You can absolutely make money selling eBooks. All you have to do is follow the right process.
No doubt, the internet alongside digital technology has definitely changed a lot of things. It made a lot of things more accessible, easier, and it has opened many opportunities for industries, and even for ordinary people.
One of the changes the internet has brought has something to do with the writing and reading public.
Books these days need not be expensive. Needless to say, you can now shop as many as you want because shelving is no longer a problem — well, all you need is a tablet or a smartphone, or a computer, and you are good to go. But apart from that, this change, we must say has greatly affected the writers — both pro and newbies (especially for newbies).
Today, anyone who can write or has a story to tell can self-publish an eBook, which absolutely costs cheaper than finding a publisher to publish your book. Writers no longer have to deal with rejections, because eBook platforms are open for all.
With all that’s been said, it is not surprising that over the years, the eBook industry has grown.
In fact, according to a report by Statista, in 2020 alone, the revenue in the eBooks segment is estimated to reach over $6 million. It is projected to show an annual growth rate of 3.7%.
You see, this industry is booming.
So, if you love writing, you are passionate about it, and you want to publish your own book, this is absolutely the way to go. You can definitely make money selling eBooks, and who knows? You might just be the next most sought-after author not just in the United States but all over the world.
But perhaps you might ask – how do I become successful at it? How sure am I that my eBook is going to sell and that I can make money out of it?
Well, lucky you, because you are exactly in the right place as we are going to share with you some very essential information every aspiring eBook writer/publisher needs to know. We are particularly going to tackle the following:
- What is an eBook?
- How much money can you make from writing/publishing eBooks?
- How to make money selling eBooks?
WHAT IS AN EBOOK?
First of all, before you even start conceptualizing and writing anything, it is important to fully know and understand what eBooks are all about.
So, with that, here’s a brief explanation on what an eBook is —
An eBook or electronic book is obviously a book in digital form. Since it is digital, it’s in a format where it can be delivered or downloaded online. To access it, apart from an internet connection, you have to have a computer or a handheld device designed for this purpose.
EBooks can be written by any individual — whether a professional or a beginner. While some write their books by themselves, others prefer hiring writers to do the work on their behalf.
eBooks cater to different types of content — could be fictional, non-fictional, self-help, historical, informational, etc. — basically anything as long as there is a market for what you are writing.
Anyway, unlike traditional printed books, when you opt to release an eBook, this does not require you to rely on an editor or publisher to have it published. You decide on your book’s fate. You have all the freedom to publish it or not to publish it.
Unlike having a publisher though, self-publishing through eBooks means you do everything yourself like marketing and selling of the book, which at the same time means, you get to keep all the profit for yourself (or your team if you have one).
For some people, the idea of self-publishing eBooks can be scary, but in reality, it actually opens you to a lot of opportunities. After all, if you believe in your book, and you know that it’s good and it’s worth reading, plus you have good marketing strategies, you should not worry about the sales. With so many people opting for eBooks now over traditionally published books, there surely is a huge market out there.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU MAKE FROM WRITING/PUBLISHING EBOOKS?
Here’s the thing —
There really is no definite answer to how much you can make from selling eBooks.
Technically speaking, how much you make depends on a lot of factors like how well-written and well-thought-out your book is, how it looks, how good your marketing strategies are, and so many more.
In addition, another very important factor to consider is where you sell your eBook (later on, we’re going to share with you a few platforms where you can sell your eBooks). There are a lot of online marketplaces out there where you can sell your eBook. A very popular example if Kindle and Amazon.
While you get to decide how much you sell your eBook, you also have to consider certain things when pricing your eBook. Depending on your chosen marketplace, you have to check on fees and charges, and then consider them in the cost.
Also, when selling an eBook, please keep in mind that you won’t sell a lot in an instant. Usually, with so many books out there, your return of investment could take a while, which leads us to an important point — if you want to make a stable income, relying on the sale of your eBooks is not a good idea. It’s actually a passive income idea. This is at least true for newbies. When it comes to professional and well-known authors, it’s a totally different story.
