viral ebooks: are Jeff Dedrick and Harvey Segal relevant?

23 replies
Hi Warriors:

Jeff Dedrick and Harvey Segal have been around IM for YEARS; they both have interesting platforms for distributing viral, rebrandable ebooks. Yet I never hear anything about them on Warrior Forum. I am very intent on implementing a viral ebook strategy and I would like a definitive opinion on these 2 potentially important resources before I move on.

I discovered Jeff Dedrick through some of Jason Fladlien's early material. The idea was that you could use one of Jeff's free websites as a platform for rebranding and distributing ebooks. Or as place to pick up free ebooks to rebrand and use yourself. It looked interesting but Jeff has so many interconnected programs and upsells that, especially as a newbie, I couldn't really reach a comfort level.

Harvey Segal has been around, sort of attached to the Clickbank marketplace--for years as well. He has a similar strategy to Jeff's --just less flashy.

The problem that I have with both of them is similar---they have so many interconnected pieces that it's hard to get a bead on how real any of it is or where to focus. Barring any solid insight from this thread, my likely solution will be just to try both systems out with easy to create products that I have a certain detachment from. Then I can see what happens and learn their systems from the "inside" Maybe I can report back to you all then.

In the meantime--does ANYONE have experience or insight working with the ebook distribution systems of Dedrick or Segal ? If you do---or if you have any thoughts on the potential of rebranding versus straight viral distribution---please share this here.

Thanks,

polrbearz
#dedrick #ebooks #harvey #jeff #relevant #segal #viral
  • Profile picture of the author edlewis
    Another on to look at is Jimmy Brown...

    I remember hearing him speak on an audio once where he said that he didn't even know where the money came from....it just showed up in his accounts every month.

    Pretty nice...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    Sorry I don't know anything about it, but just curious...what is their strategy exactly for making an eBook "viral"?
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    • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
      Originally Posted by Bill_Z View Post

      Sorry I don't know anything about it, but just curious...what is their strategy exactly for making an eBook "viral"?
      One simple strategy is to create a terrific ebook loaded with cloaked or redirected aff links and then offer it here on the WF as a WSO.

      At the same time, you can do press releases or blog posts about it with the name of the eBook in the title.

      People will STEAL your book - so the idea is to get it stolen and given away and passed around as much as possible.

      And you have to make it easy for people to find - that's why you do press releases and also submit the book to other sharing sites.

      Take advantage of what you know is going to happen.
      Mike
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      birminghamshootingrange.comfor sale |"Knowledge is NOT power... ACTION on Knowledge is power"
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      • Profile picture of the author edlewis
        Originally Posted by Bill_Z View Post

        Sorry I don't know anything about it, but just curious...what is their strategy exactly for making an eBook "viral"?
        The way the real pros did it was with resale rights. Create an ebook, with all the leads leading back to you....sometimes this means affiliate links...sometimes it means links that lead to your product...or links that lead to a squeeze page to get prospects into your funnel.

        These guys would launch an ebook and sell it for a price of something like $27...with resell rights. Then sit back and watch those who bought the resell rights start selling the ebook...sometimes with resell rights....if master resell rights were sold.

        Pretty soon, if everything goes correctly, there are 100's of people selling your ebook. Inside your ebook are your affiliate links, links to your other products, links to your newsletter, and links to your free offers/squeeze pages.

        The REALLY smart guys built in affiliate offers and businesses that paid recurring/monthly income. Gradually as their product multiplied like a virus...so did their recurring....ie passive....income.

        Eventually some people caught on and weren't too happy making other people rich...so then ebook authors started to offer ebooks with resell rights that people could re-brand with their own affiliate links.

        This gave people a reason to give away or sell your ebook...they would make affiliate commissions. What was in it for the author? Some links couldn't be re-branded....mainly authors used this model to build gigantic lists of customers.

        Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

        One simple strategy is to create a terrific ebook loaded with cloaked or redirected aff links and then offer it here on the WF as a WSO.

        At the same time, you can do press releases or blog posts about it with the name of the eBook in the title.

        People will STEAL your book - so the idea is to get it stolen and given away and passed around as much as possible.

        And you have to make it easy for people to find - that's why you do press releases and also submit the book to other sharing sites.

