The Amazon publishing ecosystem is a great way to build your online audience — if you know what to do.
Search and social media play an important part in growing your online audience. But what about Amazon?
Even if you don’t sell physical goods, Amazon can play a vital role in helping you build your online audience.
By using Amazon’s self-publishing features.
But there is a lot more to being successful on Amazon than just publishing an ebook.
In this episode we explore all the elements of how to use Amazon to grow your digital goods business with our very special guest, Bryan Eisenberg.
Bryan is not only a bestselling author, he is also one of the top thought leaders in online marketing. Bryan is the co-author of Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books, as well as a professional speaker.
But best of all, Bryan shares the tactics and techniques he is personally using to promote his latest book – Be Like Amazon – on Amazon.
In this 36-minute episode, Sean Jackson, Jessica Frick, and Bryan Eisenberg go in depth with practical tips you can use to grow your audience via Amazon, including…
- Why Amazon self-publishing should be in your marketing mix
- The types of strategies you should use
- The difference between publishing for Kindle versus an ebook
- The tactics that Bryan is using right now to build awareness for his book
- And of course, our question for the week – How do you know what the “right price” is for your digital goods offering?
Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...
The Show Notes
- If you’re ready to see for yourself why more than (not over) 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — swing by StudioPress.com for all the details.
- Get Bryan Eisenberg’s latest book, for free, at BeLikeAmazon.com
- Check out Bryan’s blog
- Follow Sean on Twitter
- Follow Jessica on Twitter
How to Use Amazon Publishing to Grow Your Online Audience
Sean Jackson: Rainmaker FM.
You’re listening to The Digital Entrepreneur. The show for folks who want to discover smarter ways to create and sell profitable digital goods and services. This podcast is a production of Digital Commerce Institute, the place to be for digital entrepreneurs. For more information, go to Rainmaker.FM/DigitalCommerce. That’s Rainmaker.FM/DigitalCommerce.
Welcome to the Digital Entrepreneur, everyone. I’m your host, Sean Jackson. I’m joined, as always, by the witty Jessica Frick. Jessica, how the frick are you today?
Jessica Frick: I am fabulous. How the Jackson are you?
Sean Jackson: I am actually sick. If you’re listening to the show, I actually have a horrible ear infection and cold.
Jessica Frick: I’m so sorry, Sean.
Sean Jackson: Well thank you. But here’s the thing, Jess, I love our audience so much that I’m going to plow through this episode, because it’s too dang important. But the good news is, it’s going to be short, because I’m going to go back home and go to bed.
Jessica Frick: You’re pretty hardcore.
Sean Jackson: Well, I only do it for our audience. So, Jess, where did we leave the last episode?
Jessica Frick: Well, the last episode we were talking about Amazon. Is it your best friend or is it your frenemy?
Sean Jackson: Well, what do you say, Jess?
Jessica Frick: I say frenemy.
Sean Jackson: Oh, well let’s get that argument out there. I want to hear it.
Jessica Frick: Well, first off, I don’t think Amazon is a one-size-fits-all solution. Do I think that it should be considered as part of the marketing mix? Absolutely. Do I think Amazon is in business to help you? Hell no. I think they will shortchange you every chance they can because they’re in business to make money for themselves. They don’t care about your book. They don’t care about your brand. They care about money for themselves. So I think if you really want to succeed as a publisher, you really need to consider all of the options available to you, with Amazon playing a very small part.
Sean Jackson: Well, I am going to tell you how wrong you are. Here’s why I say that it is your friend — I’ll put it out there this way — first off, let’s just look at the big numbers. The amount of transactions that go through Amazon.com dwarf any other site on the planet. It’s over 40 percent. It’s huge. The audience is there. All of your audience is there.
I do think that if you’re looking at Amazon publishing as a way to write the classic book you’ve always wanted to, and thinking that you’ll retire as an author in some mountain hillside retreat, that’s probably the wrong way to look at it if you’re a digital entrepreneur. I think that it is probably one of the best vehicles to test ideas, to put thoughts down, and establish thought leadership. And doing so from a marketing perspective, not necessarily from an “Oh, I’m gonna make a ton of money doing this.”