But you know, with so many opportunities in eBook writing and selling, as we mentioned earlier, if you got everything right, you will surely hit your goals and make good money writing and selling eBooks.
Before we proceed, if you want to know more about how to make money from selling eBooks online, here’s an informative video by Anji Long. You should check this out:
HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING EBOOKS?
So, you already know what an eBook is, and you now have an idea of how much you can make from selling eBooks. This time around, in this section, we are going to provide you with tips on how to make money selling eBooks.
If you want to make money selling eBooks, you basically have to follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Decide on a Particular Topic
- STEP 2: Come Up with a Catchy Title
- STEP 3: Outline and Write Your eBook
- STEP 4: Edit and Proofread Your eBook
- STEP 5: Design the Cover and Formatting
- STEP 6: Decide on the Book’s Price
- STEP 7: Decide on Where to Publish Your eBook
- STEP 8: Publish Your eBook
- STEP 9: Market and Promote Your eBook
Let’s discuss each step further —
STEP 1: Decide on a Particular Topic
This is the first and most crucial step when creating an eBook. This step will set the tone. That is why it is important that you choose a topic that you are comfortable in, you an expert, and you are confident that you can pull off. Otherwise, it might not just work.
Initially, you have to come up with an idea. The idea could be based on your area of expertise or major interest. It could be fictional (romance, fantasy, mystery, horror, or science fiction), or it could be based on your personal experiences or life lessons, a how-to on particular expertise, something inspirational, etc.
Remember that as the writer or the publisher, you have the power to decide how you want your eBook to be. That’s actually one thing that we particularly like about selling your own eBook. You have all the freedom to make decisions from start to finish.
Now, while you can write whatever you want in however you want it, if your goal is to sell, we recommend you check the genres or the type of eBooks that sell in different online marketplaces. This way, you will have an idea what type of book you’re going to offer to a particular target market, which by the way, is also very important when it comes to coming up with a book and selling it.
STEP 2: Come Up with a Catchy Title
Once you already decided on the topic or genre, the next thing to do is to generate a catchy title for your eBook.
To be honest, coming up with a title is a tough job.
It’s the first thing that people see apart from the cover. The title plays a major role when it comes to people deciding whether to buy a book or not.
You know, oftentimes, how well you’ve written a book does not matter if your title is not engaging. If it’s not catchy at all. Remember, your title will define the entirety of the book. If your title is lousy, people will think the rest of the book is lousy as well.
When coming up with an eBook, and making it sell, you have to work on having a really good title plus a well-designed, well-thought-out cover. This combination will certainly draw people to buy your eBook.
In blogging, there is a certain method that bloggers use to come up with catchy titles. This method applies to create an eBook title as well.
The formula comes in four parts, which are:
- The Format – This usually refers to a number in the title. However, this only works best when you are writing a non-fiction book.
- Emotional Hook – The use of powerful words — words that draw readers’ attention.
- Content-Type – It could be a series of facts, myths, strategies, tips, etc. This refers to the details of how you are going to help your readers understand the subject matter.
- The Subject – This refers to what the book is all about.
To give you an idea, here’s an example of a catchy eBook title:
“9 Powerful Strategies to Sell Your eBook”
As you can see, all the elements are in there. You have the format, emotional hook, content type, and of course, the subject.
STEP 3: Outline and Write Your eBook
The next step to make money selling eBook is to start outlining and writing your eBook.
Once you have already decided on the genre, and you already came up with your working title, you start outlining and writing.
Creating an outline helps a lot to ensure you hit all the important points you need to make a great eBook. This will also help ensure your thoughts are organized, at the same time, this helps you determine what you will include in the book, and what part.
Having a detailed outline will help make your writing process smooth. Needless to say, it will also help keep you on track not just in writing but the whole timeline.