        Take advantage of what you know is going to happen.
        Mike
        Hoping thieves will buy stuff thru affiliate links...??? They stole your product, what makes you think they won't just steal the product you recommend them too?

        I've seen this method explained, I just don't buy it.
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        • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
          Ed:

          I for one really appreciate your very intelligent reply. You are helping me get a bead on this subject As you can tell I am someone who is determined to use real strategy in putting my content out there.

          Would I be right in saying that you are basically positive on rebranding (a la Dedrick and Segal) as a superior way to get a viral effect on ebooks ? Because more people are now savvy to affiliate sales and we need to give them a stake in it?

          Allen (owner of WF) in one of his sticky posts says that resell rights is how he did all of his ebooks. That was 2008, I guess. Would you say that is still a superior strategy today? I assume that I can search here on WF and find a lot on "resell rights?" I would like to know more about this option if it's still got potential.

          Thanks again for your thoughts.
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          • Profile picture of the author edlewis
            Originally Posted by polrbearz View Post

            Ed:

            I for one really appreciate your very intelligent reply. You are helping me get a bead on this subject As you can tell I am someone who is determined to use real strategy in putting my content out there.

            Would I be right in saying that you are basically positive on rebranding (a la Dedrick and Segal) as a superior way to get a viral effect on ebooks ? Because more people are now savvy to affiliate sales and we need to give them a stake in it?

            Allen (owner of WF) in one of his sticky posts says that resell rights is how he did all of his ebooks. That was 2008, I guess. Would you say that is still a superior strategy today? I assume that I can search here on WF and find a lot on "resell rights?" I would like to know more about this option if it's still got potential.

            Thanks again for your thoughts.
            If I'm not mistaken, Dedrick is all about re-branding and it's done well for him.

            The big thing with rebranding is that it gives people a reason to give your ebooks away. But resell rights can have the same effect, because those with the resell rights are motivated to sell your ebook...so they make money.

            I don't think the resell rights strategy won't work nowadays...I just think it's kind of been forgotten.

            Allen's ebooks were great because he would put a page at the end of the ebook that said something like, "If you would like to make money selling this ebook - click here"

            You could buy resell rights from him, and only him.

            So if he sold resell rights to me, and then I sold his ebook to you....you could buy resell rights too....after you read the book and saw the offer...but the resell rights offer and payment went to Allen.

            See the viral effect?

            I think it still has potential, if done correctly.

            The $7 Secrets Script a few years ago used a similar strategy as do other 100% affiliate strategies like the RAP software. You create an ebook and sell it, when people buy it they can promote it for 100% commissions, but then all the customers get put on your email list and you have your links in the ebook.

            I think the strategy is still very practical, although I think it's changed slightly. I think it could be more powerful these days as there are more tools to make automation easier and the rise of social network sites could help as well.

            Sorry to ramble a bit....been a long day and typing this as I try to stay awake....LOL.
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            • Profile picture of the author IM Starter
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              • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
                I want to thank everyone for their contributions so far. And to reiterate why I thought this was an important question regardless of any immediate goal I might have in mind ( AJ ) There has not been so much as a single rigorous discussion on WF of the merits of rebranding versus other viral strategies, that directly addresses the potential suggested by Segal or Dedrick's system. (Edelweis' posts below come as close to that as anything I've seen). This despite the fact that these men are very big in IM and there should have been ample opportunity to have intelligent and thorough reviews of their systems at this point. By contrast, you can reach a level of confidence regarding almost any well-known tool or system (Market Samurai, Digiresults) with a very casual search on WF. So my question filled a gap.

                The reason that this question was so relevant to me personally is that I have already committed to the idea of free ebook distribution as an important part of my content creation. In the near term, I want to popularize a little known corner of the marketing industry where I have significant personal experience. I want to bring attention to that industry, clarify certain misperceptions and establish myself as an authority. In the process, of course, I would hope to develop a list and begin interacting with them. So the idea is not at the level of metrics--yet. (I will probably create a paid product on a parallel track). It is closer to public relations than sales. As such, you can see how attracted I was to viral strategies.

                Which leads back to the consideration of finding the best tools and thus Dedrick and Segal. Getting some kind of reference from one's peers is very useful at that stage --the same way we become more confident to jump on a WSO by the time we see 10 or 15 positive comments that seem to say more or less the same sort of thing.

