Stop Making These 4 Ebook Selling Mistakes That Kill Your Sales

Creating and selling ebook is one of the best ways to open a steady stream of passive online income. As a blogger, the best thing about ebook creation is you don’t need to possess extra skills to create the product. All you need to do is to do what you’re really good at- writing. In fact, instead of writing an ebook from scratch, you can even re-purpose your published blog post and convert it to an ebook.

In a blogger’s perspective, writing an ebook may be an easy task. The toughest part is acquiring customers to sell your ebook. Having experience in creating and selling ebooks, the one thing I can say is selling a product isn’t an easy task and it should never be overlooked.

In this post, I’ll explain a few ebook selling mistakes (the worst sales mistakes) almost every newbie blogger used to commit and how to avoid them in order to make the sales process streamlined and focused.

ebook selling mistakes

Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong platform

Although you’re not required to be a tech savvy person to start selling your ebook, you’ll need to be aware of different platforms and choose the right one for selling yours. There are many ways to sell an ebook from your blog. Some of them are:

  • E-junkie: E-junkie is the easiest way to setup a digital product on your blog, so you can start selling without worrying the technicalities of selling. It requires a monthly fee of $5.
  • Marketplace: Unlike E-junkie, you don’t need to pay a monthly fee if you’re selling on a marketplace such as Amazon or Lulu. The product visibility is higher as there are thousands of potential buyers on the marketplace, so you can sell it to people who are not actually your blog readers. You only need to pay when you make a sale.
  • Using ecommerce plugins: If you prefer self-hosted selling, you may use premium ecommerce plugins like Easy Digital Downloads.

When I started selling an ebook for the first time, I chose e-junkie to sell my ebook, but it was the wrong decision. The ebook is about Google Summer of Code, a summer based Google internship program for students.

Because the ebook was a seasonal product, most customers used to buy it during the summer. And the sales won’t be rolling out throughout the year. As e-junkie requires a monthly platform fee, I later decide to release it on a marketplace instead of using e-junkie, so I can save paying the monthly fee.

Pro tip: Before picking a platform, take a look at different aspects of selling on that platform, and ask yourself if it is profitable to you. This will help you make a better choice.

Mistake #2: Not building an email list

Regardless of the niche you’re in, when it comes to selling an ebook, your email list is your biggest online asset. If you’re not still convinced to start an email list, chances are you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

When a visitor lands on your blog, it’s likely that he won’t be ready to buy your ebook right away. By encouraging him to subscribe to your list, you’re building a strong bond with your potential customer. With proper nurturing, you can convert your leads into customers.

Recommended reading: Exactly how I increased my email open rates by 300%

Pro tip: Start building an email list from your blog. Use free plugins like Optin forms, so you can create beautiful sign up forms without having to tweak it.

In addition, create a landing page for growing your list. If you’re on WordPress, you can find lots of different landing page plugins. Enstine has recently purchased Thrive Landing Page plugin. Make sure you read his review before jumping in to pick a landing page plugin.

Mistake #3: Following your instinct without validating it

When it comes to making a decision, most of us follow our instinct before testing and validating it. However, while making a business decision if you don’t validate your instinct, chances are it may ruin your overall sales.

Let me talk about my case.

Back in 2012, when I launched my first ebook, I made a wrong assumption that if I rank my landing page on a particular keyword, I could end up making lots of sales. Back then, my marketing strategy was primarily focused on SEO and as a result, I even succeeded in ranking my landing page on top of SERPs.

However, a lot of sales I made were through forum marketing rather than from my SEO efforts. It is because the niche of the ebook is too narrow, so does the keyword search volume.

Before jumping in to focus on SEO, if I had checked the keyword search volume, I would have focused on other marketing strategies, in turn making more number of sales.

Pro tip: Never get into assumptions. Instead, validate it before jumping in to follow them.

Mistake #4: Not networking enough

Ryan Biddulph has recently launched an ebook on Amazon. I was amazed how he got many verified Amazon reviews so quickly.

Ryan ebook review

If you know Ryan, you’ll probably know that he’s very good at networking and had connections with many bloggers including me and Enstine Muki, the owner of this blog.

Wondering how did he get such awesome respond for his ebook?

It’s simple. He outreached different bloggers and asked them to download the ebook for free, share it on their social profiles and write a product review on Amazon. Best of all, bloggers are humans. They like to help each other, so if you underestimated the potential of networking, you should look at his case and the result he gains.

Always remember that the general rule of thumb of networking is to give them first before asking them anything. Comment regularly on different blogs, write a review for others ebooks and create a strong relationship with them before asking a favor.

Over to you

A lot of bloggers are making a six-figure income by selling ebooks. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find many self-publishing success stories. While selling, make sure to avoid the four mistakes I pointed out above.

Did you start selling ebooks on your blog? Would you like more points to add to the list? Share it in the comments section and let us know your thoughts.

27 thoughts on “Stop Making These 4 Ebook Selling Mistakes That Kill Your Sales”

  1. Hi Shahzad,

    A nice post indeed.Here you identify 4 major mistakes which every newbie blogger often do it.
    Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong platform,Not building an email list,
    Following your instinct without validating These are the mistakes which many blogger are made.
    At end of the post you mention the their solution.This solve of the this problem make this post very attractive.
    Maqbool Azam

  2. I like the part about the email list. Many people dont regard it as important anymore because social networking kinda took over, but emailing is still a good way to keep your customers updated. Most of the people in the world still use email to stay up to date with daily events, so they will always read your message. Might give you some more sales!

