How to Plan a Successful Digital Product Launch

A product launch is an event … like an art exhibit or big “open house” that makes a statement: “Hello world, here I am. Come visit and learn what I’m all about.” A launch is an opportunity to “wow” your audience.

For your audience, it’s a process of discovery. Does this product do something that pleases me, solve a problem, perform better than a similar product I already have? The debut of your product into the market is the time at which you open your doors to see how well you meet your customers’ likes and expectations.

Because a digital product isn’t a physical product – it doesn’t take up space in the physical world at least – what should the introduction of your product look like, how do you plan one, how do you reach people, and how do you make all your hard work pay off?

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What we learned designing 3 book covers on Fiverr

Although our parents taught us from an early age to never judge a book by its cover, the truth is that the cover is the first thing most of us look at while in a bookshop or even when shopping online for eBooks. Designing the perfect cover, although always a struggle, is of utmost importance for all writers, regardless of their book’s niche.

When it comes to finding a good designer for your cover, there are abundant factors to be taken into consideration, from expertise to of course, cost. In this day and age, the web delivers a lot of excellent resources for finding book cover designers, making your search a bit easier than in the past.

Today, we are going to be talking about Fiverr and the possibility of having your book cover designed on this platform, for only five dollars (USD). Sounds remarkable, right?

We conducted a little experiment on Fiverr, in order to offer you all the information you need before deciding to choose this platform for your book cover design. Let’s see what our experiment revealed.

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Like Icarus Taking a Selfie – My first eBook Discount Promotion

This is a guest post by James R. Wells, author of The Great Symmetry. You can find his full bio below.

If you’re an author, perhaps you’ve been here: I had finished my novel The Great Symmetry, done a print run for local bookstores and my website, and had sold some copies. Reviews were encouraging. The wider world beckoned. But how to launch? My Kindle edition was selling a copy every few days on Amazon – not exactly conquering the world.

This post is about my first discount eBook promotion. It turned out well with 600 sales over a 13-day period, due to working through some mistakes and some lucky accidents as well. The great news for everyone is that you can read about all my errors, as well as a few moments when this blind chicken happened upon a grain of corn, to help you plan for your successful promotion.

As I was looking around for ideas, I read an enthusiastic post on KBoards from an author who had just done a discount promotion for her new book. She had signed up for several advertisers at a small cost such as $10 each, and had realized a nice collection of sales over several days.

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Self-Marketing for Authors: How to improve productivity

Pressing the “publish” button should be the last thing on an author’s check list when it comes to worrying about a new book, right? The truth is that, regardless of the type of writing you are publishing, whether we are talking about non-fiction, prose or poetry, the work of a writer almost never ends with the publishing process.

In an era where books are regaining their once treasured value, where eBooks are easy to publish and distribute to readers from all corners of the world, an author needs to have a marketing strategy in mind, a strategy that can cater to his or hers needs, and also attract the interest of readers and, why not, business partners. Turning to self-marketing for help is a well-known trick among the publishing industry, more and more writers are embracing this new trend, and the results can be quite impressive if you follow a few easy steps and custom-tailor the promoting strategies in order to fit with your desired results, and also with your audience.

Did you write a non-fiction book that can help people achieve their goals and better understand how a certain industry works? Are you a trained professional looking to let others benefit from your knowledge or expertise with the help of the published word? Are you a creative person looking to express the realm of your imagination through a book? Independent of the content of your writings, once your book is out there, self-marketing can help you become an important voice in the literary and book publishing world or in your industry, which is why increasing the productivity of your promoting strategies is of utmost importance. Here are some essential tips and tricks that can help you be successful at self-marketing, without having to sacrifice all your free time.

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New features: Design Editor, Zapier + more!

We’ve been working hard on improving Payhip! We’re thrilled so many creatives use Payhip and we can’t wait for you to try out the new features we are announcing today! The new features are as follows:

Visual design editor

You can now customise your product pages easily with a simple point and click design interface. For example, you can add a background image, background color or change the buy button colour with a few clicks. If you need more control there is a pure CSS option you can use. You can find out more in our support section.

Full page embeds

As well as our embed button you can now embed larger full page views of your product on your site. This will make it easier if you wish to create dedicated product pages on your own website.