                Recent social proof is precisely what I feel is lacking for Segal or Dedrick's platform at this point. Perhaps I should have posed my original question on the thread for Internet Product Reviews. That's what this really is--a call for evaluation of a system. My own immediate goals are not really necessary for that to be an important question in its own right.

                Maybe one of the reasons that we don't see more on Segal or Dedrick is precisely because what they offer is not as definable as a single entity (as compared to DigiResults or Market Samurai for example). Each man has a large number of interconnecting parts to their system--the parts function to some extent as standalone products of their own but they do interrelate. Some sort of overview of their total system would be useful. Maybe they have it on one their sites but if so I haven't seen it yet.

                Here's where I'm at: There is something about the rebranding of my own work that just doesn't feel right at the moment. I think that I will stick with other viral strategies that I'm already comfortable with for that angle. As far as using Segal or Dedrick's platform to distribute the work of OTHERS and rebranding it to give aways as bonuses or whatever--that's an entirely different thing. That looks like a no-brainer to add to the arsenal.

                I will say that Harvey Segal has been kind enough to engage me outside of WF on my inquiry. Very helpful. Kudos to him for that I am beginning to realize the possibility that part of my confusion is relatable to the simple fact that I'm fairly new--Harvey no doubt established what he is all about in the minds of many veterans long ago. The fact that there hasn't been much direct discussion recently may just be something of an accident of timing.






                Originally Posted by AJ Silvers View Post

                Hi Polrbearz

                Please excuse the obvious question but what are your specific goals for implementing this strategy?



                I love talking strategy but without a clear business objective (and making money is not a clear enough business objective IMHO) I think this could be little more than an interesting discussion.

                I think one of the biggest opportunities available to us when we employ the net to help us reach certain goals is that we can do almost anything. Unfortunately that is also a big opportunity to waste time, energy and money (time being the single most valuable of the three for me).

                There are lots of people that "try" a strategy for 10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days and then give up. In many cases I think it is often the case that, had they had clear goals and a means by which they can track progress towards that goal, then they would have the incentive to keep going and actually put the required work in to turn the idea/opportunity into a viable business process or to achieve their primary objective.

                I think many of the ideas here have specific objectives. J-Flad's viral ebook give away is a very good example - he's equipping affiliates with tools that make both him and the affiliate sales. I believe $5 a Day Dennis does the same thing.

                So what are your specific objectives?

                AJ
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                • Profile picture of the author John Hocking
                  If you are interested in viral marketing and viral ebooks, I would suggest you download and read Seth Godin's Unleasing the IdeaVirus.

                  Unleashing The IdeaVirus


                  To make the viral ebook work, you need to make it easy for the user to rebrand.

                  There are several rebranding options but I would recommend on linke viralpdf for rebranding pdfs.

                  You need to make the content something that is worth sharing and give the user a reason to want to rebrand and share.

                  You can give them option to put in an affid id to promote your product.


                  Another option that Jimmy brown did well was let people rebrand some of the links for free and give them the option for an upgraded version that would allow them to rebrand everything for a fee.

                  In this way, you get the best of both worlds and each ebook becomes a little salesman for you.

                  I think there are even some web based rebranding options that would make it even easier for the user to rebrand the ebook.
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                  • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
                    Originally Posted by jjones64 View Post

                    Listen, I did the whole viral ebook thing, and it's not all it's cracked up to be.

                    I joined Dedrick's Viral Ebook Explosion site back in 2008 and I gave out close to 10,000 viral ebooks by the time it was all said and done.

                    To this dat, I got about 110 members referred from that and made 8 sales for a grand total of $267 profit.

                    Bottom line is that most people who download those ebooks don't even look at them or just skim them and then they sit on their hard drive and collect dust. they hardle ever click the links inside.

                    the only person making money here is Jeff Dedrick, and good for him.

                    Thank You ! That was extremely helpful--the most concrete information I've run across--a very meaningful testimonial from a fellow Warrior. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Many others who need something real to compare to the sales copy on these products probably feel the same way.


                    Originally Posted by John Hocking View Post

                    If you are interested in viral marketing and viral ebooks, I would suggest you download and read Seth Godin's Unleasing the IdeaVirus.

                    Unleashing The IdeaVirus


                    To make the viral ebook work, you need to make it easy for the user to rebrand.

