eBooks have become very popular since the last few years. Many people nowadays prefer to read eBooks instead of physical books. In this post you will see how to earn money by creating and selling eBooks.
What are eBooks?
eBooks or e-books are the electronic books, which are read on the computers, smartphones, tablets and eBook readers as opposed to the physical books, which are printed and read on paper. eBooks are also called as digital books.
You should consider creating and selling eBooks for the following reasons:-
(1) You get passive income. Once you create an eBook, you do not need to do anything else. You just need to promote it and the sales would come. You may need to update the eBook sometimes, if required.
(2) eBooks are easy to create as compared to other digital products. You do not need any specialized technical knowledge or complex software to create them.
(3) Physical books require space to store them, they can get damaged or stolen and also people need to carry them wherever they go to read them. eBooks do not have these drawbacks as people can read them on their computers, mobiles, tablets and eBooks readers which has increased the demand of eBooks.
(4) You will do a lot of research on the topic on which you prepare an eBook. By doing so it will increase your own knowledge on the subject. If you write a good eBook which people like a lot, it would establish you as an expert on that topic.
(5) You do not need a publisher for eBooks unlike physical books. You become an self-published author with eBooks.
How you can earn money selling eBooks:-
You earn money when someone buys your eBook from the place where you listed it for sale on the internet at the price set by you. It is as simple as that. You will see later where you can list the eBooks for sale on the internet.
Your earnings would depend on how many times your eBook gets sold and also the price of the eBook. More the eBook sales, more would be your earnings. You should create more than one eBook. Creating and selling only one eBook would not provide you with much earnings even if it is highly priced. In order to earn good amount of money, you should create and sell many eBooks at different prices. The more eBooks you create and put for sale, the better. It will also increase your chances of selling.
There is no specific number regarding how many eBooks you should create to earn good amount of money but look to create and sell at least seven to eight eBooks, which you can increase later if you want.
Types of eBooks:-
E-books are of two main types. Fiction and non-fiction.
Fiction eBooks are based on imagination of the writer and not on facts or reality. Fictional eBooks are meant to entertain the readers. Some examples of fiction books are story books based on mystery, romance, fantasy, etc. poetry books, joke books, etc.
Non-fiction eBooks are based on facts or reality and not on imagination of the writer. Non-fictional eBooks are meant to educate the readers or give them information about something or provide solution to some problem. Some examples of non-fictions are biographies, autobiographies, history books, health and fitness books, cooking recipes books, language teaching books, academic books, etc.
In this post, I am talking mostly about non-fiction eBooks. Non-fiction eBooks sell more than the fiction E-books. So focus on writing Non-fiction eBooks. There is no problem in writing and selling fiction eBooks too, if you are interested in that but give more importance to non-fiction eBooks, if you want to earn more money.
No need to be an expert:-
If you are thinking that only experts or highly knowledgeable people with excellent writing skills can write and sell eBooks, then you are wrong. You do not need to be an expert on the subject on which you want to make an eBook. If you have intermediate or even basic knowledge about the subject, it is okay. You can research rest of the information on internet or refer some books. You then need to put all the collected information together. You need to organize and compile it properly in the eBook in a simple and easy to understand language and create the eBook.
Even if you have no knowledge on a subject but interested in it, you can still make an eBook on it. You just need to research a lot more on the subject before making it. You do not even need to have great writing skills for writing the eBook. Even if you have decent writing skills, it is okay. Your writing skills would improve as you write more eBooks.
How to come up with eBook ideas:-
To come up with eBook ideas, first make a list of the subjects on which you have good knowledge. Select those subjects in the list on which you can make eBooks.
Then see if there are eBooks already made on those subjects on internet. For that go to the Amazon website and search for your eBook subject. Amazon will display the eBooks about your searched subject and other eBooks related to your subject in the search results. If there are many eBooks on that subject and related subjects and they have got many ratings and reviews, then you can say that the people are interested in that subject and its related subjects. Making an eBook on that subject can be profitable. You can then go ahead and make an eBook on it. Similarly do research on other eBook subjects on Amazon website.
