May 11, 2021

How to Write, Self-Publish eBooks and Sell Them for Profit

Benefits of Publishing an eBook

When you compare printed books with eBooks you can clearly see the benefits of publishing eBooks. The cost of publishing an eBook is a lot less and the revenue split is minimal. You also benefit from having no shipping costs. In terms of marketing, you have the ability target it to your core audience.

Also, you can promote your eBook fairly inexpensively because you are allowed to give out promotional copies for free. Publishers also benefit from a more streamlined production process because eBooks tend to be shorter in length compared to printed books. The bottom line is that writing an eBook is a perfect way to showcase your expertise and allow you to present yourself as an authority in your field, without spending a ton of time and money.

Basics of Writing an eBook

There are a few things to think about in writing a successful eBook because the criteria for success is a bit different than for a printed book. There are seven main categories that you must address while writing your eBook, which are as follows:

1. Choice of Topic

You are more likely to write a highly informative and successful eBook if the topic you choose to write about is one that you are very passionate and/or knowledgeable about. Before you even start writing, you must also determine who your target market is. Writing your eBook first before pinpointing your target market puts you at a huge disadvantage. First you need to figure out which niche you are targeting, determine their needs, and choose your topic accordingly.

2. Book Length

There are very informative eBooks selling out there with as few as five pages, which means there are no written rules about how long or short your book should be. So, do not let yourself be constrained by some notion of the perfect word-count. Keep in mind that people are looking for information, so avoid filling your book with a bunch of fluff trying to achieve a certain length. Convey your message clearly in a comprehensive and well-organized fashion.

Some people assume that the value of an eBook is related to the number of pages it contains, but this assumption is wrong. You may write an eBook of 100 pages, filled with interesting and creative ideas, which would be great. However, if you can give your reader exactly what they’re looking for in five or six pages, that’s great too.

3. Selecting Your Title

Because the eBook marketplace is so competitive, you need a title that will grab people's attention, something that really stands out. A boring title, like "Five Tips for Saving Money on Car Repairs" is not likely to garner many sales because it’s missing the "wow" factor.

There is a well-known clinical psychologist named John Gray PhD who decades ago wrote a book on the basic differences between men and women. He considered many different titles before settling on "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." It goes without saying that this became a huge bestseller, and you can see why from the title. People were dying to know what this book had to say on a topic that consumes so much of our attention. There is no definitive way to determine how much this creative title contributed to the book’s success, but you can be sure the eye-catching title enticed more than a few people to buy it.

4. Uniquely Original Content

Because the eBook marketplace is so competitive, it is crucial that your content be uniquely original for it to succeed. If you can harness your passion and knowledge of the topic, you should be able to provide unique insights that the reader cannot get in other eBooks. Focus in on those points, making sure they are highlighted in your book.

If your book is an instructional guide, read other books on the same topic. It may be that those books contain outdated information that is no longer relevant, or in many cases the information could be flat out wrong. People appreciate reading instructions written in easy-to-understand language. Provide real-life stories and examples, preferably in the first person. Find ways to set yourself apart from other so-called experts because this can greatly influence your eBook’s success.

Remember to include the applicable copyright information, an acknowledgements section, a table of contents and a section "about the author."

5. Use Open Office to Write & Save in PDF Format

The easiest way to write your book is by using Open Office rather than Microsoft Word. If you start writing in Microsoft Word, you may have problems putting in into a PDF as the links may be lost. Another advantage of using Open Office is that you can download it for free. Also, it's best to format it to an 8 ½” x 11” page because it makes it easier to print out.

6. Proofreading & Editing

You can write a masterpiece filled with concepts and ideas that have never been published, but if your eBook is filled with misspellings and mistakes in grammar, it will lose all credibility. You would be well served by hiring a professional proofreader and editor to correct all spelling and grammatical errors. Otherwise, you run the risk of your readers concluding that the author was careless in writing the book, or that the information being conveyed is inaccurate.

