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Physical Books VS eBooks, Cheap PPC, Author Problems and Selling Effectively with Your Ezine

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Do you ever feel “guilty” that you aren’t reading enough? I sure do. There is so much out there that I should have read and even more coming out every week that I should be keeping up with.

Whenever I start to feel this way I remind myself that I only have a certain number of hours in the day and can’t do everything.

I always try and alternate between fiction and non fiction. That way I won’t get as bored.

Years ago I sat next to Ted Koppel (Nightline) on a flight and asked him his three favorite works of fiction. He looked at me like I had just asked him to take off his pants. Clearly he doesn’t (or didn’t) read much fiction and the question made him uncomfortable.

I try to read something every so often that I would have never picked on my own. This frequently gives me a perspective that I would seldom have on my own.

If you’re a die hard liberal, pick up a book by a “crazy” conservative. If you’re a Libertarian like me, read something by a socialist. If your beliefs are solid, they will stand up to questioning.


Physical vs. Ebooks

I just finished a site that I have called: As you may know, I give out a link to my ebooks for people to get copies of 5 of my most popular books. You may have gotten on this list as a result of downloading those books. Thank you if you did.

Once again, feel free to give out the link to any and everyone you know.

Some people, me included, prefer physical books if at all possible. One problem. It is unprofitable for me to ship and fulfill individual book orders. I spend my time trying to sell products that cost a minimum of $100.

Orders for virtually any of my audio and video products are fulfilled by someone else.

I do my own fulfillment for book orders from Amazon.

The site was set up to make it profitable for me to “sell” my own physical books. I suggest you do the same. This is particularly the case if you have multiple titles. Feel free to copy the format that I have used on this site. I think it works.

What I did was I gave the reason why I was doing what I was doing at the top of the site and then I listed each of the books and the blurb that is on the actual back cover of each of the books.

A few of them don’t have that blurb up because I just launched the site.

My idea was that this site was mainly for people who knew who I was. I am not trying to use this site to get people who don’t know me to buy books. If I get a few of those folks fine, but that was not my primary target market.

I made it so the total for the books that I offer on that site comes to just under $100. I include shipping. I suggest you try and do something similar.

I did the same thing with a bundle of audio products at a site called: You may want to take a look at this one as well.

This is a site where I have bundled a whole bunch of audio products for one set price. Again, feel free to copy my concept.

Again notice that this site is geared to those who already know who I am. I do NOT recommend that you send people to a site like this who have not bought from you before.

The line I use quite liberally at all my seminars is: “A confused mind always says no.” People who insist on sending prospects to a site that try and offer them a whole range of products and/or services are misguided in my opinion.

I instead try and send people to sites who do not yet know me or have bought from me to sites that offer ONE product and ONE product only. Take a site like:

This site is geared to getting a customer who has never seen or heard of me to buy my six hour one day seminar on Marketing and Promoting Your Own Seminars and Workshops. Once they have bought that or any other product from me I feel comfortable sending them to a site that offers them multiple options. BUT, not before they have bought something from me.


Cheap Pay Per Clicks

In order to increase the size of my list and get some more orders for ALL of my products I am using a new strategy for me.

I am looking for cheap and obscure key words that only cost a nickel a click to drive people to a site like With a product that sells for $97, I’ll break even if one in every 1900 or so people buys when they go to the site.

More important are the number of people who go to that site who then choose to join my list and receive this “wonderful” (my words, I know) ezine.

If I can get close to 2,000 people to one of my sites and get just 10% of those folks to get on my list to possibly buy future products and services from me that’s a great deal.

Here’s how I work this deal in my own head. If 1900 people visit the site and just one buys, it pays for the entire campaign. The 200 sign ups for the ezine are essentially free. I’ll give you a report on my numbers in future ezines to let you know what happened but I’m being VERY conservative here.

Use a program like to come up with lots of keywords that cost you very little up front cash.

Your action point?

Try and find any and every way to build the size of your list at break even or better with every creative means that you can.

Some people thought I was CRAZY to “give away” copies of 5 of my ebooks through the link. As a result of the viral element of this link I’ve been getting around 500 additional people join my list every WEEK!

Do the same yourself.

Find a way to give away something of value to people and then ASK them to help you spread the word.

Feel free to send any and all of your friends to the link:

Just doing that in this publication and mentioning that link at any and all of my events has helped build my list very quickly.

Many people would say I’m nuts to give away my valuable content. Not if you understand the long term value of a customer. I’m willing to sacrifice a few dollars of profit on the “front end” to get people onto my list to buy other products and services from me.


Selling Effectively with Your Ezine

I have discovered something very interesting from doing this ezine. No matter how much people know and like me, I can always sell more when I get people to click on a link and go to a separate site to buy something.

