Marketing with Electronic Mini-Courses

by | Jul 24, 2006 | Book Marketing Basics

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If you’re looking for a new and powerful way to get repeat exposure to your audience, you might want to consider launching an electronic mini-course. The key is to build trust and offer useful content your reader can benefit from. As you build trust, you’re also going to build a readership and a following. This will lead to increased book sales.

In its most basic form, an electronic mini-course is a free how-to information product that contains three to seven lessons from your book. Nonfiction authors can excerpt portions or chapters from their books; fiction authors can serialize their books and offer readers a taste  without giving away the entire thing. Getting the reader hooked on your book, product, or service is what this is all about.

As you go through and create your mini-course, I recommend that you not create it in Word or WordPerfect, as these programs aren’t compatible with all e-mail programs. Your reader might end up with an e-mail filled with symbols because their e-mail program was unable to read what you sent. Instead, create a text-based course by using whatever text editor came with your computer or by going to TextPadr ( and ordering a copy from there. Once you’ve drafted your lesson plan, you’ll want to make sure that your final lesson gives people a reason to buy your book. Whether it’s through a bonus or other subscriber offer, make sure there’s some sort of call to action.

As far as launching your mini-course, start experimenting with auto-responders so you don’t have to worry about sending each course individually. You can set up auto-responders to automatically deliver your course at the exact time and in whatever format you decide. I recommend launching one course a week, but if you’d rather not have your reader wait a week to get his or her next course, you can certainly launch one every other day.

A subscriber list that you can pull from your Web site or personal appearances -or both-is where you should start targeting your mini-course. Offer your list members a chance to benefit from this free informational tool. You can also ask your Web designer to include a link on your Web site or a pop-up that encourages people to sign up. Once you’ve started launching your electronic mini-course, get some feedback from your subscribers and continue to improve or add to it as needed.


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