Why should anyone give a sample chapter or mini-version of their book for free? The main reason – usually to sell or make money – isn’t always accomplished at the front end of the marketing process, it often comes later, and brings profits way beyond your best expectations.
Here’s how and why to use the sample chapter technique to generate leads for your info product.
- To test your idea for a new information product before spending days, weeks, months creating something nobody wants to buy. If few people request the freebie, your product is almost certainly a no-goer, similarly if the freebie is popular but results in few or no paid-for orders.
- The sample chapter can be a selling tool not only for its own full-length paid-for version but for other products too, where for example a list or catalog of additional products is included with the giveaway item. For instance, the first chapter of ‘The Way to a Man’s Heart: Cooking with Known Aphrodisiacs’ might generate interest in the paid-for version of the book and might additionally direct readers to web sites offering related info products, such as ‘1001 Ways to Be Romantic’, ‘How to Find the Man of Your Dreams, and so on. It pays to be careful, however, when including links for other people’s products, and ensure they do not detract from the real reason the sample chapter was given, namely to sell that cookery book. As for all things in mail order, direct mail, online marketing, you must test response to all your promotions.
- The first chapter can represent a ‘suck it and see’ guarantee to a product delivered in installments, such as correspondence courses, resell rights packages, and so on. If Chapter One or Module One isn’t as expected, readers can cancel their post-dated standing order or request a refund of money already paid.
- Sample chapters can be articles you’ve written for payment elsewhere, where copyright is yours, and the article or series of articles is expanded to book or course format. A popular article is its own proof of a likely best-selling book and you’ve probably completed most of the research already, and been paid for it.
- You could give the sample chapter with the full version of the product which is password protected. Readers who enjoy the test version and decide to go full length simply give credit card details through such as ClickBank and move to a ‘Thank You page’ which provides the password for the full book already in their possession. (Knowing the full-length book is sitting there, tying up space on their desktop, just screaming out to be opened and read, is all the incentive most people need to get that password fast!)
- You could write an article based on your full-length info product, but leave the reader dangling somewhere between casting the article to one side and buying your book.
Ways to do this:
- Leave questions in your article which are answered in the full-length title. Make readers curious, give cryptic clues, leave the most vital information for Part Two – the paid-for product!
- Offer articles to editors and publishers of print and online publications and end with questions that are answered at your website where readers can buy books related to the subject of the article.
- Get readers to subscribe to your eZine where you’ll answer those niggling
questions and in autoresponder follow-ups, you’ll promote your main book to the very limit of temptation!
- The free sample gives credibility to you and your writing ability. People know the book has – probably – already been written, and is of similar quality to what they’ve already sampled. If they have money and they like your work, they’ll buy. Probably!
- The sample chapter can include a content listing for the full-length version, where readers can check the length (yes some people still believe quantity outshines quality) and you can induce sales with tempting chapter titles and snippets. It’s a good idea to give the page numbers on which certain highlighted features occur, especially where pages run into triple figures (again, never mind the quality, feel the width), and chapter headings are themselves deliciously vague. Like this:
“Here’s a sneak preview of ‘1001 Easy Ways to Get Rich Overnight!’
- How to live in a luxury home without having a mortgage and never having to pay a penny rent (Chapter Twenty Four, Page 201)
- The four-letter word that gets you everything you want out of life, and more! (Chapter Twenty Five, Page 273)
- How to get a brand new car and drive it away without having to pay! (Chapter Twenty Six, Page 307)
- Four words that guarantee you free travel for the rest of your life! (Chapter Twenty Nine, Page 406)”
- People will retain your sample chapter far longer than they will normally keep a sales letter, especially of the printed variety, or on a website with a domain name they’ll soon forget. So although the majority of people will buy the full-length product quite soon after receiving the freebie, you might still get a steady trickle of sales later when busy people find time to read your sample chapter.
Never forget the most common reason of all is to tempt readers of the free info product to click on the link on the very last page where they find your order form and BUY YOUR BOOK!