I think that’s the trap. I think a lot of people get into publishing and they think, “Oh, I’m gonna make all this money doing it.” The problem is you have to look at it as part of the marketing mix. Can you create up content that inspires action to get them back to your site? Where I say it’s your best friend, is because it is a giant universe of potential people out there that you could communicate with through writing an ebook or actually doing self publishing on Kindle. But — and this is the big caveat — if you think that you’re going to write the classic book that’s going to help you retire, I would say no publishing platform’s going to do it, regardless of how big it is.
Jessica Frick: Unless you’re 50 Shades of something.
Sean Jackson: Well, those are the anomalies, right? That’s always the thing.
Jessica Frick: They totally are.
Sean Jackson: It’s the ones that come up and you’re like, “Oh, they did this on that.” And sure, yes, there are anomalies to it. But in the world that we happen to have it, which is “we gotta do things that make money today,” I think that you would be smarter to look at it slightly different. I don’t think that you are going to approach it with the right mindset unless you think of it as marketing versus making money from an ebook. That’s how I look at it.
Jessica Frick: Well I would agree with that. Let’s be real here, traditional publishing is slow.
Sean Jackson: Yeah.
Jessica Frick: Whereas somehow — my son and I were talking about this the other day — you go see a movie in the theater, and now it’s out like two months later. When we were kids, we had to wait like six months, sometimes longer, for the movie to come out on VHS.
Sean Jackson: Yeah. It takes time.
Jessica Frick: Yeah, well things are moving faster. But traditional publishing? Not so much.
Sean Jackson: That’s right. You’re right.
Jessica Frick: So yes, I agree that you can take control. But using Amazon as a delivery mechanism for an audience you already have? Now you’re giving Amazon money when you could’ve just kept it for yourself.
Sean Jackson: Interesting point. And the good news about today’s show is we actually have an expert on who has not only written numerous books and has published, but is also one of the leading thought leaders in online marketing, Bryan Eisenberg. The best part of today’s show is the fact that he actually has a book that he is about to release — another book, I should say. Another book that he is about to release on Amazon. He is actually going to walk us through the process that he is using to write a book for Amazon to build his business through that vehicle. So stay tuned after the break. We’re going to interview Bryan Eisenberg and talk about what a true expert and author does to promote their work in the Amazon ecosystem, so stay tuned.
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Welcome back from the break, everyone. Jessica, please introduce our very special guest for the interview today.
Jessica Frick: Today, Sean, we have the devastatingly handsome and phenomenally intelligent Bryan Eisenberg. He’s co-founder of Buyer Legends and co-author of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times best-selling books, Call to Action, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?, Always Be Testing, and Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide. And the forthcoming, hopefully best-seller, Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It.
Sean Jackson: Bryan, welcome to the show.
Bryan Eisenberg: I’m excited to be here.
Sean Jackson: So, Bryan, I want to preface this for our audience. I want to tell you something that happened back in 2013 that you did that really inspired me. I want to set the stage. We were in Denver at our very first conference for the company, and you were the closing keynote that Friday. You remember that? You were there …
Bryan Eisenberg: Yeah, and I was shocked about coming onstage to talk about the topic I did.
Sean Jackson: Exactly. So you come up on stage and you start talking about Amazon. Now, I’ve been in marketing for a long time, and I’m like “Marketing? Amazon? What the heck is he talking about?” You went through for an hour on all of these amazing things. I remember walking out of that presentation and I said, “I have to buy stock in Amazon right now. I have to go buy it.” At the time it was trading at $270, today, that stock is worth $848.
Bryan Eisenberg: Jessica, he hasn’t even sent me a gift basket.
Jessica Frick: I was going to say.
Sean Jackson: Well I bought a share.
Bryan Eisenberg: It was only a gift basket, man.
Why Amazon Self-Publishing Should Be in Your Marketing Mix
Sean Jackson: That’s right. But even me, as a financial guy, I was sitting there going, “Holy cow!” Your insight into Amazon blew me away. So when Jessica and I were thinking about topics for the show, I was coming up and saying, “Okay, we need somebody about Amazon.” Your presentation stuck in my mind. So let’s get into it, Bryan. Other than invest in stock, why should a digital entrepreneur even think about Amazon in their mix?
Bryan Eisenberg: You know, it’s a great question. I have a few buddies in the space right now who have had their own ebooks for a long time, and they’re asking the question, “Should we be on Amazon?” So I’m hearing this a lot lately. The answer is: absolutely. That’s where buyers are. 43 percent of all e-commerce sales — all of them — happen on Amazon.
