selling an ebook for $5???

44 replies
I plan on monetizing my site with an ebook that i will write using topics that i have discussed on my blog already but will put it in an easily readable ebook format with clearer pictures.

The ebook is an instructional book and will be unique there is not an ebook like it available. Not that i've found anyway

You can get hardcopy books on the topic for $10 with a huge amount of info but mine will be focused and concise. Only about 10-15 pages!

Do you think its worth me asking for $5 or should i give it away as a bribe to build a list???

Thanks
#ebook #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    It isn't that long, so I would recommend one of two things.

    1. Make it a freebie upon sign up.
    2. Use the $7 script.
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    • Profile picture of the author dirtyroger
      Originally Posted by twigman1200 View Post

      It isn't that long, so I would recommend one of two things.

      1. Make it a freebie upon sign up.
      2. Use the $7 script.
      Whats the $7 script???
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Lewis
        Originally Posted by dirtyroger View Post

        Whats the $7 script???
        It's contained with an Ebook Called 7dollarsecrets. It gives a script to you so when you sell an Ebook to someone they can take your ebook and sell it themselves just by adding there paypal email address at the end of your website url.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Depending on the topic, your price could be much higher...

    IM ebooks can sell for up to $50 or $100...

    Non-IM niche ebooks can still go for up to $50...

    Ebooks don't have the printing and paper involved... But that does not make the ebook product any less valuable...

    A $5 ebook in the minds of most consumers will be a crap product...

    So either use it as a bribe to get a subscriber, or increase the price to one that reflects the real quality that your ebook offers the consumer...
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    • Profile picture of the author JTVee
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Depending on the topic, your price could be much higher...

      IM ebooks can sell for up to $50 or $100...

      Non-IM niche ebooks can still go for up to $50...

      Ebooks don't have the printing and paper involved... But that does not make the ebook product any less valuable...

      A $5 ebook in the minds of most consumers will be a crap product...

      So either use it as a bribe to get a subscriber, or increase the price to one that reflects the real quality that your ebook offers the consumer...
      This is true. Perceived value is everything.

      I am guessing people could find the information in your ebook from another source if they had the time or inclination. But by packaging it and presenting it to them you have saved them time and effort.

      In other words you have actually added value, which is what it is all about.
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      • Profile picture of the author Wayne-JJ
        Originally Posted by JTVee View Post

        This is true. Perceived value is everything.

        I am guessing people could find the information in your ebook from another source if they had the time or inclination. But by packaging it and presenting it to them you have saved them time and effort.

        In other words you have actually added value, which is what it is all about.
        Buyers might not necessarily think that way. For all you know, they could be even more inclined to buy if they see the low price accompanied by a great salespage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vogin
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      A $5 ebook in the minds of most consumers will be a crap product...
      Uh, I beg to differ...

      There is a line between "crappy" and "affordable".

      I'm actually planning something similar to the author's idea and when I brainstormed the price in relation to my target customers, a "micro payment" seemed to be the perfect answer.

      On the other hand, since I live outside the USA, I might have gotten a wrong impression about what is generally considered as a low price...

      As far as I know, you can generally go 2 ways when thinking about your price:

      • micro payments - large number of small sales
      • macro payments - a few expensive sales

      Choosing the right one depends on your niche, customers and their general willingness to spend money...
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Vogin View Post

        Uh, I beg to differ...

        There is a line between "crappy" and "affordable".

        I'm actually planning something similar to the author's idea and when I brainstormed the price in relation to my target customers, a "micro payment" seemed to be the perfect answer.

        On the other hand, since I live outside the USA, I might have gotten a wrong impression about what is generally considered as a low price...

        As far as I know, you can generally go 2 ways when thinking about your price:

        • micro payments - large number of small sales
        • macro payments - a few expensive sales

        Choosing the right one depends on your niche, customers and their general willingness to spend money...

        For your consideration...

        If I go to any of my friends and acquaintances locally and ask them to buy my book, I'd be lucky to get one sale if I discounted that item by 95%... Those good folks are not in my target market, therefore, my product is worthless to them... If I were to get any sales on it, from family, friends and acquaintances, it would be from people heaping charity on me...

        However, when I talk to those people who are truly in my target audience, then $12, $17, $27, $37 and $49 are respectable prices to offer...

        I am not talking about micro or macro payments, but mid-range payments...

        Maybe it is because I live in the United States that my products make good sense at those prices...

        But I don't think that is it...


        When I was poor, I imagined that other people were poor, so I found it difficult to sell something priced "more than I could afford"...

