How To Make Sure Your Ebook Will Sell Before You Write a Single Word

Let me guess, you have been itching to write an ebook.

But you are feeling a lot of resistance because you don’t want it to be a flop.

It’s natural, isn’t it? Nobody wants to invest time, energy and tears into a project and see it tank.

Sure, the ebook would make a fantastic entry level product.

You could sell it for $29, $37 or even at a much higher price and give people a chance to ‘sample’ what you have to offer.

If you have coaching packages or online programs to sell, an ebook makes the perfect first tier product. There is much less risk involved and people are more likely to buy it first – before they book a $200 an hour session with you.

So what’s stopping you?

The fear of failure – that’s what. The thought of investing everything you’ve got and to have no sales – the thought can be paralyzing.

How about I give you some tips you can use to make sure this never happens? Quick action steps for you to implement before you even write a single word.

Let’s get into it.


#1 Choose a profitable idea you are excited about

So this is where most people go wrong. They choose something they are passionate about but forget to take the markeplace into account. Or, they do their research and come up with an idea they are sure will sell but become so bored that they never finish anything.

Do some market research, Google what’s on offer, look at your competition (competition is a good thing, believe me. Lack of competition means nobody wants that product), check out Amazon for best selling books on your topic or check out sites like Clickbank or ejunkie to see which products are selling well. Make a list of ideas and then pick a few that seem promising.


#2 Solve a very specific problem

You don’t necessarily want to write a really long ebook. It is not a text book and you don’t have to cover everything related to your topic in detail. Pick a really specific problem that you can solve and something people would pay for.

This will drastically reduce overwhelm and make the task much more manageable. Selling something very specific will also make it really appealing in your buyers’ eyes and would be much easier to sell.

Create an ideal customer profile for this person. Ideally, this should be the same person you are attracting on your website.

Lastly, don’t forget to choose a topic that lends itself to your higher priced offerings. Make sure there is a smooth transition and the natural next step is to go deeper by working closely with you.


#3 Survey your own audience

Since you are going to want to sell your ebook on your website, you need to make sure this is something your audience wants.

Ask them.

Do surveys. Ask questions on your Facebook page. Ask your most loyal readers. Use SurveyMonkey, which is a free tool.

Pay attention to what you are asking. You don’t want to be asking how long the ebook should be, how much would they be willing to pay for it. You just want to get a sense of what your audience wants. Keep this in mind that not everyone is going to buy, even if they said they would.


#4 Create a hook for your ebook

You want to make sure your ebook stands out from others. How can you do that?

Firstly, just by being yourself, teaching in the way you teach, using your unique perspective and experience. This way you will create something that will appeal to people who already know, like and trust you.

Secondly, by solving a very specific problem. Most ebooks tend to terribly long and generic.

Lastly, packaging. Try coming up with a really unique angle for your ebook that nobody has thought of. Pay attention to your title, solicit help in this area if you want as this is super important.


#5 Publish content and gauge level of interest

Once you have the final idea, sit down and draft a very basic, rough outline for your ebook. Just to set some boundaries for yourself.

Now start creating some content related to your ebook topic and start publishing. See how much attention it gets from your own list and other people.

Share your posts across social media platforms and closely watch people’s reaction. Are they interested in things you are writing about? Be realistic in your expectations though, if you have a small list and don’t have huge social media following, don’t expect hundreds of comments, tweets or shares. I am sure you can tell when a regular post is doing well. Stick to the same standard.

You can tweak things here. You can tweak the outline, change the angle of the ebook. You also don’t need to do this for a long time. It might be ideal for you to write your ebook and keep testing it at the same time.


#6 Do some beta testing

Choose a few people, 5-6 might be plenty, and offer them to read through your first draft of the ebook in exchange for honest feedback.

For this, I would recommend not asking friends but people you can trust to tell you the truth. Maybe three-four people from your own list who fit the ideal audience for it, and one or two trusted peers in your industry.

Send them a list of questions you want answers to, and also ask them to give their own opinion on it. Remind them that this is only the first draft.

Try to get some testimonials and reviews for your ebook before you launch it.


#7 Create a pre-launch list

Tell your readers that you are working on this ebook and if they want to be the first one to hear about it, they would have to get on your pre-launch list.

Then create a landing page and an an opt-in incentive on a topic closely related to your ebook. Send them the link and encourage them to sign up.

Once you launch the ebook, you will be sending plenty of sales emails and you don’t want to burn your entire list. If you truly feel your ebook will benefit your main ideal customer, you can skip this step, but it is still useful to direct traffic to it who are not email subscribers.


#8 Announce your ebook and start pre-launch content

Write a blog post and announce your ebook. Use social media. Make as big a fuss as you want. You want people to pay attention.

Start publishing a series of  pre-launch content (content that precedes your open cart or launch period). You can give them useful information that highlights the need for the ebook (pre-sell). You can take people behind the scenes and show what’s happening. You can interview somebody who beta-tested your ebook and show the results they got.

Start with the best piece of content. The goal is to make people sit up and take notice. It is okay to increase your publishing frequency. People know you are in the launch mode and expect that.

Remember all the topics that didn’t make into your ebook? They make great pre-launch content.


Okay, so here are all the steps you need to make sure you create an ebook that will sell well. Now it’s time to finish your ebook, have it proofread and get a cover designed.

But I can’t help myself. Let’s keep going to see how you would launch this masterpiece.


#9 Promote your ebook

Start promoting your ebook. Make a list of all the places your ideal audience is hanging out.