Jessica Frick: Wow.
Bryan Eisenberg: Amazon Prime members — who are their largest Kindle audience — are a great demographic. They spend three to five times as much as regular customers. I think when you start looking at that … To top it all off, they convert about 74 percent of the time once they’re on the website. So it’s definitely a place where you want to be, because it’s the mass audience that you can reach that you probably couldn’t have reached before. And there’s also a brand perception of you being an author on Amazon, versus being an author who has his own little ebook.
Sean Jackson: Right. But isn’t there competition though? Yes, you can get some authority by being on Amazon for your ebook, but isn’t there so much competition and pricing pressures are so much that … Are you going to make any money doing it, putting your ebook out there, knowing that there’s so much competition and pricing pressures are intense?
The Types of Strategies You Should Use
Bryan Eisenberg: It’s a great question. I’ve written now six books, and the lesson I’ve learned from basically all my author friends is you don’t necessarily make money from the book. You make money because of the book. So you need to think of your Amazon strategy slightly different than your ebook strategy. This is what’s happening with one of my buddies, Bobby Tewksbary. He’s one of the top-hitting baseball coaches in the country. He’s actually a Rainmaker client as well, he’s been hosting a membership site there and he has his ebook there.
What we’re doing is going to come out with a different book for a much broader audience. An intro book, so to speak, on Amazon, because that’s where the customers are. Go for the wide net that Amazon has, and then bring them down the funnel into his profitable membership site and his profitable ebook. That’s where he makes the money. Think about the Amazon thing as a lead generator.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, I think that is a very valid point, that it is a lead generator. It is a way to test ideas. See if something that you came up with is even resonating. If it is, then you can expand upon it and grow from it. As well as the fact that it can and should drive traffic to your site. But there is a difference though. You talk about ebooks, and I know a lot of our people who are listening know about ebooks, but what about Kindle books versus an ebook. Is there a difference? If so, what is it? And should we even be concerned with it?
The Difference Between Publishing for Kindle Versus an Ebook
Bryan Eisenberg: There’s a few differences, and I think there’s a couple of other key things that we have to consider on Amazon. Number one: those reviews are second-to-none. You can have as many testimonials on your website and everyone could think that they’re baloney, but the Amazon reviews and the verified reviews are amazing. The advantage to Kindles is there’s a whole ecosystem on there. We’ve used this to our advantage many times. Amazon will often do different kinds of promotions where they’ll take some of … Especially if you have a great product, they’ll go ahead and they’ll do their Kindle Unlimited and basically put your book out there. All of a sudden, you’re getting customers who you would have never imagined beforehand.
Being able to read on the Kindle — what I love about it, personally … Every book I get is on Kindle, and occasionally audiobooks. I love being able to highlight the books in the Kindle and then export all my notes into Evernote and have a place where I can come by and search for it and do all that, which I can’t do with any other book.
Sean Jackson: You mentioned audiobooks, let’s go into that for a second. Do you recommend people should try an audiobook? Do you have to have a book to have an audiobook? I think that’s the first question.
Bryan Eisenberg: You know, that’s a good question. I don’t think so. The key is, audiobooks are a little harder to produce than a regular book today. The only reason I’m saying that is the production value of an audiobook — you better have good recording. Of course, that’s not hard to do today, we see it in the quality of podcasts. But you really have to have an engaging voice. You have to have somebody who’s reading it well. It has to be a good production. If not, people are not going to jump into it and keep listening to the book. But I definitely think it’s another part of the audience that you can go after that you should be looking at, because there are millions of customers there who will absolutely want to potentially engage with your brand if they can find your book on Amazon.
Sean Jackson: You made that great point about the reviews. That’s another aspect of using the Amazon network. When you get those reviews, you can use those reviews on your site. You can say, “This is how it’s recommended on Amazon,” and reference back to it, so it gives further validity when people get to your site.
Bryan Eisenberg: Exactly. They have all kind of widgets that you can put on your website to put the book there. It can show the number of reviews and all that. It really gives it another air of, like I said, this credibility factor that being on Amazon has. And of course, there are a lot of people who also do the little Amazon Best Seller tactics, and that’s a whole other way that we could talk about it. Finding a niche category that they can go ahead and all of a sudden be the number one book in such-and-such. You start doing those kinds of things and they just add a boost to the credibility.
