Friday, June 16, 2017

Sample Chapters and How They Send Your eBook Sales Soaring

The idea you’ll read about now represents one of the easiest ways to grow a business, and make regular profits, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re promoting eBooks you’ve written yourself or had someone else write them for you. 

You are going to give a free sample of your product in a way that generates more sales than where people have to pay up front for your product.  

Before we look at how this works, let us consider the way most publishers tend to operate, namely by placing an advertisement for their product, in an ezine, for example, or using Google AdWords, and inviting potential buyers to visit their website.  Advertising this way can be inordinately expensive and not always as cost effective or as profitable as the sample chapter technique we talk about today.

Here’s a clue to what usually happens after those other publishers have placed their advertisements …..

….. most potential buyers will visit the website, scan the marketing message, then close the sales page rather than make an immediate decision to buy.
It’s a fact.

That’s usually because people, especially newcomers to the Internet, are skeptical about placing orders online.  They fear they’ll be scammed, they’re concerned about personal information and credit card details being stolen or passed on for others to use.

New internet users and old hands alike also worry about not liking what they receive, or finding it unsuitable for their needs, and subsequently being refused or unable to claim a refund.

So if you’re selling eBooks, regardless of their subject, there’s a good chance at least some of your target audience, even people desperate for the information your eBook contains, might never purchase your product.   

That’s because:

-  Unless they’ve bought from you already, most people have no reason to trust you or your writing abilities.  They don’t know if you are a liar or a cheat or a very genuine seller.  They don’t know if your eBook is total hogwash or packed with useful advice.

-  They may have read your sales letter, and they think your product could benefit them, but they’re really not sure, and if your eBook fails to live up to its promise, they worry they won’t get their money back.

So what can you do to calm people’s fears; how can you avoid restricting your sales by at least fifty per cent and maybe a great deal more?

One way, and perhaps the most effective way, is by giving a free sample chapter of your product!

Introducing the ‘Sample Chapter’ Technique

A ‘sample chapter’, by definition, is usually one chapter from a publication containing several chapters.  The chapter will probably be provided intact, exactly as it appears in the product from which it came.  It might be the first chapter of the eBook; it may be the last; it could be any chapter in between. 

However, ‘sample chapter’ is sometimes used, erroneously so, as an umbrella term to describe random samples of text and images from the product, or a compilation of the first few hundred words from every chapter.

Sometimes the term ‘sample chapter’ refers, again wrongly so, to a special report bearing no similarity to the main product and merely describing and referring to the product from which it is taken.

The last two paragraphs refer to samples best described as ‘sales letters’.  And that is not what we are talking about today, although our sample chapters will in fact do a much better job of selling the full length product than almost any sales letter ever can.
And that is why I personally think a sample chapter should be an actual chapter - complete and unchanged - taken from the main product. 

Very Important: I always use chapter one and I always make that chapter a kind of sales letter containing lots of cryptic messages that make people curious, sufficiently so to buy my eBook.  Then once the first chapter and identical sample chapter make people curious and get them to purchase the full product, the remainder of the book from the second chapter onwards has to be shaped to match promises made in chapter one.

Alongside making people curious, the sample chapter technique helps overcome initial skepticism about you and your product, as well as getting people to join your mailing list instead of leaving your site empty handed.

Once people join your list to download a free report you can continue marketing to those people for as long as they remain on your list
There is no easier way to make money online!

Confession Time!

I’ve many times created sample chapters and gone on to sell my products with amazing success.  And I’m convinced the reason I have been so successful is that I’ve always created my websites and sample chapters LONG BEFORE I even start work on creating their finished products.
The reason is, if people don’t want my sample chapter, they’re unlikely to want the full length version of my product.  So offering a sample chapter is merely a way of testing the market for a new information product in advance of spending time, money and effort creating a product that proves less successful than you hoped.

Obviously, you can’t invite orders for a product that isn’t already in existence, but you can offer the sample chapter with a mention about a potential full length version being available in the near future.  But in this case you don’t ask potential buyers to click on a link inside your sample chapter.  Instead you email them when the finished product is available to buy.  When that time comes, you withdraw the test marketing sample chapter and replace it with another containing links to buy your full length product.

Creating the Perfect Sample Chapter

I usually begin by studying other people’s sales letters for products resembling the one I want to create.  I’m particularly looking for websites for products I know are generating lots of orders, at ClickBank, for example, or Amazon, and generating the most interest from affiliates at the site.  For obvious reasons, I don’t want to research sales pages for products that don’t sell particularly well and for which affiliates are also thin on the ground.

What I want is proof my proposed new eBook could make lots of money for me, before I even start writing it, and what better way to do that than by studying eBooks on similar subjects which are already proven bestsellers? 

When I find those eBooks, and their sales letters, usually from studying ‘popularity’ and ‘gravity’ figures at ClickBank (my preferred selling site), each of which indicates the product’s success rate with readers and affiliates, respectively, I study their sales pages in very fine detail. 

I’m also looking for order pulling words and phrases, attention-grabbing symbols and images, fear defeating promises and guarantees, and whatever other techniques are used to make people curious and desperate to purchase the full length eBook. 

This element of creating excitement and curiosity from a website, while preserving some mystery about the eBook’s contents, is one of the most powerful ways to generate orders.  It’s sometimes called ‘blind selling’ and it’s a way of getting people to purchase based on curiosity created by the sales message. 

Blind selling is just one of several techniques that turn a sample chapter into a major order-pulling device for you and for me. 

During my research I take written notes and make screenshot copies of the most attractive features of each of my chosen websites for eBooks similar to the one I want to create.  Sometimes I also take ideas from blog postings, articles and email promotions for those proven bestselling eBooks. 

Important: Although we are talking about sample chapters here, this technique of ‘stealing’ ideas from other people selling similar items can also be used to create your own website sales message.  In fact, many writers and publishers, including myself, create a website identical to the sample chapter for their forthcoming eBook.  And many people, again including myself, use that sample chapter as the first chapter of their finished information product.

How is that for killing three birds with one stone?

Very Important Indeed: Whatever content is acquired from other people must be suitably rewritten and use only ideas and concepts belonging to other writers and publishers, not their actual wording and images.  That’s because ideas are not copyright protected, so you can copy ideas as long as no trademark or privacy or other legal rules are broken.  But words and images used to convey those ideas are copyright protected and must not be used by others for gain.

When I’m happy with whatever ideas I’ve gained from other people’s websites and promotional materials, and sometimes by purchasing currently successful titles on subjects similar to my own, I begin writing my sales letter which also forms my sample chapter and first chapter of my book.   By converting all those other people’s ideas - one by one - into my own words and images I’m never likely to copy another person’s ideas too closely.  

Ultimately, my eBook’s sample chapter, and website, and the first chapter of my finished product, will be as enticing and thought provoking as the sites from which they came, and will include all the mystery elements from other people’s incredibly successful promotional materials. 

But unlike most of those other websites, mine will offer a sample of the product to lift sales of my eBook above competing products. 

In short, my eBook should ultimately become more successful than those from which my early ideas derived.

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