Free Ebooks – How to Gain a Readership

by A.D Paterson on 19/10/2010

Does giving people free ebooks make any sense, at all? If you’ve been wondering why you should put in all that time and effort just to give your book away for nothing, then this could be the article for you.

In this, the final of the five articles on ebooks, we are going to look at how you can gain a readership by giving away something of value, and how free ebooks can make money in their own right. Finally, we’ll look at how they can be created from your premium priced ebook, if creating something to give away for nothing doesn’t quite feel right to you – at the moment.

Why should you just give it away?

It sounds a little counterintuitive that you should spend a lot of time and effort on creating an ebook that you could probably sell for upwards of $19.97, and then just give it away – but there is some logic to doing just that.

If you want to gain a readership you first have to get the readers to keep coming back. You could do that by posting articles to a blog, obviously, but there’s another reason why you should be offering them free books, and that’s to build up your list of subscribers.

If you have a list of subscribers you can notify them everytime you post a new article to your blog. You can send them additional information that won’t be published on your blog and, you have a group of people that you can contact for feedback on possible new products or possibly new articles that they would like to see you write about.

Oh, and you could, if you’re so inclined, even sell something to the people on your list; I know, what a bizarre idea.

The free ebooks that you giveaway are going to show case your knowledge on the subject, and have them wondering what they’ll get if they buy one of your ebooks, having seen what you’re prepared to give them for nothing.

How can free ebooks make money in their own right?

As mentioned earlier they are a great way to get more readers, but that doesn’t always mean those readers are going to buy anything from you, so, why not give yourself the best opportunity of making some money from the free ebooks?

One of the ways that you can do this is to add links back to other (relevant) products that you have to sell. If you don’t have any of your own you could look for affiliate products that would be useful to your readers.

You are trying to build trust with your readers by giving them an ebook that’s going to be of use to them right away, so putting links to shoddy affiliate products that won’t be of any use to them is going to damage that trust, and your future sales.

Does the idea of just giving away something you’ve spent time and money on feel alien to you?

Ok, here’s a way that you can give away something of value, and still have something to sell to them at a later stage.

Take the book you’ve created and break down each of the articles in it. Get the most important two or three facts from each chapter and turn it into a mini version of your final product. This will end up being more of a report than a book, but you will still be giving readers valuable information, getting them interested in what you have to say, and then you can sell them on the idea of buying the full product.

The report has to give them good and useful information because, if they try it and it doesn’t work, they certainly aren’t going to spend money for the ‘director’s cut’ version. Don’t get them to start following your method and then tell them that the only way they can get it to work is to buy the product and see the final step – that will lose you more subscribers than it’ll get you sales.

The full product should be a way to make the final outcome even better that they’ll achieve from the free book, and if the version they get for nothing works for them they’ll certainly want to know how to make that outcome even better.

There we have it; Free Ebooks – How to Gain a Readership.

It makes sense to do because it will get you subscribers, as well as build people’s trust in you and your information. It can still be monetized if you want, but don’t use products that will harm the relationships you’re trying to build. Finally, the product you giveaway can be a cut down version of the full ebook – but it needs to be able to work as a standalone product.

So, it pays to gain a readership by giving away free ebooks.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

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