Ebook Marketing in 2022

There’s more than one reason why you might want to write an eBook. You might want to establish yourself as an authority on a subject. You might want to sell copies of the eBook, though be forewarned that it’s not necessarily easy to sell conventional eBooks. Finally (and most likely), you’re looking into eBook creation because you’d like the eBook to serve as part of your content marketing program, thus making the book a lead generation tool. No matter why you put your magnum opus together, you’re going to need to deploy some ebook marketing if you’re going to get your work an audience.

Without eBook marketing, you’re not going to lead people to discover and make use of your work. In fact, even if you are using it in order to market some other thing—that is, your primary product or service—you’re going to need to get word out about the book.

So here, based on PeakZebra’s experience in producing its own eBooks and in working with clients to make eBooks part of their content marketing efforts, is a straight-up, no-frills roadmap for pushing your eBook out into the world.

The Six-Step eBook Marketing Program

Step One: Include Key People and Companies in the Book as You Write It

This is just silly obvious, but the book will get a lot of help from other people if you mention them and what they do in your book. Every situation and book is different, but if you can get a vendor, say, who has a Twitter account with a big following to mention the book (because they feature in it), that could very well be a great deal more reach than you can muster on your own.

Don’t pander, don’t put people in there just for this purpose (that can backfire), but on the other hand, never fail to mention relevant people and companies in your eBook—then make sure they are aware of the book as it’s coming out. Send them an email with a link; direct message them on Twitter. If the book is being sold rather than made freely available, make sure they get a free copy, ideally in advance of the release.

Step Two: Change your email signature.

It sounds trivial, yes, but the underlying point is broad and more important that it might seem: you need to mention your book in anything you can. You should make sure people know about the book at every touchpoint they have with you, up to and including mundane things like your email signature.

Make it simple and unobtrusive, but make sure it’s there, something like:

Robert Richardson
phone: 555-555-5555
myemail@somewhere
twitter: @peakzebra
Just Out: Found and Followed: etc.

3. Get Your Social Media House in Order

Just as your email signature should be updated, your Twitter and Facebook banners should be updated, ideally with a picture of the cover. Don’t push the book in any way, just make sure that people know from looking at the banner that the book exists, should they be interested in it.

Then, analyze your reach on whatever social media channels you use and focus on the one that seems most likely to help you. When you first release the book, make some noise in that venue. Offer tidbits of goodness from the book, use images in your posts, and tag people and companies mentioned in the book so that they’ll see you’re talking about them in social media.

4. Get Backlinks. And Have a look at ViralContentBee and PayWithaTweet.

Backlinks are when you get other sites to link to your site or your eBook. Generally, you get these by very politely asking for them at sites and on pages where it would absolutely make sense to make mention of your work. One effective (but time consuming) approach is to find pages with dead links to content that seems like it might have been similar to yours. Let the webmaster know that the current link on their page is dead and offer your site as a possible alternative.

This approach isn’t for everybody or for every situation, but some folks get pretty good mileage from these two sites/services. I haven’t tried PayWithaTweet yet, but it seems like it might be particularly useful for creating some viral push for an eBook, as offering a full book will make the “tweet payment” more palatable to those who would otherwise resist cluttering their feeds. I think this could be particularly true if you tone down the messaging in the tweet you want them to send to something like “Just discovered PeakZebra’s new eBook, Found and Followed”.

ViralContentBee is the sort of thing I’m normally wary of–you shill other people’s content in return for them shilling yours–but there are things about this particular version of it that make it seem less objectionable. For one thing, you don’t have to shill other people’s stuff, and there’s lots of content to look at and recommend, so you might well find things you’re perfectly happy to recommend. Second, there really are people out there who report having fairly good luck with it.

5. Guest Blog on Other Relevant Sites

There are lots of articles out there on this tactic, so I won’t dig into here, but obviously this gets you in front of an established audience. Just don’t sell from the stage.

7. Spend Some Money on PPC

There are so many articles out there on the web about going viral for free, but the fact is, it’s a vanishingly small percentage of the people who _want_ to go viral who actually do. The way to hedge your chances for success is to put ads out there on Google search results. Pick your keywords wisely so that they tend toward lower per-click costs and set your daily budget to something small as you gain some experience, but if you can’t reel people in and get them to read your eBook with PPC, then you’re probably going to have to change things up significantly, because the magic just isn’t there for this eBook with this particular messaging.

Make that Funnel Top as Big as Possible

A final thought: if you’re using eBook downloads as a way to build up a prospect list, just remember that only a fraction of the eBook downloaders will decide to buy your product or service. And the eBook downloaders will be a small fraction of those who become aware of your eBook. So in order for the math to work out, you need to get in front of lots of potential downloaders. You also need to do it affordably enough that whatever money the small percentage of these folks who actually convert send your way is more than enough to cover the cost of the whole eBook project.