Armand Gives a Run Down of Your Options When It Comes Down to Making a Profit on Your Book
So far in this series, we’ve talked about writing your book, recording it, and proofreading and editing it. We even talked about designing the cover. Now let’s talk about something that’s near and dear to all
authors… making money with your book!
I’m assuming you have your book written at this point. So, let’s talk about what can be done with your book. Let’s look at using this book in a different fashion than most authors.
A lot of people want to use their book to make money, to become known or get their message out. These are all reasons to write a book, and there is nothing wrong with that.
One of the ways to accomplish this is to give the book away for free; the reader just pays a shipping and handling fee. We’ve all seen this process time and again over the past few years. You go to the website and see the offer for the free book with only a shipping and handling charge. You order the book by paying the fee AND giving them your email address. They will ultimately try to sell you something else along the way.
My friend, Russell Brunson does this. Just look up Russell or some of his books, for example, “DotComSecrets” is at https:// dotcomsecrets.com/get-dcs-free . He usually charges around $7.95 for US shipping and handling and around $14.95 for International shipping. As you look at Russell’s various books, you’ll see different videos, but the offer basically stays the same.
Anik Singal uses the same formula, https://escapebook.com/ freebook/. If you look at the two pages you will see they are very similar. They have a video, a picture of the book, a place to order, AND…you get the book for FREE! Of course, we both know that you just gave them your email address, and they will follow up with other stuff for you to buy.
Look up some of the books by Russell, Anik and others, and you’ll see they all use the same basic “FREE BOOK” strategy. I constantly observe these and other marketing strategies. With these offers, you typically see the “free book” followed by an upsell. The upsell could be for a relatively low cost, $30, $40 item or, in other cases something priced in the hundreds of dollar range.
I looked and studied these cases and found there was a glaring mistake in the process. It was so glaring that I couldn’t believe they hadn’t discovered it. The free book was on a particular topic but many times, the upsell was on a different topic. The product upsell the author really wanted people to purchase was on an entirely different subject. This creates a disconnect.
I feel that the upsell should be an enhancement, an expanded
version of the topic covered in the book. After all they have already expressed their interest in that topic by ordering the book and paying the shipping and handling for it. My thought is that they would increase conversions to the upsell if it was expanding on the same topic.
I changed the scenario with my Success Leaves Traces book. I created my own version of the process. If you look at their pages and look at mine, you will see similarities. Just like theirs I have a video, order for etc., but I’ve added a couple of things that are missing on their sites.
The initial website I created in order to use my book, Success Leaves Traces, was made some time ago but it followed along the “free book with an upsell” concept. I made some improvements to the way others did it and was very successful with them. That website is no longer up so I’ll explain it here. The website we have up now, SuccessLeavesTraces.com, uses a different concept. I will talk about that later on in this article.
Compared to their sites, my original website was very simple, but it contained some crucial elements that theirs is missing.
For instance, where were their social media buttons. (they may have added it by now). I added those buttons underneath my video. The addition of those buttons has given me a lot of free traffic. I wasn’t always a fan of adding social media to a web page, but Mike Filsaime changed my mind.
I was doing some research on the Internet and ran across a video Mike had up. I saw he had social media buttons underneath it. I thought this was stupid, but I logged into Facebook and checked it out. I saw he had 900+ likes for the video. I couldn’t believe people would watch a video and then “like” it. The next time I talked to Mike, I asked him about it. I said, “Dude, what the heck is with those ‘likes’ on Facebook. Are those fake numbers?” He assured me they were real numbers. He said people just like it and click the button to let their friends know they liked it.
I was sold on it! So, I started adding the buttons to a lot of stuff I was doing. They look cool and are very functional.
Looking at Russell’s site, I see that the words “Free Copy” appear in several places. Now, I know Russell is a pretty smart guy and tests everything, so I added it to my website. I put the words “free copy” in my video and had the words appear through my text on the web page.
I decided to make my video short. It was only four minutes and 34 seconds. Basically, it said, “My name is Armand Morin and I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life” (then I talked about a few of them). I then asked them if they would like to know how I did those cool things. Then, I let them know I created a brand-
new system called, “Success Leaves Traces” that shows how they can achieve outstanding results in their life. I let them know that I reveal my success secrets in a brand-new book called, Success Leaves Traces. I told them how they could order the “free book” by clicking the button. That was it for my video—short and sweet.
Under the video I have my social media buttons and some testimonials below that. I kept both the video and the sales letter short.
