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The internet has entirely changed the world’s marketing trends and introduced several new money-making opportunities for people worldwide. One of these techniques this is suitable for individual entrepreneurs is eBook publishing. Therefore, if you have a lot of knowledge in any specific niche, you can write an eBook and make money.
Writing an eBook is a straightforward process and can provide you a source of income if you sell them on your website or any other marketing platforms. Further, it is quite different from traditional books and eliminates printing, publishing, and delivery expenses. It will be a digital media that you can self-publish on a personal website or sell at any eBook platform.
If you are thinking about writing an eBook to make passive income and looking for some expert guidance to lead you in the entire journey, this is the perfect place for you. We will guide you on putting your knowledge to work and how to get income for months and years to come by publishing eBooks.
In this article we will talk about the entire process of writing an eBook and selling it online and making money from it. We also talk about the different platforms to sell the eBook on and how to promote the eBooks.
What is an eBook?
Before going deep into writing eBooks and how to make money selling them, here is the exact definition of eBooks, their characteristics, and their formats for better understanding.
“An eBook also called ‘Electronic Book’ is a digital version of printed books readable on any electronic device such as a tablet, smartphone or computer screen.”
Although a printed book can be converted into a digital format this doesn’t make it an eBook. Instead, there are specific rules and laws that you must follow to call it an eBook. These rules state that any eBook should be non-editable and reflowable.
EBooks should always be in such a format that no one could edit them without the authors’ permission. While the reflowable means that your book format should be responsive and fit perfectly on every electronic screen. So, whether you view a book on mobile or PC, its text and images should resize to fit the proportion of the device.
Let us discuss a few formats of eBooks currently available in the market. Epub, also known as an electronic publisher, is the most recognized eBook format that can handle everything, such as images, sounds, and even videos. Textbooks and interactive child books are usually available in this format. It can also manage non-Latin scripts like Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, etc.
Amazon Kindle has adapted the .azw format for eBooks that supports fixed-layout and reflowable books and only usable on kindle devices. Pdf is not really classified as an eBook format because it is not reflowable. Therefore, many online stores don’t accept pdf eBooks. However, pdf is still an unofficial eBook format used by many individuals globally.
Many other eBook formats, such as .mobi, .txt, etc., are available in the market. Nevertheless, we will not discuss them because they are not very robust, and most ebook stores do not prefer these formats.
How to Write an eBook
EBook writing is not just opening a text editor and typing your thoughts. Instead, it is much more than that and requires a lot of research, editing, proofreading, designing, and marketing skills. Let us see how you can write a practical eBook to sell online and make money. We will tell you everything from finding a niche, getting an idea, and transform it into a publishable format. It will be a step-by-step guide to prevent you from any difficulty in publishing your book!
1. Market and Niche Research
First, you should check the market trends and demand in your niche. If the market is oversaturated or lacks readers in the niche, it will be a waste of time to write on such a topic. Also, check the competitors in your niche and check whether you can beat them or not.
For market research, you can use various tools such as semrush.com, Google analytics, ubersuggest, etc. Go to any of the above tools and enter the keyword of your book. The search results will show search volume, difficulty, and competitors at this keyword. There you can check the search volume and difficulty level to rank on the search engine.
Always choose keyword that has low competition and higher search volume. The beauty of these tools is that they automatically recommend you some less competitive keywords in the niche for help. You can use these less competitive keywords to rank on Google. Also, check whether the keyword is declining or not. Try not to choose declining or seasonal keywords.
2. Define Your Target Audience
You should be aware of your target audience and make sure that your book is directly targeting their problem and providing an optimal solution. This is a crucial step from a marketing perspective, and if you do not know your audience, you cannot sell a book.
Let me illustrate the above point with an example. For instance, if you are writing a book on “baby diet” topic, then your target audience should be moms in the age range of 21- 45. Then you should make sure that you know what diet problems these moms face and provide an effective and helpful solution to them.
3. Do Your Research
You should do thorough research of the problems faced by your targeted audience and provide them a unique solution. There can be many methods to find the issues of the audience. For example, you can check different media, Google queries, and NEWS to find the problem. You can also spy on your competitor, check what people are looking for in your niche, and try to provide solutions for these problems. Competitor analysis is the most effective and valuable technique for research and SEO.
Once you know the problem, it is time to search for the best solution. For this purpose, you can check different blogs and articles. You can also read some research papers and watch videos to find an optimal solution for the readers. Furthermore, you can inspect competitors’ solutions and add some additional points to attract readers.
4. Plan the Template and Length of the eBook
It’s time to plan your book. First, you should prepare the appropriate template of the book. You can take template ideas from different ranking books in your niche. You can also purchase eBook templates from various websites online. After that, it is time to determine the length of the book. People are very busy these days, and no one is going to read 500-1000 pages. Therefore, keep the book length somewhere between 50-200 pages for a better response.
