This is another in my series of articles that explain the Online Publishing Model and how small-time authors and/or self-publishers can use the OPM as a more lucrative alternative to the often archaic and dysfunctional traditional book publishing model. In short, using the OPM you’ll make more book sales and you’ll net more profits, faster.
Typically, you will create your book/ebook in a source word processing program such as MS-Word or WordPerfect. Once you have converted it into PDF format you’ll be ready to start selling it via the three primary channels that make up the Online Publishing Model: 1. Sales-Mini-Sites, 2. Digital Download Distributors, 3. Print-On-Demand (POD) Distributors.
This article explains Channel 2, Digital Download Distribution.
Discovering exactly how the digital fulfillment channel works was a major breakthrough for me. That discovery alone has resulted in many thousands of dollars in ebook sales that I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Really!
Based on my experience, the use of this one online distribution channel is guaranteed to add thousands of dollars annually to your bottom line sales! That’s right — if you harness the digital fulfillment channel of the OPM you’ll sell hundreds more ebooks than you would just selling them from your Web sites.
DIGITAL FULFILLMENT: DEFINITION
It’s important that you understand exactly what I’m talking about when I use the term “digital fulfillment”, as opposed to print-on-demand (POD) fulfillment.
Digital fulfillment refers to when your ebook is delivered to the buyer strictly in electronic form as a “digital download” product. Essentially, it’s the same as when your ebook gets downloaded from your Web site, except that, the digital fulfillment is provided by a digital download distribution company through their distribution network.
A typical example of digital fulfillment in action would be when you provide your ebook electronic files (PDF) to a company that distributes digital download ebooks to amazon.com, for example. Amazon.com would then offer your ebook to its customers as a digital download product.
IMPORTANT: When I talk about “digital fulfillment” here, I am NOT talking about delivering a downloadable ebook to your buyers from your own “sales-mini-site”. I’m referring to when one uses third party vendors and/or distributors to deliver a digital version of one’s book through their own channels.
THE SECRET OF DIGITAL FULFILLMENT
As I stated in the other parts of this series on the OPM, I have spent the past few years immersing myself in learning about the tools and techniques of successful Internet marketing to help me sell more of my ebooks/books.
In the process, I have purchased scores of “must have” books from many heavy-hitter big-name Internet marketers. But NEVER have I read anything about the digital fulfillment strategy in ANY of those many books/ebooks from the gurus!
In fact, I basically stumbled across this largely unknown money-making publishing secret by accident when I asked a major book selling company if it would be possible to sell my ebooks through their Web sites in addition to my own.
They promptly answered that “yes”, there is indeed a way to do that… by using a digital fulfillment company. Although I didn’t fully realize it at the time, that was a breakthrough moment for me!
Typically, a digital fulfillment company maintains large digital libraries of books and ebooks. They deliver those products electronically “on demand” as digital download e-books in response to orders from publishers, distributors, booksellers, and libraries.
Bottom Line: The major digital fulfillment companies offer a vast distribution network, folks. Exploiting this channel means much more than just getting your ebook and/or book listed on amazon.com. It means getting your title in front of the vast majority of all ebook wholesalers and retailers!
WHY DIGITAL FULFILLMENT, WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE A WEB SITE?
That’s a good logical question, and you may be surprised by the answer.
I have found that there is minimal cross-over between the people that buy ebooks at my Web sites and those who buy them through sites like amazon.com, and others. That’s right.
In fact, out of thousands of sales through both channels I have received only one e-mail that indicated a buyer had seen my ebooks at both places.
Another proof of this is that, although I use the same list price for my ebooks on my Web sites and at amazon.com, that company quite often chooses to offer a 30% discount, which actually makes it a much better deal to buy the ebook at their Web site.
In spite of this, sales at my Web sites remain strong. In fact I continue to sell more ebooks from my Web sites. So, it’s pretty clear that people aren’t doing cross-comparisons of prices.
They appear to be two mutually exclusive groups of shoppers!
(However, I should add that people who buy the ebook at my Web site also receive a number of bonuses that don’t come with the ebook when sold through a distributor).
The key point here being — if I didn’t offer my ebooks online through amazon.com and other digital download distributors, I would probably not make over 95% of those sales through my other distribution channels (i.e. my Web sites). Lucky for me, I now know about this little secret!
DIGITAL FULFILLMENT – EASY TO SET-UP
If you’re careful, and plan ahead when you create the original version of your ebook that people will purchase and download from your Web site, you’ll also be able to provide the same efiles to your digital fulfillment distributor with few changes, if any.
Typically, it will take only 10 to 15 days from the time you submit your efiles until you will start seeing your ebook show up on book retailer Web sites as digital downloads.
This channel works folks! In fact, just this afternoon I checked my account and found that over 30 copies of my Recommendation Letter Kit ebook have sold so far this month, and this is one of the slower months for that product!
I’ve also sold more than 25 paperback versions (POD) of that same book this month through the same digital distributor, but I’ll get into the POD model in the next part of this series.
The really exciting thing about these digital download sales is, as I explained above, they are IN ADDITION to any sales that you will make via your Web site. It’s almost like “found money”.
That’s what makes using the Online Publishing Model so exciting; it gives you three equally productive selling channels for your books and/or ebooks.