Do guest posting during pre-launch and actual launch period. Link to the landing page in your byline and replace the link with the sales page once you open the cart.

Offer to be interviewed by other bloggers. Do free webinars. Run Facebook ads. Hold contests. Continue to promote until your cart is closed.

Have you got any connections with the influencers in your industry? Now is the time to call in a favor. Ask them to share your content.


#10 Create a killer sales page

If you have a solid offer (your ebook that solves a very specific problem or provides a highly desirable result, at the right price) and you have taken the time to educate people and build a solid relationship, a less than perfect sales page will not kill your product.

Normally you expect to see 1-5% of people take you up on your offer. If you have done everything right, your percentage could be way higher.

It is still important to get your sales page right for people who don’t know you that well (cold traffic coming your way from all your promotion). Have someone look it over for you and take into account what they say.

Double check all your links, buy buttons and your sales process ahead of time.


#11 Do an internal launch first

It is time to open cart. Don’t do this for a very long period. 5-7 days is ideal, and make sure to include one weekend.

But before you do this, reward your loyal subscribers. Make an offer to your people on your list first. Give them a special discount, an early bird bonus or free consultation if they buy before you open it to the public.

This is also great for your own peace of mind. Yes, people are actually buying your product – what a relief.

You can also make quick changes or tweaks to your sales page or any other area which confuses people or isn’t perfectly clear. Remember, confused minds don’t make a decision.

Then revise your sales page and open cart for the public. Announce it in a blog post. Continue promotion.


#12 Do a follow up after launch

Thank everybody; your readers, friends, peers and supporters. You couldn’t have done it without them – that’s the truth, acknowledge it.

Take off the sales page and continue with the great customer experience.

Decide if you want to move the product to the store now or later. Remember, the job of this ebook is to position you as an expert, build your credibility and attract clients and customers who truly want to go further with you.


Phew. That’s a long process,  no doubt about it.

However, the rewards are immense.

When you follow the process, you get as close to writing the perfect ebook that everybody wants to buy.

And who doesn’t want that?


Click here to grab my 9-point checklist. It’s 100% free.

9 Things You Must Do Before Creating An Online Course

Send me the checklist


  1. Marya Jan Says :
    Posted on July 10, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Have you written and launched an ebook? Are you keen to? What would you do differently? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know

  2. Clark
    Posted on July 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Your blogs are simply excellent, and your advice even more so. While I am not currently doing some of the things you write about, I have been thinking of doing so. Your ‘goodness’ is causing me to think even more.

  3. lisa | renovatingitaly Says :
    Posted on July 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Brilliant thanks I’m mid way through my first ebook and yep procrastinating. Very clear steps and lots of things I hadn’t thought about. ciao lisa

  4. Daryl Says :
    Posted on July 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Hey Marya,

    Great step by step advice for those looking to write an ebook or other forms of long-form content.

    (One tiny thing – the term is peace of mind and not piece of mind)

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on July 11, 2014 at 2:07 am

      Thanks, Daryl. And the typo has been fixed! 🙂

  5. Michael Says :
    Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Great guide. I’ve tried writing an eBook for a blog I previously had up and running. My biggest mistake was not having the audience and traffic needed to generate sales. I simply assumed if it was created, it’ll sell. I was younger then 🙂

  6. Archana Dubey Says :
    Posted on July 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Hi,I am very fond of reading books, you can say that i am a bibliophile. I Love to read fiction.. but in some corner of my heart I also want to write a book.. and after reading this article i am thinking to write an ebook.

  7. Ilmu Pendidikan Says :
    Posted on August 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    The most hard to do for me is promoting the e-book.
    I think it needs some skill for marketing that I’m really newbie about marketing thing.
    But maybe I can do what you said like interviewing other blogger and do a contest.
    Its a good Idea.

  8. David @ The Blog Writers Says :
    Posted on September 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I have faith in my writing ability but far less so in my sales ability. This works as a great check list to ensure that I have some commercial checks in place – thanks!

  9. Amaia - You Made My Day Says :
    Posted on September 17, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Hi Marya,
    I am glad I discovered your blog. I like your articles and the way you explain things.
    I just started to write my ebook (that I’d also love to have in printed version) because it helps me to get an structure to the articles I am writing on my blog.
    Through this blog I realized I can help small entrepreneurs and new bloggers to have a better and useful blog so that is what I am focusing on now.
    The structure of the book came suddenly to my mind a few days ago (I think the past months my brain was trying to build it but couldn’t) so it is now more clear where I want to go and what I want to do.
    Your article will help me through that process and the launch, so I thank you for it.

  10. Archana Dubey Says :
    Posted on October 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Your article is great . i am kind of bibliophile and I want to write my own book. And today is s digital world so after going through this article i am thinking of writing an e- book. And i want to appreciate you for this such good stuff.

  11. Manish Deol Says :
    Posted on October 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Well, some of the sure and working tactics you have given here which will work awesomely on Amazon and I further think that it will work on any estore.

  12. Savya Shah Says :
    Posted on December 4, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I am thinking to write an ebook for my new blog. and I am pretty sure with the points written above in this article will help me down to write a great one. Do I need a professional now? No Nadda.

  13. Mohd Arif Says :
    Posted on December 6, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Hi Marya,

    Very interesting post, I like your all points and your writing skill are very well.and I will also apply this article. I am going to implement all things soon.

    A big thanks to share this awesome post with us.

    Mohd Arif