Selling new ebook vs giving it away for email capture?

31 replies
I sell an ebook on one of my websites that is successful and makes decent sales.

I've created another ebook that is very complimentary to the first, but I am having a dilemma of what to do with it.

Currently I'm deciding between a few different options, all of which seem viable:

1. I could put it up for sale as a separate product.

2. I could add it as a free bonus to the original ebook, hopefully increasing sales of the original.

3. I could bundle them together and sell for a higher price (old ebook sells for $20, maybe I could sell them both together for $30)

4. I could give it away for free in exchange for signing up to an email list.

I am currently very divided on what to do. I've thought about creating an email list. However, I have never run an email list before and have no experience with it, although I've read plenty about it from all the big internet marketers who say "the money is in the list."

If I did create a list though, I would have to come up with something to monetize it with other than just my free ebook that exists to capture their emails. There are a few affiliate products I could sell in this niche from Clickbank or even Udemy, although I don't know how well they would convert.

I also wouldn't have anything in particular to send out to the email list other than affiliate product promotions. My niche is not a "constantly updating" niche with news that could go in a newsletter or anything like that. I have no idea what content I would put into a regular mailing list to get my offers in front of their eyes on a regular basis.

What should I do? Does anyone have advice on how to generate ideas for a beginner email list?
#capture #ebook #email #giving #selling
  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
    I think way too many people are giving away eBooks for free needlessly.

    A question was asked, "Does anybody still sell eBooks?", and I think it is a reflection of the parroting evident on IM forums.

    An ebook is a product. If you write very well and your writing is informative (or entertaining) then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't sell it and earn compensation for your work.

    If you feel you cannot sell ebooks, then take some excerpts and make a mini version to give away for free and upsell your full version in the mini-ebook.

    Since the OP stated that the first eBook is successful, then I suggest that he go for the second successful tome.

    The real question is: what is more important for me at this time? Is it to make sales with another eBook or to build an email list. The answer to this question decides the option for the OP.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Branson
      Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

      I sell an ebook on one of my websites that is successful and makes decent sales.

      I've created another ebook that is very complimentary to the first, but I am having a dilemma of what to do with it.

      Currently I'm deciding between a few different options, all of which seem viable:

      1. I could put it up for sale as a separate product.

      2. I could add it as a free bonus to the original ebook, hopefully increasing sales of the original.

      3. I could bundle them together and sell for a higher price (old ebook sells for $20, maybe I could sell them both together for $30)

      4. I could give it away for free in exchange for signing up to an email list.

      I am currently very divided on what to do. I've thought about creating an email list. However, I have never run an email list before and have no experience with it, although I've read plenty about it from all the big internet marketers who say "the money is in the list."

      If I did create a list though, I would have to come up with something to monetize it with other than just my free ebook that exists to capture their emails. There are a few affiliate products I could sell in this niche from Clickbank or even Udemy, although I don't know how well they would convert.

      I also wouldn't have anything in particular to send out to the email list other than affiliate product promotions. My niche is not a "constantly updating" niche with news that could go in a newsletter or anything like that. I have no idea what content I would put into a regular mailing list to get my offers in front of their eyes on a regular basis.

      What should I do? Does anyone have advice on how to generate ideas for a beginner email list?
      Originally Posted by professorrosado View Post

      I think way too many people are giving away eBooks for free needlessly.

      A question was asked, "Does anybody still sell eBooks?", and I think it is a reflection of the parroting evident on IM forums.

      An ebook is a product. If you write very well and your writing is informative (or entertaining) then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't sell it and earn compensation for your work.

      If you feel you cannot sell ebooks, then take some excerpts and make a mini version to give away for free and upsell your full version in the mini-ebook.

      Since the OP stated that the first eBook is successful, then I suggest that he go for the second successful tome.

      The real question is: what is more important for me at this time? Is it to make sales with another eBook or to build an email list. The answer to this question decides the option for the OP.
      I would go with email list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

    I sell an ebook on one of my websites that is successful and makes decent sales.

    I've created another ebook that is very complimentary to the first, but I am having a dilemma of what to do with it.
    Offer it for sale to your backend customers. A lot of them will bite and buy it - assuming good impressions from the first main ebook that you sell to them. If you're having a product creation/content creation problem, then sell it to your current customers as a way to recoup your investment to get them in the first place.
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    • Profile picture of the author talfighel
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Offer it for sale to your backend customers. A lot of them will bite and buy it - assuming good impressions from the first main ebook that you sell to them. If you're having a product creation/content creation problem, then sell it to your current customers as a way to recoup your investment to get them in the first place.
      I would take the 2nd ebook and do what Randall said.

      You can offer it as an upsell for more money. You can even ask for an extra $50-$100 from it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

        I would take the 2nd ebook and do what Randall said.

