Recently I launched Bang Ukraine and it was my best ever in terms of unit sales, even though I’ve put out much stronger work. If you’re launching an e-product launch of your own, you need to start with the following belief:
No one needs your product.
You can try to convince them they need it through fancy sales copy, but truth is no one will die or suffer if they don’t buy your book. It’s a luxury that for most customers will be treated as entertainment, a distraction to their lives.
So how can you sell someone something that no one really needs? Three ways:
1. Give amazing value. Your launch price should be so low that you may have trouble imagining how you will make money off of it. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, throw in bonuses that exceed the value of the book price. For Bang Ukraine, I think many men happily paid more than the $5 launch price for the bonuses alone, but they’re also getting an entire book on top of that. I’ve actually had guys tell me that they bought a special deal of mine not because they wanted it, but because it was too good to pass up.
2. Light a fire under their ass. Make your special a limited time only. People have a lot of things going on in their lives. Unless you tell them that they only have a couple days to buy your massive special, they’ll get distracted and forget. Remember: no one needs your book. Making your launch scarce pushes it up in a person’s priority list so they remember to buy it before something else distracts them.
3. Don’t get any ideas that you deserve to make money. The whole launch should be based on how to give customers value, not how much cash you can make. If you give value, you’ll get value in return. The money you make should be secondary to what you’re offering to customers who are faced with unlimited choice in movies, music, and books. For instance, Bang Ukraine is a specialized guide based on full-time research in a field where there has been no prior writing. I’m sure there are guys who would pay $100 for it, but is that what most of my readers want? No, they want a cheap book with a bunch of extras. So I will provide that value for them.
The launch gives your book a big boost to eventually find a path to those guys who would benefit most from it. A successful launch plants a seed that gives the book a chance to grow for some long-tail income in the next 3-5 years until it gets buried under the avalanche of new content. It also helps if you have other products in your lineup. You want every book launch to leverage your older work, allowing them to work as a team to move the ball forward while still giving great value (in my biggest combo, I gave 15 books for $35, only $2.33 per book).
If you’re just starting off, you’ll probably have to offer your products with a pay-what-you-want model. At the end of your first book, have a link so the reader can donate via Paypal (if they made it to the end of the book, they probably liked it). You won’t make much money but you will develop a readership that will give you a couple extra bucks for your next book. The road to consistent revenue is long and laborious, but if this is your passion then I believe it’s worth it.
If you remember anything, it’s that everything you do must be centered around what your customers want, not what you want. They care about how your work helps them, not how much you get paid. But thankfully the more value you give people, the more you get back. It’s quite simple, really.