TAS 544 Ask Scott #170 – How to Use Ebooks and Digital Downloads and Not Violate Amazon’s TOS?

Welcome back to another session of Ask Scott here on The Amazing Seller! This is where motivated and driven people like you can come and get that extra shot in the arm you need to push forward with your brand building and ecommerce dreams. On this episode, you’ll hear from Scott as he gives an update on what he’s been up to with the TAS brand, what he has planned for the future and an answer to a question submitted by a TAS follower like you! Don’t miss a minute of this exciting and helpful episode!

Get to know Scott by listening to his story!

Whether you’ve been part of the TAS community for a long time or if you’ve just joined, you’ve got to make sure you check out Scott’s story. From family struggles, personal hang-ups, and an unlikely starting point, Scott has been able to push past all the junk and create a more hopeful future for himself and his family. Part of the reason why Scott went out on a limb to tell his story was to help sellers like you who have doubted if you could really make a difference and make a name for yourself like he has. The truth is, you can! Make sure to check out the link to episode number 543 in the resources section to hear the full story!

Is your business on PACE?

You may have noticed that Scott has been shifting his focus recently to include more resources to help leaders like you build a thriving brand. In the process, Scott and his team have developed what they call the PACE method. The PACE method is built on the following pillars;

  • Prepare
  • Attention
  • Cultivate
  • Expansion

Stay connected to the TAS community over the coming weeks as Scott has plans to drill deeper into each of these pillars and how leaders like you can use them get your brand headed in the right direction. In the meantime, check out the link in the resources section to episode 542 where Scott and Chris introduced his new method!

How can I get my digital content into the hands of my buyers?

According to Scott, one of the best ways to connect with your target audience and especially your customers is by providing them with value. A great way to do this is by creating content like ebooks and PDFs that will help your customers use your product effectively. Is this acceptable with Amazon’s Terms of Service? Scott says, in his opinion, that it is a great idea to offer a resource like an ebook or PDF as long as you don’t drive your buyer to purchase away from Amazon and that you are stipulating that you are including this resource with their purchase. To hear Scott go into greater detail with this important subject, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!


  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [5:10] Why you should check out the PACE method.
  • [7:45] Question: Can I use Ebooks & Digital Downloads and not violate Amazon's TOS?
  • [13:00] Closing thoughts from Scott.


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TAS 544: Ask Scott #170 – How to Use Ebooks and Digital Downloads and Not Violate Amazon's TOS?


[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 544 and session number 170 of Ask Scott. This is where I answer your questions here on the Podcast and we're going to do it again here today and I am fired up that you're here because if you're listening to this on a Friday, well it's Friday. So…

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…shouldn't you get excited because it's a Friday? Well, I think you should be excited if it's Monday. But that's just me. But a lot of people they get excited it's Friday, the end of the week. I get excited because well, on the weekend I get to hang out with family but I get to hang out with family during the week too.


But Fridays are just Fridays. Everyone kind of likes to think of Friday as like kickoff to the weekend. Well, that's cool. Go ahead. Kick it off. Let's kick this baby off. All right, so before I jump into today's question which I'll let you what we're going to be talking about. We're going to be talking about how to use eBooks and digital downloads and not violate Amazon's terms of service. I'm going to give you my thoughts on that, that is the question that came in and we're going to address that. Before I do though I did want to remind you that if you want to ask your own question, all you have to is head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. Now, what I've been doing lately and if you've been listening to the past few episodes, I’ve been taking these questions on the Ask Scott little post there that I've for you to leave your question,


There's a little audio recorder there or you can just comment and leave a question there and I've also been listening over on YouTube. So you guys know that I've been posting some pretty regular content over there and if you haven't been checking that out, your probably want to head over to theamazingsellertv.com and that will take you there. I've also been playing around with Instagram a little bit. They have the IG TV now, Instagram TV and you get to record up to ten minutes and I've been doing kind of these little small, little mini videos after my walk in the morning generally.


[00:02:01] Scott: Not always but, and I've been doing that because I do think a lot in the morning and on that walk I usually have some thoughts that are kind of going through my head and I just kind of sit down as if you and I were sitting together and I just start talking about what's kind of swirling around in my head. So if you haven't check out Instagram or me on Instagram head over to Instagram and follow me @ScottVeolker. And you'll find me over there. But like I said if you have a question of your own, all you have to do is head to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can leave a question there and I will try my best to answer it for you either on a YouTube response or the podcast and I will go ahead and try to answer it there.


