Two things make writing exceptionally hard. One is beginnings. How in god’s name do you begin? You have the info, you have the idea, you want to entertain and instead you just stare at that blinking cursor frowning furiously. Each day of this blog I have frankly dreaded that cursor; I think it may be haunting my dreams. The seconding thing is pricing. How much are you worth? And how much is reasonable at the other end? We have tested our prices (or you should be currently doing so) to find that optimum point where we make the most money for the number of sales. But it’s lower then we wanted, so now what? You CAN sell your book for a higher price, but if you want to make a comparable number of sales you must add so much extra value that the price seems not reasonable, but so ridiculously low the reader feels like they are ripping you off!
This ploy will work better for non-fiction authors, children’s book authors and already established popular authors. For those of you just starting out in fiction the previous discussions on short stories and creative interaction with your readers would be the best avenue for you. Also recording yourself reading your novel as an audio book may be a good way to justify a higher price for your e-book. However, if you can think of a way to apply this strategy in another way for emerging writers I would love to know!
For non-fiction one of the best ways to add value is to interview experts in your field. In this way not only are you adding to the information present in your book, but you create an alternative way for someone to learn the information. Most experts will let you interview them because it is basically free publicity to the niche they are in. They can be leading people in your community or someone with authority in a particular area. When interviewing others you must make sure that the quality of their answers is high, don’t let them just glide through! If something needs further explanation butt in, get details or ask for specific examples. The more credible you interview, the more credible your e-book. There is no need to get too fancy however; you have written the book so technically you are an expert in your niche. As such you can organise a friend to do a series of interviews with you on the different sections of your e-book. Give extra tips, tell stories that your reader can relate to. Some people learn better through listening rather than reading so this way you are appealing to all the senses. Depending on the number of interviews your e-book could go from $2.99 to $30, $50, $90 quite comfortably.
Is there a step that you can actually show your reader how to do? Humans identify much better with visual cues than description. Using software called Camtasia you can actually record what you are demonstrating on your computer screen and add that video as another element of your e-book. If you are a travel writer why not take a series of short education video clips that focus around your niche, if it’s world foods you can have a clip of you eating fried scorpion in Beijing, or ‘take’ your readers on walking tours around the city you are describing. Homework exercises and home study programs around your books are another way to add value to your book. If you offer enough value in your home study course and email/phone support for reader questions, you could charge into the hundreds for something that started as a simple e-book.
To make your offer completely irresistible and the best value e-book your reader has bought, ever, is to provide an iron clad guarantee. Give them a complete 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked (except maybe how could I improve this, what was your biggest issue). This, like a free e-book, completely eliminates the risk for the reader leaving them no reason not to buy. If you have put up a good quality product very few people will take you up on the refund. Mainly because of how much quality you have delivered, partially because people are lazy! If you have 1 in 3 people asking for their money back you know you need a little improvement. By asking those customers for their feedback and how you can get better, you can build up the quality so that only 1 in 10 asks for a refund, and that’s just because they’re tight bastards.
Children’s book authors can add all kinds of value with extra activities. Pages of illustrations that parents can print out for the children to colour in, cut out activities where they stick things together, dress up paper dolls or animals, provide illustrations and allow the child to create a story, construct diorama’s, join the dots, find the words, you can add as many as you like. You do not have to worry about the cost of printing all these activities because your story is an e-book, the parents who buy the book can deal with that side of things and print what they find most interesting.
For established and popular authors the ways to add value are immense. Not only can you make the audio book available for download with the e-book but you can record yourself reading passages, interview other major authors you know in the field, do a home study course teaching people how to write for a certain audience or genre, conduct Q & A sessions through webinar, make copies of your public appearances available for download, add bonus short stories, novellas, ‘deleted scenes’ that didn’t make the edit. The amount of value you can add is only limited by your imagination. Applying Cory Doctorow’s method of creating limited edition copies of your work is another avenue you can pursue.
While endings are seldom easier then beginnings, if you want your ending to include selling your e-book for an above average price, you have to make the experience worth more than the money paid by the reader. These extras only have to be created once, and if it brings in the extra money you want then surely it’s worth the effort.
TOMORROW: FINAL POST of this fantastic 31 day blog and boy is it a doozy! Webinars: the ultimate way to connect with your readers and make an incredible number of sales.
SUCCESS?? Have you started to apply the tips in this blog yet? If you have had success, I would love to hear about it! Please feel free to tell us in the comments section below.