  3. This is so true. Simply take a gander at copywriting as figuring out how to impart all the more adequately, if you are publishing the Ebook, don’t try to post the junk material which user often neglect to read.

  4. This is a great post Shahzad & Enstine,

    These are some very good tips. As you’ve mentioned, no matter what niche you’re in, it is very important to build an email list. People are so busy these days, that they might forget about you, even if they do not mean to. An email list will act as a steady reminder as they are receiving your emails. The other tips you’ve mentioned are just as important, especially when it comes down to correcting mistakes.

    Thank you for sharing these great tips. 🙂

  5. I think blogger outreach is a much under-utilized tactic. It seems all the pro bloggers use it successfully. A little digging to find the right people to connect with and an Excel sheet to track progress are probably the most deciding factors in a blogger’s success!

  6. You don’t need to become a world class copywriter. Just look at copywriting as learning how to communicate more effectively. A better way to get your message across to your prospect. The better you can communicate what you have and how it can change their lives, the more likely they are to pay attention to what you have to say and buy your products.

  7. Hi Shahzad and Enstine. I’m trying my hand at writing an e-book right now that I plan to give away on my website as an opt-in incentive. If it goes well then I could see myself writing more and possibly wanting to market them. Thanks for pointing out things to keep in mind should I go that rough in the future.

  8. Hi Shahzad and Enstine,

    Thanks for your very helpful post.

    I’ve only written one ebook and instead of selling it, I used it as an opt-in bribe to build my list.

    I have thought about the ‘make money from selling ebooks’ strategy. Whether the result justifies the effort is the main stumbling block for me.

    But your post offers lots of useful information for people who have made the decision to write and sell ebooks. I particularly like the section on networking – an essential activity for any marketer.

    Good work!


  9. Hi, Shahzad, feeling good to see you on Enstine’s blogs. And thank’s for this information.
    looking forward to more from you and Enstine.
    Best wishes.

  10. Ryan is a genius and he is getting a large number of books on Amazon and he seems to be doing well. Good luck to him. Making money from selling ebook is possible but not an easy task as there is a lot of cheap internet marketers who are churning out useless books. But as long as its done properly its possible.

  11. Hey Shahzad,

    Firstly, i want to say thanks to Enstine for inviting and allowing you to uncovered this secret on how to mistakes creating and selling ebook.

    I felt delighted reading this powerful resource, because i just took the bull by the horns by creating my first ebook How To Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Business ( which is at final), after reading several times here and other platform, that to make money online your MUST Sell something. This has really spurred to creating my first ebook as Enstine always saying you must sell what you know about.

    So, the tips you mentions here are additional guides for me to avoid making mistakes selling my ebook when its finally ready.

    Thanks so much for sharing this tips.

  12. Hi Enstine and Shahzad,

    Great points to selling E-Books. I was just thinking as I read your post that confidence in yourself has a lot to do with it too. I used to feel like I was bugging and pestering people when I promoted my books.

    A lesson learned is that you have to have confidence in yourself and network more. It’s not directly about the sale but about the engagement and what you can help “them” with. Does your book solve their problem? If you are targeting the right people, then “yes” it will solve their problem and it’s a win/win benefit for both.

    Thanks for the great post.

    • You’re right about confidence Monna especially when you’re promoting your product. Completely agree with you.

      Network more and help others, so you can ask others confidently to promote your own product.

  13. Hi Shahzad,

    Very informative post for everyone who is looking to sell an ebook.
    I’m still working on building my email list, which is a work in progress in itself.

    Networking is what i’m also working on.

  14. Hi Shahzad,

    So nice to see you today on Enstine’s blog.

    This is a great resource for anyone looking to sell ebooks online.

    I actually sell digital info products via affiliate networks, like WSO, JVZoo etc.

    They’re not ebooks, though, but usually video trainings of some sort. However, affiliate sites like these are great ways to repurpose ebooks into training courses, and it’s really more how you promote it than it is about changing the content significantly.

    I never like the technology involved in upload, download, zip file and all that. So I make all my products web based, protected by member scripts. BTW, you can do that with ebooks, too, just upload your pdf as a media file and you’ve got your ebook live online!

    Pick a payment gate and you’re in business.

    I love the nuts and bolts info here, and will pass it on to some of my students who I know will be able to use it.


    • Donna,
      Thanks for your valuable comment and I am glad that you liked the post.

      Never tried affiliate networks like JVZoo. At a glance, it looks like a Clickbank alternative for me.
      Thanks again

  15. Hi Saeed,
    very nice post. The best thing I got from this post of your is not working enough. and also, its good to see you on Enstine’s blog
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hi Shahzad – I have done 2 eBooks and used Smashwords. I found it hard to use their technical guidelines and had to hire help via Fivver. I want to do it differently for my new one coming up and this post gives me a lot of tips. I’ve been building an email list and that does make quite a difference as does networking like Ryan has done.
    Thank you and have a great day, hi Enstine!

  17. Woo!
    I believe that learning the mistakes in a particular field to avoding them is 3 times better than just learning best strategy.
    I really enjoyed your info cloud, especially, Not building an email list element.

  18. Thanks Shah ad for this great information. I leant a lesson today.

    But, what is the best way to build email list on blogspot. Thanks once more.

    I blogs at

    • @Joseph
      It doesn’t matter which platform you are using (Blogger or WordPress), you can use Autoresponders like Aweber for it.

      Giving some free stuff like ebooks, video tutorial, free tool list, etc. when they subscribed, it is very helpful to build a list fast.

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