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Creating an Author Website Designed to Sell eBooks

Do you have an author website? As the world looks at ways to slowly reopen, there will still be another few months of more people spending more time at home. Big festivals for the summer have all been cancelled – even Oktoberfest in Germany has been cancelled this year. With all of that extra downtime, we anticipate ebook sales will continue to rise, so if you’re an author or publisher, now is the time to make sure your ebook marketing is reaching as many people as possible. An author website is a crucial marketing piece that sometimes gets overlooked.

Elements of a Good Author Website

Designing a website to sell books doesn’t mean it has to be an aggressive sales page. In fact, some of the best ways to sell your ebook are through more subtle mentions. The elements of a good author website include:

  • A landing page or home page
  • An author bio or about page
  • A book page – this may be for a single book, a series, or for the author’s complete library of titles
  • A blog
  • A news/press page

Other elements you may want to include, depending on your goals, is a speaker or booking page, if you’re trying to land speaking gigs or get booked for events (virtual events, too). If you do participate in events, such as author Q&As, media interviews, and more, you may also want an event page that updates your readers and fans about when and where to find you.

Selling Your eBook without In-Your-Face Marketing

When someone lands on your website, it’s because they are already curious about you or your books. Instead of hitting them over the head with annoying popups and begs to buy the book, instead delight them with something readers of your books would love to see. Consider these tips

Know Your Audience and Readers

You need to know who your audience is. A great example of understanding the audience is Meagan McDonald’s Judy Moody website. Another quite different example is Mark Tufo.

Easy Navigation and Book Visibility

Visitors to your website shouldn’t have to hunt for your books. Have a look at the website for Chimamanda Adichie. It’s clean and simple and easy to find everything. While you don’t need to have a new popup every five minutes asking them to “click here to buy,” you should make it clear where to find the books and how to get them. A great example of clear and simple navigation is Gretchin Rubin‘s website.

Put It All Out There

Whether you do it like David Sedaris and put a lot of information on the home page, promote an upcoming book like Jennifer Weiner, or create an entire world for your readers like JK Rowling, the idea is to make it fun for your potential book buyers to be on – and stay on – your site.

Let Them Buy the Books from You

Make it easy to sell more ebooks from your author website by selling your books there. Accept multiple forms of payment through secure third-party payment platforms like PayPal, secure your ebooks with DRM to protect your intellectual property, and keep more of the profits.

Your author website should be a glimpse into your personality and your books. It should give your readers a better sense of who you are and why your books are worth reading. A better author website can help you sell more ebooks.

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Make More Money Selling eBooks with Better Marketing

make more money selling ebooks

It can be difficult to reach your audience on social media unless you’re willing to pay for advertising. Boosting posts on Facebook can be an effective way to expand your reach, but if you have an email list, why pay Facebook when you can reach an entire audience with ebook email marketing? With effective ebook email marketing, you can make more money selling ebooks.

Email Marketing Is More Effective

According to a study by McKinsey, email marketing is more effective than social media marketing. 91% of people check their email every day. And with more people working from home and staying home, a lot of them are looking for good books to read. Even if you have a small list, you should not be ignoring their potential. Make it easy for them to share the email with their friends with a share link.

It All Starts with the Subject Line

If you want to make more money selling ebooks through email marketing, the first step is creating a subject line that will grab the reader’s attention, get them to open the email, and from there, click on your link and buy your book. How do you know if it’s a good subject line? Try one of these subject line testers recommended by HubSpot. Our favorite is the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer from Advanced Marketing Institute.

Subject Lines that Open Emails

There are certain types of subject lines that are more likely than others to get the email opened.

FOMO

Do you have your ebook on sale for a limited time? If you want to make more money selling ebooks, send out an email letting your readers know that they can get your ebook for a discounted price – but only for a limited time. It urges them to act immediately so that they don’t miss the deal.

Listicles

Clickbait works for a reason: we want to know the 25 secrets from “Friends” that have never before been revealed. You can use that knowledge to create interest in your email. You could try something like, “25 truths you’ll discover reading detective novels” or “5 ways to be more productive (and have more time to read).

Events

Inviting readers to big events, like cover reveals or book launch or a Q & A with the author can be an enticement to readers to open your email.

Of course, it doesn’t stop with the email subject – you need to have a message inside that provides the reader with whatever you promised in the subject line. Whether the email is all about your ebook or you’re inviting them to participate in or read something else and also mentioned that your ebook is for sale, email marketing will help you make more money selling ebooks.

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Marketing Templates for Publishers and Authors

While the impact of COVID-19 is being felt around the world and many businesses are struggling under the weight of closure, there have been some silver linings. First, the air quality has improved measurably around the globe.

While governments seek ways to safely reopen, in all likelihood, we’ll all be doing a lot more staying at home this summer. And that makes it a good time for authors and publishers to step up their book marketing.

