How I Made $10,000 USD From My First eBook
Author: Daniel Cuttridge
Last year, I launched and sold my first ebook called on-page quick wins.
It sold just over 500 copies, and got rave reviews!
It was an incredibly validating feeling. With such a small audience it is certainly something that I can always be proud of.
As what I did seemed to work really well, I felt that it would be worth sharing.
1. How I Created The Idea
First of all, it's worth saying that in 2019 I had built a small community from 0 > 3,000 members in under 6 months.
I had all this time to identify exactly what people wanted to see more of.
It sounds simple in theory, even if you know your target audience it requires a lot of time & testing to figure out what people enjoy from your content the most.This means monitoring views, engagement, feedback, shares, etc.
I decided on creating a product with lots of quick, actionable tips. Or 'quick wins'.
This was based on the overwhelmingly good feedback I got on an e-mail series I had done called 5 tips in 5 days.
Listen to the data, even if it surprises you. When you find a winning idea you'll know it.
So based on the data alone, I set out to 10x that series by including a total of 50 tips.
Going from 5 tips to 50 is not as easy as it sounds.
I started out typing out as many tips as I could think of. It didn't matter if they were good, it was simply a case of getting the ideas down.
I used Dynalist to do this, which is easily one of my preferred tools for planning.
I didn't rush this phase, as I know that I get my best ideas when I'm not working. Taking a week to do this gave me plenty of time to allow the ideas to come to me.
It was then a case of whittling down the ideas, which I did over just 3 days...
I wanted to include only the ideas that were actionable, and ones that could be explained easily.
I've never been the most scientific when it comes to pricing. It's my self-admitted weak point as a marketer.
Instead of wasting energy on this, I operate with something I call a 'what is fair' pricing model.
In this case $0.50c per tip. A total of $25.00 USD for the ebook.
I also planned to do a special discount for the launch...
I wanted to launch within just a few weeks of starting the book as it was close to being Black Friday.
There are always deals being posted on Black Friday by industry bloggers, so I felt that this would help maximize the launch if I could get included with a special discount.
I didn't create an affiliate program for the book, so I knew that would exclude me from certain lists.
Luckily many people felt that including more deals was a win for their deals pages and so I secured 5 in total.
This was the foundation of my strategy, with a 20% time-limited discount that would run for 4 days only / until the end of cyber monday.
I used funnelytics to visually map out the funnels I wanted to use.
Based on this, I then started planning my copy for my mailing list & facebook group. These were my two main funnels outside of the deals pages I had already secured inclusions on.
The Email Sequence
I went with a simple email sequence, this is the exact list!Sent to all active subscribers:
Sent to openers who did not click:
This simple funnel ended up accounting for almost half of all the sales.
The Facebook Post
Since my group is private I won't share the post, however if you're a member you can easily find it with the search function.
What I can say here is that it was a variant of my original email copy.
It did have to vary slightly, you can't embed images in Facebook like you can with an email or a web page.
It's also harder to keep people's attention.
So you have to use a lot of emoticons and short sentences to break up the page!
The Landing Page
Believe it or not I didn't even have my website online at this point.
I had no idea at this point how the book was going to do, and I had little time left until the launch...
I kept the landing page simple...
You can see the exact layout and features I used on the site here as I moved it over when I launched my site this year.
I focused on features, benefits, and social proof.
I wrote the entire ebook in just 2 days. I then left it a day, and edited it over 24 hours. I re-read it several times, and had my girlfriend do the same before finishing the editing process.
I sent out a few review copies to people for testimonials at this point, and this then allowed me to add those reviews to my landing page, emails, etc.
The cover design such as it is was created on Canva I then used a mockup design for adding the design into a tablet and phone via Photoshop. Total cost = $5.00.
4. The Launch
The launch started on the night before black friday, with the first email going out.
The money-off launch lasted 4 days in total. The book then continued to sell at full-price afterwards, and sold very well for around 10 days in total.
In that time it made just over $10,000 USD...
I'm sure there is plenty I could have done better, but doing everything to a decent level allowed me to outperform my expectations.
I don't see myself releasing another ebook again any time soon, but I'll definitely be putting quick-wins back on offer again for Black Friday 2020!