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How to Write, Market, and Sell Ebooks

18 min read

According to the most recently available data, in just 2020, more than 100 million ebooks were sold in the United States alone. Ebooks account for about 18% of all of the book sales in the US, with this number expected to grow more and more. Selling books online is a great way to earn extra revenue with very low startup costs as long as you choose the right places and platforms to sell and promote your ebooks.

Ebooks can be published hassle-free, and when compared with the print version, they typically don’t require any shipping costs. Just by writing and publishing around 8-10 ebooks for the common price of $5 to $8 dollars, you can easily earn a good amount of passive and long-standing income, which can get very helpful as the cost of living continues to rise.

What many don’t know is that writing and selling ebooks online can be easy, especially with the help of emerging ecommerce tools like Ecwid that make it super easy to sell any kind of product online. Yes! Even digital ones.

In this guide, we’ll be going over the many ways you can sell ebooks online or on your own website, top writing tips on how to write compelling and profitable ebooks, and how you can successfully market your published work to generate leads and boost your sales.

Let’s get started!

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What Is an Ebook?

As the book industry continues to be taken over by the rather convenient and practical idea of ebooks, it’s not unusual for many of us to wonder what exactly is an ebook. Most people would agree it is merely an electronic or digital version of a regular paperback book; however, it might be a little more complicated and complex than this—especially for those of us interested in writing ebooks for profit.

An ebook is a three-part process; writing, marketing, and selling. Ebooks made for sale and the public are typically made in a different format than that of a pdf or a simple online recipe. Ebooks typically require a format that can’t be easily changed or stolen by someone else. Also, unlike a PDF, you can expect an ebook to change layouts depending on the device it is opened.

There is a lot that goes into the creation and publication of ebooks, this is without considering what it takes to market and promote them. In the following sections, we’ll be going over what it takes to write and market an ebook, along with some of the most popular platforms used by many to increase sales and build their audience.

How to Write an Ebook

The first step includes the following parts.

  1. Finding a topic to write on
  2. Researching the material
  3. Writing & rereading drafts
  4. Getting your ebook reviewed
  5. Creating a cover for the ebook

1. Finding a topic to write on

Niche is the most important aspect of book writing. Every writer should have knowledge about their niche before writing it. Choosing and mastering a niche would help you in the long run. While one may be tempted to write about trending topics like religion and spirituality, biographies, and business, one should usually consider writing about a topic one feels strongly about.

One good approach is to choose a broad topic of your interest and then dive into a specific aspect of the topic. This gives readers a new and extensive perspective about a topic they are quite familiar with. Also, by downsizing the audience you’re trying to reach, targeting a more tailored and specific one, your chances of generating profit are higher. Unfortunately, the key to failure is trying to appeal and sell to everyone. Always narrow down!

2. Researching the material

Research is an important part of ebook writing. Though, there is a big difference in the outlook of a physical and e-book, the behind-the-scenes process is pretty similar when it comes to the actual writing. Research provides authenticity to your ebook, keeping readers engaged and coming back for more. If the facts in the book aren’t double-checked, the book will quickly be rejected by the readers. So, it is necessary to research all material you intend to include in your ebook.

3. Writing & rereading drafts

After the research comes the main part, one that requires a great deal of commitment; the writing and rereading drafts. A lot of times, people despise the actual writing part of the process because it is full of uncertainty. The only validation for your words comes from yourself and taking others’ opinions is too confusing at this stage. However, the first part is jolting down your ideas. If you’re able to ignore the inner editor in you, you will be able to write a book a lot faster.

After you have written the first draft of the book, the second part of this painful process comes into action. Here, you finally listen to the editor inside you. This is particularly annoying since rereading your own drafts can neither make you dislike your writing or prevent you from being able to see the problem.

You should repeat the editing and rereading drafts process a few times before the next step.

4. Getting your ebook reviewed

It’s time to get a second opinion on your book. You can get it reviewed by either someone close or a professional editor. There are pros and cons to either approach.

If you decide to get a review by someone close, they may be able to provide criticism that is very subjective to your approach. This is because they would know you personally and be able to provide insight. If you decide to get a review by a professional editor, you’ll get professional checking of ideas that may make the book lose some originality but will make it a smart read.

The best way is to get the ebook reviewed by both parties.

5. Creating a cover for the ebook

Once you’re finishing writing the book, your work isn’t done. It is time to prepare for the launch. Visual aid helps readers determine if your book is worth the peek. No matter what anyone says, readers have always judged books by their covers. Hence, it is important for you to create an attractive cover for the ebook—One that captivates the reader without straying too far from the message the book is trying to convey.

The process to figure out what the cover should look like is not always simple. The first step is to select a color palette and create a mood board based on the content of your book. Next, you can hire a professional illustrator to design the cover.

It is important to have some sort of color palette and mood board in mind before you contact an illustrator so you know what you want. Nonetheless, you should always be open to the illustrator’s suggestions too since they have years of experience in the matter, often providing a valuable and unique visual perspective of your book’s message.

How to Market an Ebook

The second step includes the following parts.

  1. Create an email list with the ebook
  2. Get Goodreads reviews
  3. Create an audiobook version
  4. Promote on social media

1. Create an email list with the ebook

Email lists are one of the best gifts of modern technology. They help you connect to your audience. When you start promoting your ebook, give people incentives to opt-in to your email list. An incentive can be something like the first 1000 subscribers get free access to the ebook or the first 100 subscribers get extra e-goodies.

As your email list increases, start selling your product but do not try too hard, it is very easy to notice. The most important part of email lists is that your audience should be able to interact with you. An email list audience that is very engaged, means an increased likelihood of these buying your products.

