Sunday, February 8, 2015

A/B Testing Ebook Marketing Methods

As mentioned in a previous post, I finally started the test!
Initially I wanted to start both methods at the same exact time, but -well- that didn't pan out because I would have to have 4 books ready at the same time. So I am starting with method A as I finish the other 2 books for method B.

A quick reminder:

Test A is Nick Stephenson's "Reader Magnets" method where you make 1 book permanently free, and the 2nd book free for subscribers to your list/website.  This method is all about growing your Email list. Also called the Lead Magnet, Funnel Marketing, or Perma-Free technique.

Test B is my own favorite method where you use traffic to your blog to sell a book, targeted specifically for readers of that blog.  The ballpark figure should be a blog with at least 200 unique hits per day.  This method does not build your Email list at all, because you want to remain anonymous, or maybe your readers want to remain anonymous and are not the type who would subscribe, maybe due to the nature of the product or blog topic.

I know this is an apples vs oranges thing, because in the 1st method it's all about Email sign-ups, and the second method is about selling straight away, but here it goes:

I'm using this book .
Results after 1 week:
37 downloads at Smashwords.
1(!?) subscriber grand total at Mailchimp.
Screenshot 2015-02-08 at 00.52.08.png
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I'm using this book.
Results after 2 weeks:
70 downloads at Smashwords.
14 subscribers grand total at Mailchimp.

Screenshot 2015-02-08 at 00.52.03.png

Lessons Learned:
Smashwords is a cool platform, but ridiculously ANAL about the description of the book, "no upselling language allowed". When I look in Kobo and iTunes they actually transferred the "upselling" description, but kept my revised description for their website only! Plus they want you to upload a WORD.DOC instead of .docx ,   WTF???! Stoneage mentality or Tech. reasons? The problem with this word.doc requirement is that the .mobi that they generate from the .doc is DEFECTIVE. Check out the screenshots (from my kindle keyboard) of the table of contents and some pics that have transparency (.png) and how they rendered in the smashwords generated .mobi:

The ToC!

A .png image —  wtf?!

Now you may say it is a technical problem on my side, BUT the Auto-vetter results from smashwords said "Congratulations! No defects in your word document!"  
To solve the problem, I opted to upload an Epub, instead of a word.doc, and -yes- , it passed easily and is now available in all the platforms that Smashwords works with, iTunes, Kobo etc. BUT, I must disable the .mobi on the site because I don't want to risk someone downloading that defective garbage and giving me a bad review.
So Smashwords is really cool, and once you figure out their quirks and criteria you can upload and be live in FIVE different platforms simultaneously really QUICK, but you really gotta massage your descriptions and word.doc's before you can get there. I recommend just going with the Epub to stay on the safe side.
Another VERY cool advantage to Smashwords, your book stays on the first page of the results if you choose your keywords wisely, here's the Navy Seals book and my Ebook Formatting guide on the first page (top 10!) still after 1 week:
I'm kind of disappointed in 1 subscriber and 14 subscribers, but do I really think I'm going to get 10,000 in the first week?

OK, that was Smashwords, what about Amazon?


The idiots blocked my Navy SEALs book. They said "too many open domain pics". WTF!? In their rejection letter they specifically state that public domain pics are allowed, then they go on to say that Wikipedia pics are not allowed... do they know what the hell "public domain" is!?
"...We don't accept books which include content that is freely available on the web unless you have sole publishing rights or they're part of the public domain. For example, content from Wikipedia and content with private label rights are not allowed..."
For my Air Force book I have F-15 pilots on my contributor team, I have a lot of the pics from the Air Force directly, however ANY and EVERY pic taken by a US Airman is by law open domain! So what if some of them are in Wikipedia too!? It's inevitable! Do they really think I'm going to rent an F-15, F-16, F-22 and an F-35 so I can get my own copyrighted pics?! Same thing for my Navy Seals book.
So this really underlines the fact that we should be growing our Email lists, this makes us platform independent, the EXACT reason for this method.  And remember in MFL — the law of CONTROL, well this is a friggin darned good example of WHY we need to stay in control.

Another problem with Amazon, in Nick's Reader Magnets, you put your funnel book for free on Smashwords and then get Amazon to price match it, well, that can take a very long time. So it lumbers around Amazon for weeks at .99cents while it is already free on Smashwords, iTunes etc. So the other book, A2  , the Ebook Formatting Guide did get accepted by "Ama-dumb", but it's still not free, after 2 weeks and me and my friends telling them to price match multiple times.

OK my friends, that's enough for now, I'll be updating regularly,  I'll show you a quick screenshot of my 200 hits per day blog below while I try to finish the 2 books for Test B, asap!
Screenshot 2015-02-08 at 00.png

What do you want me to make next? Let me know?>>>


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