One of the things I didn’t like about the other sites using this “free” method was their video and sales letter were too long. After all, it’s a book and we’re giving it away! We shouldn’t need long videos and sales letters to give away a free book.
Just like all the others, I charged shipping and handling. I charged
$7.95 for US sales and $19.95 for orders shipped internationally. We originally charged $14.95 for international shipping and handling, but we were losing money on each book we shipped so we raised it to $19.95. Raising the international shipping and handling price $5 did not inhibit international orders in any way.
To the right of the video, I had a form where they filled in their name, address, email etc. Once they fill that out, they click the “Claim Your Free Book” button. This takes them to the actual order form. It’s pre-filled in with their name and address (it carried over from the form they filled out on the sales page). They only need to enter their phone number and credit card info on the actual order form. That’s it!
We make it easy for them to order!
Pay attention to this next piece—it’s very important.
When people filled out the form on the sales letter page they were immediately added to an autoresponder. Now, we all know, there are a certain percentage of people who will not complete the order process. Those that do not finish the order process go into a special autoresponder. It’s set to wait one hour. If it does not detect an order within one hour, it sends them an email saying something similar to… “there appears to be a problem with your order for the free book. Here’s a link where you can go back and order your free book.” If they click the link, it takes them back to the order page.
If they DO purchase, they are added to an autoresponder that sends them an email thanking them for their order. And they are taken to the Thank You page which says something similar to… “Thank you very much for ordering your free book. We have something special that we would like to share with you…” We then offer them our Success Leaves Traces course, which is the video version of our book which contains screen shots etc. It normally sells for $197, but if they order here, they get it for $97 which is 50% discount.
Let’s do a little recap here.
- They fill in their name, address, email and click the button to claim their free book.
- They are added to an autoresponder and taken to the order page.
- The order form is partially filled out for them they only need to enter their credit card info and phone number.
- If they complete the order, they are taken to a Thank You page where they are offered an up-sell THAT’S ON THE SAME TOPIC AS THE FREE BOOK!
- If they do not complete the order, they are added to an autoresponder that will resend them the order link in one hour.
- We receive either $7.95 or $19.95 (depending on where the book is shipped to) which gives us a dollar or two profit on book/shipping cost.
So, even if they don’t take the upsell, we make a dollar.
Let’s look at the numbers and see how this converted for us.
On the front end, we had a 15.4% conversion where people ordered the book. We then had a 12.7% conversion on the upsell.
But…it’s not over once they receive the book. The book shipped in a packet that has our logo and return address in the upper left-hand corner. Inside the packet, they find our book and inside the book they find two pieces of paper. One promotes Marketing University.
“Try my new Marketing University. Want to know how I’ve successfully built multi-million-dollar businesses? Good news. Now you can learn the exact strategies I use every single day, but you can’t find anywhere else. Everything you need to turn any business into a powerful marketing machine. Go to MarketingUniversity.com.”
The second paper says…
“I want to make you famous. Take a picture of the new Success Leaves Traces book and post it to Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #successleavestraces. We’ll be doing a drawing for an Amazon gift card to random book owners. You could be one of them!”
I should have also included Instagram. We then continue to market to those who did not buy the up-sell to join Marketing University.
So why do I think my system is just a little bit better than the other systems out there? I know Russell has sold a boatload of books, probably in excess of 100,000 copies. I think the way he sells books is amazing; it’s probably one of the best systems out there. I think he could still improve dramatically though.
Russell, for example, sells a book on Dot Com Secrets which talks about different marketing strategies and other good stuff. But…he then tries to up-sell people into ClickFunnels which is his website building software. I see this as a disconnect. On the one hand he gives them a great book on marketing strategies and then says, “here’s a website building software you can buy.”
Do your research, and you’ll find that others have an even bigger disconnect. Let’s look at it a little differently, and it may be easier to see the disconnect. Let’s say you order your free book, How to Grow Roses, but your upsell is a course on how to grow tomatoes. Or, I give you a free book all about Corvette sports cars and then offer you an upsell that’s all about Volkswagens. They are two distinctly different interests and topics.
When people come to my web page and order a copy of Success Leaves Traces which details my specific system on how to think differently and how to become more successful, they’ve just indicated to me what they are interested in. I know with 100% certainty that they want to learn about my Success Leaves Traces system. They’ve even voted with their wallet and paid the shipping and handling to get their hands on this information.
