One of my readers informed me about Uploadnsell, a website and program for selling electronic files (or to sell ebooks). Normally I’m a “more the better” fan for things like this, as in the more places to sell ebooks the better, but in this case I’m not convinced and have decided not to upload and sell my ebooks with them.

Definitely the strongest selling point they have is that there are no fees or commissions with Uploadnsell. They guarantee 100% of the profits (after PayPal’s cut) to the authors and claim to make their money entirely through advertising. That’s the good part.

The rest is what makes me not so interested. For starters, there is no bookstore for anyone browsing. A customer needs to already know about your ebook, want to purchase your ebook and have the direct link to buy your ebook, and that is information they’ll have to get from you. To sell an ebook this way, you will have to do all the marketing and get someone to want to buy your ebook, then they’ll click on the Uploadnsell link and the process goes through PayPal and then a download page. Well, that’s funny because that’s exactly what I recommend doing for the times that you sell from your own website and blog. You don’t need a third party to do this when it can easily be accomplished for free on your own.

Uploadnsell requires you to give your PayPal account information to them to handle transactions. Now even though they are likely ethical businesspeople, I really don’t enjoy giving out my banking information to anybody unless I have to. Especially considering that their website is somewhat basic, still in Beta mode without much evidence of customers, and it contains more typos than I’d like to see (feels as if English is a 2nd language). Currently it just doesn’t feel professional enough to make me want to do that.

So I’d love to hear from anyone who has experiences with them. I could be totally wrong (wouldn’t be the first time), but I’m presently more than a bit skeptical. Can you sell ebooks successfully with Uploadnsell? If so, please share with the rest of us.

Thoughts, comments?

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Stats 1 month after Uploading to Retailers

Okay, it’s been one month since I uploaded How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for FREE to several different online retailers. Let’s go through a quick summary of how that’s going.

Smashwords.com. There have been 42 sample downloads and 3 sales. One customer has already reviewed the book with 4 out of 5 stars, so that was cool. I wish the sales were higher, but maybe that’ll come in time. Fortunately the ebook was accepted into their Premium Program which means it’s being distributed to Barnes&Noble, Sony, Kobo, Amazon and Apple this week. That’s the best reason to publish with Smashwords! Thank you, Mark Coker. I sure hope someone reads my ebook on an Apple iPad soon.

Scribd.com. The sample 35% of the ebook has been viewed 265 times. Just last week I was notified of 1 sale, which actually was a surprise because I thought scribd readers were die-hard freebie types. I’m also happy with the views since I’ve had samples of my novels on scribd for 6 months and they’ve received only a hundred more views. Perhaps the latest How to book will surpass them next month in less than 30% of the time.

MyEbook.com. Supposedly, the ebook there has been viewed 643 times (the sample 35% anyway). There have yet to be any sales. A part of me is highly skeptical of the views number because it seems to gain around 20 views every single day even though it’s been 4 weeks removed from the top pages of latest released. How could it keep getting so many daily views without ever generating a reader comment or a sale? I have to say, I suspect there may be something going on at myebook.com and so I’ll keep an eye on this.

Amazon.com. It took a while before it went live so this is the only site where it’s probably been closer to 4 weeks than a month. The only stat they provide is for sales (and returns) so I can only report 6 sales so far in 4 weeks. Not horrible but not nearly what I was hoping for. One of the problems might be because there are no reviews yet. I wanted to do this entirely with strangers which means not asking friends, family or associates to leave any reviews anywhere. (That’s actually a great way to jump-start some sales but I thought my customers might appreciate this approach). So perhaps in the following months if good reviews come the sales might rise. We’ll see.

Youpublish.com. This site was actually a second thought, but I’m glad I put it there. It still has no ratings though the sample has been viewed 227 times and 1 sale has resulted. Not bad. Again, perhaps if some good reviews came in it would help with sales.

My Own Websites. (Here and at Webs.com and at Viviti.com) I like it when sales happen directly through these because I get 100% of any profit, even though most of the other venues are pretty good at 70% or more (Amazon currently at 35% but going to 70% in July 2010). I don’t know exactly how many visitors have been to the sites since the stat keeping is a bit rough, but I estimate approximately 750 visitors resulting in 6 sales.