        In essence, I was deciding what an affordable price was, based on my limited perspective about how much money I could afford to pay for such things...

        One day, when working in a telemarketing office, I realized that the price tag attached to a product was not relevant to what others would consider to be an affordable price...

        I couldn't afford the $495 on the product I was selling... But the people who were calling me on the phone had absolutely no problem getting out their credit cards and paying me the $495 to buy the "crap product" I was selling...

        Wait a second...

        Did you see what happened there?


        My customers were buying the product, because THEY saw $495 value in my offer...

        I did not see the value in the offer at all, but it paid the bills... I knew the package could be purchased at wholesale for $49...

        Even though the pieces of the package could be purchased for $49, I wouldn't have given more than $20 for it...

        I realized that it did not matter how I perceived the product at all...

        What mattered is how much value my customers perceived the product to have...

        If my customers perceived the value of the product to be 25x more than I thought it was worth, who am I to tell them they are wrong?

        That was when I stopped valuing my products according to what I thought the product was worth...

        That is when I started letting my customers decide the value of my offer...

        I ask my customers to pay what their peers have determined my product to be worth...

        Yes, micro-priced items sell more...

        And macro-priced items sell at lower volumes...

        But sometimes, those mid-priced items sell more in volume and profit than the low-price or the high-price...

        A few years ago, a behavioral scientist did a consumer-buying test...

        They went into a major department store and set up three washing machines next to each other...

        All three machines were the exact same product...

        The scientists set up cameras to watch how people behaved, then they put three different prices on the machines...

        Machine #1 had the lowest price on it...

        Machine #3 had the highest price on it...

        And Machine #2 had a mid-range price on it...

        When the store opened for business, the scientists watched and took notes...

        After someone purchased, they did post-purchase interviews where they could...

        The scientists watched people come in and look closely at the three machines -- looking for the differences...

        There were no differences, because the three machines were all the exact same make and model...

        Some people spent 20-30 minutes looking for the differences in the machines... They were comparing features and model numbers and everything...

        And even those people, who took the time to study the three machines, followed the patterns of those who did not take much time to compare products...

        10% always took the cheapest machine... #1

        10% always took the most expensive machine... #3

        and 80% always took the mid-priced machine... #2

        Lessons?

        People have a pre-conceived idea in their head that "cheapest" means low-quality... And 90% of consumers do not want to buy low-quality products...

        People also have a pre-conceived notion that the most expensive product is the best-quality product... And 10% are always willing to buy the most expensive one, because they always want to buy the best-quality products...

        The other 80% in the middle don't want to buy low-quality, but they don't want to overpay for something either...

        When I create products and services to sell, I am always targeting the 80% in the middle, and never the 10% at the low-end or the 10% at the high-end of the perception scale...
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        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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        • Profile picture of the author Vogin
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          In essence, I was deciding what an affordable price was, based on my limited perspective about how much money I could afford to pay for such things...

          My customers were buying the product, because THEY saw $495 value in my offer...

          That is when I started letting my customers decide the value of my offer...
          Well, what can I say. I'm precisely at the quoted point #1 and I really should get to the point #3 Bazillion thanks for your input, tpw...

          I guess I should also edit one of my latest articles, I really don't know why I was ignoring the middle-scale (probably because I threw it along the macro one).

          So the only one problem remaining is to do a good estimate of the value my customers will see in the offer...
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          • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
            IMO there is no universal answer.

            I am working on a product that I intend to sell for $5 or so that will be targeted at over 100 milion people worldwide that have the need. The nature of my product is such that upsells or future products make no sense, so while there may be value in a list, it will be difficult to monetize.

            I will also be asking for a leap of faith purchase. My customers are used to making such leaps and many have spent much more, but I want to feel good about it too.

            But that's me.

            Roger has mentioned using a freebie for list building as an option. If you have upsells ready to go, that makes sense. If not, it makes no sense at all.

            A quality, low-priced initial offer can be a great way to have your customers chomping at the bit for future products. When you have a $40 product available, they'll be thinking, "Roger's $5 ebook was amazing, I can't wait to see what 40 bucks will give me!"
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          • Profile picture of the author abdin66
            Lots of good advice above but I think TPW hit it on the head... life is all about perception and in this industry the perception of your potential customer is the most important.

            It's the value that the customer places on your content info is the key. TPW suggests going for the 80% who are in the middle. I'd second that.