                    There are several rebranding options but I would recommend on linke viralpdf for rebranding pdfs.

                    You need to make the content something that is worth sharing and give the user a reason to want to rebrand and share.

                    You can give them option to put in an affid id to promote your product.


                    Another option that Jimmy brown did well was let people rebrand some of the links for free and give them the option for an upgraded version that would allow them to rebrand everything for a fee.

                    In this way, you get the best of both worlds and each ebook becomes a little salesman for you.

                    I think there are even some web based rebranding options that would make it even easier for the user to rebrand the ebook.
                    Thank you so much John. Based on your recommendation, I will definitely get Seth Godin's book. Sounds like the sort of overview I (and possibly others) need about now.
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                    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
                      Originally Posted by polrbearz View Post

                      Thank you so much John. Based on your recommendation, I will definitely get Seth Godin's book. Sounds like the sort of overview I (and possibly others) need about now.
                      Just in case you missed it, the PDF for Seth's ebook is on that page that John linked to...unless you want a physical copy...then by all means, buy it.

                      Also make sure you check out the pre-order for Seth's new book, "Poke the Box"....

                      If you pre-order a Kindle copy...it's $1.

                      Smart guy....

                      Amazon.com: Poke the Box eBook: Seth Godin:...Amazon.com: Poke the Box eBook: Seth Godin:...
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                      • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
                        Thanks Ed--

                        I did grab the PDF. Looks interesting. By the way--when I thanked you for your thoughts earlier I referred to your username as "Edelweis" :rolleyes: Sorry. It's almost an anagram, I suppose Goes to show you how the mind can create its own patterns.
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                        • Profile picture of the author edlewis
                          Originally Posted by polrbearz View Post

                          Thanks Ed--

                          I did grab the PDF. Looks interesting. By the way--when I thanked you for your thoughts earlier I referred to your username as "Edelweis" :rolleyes: Sorry. It's almost an anagram, I suppose Goes to show you how the mind can create its own patterns.
                          Yeah....I need to have it changed so the "E" and "L" are capitalized....don't want to bother anyone as it seems like a small detail.
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                          • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
                            I haven't addressed this thread for a while because I felt that I needed to first process all the good input I got here. Here is an update on where I am today on viral ebooks:

                            1) First of all, I have to acknowledge the contribution of Harvey Segal to my investigation. Unlike Jeff Dedrick, Harvey actually took the time to indulge my questions (which are clearly from a beginner's perspective). He has done much of this outside of WF in his internal customer support system. My conclusion--I believe that it is very significant that Harvey has offered his viral marketing system consistently for years (most visibly through the Clickbank interface) and there haven't been any "scandals". So my feeling is that I can give it the benefit of the doubt as a wholesome alternative for someone interested in being an "information broker"--which I am. Harvey has also pointed out that he recently revamped his interlocking websites (Ultimate Rebrander, etc.) to include more demos and FAQ's, etc. Checking those out will be my next step. If any of you check it out, please let us know here what you think.

                            2) I am gradually realizing that there are many tools for viral giveaways out there. For instance, viralpdfrebrander and viralpdfmaster. I don't have enough comprehension yet on how these compare to Harvey's system and other options to speak intelligently to the issue. But I am actively searching

                            3) I did download and skim Seth Godin's Ideavirus book. Thanks again for the tip on that It's good for getting a deeper foundation on what would make an idea ITSELF be viral---as opposed to the viral "carriers" for the idea that we have been discussing here--which are really systems or technologies. The expression "the cream always rises to the top" comes to mind when I think of the inherent power of a truly viral idea.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan1234
        I think it helps to have some really good information in the book.
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        • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
          Originally Posted by Wayne-JJ View Post

          Great thread there polrbearz,

          Just to add something into the mix, letting your ebooks / products go viral is certainly the way to go. Not sure about you but the traditional ways of driving traffic just seemed to take longer to work.


          Have you started your own viral product yet? It'll be interesting to see different approaches used by different people..
          I have to admit that I can't offer much of a personal comparison on different ways of driving traffic. Most of my experience so far has been using offline methods to drive traffic to a few different affiliate programs.

          I DO have tons of content ready to repurpose. Was thinking of using some of it specifically to track different viral methods. "Learn by doing" you know So much of my grasp (such as it is :rolleyes of IM in general at this point is really theoretical--so I am looking forward to more grounding in any part of it.

