How to Sell eBooks Using Affiliates
By Steve Gillman
I have to admit that although this page on how to sell eBooks
is based in part on my experience, I am not an expert. I do write
and sell e-books, but that part of our business generates only
about $1,000 monthly at the moment. Even that requires selling
several different ebooks that I've written.
Still, I do know the process, and you might do better on the
marketing end than I do. This particular page is about how to
sell e-books using affiliates. I recall the first time I marketed
my "Secrets Package" of e-books. I offered a 50% commission,
and the publisher of a newsletter about mind power promoted it,
generating about 25 sales in less than two weeks. That was exciting.
Ebooks, once they are written and for sale, have no real cost
to produce. That means you can afford to offer 50% or even 75%
of the sale to those who send you leads. They are almost always
sales you would not otherwise have made, so even if you only
net a few dollars from each you have boosted your profits. And
it is that high commission that attracts affiliates, at least
at first (you also have to have a sales page that converts well,
so your affiliates do well by sending traffic your way).
It has become easier than ever to sell ebooks using affiliates,
thanks to services like ClickBank. At the moment, for example,
it costs about $50 to set up an account on ClickBank to sell
your ebook (it costs nothing for affiliates to sign up to promote
the products there). They sell your e-books for a small fee,
meaning you don't need to get a vendors credit card account.
They even deal with refunds if you are out of town or away from
email. And most importantly, they have over 100,000 active affiliates
who can choose to promote your ebooks.
Now, the point of focusing on affiliates is that a good affiliate
can sell hundred of your books for you, and even a whole bunch
of affiliates selling a few each can add up to a lot of sales
(I have had at least 60 affiliates sell my books for me over
the years). To attract affiliates, you need to:
1. Offer a good commission. This means you need a decent price
to start with. 50% percent of $5 won't motivate good affiliates.
Aim for a minimum of $15 or so to get affiliates signed up.
2. Write good sales page. Study marketing (Chapter 7 of You Aren't Supposed
to Know - A Book Of Secrets covers Hypnotic Sales Writing),
because if you don't have at least a .5% conversion rate (1 of
every 200 visitors buying your book), affiliates will not keep
3. Avoid newsletters and other distractions. A free sample
or newsletter is a great idea normally. It gives you many opportunities
to convince a visitors to buy your book. But affiliates worry
about getting credit for the sale, which become less likely the
longer it takes their referred visitor to buy, since cookies
may be cleared from computers and some systems keep track for
only 30 days. So if you want affiliate sales as your primary
strategy, consider keeping the page a straight sales pitch.
How Much Can You Make?
As mentioned, I am a small-timer in the e-book marketplace.
But there are some who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars
annually. Beyond the claims there is the evidence of the statistics
at ClickBank. You see, I also promote other people products for
a commission, and I have access to the conversion rate (the rate
at which visitors choose to buy) of the books I recommend. One
in particular, a well-known internet marketer, has a book that
sells to 4% of the visitors I send. That may not seem too high,
but if I could do that with my books, I would be doing close
to $80,000 annually without one additional visitor--and I know
this guy gets far more traffic than myself.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Experiment with prices. When I raised the price of my Secrets
Package (no longer for sale) from $17 to $27, it sold at
about the same rate, so I started making more money.
Find a site with a big mailing list that is very relevant
to your product, and ask the publisher to promote it. Always
offer at least 50% commission. On a $17 ebook that means you'll
each get about $7.30 after fees (based on ClickBank sales), and
the right newsletter can sell 300 books for you in a day or two.
Offer something of real value. Many marketers out there are
repackaging poorly-written articles into ebooks and selling them.
Refund rates will be high and you won't feel good about what
you're doing if you take that course (not that there is something
wrong with using other people's articles for a book, but use
good ones that are truly helpful or entertaining to the customer).
Note: You can call them eBooks, e-books or ebooks--the proper
name is not yet a settled issue.
Qualifications / Requirements
There are ways to sell ebooks without a website or blog, but
you'll need one or the other to sell ebooks using affiliates.
1. Get a PDF converter that can make a PDF e-book (the most
common format) out of whatever word processing program you use.
There is a link to a free one in the resource section below.
2. Write a useful book-- a subject for another page, but it
can be researched and written in under a month for most topics.
3. Upload it to your website or blog (there are simple tutorials
online if you are not sure how to do this).
4. Study marketing a bit and create a sales page.
5. Set up a download page.
6. Open an account with a processor or e-book seller (I use
ClickBank). Put their order button on your sales page, and set
it up so the buyer is sent to the download page upon completion
of the purchase (you'll be walked through the process). Test
the ordering process using the system provided or by buying your
own book if necessary.
7. Start promoting the book to those who might sell it for
you (owners of relevant newsletters, blogs and websites).
ClickBank.com - This is the service I use to sell my
- This is where I sell You Can Make Money Writing, which has
some information in it about ebooks, and is an example of a basic
sales page (it could be much better, but I'm no copywriting whiz).
Thank You Page - Example
of a download page, which buyers are sent to after paying by
credit card. Of course, since you're there, get a free copy of
a little ebook I used to sell for $3 on 99reports.com.
- Get a free PDF converter here; much easier to use than Adobe