Template for Announcing a Temporary Reduction in Price or Free eBook

Why would you give away your ebook for free? If it is the first book in a series or you are a new author with a new book coming soon, giving away a book is a great way to gain followers who will buy subsequent books.

You can use the announcement in an email, on social media, and on your website (either as a special banner or as a popup). Make sure you highlight the sale: TITLE OF BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE FREE (or PRICE) FOR [NUMBER] of DAYS ONLY.

It’s important to limit the number of days the sale is available to create a sense of urgency about getting the book NOW.

Include a short description of the book or a quote from a bestselling author who has endorsed the book and a photo of the book cover. Provide a conspicuous link as well.

Example:

Press Release Template for Publishers and Authors

There are many places where you can publish a press release, including on your website, through your newsletter, or through a distribution service either for free or for a fee. A press release is a useful tool for announcing a new book or to announce a price reduction or free book.

Example:

To make it easy for you to get started, you can download Word versions of both the announcement and the press release template here.

Announcement

Press Release Example

For more insights into marketing ebooks, please read:

How to Market a Self-Published Book

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50 Questions for Authors

questions for authors

Are you a blogger or journalist interviewing an author? A publisher promoting a new author? An author developing a website from which you can market yourself and your books? To truly engage with your audience, you need to get them interested in the writer of the book. These 50 questions for authors are designed to do just that:

Author Interview Questions

  1. Why should we read your book?
  2. What inspired the title of your book?
  3. Who designed your cover art?
  4. Which character in your book was the hardest to write?
  5. Who was the easiest character to write?
  6. Which character is most like you?
  7. What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?
  8. What author would you like to be compared to?
  9. What do you do when you are not writing?
  10. Are you already working on another book?
  11. Who inspired your main character?
  12. How can readers connect with you?
  13. Do you have any advice to share with aspiring authors?
  14. What inspired the topic of this book?
  15. Why did you choose this genre?
  16. What was the last book you read?
  17. What was the first thing you ever wrote?
  18. What kind of approach do you take to writing (write all at once, edit as you go, etc)?
  19. If readers only take one message away from this book, what is it?
  20. Are there any elements of this book taken from your real life?
  21. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
  22. Who helped and supported you?
  23. Where did you do your research?
  24. Did writing a book change you?
  25. Which part of the book was most difficult to write?
  26. Were there characters in your book that you required guidance on to write well?
  27. Did you represent marginalized or underrepresented groups in your book?
  28. What is the one thing about writing a book that you wish everyone knew?
  29. Did you get writer’s block at all?
  30. What were your favorite snacks to eat while writing?
  31. Where was your favorite place to write?
  32. Do you write on a computer or start by hand?
  33. What jobs have you held that helped you develop stronger characters?
  34. Which authors most heavily influenced your work?
  35. How much different is the finished book from the first draft?
  36. How does being a full-time/part-time writer affect your writing?
  37. Who would play the main character in your book if it were to be made into a movie?
  38. When you read, do you read digital books or print books?
  39. Do you write full time or have another job?
  40. What were the most difficult scenes to write in your book?
  41. Do you collaborate with other authors?
  42. Who is your favorite author?
  43. What is your favorite children’s book?
  44. What does a day in your life look like?
  45. What interested in you in the particular about your chosen genre?
  46. Do you have daily writing goals?
  47. If you were writing an autobiography, what would be the title?
  48. Do you eat breakfast? If so, what?
  49. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
  50. If you couldn’t write for a living, what would you do?

We hope these questions for authors inspire you. Whether you’re an author, publisher, or interviewer, we hope these questions help you dig a little deeper.

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Benefits of DRM for Universities

benefits of DRM for universities

DRM for universities is a big topic of conversation in today’s “online only” environment. Are you a university professor who uses your own materials for instruction or a university library trying to support students who have been sent home to finish their semesters? Whether it’s the course textbook, an exam, or ongoing lecture materials, now that everyone has shifted to online learning, how do you control who has access to the material and how do you prevent it from being copied or used outside of your control? The answer is digital rights management, or DRM.

Benefits of Teaching Online

There are many benefits of teaching online. You may already be experienced teaching college classes online. You may have been forced into it by recent circumstances. There is a certain level of flexibility that comes from teaching online. There is also the advantage of being able to have students who live all over the world – you aren’t restricted to just a single group of students on your ow campus.

How DRM Helps Professors

Control Access to Your Textbooks. If you’ve written the textbook for your class to use, having the ability to control who has to it and restrict access to purchasers can prevent loss of income.

Control Access to Your Exams. The last thing you want is to deliver an exam and have students share it from one section to another of your course. You can use DRM to control access to documents like exams and worksheets to protect your intellectual property and protect the integrity of your course.

