If you’re in the process of writing an ebook or you’ve just finished one, you may be considering the best marketing strategy for the ebook. There is one you’ve probably not considered – that’s to give away the ebook. At first this may seem counter-intuitive because by giving it away you’re not going to make any money. After all if you’re selling it for $7 and $17 you’d have an income every time you sold a copy of the book. But this might not always be the most profitable way for dealing with an ebook. In this article I’m going show you three alternative ways to use your ebook which may end up being more profitable for you in the long run.

First of all, consider giving your ebook away solely to build a list. A list is a group of people who’ve agreed to give you their email address, that way you can contact them at any time with information relevant to them without it being judged as it being spam. By giving away a free ebook you are asking these people for the email address and they’re normally quite happy to give that if your ebook is of appropriate quality. Once you’ve started to build up a list, this is great because you can contact these people to market your second ebook. You don’t need to go away and do any huge amount of outside advertising to get these people to know about your ebook. You just mail this list which you’ve built up using a perfectly legitimate means. So, after two ebooks you may well be far more profitable than you would be having trying to sell both of them independently.

You may wish to give away your ebook for reasons of viral marketing. This is because you think you have an ebook which people will simply want to give to their friends. If you’ve written something that’s very funny, if you’ve written something which is of interest to a huge amount of people, then by just simply giving anyone who reads it the permission to give it to their friends, then you get to create an internet phenomenon – this information will be passed around. If you then monetize your ebook, that means you put in links to affiliate promotions of making money, or you look at other ways where your ebook will create you money, then you can end up in more profitable by having this ebook in the hands of a large number of people, then you would by selling it to a smaller number of people.

You may wish to give away your ebook in order to sell rights to other people to reprint your ebook. Now this can be valuable. You’re offering them the content for free solely to evaluate and see if it’s something that they could sell. You can then offer them the reprint rights – that means they can sell the ebook themselves. This is also advantageous if you have very few people to market to. You can simply give away your ebook to a smaller number of people – this may be a restricted number – and allow them to buy the rights to sell it off you. This could end up highly lucrative for you if you sell more copies in the long run.

Hence, consider all the marketing options before launching an ebook. Don’t just give it away for free, it may well be that charging for it is cost effective for you and will make you more money. This could be the case if you’ve already been producing ebooks for a long time and you have a large list to market to. If you haven’t got this list consider giving it away to build it – otherwise giving it away without the need to provide an email address for viral marketing reasons. You may also choose to sell the rights to reprint the book. This can be at a higher premium price than you’d otherwise have charged. All of these ways may well be more profitable in the long-term than simply selling your ebook.

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