You don’t have to be an experienced writer with a string of publications in your name in order to publish an eBook and make money from it.
Traditionally, a writer had to approach a publishing house or find an agent to act on their behalf.
Now anyone can publish a digital book, provided they are willing to manage all stages of the publishing process themselves, from editing to design and marketing.
Authors can publish their own eBook much faster than the traditional way, yet still reach a wide customer base, and the icing on the cake is that they get to retain a much higher percentage of the revenue.
Popular eBook readers like Kindle and the iPad, as well as smartphone apps that allow you to download and read digital books, have resulted in a huge number of eBooks being published by an estimated 700,000 authors worldwide.
It’s very easy to publish an e-book.
Here is a quick guide on how to make money writing and selling your ebook on Kindle and other platforms.
Writing the eBook
Writing the actual book is probably the hardest part and the biggest hurdle. It’s easier if you write about a subject you are passionate about or a topic you are very knowledgeable in.
If you’re stuck for ideas, you could check the current news or magazines to find a popular topic.
Make sure you do your research thoroughly so that you have sufficient accurate material with which to write your book.
Also, be sure to read CopyBlogger’s How to Write a High-Quality eBook in 30 Days article. It’s a must read especially for beginners.
Proofread & Edit
Once you have finished your first draft, read it again, making any necessary changes as you go along. Keep revising and editing your work until you are happy with it.
It’s a good idea to ask a friend or two to read your manuscript and make suggestions on areas that can be improved.
When you feel that the book is finished, proofread it to correct any spelling and grammar mistakes.
It’s best to get a professional proof-reader to do this for you since poor spelling and bad grammar would certainly put your readers off.
Once your writing is completed, the next step is sorting out the cover design.
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’ – not true when it comes to e-books!
The cover is the first thing people look at when they see your book, and it needs to grab their attention and make them want to find out what’s inside.
A good cover ensures a book’s success.
Keep the design simple and effective, with enough information to tell the reader what the book is about, but without giving too much away.
If you’re a graphic designer or photographer, you could do the cover yourself, but otherwise, it would be worthwhile paying a professional to design it.
You can actually get pretty good cover designs for $5 on Fiverr.com.
Be sure to read the seller’s reviews, and check out their past works to ensure you hire someone who can do a good job.
Uploading Your eBook
You’ll also need to write a description for your eBook.
If you are selling through Amazon, the description will need to be between 30 to 4,000 characters.
Don’t forget that this is another opportunity to promote your book, so make the description informative, and include a sample of the book’s contents if possible.
People can’t touch and go through your book like they would have been able to do at a bookstore, so they will be relying on your description of the book to make a decision on whether or not to buy it.
The better your description, the more confident people will be to purchase it.
You are now ready to upload your eBook.
Have a look at Amazon’s video and step by step guide to uploading your eBook, it’s simple and easy to understand.
You can also sell your work through the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader Store and the Diesel eBook store by using smashwords.com.
Authors selling their eBooks on Amazon are offered the following royalty rates:
- 70% if the book is selling at a price between $2.99 and $9.99
- 35% of the cover price for books selling at above $9.99
The 35% rate was recently introduced by Amazon. Inexpensive books are much easier to sell so it’s in your best interests not to charge too much.
With Amazon, you can price your eBook as low as $0.90 in the US and £0.75 in the UK.
It’s a good idea for a first-time author to stick to these prices since it can be difficult to sell a book that costs more than £1 if you have not previously published anything.
Advertise Both Online and Offline
Use relevant forums, social networking websites and your blog to market your eBook online.
Just because your book is available online doesn’t mean you should only advertise online, so place ads in the local newspapers, distribute fliers, and hand out business cards, all with information on how people can purchase your eBook.
To expand your marketing even further try using affiliate marketing programs like Commission Junction and ClickBank. Affiliates advertise your eBook and get paid a percentage of each sale you make through them.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling eBooks?
How much money you make with your eBook depends on how well you have written your book, the cover design, price and the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
Some writers have made in excess of a few hundred thousand in a very short period of time.
I personally know people who are making upwards of $20.000 a month with just 1 eBook, and I also know people who make less than $10 a month selling 3-4 eBooks.
And of course, there are those who make millions like Amanda Hocking.
It all comes down to how good your eBook is.
A great book will get valuable publicity through word of mouth, increasing your chances of making more money.