          Originally Posted by Alan1234 View Post

          I think it helps to have some really good information in the book.
          Agreed. This reminds me of what I got out of my first pass at Seth Godin's writing about the power of the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Harvey puts in an appearance here every once in a while, maybe he'll answer your question personally.
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    • Profile picture of the author polrbearz
      Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

      Harvey puts in an appearance here every once in a while, maybe he'll answer your question personally.
      Steve:

      I think I tried to PM him once and was given an automated message to use his customer support address. I suppose I could actually do that. If I get a meaty response from his organization, maybe, with their permission, I will share it here with you all.

      That's why it's nice when owners of major services DO have a real presence here in WF. It can provide immediate grounding and credibility in the minds of a large group of very motivated people (us!). Then again some guys may already be so big that they don't need us All kidding aside---I do get it that one can't clone oneself and be everywhere at once all the time. Even in my little world I run out of hours every day.

      In any event, Harvey and Jeff do run what seem to be potentially very significant services that many newbies might benefit from. I will definitely make it a project to try and get to the bottom of how they might fit best with what we're doing and report back sometime to everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
    Viral ebooks are pretty cool. Fladlien does a neat way where he offers the rebrand rights to 32 really cool reports and then gives them away no opt in.

    Affiliates can make sales through the back end and he gets all the traffic he needs. Cool Cool stuff

    Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    What AJ said above is very important!

    As for a viral example, let me tell you about a very simple model:
    - I have a product offering a solution for a specific problem with its own salespage
    - made a free report "analyzing" the problem with a link in it to the above mentioned salespage
    - you and anybody else can get a "rebrandable" copy of the report and can replace my link with their own affiliate link for my product

    The idea is they would give away the report to as many potential buyers as possible and when those click the link everybody makes money. Then the buyers are also offered to get their own rebrandable report and give it away... that's the "viral" part - if you are lucky it spreads as fast as a (flu) virus
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  • Profile picture of the author Wayne-JJ
    Great thread there polrbearz,

    Just to add something into the mix, letting your ebooks / products go viral is certainly the way to go. Not sure about you but the traditional ways of driving traffic just seemed to take longer to work.


    Have you started your own viral product yet? It’ll be interesting to see different approaches used by different people..
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    The idea is still relevant, and I still make money with Harvey Segal.

    His platform is easy and straight forward.

    As I remember, there is one front-end product and one up-sell, and the buyer lands on his email list.

    I cannot speak to Jeff's value, but certainly, Harvey Segal's system can be important for a lot of newbies.
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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 polrbearz
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      The idea is still relevant, and I still make money with Harvey Segal.

      His platform is easy and straight forward.

      As I remember, there is one front-end product and one up-sell, and the buyer lands on his email list.

      I cannot speak to Jeff's value, but certainly, Harvey Segal's system can be important for a lot of newbies.
      Bill:

      After interacting productively with Harvey outside of WF, I am not surprised that he would pass muster with an experienced Warrior such as yourself. I really appreciate your input--this is exactly the sort of firsthand experience I was looking for. Now I have at least 1 comment each from Warriors who have actually used Dedrick and Segal's systems.
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      • Profile picture of the author telewarrior
        Hi,

        I just ran the gauntlet of squeeze pages and I must comment that the repetition quotient is higher in his funnel than others I have encountered (more presistent with lower slope =;?). Good thing that I joined the WF and know to check it out here.

        One other thing that I can't help but point out is Nyquist's theorum, which dictates that you have sample an event with at least twice the frequency to begin to have any confidence at all in the measurement. Although one warrior did have an experience, that is equivalent to a coin toss. Twice is the lower limit, and three is only the beginning of a trend of validity. Sound three's a charm?

        What is meant to say is that there is still insufficient data to begin to have any confidence over random chance so you hopeful did more homework in the intervening months, but I am including this idea here top point out how intuitively you understand that one actual experience is worth several impressions based on rep.

        Of course, if there are a whole lot of opinions either way, with a lack of actual contact that does start to add up. Think of how one PR9 is worth thousands of PR0 links.

        I spent enough time reading those pages and this thread to know that I should pass myself. I am going to take the $1 Canada Cancer donation and give some support.

        Seth Godin? Boy, are we talking upscale!

        Hope it all went well,

        Brett
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