            I offered a product at $9 and had a few sales. I increased it to $19 and buyers piled in! Same product, same sales page, same everything... higher price! Go figure as they say...

            Good luck!
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Vogin View Post

            So the only one problem remaining is to do a good estimate of the value my customers will see in the offer...

            When I am offering a product in the IM industry, I do dime store pricing in the Warrior Forum WSO section to test pricing...

            I know that folks in the WF are cheap and expect more value for less money, so I use that to my benefit...

            I figure that if WF members are willing to pay me X dollars for a product, then the open market will pay twice that...

            So I come to do WSO's to test price points... At the point where sales start slowing, I know that I can double the price for the general public...

            My last WSO started slowing at $23... It could be argued also that the product only ran out of steam because I allowed it to drop off of page 1 and page 2, and you might be right...

            So according to my reasoning, I could literally sell the product on the open market for $46 or $49...

            But when I took the product to the public, I set the public price at $37...

            I am satisfied with that price, and the public seems inspired to buy at that price as well...


            When your product is not IM related, it is a little tougher to test prices, because you may not have a really awesome marketplace like the WSO Forum to test your prices...

            But you still want YOUR CUSTOMERS to decide your price point for you...

            One way or another, you need to find a way to test your product at different price points, to see which price point makes the most sense for your product...

            You need to let your target audience SHOW YOU where the best price point is for your products, because left to your own accord, you will always undervalue your products...

            People as a rule let their own pre-conceptions cloud their thinking... In your case and the case of the OP, the two of you are undervaluing your products... Then other people overvalue their products...

            Instead of picking your own price out of thin air, find some method and channel to test your product for the best price point... Let those people who are in your target market TELL YOU what to charge for your products... When you do, everyone -- your customers and you -- will be more happy with the outcome of your earnings on the product sold...

            You just have to find a way to reach your target audience and then to split test pricing with them on a small scale, before going to the larger marketplace...
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            Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
            Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Very interesting and useful posts above from tpw ... thank you, Bill.

              From my perspective, there's one additional advantage of selling something rather than giving it away, which applies even if you're selling it for $1, and that is that you're building a buyers' list: they're all known to have credit cards and/or a PayPal account and to be willing to use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
    It's really about how valuable the content is, not the length. Tomorrow's winning lottery numbers released today would be a 1-page report, worth millions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sweetcheeks12354
    Or, you can take the information in the book and record a video series and then charge a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
    Why not create and audio version of it as an mp3 file and sell both ebook and audio version for $10?

    Depending on the topic, the buyers may enjoy listening to your book in their car too.

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author donkey097
    i would definitely go the list building way. $5 may not do it justice and i am a big believer that building a strong list is the key to succeeding in the internet marketing business. Buildig a strong list will generate a lot more money than $5 per person over time
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  • Profile picture of the author ijohnson
    DirtyRoger,

    If there aren't any ebooks already created on the topic, that may be a red flag that warrants deeper research. Are the printed books selling well?

    Are you feeding a hungry market? If the information is something that addresses a pain or hot button, go for it! What are your keyword search numbers looking like? Are there enough searches per month to warrant the effort required to create the ebook?

    You can always offer the 10 - 15 page version as a FREEbie for opting in and offer an upsell within that ebook for a more detailed version that can be purchase for $17+.

    You may also consider offering a beefed-up version with bonuses attached. You can get PLR rights to other ebooks to use as bonuses. A search of WSOs should turn up a treasure trove of info-products you can use, depending on your niche.

    Iris
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillycakes
      I agree with adding an audio version to push the price up to $10 (or more). If your ebook is instructional, you could also include some spreadsheets or worksheets to make it a better package.

      Even though you've already released the main content on your blog, reorganizing and expanding it makes it a totally different product. If you're going to go to the trouble of releasing your ebook, a few hours' worth of work could help you fetch a much higher price. At $10 or $20 each (depending on what you do with it), you should see a much better return on that time - and only have to sell 1/2 or 1/4 as much to earn what you would have at $5.
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      • Profile picture of the author Output Marketing
        It all depends on how JUICY your information is. Something that provides valuable content to one's business or is rare to find could be worth tons of $$$ where as an eBook thats everywhere and not as valuable will be worth rocks on the ground.

        Decide for yourself how much your book is worth. Would someone be able to turn around and re use the information discovered to earn more then what they initially invested on the education? If so then, Charge for your time and efforts. If not, then I would say build a list, but most of those list members will not be educated and you may find yourself teaching people how to click a mouse instead of Internet Marketing.

