Ebooks can be a lucrative and under-estimated source of income in your portfolio of passive income sources. But, you want a great eBook! Let’s explore some possibilities here. They are a great idea because there is no physical product to stock.
No. I’m not going to show you how to make a million bucks selling eBooks ?. I’m just sharing some down to earth, practical tips on how sell an eBook online. So here it is, a little compilation of my own research and experiences over time. I’m no “expert” but I hope it is useful to someone!
Gathering the Basics
You need a subject, a title, and lots of useful original content. I do emphasize original content because copying and pasting from others is not cool, and something that is your own genuine work will sell better!
Of course, you’ll want come up with a title that says it all. One that sets the theme of your eBook. Make it an eventful eye catching title. As an example: What sounds more interesting?
“How To Sell Websites” or “How I Made $485,000 Selling 3 Websites”
A title with some actual figures in it is more attention-getting. Ebooks with these types of titles tend to sell more copies than ones with rather generic titles.
Of course, you will need to come up with content. You might already have sources of content that you have written down over time. It can be hand-written notes, a blog, pages on a website you’ve authored, or anything. It could be life experiences you have in memory, that you have been wanting to write down and share.
Avoid automated “content generation” software like the plague! Avoid “outsourcing” your content creation to someone else unless you really know and trust them. Those 5 dollar specials on Fiver.com are a good example. I’ve heard too many horror stories of people having to rewrite or throw away content they’ve had written by “others”.
The best content is your original work. The effort you commit will be well worth it! Your readers will sense the authenticity. As the saying goes: “Content is King” – nope – Quality Content is King
Turn a blog into an eBook and sell it!
A blog of your own can be a great source of material for an eBook. You’ve put in all that effort building a blog. Why not compile a collection of all this work and offer it as an eBook?
It can be from a blog about a certain niche or subject. This can become the subject for your eBook title.
You already have some structure in place for a book. Bundling it into eBook is an opportunity to market your content via this channel.
An arsenal of tools is one’s best friend.
- GIMP for image editing and other graphics effects.
- Easelly – An easy to use, and free online infographic builder.
- Presentation slide show applications like Power Point and Keynote (Mac) are great, too.
- I love using Evernote (Mac/iOS) to capture and process ideas before blogging them.
- Distraction-free writing software is very nice to have. You don’t have to deal with distracting menus, popups, squiggly under lines, auto-format, etc. Just a space to get in your zone and write! There are many out there like Darkroom, Writemonkey, Focuswriter, and more.
- The Hemingway Editor App is great tool for polishing up your text. This can even stimulate new ideas as you review and revise your text.A camera! Shoot your own pictures of relevant subject matter for your book.
You’ll also want some tools for converting to/from, and validating the various eBook file formats. There are many to choose from out there.
First off, for that awesome eBook to sell, you need a target audience. People who are looking for what you have to offer. You’ll want the cover and title to define what your eBook is about so that this audience will find it.
What demographic are you targeting? Older, mature, 55+? Young, teens, students? Nursing mom’s? Take some time and research your target audience and how relevant your eBook subject will be to them.
Tip #1: Please, do not hurry in making an eBook! Like a quality book, it should be well planned and organized. There are too many mediocre half-baked eBooks out there. You want the eBooks you sell to be of value, to stand out above the crowd, and deliver a great experience to your audience. You want your customer to come back for more. Take your time and research how other successful eBooks have developed.
Tip #2: Choose a subject that you genuinely know! Avoid picking a subject you do not know much about just because it is a hot subject that sells. It may be tempting to pick such a subject, research a ton of info on it, and throw it all together into an eBook. This will not get you very far. It looks thin and shallow. How many eBooks have you downloaded and remarked in disappointment: “Geez, I could have simply Googled this”? An eBook written from your heart, and shares your real experience is much better! Throw in some stories of how you learned what you know is much more authentic.
Print on demand services
Ebooks have a unique advantage: You can have them printed as physical paper books! I enjoy the feel and interaction of an “old fashioned” book in my hands.
Look for various services that offer “print on demand” books. These services will print and ship the exact number of books ordered. There are no minimum order quantities and no need to have a pile of unsold books to lug around.
Websites you can sell your eBook on
Below is a short listing of some possible places to sell/publish your eBook on. Some of these offer the “print on demand” option mentioned above.
Fiver can be a good place if you want to offer some small eBooks at the $5 price point.
In closing, eBooks can be an additional stream of income. But you want to plan it out and offer a high quality eBook. Not just throw it together for the sake of getting to market and selling it.
I hope this helps, and saves someone a few hard knocks out there!