        You can offer it as an upsell for more money. You can even ask for an extra $50-$100 from it.
        The OP estimates the value at about $10, based on his idea of bundling it with the $20 original and asking $30 for the package. We know almost nothing; about the niche, the quality of the ebooks, their subject, how many of the first has sold (he says it sells well, but gave no numbers), if its a rich or poor niche, a hobby or problem niche, how desperate, etc.

        So, based on nothing, you have determined that he "can even ask for an extra $50-100" for the second one, 5-10x greater than his estimate. Brilliant, because you're right; he certainly can ask for that.

        In fact, might as well up the ante; he can ask for a billion dollars, and 300 virgins. (Well the virgin part might be a tad illegal, since slavery is out). So let's be reasonable, and merely suggest that he "can even ask" for a billion dollars.

        Good luck running with all the great advice.

        I think its Tony Robbins who likes to say "to get better answers, ask better questions". With the vague question asked here, the OP is just inviting random, worthless advice like the above, and unfortunately, there is never a shortage of people with no skin in your game, happy to confidently tell you what to do, based on...nothing.
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        • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
          Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

          I think its Tony Robbins who likes to say "to get better answers, ask better questions". With the vague question asked here, the OP is just inviting random, worthless advice like the above, and unfortunately, there is never a shortage of people with no skin in your game, happy to confidently tell you what to do, based on...nothing.
          I understand the need for more information. But I've been in IM long enough to know that if you are actually making money, you should never give away too much information about how you are doing it, because there will be copycats everywhere who will copy your exact business model and compete against you for every dollar.
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  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    Trust me on this...

    Build your list!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sgt Kraut
    You can try combining both. Sell it for a low price to get people on your list where you market higher priced products to them.
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    • Profile picture of the author hometutor
      Originally Posted by Sgt Kraut View Post

      You can try combining both. Sell it for a low price to get people on your list where you market higher priced products to them.
      I've done that with my forum

      If people join the forum there's a special link in a board only members can get to for a reduced price. SMF has built a built in email feature to email members.

      Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Why not create a stripped down version to build your list?

    Put lots of emotional triggers and scenarios there and pair it up with a 7 day autoresponder chain to sell the full version bundle.
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    • Profile picture of the author DJX71
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Why not create a stripped down version to build your list?

      Put lots of emotional triggers and scenarios there and pair it up with a 7 day autoresponder chain to sell the full version bundle.
      Yes... Excellent stuff here. Build value first for free, THEN put a price on your merchandise when they know it's worth it AND are now primed to want more of it!

      And yes -- build that list; An 'evergreen' strategy if there EVER was one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Why not create a stripped down version to build your list?

      Put lots of emotional triggers and scenarios there and pair it up with a 7 day autoresponder chain to sell the full version bundle.
      This.

      You don't need to give away something in full that you've put a lot of time into creating. It's just not necessary.

      Throw out a free teaser. That's all.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBGCash
    You can use PLR ebooks for giveaways. Search for free PLR ebooks or you can buy some at TradeBit. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Both.

    A stripped down taster version to build your list and then sell to the list the full copy packed with bonuses and advanced strategies etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Everyone is telling you different stuff. What to do?

    I wouldn't give the book away to build your list.

    Why?

    Because people may stop buying your similar book and just opt in to your list to get it for FREE.

    However, if I wasn't already successfully selling a book like you said, and had no book for sale to begin with, then I would be giving away a book of value to build my list.

    So since you are already successfully selling your (similar) book, don't jeopardize your progress. Up sell the book or sell it separately.
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  • Profile picture of the author gweijie
    I agree with above... give a short version for free but sell a premium version for money
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  • Profile picture of the author DrForum
    Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

    I sell an ebook on one of my websites that is successful and makes decent sales.

    I've created another ebook that is very complimentary to the first, but I am having a dilemma of what to do with it.

    Currently I'm deciding between a few different options, all of which seem viable:

    1. I could put it up for sale as a separate product.

    2. I could add it as a free bonus to the original ebook, hopefully increasing sales of the original.

    3. I could bundle them together and sell for a higher price (old ebook sells for $20, maybe I could sell them both together for $30)

    4. I could give it away for free in exchange for signing up to an email list.

    I am currently very divided on what to do. I've thought about creating an email list. However, I have never run an email list before and have no experience with it, although I've read plenty about it from all the big internet marketers who say "the money is in the list."

    If I did create a list though, I would have to come up with something to monetize it with other than just my free ebook that exists to capture their emails. There are a few affiliate products I could sell in this niche from Clickbank or even Udemy, although I don't know how well they would convert.

    I also wouldn't have anything in particular to send out to the email list other than affiliate product promotions. My niche is not a "constantly updating" niche with news that could go in a newsletter or anything like that. I have no idea what content I would put into a regular mailing list to get my offers in front of their eyes on a regular basis.