Sean Jackson: Let me ask you something. Back to my ebook. In the hypothetical, I create up an ebook. I’m using it to catch a wider audience. It’s going to be a simpler type of book with primarily the purpose being to drive people back to my site. Should I be selling that ebook on my site via Amazon, or should I put my own shopping cart on my site?
Bryan Eisenberg: Oh, I would definitely sell it through Amazon. Again, Amazon customers convert better than just about anyone else. It’s funny, I’ve been having this discussion about my current book — and I’ll get into that in a minute. People love being able to check out with Amazon. It’s just way easier for them. The credit card is in there, just a couple of clicks and they’re done. They don’t have to think about it.
Yes, you can certainly sell it on your site. But again, you have to get that trust factor initially. It’s way easier for them to feel comfortable giving their credit card through Amazon than through you. Once they’ve bought that book, and now they’ve read it, and they’re like, “Oh yeah, I trust this guy.” They’ve become part of your tribe. Now, all of a sudden, it’s way easier to get their credit card again for a membership site, for a more in-depth ebook, webinar, or class — whatever digital product you’re actually selling.
Sean Jackson: Right. And you’re finding that the information that Amazon stores and provides to you as a publisher, that’s useful? You can use it? They’re giving you everything and anything you need to be successful with the ebook?
Bryan Eisenberg: Yeah, pretty much. They’re not very good yet for bulk purchases, which is definitely a sticking point. It’s one of the reasons why for our new book we’re actually going to print our own hardcovers of the book so that we can give them out at conferences. But, yeah, for the Kindle version, which we’re actually going to release before the hardcover, they give you everything you need.
The Tactics That Bryan Is Using Right Now to Build Awareness for His Book
Sean Jackson: Gotcha. Let’s talk about your new book in a second. You brought it up. Let’s talk about your tactics for it. Granted, the title should work well on Amazon, I would hope.
Bryan Eisenberg: Or not. I think in some ways it’s actually going to be a hard search. The funny part is, our first self-published book, which is a book that we did in 2002 called “Persuasive Online Copywriting” — worst title for a book ever. However, back then, Amazon search engine was so primitive that we wanted to rank for the word “online copywriting.” My friend Nick Usborne — I’m sure you know Nick as well — had wrote a book called Net Words. These were the first books on online copywriting on the web. I know Bryan’s — one of his favorite books, and he’s talked about it in the past as well.
Persuasive Online Copywriting ranked, and it helped us get a lot of sales that way. Today, it’s going to be a little bit tougher. There’s a lot of things that are branded Amazon, so I don’t know. That’s going to be a tough one. We’re going to have to hope that the book alone and the reviews that we’re getting so far really go about it. But I think what’s interesting is, like you said, if we go into the marketing tactics behind the book. I think a lot of people will benefit from understanding what we’re trying to do, and some of the strategies to make this book a best-seller book. I’m not worried about New York Times best-seller, the goal is to get it to 100,000+ readers over the next couple of months.
Sean Jackson: Well, let’s go through it then. You brought it up. I want to hear it. Reveal all. You came up with the book, primarily … Let’s say that the purpose — beyond informing and helping the person that’s reading it — it also is a way to increase the authority that you have in the space, and thereof is a lead generator to you for your services. Would you say that’s an accurate statement as the bigger goal?
Bryan Eisenberg: Yeah, and services, primarily, are speaking, some of the workshops we do, and a little bit of consulting. But it really is — for 20 years I’ve been trying to get people to understand all about continuous optimization. Building a better business. Always be testing — which was another one of my books. Creating better customer experiences. Obviously we’ve had some success doing this.
But at this point, people are becoming desperate at how big Amazon has become, they really are. 43 percent of e-commerce is ridiculous, I’m sorry. It’s just an obscene number when you think about it. And they just keep growing every single year. Every conference I’m going to, people are asking me — I’m going to home improvement conferences to speak and people are telling me, “This year we’ve been spending time trying to think of how we can be more like Amazon.” As you know, we’ve been talking about this topic for a couple of years now. It was time to get this book out. We’ve had a real interesting roll-out strategy, very different than any other book we’ve done in the past.
Sean Jackson: Well tell us all.
