Creating a digital book


Well-known member
Jun 6, 2012
Many people dream of becoming writers. They love the idea of spending all day turning the stories into their heads into books that people will pay to read.

Very few people ever manage it. ClickBank won't help you to do that either. It won't turn you into a Nobel prize-winning novelist. But it can turn you into a writer who gets well-paid for producing manuals that bring real benefits to readers. In fact, you can expect to make more money for each sale than any top-selling writer ever receives. That's one of the amazing things about information products sold online. Write a book about earning from videography, for example, find a publisher and get it into bookstores, and you might make a buck or two from the $24.95 cover price. Write the same book and put it on ClickBank and you can charge $50 and receive over 90 percent of the sales price. It's a huge difference, and it's having a real effect on anyone considering turning what they know into a product that can help others. And it's the help the book brings to others that's the point. Selling ebooks is never about the product. It's about what the product can do for the people who buy it. That's why anyone can be an author. Everyone has access to some specialized knowledge that other people want to know… and would pay to know. If you're a doctor, you've got plenty of knowledge about staying healthy that other people would love to enjoy too. If you're a top-selling insurance agent, you've got all sorts of sales strategies that business owners would love to hear about. If you collect model railways, every other model railway enthusiast would want to know where you buy your trains and how you keep them running.

If you have information that other people want to know — and everyone has information like this — then you can create a book that can pick up sales on ClickBank.
1.2 Choosing A Topic
ClickBank offers publishers a broad range of categories. Traditional publishing is a difficult business. Publishers have to pay an advance to their writers. They have to pay the printers, the graphic designers, the editors and the transportation costs involved in getting the books to the stores. And then they have to find ways to persuade the stores to put their books in places where buyers are likely to see them. Most books don't make those costs back. Publishers hope to fund them by producing the odd blockbuster that covers the expenses of all the loss leaders. That means that publishers are very choosy about the books that they agree to take on. They want to be sure that each book will generate enough sales to cover their expenses, and they want to keep their list of loss-making publications to a minimum. The result is that publishers tend to focus on a few topics that they're reasonably confident will make money. ClickBank works in a very different way. It makes no difference to ClickBank whether it's offering a hundred books or a million. It doesn't matter whether those books are explaining the secret to working the money markets or teaching people how to knit a sweater their grandchildren will love. It doesn't even matter to ClickBank if those books never sell a copy, and if no book it offers ever receives more than three downloads each.

That's because it doesn't cost ClickBank a penny to offer products on its site. It doesn't have to shell out for printing costs or any other up-front fees. All it has to do is offer a list of products that affiliates might want to sell and give those affiliates a way of getting paid for them. That hardly costs a thing and it means that Clickbank has no reason to say no to any book because it doesn't think the topic will sell. In theory then, you could write a book on any subject you can think of, place it on ClickBank and earn from it. In practice though, what you'll find is that there are far more books on ClickBank that promise to make you rich than there are books that promise to keep you nice and warm in a hand-knitted sweater. There's a very good reason for that. If you're asking someone to fork out $25 for a book, they'll expect to be informed and entertained. If you're asking them to fork out $50 for a book, they'll expect their money back... That's a much easier expectation to meet if the book explains how to make a fortune selling lemonade from your garage, or how to work two hours a day outsourcing everything you do to a team of beavers in Burkina Faso.

It's not too hard to justify charging $50 — or more — for products like these.

A book like this is certainly one option and anyone can write it. All you have to do is think about how what you know could help someone else earn some money. So if you coached a junior soccer team, you could write a book explaining how to set up a business selling sports equipment. All you'd have to do is describe what you know about the companies you deal with every week. If you love cooking, you could write a book explaining how to sell recipes, market cakes or become a personal chef. And if you're an insurance agent, a financial analyst or a Realtor, you shouldn't have any problem at all coming up with a book idea that promises to make people money. But that doesn't mean you should. Books like these are a crowded market. You have to be able to persuade people that you really can deliver the results your book promises and you have to persuade them that it's worth $50 or whatever you're planning to charge for it. The Web is full of books that promise to make people rich, so you'll need an excellent landing page to stand out, build trust and generate sales. They're not for everyone. An alternative option then is just to create a book that teaches people to do something that you know... and other people would like to know. That could be a book about soccer coaching techniques. It could be a book about cooking Creole food. And it could be a book about home decoration, knitting or absolutely anything else. You might not be able to charge $50 for books like these but with the right marketing, you might sell more copies at a lower price and generate more profits overall. Most importantly, if they're topics you enjoy, they should be more fun to write... which would make them more fun to read too.

When you come to choose a topic to write then, you can either opt for a business-style book which will require hard marketing and tricky sales writing or you can go for something less commercial but more fun — and could even be equally profitable. That's a choice that only you can make.

1.3 Planning Your Book
Once you've decided on a topic — and just about any topic can work — the next stage is to decide what you want your ebook to say. This is actually the most important part of preparing a document — and the hardest. Once you've got this behind you, the writing will be relatively easy. Fortunately, there is a way to make the planning easy. You can cheat. Buy two or three books through ClickBank on a topic similar to yours. You should own them anyway to see what your competitors are doing. Head down to your local Borders, order a giant cappuccino and load up on other books on the topic. Then take a look at the tables of contents in each of those books. Those are the books' layouts. Pay attention to the topics each volume covers and how the subjects are organized. Decide which subjects you have to include. There will probably quite a few of those — maybe chapters describing the background of your topic or basic steps that everyone needs to know. Then list the original content that only your book will contain. That should give you all of your chapter headings. You can then fill in the details by sketching sub-headings for each of those chapters too. This sounds like a lot of work, but in practice it isn't. It's very simple and shouldn't take you too long to do at all.