    What should I do? Does anyone have advice on how to generate ideas for a beginner email list?
    What you need to do is i split the ebook into two parts, that is the introductory part and the rest of the book. You can now give a bonus of the introductory part of the ebook just to let your readers be aware of the gist that is waiting for them in a new release. They will be able to order for the next book if they find it very interesting. You can as well make a plan that for every few ebooks you sell, you give a bonus ebook which is not that much detailed so as to get the loyalty of the readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    CHARGE THEM!

    Have you ever noticed how much more care and time someone will put into something if they have a vested interest in it.

    Giving it away for free people will often read it quickly, dismiss it or just forget about it.

    But the moment you charge them something say $7 they now have invested into it and you will see a higher percent read and take action on what you have written.

    I believe the days of full blown ebooks for free are gone, I know so many people with thousands of freebies but do they do anything with them?

    It's only the ones they paid for then end up sending time on.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      As you have witnessed everyone has different answers to your questions and they're all legitimate. But, the ideal way to answer your question comes only through testing (sorry). Anything less is merely speculation, guessing and hunches. However, you've received some powerful ideas to test in this thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author rickstooker
        Many answers on here assume "complimentary" means "similar."

        If your new ebook is truly complimentary, it's new material, but also of interest to and helpful to the same market who bought your first book.

        If it's truly "similar," it's repetitious and I don't know why you wrote it.

        Someone suggested selling the new book to the old buyers, but how can you do that without a list?

        Come up with a free report which tells people what you teach in the both the old and new books, then give that away to build your list. And sell both books.

        And then work on creating higher priced products that offer even more perceived value.
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        • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
          Thanks for the ideas everyone. I am still deciding what to do.

          Originally Posted by rickstooker View Post

          If your new ebook is truly complimentary, it's new material, but also of interest to and helpful to the same market who bought your first book.
          Yes, the book is complimentary. People who buy the first will probably also be interested in the second. The material does not overlap. They are two different subjects but in the same niche.

          Originally Posted by rickstooker View Post

          Someone suggested selling the new book to the old buyers, but how can you do that without a list?
          Although my past customers did not subscribe to a list, I do actually have all of their email addresses in an Excel file. Their emails were recorded because when they purchased my current ebook, they had to provide their email address to receive a download link for the product.

          I do not currently have an autoresponder or email management system though. To email everyone on that list, I would have to register for an email system and manually put those emails into the system myself.

          Originally Posted by rickstooker View Post

          And then work on creating higher priced products that offer even more perceived value.
          I am currently looking for higher value products in my niche that have a working affiliate program I could join. At the moment there is some courses on Udemy that would be good but I am wary of their business model. Once you sign up to their email system they constantly send you emails with offers of courses marked down from $100 to $10, for example. I am worried that any traffic I send them would just purchase at the lower price and I would be making even less profit than on my ebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author sega001
    It's always best to test which method is better. There is no certain way to know for sure unless you test it out. It also depends on the market you are trying to serve. Once you have validated which method is better than do what works.
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  • Profile picture of the author hitsintoprofits
    Here is my take on this: Write a third ebook ;-)

    Instead of something "complementary" write something less complete. A "quick guide to XYZ" for example... And then sell the other ebooks as more profound stuff...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dante II
    I'd go for option #1.

    Sell - then build that list of rabid buyers.

    More often than not, list building piles up a bunch of knuckleheads who have no intention of buying. If it's worth the weight in salt pump up those sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomholen
    Personally I would not give away an ebook I spent a lot of time on writing. For list building it's just as good to write up a simple report or something....
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  • Profile picture of the author rakota
    Build a list. Look at it this way, if the niche is "not constantly upgrading" it won't require as much input from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    Give away your e-book for free as an "irresistible offer." This will maximize conversion rates as far as your optin rate is concerned.
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  • Profile picture of the author dcfitz
    You need to look to the future, as others have recommended, build a list. You should be looking for future campaigns and future sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Hey guys. Thanks for all the advice. Basically with all the conflicting ideas of what to do, it occurs to me that maybe instead of guessing, I should do whatever would be best for my customer.

    I've decided I will probably be bundling my new ebook with my original ebook as a free bonus and leave it at the same price. With any luck, this should help increase conversions.

    As for email capture, I will try to come up with some smaller form of "free report" as an incentive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomas Lodén
    Do a split test to see where you make the most money. Direct sales vs back end sales
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  • Profile picture of the author asiogroup
    I would suggest you to Put the eBook on sale.
    As you said that your First email is already making decent income, and the next eBook sort of compliments the first one, then you already have buyers for it.

    You can sell the eBook and sell a bundle (first eBook + second eBook) both at the same time.
    Give people a choice, to whether to buy a single eBook or buy both at once.

    To build a list, create something like, perhaps a teaser of your first and second eBook, because you only need people in your list do haven't bought either of your products (so that you can promote your eBooks)

    A teaser of your eBook will give them an idea about what would be there in the actually eBook and you will have their emails to follow up.

    So, you should definitely sell your second eBook.
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