Bryan Eisenberg: So the first thing we’ve done is we’ve actually let out every single chapter of the book for free, one by one. As we’ve been publishing them, essentially, we have released the 12 chapters of the book. People can go to the Be Like Amazon website right now and they can have the book, free.
Sean Jackson: Wow.
Bryan Eisenberg: It’s a draft version, so there’s still a couple of commas missing, stuff like that. We actually now have the edited version back from the publisher. But what happens is there are three things you have to do when you’re selling a book, and I think a lot of people miss this. The first one is you need to build awareness for your title. So a lot of people do all kinds of blogging, guest blogging, guest posting, and all that kind of stuff. It’s a tremendous amount of work. You’ve got to get people talking about your title. By the way, we switched title names, so that backfired a little bit on us. We started as Brand Like Amazon and now we’re Be Like Amazon.
Sean Jackson: Gotcha.
Bryan Eisenberg: For the most part, these 12 weeks people have gotten used to it. “Well, this is kind of interesting.” The second thing you need to do, is you need to get people to a website or to a store to actually purchase the book. And 95 percent of the time you don’t control that experience. They want to buy it on a third-party website. You’ve got to convince them to spend the money for a book. That’s already another obstacle. Then the third one — and this is the hardest one to do — is you need to get them to invest their time to read your book.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, that is the hardest, absolutely.
Bryan Eisenberg: That is the hardest thing. So we’ve done two things. This is what we did in our last book, we kept the book super short. I think the days of 200+ books … This is one of the reasons why publishers are also struggling. I forgot the exact number, but it’s something like 70-something-percent of all books — especially non-fiction books — people never get past page 39.
Sean Jackson: Oh, wow. Holy cow.
Bryan Eisenberg: Even today, I was reading something from a friend of mine who says, “What do they do with most business books? They read the first chapter, last chapter, and they then skim the little bit about each chapter, the beginning and the end of each chapter. And then they’re done. The rest of it’s filler.”
Sean Jackson: I would also say this is where the audio portion comes in too. With the rise of podcasting, with people coming through, you can help augment a little bit of that. It’s not just reading the book, it can also be “Hey, you bought this book, here is a special to go and get the audio version of the book that you can download to your mobile device and listen to it as you’re driving.”
Bryan Eisenberg: Absolutely. It’s definitely one more piece to it. So we put that together. Now we’re finishing up publication of the book, but like I said, we’ve only had the Kindle version out for a while. We don’t care if people get the book for free or if they pay for it — it doesn’t matter to us. Now, we’re also going to be releasing it as an audiobook. We are going to do an Audible book. But — same thing — we’re going to release one chapter a week as a podcast. It’s the same thing. If I can get you hooked on any one chapter, you might be interested in all the rest of the chapters.
Sean Jackson: Gotcha. You know, it would be funny to have Samuel L. Jackson do it for you, just saying.
Bryan Eisenberg: Yeah, I think he might be a little out of our budget for this one.
Pricing That Drives Customers While Still Indicating Perceived Value
Sean Jackson: I agree. Let’s talk about pricing strategy though. This is also going to come up again, both in the ebook and the Kindle universe. Because I do think they are slightly different universes, there’s different goals, different ideas. I 100 percent agree that shorter is sometimes better, but does shorter mean I have to charge a lot less? I’m trying to throw a wide net. I don’t want price to be an inhibitor, especially in the Kindle universe where prices are fairly well set. How do you think of pricing around these things?
Bryan Eisenberg: There’s a few things that are really cool with the Kindle. Especially if you’re doing it as a KDP and you’re publishing yourself, then you can set the price and discount it pretty much as often as you want. You can’t always make it free, but you can discount it as often as you want, which is really cool. I think one of the key things is, I would focus on keeping … Again, this is part of understanding your global strategy. You don’t have to make money from your Kindle book. That is giving the girl a flower on the first date before you go out. Just make it really easy to advance the relationship. Don’t worry about the next steps.
Keep the book $2.99, $3.99, $4.99, depending on how big the book is, what the topic is, how niche. You can play around with that. The hardcover of the book is going to be priced at $19.95 even though it’s still a relatively short book. But again, it’s going to be a hardcover, it’s a perceived value that you’re still trying to do. So this is the challenge, do you price it low enough that you make it really accessible and avoid the obstacles? Or do you want to increase the perceived value of the book and charge a lot more?
