E-book Marketing 101
It seems like the hard part of being an e-book author is writing the book. Wrong. Writing the e-book is probably going to be the easy part. Once it's done, the real work begins. After you've created the e-book, you need to get people to buy it. Otherwise, all of that work you put in just goes to waste. For this reason, it's critical that e-book authors become experts in online marketing. You need to know how to reach an audience that is going to be willing to buy your book and what little push you need to give them to go over the edge and make the purchase.
But first things first, you'll need to create your e-book. Although the e-book will be created online, you are also going to want to create a website devoted to the e-book. The website may be specific to the e-book or it may be a general website about all of your writing, which will include the e-book. You don't have to hire a professional to create this website, but it should be professionally done. This means that you are going to need to learn how to craft a good design, get links to your website and build up the content to be search-engine friendly. If all of this sounds out of your league, read a few books or articles on creating web content for search engines and you'll see what it's all about. Basically, you want to make sure that people can find your website, and that will lead them to the e-book.
Once the website is up and running (and includes teasers to the e-book, of course), you'll want to create a marketing campaign to get people to this website. You'll start with your contacts because they're likely to buy your e-book just to support you. Create a newsletter or craft an email announcement and send it out to everyone that you know. It should include some basic information and remind them that they can support you by purchasing the e-book. Let them know that there's a free excerpt on your site, in case they don't want to buy. Sometimes that takes the pressure off and they end up buying anyway. Also remind them to share the link with everyone that they know. You should be doing the same by adding the URL to the website on your email signature and business cards.
Next, you'll be targeting strangers who are likely to have an interest in the topic of your e-book. Visit websites related to the topic and generate conversation with the people on those sites. Leave comments on blogs and in forums, connecting with other people about the general topic. Don't forget to include your URL with your comments so people can find your books. You might also want to start your own blog. The blog can be about the general topic of the e-book and will regularly draw readers in. You can also use the blog to review other people's work in exchange for reviews on their blogs about your e-book.
Online marketing has many different facets. The only end to the types of ways that you can connect with people online is your own creative limits. If you can think outside of the proverbial box and regularly figure out new ways to let readers know that you're out there, you can send them to your site and create new sales for your e-book. Good luck!