Improved affiliate signup

Everyone will now get a public URL where affiliates can signup more easily. Anyone from the general public can signup and you can approve them to promote all or some of your products within your Dashboard. You can find out how to setup affiliates in our support section.

Google ecommerce tracking

We have now enabled ecommerce tracking for Google Analytics. To make use of this, you will need to enable ecommerce tracking within your Google Analytics account. You can find more info on how to this setup in our support section.

Zapier integration

You can now start adding your buyers to Mailchimp, Aweber or any other email platform using Zapier! If you would like to get started with this, here is an invitation to our Zapier app.

You can start using all of these features right now so login in to your Payhip account! We’d love to hear what you think, so comment, tweet or email us and let us know!

Our first VAT MOSS return

We managed to submit our first VAT MOSS return and it went surprisingly more smoothly than we anticipated. We had a pack of bandages ready for the pain we were about to experience! But it all went well without any major problems.

We had a look at our database and queried it to find records of all transactions that had VAT applied to it and we provided this to our accountant in a simple report. This report contained total sales broken down by EU countries except the UK. We don’t charge VAT to UK buyers as we are based in the UK and our UK sales do not reach the VAT threshold as most of our customers are based outside the EU.

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Shopping Cart, Email Updates and Webhooks

We’re really excited to announce a few terrific features that we’ve been working really hard on for the past couple of weeks! Here they are:

Shopping Cart

The shopping cart has been frequently requested and we’re glad to finally have it available. Buyers can simply add multiple items to their cart and purchase as normal. No settings required, this will just work as of today.

Email Updates

You now have the ability to send email updates to previous buyers of your ebooks or digital products. You can send an update to all your buyers or those that bought a specific item.

You can use email updates to deliver news about your new ebook, inform your buyers about a new version or promote special offers that you might have. No integration and no third-party tools required to make use of this feature. There is more information about email updates on our support section.

Direct Purchases

You now have the ability to construct URLs that allow buyers to go directly to Paypal or Stripe, skipping intermediary Payhip pages. This is perfect if you have your own ebook sales page and want your customers to go directly to purchase.

Please note, for those buyers in the EU, we will still need to get their address, so for those customers we take them to a final checkout page where they can enter their address for VAT purposes.

You can find out more on how to construct direct URLs here.

Webhooks

Developers rejoice! You now have the ability to accept a JSON payload to any URL you provide. This feature is mainly for the techies out there!

You can use webooks to add buyers to your favorite email service provider as a subscriber or you can use it to add members to your own member system.

There is more information on Webhooks here in our support section.

 

New Terms of Service – EU VAT

TLDR; we’ve updated our terms of service so that we can handle EU VAT for you.

When we announced we were handling EU VAT for our customers, we got a lot of positive feedback which we really appreciate as feedback is what keeps us pushing forward.

We’ve now updated our terms of service so that you provide us a licence to sell your work for you. This allows us to take on the legal burden of calculating VAT and reporting it to HMRC (UK) on your behalf. The important bit to read is under the heading “Licence to redistribute and sub-licence your content”. The new terms of service is effective as of today – 31st December 2014.

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Payhip takes care of VAT

TLDR; Payhip will take care of the #VATMESS for our lovely authors! :-) Tweet or Share this please.

I’m sure we don’t need to explain the problems and impact VAT MOSS will have on authors around the world. A lot of very smart people have already written about this but the main change is that VAT will be due in the country that the purchaser is located rather than seller. This is to stop companies like Amazon, Google, Apple etc from enjoying a low VAT rate as they base their digital content services in Luxembourg, tax loophole closed.

After considering the problems faced by authors and a lot of other small businesses we couldn’t just stand there and expect authors to handle this mess themselves. So we decided to change our business model altogether to handle VAT on behalf of our authors.

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Can Book Review Blogs really lead to sales?

There’s no doubt about it: writing a book is a gargantuan task. Publishing is another minefield. But once the writing is over, the editing complete and the words in print, how do you actually tell the world about your work? How do you even start to build a readership, let alone make your way onto a bestseller list?

Promoting your novel is a challenge to say the least. For some authors, the logical first step is to get a few reviews under their belt, directly from specialist bloggers. But others vehemently claim:

No! It’s not worth it!.

So, do book review blogs actually benefit the author – resulting in sales and greater awareness? Or are they a waste of time?

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