You’ve got to balance that based on what your strategy is, so I don’t want to give a definitive answer. We’ve really enjoyed making it way more accessible — the last book and this book as well — by pricing it on Kindle very inexpensively. All the other formats we’ll charge way more for it. Remember, it’s bits and bytes. Yes, the information has value, but we’re hoping that as you read it … Because you didn’t pay a lot, you’re willing to keep giving more money because there’s more to the ecosystem. We actually have something that’s tied to the book, where they’ll be able to come to our website and evaluate themselves on the criteria that we talk about in the book.
Sean Jackson: Right. But I do think the perceived value argument — I think there’s a lot to be said for increasing the price of something so that when you do give it away, the perceived value of the giveaway, it means a lot more. Especially if you’re using it as part of a strategy where, let’s say, you’re doing webinars. You’re saying, “Because you listened to this webinar, not only will I give you this, this, and this for free, but here’s my Kindle book, or here’s my book. It is normally $20 or $30 or $50, but because you’re here, I’m going to give it to you for free.” Or for $1, or whatever. Or, “Go to Kindle and you can get it on promotion right now if you do it in the next 30 minutes.” Because pricing discrimination is a motivator.
Bryan Eisenberg: Absolutely. Again, this all comes down to what their overall strategy is. In other words, if in a ideal world you had multiple books — one that you could price very low, one that you could price a little higher. They all cost essentially the same thing. But yes, if you could set that perceived value, absolutely go for it. I think that it’s as you said, it allows you to do different things with a high-value versus a low-value book.
Does a Digital Entrepreneur Need an Ebook or Kindle Book?
Sean Jackson: Now let me ask you — and we’re getting kind of towards the end — I do want to ask this question from a strategy perspective. If I am selling digital goods — specifically, I’m selling a membership system, I’m selling a training program, and I’m selling a paid online workshop, all in the digital goods space — is an ebook or Kindle book a central requirement of that universe to help draw people in? Or is it an add-on to the other things you were doing in the online marketing space?
Bryan Eisenberg: Let’s put it this way. My friend Mark Schaefer just finished the book Known. It’s interesting, he talks about how you can go ahead and become more well-known, and a big part of a lot of people doing this “known” thing is obviously producing their content and all of that. But there’s a value in having a book.
The other thing that being able to print it on Amazon, which is really cool, is that you can also go through CreateSpace and they can create the print-on-demand books. So you don’t have to go ahead and print a ton of physical copies like we’re doing, because we’re doing it for a whole different purpose and a whole different strategy. First of all, there’s some people who only want physical books. So you want to be able to have that option. The second thing is, if you do want to grow your speaking opportunities, there’s a big difference between having your own little self-published ebook on your site than having a published book that people can feel and touch.
Sean Jackson: About a $10,000 to $20,000 difference, I would think.
Bryan Eisenberg: Yeah, it depends on how good of a speaker you are, but yes. Absolutely, I think there’s some real value in using their platform, the CreateSpace, to create your Kindle and create the print-on-demand book. That’s what we did with our Buyer Legends book. Again, people have ordered them in bulk for their events. It’s cool. What bothered us is that it was so expensive for the people that bought it in bulk. The majority of what we want to do as a strategy is give away the books at conferences this coming year and plus, so we just said, “Okay, we’ll just print the books in advance as hardcovers so that people can give them away. Then we control the price of what the event organizer is paying for it.”
Sean Jackson: So Jessica, has Bryan convinced you that Amazon is an online entrepreneur’s best friend?
Jessica Frick: He has. But at the same time, I still say it’s not for everyone and every reason.
Bryan Eisenberg: I would agree with that.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, but that’s so benign, Jess, come on. You could say that about driving. “Driving’s not for everybody.”
Jessica Frick: Well, absolutely. But I think because Amazon is handling 40 percent of e-commerce, people are looking to that to be their white knight. And that cannot be what it is.
Bryan Eisenberg: Oh yeah, it’s not going to automatically sell books for you.
Jessica Frick: Agreed. Just as going junking, you can’t make a million because of eBay. It doesn’t work that way. So I think that yes, there is a lot to be said for Amazon as a power in the e-commerce and publishing space, but I think Bryan said it too. Sorry, Sean.
