3 Sources for “Complimentary” Special Reports and eBooks

Aggregate, Extract and Summarize your existing content to create products that will build your email file.

One of the questions we get asked most often by our clients is: how to create those complimentary products that we give away in exchange for an email address. Some publishers don’t realize how simple it is to create dozens of these products just from repurposing your existing content—not by creating original content.

We’ve identified three different ways to create complimentary products using your existing inventory:

Aggregate your post content: Create an eBook using content from your existing blog. You have so much content on your website that no one may get to read unless you package it together. Three blog posts on Mobile Publishing might turn into an eBook called Mobile Publishing Secrets.

Extract your magazine content: Take a feature article from your magazine and turn it into very targeted eBook. If you’re a magazine like Parenting, you might take a feature article on potty-training and turn it into an eBook called “Potty Training 101”.

Summarize your book content: In this method, you might take a theme from a book and piece it together as a stripped-down version of the full book. For example, our special report 12 Master Landing Page Templates is a summary of our upcoming book Converting Visitors into Buyers. In the complimentary special report, we outline each of the landing page templates, and in the full book we have an in-depth analysis of each.

If you’re a book publisher, you should be creating a summarized special report or eBook for every book in your catalog. This way, when someone finds and downloads your special report, they are immediately served an upsell book that compliments it. You might also serve a full-page ad in the front or back of the special report that explains that this report is only a fragment of what they’ll get in the full book if they so choose to purchase it.

On that same note, you shouldn’t create a special report or eBook that doesn’t have an upsell opportunity. For example, you wouldn’t waste your time creating an eBook on Tulips if you only have paid products about Roses and Gerbera Daisies.

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Another tip for creating these complimentary products is to use a method that makes the process quick and painless. When we started creating our own special reports, we were using the page-layout program Quark because it’s what we were used to using for creating our books. Using Quark would take a couple hours to create every special report we wanted to make.

What we learned was that to simplify and save time, you can use a simple program like Microsoft Word to create these special reports. Your report file should be served in the form of a PDF (which Microsoft Word can do) and your users are going to print it out anyhow. The user can’t tell what program you use to make it, so use something that’s easy for you. In other words, using a time-consuming program like Quark to create these products doesn’t offer the user anything different from creating it in Word. Once we started using Microsoft Word, we could create these complimentary products in a fraction of the time.

Just to recap…

  • We want LOTS of complimentary products that rank high in search engines because the more we have, the more email addresses we’ll collect.
  • Creating complimentary products for existing paid products will make us more money because it enables us to upsell to a product we already know they’re interested in.
  • We want to be able to create these complimentary products quickly and efficiently, because the more we have, the more we’ll sell and the bigger list we’ll have.
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