        Think, Observe, Plan, and Execute!
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  • Profile picture of the author entri3
    Hey, best thing is to give it away for a list!
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  • Profile picture of the author nelaffiliate
    I think it would be effective in building a list, but if the information is really valuable and highly desired by a substantial amount of people, then you could just sell it for $5 or even higher.

    Maybe you could let a few people who need such information have free copies, then ask them to tell you if its something they would have paid $5 for.
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  • Profile picture of the author birdie28a
    Just my opinion, if you charge the 5 bucks it will weed out the tire kickers. I would say find some kind of upsale for the people who do purchase the ebook.

    Frankie
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam James
    Give it away and build a list if I spend $5 dollars on an eBook my expectations are low if you give it away for free and its good great content your going to have a raving fan base ready to buy from you with your next product.
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  • Profile picture of the author IndigoJack
    $5 is way too low. By the time PayPal have deducted their processing fee you'll hardly left with enough to put beans on the table.

    If something is free or really cheap it has less perceived value to the owner regardless of the quality of the content.

    BMW used to run an ad with the tagline "Reassuringly Expensive". There's a truth in that.
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  • Profile picture of the author BabyJoe
    From marketing point of view, you can either go for higher profit or as free product to get email database.

    Hope this help
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  • Profile picture of the author vok
    Just as a thought have you ever considered micro continuity? Where you charge like $4.95 a month for an unlimited supply to information and some kind of premium news letter you send out once a week or so, it's a greate business model! You want to be thinking how can I keep my value per customer high, worst thing you can do is leave money on the table!
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  • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
    I was selling a NON-IM ebook for $27.

    Upped the price to $47 and sales TOOK OFF.

    Who knows? Test different price points.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    If you call it an ebook very few people will pay for it, no matter what the price.

    The word in itself conjures up images of the word free these days. I have seen people remove it from copy and see HUGE surges in sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

      If you call it an ebook very few people will pay for it, no matter what the price.

      The word in itself conjures up images of the word free these days. I have seen people remove it from copy and see HUGE surges in sales.

      I heard this from a copywriter just recently...

      He insisted that the word "ebook" devalued the product... He insisted that I should call the product a "book" or a "report"...

      That is the reason my signature calls the "Multiple Traffic Streams" product a "report" instead of an "ebook"... LOL ... Even at 80-pages, I am sticking with "report" as opposed to "ebook"...
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        He insisted that the word "ebook" devalued the product... He insisted that I should call the product a "book" or a "report"...
        There are certainly a lot of words you can use instead of "ebook".

        For myself, I strongly prefer "book" to "ebook", anyway: I think "ebook" is a devaluing term. (The only thing is, I suppose, that if you say "book", you then have to be really clear before they pay that it's a digital one, not a physical/shippable product).
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        • Profile picture of the author Vogin
          So, at first I'd like to thank dirtyroger for his question, because I wouldn't ask it. Reading each and every response here probably saved me some time, effort, disappointment and eventually money.

          I was planning to do a simultaneous launch on my website and through a WSO, but it seems that doing the WSO first is a good idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author dirtyroger
    Wow thanks for all the useful replys.

    I'm not sure if i have an up-sale plan at the moment but I could add more content to the book by making videos. That was always a plan but maybe I should get on with that first!

    My target audience are musicians who are notoriously cheap so that why i was going for the $5 price tag. I'll have to chink about this a little more. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    You know, I actually prefer the $5 price tag compared to giving away a freebie. As bill mentioned, when it's $5, people may use the generalization of "crap", which is going to be the same with "Free", people are going to assume on crap as well.

    Which is why I would rather go for the first one and sell the product for $5-7 bucks, why? I would prefer a smaller list of buyers, over a bigger list of people who got on for free.... Now, that's not to say, that I don't value my list, of people who get on for free, I do. I'm just saying, that in my tests, and from what others have said, your buyers list will convert well.

    If you have a bunch of people who've already invested with you, chances are there going to do it again, more then someone whose never invested in you...

    Caleb
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    $7 seems to be the entry level price for ebooks. If you think it's worth only $7 you can sell it at that price. If you sell 50 you make $350, if you have say another 30 different ebooks at $7 and you sell 50 of each you make $11,000. Can you produce more or get more? With enough range and quantity you can still make some money.
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    • Profile picture of the author davidjames42973
      If you're selling it for $5, then obviously you're not expecting to make a killing in sales.

      I would sell it for $5 and get them to sign up for an email list.