After that, plan the chapters and subtopics that you want to include in the book. Always try to make it superior to your competitors. Make a complete sketch of these topics on some software and write how many pages you want to assign to each chapter. That is all from your planning side, and after that, you are ready to write your eBook that you can see in the next step.
5. Write your eBook
Effective writing is a critical step to engage the readers. Try to address your solution and research in an attractive way to impress the reader. Here are a few tips for effective eBook writing.
The introduction of your book sets the base of reading. Therefore, your intro must be very compact, eye-catching, and attractive. Here, you should briefly address readers’ problems and tell them how you are going to help. Tell a little bit of your specialty and experience to gain readers’ trust.
After that, you can write each topic as an individual chapter. Write consistently to enhance the readers’ understanding. Further, make appropriate use of bulleted lists, italics, bold text, and font sizes to highlight essential points and engage your readers.
6. Editing and Proofreading
Editing and proofreading are compulsory because there can be many typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes while writing. If you publish your book without proofreading, these mistakes will give readers an impression that you are unprofessional, and they may no longer trust your content.
Therefore, you should proofread the content strictly to avoid any mistakes. It will be better if you hire a professional proofreader to remove any grammatical and typing errors. This step will significantly improve the user experience and trust.
7. Title and Cover Page
The eBook market is very competitive, and your title should be very engaging to rule out the others. Always use a creative title and try to add some ‘wow’ factor to direct visitors’ attention towards your book. If your content is not very sound, but your title is very eye-catching, we bet that you will get many sales due to this title.
Beautiful cover design is another crucial factor that contributes a lot to the success of your eBook. If your cover is not attractive or professional, you will lose many customers. Therefore, always make a high-quality cover. Many websites on the internet provide a free eBook cover.
However, we will recommend you hire a professional graphic designer for the book cover. You can check different freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork etc. to hire a designer at cheap rates. These platforms have many talented designers that provide high-quality services at a very reasonable cost.
8. Determine the Pricing and Platform
This is the last step for publishing your book. You have to choose whether you want to sell your book on a personal website or through some eBook platform. If you are going to market through some platform, then these forums will automatically set the price and send you commission after each sale.
However, if you are going to publish the book on your website, you will select the pricing and marketing plan yourself. Most of the eBooks sell in the price range of 90 cents to 8 dollars in the market. Try to keep your book price within a reasonable price range. You can also add different promo codes and coupons for your book’s marketing and promotion.
Best Tools to Use in eBook Writing
Choosing the best tools can significantly influence your work quality and users’ impression. Therefore, you should always pick the best software and tools for writing. Here, we will tell you the best tools for writing an eBook that will glorify your work and impress your readers.
1. Text Editor
First, you should choose the best text editor for writing that could effectively remove grammatical errors and provide you suggestions about sentence structure. Most writers use Microsoft Word as a text editor. However, we have other options such as Canva, Grammarly etc. Grammarly can be very helpful as it outlines grammatical and typo mistakes and provides you with suggestions regarding the engagement, delivery, and sentence structuring.
2. Photo Editor and Cover designer
After that, you should find some handy tools for designing covers and editing photos that you will use in your eBook. Adobe InDesign is one of the best choices for cover design as it provides you many built-in templates for effective cover design. It is an industry-leading page design software for print and digital media. However, if you want to edit different photos to use in the book, Adobe Photoshop is the one of the best tools to use. Further, you can use Illustrator for infographics and stats in the book. If you have no knowledge on how to use any of these softwares you can use Canva or outsource the designs.
How to Outsource an eBook
In case you have a lot of knowledge but don’t have practical writing skills, you can outsource the content writing to writers on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc. These writers will provide you a fantastic book based on your research and guidelines. You can also hire graphic designers for photo editing and cover design at these platforms.
Platforms to sell your eBook
When it comes to marketing, promotion, and sales of eBooks and eBook selling platforms, thanks to the internet and digital world, there are thousands of platforms available besides your website where you can sell eBooks and generate good revenue. So, without any delay, here are eight excellent platforms to sell e-books and make money today.
Amazon Kindle is the biggest online store for eBooks, where you can publish your book easily. You will get about 35% to 70% of the price of the book, depending on your pricing structure and location. It is a highly authoritative platform and can prove best for your eBook, in our opinion.
Payhip is an ecommerce website that permits you to sell any digital product, including eBooks, online. It provides you a sales page and marketing tools like coupons, share buttons, promos, and affiliate programs to boost sales. It only charges a 5% transaction fee on every sale.