Sean Jackson: Well, like most things on this show, we’re just trying to put it out there for our audience to make their own decision. Hey, Bryan Eisenberg, thank you for being on our show. The title of the new book is Be Like Amazon. We’ll make sure to put a link to the website in our show notes. Really appreciate you being here, Bryan.
Bryan Eisenberg: Oh, it’s always a pleasure.
Sean Jackson: And we’ll be right back after this short break.
Hey, everyone. This is Sean Jackson, the host of The Digital Entrepreneur, and I want to ask you a simple question: what is your business framework for selling digital goods online? Now, if the question perplexes you, don’t worry. You are not alone. Most people don’t realize that the most successful digital entrepreneurs have a framework or a general process for creating and selling their digital goods in the online space. One of the best free resources is Digital Commerce Academy. Digital Commerce Academy combines online learning with case studies and webinars created by people who make a living selling digital goods online, and the best part is that this material is free when you register.
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Welcome back from the break, everyone. Jess, wasn’t that a great interview with Bryan Eisenberg?
Jessica Frick: I’m partial because I think he’s the bees knees.
Sean Jackson: He really is. And he’s so smart. He was able to put a lot of things that he’s doing, that’s why I liked that interview. Because he is actually sharing things that he personally is doing based on his experience in publishing books to the Amazon ecosystem.
Jessica Frick: As cool as it was, if you have a chance to see him live, you’ve got to go hear him as a speaker. He is enigmatic.
Sean Jackson: That’s true.
Jessica Frick: It is true.
Sean Jackson: So here’s the thing. Jess, what is our tip and tactic that we want to recommend for this week?
Jessica Frick: It’s easy to choose this week’s. It’s going to be Bryan’s new book that he has co-authored with his brother Jeffrey Eisenberg and Roy H. Williams. It is Be Like Amazon, and you can go grab it today at BeLikeAmazon.com. As Bryan mentioned in his interview, he’s actually giving this book away, which is crazy to me. Having read some of it already, it is fabulous and I don’t understand why he’s giving it away. Well, I do, but … You should go check it out. You’re going to love it. BeLikeAmazon.com.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, and the way that he writes … For those of you who have not read it yet, it’s written in a narrative style, so it’s a story. It’s an actual story about a protagonist and these two individuals, and the guide that is helping them literally be like Amazon. It reads much more like a story than an actual bland business book. So that’s going to be our recommendation for the week.
Jess, I want to end the show with our question for everyone to ponder, and here it is: Jessica, we’ve talked a lot about the things that we enjoy about the online space, but in running an online business, what is the least favorite thing that you’ve had to deal with?
Jessica Frick: I know exactly what you’re going to say when I say this, but, Sean, it’s pricing. It makes me crazy.
Sean Jackson: Pricing? Pricing an online product?
Jessica Frick: It’s pricing. I never know whether to go too high, give it away, or whether I’ve got the right price. I’m always afraid to test, because once you put the price out there what do you do? Pricing just makes me crazy. What say you?
Sean Jackson: I will say that being the CFO of the company and watching the pricing process first-hand, it’s one of the more interesting and fun aspects of running your business. And I’ll leave you with this thought: remember that in the online space, you as a digital entrepreneur are in total control of your pricing. That gives you both power and flexibility and allows you to control your destiny. We’re going to teach you how on the next episode of The Digital Entrepreneur. Have a great week, everyone.
Jessica Frick: Thanks for listening.
Marcia Yudkin says
“…a simpler type of book with primarily the purpose being to drive people back to my site.”
Some people may get the wrong idea from the above. There’s a paradox: If you want your Kindle book to be a lead generator, you must provide unbelievably good content in it. It can’t be fluff, and it can’t be a superficial summary with the meat held back for actual clients or people who sign up for a high-priced course. Those types of lead generating books on Amazon tend to get slammed in reviews. And then the whole effort becomes a waste of time.
Even if you make your Kindle book free or 99 cents, people resent wasting their time on something that wasn’t worth their reading effort.
So yes, Amazon can function as an excellent lead generator, but only if you start with a very good (and substantive) product.
Sean Jackson says
Marcia, an EXCELLENT point and 100% agree – you have to have depth and insight in the book. It is not only the first impression you make, it also helps define the value of the potential relationship in the future. Thank you for pointing this out and providing your perspective.