One of the best ways to make money online is to sell eBooks. There was a time when this was one of the best ways to make money after affiliate programs. Well its still great except now the competition is fierce. You will find someone selling an eBook on virtually every subject on the net. So if you want to sell an eBook you will have to be smarter than others out there. If you are not – no one will buy your eBook and you will lose all money in writing, designing and marketing your eBook.
In this article I will discuss what are the important steps you would take to make sure you succeed in selling eBooks online.
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The benefits of selling an eBook:
1. You can share your expertise in a field with someone willing to know and pay a price.
2. You make money without doing any work. The systems are all automated. You just write the eBook once and the system takes care of the whole thing from taking payments to delivering the eBook to the buyer. You only need to make sure you are doing the right marketing.
3. You get free time to spend it anywhere you like. Remember money is abundance, time is not. You can spend time with family or friends or go visit a place you always wanted to see.
4. Financial freedom.
Some people make amazing money from selling just eBooks. I have never written any eBook but I was once an affiliate of a eBook seller. I got 75% commission from the sales. Since the author had no other expense, they can offer such high communions form the sale. I know I was just one affiliate giving him 3-4 sales a day. Just add sales from his own efforts and other affiliates. We are talking about hundreds of sales a day. EBooks have a near 100% profits (except affiliate sales). Imagine the kind of money you can make by selling eBooks.
You can even charge extra from people wanting to get a hard-copy of your eBook. Getting a hard copy is easy too. You can get on-demand printing from many service providers online. The on-demand printing service provider will take care of everything like printing the book, and sending it to the person through courier. They can be in any part of the world – they will get your book.
How does it work?
If a customer wants a hard-copy of your eBook you charge him extra. You send a part of the cash received to the on-demand publishing house. They take care of the rest. They have your eBook in PDF format. They will print it out. Make it a nice looking book and send it to the person who ordered it. You don’t have to do a thing. Of course you will have to pay the publishing house. You can pay from the money received from the client.
You got to write the book:
Most people who read this end up not writing the book. Why? If you don’t get started how on earth you are going to finish? It may take time – maybe there months, four months or even more. But the fact is if you do not start, it will never finish. So if you plan to sell an eBook – start writing now.
How to write the eBook:
Well you should have a “book-map” before you start writing the eBook. In a piece of paper or notepad write what you would like to write in your eBook. Write the topic of the chapters that you want in the eBook. Write a small summary in front of the topics so that you understand what you may write in those topics later when you sit to write. A book-map can also contain deadlines that you want to put up for yourself. Yes deadlines work especially if you are up against something yourself.
Tools that you need:
If you have a writing editor like MSWord, that is great. Else even free software like Open Office Word, Google Docs will do. The idea is your writing has to be well formatted with page numbers, headlines, sub-headlines, some text in italics, bold, bulleted text wherever required, images – you get the idea. If you are not able to format the text – the text will look very boring.
What fonts to use:
You should use easy to read fonts like Arial, Veranda, Times etc. Veranda is the most readable font. The size is important too. You don’t want to write an eBook with so small font that people find hard to read. The font size should be at least 10px. Yes do not make it very big as well. Even very big fonts are very difficult to read.
Let’s not get into the details of how to write the eBook, because that’s not what this topic is about.
But here are some important points before you start writing the eBook:
1) Know your audience: You should know for whom you are writing the eBook. If your eBook is written for college going grads, the language and style should match what the readers are looking for.
There are some websites that can help you to know the kind of people that may read your eBook. https://www.quantcast.com/ is one such site.
Further you should also visit some competitors website to know what they are writing about in their site. You should also buy their book if possible to know the topics they are writing about.
Your goal is to make a better eBook on that topic. If you make the best eBook on that topic online, then why people won’t buy?
2) Pricing: You should do some research before actually setting a price on your eBook. You just cannot write a 10 page eBook and ask 75 dollars for it. The price should be reasonable. Not very costly that people cannot afford to buy, nor very cheap that people think it doesn’t have any value. Pricing is a very important factor. Make a list of eBooks in your industry and their prices. See if you can offer a price better than what most people are asking. You must understand that less price does not necessarily mean more sales and high price does not mean less sales. Correct price is the best price. However you may need to test to find out the best price for your eBook.
3) Format of the eBook: Most people prefer the PDF format. Acrobat Reader is required to read a PDF book. It works in any operating system. The reason PDF is preferred is that the file size is small, its easy to convert any document to PDF, navigation links is possible, linking to other websites is possible, images can be inserted etc. Its just like a hard copy of a book converted into a soft copy where links work. Of course you can use other formats as well. But PDF is the best format for selling your eBook.
4) How to collect payments: If a visitor wants to buy your eBook then how they can do it. The best way is that if you can make the whole process automated. It means right from the payment to delivering of the book, the whole process should be automated. How bad it will be if they deposit the money in your bank account and mail you the details. Then you send them the eBook via email. Nobody will buy the book if the process is not automated or cumbersome.
Note: You will find many merchant account providers online for website owners. Do a research and get the cheapest one with good service. For the same sale you will make less if you get a merchant account provider that costs too much and take a lot of commission per sale. You don’t want to pay this commission, and should be able to keep the maximum from a sale. Some examples are: Ejunkie, PayPal, Clickbank etc.
5) Most importantly how to market the eBook: This is the most difficult part. Everything else is very easy. You can set up a website. Get it designed. Write content for the website. Write the eBook. Get it in a good downloaded format. Set up a merchant account. But after all this if you cannot sell your eBook – all your efforts will go in vain. You should know how you want to reach people who may buy your book. This can be done through good SEO and/or PPC advertising and/or social media advertising. There are thousands of advertising networks in the US alone. But the idea is to make sure you are profitable. Its important you don’t buy junk traffic. Lots of advertising platforms in the US are very cheap but they will send very bad quality traffic to your site. You may lose money so be careful there. Chose a reputed advertiser.
Note: The most popular form of online advertising is Google AdWords – but its costly as well. But there are thousands of longer-term keywords that you may try that may not be very costly. Bing advertising is another way to get traffic. Its slightly cheaper than Google Adwords but it lacks volume like AdWords. You may need to test a few advertising platforms before finalizing one or two where you want to advertise and scale your sales. Depending just on free traffic will be risky as its getting increasingly difficult to get websites ranked well organically. It may take years before you see your first sale. The choice is yours.
Another great way to market your eBook is to have affiliates sell your eBook. But frankly the top affiliates charge very high fees. They may demand 70-80% of the sale. If its a high priced book and selling well you can negotiate. Many affiliates search clickbank for selling eBooks. You can advertise your book there. But for that you may need to have a clickbank merchant account. Remember good affiliates charge more, but they sell more as well.
For other affiliates you can fix a lower commission percentage. Remember if the commission in terms of dollars (not percentage) is not attractive, not many affiliates will try to advertise your eBook. You have to give them the maximum possible commission.
Note: If you can make eBook selling a profitable business model, you may then start writing more eBooks on similar topics. You can sell these eBooks to your people who are already your customers. If you have written a great eBook chances are that they will buy another eBook from you as well. You will make 100% profit from selling this second eBook. You can then try writing your third eBook as well.
Have you ever tried selling an eBook online? What was the experience? I would love to know if you are still profitable or not.