Market With An Ebook: Why It’ll Work (And How)

This post was written with assistance from Tim Brennan of Tactics Time.

Since content marketing is all about providing helpful content to attract new business, it makes sense that you can get some pretty significant results (read: more subscribers and sales) with a significantly sized piece of content (read: larger than an email).

We’ve talked about how to write an ebook for your business. Today, we’ll talk about how to use that ebook to attract new business.

The trick is focusing on promoting your ebook instead of your site. Forget Google (for now); you want to show up in searches on Amazon.

Why Amazon, Not Google?

In Tim’s words: “The marketing potential is huge. The main thing is that when people to go to Amazon to look for something – they are looking to BUY. When they go to Google, who knows what they are looking for?”

Not to mention, getting your site to show up in Google can take a long period of hard work. Dominating a niche in Amazon, since you’re dealing with a smaller pool of results, takes less time, and less work.

“The other cool thing is that Google LOVES Amazon,” Tim explains. “So not only will people find you by searching in Amazon – they will find you with Google searches that lead to your Amazon page. You can “SEO optimize” your Amazon page, so that it ranks highly in Google (which is much easier than trying to get a new WordPress page to rank highly, because Amazon has so much built in trust and authority with Google).”

So How Do You Dominate Amazon Results?

Start by giving your book away free. Get the word out to your readers and followers who already know and trust you that your book is available on Amazon. Ask them to download the book (again, for free) and leave positive reviews. This will increase your search results.

Why do these reviews hold so much weight? “People trust the reviews on Amazon a lot more than testimonials on a website,” Tim says. “I could put anything for testimonials on a website that I control, but the testimonials on Amazon are out of the authors control, and will show that the person actually purchased your eBook (even if they downloaded it during one of the free days).

“Then when new people who have never heard of you open their Kindles and tablets on Christmas, they will go to Amazon and see your book dominating your category with lots of reviews, and these people will buy it.”

And After The Sale?

You’ve made sales of your ebook, which is a start. But you don’t want to just let your new readers drop after one sale – especially if they find the book helpful and are likely to purchase from you again.

You can choose to rely on your new customers to seek out your site themselves, but you have a far better chance of gaining their long-term support if you ask them to subscribe to your emails. From there, you can continue building a relationship with them and eventually upsell them to larger-ticket items.

A Bonus Idea

To get people more engaged with the idea of his new ebook, Tim sent out a poll asking people to go to this link and vote on which cover they liked best.

“This gets people involved with the project in a fun way,” says Tim, “so when it comes out it will feel like it’s ‘their’ book, too, and it’s just good marketing, because ‘the customer is always right.'”

Over 150 of Tim’s subscribers voted and left comments. Some even thanked him for including them in the design decision.

“I think holding a contest like this for book covers is a great way to engage people, and make them feel important,” says Tim. “I got some new subscribers in the process too!”

Have You Tried This?

Ever listed an ebook on Amazon or another estore?

Would you ever?


  1. Robert Klinga

    11/1/2012 2:13 pm

    What I liked about this post is that you can get a top position in Google through piggy backing on Amazon. And also to give the ebook away to hardcore fans first, because you’ll get reviews and feedback.

    But you have ta have an email list and/or huge following first… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Anand

    11/1/2012 2:51 pm

    Hi Amanda,
    I wonder if what you’ve suggested is relevant today (1 Nov 2012)
    … Is it true that Amazon doesn’t allow books to be given away for FREE (i.e. sold for $0.00) anymore?
    Is there another way of doing what you’ve suggested (i.e. give away for FREE) other than to use up the ‘5 Promotion Days’ on KDP Select?
    Thanks for the article.

  3. Randall Magwood

    11/1/2012 7:28 pm

    Amazon Kindle is a good place to market your ebooks also. Even though you don’t get access to the customer name/info after each sale, you can still “post-sell” to your customers with links to your other products – and links to your website embedded within your ebook.

  4. Chimezirim Odimba

    11/2/2012 2:56 am

    Anand wants to know if there are other ways of giving it away for free apart from the five promotion days with KDP select. I will suggest that you stick with those promotion days (You can always repeat the promotion every 90 days or so). The important thing is to have a kind of launch sequence that helps you direct people to that page within those days. In fact, the “scarcity” tactic of NOT having it free forever will actually help you get things going faster — Just my 2 cents, though.

  5. Howie Nguyen

    11/2/2012 8:00 pm

    Great idea with letting your users choose the cover. You definitely know your tactics! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Sandi Grigoryan

    11/21/2012 1:11 pm

    Inspiring article!! Thanks for sharing, this article very helpful to me,thanks

  7. Greg

    11/26/2012 5:01 pm

    Right, great stuff. But there’s still the dilemma of building your reputation to the point where someone would actually buy your eBook on Amazon. Some bloggers bypass that step and blindly sell, then wonder where their results are.

    CopyBlogger had a good technique: package your eBook for free along with other eBooks being given away on a site with a larger audience than you can reach. Definitely a win-win-win situation. Audience gets more content, you get exposure, and the site owner has a more valuable product.

  8. Phil Elmes

    11/30/2012 6:33 pm

    I like the strategy, Amanda, and the comments as well.

    The object, at least for me, is list building and brand recognition. So the free days in the interest of Amazon/Google ranking makes sense. And I wouldn’t be pursuing profits from book sales at all. I’d price the book as low as Amazon would permit, to encourage “impulse purchases”. Say, under $5.00 if possible.

    Again, the $$ will come from re- and cross-marketing to one’s (growing) list.

    Thanks, now I’m going to check out the rest of your ebook advice.

  9. Robert P. Connor III

    3/19/2013 5:01 pm

    Always great to read a success story and insight on what works and what does not. Chess is a awesome game!