It’s not just publishing houses that can produce books nowadays. Thanks to software and online services, anyone can produce and share their work in digital form. Making good money out of the venture is another matter.
Understanding how to sell ebooks in a profitable way takes time and loads of research. There are many directions you can take, so you need to think and plan carefully what’s best for your publication. This step-by-step guide should help.
What Counts as an Ebook?
Anything you see in print, you can turn into an ebook. You don’t have to write the next bestselling mystery novel to make an impression and income. In fact, non-fiction, like biographies and cookbooks, sells just as well as fiction.
Ebook selling is a smart move, too, considering how popular they are worldwide. The UK publishing industry, for example, saw its total ebook revenue grow by 12 percent in 2020, according to The Publishers Association report.
So, look around and inside yourself for ideas. You could self-publish your journal or diary to inspire others. Alternatively, compile your photos, academic essays, business terminology, or even fan fiction. Whatever it is, put it into one digital manuscript, and you have yourself an ebook.
How to Create Ebooks
We’re going to first take you through the plan on how to actually create an ebook.
If your ebook contains text, writing and structuring it well is the most important part of the whole project, no matter the subject.
We’re not just talking about good narration and grammar, but making it all digestible too. If you’re writing non-fiction, for example, break down the information into clear and logical sections.
Essentially, think about how to make your ebook exciting and attractive at first glance. Here are some key questions to keep in mind while writing anything you want to profit from:
- Does anybody care about this subject matter?
- Who is my target audience, and what will attract them?
- What title will grab the right attention?
- Can I summarize this ebook in a thrilling way for blurbs and Q&As?
When it comes to self-publishing, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help from fellow writers and professionals. In the writing stage, look for proofreaders and editors who know how to write books online and make money.
Designing the Interior
If you want to draw readers in, your digital ebook’s contents need to look great, too. Using the right typeface, size, and spacing go a long way to keeping the reading experience comfortable and immersive.
You can learn how to create an ebook with quality interior yourself. The first thing to do is decide where you’re publishing the book and what the service’s layout standards are. In terms of format, for example, you’ll need the manuscript in one of the PDF, EPUB, or MOBI file formats.
There’s lots of software you can use to design your book’s interior, including:
- Adobe InDesign
- Microsoft Word
If you’d rather let professionals handle it, you’ve got plenty of options for that too. Platforms like Ampersand Bookery, 99Designs, and Reedsy offer the expertise you need for a price.
Designing the Cover
When it comes to demonstrating an ebook’s value, never underestimate how important its cover is. Go for something too simple or loud, and readers might see it as a cheap publication. There’s a delicate balance in designing it right.
While you could create this yourself too with InDesign or Canva, your safest bet is hiring someone with experience. This is particular relevant if you’re entirely new to what makes a good cover.
It’s not just about grabbing people’s attention, but also reflecting what the ebook is about in the most stylish way. Explore the best ebook cover design services around, if only to understand what quality book covers look like.
How to Sell Ebooks
Once you’ve designed your ebook, you’re now at the point where you can begin to sell it.
After writing and formatting your digital manuscript, planning the right publishing route is the next key step in how to sell ebooks. If traditional publication doesn’t pan out, there are two routes you can take: assisted and independent.
In the first case, you’ll find self-publishing platforms galore to help with the process. Kindle Direct Publishing, IngramSpark, and Draft2Digital are services that take lots of responsibility off your shoulders, including printing, marketing, and distribution.
A good alternative to consider are crowdfunding sites for writers such as Unbound, Publisher, and Kickstarter, where you can get the necessary funding and hype for your publishing strategy, editing, and printing options. If used right, these platforms are major steppingstones.
Finally, you could simply sell your ebook through your website. No rules or restrictions, and you get to keep all the revenue. You have relevant digital tools to turn to such as Payhip and Gumroad that make it easy to upload your ebook in different formats, and then let people buy and download it.
Ebooks have one great advantage: no printing costs. This means that you can price them as high or low as you see fit. That said, keep in mind what readers are willing to pay.
Consider your book’s genre, size, contents, and any other contributing factors. For example, if designing it cost you quite a bit, you could add a percentage to your calculations to cover it in the long run.
In general, ebooks are supposed to be much cheaper than printed books. Somewhere between $1.99 and $3.99 is a good range, making it feel like a bargain, especially if it’s a good read. It’s okay to charge more for big or specialized works, but they won’t sell as fast without strong marketing.
Marketing and Publicity
In book publishing, these two terms don’t mean the same thing. Marketing refers to promoting your work, usually through paid means like creating merchandise, buying ad space, or posting on social media.
Publicity involves getting the word out by organizing or attending events. This can include approaching different parties that might be interested in your ebook, from reviewers and websites to radio shows and podcasts.
Once again, you can take charge of everything yourself, but the process is very complicated, so you might want to hire a publicist, for one. They can help find suitable events and platforms to promote your book, while you focus on connecting with consumers.
Here are some tips on making the most of your promotional campaign:
- Start building hype before your launch date.
- Focus on one or two social platforms.
- Use apps for scheduling social posts.
- Plan your year of promotions and keep the buzz going.
- Always make it easy for consumers to find and buy your product.
If you decide to sell ebooks online, you can look forward to another perk: easy distribution. All readers need to do is download the file they want and launch it with the right program. For an even wider reach, institutions should have access as much as people.
The simpler it is for them to get your book, the more money you’re likely to make. That’s where combining your website with systems like Payhip comes in handy, as it gives people quick access to your publication and information.
If you go for a publisher, however, other factors come into play. For example, KDP’s best services are only available if you sell your ebook exclusively from there. Additionally, not everyone cares about or even likes Amazon, so you’ll also be losing readers who prefer to get their books elsewhere.
This is why you choose your self-publishing route cautiously. Check what each service offers in terms of distribution, including what it demands from you. Can your ebook be on other platforms at the same time? Will it reach libraries? If not, can you do it yourself through this service?
Use What You Know to Make and Sell an Ebook
Thanks to the services available today, how to sell ebooks is simpler to understand than it seems, whether you’re a professional or casual creator.
Follow these steps and tips to make the best and most profitable impact. Go through the process once, and the next books should be easier.
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