Why Every Writer Should Give Away an Ebook

Have you ever heard the saying, “The money is in the list” and wondered what it meant? It’s referring to your mailing list, and in today’s digital world, your email list.  Your list of customers could be a goldmine for your ministry or business as well as boost your book sales.

As a speaker or a writer, you likely are already using an email list to communicate with your audience. But what if you are just starting out and don’t have a single email address? Or maybe you want to grow your list? Building and growing your list will drive more eyes to your website, your writing and speaking abilities and your books—resulting in increased bookings and sales!

One way to create a buzz and increase your list is to give away a freebie, such as an ebook. Just having a sign-up box that says, “Join my newsletter” won’t attract many signups and it may not attract the right audience. What you need is an incentive to let readers know that if they sign up to your email list, they’ll receive something free in return.

Here’s how the “Opt-in” campaign works: Readers give you their email when they sign up for your website updates in exchange for your freebie. (Yes, aka a bribe!) Many email marketing programs such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc., offer an opt-in features that will automatically and instantly send your freebie to the new subscriber.

Although there are other ideas of items you can give away, ebooks have increased in popularity over the years as people switch to smartphones and reading devices such as NOOK or Kindles. Giving away an ebook has become a very popular “subscriber magnet” for just about every industry.

In order to receive a powerful impact from your efforts, your ebook has to be interesting and geared toward your ministry, passion or mission. Since I am in the design and marketing industry, an ebook about parenting would not hold the same validation as a topic on branding, websites or social media marketing.

For many of your visitors, this will be the first impression of you and your business. Therefore, it is essential that it is not only well written but it should come with an appealing cover design as well. Like it or not, your book will be judged by it’s cover.

Just like a blog post title, an e-book title must grab the attention of your visitor if you want a return on your investment. Choosing titles such as “Parenting Toolbox” may not grow your list as quickly as titles like, “The Secret of Raising Highly Successful Children” or “A Step by Step Guide to Effective Parenting.”

You don’t have to give away one of the books you are currently selling; instead, you can offer a freebie that is related to your books. I suggest that your offering is unique and not available on other website or platforms. (Think Amazon’s feature, “send a free sample.”)

Ebook ideas include a how-to guide that is related to your topic, recourse guide or a collection of prayers or devotionals you have written. You can even take your popular blog posts and convert them into an ebook. Whatever you do, the idea is to get readers talking about you, you offerings and your books.

Of course, the information you send out in your blog is as critical as capturing addresses and sending them a beautifully designed free ebook. If you bombard them every day with uninteresting information, they will likely unsubscribe, and that isn’t going to help you much. You want to build up a list of targeted readers who will be committed to hearing from you regularly and will purchase additional books in the future.

Promoting your book in a no-pressure and creative way will help you connect with your audience and engage with prospects with ease. Consider doing a specific landing page dedicated to your ebook.

Ebooks are super easy to share, and you will often find that people forward them to their family and friends, which will get yourself introduced to them without doing anything.

The initial investment of time and money may seem overwhelming, especially if you are just starting on this journey, but I can assure you that a well-done ebook will give you a return on your investment. Remember, the money is in your list so do what you can to grow it!

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