Google Rankings. It appears I erroneously reported a page one Google ranking earlier this month. Perhaps my surprise helped me overlook the fact that Google must have keyed in my IP address and sites that I had previously visited. I swear my mentions were true for page one, but after I cleared my browser of cookies, temporary files and visited pages etc, I lost the page one ranking and currently don’t show up until page 8 (yikes) for a search term of “sell ebooks.” It’s the Amazon listing of my ebook, then followed by Myebook’s listing on page 9 and PRLog’s free press release. It’s okay because “sell ebooks” is a highly common search term with massive competition, averaging 12,000 search inputs per month and high advertiser competition. Plus I’m the new kid on the block. As long as I keep doing this program, that page ranking should drop each month slowly and surely. This isn’t a get rich quick thing, more of a pacing with persistence wins the race.

Just in the past few days I uploaded several videos on Youtube (see one of them here), so next month I’ll have some comments on how that’s going.

So what are the final monthly numbers? 17 sales which isn’t what I wanted but an okay start. Only one review so far so perhaps more to report next month.

The best thing that’s happened is that I’ve received 2 thoughtful emails from customers who told me how much insight and helpful information they found in the book. That they were just starting out with marketing their own books and the info really helped. That’s really the best reward of all.

My Youtube Video for Selling Ebooks

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I’m no pro when it comes to making Youtube videos, but I needed to do it partly as an example of free things available to market and sell ebooks and because it will draw attention to my ebook and free websites.

I believe as long as the video is half decent, it will help people understand what the ebook, advice and websites are all about. So hopefully it will bring attention to things available to make, market and sell ebooks – all for free. At the very least it will serve as an example.

Smashwords, Gateway to iPad iBookstore

Indie authors who want their ebooks available at the iPad iBookstore can do so by uploading with Smashwords.com. Smashwords not only gets you into iPad’s iBookstore, but also to Barnes&Noble and other retailers. They have an excellent style guide that will have to be followed, and much of that is explained in my ebook but just go to Smashwords and follow their prompts.

In case you just crawled out from a hole or recovered from a coma, the iPad is the latest greatest most newest gadget that is a must have for keeping up with the Jones’s. And the exponential growth that ebooks are experiencing is sure to keep right on going thanks to Mr. Jobs and Wozniak.

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Use Google Alerts for Marketing and Notifications on You or any Subject

Google Alerts are incredibly helpful and a real must for anyone marketing online. I use them for my book titles, for my name and also for subjects of interest. For those who aren’t familiar with Google Alerts, this is how the company describes them;

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

-monitoring a developing news story
-keeping current on a competitor or industry
-getting the latest on a celebrity or event
-keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

But I use them to help me with marketing efforts. For example, I get alerts each day about anything on the subject of making and selling ebooks. I can then click on those links and read the current articles and blogs. Very often, there will be a comment box where I can leave a comment on the article and include a blurb about my ebooks including a link to my sites. Blog hosts almost always publish comments because they want it to appear that lots of people read their post. As long as you’re not blatantly spamming an advertisement for your stuff, it’s really easy to get your message and links out there for others to click on. This will help generate traffic to your sites and rise you in search engine rankings over time.

To get started, visit the site – http://www.google.com/alerts and fill out the form with your search terms and a return email. Once a day or so, Google will email you with any web content that appears. I find it super handy for being informed of any references to me and/or my books. But it’s also great for notifications if someone is talking about a subject that I care about.

Then visit those articles and blog posts. If there’s a comment box, leave a thoughtful comment. Usually, you get to insert your URL which will be a clickable part of your name next to your comment. Sometimes you can also type in a URL that will become clickable. After leaving comments, make sure the links work.

Remember, comments often require the moderator to approve them, but blog hosts almost always do because it shows that people read their blog. No bloggers enjoy seeing their comment boxes reading zero, even me (wink, wink).

So put Google alerts to use and make connections instantly. For more helpful advice like this please check out my ebook, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for FREE by Jason Matthews. Available for Amazon Kindle, at Smashwords in any format, or as a PDF for reading on a computer here. And it’s not just for selling ebooks, but it’s for marketing and selling anything online for free.

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