3. Apple iBook Authors
Apple is increasing in the eBook marketplace and currently occupies 10% of all eBook sales globally. It pays a flat 70% of the sale price to the writer. However, this platform has one serious limitation: it requires an iTunes Producer Program that is only available on MacBook.
Blurb is also a good platform that shares a preview of your eBook on social media, and embeds it on your website. Further, it will automatically show your book on platforms like Apple Books, Amazon Kindle, Play Store, etc., to increase your ebook’s reach. However, they charge $9.99 for every sale that is more than other platforms charge.
Lulu is an excellent platform that helps you to create, publish and sell your books online. It is a very well-designed platform and automatically calculates commission, distribution fee, display fee, and net revenue for each retailer. It can also support you in layout design, cover design, and formatting.
Feiyr is another excellent forum to sell your eBooks. It offers professional eBook and music selling services through 165 online stores. It only charges a one-time membership fee. Afterward, you will get a 90% price on every sale.
7. NOOK Press
NOOK press is one of the ideal publishing platforms because of its affiliation with Barnes & Noble. It provides all the necessary tools to create and publish eBooks free. Further, it is a very effective platform from the sales perspective because Barnes & Noble has a community of millions of readers worldwide.
Smashwords is another fantastic platform that distributes your book on all the major publications such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and OverDrive. You will 80% price on sale from Smashwords and a 60% price on sale from other distributing platforms. The only drawback is that it doesn’t offer free publications.
How to Promote Your eBook
It doesn’t matter how much research has gone into writing the e-book doing and how much unique content you are providing; all your efforts are in vain if you are not promoting your book well on the right platforms and in the right way. Nowadays, where there is a lot of competition in eBook selling out there, you have to define a competitive marketing strategy to get more sales and profit. Keep reading, and we will tell you eight practical ways to promote your eBook today!
1. Modern Landing Page
It is advisable that you have a website where people can get to better know about you the Author and the e-book. On the website you should have a landing page for the e-book.
A landing page is a page where customers land after clicking on a link to your e-book. The design and information on the page should be engaging enough to keep the visitors interested and motivate them to buy your eBook. Further, the landing page must be responsive and provide an excellent fitting on PC, tablets, and mobiles. It will be best if you hire a professional web developer for the landing page. However, if you lack the budget, you can use free responsive templates for landing pages available at different websites.
2. Pre-Launch Campaign
Pre-launch campaigns are critical for boosting readers’ curiosity where you represent a compelling picture of your eBook to grab the readers’ attention. You can do this task by sharing a captivating paragraph from your book on social media platforms. Further, a great eBook cover and title can also be fruitful in pre-launch buzz campaigns.
3. Promote eBook through a Blog Post
Blog posts with embedded links to your eBook are a very effective way of promotion through Search engine optimization (SEO) and get organic traffic to your content. Write a post about queries discussed in your eBook, give a quick solution to readers from the book, and inspire them to buy your eBook for a complete solution.
4. Promoting eBook within the Website
Once the readers land on your website, it’s time to promote your eBook. You can add Pop Up banners to prompt readers to purchase your eBook. Further, you can use call-to-action links (CTA) in your blog to generate sales.
5. Social Media Marketing
You can easily reach your targeted audience utilizing various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Quora, Slideshare, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., without spending a lot of money. EBook teasers on these platforms are very productive for conversions and sales. Further, you can also keep the readers engaged on these platforms and encourage them to buy/download your book.
6. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is one of the backbones of eBook selling and promotion. Once the reader is interested in your content or niche, there is a huge probability that he/she will also like your upcoming content. So, you can retarget your previous customers/readers via emails and encourage them to buy your new book at discounted rates. You can utilize different tools like Mailchimp, Benchmark email, SendPulse, etc., to automate the email marketing campaigns.
If you are a new writer and no one knows your storytelling and writing skills, it might be better to utilize giveaways. Give users to get a freebie in return for their email address. Once you have their emails, you can tell them more about your eBook via email and most likely get them to buy. In comparison, you can also provide 8-10 introduction pages free to visitors. If he/she likes the intro, there are chances that he/she will also buy your book.
Compose a killer email and contact different bloggers, influencers, podcasters, and editors to share and promote your content. If you do not get a response from a person, reach out to another person for promotion. We hope that after a few days, they will share your content and reach an audience that is impossible for you to get yourself. You can also do paid collaboration with these influencers for the marketing and promotion of your eBook.
eBook selling is saturated nowadays; therefore, it can be a little hard for beginners to break into the industry. However, you can earn a good income from writing eBooks if you select an appropriate topic, write with proper formatting, use catchy title and cover page, and market the content on the right platforms.
The above guide covers every detail you need to write an e-book and make money, from selecting a niche to publishing the e-book and promoting it!