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The First Step to a Best Selling Ebook

by David Garfinkel © David Garfinkel - All Rights reserved

Why do some ebooks sell off the charts, while other ones can barely get off the ground?

You'd be surprised.

The other day, I was having breakfast with a friend who is a world-famous, best-selling "bookstore book" author. I asked him, "Hey - how's your ebook doing?"

His answer: "I've... sold... four."

We talked for a little while about what he was doing. I saw his problem - he was applying his success formula for "bookstore books" to ebooks. And it wasn't working very well on the 'Net.

I told him, "People don't buy ebooks to stimulate their minds or indulge their imaginations. Harry Potter would never make it as an ebook. Authors you see on Larry King or Oprah don't write the kind of books that sell well as digital products on the Net. If he were alive and writing today, even Ernest Hemingway would fall short."

Me, I'm what you would call a best-selling ebook author. But, unlike the New York Times bestselling authors, I don't write any groundbreaking, "brilliant" material to sell on the Web.

Write a Best Selling eBook Why do some ebooks sell off the charts, while other ones can barely get off the ground?

What I write is intensely *practical* -- simple, step-by- step, problem-solving, time-saving stuff. With ebooks like that, my sales really do go off the charts.

Now you might accuse me of bragging. But now that I have your attention, how would you like to know my secret for a bestselling ebook?

It's simple.

The ebook must...

  1. make a big promise
  2. to solve a major, nagging problem
  3. for a rabid market

To show you what I mean, here are three examples of ebook ideas.

First, a lame example:

An ebook on creating a more pleasant living environment for yourself by choosing the right wall hangings. This could possibly work as a bookstore book, but it's a TERRIBLE idea for a bestselling ebook.

Why? Because there just isn't a large, rabid group of people laying awake at night, tossing and turning, tortured with the thought, "If only I had the right paintings and tapestries on my walls, then my life would be perfect."

Now, let's move on and look at an OK example:

An ebook on keeping an old junker going without spending a lot of money. This is "OK" because there are always a lot of people who have old, broken-down cars and need to keep them going without putting tons of money into repairs. This problem really does keep them awake at night.

Why is this only an "OK" idea?

Because even though it would make sense from your point of view for these people to spend $19 or $29 on your ebook to save hundreds of dollars in repairs, they are probably watching their pennies and won't be super-likely to buy your ebook.

Sure, they should.

But that doesn't mean they will.

Finally, an excellent example:

An ebook on a how to save A LOT of money selling your own house without using a real estate agent, thus holding onto thousands of dollars you would have otherwise paid in commissions.

This is an "excellent" ebook idea because in America, one in five people move every year - so there's a large market. They're "rabid" because many of them really resent paying real estate agents a large commission, and that commission is a major, annoying problem for these people.

By the way, I have a friend who wrote such a book, and the sales of his ebook have given him and his wife enough money to cover their own mortgage and two car payments every month for several years.

I'd call that a best-seller -- wouldn't you? :)

So, to wrap up, before you dive into your new ebook, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Who is my Rabid Market?
  2. What is my Big Promise?
  3. What Major, Nagging Problem does it solve?

Answer those questions, and you're well on your way to creating a best-selling ebook on the Internet!

David Garfinkel (A*) is a leading Web sales copywriter who helps authors market and sell ebooks.
He co-authored "eBook Secrets Exposed: How to Make MASSIVE Amounts of Money In Record Time With Your Own eBook (Whether You Wrote It Or Not!)" (A*) with Jim Edwards who also authored "How to Write an eBook in 7 Days" (A*)


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