2. Get Goodreads reviews

Getting reviews for your ebook is necessary to generate revenue selling ebooks. The ebook will reach a substantial audience through the word of mouth by people who have read and reviewed your book.

Reviews are very good for you. They impact your visibility on amazon KDP and help you reach a greater audience. You can bag some reviews if you list your ebook on Amazon for free to read for the first 1-2 weeks. You can also do giveaways to get more Goodreads reviews.

3. Create an audiobook version

Creating an audiobook version of your ebook will boost sales. You have two options here, you can either do the voiceover yourself or hire a professional.

If you decide to do the voice-over by yourself, it is best to practice in advance via YouTube tutorials. This will help you create the needed mood for the book.

The other option is to hire a professional voiceover artist. They know how to make a voiceover extremely interesting, much better than you’d be able to do.

4. Promote on social media

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the leading apps that can help small businesses and artists to sell their work. Each platform has its own specificities.

Facebook provides two types of promotions; free and paid. For free promotion, you can join writing communities and connect with other writers to promote your ebook. Another way is to ask your family and friends to share your work and promote it for you on Facebook. For paid promotions, you can create Facebook ads that have a very targeted audience. This boosts the chances of people buying your ebook by folds.

Instagram has similar types of promotions. For free promotion, you can create a public account and build an organic audience slowly. This can be speeded up by paid promotions. You can create Instagram Ads much like Facebook ads to drive more audience to your account and your ebook. For Instagram, it is important to remember that the color scheme and aesthetic of your posts do matter.

Twitter is much like Instagram but with fewer words. It is the definition of “less is more”. You can create a gradual audience here as well. This will provide you with organic followers who are genuinely interested in your work but at a much slower pace. To speed things up, you can create Twitter Ads as well. This will generate a great number of digital followers and potential buyers of your book.

How to Sell an Ebook

The last step includes the following parts.

  1. Do giveaways
  2. Sell of eBay
  3. Sell on Google Play
  4. Sell on Apple Books
  5. Your own website

1. Giveaways

Giveaways are everyone’s favorite because who doesn’t love free things? Brainstorming ideas for creative giveaways will increase the number of people interested in your work. Even if the majority of participants don’t buy your book, they’ll become familiar with it and hopefully spread the word about it. And ultimately, they could end buying the book in the future. You may be able to contact influencers who will be interested in helping promote your work, helping you reach a wider audience with any giveaways you do.

2. Sell on eBay

Ebooks are one of the top-selling items on eBay. This popular platform is a great resource to make money selling ebooks. The process is quite simple, and the ebook can be listed quietly easily. You can select a few options of payment for it including PayPal, Venmo, and a book account for people you would like to buy the ebook.

It is important to write a book description listing the ebook on eBay, this will help readers purchase the book. It is also great to get and encourage reviews on eBay. Reviews are a game-changer and serve as a free form of advertisement.

3. Sell on Google Play

It does not cost a thing for ebooks publishers to sell their ebooks on Google Play Books. It is not allowed in all countries to Sell ebooks on Google Play so here is the list of countries where people can sell their ebooks. Google Play Books only accepts PDF or EPUB format. Since the publishing process is straightforward, Google Play Books are a great resource to sell ebooks.

The best part of Google Play is that people will be able to find your ebook when they search for any keyword mentioned in your book, even if it isn’t the title.

4. Sell on Apple Books

Apple Books, like all its other products, is a bit complicated but nonetheless a great place to publish your work. The best part about Apple Books is that it is quite compatible with night owls as it provides an auto-night mode to optimize the reading divide’s brightness. Apple Books offers 70% royalties for every eBook regardless of the price.

There are many ways Apple users will discover your Ebooks on their platform, which leads to high sales.

5. Your own website

Your own website is also a great place to consider selling your EBooks. Overall, selling books from your own site comes with several advantages and perks. One of the biggest ones being the opportunity to keep all of your profits, without the need to pay any marketplace fees. Sure, marketplaces offer an already existent audience, which is obviously helpful at the beginning or to have as a complement to your site, but the goal is to ultimately sell directly from your own website or store and keep all of the profit.

Besides, having your own site allows for an opportunity to build an audience of people who are fully dedicated to your work and brand, which ultimately provides you the opportunity to retarget any visitors you get to your site.

Ecwid makes it easy for you to sell EBooks online from your own site and even other platforms like eBay. Once your EBook is ready, opening and creating an Ecwid site is quite easy and quick.  Getting started on a platform like Ecwid is forever free, although a monthly fee of only $15/month is required for access to advanced features and the sale of digital products. This is significantly lower than many of the other ecommerce platforms out there.

Once you have your site ready and are open for business, customers can easily purchase your ebooks and we’ll immediately receive them in their inbox.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell an Ebook?

There is no set range because it depends on many factors. It is also different for every ebook publisher. However, as the writer, you receive 35% to 75% royalties. Be sure that you have done good marketing, this will lead to a handsome passive income monthly.

The best part about ebooks is that there are no shipping charges.

Are Ebooks Profitable?

In comparison to print books, ebooks are more profitable because they don’t require shipping charges and offer more flexibility. The typical price range for an ebook should be between $1-$10 depending on various factors. Typically, you will be able to earn a passive income once you have published around 20 ebooks.

Selling Ebooks with Ecwid

As you already got from this article, selling ebooks can make a great side hustle that can easily turn into a full-time business and source of income. With the right ideat and innovative mindset, you can easily start your own ebook store with Ecwid and begin accepting payment with just a few clicks. No need to deal with third-party sellers or marketplaces, getting to keep all of the profit you make.

Sign up for Ecwid today and tell us in the comments how it goes!

Do you want to know more about selling books online?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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