7. Eye-catching Cover

Once you've completed your eBook, it's important that you choose an eye-catching cover design because this can have a huge impact on its success. You’ve heard the expression that people "judge a book by its cover." Well, it's true and if your eBook doesn't have a professional looking cover, your eBook may be doomed to the dustbin of failure.

There are several websites that permit users to design their own eBook covers for free, however unless you are fully capable of designing an eye-catching professional looking book cover, we recommend hiring a professional. You can do this fairly inexpensively by using a cover designer from one of the freelancing sites online, like Elance or Fiverr. This is where professionals offer to work at cheaper rates than they would normally charge.

If you're not sure about those options, you may want to check out KillerCovers. They provide custom eBook covers with a choice of more than 19 different templates. You will receive a money-back guarantee with no questions asked. And, if you need a website designed, they can do that for you too.

Another option you may want to consider is 99designs, which uses crowdsourcing. This is where you would conduct a "design contest" in which a bunch of professionals will try to "win" your project. Within a week you will have your cover design. This site also provides a money-back guarantee with packages that start at $195.

Last but not least, we have come to realize that writing a series of eBooks on a number of related topics is a lot more profitable than struggling over a single, all-inclusive, lengthy tome. If you are a parent, you might write your first book on how to use positive reinforcement to potty train your child. You may then expand on this by writing books on how positive reinforcement can be used to discipline your child, to motivate your child in school, to make the right choices when it comes to friends, and etc. With this approach, you have a path forward for success.

How to Market & Sell Your eBook

1. Pinpoint Your Target Market

Rather than trying to market your eBook to everyone on the planet, determine who your target market is. Focus on a narrower subset of readers and customize your marketing plan to appeal to them.

For example, if you're writing an eBook about interviewing for your first job, you certainly would not want to market to senior citizens. Instead, you would want to focus on teenagers and young adults.

Furthermore, along with zeroing in on the correct demographic, you would want to find people who like reading eBooks. You can promote your book on any number of websites that allow free eBook downloads.

2. Price Your Book to Sell

If you are a new author or new to the world of eBooks, you are well advised to price your eBook to sell, which means competitively. After you've achieved some success and are starting to gain a following, you can get away with charging more. People love a bargain, and there are many who will be enticed by a lower price on an eBook.

Many successful authors start out pricing their books for $1 or even less. This is a great way to dramatically increase your purchases and accumulate book reviews on Amazon and other sites. Provided that you've written a good book, you may even see it reach bestseller status in your specific genre. This alone can spur some buzz and create recommendations via word-of-mouth.

3. Create an Appealing Landing Page

A landing page appears when someone clicks on an ad. It is a single webpage focused on a particular product and/or service being offered. The goal is to sell your eBook to the person who ends up on your landing page.

To be effective, your landing page must be highly focused and directed to your target audience. Define your offer, which audience you want to appeal to, and how they would benefit by buying your eBook. Your landing page should give visitors very specific instructions on how to buy your eBook.

4. Use Multiple Online Marketing Techniques

There are multiple ways to market your eBook online and you should use them all:

Social Media
Social media offers a gold mine of free marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon. For example, one of the most effective ways of promoting an eBook is by creating its own Facebook page. You can also publish bits and pieces of your eBook right on Facebook to garner interest.

Start Blogging
Even before writing your book, you can start posting articles on a daily basis and after doing this for a few months you'll have plenty of material to incorporate into your eBook.

Starting a blog is no big deal as there are a number of very helpful tutorials that you can find online to guide you step-by-step. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can outsource the project and have your blog all set ready to go within a week or two. A fair price for this would be about $150.

Once you’re all set up, you can start posting blogs on the topics in your eBook. This helps establish you as an authority on the subject, and someone authentic who can be trusted. You should also post your articles on other social media sites to drive as much traffic to your blog as possible.

