If you’re not an author, you may be wondering why bother to publish an eBook for your online business. And it’s a fair question, but hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll change your mind.
Because an eBook serves a specific purpose within what we can an online funnel.
If you look at the BATON framework above (how we teach people how to launch an online business), you can see different stages a customer will typically go through.
An ebook’s magic is it fulfils a purpose in different stages (sometimes more than one) depending on what reward you intend to reap.
Now don’t overly worry about all of these stages for today’s post. The key here is the understanding that everything you’ll do as an online business owner has to have a purpose.
And regardless of whether you’re an author or not, it’s my job to show you the power of publishing an eBook within the context of your business.
The best way to demonstrate that is to look at three benefits. Then you can decide if they’re big enough to change your mind on eBooks.
Different types of eBooks serve different purposes. They’ll typically fall into two categories:
- Free eBooks
- Paid eBooks
Free eBooks I’ll talk about in the final benefit. So, for now, let’s discuss Paid eBooks.
An obvious benefit of creating an eBook is you can sell them. In turn, you can make cash. Which at scale starts to stack up.
Which begs the question, where should you sell your eBook. The obvious place is Amazon because they’ll pay you 70% royalty on books sold between $2.99 and $9.99. (Why you ask? My answer: How dare you question the almighty Amazon. Moving on).
If you want to know how much this begins to pay, you can look at competitor books and convert their Amazon rank into sales.
A rough guide is (Credit: EdwardRobertson.com):
And if you want to get nerdy with it, there are plenty of calculators that’ll work this out more accurately.
Anyway, the point is, it starts to get chunky.
And the advantage to this sales generation? It’s passive. Because once you’ve uploaded your book, your done. There’s no customer service. No ongoing support. This is why my first recommendation wouldn’t be to host your book yourself. Even one of our book links out to Amazon.
Once you understand the power of making money through eBooks, you can begin to create a series of books. This is where the real cash rolls in. This is more advanced but notes that it’s a possibility to explore soon.
The book’s core philosophy is – by positioning yourself as a key person of influence within your industry, you’ll be: respected more, paid more, valued more and sought after more.
One key way to turn this philosophy into reality is by publishing an eBook for your online business.
Because having written a book holds a certain level of prestige. My friend Dr Ro describes it as a calling card. Ultimately a book signals to someone else that you have expertise in an area—great expertise, in fact. Because in the eyes of a shopper, you know your subject so well, you’ve written a book on it.
And we both know you know your sh*t. Your either an expert in an area and excited to launch your business. Or have a business and are considering adding an eBook to give your reputation a boost. In both situations, we can safely assume you know what you’re talking about.
It’s simply a case of translating thought onto paper.
Once you’ve achieved that step which takes a big effort up front but has its reward, you then have your calling card, which will live on online book stores (Amazon). Feature on your website. And hold physical books. (Yes, I mean literally always have a handful with you to give away at industry events, networking meets or chance encounters).
In summary, the reputational benefit your eBook will bring to your business is unquantifiable to a large degree. But irrespective of not being able to put a number to it, its effect is powerful.
The final benefit of why you should publish an eBook for your online business is that it fits into your larger ecosystem.
Suppose you remember from benefit one, where you could earn revenue from your book. Well, consider this a bonus because, as I said in the introduction, you’re not an author. It’s not my intention to write a book than travel across a country on a book tour.
Remember, the eBook has to serve your business. The best way to do this is by escalating your leads through your business ‘value ladder’.
You’ll know if you follow the blog, we don’t like to use jargon. But the word – value ladder – is unavoidable. But in the spirit of the blog, I’ll explain what I mean.
The internet is a busy place. And outside the big brands, the majority of business brands online are unrecognisable.
I mean, I recently bought blue light blocking glasses, so I write this blog at night in the hope my eyes don’t explode. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the website I bought them from.
They weren’t Specsavers or Sunglasses hut.
So whilst you build your brand online, which in turn creates automatic trust with a customer. You’ll need to build trust another way.
Imagine your customer approaches a ladder. At the top of the ladder is your core offering. Your main product.
This main product is pricey (rightly so, you want to make a profit).
If you had brand recognition, a customer would have no qualms climbing the ladder and paying for your premium product (think Apple AirPods).
However, as explained earlier, you don’t have this (yet).
So instead, you create trust by offering them entry-level products at a much lower price.
Therefore the first rung on the ladder will be your eBook. Either given way for free to encourage that first step (as mentioned in the first section) or priced at say, £7.99.
So hopefully, this final benefit highlights that the intention here is not to become an author. Because for an author, their final (top of the ladder) product is their ebook/book. Instead, you’ll be using the book as part of the process of escalating a customer one rung closer to your core product.
In summary: Why publish an eBook for an online business?
There’s no doubt you’ll have questions whizzing through your mind. What should I write? How long should my book be? Should I find a publisher? How do I find a publisher?
And at the same time, they’ll be objections. But I’m not a writer. I don’t even have a book idea. Are you expecting me to write fiction? This all sounds like a long process.
All the above questions are valid, and we answer all in a free series we ran to help businesses during the pandemic.
But genuinely, at this stage, the aim is to decide whether an eBook fits into your wider ecosystem? It could be that you don’t have a core/premium product yet. In which case, this is a great way to test your idea and generate your first sales.
Whether publishing an eBook is for you or not, time and time again, we’ve seen that it’s good for business. Similar to creating an online course, it has a powerful effect that is both qualitative and quantitative.