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Make Money Selling Ebooks: 3 Reasons Your Ebook May Not Be Selling

Updated on October 27, 2010

Write an Ebook in 3 Days & Get Sales within a Week? Yeah Right!

The formula to make money selling ebooks is pretty simple. So simple in fact that in October 2010, my freelance writing website ( sponsored an ebook writing and publishing tournament to prove how easy it was.

The tournament was a challenge to write an ebook in three days, market it and start getting sales within a week. Of the 32 participants who entered, 9 completed an ebook; 4 got sales within the week and 3 made multiple sales (one writer sold 12 ebooks in 12 hours!).

One discouraged ebook writer sent in the following upon following the progress of those who entered (she wasn’t a participant). She wrote:

My topic is very big with a huge built-in audience and the information is useful, but somehow it’s been pretty slow. I’ve had two sales this month, which is a big month for it, lol. I’ve written dozens of articles for it, like I said- not just a few, plus hubs, lenses, and all of that. All of the articles are SEO’d and built for traffic and I used the highest PR directories for them. It hasn’t worked. I just don’t know how much more time I want to sink into something that has not been profitable.

I had responded to her telling her to do some of the very things she mentions, eg, write and distribute content, etc. But, apparently, it wasn’t working for her.

To Make Money Selling Ebooks, You Need Consistent Sales

As the author of almost 20 ebooks to date (who makes consistent sales), this got me to thinking about some other areas to assess, ie, three reasons her ebook may not be selling.

Not Making Any Money Selling Ebooks Online? One of the Following Reasons May Be Why

Let me just say up front that I have no idea what her subject matter is or anything else about her background. But, these are valid areas anyone who writes an ebook should look at if sales are not what they should be.

When Writing an Ebook, Learn How to Price It to Sell: Pricing ebooks is like living in the wild, wild west. It’s a free for all folks, and you have to do some digging to get it right. There are no set guidelines to follow for the most part. And, price is not indicative of quality either.

I’ve ordered ebooks online for $7 that were so jam packed with information that they could have been sold for $79; and I’ve ordered others for $50 that I wouldn’t have paid 5 CENTS for if I’d had a chance to view them upfront.


The best way to price ebooks is to study your niche; see what the highs and lows are; how your content stacks up against what’s being offered and then come to a happy medium.

When Writing an Ebook, Assess the Competition: Most people get an idea about an ebook, and they may do some precursory research to find out if there’s an audience for it, then off they’ll go writing.

In order to make sure an ebook will sell before you write it though, you have to do a little bit more than that.

Assess the competition to see what’s being offered by others. Is the market saturated? Are there a few names that pop up over and over again? Can you differentiate your product ENOUGH from what’s being offered so that your ebook will be chosen instead of a better-known competitor’s?

While there may be a wide audience for your ebook, you have to know what the competition is before writing your ebook so you can map out how you’re going to market yours and differentiate it from theirs.

When Writing an Ebook, Think Niche: When learning how to write an ebook, one of the first things you should learn is to niche, niche, niche.

Ebooks (in the highly popular “How To” genre) tend to cover a very tightly defined niche. My thought for this ebook writer is maybe she covered the topic too broadly.

There are as many reasons an ebook doesn't sell as there are that it does. But if yours isn’t start by assessing these areas. If you want to write ebooks and make money selling ebooks, don’t give up. Like any other business, sometimes it takes trial and error to find the right solution.


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    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 6 years ago from Tumkur

      Good suggestions. Still, it would have been better if some topics for e books and related websites were suggested