Now, before we do jump in I wanted to remind you if you haven't listened to episode 543, which was the episode before this one, that one there was something I wasn't going to record. I wasn't sure that I really should record it but I also didn't know if I wanted to record it. It was a personal story. It was hard, it was emotional and it was really me going back through my childhood in a sense and digging down and exploring with you and kind of sharing with you my story for a couple of different reasons. And I’m not going to go all the different reasons I kind of talk about that on episode 543. But if you've had any type of challenges growing up, divorce, if you've had, I had…


Not myself personally but I had in my life suicide. That's a hard thing, cancer, all of those things, mental illness, alcoholism. Like all of those things were part of my past. Not me personally but it did affect me. So that was episode 543 and I'm not going to go into all the details here. But I had my friend Joel Bauer also part of our TAS team on and we went through that together.


[00:04:03] Scott: Like I said. It was really emotional. I didn't know how I was going to react as I was going through it. But I got a little emotional there. But definitely if you're interested in listening to that and just really I did that because I wanted you to know that on the surface a lot of people see me or anyone in their eyes, all there successful, they got it all together but you really don't know the whole story. And I wanted to be as transparent as possible and I think this is going to show you I’m being very, very transparent about personal stuff that had happen to me in my life. But I also want someone or you or anyone that's listening, if you had that one thing that kind of triggers you to say, you know what, “Scott is a lot like me or wow he was able to overcome that.


I should be able to overcome this.” And that's really the reason why I wanted to do that. So definitely check that out if you're interested. It was a hard episode for me to record but I did it for you and I hope that you enjoy it and I hope that you get some value from that. So that's episode 543 and I'll drop that in this episode show notes as well. So theamazingseller.com/544 will be the show notes and the episode 543. You can just go there and listen to that. Now, the other thing I wanted to go over here really quickly before we jump in to today's question is I wanted to remind you if you have not listened to 542, episode 542 that is, where myself and Chris Shaffer we introduced this new thing we're calling Pace.


And if you didn't listen to that episode you're going to want to because that is the four pillars in our mind and in our methodology as far as what creates a successful business. And there's different areas in your business and those are four areas that to me and to Chris and to my whole team that we've kind of come up with that we can work on individually in all different levels of business, wherever we are, we can then go through each of those whenever and we can improve our business. That is Pace.


[00:06:02] Scott: Now, the other thing that we're going to be doing is we're going to be releasing a four part series on the podcast here and I am going to go through each and every one of those pillars. Okay, myself and Chris Shaffer. We're going to break those down and then this way here no matter where you are in your business you can look at each one of those pillars and you can see where you need to improve your business by just looking at what is included in each one of those pillars. So again, Pace. Is our business on Pace to be successful? The more I say that, the more I like the way that that sounds. It's got a nice ring to it


The other thing that we are really like keeping on the forefront is we, us, myself, my team and the things that we are going to be providing is value and content for you guys is really about building brands that last. Like that is our model. That is our mission statement, like we want to build brands that last. And if that's for you, if that's what you're interested in doing then you're going to love this whole Pace method or methodology. And we're going to be breaking it down step by step and what that includes in each one of those episodes. So you're definitely going to want to pay attention and you're going to definitely want to listen to that and make that part of your strategy but also just your framework in your business.


So definitely stay tuned for that. So all right, let's go ahead and listen to the question and then I will give you my answer and then we will wrap up this episode so you guys can get out there and take some action and get on with it. What do you say? Let's do it.




[00:07:46] Scott: So the question today comes in from Kevin. And Kevin asks, “Regarding eBook sent after customer places order, I can't figure out if it's against terms of service or not. I keep getting conflicting answers. Is it okay to include a product insert with a link to Amazon’s AWS service that hosts the pdf? Also is it okay to highlight this pdf as one of my bullet points/features? I know digital content can't be sold on Amazon so this has got me a bit confused. Thanks.”


Well, hey Kevin it's a great question. And you're right. There's conflicting arguments and debate about what you can and can't do. Now, I'm not here going to tell you that I know 100% what you can do. But what I will l say is if you use some good old fashioned common sense I think we will be okay. Now, I’m going to tell you what we've done and what I would advise but I'm not saying that Amazon is going to agree 100%. Let me just throw that out there. Do your own homework and do what you feel is right in your own gut. Like you're going to know a little common sense and I think after I explain what I would do it will make more sense.