How DRM Helps Universities

University libraries. University libraries offer extensive collections of academic research to their students. DRM can help the library control access to content based on length of checkout time, student status, and more.

Inter-university Collaboration. DRM allows universities to collaborate on research and professors to share course materials while still protecting their rights to those materials and prevent them from being changed or manipulated by others.

An excellent resource for understanding the full benefits of DRM in the realm of higher education was put together by Oasis.org and is available as a downloadable PDF.

HOW DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT WORKS

Digital rights management protects authors, teachers, businesses, and institutions from the loss of intellectual property by prohibiting copying, or by limiting the time or number of devices on which a content can be accessed.

DRM allows you to:

  • Prevent users from editing, saving, printing, sharing, or forwarding content or allows these with limitations you set.
  • Sets an expiration date at which time access to the content is removed.  
  • Locks access to a specific device.
  • Watermark documents to establish ownership.
  • Provides the author access to information about who accessed the content.

Here at EditionGuard, we are doing our part to support teachers and professors, schools and higher learning institutions, many of whom are delivering education online for the first time. We provide a wide array of digital rights management (DRM) services to protect intellectual property and to facilitate the sharing and dissemination of materials online. In addition to our 30-day free trial, we also offer a 25% discount to teachers, schools, and non-profits who employ our DRM.

We are here to support you and appreciate the vast effort required to move to an online platform. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions.

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Tools for Online Learning

online learning resources

Across the globe, schools have cancelled in-person classes and have shifted to an online education environment. Whether or not the pandemic is controlled before the next school year begins, it is likely that many school districts will recognize the value and the cost-savings of providing some of their instruction online. We may see a shift toward digital learning in the future of education, so we’ve rounded up these resources to help schools be successful.

Benefits of Online Learning

Having the ability to work at your own pace often allows kids to move more quickly through material. Teachers can provide more directed support to students as they need it; there are a number of tools available that support communication and collaboration between teachers and students as well as students with each other. The drawback, of course, is the need for high-speed internet, which not all students will have easy access to.

Resources for Schools, Districts, and Teachers

There are a number of resources available for school districts and teachers that we have collected here.

Albert has gathered a list of 100 resources for teachers, students, and schools, ranging from math sites to collaboration tools.

Education World has put together a list of their favorite online learning tools.

Common Sense provides a list of their top 20 edtech solutions.

Here at EditionGuard, we are doing our part to support teachers and professors, schools and higher learning institutions, many of whom are delivering education online for the first time. We provide a wide array of digital rights management (DRM) services to protect intellectual property and to facilitate the sharing and dissemination of materials online. In addition to our 30-day free trial, we also offer a 25% discount to teachers, schools, and non-profits who employ our DRM.

We are here to support you and appreciate the vast effort required to move to an online platform. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions.

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How EditionGuard Can Help You Deliver Online Education

online education and DRM

No one could have predicted that nearly every student would be moving to online learning, and many teachers and school districts do not have the tools they need to cope with the rapid shift from in-class instruction to online platforms. There are a number of tools that can help you deliver quality instruction to your students, but what about textbooks and other materials used during instruction?

Digital Course Materials

Many schools keep a single set of textbooks in the classroom and students throughout the day share the set of books. When everyone is learning from home, there is simply not enough copies of the books to send home. But forcing students to purchase their own books is a hardship many students can’t fathom. The middle ground is for schools to develop and deliver digital course materials. From articles to teacher-produced content, these digital materials will be critical in ensuring students have access to the content they need to continue learning without disruption.

Digital Rights Management in Education

Digital Rights Management (DRM) can be used to protect all types of digital content, not just ebooks. From documents (like an exam) to licensed articles to sheet music, DRM ensures that your content is only available to the users you authorize. Even when materials are made freely available to students, faculty who create the content have the right to protect their copyright and get credit for the creation.

DRM’s Role in Online Education

DRM can be a critical component for online learning. While students will return to the classroom, education may be permanently impacted by the pandemic. The development and utilization of online learning content can be enhanced by flexible DRM solutions.

If you are an teacher or school district looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard is here to support you during this difficult time. We offer 25% discount to nonprofits and educational institutions.

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Selling Your eBook Takes Marketing Right

selling your ebook

Writing and publishing your ebook is only part of the work you’ll have to do to find success; to be able to sustain your publishing business or independence as an author, you’ll also need to be able to find success selling your ebook. Marketing an ebook requires you to have an audience, a platform to market it, and a clear idea of the niche the ebook is in.

Finding Your Audience

There is no sense in marketing your ebook to every reader. You need to know who will read your book. To help narrow it down, consider what types of authors write books similar to yours. Are you a horror author who might attract Stephen King readers? Are you a business author with specialized expertise in a niche market? You need to know who is most likely to read your book and emphasize most of your marketing to them. In some cases, you may have a secondary audience. For example, if you wrote a book about real estate, Realtors might be your primary market, but if you talk about commercial leases, you might have a secondary market with retail experts and lease administrators.