Do we know if they are interested in something else? They may be, but we don’t know what topic that would be. So why would we try to upsell them on something we don’t know they are interested in? We do know they are interested in the information in the book they are purchasing for shipping and handling. So, instead of trying to interest them in something else, why not upsell to a video version of the book. My upsell makes the following offer…
How would you like to get access to the video version of this book? I just spent two days teaching this brand-new system, Success Leaves Traces, and we recorded the whole thing on video. Right now, we have a special offer for you. In the future, we’re going to be selling this for $197.
But right now—today only—you’re going to get access to this training instantly and more importantly, you’re going to get it for 50% off.
That’s a 50% discount, which means instead of paying
$197, you’re only going to pay $97 today in order to get the complete system!
Let’s think about this for a second. We make them an offer, not just in any kind of offer but a substantial offer. We’re giving them a 50% discount from the $197 that we plan on charging in the future.
We have 12% of the people that actually see that offer and take us up on that $97 training. This $97 training which they get instant access to and can start watching it immediately is the same information as is in the book.
When the book arrives in the mail, they can use it like a workbook that goes along with the training. They now have the physical version, and they also get the video version, the home study course, which they can start watching immediately. And then if they like that, they have the option of upgrading into Marketing University, which is the next level I offer on this topic.
I have one rule that you want to take note of…spend a couple extra bucks and do it right. I went to www.envelopes.com, and I bought envelopes with my logo printed on them. I bought them a little bigger than the book so that it easily fit into the envelope. I ordered 1,000 of these, and they cost 15 cents each because I had the logo professionally printed in the upper left-hand corner.
I didn’t want to use generic, cheap envelopes that would make me look like a cheap startup. I wanted to make a positive impression on them.
As you can see, the process we are using is basically the same as the one others are using. We just made a few minor improvements which I feel helps my conversion numbers.
Let’s look at the numbers behind this. If you log into the Marketing University Member’s area and go to the “Best Selling Authors” training and view “Session Four” you can see how I arrived at these numbers.
I’m converting at 15% on the front end, so that means for every 100 visitors, 15 order the free book. For ease of figuring the numbers, let’s say all 100 of these lived in the U.S. so shipping and handling was $7.95 each.
$7.95 x 15 = $119.25
- Let’s say the book and envelope for shipping cost $3.50.
- Actual shipping cost is $2.50.
- Fulfillment $1.00. (I paid my daughter, Avery, $1 per book to stuff the envelope, seal it and put the address label on it.)
3.50 + 2.50 + 1 = $7.00 expense per book x 15 books = $105 expense.
My income was $119.25 – 105 expense = $14.25 profit for every 100 people that visited the sales page. That only leaves 14 cents per visitor to drive traffic to the website. That’s just not going to work… but, we also have the 12% who took the upsell.
So, we have 15 people who bought the book and 12% of them upgraded.
15 x 12% = 1.8 people. Let’s round that up to two upgrades from those 15 people.
2 sales x $97 = $194 plus the $14 profit from shipping and handling give me $208 profit.
Let’s say I reinvest half ($104) of this to advertise and get another 100 visitors. That’s roughly $1 per visitor which should be enough to drive another 100 people to the website. Rounding off the numbers, for every $100 I invest in driving traffic I bring in $208. I’m doubling my money! I spend $100 to advertise and that brings in $208. So, basically, I make $100 profit on every $100 I spend!
And, we are not even looking at how many people have joined my Marketing University membership program because of the advertisements inserted into the books.
Now, we have a business that makes sense. We just repeat the process again and again and again. The reason I included this section is to show you how important it is to know your numbers. Without working through the numbers, we may have given up after the books sales because it was not worth it. Then, we would have lost out on a lot of profit. On the other hand, if the numbers went the other way, we would know to stop before we wasted a lot of money.
What makes my system work is the fact that I am upselling them into something they have already told me they are interested in. It makes my work a lot easier.
I have to add an important explanation here. If you go to www. successleavestraces.com you will not find the website I described in this article. The reason is right now I have a different purpose for the book. I am trying to legitimately hit the number one bestseller list on not only Amazon but also in physical bookstores.
For this scenario I am doing it just the opposite. I am charging them for the book and giving them a free two-day training course. Of course, the end objective will still be to get them to join Marketing University.
To view the complete video and view my screen shots as I look at different books and websites just log into the Marketing University member’s area and search on “Best Selling Authors Training” and view “Session Four.”