Now, once you are done outlining, it’s time to do the most exciting yet the most daunting task — writing.
While writing is exciting, some writers tend to fall off track in this process. That is why it is important to give yourself a deadline. That way, you will be pressured to work really hard on the content.
Unlike traditionally published print books, generally, eBooks are shorter, which means you do not need too much time to work on the book. At a maximum, you can write your eBook in 30 days.
STEP 4: Edit and Proofread Your eBook
To make money selling eBooks, it is important to come up with a flawless book, which means you need to have your work edited and proofread by either a professional or by yourself.
Ideally, you should hire a professional to edit and proofread your book. However, if you do not have a budget for that, you can rely on free tools that you can use to edit your book. Some of these tools are Grammarly, the Hemingway App Editor, and many more.
What’s nice about these tools is that they help you assess your writing to see grammatical errors, as well as the overall readability of your work.
STEP 5: Design the Cover and Formatting
Apart from the title of the book, the cover will say a lot about the book. You know that saying, “Do not judge a book by it’s cover?” While it’s true, because some great books do not come with equally great covers, in reality, most readers judge books based on what they initially see.
That said, if you want your book to sell, make sure to come up with a really good cover. While you have the option to hire a graphic designer to create the cover for you, you can also use free tools like Canva to make your book cover.
Apart from the cover, another important thing to look into is the format of your eBook.
When we talk about formatting, we mean ensuring your book is formatted in different eBook platforms. This helps ensure your readers will have an amazing reading experience.
If you are using Kindle, for example, you can use Amazon’s Kindle Create, which will help you preview and edit the eBook based on how it will look in Kindle format; create and edit your table of contents, at the same time styling your eBook; and lastly, add professionally-designed themes to make your book presentable and easy to read.
STEP 6: Decide on the Book’s Price
Technically, you can price your eBook according to your preference. However, when pricing your book, you have to take into consideration the competition, as well as the fees and charges charged by marketplaces.
STEP 7: Decide on Where to publish your eBook
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of options on where to sell your eBook. But today, we are going to provide you with some of the most commonly used, the most popular platforms that you may want to consider.
Our list include:
- Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing – Amazon is the biggest and the most popular platform you can use to sell your eBooks. If you want to get the most eBook readers, this is definitely the way to go.
- Nook Press – The Nook Press is Barnes & Noble’s equivalent of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Although when it comes to the volume of shoppers, Barnes & Noble does not have that same amount of market. Nook Press, as compared to Amazon, has a slightly lower royalty per sale at 65%.
- Smashwords – Although not as popular as the two other platforms, Smashwords is still worth publishing on. The company is popularly known as the largest seller of indie eBooks across the globe.
Again, these are just some of the many choices out there. You can definitely look for better choices based on your personal preference.
STEP 8: Publish your eBook
Unlike traditionally published books, when you publish your own book, you basically follow your own timeline. You decide when and when not to put your book out there for readers to see.
We just have to say that this is the most exciting part of the whole process. Publishing your eBook means you’re done with the whole process. It’s time for people to read and hopefully, appreciate your work.
By the way, while you can stick to publish your book to one online marketplace, you can definitely opt to publish it in as many platforms as you can. The more accessible and available your book is in deferent platforms, the higher your chances to make bigger sales.
STEP 9: Market and Promote Your eBook
The last but not the least is to market and promote your eBook. As we have said, no matter how beautiful your book is if you do not properly market and promote it, it won’t sell.
When marketing your eBook, you can use different strategies. Although, ultimately, the best strategy is to spread the word online. After all, it’s accessible online.
So, use your social media places, place online ads if necessary (and if your budget allows it to), send free copies to book reviewers (collaborations with book reviewers will greatly help in spreading the word), and many more.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING EBOOKS
So, there you have it!
Writing eBooks is fun, and even more, because it does not limit you to anything. You get to decide for almost everything, which is what every writer would want, right?