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EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

Have you seen the dinosaurs? There are a few still dragging around, you might even be on their email list. I’m talking about marketers with the miles-long sales pages, lots of bold and all caps type sprinkled with plenty of exclamation points and bonuses (worth $3,500!). I for one am not sorry to see them go, because dinosaurs feed on a desperate mindset: those people who feel desperate to get their hands on their information — or desperate for a promised result. To thrive, dinosaurs need a lot of people to squeeze to find those buyers. The reason the dinosaurs are dying is because the desperate buyer is extinct.

Those of us who have already adopted a 21st century, relationship-based approach to marketing have been left wondering, if we don’t use the dinosaur approach will we fail?

In the absence of their main food source, the dinosaurs have to try and create desperate buyers. They try to exaggerate the pain of whomever comes into their clutches, to create unease, panic and a false feeling of I can’t live without this. The irony is that the more they do this, the less it works.

Those of us who have already adopted a 21 st century, relationship-based approach to marketing have been left wondering, if we don't use the dinosaur approach will we fail? We want to create interesting and valuable ebooks and packaged information, to add a healthy source of revenue to our business. But what are the new guidelines for creating and launching them? 2


EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

A new age has dawned. There’s a new way to launch. Sure, we can learn some things from the prehistoric approach, just like evolution adapts old structures into new uses. Remnants of the dinosaur skeleton can be found in our modern bird species, scales turned into feathers. That’s why I use the word “evolution” instead of “revolution.” There isn’t a distinct line between before and after, it’s a process. Most importantly, there is no “right” way, there is only what works for you.

I’m here to tell you that you can have a successful launch without having to act like a dinosaur.

I am not going to tell you I have a secret to creating something that people will buy, but I’m here to tell you can have a successful launch without having to act like a dinosaur. I know because I’ve done it and I know lots of other entrepreneurs who have, too. These declarations are 10 hallmarks of the new age, signs of the times. You’ll probably recognize some of them, they’re already becoming part of our marketing landscape. Keeping them close as you develop your products and launch plans will help you succeed in the new era. — Kelly Kingman StickyeBooks.com

The eBook Evolution Manifesto follows. Read it, share it and see the last page for more information.

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EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

1. Even free information has a price. There is no such thing as truly free. Many types of currency are less tangible — like time, attention and contact information. What are you asking people to exchange for your information and is it really worth it for them? Instead of assuming that adding more words, pages or other content is going to balance the equation, ask yourself if people will be better off for consuming it.

2. Have something worth saying. Since I’m paying something — time, attention, money — to consume your information, please give me your best. Take the time to craft something that’s worth reading. It can be useful, interesting, or simply fun, but I’d like to have something to show for my effort. Get friends and colleagues to give you feedback and really ask yourself: why should someone read this?

3. Don’t waste time creating stuf you don’t love. Creating and launching a product is a gamble, period. There are no guarantees and very few variables that you can completely control. So if you are investing your own valuable time and energy, make sure the creative process is both and end and a means. 4


EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

4. Talk to the eyes. At the very least, decent design will help your ideas come through more clearly. Good design makes your message more compelling and engaging, and great design adds an entire sensory level to the reading experience. Half of our brain is devoted to visual processing, so don’t underestimate the power of design.

5. Great content is magnetic. If it’s good, it’s recommendable. If it’s great, it gets results for people and that helps your reputation and word-of-mouth marketing. If it’s great, it can impress possible business partners. The definition of great always originates with your customer, so listen to them. In the long run, the quality of the product is more important than getting a lot of people to buy it.

6. Sales = Trust x Visibility. It’s not good enough for people to know you exist, they have to trust you to buy your ebook. The more trust and visibility you get during your launch, the more sales you will have.Trust can be loaned — when you guest post on a huge blog or your ebook is reviewed by someone with larger reach than yours — you get a piece of their relationship with their readers. This 5


EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

is why you don’t need a big email list to sell an ebook. The more trust and visibility you build, the less work your sales copy has to do.

7. There’s more to it than money. An evolutionary ebook launch is not a flash in the pan, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Sure, you can expect some cash flow, but before you calculate the ROI in dollars alone, consider all the benefits that come with joining the ranks of authors and product creators. Consider the benefits of guest posting, giving interviews, building your network of affiliates, connecting with potential business partners and prospective clients — the list goes on. It’s a differentiator. On a personal level, writing an ebook helps you clarify your ideas and come up with new ones for other projects.

8. You don’t need SEO and PPC. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are volume strategies, meaning you need a lot of eyeballs and keyword searches to pay off. I think of it as casting one teeny fishing line into the ocean and hoping for the best — if your website isn’t very established it doesn’t make sense, you need a smaller pond. The smaller pond is your network and relationships. If you like to tinker with metrics and keywords, be my guest, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t necessary to your success. Build it and they will come. 6


EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

9. You are your products. I stole this from Charlie Gilkey of ProductiveFlourishing.com. People define your business by the products you offer, so you don’t want to confuse them. For example, if you want to consult for small businesses on marketing strategy, don’t write an ebook about personal branding simply because you know a lot about that, too. If you can’t decide what to write about, get very, very clear about your perfect client/reader and imagine: what is their deepest desire and how can you help them get it?

10. There are no rules, or silver bullets. No one can tell you with absolute certainty what will work for your ebook and what won’t. There are frameworks and principles that are useful. For instance, creating urgency — giving people a deadline by which they need to decide to buy or not — is helpful to your sales 99% of the time. Learn from others’ stories, try things for yourself and experiment. Go with your gut. There are exceptions to every rule and every strategy has pros and cons. Find what works and evolve it. Please note that evolutionary ebooks are an element of an existing business model, not an entire business unto themselves. Living on information products alone is a risky strategy, like counting on one crop for food until suddenly the climate shifts and you’re left with nothing. 7


EBOOK EVOLUTION MANIFESTO

The dinosaurs haven’t seen the signs, they’re still trying to survive looking for niches to exploit, using squeeze copy and yellow highlighter. Good luck to them — it’s a lot of work for less and less return. The rest of us will be over here in the new ecosystem, evolving awesome ebooks and having some fun, while we’re at it.

Ready to evolve? Start here. Click below to get: •

Your eBook Success Checklist

Your Cover Recipes eBook with step-by-step instructions to create polished, striking ebook covers using free software

Your Leverage Your Launch Personality Quiz to learn what launch techniques will work with your personality and make your launch successful

http://stickyebooks.com/ebookevolution/ Please share with attribution to Kelly Kingman, StickyeBooks.com.

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The eBook Evolution Manifesto