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How to Make Money Selling E-Books

Updated on June 27, 2017

With the popularity of e-books on the rise, they are probably already outselling physical paperbacks. This trend opens a big opportunity for people to make money selling e-books.

Of course, the first thing is you must have an e-book to sell. If you love to write, you can write your own e-book, and whether it is fiction or non-fiction depends on your passion.

How to Create a Profitable eBook

If you are one of those who want to make money based on your passion which is writing, then go ahead and write the e-book yourself with the following guidelines:

1. Find a niche for your e-book

The success of your e-book depends on the niche that it is in. Is it a profitable niche? How would you know whether what you are writing about is good enough to sell?

Research is the answer.

Find a book idea with a reasonable market but low competition. Does it sound like keyword research? Yes, it is. You might have big ideas for your e-book but there is not enough market for it or you find one with a huge market but the competition is just too high. Your e-book can never be noticed.

It is a good idea to list some e-book ideas that you want to write. If you have a website, it is best to write an e-book that is within your website niche.

The best place to search for the right keywords for your e-book is Amazon’s Kindle Store. That is where we know what e-book topics sell.

Let’s see what the keyword weight loss for women tells us. It has 3,640 e-books in Kindle Store so you will have to compete with those e-books. Let us narrow our search down to weight loss for women over 50. The competition has dropped to 181 eBooks.

So this means that if you write an e-book on weight loss for women over 50, there is a probability that it can sell at Amazon Kindle Store, with proper marketing and promotion, you can rank your e-book in the Amazon search. The higher the rank, the better for traffic since your e-book can be seen by more people searching for “weight loss for women over 50.”

Now, there is another factor that you have to consider when you want your e-book to rank higher. You have to check the quality of the books that rank highest. Do you have a chance of competing with and beating them. If the top e-books have a large number of reviews, then it’s not easy to dislodge them from the top list if you can’t get more reviews.

The way to get more and positive reviews is to write a quality eBook that helps solve a problem.

2. Create a Compelling Title For Your E-Book

Now that you have your niche for your e-book, you have to create a title. Be sure you have your keyword in your title.

An example is the e-book title I found in Amazon Kindle Store which as of this writing is occupying the top spot: “Weight Loss for Women: Healthy Weight Loss Guide For Women Over 50.”

If you are a 55-year old woman with a weight problem, would you not be tempted to grab a copy of that e-book? The e-book which says “healthy weight loss guide for women over 50” would surely be attractive to you and you would want to download it… right then and there.

3. Create an Awesome Cover Design for Your E-Book

You may create the cover yourself if you have some graphic designing skills, but you can also outsource the design of your e-book cover. The important thing is that it looks professional and not cheap. Your e-book can grab more attention with a professional and beautiful cover design.

4. Write Your E-Book (Or Get Someone to Write the e-Book for You)

Now you are ready to sit down and write your e-book. If you enjoy writing and have a passion for it, then go ahead and write the e-book yourself. It’s not as hard as you think. Some e-book authors are able to put their ideas across in 20 to 40 pages. If you are consistent in your writing, you may be able to finish the e-book in a week.

When you write a non-fiction such as the eBook “weight loss for women over 50” above, your readers are not overly concerned about the length of the e-book. They are more concerned about the solutions to their weight management problems and how your e-book can help them.

It’s another matter for fiction e-book readers who would perhaps prefer a longer e-book.

If you are not into writing, then that is not a problem because you can find many freelance writers online who can do the research for you and write the e-book for a fee. You have to give them a detailed description of what you want.

Remember that your e-books must be of high quality. Negative reviews can affect your e-book sales. If you outsource the writing of your e-book, it is best to invest on a professional writer and be sure that the e-book has undergone proper proof-reading.

5. Publish and Make Money Selling Your e-Book

When your e-book is ready to publish, you have to decide where you want it published.

The following are online platforms where you can publish and start selling your e-book.

  • Payhip will host your e-books and deliver them to your customers, and it handles payments through Paypal. All you need to do is to upload your e-book on the site, and then start promoting a link to your e-book on your own site, and on social media networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. You can sign up for a free account.
  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is where you can self-publish your e-books for free and reach millions of readers on Amazon. Publishing does not take more than 5 minutes and your e-book appears on Kindle stores all over the world within 24-48 hours. It is free to sign-up for an account.
  • Smashwords makes e-book publishing fast, easy, and free. It is the world’s largest e-book distributor for self-published authors. They provide simple and step-by-step instructions on how to publish and distribute e-books. Sign-up is free at Smashwords.
  • Kobo Writing Life is the one-stop, do-it-yourself publishing portal. Once you publish with Kobo Writing Life, your e-book becomes available to Kobo customers all over the world. Reaching readers is easy with Kobo, and sign-up is free.
  • Your Own Website is one of the best places to publish your e-book and start selling because you get 100% of whatever profit you make. You also have full control of everything, from publication to marketing. You can also have direct connection with your readers and customers. If you are bent on selling e-book from your own site, then you have to add a Paypal button on your website. The button lets your readers pay through Paypal and once payment is made, they are directed to a page on your site where they can download the e-book.

6. Advertise Your e-Book

You need to get readers to find your book. If you are using the other platforms to publish and sell your ebooks, then promote the links to your e-book on your website, on social media networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

If you are trying to make money by selling e-books on your own site, promote the e-book on your site by writing posts about the e-book which, of course, is related to your website niche and share those posts anywhere you are able to. You need traffic, especially when you sell your e-Books from your own site.

Learn How To Drive Traffic To Your Website

Let me remind you that you can only expect sales if your site has a lot of traffic.

If you are just starting your website and it does not have that much traffic yet, it is a good idea to publish your e-book on one of the above publishing portals as they can provide a wide exposure for your e-book.

You can use your site as your marketing platform in the meantime while you learn how to use other marketing strategies, such as social media marketing to drive traffic to your website.

More Tips on How to Make Money Selling E-Books:

  • Write a well-researched and informative content which provides solution to people’s most common problems.
  • Be sure your e-book contains high-quality and valuable content so it can compete with other e-books already out there in the web.
  • Create an unbeatable title and a cover design that can really hook a reader’s attention.


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