Susan Heid | The Confident Mom
date published: January 2013
copies sold: 2,145
ebook: Got Dinner?
date published: April 2011
copies sold: 301
ebook: Summer Survival Calendar
date published: First edition, 2010
copies sold: 2,775
date published: July 15, 2012
copies sold: 1,200
ebook: Weekly Household Planner
date published: December 2011
ebook: Become a Frugalista in 30 Days
date published: March 20, 2013
copies sold: 1,345 (plus 7,400 free downloads through Amazon KDP)
Case Study:You've published a variety of digital products, including both ebooks and planners. How do you come up with product ideas? How does your process vary for putting those together?
But to back it up a minute, I think it is key to build your platform and share with your readers information and tips to give yourself credibility before you just go and try to sell them something. That is part of the process. You can have a ton of great ideas, but if you do not have a following or created community, it will be much harder to get your idea off the ground.
The process for my products now has become much more streamlined, which is really good! We now come up with a general idea, see if it is feasible and then brainstorm with my team to come up with an overall plan of branding, compiling, editing, delivery, advertising plan, promotional materials, etc. I now have a fairly practical and realistic way of going from idea to product delivery with the team I have. The best thing I ever did was to hire out for things that are not my strong points – editing and graphic work.
It can be tough when you are releasing new ideas and then the timeline coincides with a product that needs a revision or update, so I’ve had to really buckle down to schedule correctly and not go by the seat of my pants!
I honestly do not see a con with this type of product at all. Although I likely will not be developing more that take time away from new ideas and projects. I currently have three products that require updating, the planner is the most time consuming, as we’ve made big revisions each year to meet need, suggestions that mom’s have sent in and create a better product.
I had done some research on other authors who’ve sold on other venues (Nook, iTunes, etc) and the sales with these other options were very small. I also felt that most of my audience would feel comfortable using Amazon to purchase a Kindle, even if they didn’t have a Kindle, since Amazon has made it so easy to read kindle books on most any device. I never did a free promotion with that book, but when I released it, the first few days it was marked for only $0.99, which sky rocketed me into the top of certain categories, which is what you want on Amazon!
My second book on Amazon, Become a Frugalista in 30 Days, was offered free for two days on it’s initial release. I was flabbergasted that it was downloaded 7,400 times in the two days! My heart is to get my information out to those who can use it, so offering it free is always a nice part, but I also have to make some money to keep my business going, so it is a nice combination – to offer it for free at certain times. Offering it free then leads to those who downloaded one book to be fed my other book on their recommendation page – where they might purchase that one too.
I will give affiliates information so that it will be easy for them to promote it – web copy already put together, tweets, an email for their subscribers and also facebook status text. This makes a big difference on if they will share or not. If the work is already done for them, it makes it much easier. I also will try to work with them and offer either a giveaway of a product or a discount code for their readers. I prefer a discount code, as a giveaway tends to not lead to sales, as people forget and do not want to buy the product if they have a chance of winning it. So I tend to work toward offering a discount for a certain period of time.
I use my own affiliate program on my WordPress site, so capturing emails from those affiliates who are enrolled is easy, just copy and paste to my email I’m sending out and I am good. In addition, when I issue affiliate commissions, I will add a small note to the next product that is coming so they will get excited about it and remember it when the next email comes. It is the perfect time, they are receiving money from promoting a product and I give them news for an upcoming product and the opportunity to earn some more money!