Choosing Your Platform

Regardless of where or how you publish your book, your marketing platforms should include social media, email marketing, a website, and other advertising as needed. On social media, the general guide is that fiction books market more effectively on Facebook, where you can boost Facebook posts and target certain demographics – such as Stephen King fans. Non-fiction books, especially business, motivational, and industry-specific books market better on LinkedIn, where you can target based on job title, company size, and industry. The goal is to stretch your ad dollars as far as possible while reaching the most clearly targeted audience that you can.

Identifying Your Niche

Much like the work you do to identify your audience, you need to identify the niche within which your book falls. The more clarity you can have about your book – narrowing down from the broad subject matter to the granular – the more likely it will be that you can market it effectively. Knowing your niche can help you with everything from finding specialized markets, clubs, and groups to whom you can market the book to using the right hashtags.

Writing a book is tough work, but marketing it can be even tougher. You have to know who will read it, where they’ll see you, and what kind of book it is to be successful.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

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How Publishers Choose Authors: The Bottom Line

how publishers choose authors

As an author, it may seem arbitrary when it comes to figuring out how publishers choose authors that they’ll represent, but there are ways to make yourself more attractive to publishers. There is more to it than sending your book into the digital fast lane and then crossing your fingers and waiting. Most publishers are looking for a specific combination of factors that tip the scales.

Choose the Right Publisher

It all begins with choosing the right publisher. A children’s book publisher is a bad choice if you’ve written a horror-thriller novel for adults. How do you go about choosing the right publisher? Read books. Read books that you think are similar to yours and read as much as you can.

Submit to the Right Editor

Even smaller publishers and independent publishers will often have more than one editor or more than one business line. Be sure you do your research on the publishing house and send the manuscript to the right publisher. Be aware of any rules they have, like “no unsolicited manuscripts” – which means you’ll need an agent to submit to them. Submit as directed – some publishers want the entire manuscript; others want you to start with a query. Some want you to send the submission digitally; others are still only accepting printed submissions through the mail.

Make Sure Your Manuscript Is Submission-Ready

You can’t just write your first draft and send it off to a publisher. If you want to be seriously considered, you need to take the entire process seriously. That means making sure you’ve written the best version of your book possible, proofing and editing your book before sending it.

How Publishers Choose Authors

Ultimately, publishers choose authors based on whether or not the investment they make in the author will deliver a return on investment (ROI). The factors they consider are:

  1. Is this book marketable? Does it have an interesting plot?
  2. Is it well-written, or will the publisher have to pay a lot to rework it?
  3. Does the author have any visibility that will help ensure the book will sell?

That last one – how you as an author can help – is critical. Even before you submit your manuscript, you can be working to make yourself more marketable by establishing social media platforms, by being involved in the writing community, by doing research about what it takes to sell a book, and by identifying target markets for your book. The more you can do to ensure the book’s marketability, the more likely the publisher will be to want to work with you.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

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Get Your Fiction Book Published – Inside a Publisher’s Mind

Get your fiction book published

Getting your fiction book published can be challenging. Publishers choose books based on whether they will make any money selling them, and they make that decision as a team. Getting passed initial submission stage is positive, but there is still a long way to go before getting a book deal. You’ll have a team – depending on the size of the publisher the team could be as small as two and as large as 20 – reviewing your book and crunching the numbers.

While there are mathematical formulas used to try to determine the profitability of the book, there’s a bit of gut instinct and gamble that goes into it too. Some of it is out of your control – the publisher’s budget, the state of the industry, the history of similar books – and some of it is luck.

Stand Apart from the Crowd

It seems like everyone is writing a book today. While most of them will never make any money and the majority of authors will go the self-publishing route, if you really want to get picked up by a publisher, you need to find a way to demonstrate that your book will make them money. How will you know if your book has potential?

Research What Other Books the Publisher Has on the Market

Which books have sold well? Have any of their books made the bestsellers lists? What genres do they work with the most? How is your book like their most successful books?

Does Your Book Offer Something New?

While your book needs to comply with the conventions of its genre (i.e., a YA novel needs to strike that perfect balance of chaste and risqué), it shouldn’t be a cookie cutter version of something that’s been published a hundred times before. One way to ensure your book stands out is through plot and character development. Give your characters enough depth that readers want to know what happens to them and give your plot enough layers to be interesting.

Write the Entire Book

Even if the publisher only wants a query to begin with, you need to have the whole book done, edited, and ready to submit if you make it through the query process. Be prepared to be rejected; have a backup plan to either find an agent to represent you, an alternate publisher to submit to, or to self-publish.

There are many steps an author can take to help ensure a publisher chooses their fiction book but getting through a first read with one editor is not the last step: it’s only the first.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

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