Instead of logging into a bunch of social media sites one-by-one to post your articles, you would be better off using OnlyWire, which is a service that helps you submit links to several social media sites all at once, saving you time and effort.

Write Interesting Articles
Pull content from your eBook to create informative articles targeting your audience. There are quite a few popular sites that are looking for articles from guest writers, like EzineArticles. It is perfectly acceptable for your article to make mention of your eBook and even have links to your landing page or blog. Don’t forget to put an author resource box that includes your website’s URL at the end. The whole idea is to present yourself as an authority on your topic by offering free articles to your target audience.

Use Word-of-Mouth
Reach out to family, friends, and professional colleagues, letting them know about your eBook and offering them a free copy. Ask them to write testimonials that you can display on your landing page and/or sales letter. If possible, ask some well-known bloggers on your topic to read your eBook and post reviews on their websites. This is an effective way to reach potential buyers because they already trust this authority.

Optimize Your Website
The website of your eBook should be optimized to raise its ranking on search engine results pages. This is called search engine optimization (SEO) and it’s the key to getting noticed by people searching online. The goal is to appear on the first page of a Google search, and the higher the better. The top spot on Google will get your website 8.5 times more visits than if you appeared fifth.

Your website should contain free information that the reader finds useful and that is expounded upon in your book. The idea is to rank as high as possible for the keywords that will pull in your target audience. Create unique, accurate and relevant page titles and include the most relevant keywords when writing your content. All this will help in your quest to raise your rankings.

Get People to Review Your Book
Reach out to bloggers that write about the topics covered in your eBook and ask them if you can submit a copy for them to review. This is another way of reaching your target audience and effectively market your eBook to them.

Get People to Review Your Book

Reach out to bloggers that write about the topics covered in your eBook and ask them if you can submit a copy for them to review. This is another way of reaching your target audience and effectively market your eBook to them.

Amazon: This is by far the most popular website for selling books and that includes eBooks. In fact, you can self-publish your eBook with Kindle Direct Publishing and then offer it for sale in the Amazon Kindle Store. This couldn’t be easier and best of all, it’s free. You will be eligible to receive 70% of the royalties on the books you sell, and your eBook will be offered on the Kindle apps and all Kindle devices.

Free-eBooks: You can submit your eBook to this site for just $4.97. Although this site offers free eBooks, you can ask your readers for donations, and those will be sent right to your PayPal account.

PayLoadz: You can sell your eBook on this site, and in the process, you will get some very useful tips on marketing, subject matter that sells, pricing and etc. They will charge you $14.95 a month for a basic package, but you’ll get the first month for free. A transaction fee of $0.05 up to 4.9% of the purchase price will also apply.

Craigslist: This is another free site where you can sell your book. All you do is create a listing that includes a link to your landing page or website. It couldn’t be easier. However, you are limited in that your eBook listing can only be in the city where you live. Despite this, many authors are selling their eBooks on Craigslist.

Measure Your Success by Setting Goals

As with any entrepreneurial venture, you need to track your success. After launching your eBook, you need to set benchmarks of how many you will sell in the first 30, 60 and 90 days. If you find that sales are exceeding your goals, great. Your marketing strategy is working! If you are not reaching expectations, you’ll need to reevaluate your marketing efforts. You may want to consider additional avenues or adjust certain aspects of your strategy.

One Last Word

You may be writing an eBook as a way to make money, promote your business, establish yourself as an authority in your field, or to impress your friends and family. No matter what your reasons are, I’m sure you want it to be successful. To this end, it must be professionally done and appeal to your target audience.

Once you’re finished writing your book and creating the cover, the real work begins with doing everything you can to market and sell your book. Now that we’re in the digital age, this can all be done online using the techniques outlined in this article. Here’s wishing you nothing but success with your first eBook and may there be many more to come!

If you have any additional suggestions for writing and selling eBooks, we’d love to hear them.