In fact, the degree to which you struggle over the preparation of the book's layout is a pretty good sign of how good the book will be. If the ideas flow quickly, then that's a solid indication that you've thought about the topic and know it well enough to write about it easily. If you struggle with the layout, you could well find yourself struggling with the writing too... and maybe even never finishing it. Planning your book shouldn't be difficult at all, especially if you take your lead from other books on the topic. But there's another way shortcut you can take: you can hire someone else to do it for you.

1.4 Hiring A Ghostwriter
Elance is stuffed with writers who can create your information products for you. The biggest advantage of creating and selling digital products is that once the system is up and running, it's effort-free. With your ebook on ClickBank and affiliates pushing sales for you, you'll be able to kick back and cash the checks. But you'll first have to write the ebook and that's where most of the effort lies.

If you like writing — and you're good at it — you can do it yourself. You can set yourself an hour a day, churn out a couple of pages in that time and keep going until your product is done. (The longer the book, the better — online, quantity counts — but 70 pages of rock-solid information can be enough to generate sales.) Or you can hire a writer and ask a professional to do it for you. Elance is a good place to look and the writers at could help you too. Be sure to check the reviews and don't be tempted to go for the lowest bid. You often get what you pay for when it comes to writing services, so make sure that you choose a writer who's written on your topic, writes clearly and can deliver on time. It's also a good idea to give the writer your layout rather than rely on your hired hand to produce all the concepts for you. You might not be doing the writing but the ideas should be yours — that's what the public will be paying for. Finally — and most importantly — calculate how many sales you'll need to make before you've earned back the cost of the ebook. A good, professional writer can cost several thousand dollars depending on the size of the book, and will probably be your biggest expense. You want to be certain that you'll get that money back.

1.5 Setting A Price
One of the most important factors in any commercial business is getting the price point of the products right. With ClickBank — for better or worse — much of that power is out of your hands. But not all of it, and the power that's left to you is very important. It's very easy to get the pricing wrong, find that you're not making any sales and dismiss the whole system. That would be a big mistake. The trap is that ClickBank sets limits for the amount you can charge. The lowest you can sell a standard product for is $3 and the highest is usually $50.

When you submit your product for approval, ClickBank will tell you the maximum amount that you can charge. The temptation then is to charge that amount. That's not always a good idea. We've already seen that some products can be sold at higher prices than others. Just because ClickBank lets you sell your guide to homestyle knitting for $50 doesn't mean that that's the price that will maximize your revenues. You might well find that a much lower price will give you many more sales and many times more profits. This is where a little research comes in handy. Create separate landing pages with different price points and spend a few weeks marketing each one of them. The text and the sales message will be exactly the same. The only difference between the pages will be the price of the product. (You could use a tool like to make the marketing easier. This lets you enter a number of different URLs and receive one link in return. When users click that link they'll be taken to one of those URLs at random.) You could either sell the book right from that page or announce that the book will be released shortly and take email addresses from people who are interested. Over a short space of time, you should be able to see which of the sales points generates the most revenues overall.

1.6 Creating Recurring Sales
I've mentioned that the main advantage of ClickBank's system is that once your product has been created and affiliates busy promoting it, you can kick back and enjoy the income. Your affiliates though will be busy. They'll have to keep bringing in new buyers. Someone who's bought your ebook once is unlikely to come back and order a second copy. Create a product that has a subscription model however, and you can enjoy repeat sales from every buyer.

Instead of selling one product to one buyer — and never seeing them again — you'll be able to continue selling products to people you know are interested in your content. It's a fantastic way to generate continuous revenue and get more out of each sale, but it does require a little thought. The first thing you have to consider is that ClickBank has lower maximum prices for rebilling. The top rate for standard products is $50; for subscriptions, it's $30. While that can still be a sizable amount of money — it's more than the price of most books in stores — you might want to think about creating smaller products rather than complete 100-page ebooks when you're earning much less for them. Newsletters can be good solutions, as can a series of short reports on a range of topics in your field. Remember though, whatever you provide has to offer real value! Buyers will be quick to cancel their subscriptions if they don't feel they're getting their money's worth. Each time you send them a product, you have to persuade them that their subscription fee was worth paying — and is worth paying in the future. That's only going to happen if your newsletter or reports actually provide information that your readers can use and appreciate. While offering products like these can be a great way to give yourself a steady revenue stream, they do mean a lot more work. You won't be able to just upload your product and relax. You'll have to keep working month after month to deliver the products that your customers expect regularly. It's a commitment and you'll have to know exactly how to keep it. Again, if you're happy doing the writing yourself, this should be an easy, profitable and enjoyable job. And if you want to outsource the pen-work, all you'll have to do is pass on the ideas each month to a ghostwriter and make sure that each product is good before it goes out.

Creating your own product to sell through ClickBank isn't difficult. It requires a little bit of effort and a fair amount of thought but it can be a lot of fun too.
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