Trying to “sell” in an ezine is tough. Instead, I suggest you suggest that people visit a site to hear more about a given topic.

That site should be set up to then “sell” people on buying that product or service.

My problem has been this. I crank out lots of products. I find that part easy and fun. My issue has always been cranking out the sales letters and copy to match the products that I create.

Here’s an example. I just finished a product with my new friend Mike Koenigs. An absolute genius when it comes to things technical that relate to audio and video product production.

Our first (and I sure hope not the last) product had to do with using Ebay to sell more information products.

I can tell you all about this product but it wouldn’t be nearly as effective as sending you to a site that had a complete sales letter.

Many people actually suggest you write your sales letter before you do your product. They say the same about writing the back copy of a book before writing the book.

I agree. Why don’t I do it? I’m not as confident about writing copy as I am creating products. Why? because I haven’t done it as much or as often. I sometimes find the writing of copy difficult. Why? I haven’t done as much of it.

How to overcome this problem?

Do lots of writing. Copywriting that is. For that matter, do lots of any kind of writing.

But remember, you’ll make a lot more money selling things in audio/video form.


Author Problems

Almost every day I have an author contact me about their latest book. I listen to the same story just about every time.

Earlier today I got a message from someone who asked me if I would be interested in helping to promote his book in exchange for a “piece of the action.”

If you can’t make your own book, how much more success am I likely to have?

They tell me about their book and how great it is. They want my help to sell it. I usually end up sending them to my friend, John Kremer (1001 Ways to Market Your Book) because he is the definitive expert on that topic.

Before I give them his name I always ask them what their goal for their book is. They usually tell me how they want to “change the planet” with their work. This is fine and dandy but if you want to effect real change, concentrate on building a business that throws off cash so you can give money to causes you believe in and thus change the planet.

Your “hobby” of writing books won’t be nearly as helpful to the causes you believe in as building a business that revolves around a line of information products that starts with your book.

I look at my books as loss leaders for all of my other products and services. This has served me well and I highly recommend that you follow my lead.

Authors and well intentioned folks who often don’t understand the business model of publishing. The REAL money comes from everything that you sell people AFTER you sell them your book.

The main purpose of the book is to capture email addresses and build your list. Don’t forget that if you are trying to build a business, not a hobby!


Fight Club

My friend Ed Dale (as well as some of his partners) use this term often when they do their seminars and events.

It refers to the movie with Brad Pitt.

Interesting movie. A little violent for my taste, but the point that he makes is “spot on” (Ed spends part of the year in the UK).

If you have something in your business that is working then keep your mouth SHUT!

As the movie says, the first rule of Fight Club is: Don’t talk about fight club!

If you have found a business model that works, don’t share things that would hurt you and your business by sharing it.

There are many people who will take your ideas and blatantly rip you off if you tell them about what you’re doing.

Frank Kern, one of Ed’s partners, shares the story of how he was doing a seminar and used his “Teach Your Parrot to Talk” ebook as an example. Within a matter of weeks there were 10 or more ebooks on the same topic. Where did these come from? From people who attended the event where Frank explained his concept and “borrowed” the idea and created their own version of the ebook.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Expect people to be dishonest and you’ll NEVER be disappointed.

A bit cynical? Yes. True? Absolutely.



I’m about to head off to the yearly meeting of the National Speakers Association. This year it’s being held in Atlanta.

(Update: I WAS going to go to the event, but decided I couldn’t go).

Atlanta in the summer? Rates must be cheaper!

I enjoy going to these events because I get to hear some interesting people speak AND to see and hang out with old friends and colleagues.

It is true however, that it is tough to get a word in edgewise at these conventions.

You can learn a lot more by listening than you can by talking. Don’t share that with this group! I have done experiments where I have asked someone a question at one of these events and had them go on for hours about themselves and their businesses.

They left without even knowing my name in many cases.

I used to do a lot of running around at these events trying to network. I don’t do that anymore.

This group (and I love them dearly) are the classic violators of the Fight Club principle. Most of these folks are doing and using the exact same model.

A large percentage of the group makes very little money.

Why? because they go to these events, copy what others are doing and expect to make money. I suggest you consider doing the OPPOSITE of what everyone else is doing. This method has worked great for me for the past 20 years.

In 1979 (in graduate school) I read a book by a guy named Robert Anthony (who I have since met) called “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is.” Great little book at the time.

This book inspired me to get into the speaking business.

After being fired for the 5th time, I finally did so full time in 1984. Around the same time I looked around and observed those speakers who are the most successful. What did they all have in common?


So it started early for me. I started producing products. I also noticed that generic products sold for much less than more specific niche products. What did I do? I started targeting individual niches rather than mass markets.

It’s much easier to charge bigger bucks for products that target a small and specific niche.


Remember to check for my complete list of products and services that I recommend!

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