Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to Price Your eBook

You've written and compiled an ebook. Now you have to decide how much to charge for it. Finding the right price is essential to the success of your product. If you charge too little, people will think it's of little value, and they won't purchase it, or even it they do buy your book, you will have to sell thousands of copies to get to the point where you can begin to see a profit. If you price it too high when compared with your competition, you will find yourself steadily lowering the price, which will cause you all kinds of new problems in the future. For example, if you sell your ebook at first for $39.99, and later reduce it to $24.95, don't you think the people who bought it for $39.99 are going to be PISSED?

Choosing the right price for your ebook is one of the most critical parts of the marketing process. The first rule of pricing ebooks is to never underprice. Determine the highest price your audience can afford, and then if you find your book isn?t selling, you can always reduce the price. Before you take that step, make sure you are promoting your book like crazy on the Internet and on websites. The price should be aimed at bringing in profits, but you should never forget that price is one of the factors that people use in judging the value of your ebook ? before they buy it. So always start with the highest price, and then launch a mega-marketing campaign.

Pricing an ebook is particularly difficult because ebooks are a fairly new commodity. Since they are digital, the value of an ebook is as confusing as the understanding of what digital actually is to the average layperson. This means that we must look at ebooks in a different light in order to determine their actual worth in this brave, new cyber world.

Let's look at the difference between a book in print and an ebook. A printed book is an object you can hold in your hand, store on your bookshelf, even hand down to the next generation. It is priced on factors such as paper stock, design and production costs, and marketing.

But the fact that unites ebooks and print books is that they are composed of ideas. It is the ideas in these books that have the ability to change, or possibly transform, people's lives.

What do you think an idea is worth when evaluated against the cost of paper and ink?

It is the IDEAS that are valuable! That is how you determine the cost of your ebook.
What should I charge for my ideas?

There are all different formulas and methods for determining the correct price for your ebook. Let's begin with honing in on your ultimate goals.

Decide if your goal is to get wide distribution and maximum exposure. This goal is aimed at drawing customers to your business or service, or to establishing the credibility of your reputation. If this is your main goal, you should aim to keep your price on the low side. Some authors have even priced their ebooks at a profit loss to draw a high number of new customers. The key is to find a price that maximizes your profits and the number of books you sell.

This is an excellent pricing strategy if you are looking to acquire long-term customers. Long-term customers are extremely likely to buy from you again and again ? as long as the first ebook they buy is of exceptional quality and beneficial to the customer.

However, if your book contains valuable ? and more importantly NEW information, references, or techniques? then you should aim to price it on the high end.

After you figure out your goal, you must figure out what your audience's need is for your ebook. For example, does your book solve a particular problem? If it does, and solves it in a way that hasn't been written about in one hundred other ebooks, you will be able to achieve high sales at a high price. If your book solves a problem or answers questions in a new and unique way, you should price your book as high as you can go. You will achieve larger profits this way, but bring in fewer customers. Just make sure the question or problem that your book solves is one that is important and relevant to the majority of your market audience. If your ideas are not common knowledge, or you are presenting a brand new technique, you will be able to sell books at a high price. Just be prepared for your competition to undercut you on price as soon as they hear about your book.

Keep in mind that the above pricing strategy is temporary. Eventually, you will cease to sell books at this high price. So figure out in advance how long you plan to offer your ebook at this high price, and when that time is up, change your pricing strategy.

If you want to see large profits over customer draw, aim for an audience that is looking for easy solutions to their problems at a low price. If your book is aimed at solving one particular problem rather than general advice, then you can charge more. Start at the highest price the market will bear to bring in the largest profits, and plan to discount the book a number of times throughout the year.

Marketing Strategies

The key that unlocks the sales potential of your ebook is to find a single sentence that becomes your selling handle. This sentence states what question or problem your book answers and the benefits your ebook can provide. Then be sure to use that sentence in every piece of sales and promotional material, and every time anyone asks you about your ebook.

Besides promoting your books assiduously online, there are several other strategies that can help you sell more books.

One is to give something away for free with your book,such as a valuable bonus item. Or bundle several ebooks under one price, which lowers the price foreach ebook if they were sold separately.

An effective technique for figuring out a price is to send out a survey to your current customers. If these customers have already bought an ebook from you, ask for their opinion in terms of price. Do this by creating a sales page for the new book, but don'tinclude a price on that page. Instead, add a number of links to survey questions that ask pointed questions to aid you in assigning a price to your ebook.

Another strategy is to test out prices by creating a number of duplicate sales pages with different prices on each page. Make sure your sales copy is exactly the same on every page, and includes your selling-handle sentence. Then figure out for each page the conversion ratio between visitors to your site and sales of your book. This will tell you what your optimum price is.

Ultimately, if you've written a book that solves a problem or presents a new technique, your book will bring in both traffic and profits. So be sure to write that selling-handle sentence that sums up what problem your book solves and what the benefits of your bookwill be to the customers who purchase it. And then watch your market come to you!

Choosing an eBook Compiler

What is an eBook compiler?

You've written and revised your ebook, hired an artist who has produced outstanding graphics, and now you're ready to actually put together your ebook. What you need to make an ebook is software called an ebookCompiler.

There are many different compilers to chose from, but first, you need to know exactly what an ebook Compiler does. Here is the simple explanation:

An ebook compiler is a software program that converts either text pages or HTML text into a single executable file or an ebook.

