I’ve spent some time discussing (and dissing) Tim Ferris for having to promote his work on BitTorrent because he published through CreateSpace instead of Lulu. But you can’t fault the results. As a note, we don’t know how much he spent on promotion to get that. Which means the jury is still out for indie author-publishers.
A couple of years ago, I created a bundle with an email gate (submit your email to get the downloads.) Then I moved on to other areas.
I went back to the bundle I created and found a few things. Now, during the time I had this, I didn’t recieve any emails or notifications from BitTorrent. In fact, the promotion link I had went down, so I assumed something bad might have happened. But it was the reverse. Over two years, I had accumulated an email list of 122 emails. I had a lead generator and wasn’t using it.
With no way to integrate this with any other system directly, you have to download your CSV file regularly (daily?) and stay on top of this to make sure you harvest the interest in that bundle.
As well, the smart move is to have Lead Magnets inside any digital file you upload so that they can then opt-in directly.
So the trick is in 1) using this as promotion for an active promotion campaign and 2) staying on top of it.
I still don’t know why the promotion link went down. It’s simply greyed out on the site, and nothing on the bundle anymore, so the first assumption is that it a) somehow is too much of a drag on their technical resources, or b) is time-limited to avoid that.
Just recently, I bought a pay-what-you-want package that covers Pay What You Want. At first glance, this guy is a typical money-promises-in-your-face Internet Marketer. (I don’t particularly care for those approaches. “I made [X] dollars in [Y] days/weeks, by/with [click-bait action]. Or – “I made $23,456.78 in only 12 days by just eating Twinkees.” See? Scammy.)
However, this book is well researched with real examples that can be verified.
There are ways to do Pay What You Want (PWYW):
Gumroad (a bit difficult to integrate on several platforms)
LeanPub (for orginal books.)
All of these have to be integrated into your site, or you have to go outside to get access. Since a site will generally send a buyer outside to Amazon or wherever to buy, that’s not a particular problem.
It’s best when you have pre-established relationships.
Failing that, or for new customers, it relies on the strength of your book (product) description and offer.
Another tactic is to offer tiered models or anchor your price in some way.
I would do something like –
- Here is the price on Kindle: xx
- Here is the paperback on Amazon: xxxx
- Here is the hardback on Amazon: xxxxx
- Here is link to all versions on Lulu with as much as 50% discounts: xxx
And the bundle I’m offering for PDF, epub, and mobi files you can pay what you want: ___
PS. Meanwhile, if you do buy the hardcopy version, email me the invoice and I’ll send you the download for free.
The point is to give them a choice to buy through Amazon’s shipping, which is really convenient, versus paying the author what you think it’s worth to you.
This can also act as a tip jar, saying that they can always come back and buy it again if they didn’t think they paid enough.
The point is offering choice.
Those companies I’ve read about have either saved their product from a marketing disaster, or made quite more than was expected.
It seems to work because you give the buyer more choice and more opportunity to contribute. You involve them in the purchase more.
Check this out, study it for yourself.
This takes a bit of planning, but not so much more than the others. Perhaps it will work better on a whole series than an individual book – like book collections.
You have two levels on BitTorrent Bundles – the free samples, and the pay what you want.
Obviously, a simple preview PDF and cover download, then buying the package of all the digital files would not be much of a scene. And this can be done with all the books individually in that series or collection.
For the entire collection, maybe you give away the first book in full as PDF, plus samples in PDF format of the other books in that series – cover, TOC, first chapter. Then they PWYW offer has all digital versions of all books, and their covers, and any additional items, such as book trailers.
The plan becomes:
0) Build your book with all versions with Calibre keeping track of everything.
1) Post your book to Kindle, iTunes, Nook, Kobo.
2) (optional, but recommended) Post to Hummingbird DM, e-Sentral, Espresso Book Network, plus your own site. Add any other distributors here, depending on your book-version.
3) Repeat for all books in that collection. Go through the usual pricing strategies of pre-launch, low price, higher price, next book for all of them.
4) Launch the bundle this way as well.
5) Then launch the book bundle on BitTorrent with all the extra’s.
Note: if your own site is integrated with Gumroad or Payhip, you can offer PWYW all along. Sending emails to subscribers about every book you publish there would be a good marketing scene. Also, making a podcast of the description (which can become a short book trailer and embedded) would reach people through that additional media.
In short, you start to wean yourself off Amazon, and your customers as well. Then you are using Amazon for what they are good for – paying lead generators.
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Do let me know how this works for you, or what you think about it. Leave a comment below the show notes or email me. Obviously, I haven’t covered all possible angles to this. I simply wanted to get this data out to you fastest.
See you next time…