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  Will your book sell on the web?
Try this 16-point checklist and find out

by Greg Spence

Copyright 2000 Greg Spence

Introduction

It is dangerous to assume that any book will sell on the web. I do not want to put you off from potentially reaching millions of readers. I am a firm believer in online publishing. At the moment publishing on the web is still in its infancy when compared to traditional print publishing, therefore not all genres are currently being bought online.

This does not mean that you cannot sell your book if itcovers a genre that isn't selling well at the moment, it just means you will have to work a little harder at promoting it online. Do not worry, within the next 5 years most if not all subjects will be bought online in similar quantities.

So to find out if your book is suitable for online publication checkout my checklist.


16-POINT BOOK EVALUATION CHECKLIST

1. - Book Quality - does your book solve someones problem, show them how to do something in a unique way, or cover a topic that no-one else has covered to date? This is important because the fastest selling books online are "How-to" books. Over 85% of people online are looking for help
with something. If you are a fiction writer does your book cover a subject that is popular online?

Make sure your book is of the best production quality it can be. If you have created an electronic book is it easily navigable, have you spell checked it, does it have short sharp paragraphs to make it more readable online?

2. - Competition - who else is online selling the type of books you write? Are they a famous name and therefore likely
to require you to work harder to get your name noticed? Is your "How to" book cover the same subject thousands of other are covering? If so, you will have a hard time getting it sold.

3. - Size of Readership - are there a sufficiently large number of readers online who are interested in your topic to make it all worthwhile for you financially.

4. - Promotability - can you book be promoted at little or no cost to you? This ensures you maximise your profit on each sale.

5. - Price - have you set a realistic price? Many ebooks online are selling at a ridiculously low price and therefore failing to make the author a decent, and much deserved, income. Price setting is the hardest thing to do when selling books online. For more information take a look at this pricing page http://www.getpub.com/myps/.

6. - Supply Exclusivity - can you make your books available from a limited source? This way you can keep your price higher. If you are selling your books from a third party website give them exclusive rights to the book for a limited period, say 1 year. This will make them work harder for you.

7. - Advantage for you to sell via the Web? - will your book lend itself to being sold over the web? If it is in digital format then the answer is Yes! If you only produce your books in print, are the costs of distributing your book, to potentially all over the world, going to eat into your profits excessively?

8. - Advantage for your reader to buy over the Web? - is it advantageous for your readers to buy your books online? Can you offer them a more competitive price, immediate download of your book, convenience?

9. - The Sizzle - can you sell the "sizzle not the steak" of your book better online?

10. - Reader Feedback - will the web help you to get better feedback from your readers? This feedback can be invaluable for your next book. Getting closer to your readers in this way will help you to sell more books.

11. - Legalities - can you legally sell your book online, or does your existing publisher control the online rights? Many do :-(

12. - Cost of Distribution - can the web help you to distribute your books more cheaply? This is where ebooks really come into their own because they are distributed direct to the reader online for next to zero cost.

13 - Cost of Inventory - is it costing you money to store your unsold printed books? This again is where ebooks come to the rescue they cost nothing to store (other than taking up some disk space on your computer).

14 - Potential for Repeat Purchase - will the web offer you a better opportunity to sell more than one book to the same reader? Email can help you to keep your name in front of your readers on a regular basis increasing the chances of selling more.

15 - Community - does the subject of your book lend itself to being discussed in a community? You may be able to start an email chat list, forum or newsletter based around the book. More and more authors are doing this as a way of getting closer to their readers.

16 - And finally...Will it be fun for you? - if writing and selling your books online is not fun then go and do something else.


Greg Spence
Get Published! Online Website

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