If you or someone you hired has created a file with graphics in HTML, you will need an HTML ebook Compiler. This type of compiler requires a working knowledge of the HTML tag language. You can also use software to do this for you, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver.

How do you choose an eBook Compiler?

There are a large number of ebook Compilers available on the market, all with glowing sales copy and tekkie language. It can get very confusing and overwhelming very fast without some simple guidelines to help you figure out which compiler is right for you.

Choosing an ebook Compiler depends on a number of

  1. How did you create your pages? Did you use HTML or PDF format? There are many more compilers available for HTML, but you can find some very good compilersthat will covert your PDF files into an ebook.
  2. Consider how easy the program is to use and the thoroughness of the software's instruction manual. It is absolutely necessary that the compiler you buy have an instructional manual, documentation, or online "wizards." If it doesn't, your chances of figuring out how to correctly use the program are compromised, and the time required doing so is going to be significant. Many manufacturers of compilers offer a free trial version so you can play around with it and see if it suits your needs. Download the trial version and ascertain that it actually does what it claims to do.
  3. Security features. If you plan to sell your ebook, check out the security features of the compiler software carefully. Security features should include:prevention of the reader from modifying text, access only to the pages you assign or by entering a password, different ways of generating passwords such as secure passwords, user-friendly, and open passwords.
  4. Supported scripting. Find out what scripts the software supports. Scripting allows you to create special effects, customize menus, and create and modify other user interactivity. Choose a compiler that permits you to include graphics, search windows, hyperlinks, forms, surveys, etc.
  5. Pricing. This is a factor that is not always easy to gauge. The highest priced compilers are not automatically your best choice. Choose your compiler based on the necessary requirements for your Ebook.That means you need to know exactly how you plan to use your Ebook and what functions you require.

Let's look at some of these factors in more detail. First of all, make sure you have the correct browser to run the compiler. The majority of HTML compilers use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape. Check out the version that the compiler supports. Compilers that require a browser will not run on a computer that does not have the required browser installed. However, there are ebook HTML compilers that don't require you to have any browser installed on your computer. These compilers run on any Windows system.

If you choose a compiler that requires a browser, check to ascertain that the browser is installed
correctly and that it is properly configured to the specifications of the compiler. Check to see if certain functions are turned off or on, and make any adjustments according to the compiler instructions.

Security is an essential element of any compiler, regardless of whether you plan to sell or give away your ebook. One of the main reasons for using a compiler is to prevent the reader from modifying the contents. A secure compiler allows access only to the pages you want the user to access unless they enter a correct password.

To find out how secure an ebook HTML compiler is, open an ebook on it. While it is open, check the temporary directory of your computer. This can usually be accessed by typing in C:\Windows\temp. If you see a bunch of files when your ebook is open or running, it means that your computer is decompressing the secure data from your ebook before showing the ebook to the viewer. This method is not secure! It means that anyone with the knowledge of how to access these temporary files can steal the secure data and then they can fiddle with your ebook to their evil heart's desire. Remember, one of the main purposes of buying and using an HTML compiler is to protect your property.

Next, let's discuss passwords. When trying to choose an ebook Compiler, check out the type of passwords that the compiler supports. Almost all compilers offer some kind of password protection that insures that the user can only access the contents they have purchased from you. However, the best compilers offer varied ways to generate different types of passwords. Choose a compiler that gives you the options of secure, user-friendly, and open password generation.

Another important factor when it comes to passwords is how the compiler generates them. A compiler that has internal password protection generation built into the software is more secure than compilers that link to live Internet password control systems.

Find out if the compiler generates passwords online. If it has this option, it allows you to choose any payment processing system you want or to do the payment processing yourself.

Next, look into the size of ebook the compiler supports. The best compilers can create ebooks up to 2 GB in size without decompressing the HTML pages or images to your hard disk. Usually, ebooks that are 2 GB in size can easily support 6 GB of compressed data. The catch here is that only text files will generally be compressible.

You do not want a compiler that decompresses this amount of data when the user attempts to open your ebook. This would mean that anyone who purchases your ebook will have to wait for all the data to decompress before they can access your ebook right after downloading it. So look for compilers that only decompress temporarily files that are NOT HTML to the local hardisk. Non-HTML files include Flash, Word, and Acrobat files. This type of compiler is more secure and certainly faster.

Make sure the compiler you choose is compatible with your system software. Check out what version of Windows it requires, and make sure you have that version before buying your compiler.

Support issues are extremely important. Choose a compiler that includes an installation program. This program allows your user to choose a number of different places on their computer to install the ebook, to place a shortcut on their desktop, and to add the ebook, if they choose, to the Start Programs menu.

You also want excellent and accessible vendor support. Make sure you can access quick technical support! At three o'clock in the morning, this factor will be VERY important. Also, check to see the terms of free technical support offered. Unlimited technical support is obviously the best option.

Check to see if the company that puts out the compiler software offers a service level agreement. This agreement is to assure you of their quality response to your questions or problems.

A good thing to consider is how long the compiler has been on the market. Usually, the version number will give you an idea. The longer the program is on the market, the higher the version number, the more bugs have been worked out.

When choosing an ebook compiler, do not be swayed by incredible promises and dazzling sales copy. Do your homework first, and then consider all the above issues and factors before choosing an ebook compiler.