So number one, let's talk about an eBook or a PDF. This is something that we can deliver to our customers after they buy. And we can also let them know before they buy that they are going to receive this as part of the product that they bought. So it's an add-on thing that they don't have to buy or they don't have to pay for. They are just going to get it included. So there's nothing wrong with letting them know that beforehand. So yes I believe that you can highlight that in your bullets or description if it's something that is going to come with that product even though it's digital.


So that's number one. Number two is when you deliver this PDF okay or eBook, it's a digital download is really what it is, if you're following up with your customers if it's a resource again, that helps with the product that they just bought I don't see how that can be a problem. Amazon wants their customers to be happy. Now if you're sending them to a PDF or an eBook and the eBook starts to push all of your other products and takes them away from Amazon they might have a problem with that.


[00:09:55] Scott: Right, because then you're blatantly saying like, “Hey, you bought my thing here now buy it over here and I'll give you a discount.” Like I've seen that too. Like I've seen people are typing to push their customers over to their store and buy the same product that they just bought over there may be at a discount. I know that's not within terms of service. I would not do that. But if you have an eBook that is going to help them catch more bass with their new fishing rod or their pole or their whatever, Kayak accessories, how can that be a problem? I don't see that as being a problem. Now, having it hosted on their hosting account or their hosting services I've heard people say, “Well if you host it on their service they know that it's a legit download.”


I don't know if I buy into that. I just think that they are looking into the content itself. So I don't care, I'll host it anywhere to be honest with you as long as I know personally that it's going to go along with the product that they just bought. If that's the case then I'm fine with it. So the other thing is if you can do this, you can drive them from the email that you send them in you follow up sequence which you should be offering other additional stuff through your follow up as far as, “Is everything okay? Can I help you?” Kind of stuff. Customer service and also stuff like this, like free content that helps educate them. But as you're delivering this, you can then show them other resources on your blog or on your YouTube channel.


Or maybe just on your website or whatever you want to send them I don't believe there's anything wrong with that as long as it not a direct sale. Now the other thing that I would do is I would include that same thing in an insert card or I would give them something in the insert card that wants to make them come back to your Amazon store. I don't see a problem in that and I don't think Amazon would either. They love outside traffic especially if you're driving it and if you're paying for it. So if you have an insert card, yes you do not want drive that to your store, your Shopify store to buy stuff. We wouldn't want to do that. But if you have a coupon code that brings them back to Amazon why would they have a problem?


[00:11:55] Scott: Or in that insert card you can then drive them over to that PDF or that eBook the same way that you did it in your follow up sequence. Again, I think it just comes down to using your own head, common sense and know that Amazon just wants their customers to be satisfied and they don't want you taking business away from them. That's it. That's all you really need to think about. So if you have other things that lead to other products, if you have resources that lead to other products and they might be on your site I still don't see a problem in that if the PDF, if the download is all focused on educating them on the product that they just bought.


All right, now inside of that PDF you might have a link that goes out to your YouTube page and then on your YouTube page you highlight a different product that you might not sell on Amazon. I don't see a problem in that. It's not a direct go-buy my stuff. So again little common sense goes a long way here and if you think it through of how you are going to deliver more value to your customer I don't know how you can go wrong.


All right, so there you have it. There are my thoughts on how to use eBooks and digital downloads and not violate Amazon's terms of service. Like I said in my response you really do need to just use a little bit of common sense. I do believe that eBooks and digital downloads are a great thing when you want to add additional value. I also think it allows you to lead them to other pieces of content in your business. So if you have an eBook you can then lead them to a piece of content that might reside on your blog or your YouTube channel or your Instagram, wherever.


And it's a great way for you to have things in your business assets. Like those are the types of things that I like. Assets that will actually help you build your brand. That's why I think it's really important. You just have to do it in a smart way and definitely make sure that these eBooks or digital downloads are valuable. Like definitely don't hold things back. Make it really high quality if you can. If you have to pay a little bit for someone to go out there and help you create it definitely, definitely worth it.


[00:14:01] Scott: So definitely guys that's going to wrap it up. The show notes to this episode can be found at theamazingseller.com/544. If you want to ask your own question all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. You can leave that question and please do. I look forward to answering it on an upcoming Ask Scott session and really connecting with you And the last thing is, I'm going to remind you that definitely stay tuned because we're going to be diving into this thing we're calling Pace and it's our Pace methodology that we're using in our businesses and we're starting to teach.


So definitely stay tuned for that. All right guys. That's it. That's going wrap it up. As always, remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.


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