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Ebook Publishing: Advice from an Ebook Publisher about How to Make Direct & Indirect Income When You Publish an Ebook

Updated on February 26, 2010

Many new ebook publishers make the mistake of not fully optimizing their income from the ebook they’ve worked so hard to write and publish. This is because many don’t know how to properly utilize ebooks to add to their bottom line. They’re too focused on just “selling a copy.”

An ebook is so much more than this. To that end, following are five tips for making money from your ebook . . . directly and indirectly.

1. Ebook Publishing as a Promotional Tool: Rather than going for the direct sale, use your ebook to market other ventures. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, it can be used as a writing sample of your work. After all, if you’re an “Author,” of course you can write, right?

Other Ways Publishing Ebooks Can Be Used as Marketing Tools

For example, you can use it as a free giveaway to newsletter subscribers. This increases your subscriber list continuously. Web surfers in particular are mostly seeking information. An e-book is the perfect giveaway because once written, it costs you zilch to give away.

It can literally bring in leads and sales for years to come.

2. Publish Ebooks & Recruit Others to Sell It for You: If you intend to use your e-book as a direct source of income, why not sign up with one of the major affiliate programs like or

This way, you can have literally hundreds or thousands of “salespeople.” Then, you can focus most of your efforts on other marketing endeavors – eg, seminars, teleclasses, etc.

Currently, it costs just $50 to list an ebook on Clickbank. At e-Junkie, it's even less. You can start for as little as $5. It costs potential “salespeople” nothing. They can log onto the site, cut and paste a simple string of code and be selling your ebook for you in minutes.

Even though I’ve been selling ebooks since 2002, I didn’t have an affiliate program until 2008, when I signed up with e-Junkie, where I sell my full library of ebooks. I started selling one ebook via Clickbank last year.

I have hundreds of affiliates across these two sites.

Note: Just because you have a ton of affiliates does not mean you will make a lot of sales. Most will stick your ebook on their website, but they won’t actively promote it. But, all it takes is a few standout, motivated affiliates to significantly increase your income.

In addition to being an ebook seller, I’m also an affiliate for quite a few. I’ve personally sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of ebooks – for other ebook publishers – as their affiliate.

This is because I know how to promote ebooks online and I don’t sign up to promote a product unless I believe in it and am serious about promoting it.

3. When You Publish an Ebook, Develop Teleclasses and Seminars Based On It. When you write your book, you will have everything you need to put together an on- or offline seminar or class.

Usually, you will have to add supplemental materials and revamp the format somewhat, but the bones of a class will be right in front of you. As the groundwork has already been laid, this can be an additional stream of income.

To date, I’ve developed two freelance writing seminars. One is on how to be a freelance writer in general; the other is how to start an SEO writing career.

The genesis of both of these seminars began when I wrote ebooks about these subjects. I had to do a lot more in-depth work to put together the seminars, but a lot of the idea formulation was right there in the initial ebook.

4. KISS: As an Ebook Publisher, Keep It Short and Simple. While there is a lot of garbage out there in e-book form, I’ve found that most give great information from first-hand sources – especially “how-to” information.

So, get right to the point in your e-book. This is no time to be Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison. Make it an easy and informative read. That’s why people buy e-books – so that they can learn about their interests easily and immediately from someone with first-hand experience.

5. As an Ebook Publisher, You Must Promote, Promote, Promote! Whether you’re using your book as a promotional tool or a direct source of income, promoting it never stops because it all adds up to dollars in your pocket – directly or indirectly.

And that’s the real beauty of ebook publishing!


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