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Make Profits from free e-books

E-books are one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to make mone on line - if you sell them.  But how can you make profits from free e-books?  This closely-guarded secret of the self-styled guru's has recently become easily achievable by just about anyone with something to say, and certainly by everyone who already has a e-book or other information product to sell.

What is a free e-book?

A free e-book is usually an abridged or shortened version of a full e-book or information product. However, neither the fact that it is free or that it is a shortened version of something else means that it can not have value on its own. In fact, you will quickly find that if it does not have its own intrinsic value, that it will be very difficult to distribute - even for free. 

For example, our own free e-book gives away our entire content on heart disease and cholesterol - something that virtually everyone needs to know about if they want to maintain their health.

The reason for this is two-fold.  Firstly, even if it isn't costing them money, people always want something for their efforts. To download something then actually read it takes effort, and that effort had better be worthwhile!  Secondly, the whole point of creating a free e-book is to showcase the main product i.e. the full book or information product, in order to generate sales.  If the free book is not up to scratch, then you can be sure that sales of the full product will not benefit from it.

Why a free e-book, why not just sell it?

Good question.  The simple answer is that people love to get something for nothing - or at least to feel that they are getting something for nothing.  As stated above, in order for this to be the case, they need to perceive that the "something" has some value to them and the process needs to be as simple as possible. 

This means that far more people will be prepared to read your book if it is free than if they have to pay even a small amount for it, which both suggests it has little value and adds time and effort to the process.  Conversely, if people see your e-book is free it not only makes them more likely to download it, it also adds value to your main product, i.e. your paid-for book, by letting them know they can only get so much for free.

How will people find my free e-book if I have no website traffic?

This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of giving away anything from your website, and until recently, a difficult issue to resolve.  Building traffic to your site takes both time and considerable effort - building the site, getting it hosted, promoting it etc.  There are many ways to make this easier and relatively automatic, but it still takes some effort on your part, and, inevitably - time.

The secret of generating both interest in your product and traffic to your site is to get others to help you do it - in other words, multiplication of your efforts.  Of course the people you will want to sell your product will already have successful websites (ideally with subject matter relevant to yours) and will want some reward for selling your product (or even giving it away), and this is the part that until recently was difficult.

How to get others to give away your free e-book?

The first thing you need to do is to arrange some reliable way to ensure that those who you want to help you will benefit from sales of your product.  This is easy to arrange by setting up an affiliate program and there are many different ways of doing so, which vary enormously in cost, complexity and ease-of-use.  Personally, we find Clickbank both inexpensive and easy to use both to set up your program and for your customers to make purchases.

The real key, however, to getting others to give away your FREE e-book is to ensure that THEY will benefit from any sales that it generates.  That means that you need to allow them to add THEIR affiliate links to YOUR e-book, so that any recipients of the free book that click on the sales links will generate revenue for both of you

Either you can make the resultant free e-book editable by your affiliates (a potentially risky strategy, just asking for it to be ripped off) or you can create what has become the new standard for such products - the brandable e-book.

What is a brandable e-book?

A brandable e-book is an e-book that contains specially formatted links that can be changed with a simple editing program without giving editing access to the rest of the book.  This means that not only can your affiliates benefit by distributing a copy of your e-book with their links in it, but people that receive it from them can also reformat the links and redistribute it again (you explain HOW in the book itself!).

This creates a "viral" e-book that provides not only the motivation, but also the means for any web-savvy recipient of your book to make a profit from it.  Of course, if your content is excellent as well, people will have another good reason to redistribute it to their friends etc and it will reach even further.

The key to creating a brandable e-book is to use an inexpensive branding program to create the special links for you, which will also give you the relevant re-branding program for your affiliates.

We explain exactly how to do this on our own re-branding page - feel free to copy our method and wording if you think it would help you.

By following these simple steps, you too can generate a small army of affiliates to help sell your product for you, for mutual benefit.

Brian Adamson
Natural Health Information Centre

This article is Copyright 2005 Natural Health Information Centre, but may be freely distributed in its entirety when properly attributed to the source

Relevant links:

Build and market your own site easily

Set up your own affiliate program

Make your E-book Rebrandable

Make money by GIVING AWAY our FREE E-book

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