now and I was just thinking this morning that the mistake I made the first time I published was not doing enough advanced promotion. You’ve given me some great ideas here!

      • says

        A couple of things. First I’m going to hold off enrolling the book in KDP so that I can launch it from my blog and have more control over giveaways, etc. Two other big things will be to work with affiliates and just as soon as I’m feeling good with a final draft start getting free copies out for review. Basically, just do a lot more prelaunch work this time around.

  15. says

    Thanks so much Denise for including my answer! By the way your blog looks really great.

    The way you sourced your information for this post was such a creative idea and I’m sure your readers and subscribers will get tremendous value from all of the input!


    • says

      Thank you, Stephanie. I loved your mini coaching package idea for selling an ebook…that is creative!

      LinkedIn Answers is a great way to connect with new people and tap “the wisdom of the crowd” for ideas.

      Blog on!