This is part of my Makin' Bacon podcast, you can check out all the episodes or subscribe on your favorite podcast player.
When most food bloggers want to start selling a product, they think about putting out a downloadable PDF for sale but that's not the best approach. I'm going to tell you why and tell you exactly what is, so you won't make the same mistake other people do.
The video of the interview is also available on the Makin' Bacon YouTube Channel.
Today I want to talk about something that always frustrates me. I get asked a lot by bloggers, "How do I increase the sales of my PDF book?" You know what the secret to that is? Stop trying to sell just a PDF book.
I recently did a survey on my Facebook group, there's about 40,000 people in there. Of the people who responded, 22% of them have PDF cookbooks. Twenty-two percent, that's less than a quarter. So, if you're only selling a downloadable PDF for people to buy, you're eliminating 80% of the market right off the top. 80% of the market is not going to buy it.
Also, of the people who replied, the average person owned 1.2 PDFs, only 1.2. The average person also owned 150 printed cookbooks, that's 80 times more printed cookbooks than PDFs. In 88% of the people who replied they owned at least 1 printed cookbook. So the easiest way to increase the sales of your PDF is to make it into a format that the other 80% of the market's going to want to buy.
It can be intimidating to try to turn something into a printed book because people don't understand how it works. Before you put together your PDF book, did you know how creating a PDF to sell on the internet worked? I know I didn't when I put out my first one. But you learned, got it out there and now you're trying to maximize it.
Do you know what the hardest part of publishing a cookbook is? Writing the cookbook. You've done that. You've written it, you've formatted it, and you're selling it already. So now take the work you've done, do a little bit more and get it out there to the majority of the market.
There are companies you can use like Amazon, KDP and IngramSpark. You know what? You can get set up on them for less than $100. It's easy to do once you learn the process. If you can format a downloadable PDF, you can format a cookbook. I've done most of mine on the Mac in either Pages or Word. I've also used InDesign, but there are a lot of programs you can use. I wrote my last one in a Google Doc because it was the easiest way to have collaborative proofing. All you need is a formatted PDF which you've already figured out how to do by selling your ebook. Then fill out a few online forms, and voila, you have a printed cookbook.
These places work directly with Amazon to print the books, ship the books, and collect the money. All you do is get a check for every book that's sold. It's pretty painless to get a book out there. There's no ongoing effort you have to go through. You don't have to manage inventory or order 1,000 cookbooks ahead of time. You can get your book out in front of the people who are looking for it, in the format they want.
So stop just selling just a PDF and start selling a printed book to expand your market and start becoming more successful.
If you're interested in learning more about how to create a successful cookbook, check out my video on What Are Your Cookbook Goals. It talks about some of the goals you can have when you create a cookbook, because it's not always all about making money. There are several goals you can have, but you have to pick one. If you try to do it all, you're not going to do any of them well. So if you want to be successful, check out the video and you'll be on your way to cookbook publishing success.