      Having a paid customer on your email list is worth much more than having someone who signed up for a freebie. Paid customers tend to buy more things from your list in the future...
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by davidjames42973 View Post

      If you're selling it for $5, then obviously you're not expecting to make a killing in sales.

      I would sell it for $5 AND get them to sign up for an email list.

      Having a paid customer on your email list is worth much more than having someone who signed up for a freebie. Paid customers tend to buy more things from your list in the future...
      Good point...



      Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

      $7 seems to be the entry level price for ebooks. If you think it's worth only $7 you can sell it at that price. If you sell 50 you make $350, if you have say another 30 different ebooks at $7 and you sell 50 of each you make $11,000. Can you produce more or get more? With enough range and quantity you can still make some money.
      If you sell it for $7 and sell 50, that is $350... For a product that you may have spent 16 hours creating and setting up your sales system for... Resulting in $22 an hour...

      If you only sell half that number, 25 at $17, that is $425... Or $26.50 an hour...

      I honestly do not believe that the extra $10 will cut sales by 50%... But either way, half the sales makes more sense financially and hourly...


      I would sell it for whatever price AND give them an option to sign up for an email list, to receive additional information from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Web Master
    Banned
    I agree with some of the comments shown, give it away in exchange of a list at first that way you can sell to them in the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by The Web Master View Post

      I agree with some of the comments shown, give it away in exchange of a list at first that way you can sell to them in the future.

      And some people wonder why others never make any real money online...

      HINT: Free stuff is great, but at some point, you have to sell something to make money...

      I would rather have a list of buyers, rather than a list of freebie seekers...

      I have done both, and hands down, the list of buyers will make you more money than a list of freebie seekers...

      All buyers spend money, when you give them the right offer...

      Most freebie seekers will never spend money...

      Which makes more sense?
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      • Profile picture of the author dirtyroger
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        And some people wonder why others never make any real money online...

        HINT: Free stuff is great, but at some point, you have to sell something to make money...

        I would rather have a list of buyers, rather than a list of freebie seekers...

        I have done both, and hands down, the list of buyers will make you more money than a list of freebie seekers...

        All buyers spend money, when you give them the right offer...

        Most freebie seekers will never spend money...

        Which makes more sense?

        Hmmmm food for thought, thanks guys!

        The "book" has taken me very little time to produce as its coming from articles already written for the blog, it just need to be formatted and uploaded to sell. So no matter how much i sell it for its good money. I'm not expecting to strike it rich with this book but would like to build a good list of people with it. I like the idea of having a "paying" email list, i could then target them in the future for sales?!?

        I've had another idea, i could make a smaller bribe say 1 chapter of the book for free to get those "freebie seekers" and still advertise the book for $5 for the "spenders" Good idea or not??
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by dirtyroger View Post

          I like the idea of having a "paying" email list, i could then target them in the future for sales?!?

          I've had another idea, i could make a smaller bribe say 1 chapter of the book for free to get those "freebie seekers" and still advertise the book for $5 for the "spenders" Good idea or not??
          Yes and Yes...

          Even when you sell something for one dollar, you have a proven list of buyers...

          The free chapter is a technique used by many people, and it is often really effective...
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          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author abnation
    I would really recommend the $7 script for this!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    Properly presold(using presell metods)it could sell for thousands of dollars.

    The number of pages only matter if it leaves people hanging and doesn't deliver the result.

    If the info contained in the product is not rehashed material and solves
    a problem people want the answer to then you have a winner.

    I've purchased 10 page reports for $200 and have purchased 10 page
    reports for $7. The reports were not even in the same league as far as
    the information they contained.

    Here are a couple examples. Tell me which is worth what?

    1. Buy my ebook and I'll show you how to pick a lock.
    2. Buy my ebook and I'll give you the combination to the lock you choose to pick.

    Which is worth what?

    All depends on the target market. It may work well in one market and not
    so well in another.

    My point, It all depends on your marketing efforts and the Market you are
    targeting.

    Hope that Helps,
    Have a Great Day!
    Michael
    Originally Posted by dirtyroger View Post

    I plan on monetizing my site with an ebook that i will write using topics that i have discussed on my blog already but will put it in an easily readable ebook format with clearer pictures.

    The ebook is an instructional book and will be unique there is not an ebook like it available. Not that i've found anyway

    You can get hardcopy books on the topic for $10 with a huge amount of info but mine will be focused and concise. Only about 10-15 pages!

    Do you think its worth me asking for $5 or should i give it away as a bribe to build a list???

    Thanks
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