In addition to the subjects in which you have good knowledge, make a list of subjects in which you are interested but do not have much knowledge or do not have any knowledge at all. Then go to Amazon website and see if people are interested in those subjects. You can then research and gain more knowledge on those subjects which have demand and make eBooks on them.
If you have knowledge or interested in a particular subject and there are very few eBooks made on it but those eBooks have got lots of ratings and reviews, it may mean that people are interested in that subject but not enough eBooks are made on it, which is a good opportunity for you. There would be less competition for you for that subject so you can go ahead and make an eBook on it.
Avoid Creating eBooks on the subjects in which you are not interested even if they have demand. You will get bored soon and would not enjoy the process of creating them and their quality would suffer.
Length of the eBooks:-
The length of eBooks depend mainly on the subject of the eBooks. Some subjects are big so they require long eBooks to be written and some subjects are small so they require short eBooks.
Some subjects are vast and have many sub-topics within them. You can create very long eBooks covering all the sub-topics and aspects of an vast subject or make a smaller eBook which focuses on a particular sub-topic or sub-topics within that subject. It is up to you. There is no specific ideal length of an eBook. It can be of any length depending on how much content you are going to cover in it.
Generally eBooks can range anywhere from 5000 words to 50000+ words. Try to keep your eBooks within this range. Do not make too short eBooks and do not make too long eBooks.
Pricing of the eBooks:-
The pricing of eBooks depend mainly on the length and content of the eBooks. You can charge more for long comprehensive eBooks and charge less for short eBooks. In addition to length, the value of content in the eBooks also matter. If the content you provide in an eBook is very valuable and is not easily available on internet, then you can charge more for that eBook even if it is short in length.
Generally eBook prices can range anywhere from 5$ to 50$. Try to price your eBooks within this range. You can even look at the prices of other similar eBooks to yours on internet to get an idea for pricing of your eBooks.
How to create eBooks:-
The most common and easiest way to create eBooks is by using the Microsoft Word software. Create the content in MS Word i.e. type the text and insert the pictures in Word document and format it properly. After creating the content and formatting it, click on the File tab, select the Save As option, double click on This PC, select the location where you want to save the file, type a name for the file in File name: select PDF in Save as type: and click on the Save button. Word will create PDF file of the document and save it in the location chosen by you.
PDF is the most common format of eBooks but it is not the only format. eBooks also come in other formats such as EPUB, MOBI, AZW and some more. However, these formats are the most commonly used. The format you choose for your eBooks would depend on where you are going to list them for sale. Whatever be the final format of the eBooks, you would still need to create the eBooks in Microsoft Word and then later convert it to different formats as needed. Word only supports converting to PDF format. Therefore, you need to use online converter sites to convert to other formats. A Google search will help you in finding those sites, which are mostly free to use. Many of the places where you can list the eBooks for sale, which you are going to see next, provide the service of converting Word documents to various eBooks formats.
Where to sell eBooks:-
You have the below options for selling eBooks:-
(1) You can list the eBooks on eBook marketplaces for selling them. Following are some of the popular ones:-
You can also sell physical versions of your eBooks by using Amazon createspace’s print on demand service. These marketplaces listed above charge a certain percentage as commission on each eBook sold. Every marketplace has a different rate of commission.
(2) You can use the eBook distribution platforms for selling your eBooks. Following are some of the popular ones: –
These eBook distributors publish your eBooks on various marketplaces such as Amazon kindle, kobo, scribd, etc. and many more. Therefore, you do not have to publish them yourself on every marketplace. Most of these platforms charge a certain percentage of commission on each eBook sold for providing this service.
(3) You can sell the eBooks on your own site or blog by uploading it on your site or blog. As the eBooks have small file size, you can sell them directly from your own site or blog. For this, you need a way to collect payments on your blog. You can use payment processors such as stripe, 2checkout, PayPal, etc. for collecting payment. You do not need to pay any commission in this option but the payment processors deduct some fees from each sale for providing the service.
