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Was this a stupid thing to do?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by DocBrown, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. DocBrown

    DocBrown Regular Member

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    I have a website and am selling my own ebook of it. I was selling about 1 book per day. The refund rate was a little high at about 10-12% but i was hoping to combat that by reducing the price a bit.

    On the advice of what expert IM's seemed to think, i decided to give away the ebook as a free download and only let 3 chapters in the book. Once they had read the book, they would then have the option of buying the book. I thought this would be a good way to build a list (and it was, i was getting about 8-10 opt-ins a day).

    However the problem now is that, even though people are downloading the book, no one is buying it!!

    I know some of you will come on here and say that maybe my book is crap but i genuinely think it s good quality. I've researched it personally over a period of 8 months.

    What do you think? Was giving away a free preview of the ebook a bad idea? According to what all the expert IM'ers say, thats exactly what i should be doing. Any constructive ideas as to why no ones bought my ebook in the last week?
     
  2. seoguy81

    seoguy81 Power Member

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    Maybe instead of putting in the first 3 chapters, why don't you try putting in some interesting content with the most critical details cut off? Increasing reader's curiosity would definitely help in increasing your sales, if your ebook is really as good as you make it seem to be.
     
  3. jerzydawg

    jerzydawg Supreme Member

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    Maybe it is not interesting and/or the three pages answer any questions the customer has. lol
     
  4. DocBrown

    DocBrown Regular Member

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    I thought it would be a smart idea because i could use the intro of the ebook as basically a sales page promoting myself and building credibility. I thought this would be an effective way to sell because i'd be selling to them without them even realising it. It wouldn't be until they got to the end of the ebook that they realize they're reading a preview.

    I also thought it would be annoying to have invested time and started to read the book and then realize they can't finish it without paying money. And thus make them want to buy the book so they could finish what they had started.

    All my common sense was telling me (and a few IM too) that this would have been a great idea. So far it has been the exact opposite :(
     
  5. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I agree with seoguy, you need to draw them in then cut it off just before it gets interesting - leaving them needing to know the next bit.

    If you can work out the fundamental bit of your book that is interesting people, then you need to take that bit out, and run right up to it in the preview.
     
  6. jetti789

    jetti789 Junior Member

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    If your refund rate is 10%, I think you should focus on the 90%
    that enjoy the book and build a list and continue selling other books
    to them or coaching services, etc.

    10% refund is not that high.
    If you sell 1 book a day (30 a month) that's only 3 people a month
    that ask for a refund. and 27 that liked it.
     
  7. DocBrown

    DocBrown Regular Member

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    To be honest, i thought i did just that. I actually picked out what i thought were the 3 best chapters and gave them for free. I didn't actually say they were the best, but i knew myself they were the best.

    I also left the full index of chapters at the start of the book so that the readers could read all the chapters and sub chapters headings but of course not have access to them in the preview.

    8 - 10 people a day are downloading the preview but none are buying. 1 person did buy it that had downloaded the preview so i know that the system of it works but it's not making me any money.

    I think this is a bit like the making money niche. You sell people a dream, a promise of a better tomorrow but if they ever see whats actually in the product before they buy it - they will be disappointed.

    ...Has anyone had any good experiences giving away a free part of their product like this??
     
  8. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That's the point though, if you gave them the three best chapters, why they gonna buy the rest? Remember people don't read those books like a novel, they're looking for a gold nugget, so you need to lead them to beleive there is info in your book that no one else has ever thought of...
     
  9. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Couple of things:

    1) The three chapters sucked so nobody wants to buy
    2) You gave the juicy stuff in those three chapters so nobody needs to buy
    3) You are now targeting a different group of people - those who never wanted to buy but like free shit

    Your site should still sell your ebook, you should make another site (or subdomain) targeting other longer tail keywords in the niche where you give away a free related, but not the same thing, report and get the opt in here then soft sell your ebook this way.
     
  10. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    Three chapters is too much. Generally you're better off using a small free report (not three whole chapters) to get people hooked in and on your list. Include links to your full product in the free report and then mail your list using an autoresponder (eg Aweber).

    If you take a look around at other people using a free preview of the actual product, the preview part is a real teaser and leaves the surfer wanting more. Also, the product as a whole has to be fucking awesome.
     
  11. shadowcat

    shadowcat Elite Member

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    I personally think that the internet market is flooded with so many free ebooks that people hardly cares for buying a book whose 3 chapters are already released.Moreover if you wanted to give a snapshot to the views what you ebook really contained then I guess you should have made a video piece telling a part of you chapter in an informative way and if the buyers think that the book is really helpful they would have proceeded in buying the book.But now when they already got what the ebook contained then why for they will spend pennies in buying the copies.
    I guess being a respectable member of BHW you should have taken some experts advice say the reputed members and mods' advice before actually doing it and they would have definitely guided you on how to make promotions and then you wouldn't have repented and this thread would then have been a thread of rejoice and celebration of your ebook's success..
    Anyways wishing luck for you sales
     
  12. seoguy81

    seoguy81 Power Member

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    If monetization doesn't work, you could look at using the eBook as a list building tool? I did an eBook few months ago. It was really crappy in my view (re-written content grabbed from here and there) but it evoked good enough a response to get me around 150 leads in a month.

    You could also try posting an excerpt of the eBook on sites like docstoc or scribd, if you haven't already.
     
  13. GedgeDS

    GedgeDS Registered Member

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    Personally, it sounds like you were doing ok. I would of focused on increasing traffic to bring in more sales.

    Gedge
     
  14. racketracer

    racketracer Newbie

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    Well, try to think about it from another standpoint. Say have you ever tried downloading software where they give you a free trial and after that point you actually buy it? Well for me I don't because I'm annoyed by the fact that they didn't let me actually accomplish that much without given the actual stuff I wanted.

    Sometimes when people get distrusted by a preview and other things. It may be better by letting them not know what they're getting and just charging that much.
     
  15. incognito876

    incognito876 Regular Member

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    I did the same a few years back and it didn't work for me either. I think you should go back to selling it and focusing on getting more traffic.

    I also agree the refund rate wasn't too high-maybe you could add a bonus to try to get it down a bit.