If you have a blog but do not want to directly sell the eBooks from your blog by setting up the payment processor, You can list the eBooks on a eBook marketplace and provide links on your blog to your eBooks on that marketplace where they are listed for sale. People can click on those links and purchase them through the marketplace. So your blog would act as a means of promoting your eBooks.
Some important things about eBooks:-
Title and tagline:-
Title is the name of the eBook. Every eBook has a title which indicates the content of the eBook i.e. what the eBook is about. The title should be such that it catches the attention of people to your eBook. People should easily understand what the eBook is about after reading it’s title. You can see the titles of other similar eBooks to yours to get some ideas for your title but do not copy their title. Do keyword research to find the main keyword or keywords which people are using to find the subject of your eBooks. Include the main keyword or keywords in your book titles.
eBook can also have a tagline under the title which further explains what the book is about. It gives more idea to the people about what is inside the eBook or the benefit of eBook. A good tagline can help in selling the eBook. Tagline is optional.
Cover image is generally the first page of an eBook which also has the title and tagline on it. It also has the name of the author of the eBook. Create good attractive cover images for your eBooks, which are relevant to the subject of the eBooks. People often judge a book by its cover. So take some time in deciding the cover. You can see the cover images of other similar eBooks to yours to get some inspiration but do not copy their design. Be original. You can create cover images yourself in MS PowerPoint or use an online tool such as canva to create them. You can use some stock photo as your cover image after editing it, if required or you can use a photo clicked by you or create a design from scratch. If you are not confident of creating good cover images for your eBooks, you can get the covers designed from some professional book cover designer on freelance sites such as fiverr.
Disclaimer and copyright:-
Give a disclaimer and copyright notice before the beginning of the eBooks. Disclaimer notice is to protect yourself from any legal claims or charges being made on you by the buyers of your eBooks regarding the eBook content. It limits your liability in case of any loss or damage to the buyer because of your eBook’s content.
Give a copyright notice too before the beginning of the eBooks. Copyright notice warns the people about copying your eBook content in any form without your prior written permission. Therefore, it distracts people from stealing your content though it cannot be prevented. People feel scared of copying your content because of the threat of legal action against them.
Introduction and conclusion:-
Introduction is optional but good to have. Introduction is often called as preface, foreword or purpose in which the author writes about himself and why he wrote the book. It is common to see a introductory paragraph before the start of actual content of the eBook.
Conclusion is written at the end of the eBook in which the author briefly summarizes the content of the eBook and its key takeaways and tells the readers what action they need to take next. Again this optional but a good practice.
Table of contents:-
Create a table of contents before the beginning of the actual content of eBook and after disclaimer, copyright, introduction. Table of contents should have the title of each chapter or section in the eBook. Table of contents help people in navigating the eBooks easily and find the content, which they want to read quickly. Make sure that the titles in table of contents are clickable which means people can go to the chapter or section they want by clicking on its title in the table of contents.
Some tips for eBooks:-
Finally here are some useful tips if you decide to create and sell eBooks:-
Read reviews of other similar eBooks to yours on Amazon and other sites. Give attention to negative reviews. See what people’s complaints or criticisms about the eBook are, what is missing in the eBook which people want. You can then take those things into account while preparing your own eBooks.
Use a good standard font and appropriate font size for writing the eBooks. Do not use fancy fonts. You can use various kinds of formatting in the eBooks to make them easy and interesting to read. You can change font for some text, use colors to highlight something, use bold, italic, underline where needed. Use bullets and numbers for lists, etc.
Use images, diagrams, charts, graphs, etc. where needed in the eBook instead of just text alone.
After writing an eBook, read it completely and make the necessary changes, if required. You may come across some mistakes or may want to include some thing or may want to remove some thing. Edit the eBook as required and make it final.
In addition to editing, proofread the eBook too before listing it for sale. Make sure that there are no spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in the eBook.
Give a list of your other eBooks at the end of each eBook so that the readers can know what other eBooks you have written. It will help in promoting and selling your other E-books.
After listing the eBooks for sale, promote them as much as possible. They cannot sell on their own. You need to take efforts to sell them.