How to Make Money With Ebooks (The Ultimate Guide)
Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Tumto Siram
It's no secret that ebooks are a hot commodity these days. With people spending more and more time reading on their phones and other digital devices, publishers, and authors are rushing to cash in on the trend by releasing new titles in ebook format.
But what about those of us who want to create our own ebook? How can we make money from them? And is creating and selling ebooks online even a good way to make money?
In this blog post, I'll answer all of those questions and more. I'll give you a complete guide to making money writing ebooks, including information on how to create, format and sell your ebooks.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, I will receive a commission if you purchase through these links (without any additional cost to you), which helps us maintain this website.
- Selling ebooks is a great way to make money online.
- You can create ebooks easily by using tools like Designrr or Visme. Canva can also be a handy tool.
- Ebooks from PLR websites can be a great way to get ideas and even content for your ebook.
- Ebooks can be sold on your own website or other bigger platforms with wider reach such as Amazon kindle publishing and Smashwords.
- You can promote your ebook through ads, reach out to bloggers and podcasters, create a blog website and YouTube channel, and write a series of ebooks.
- When pricing your ebook, cheaper is better.
- Free ebooks can help you generate leads for your main products.
Before we get started, let's have a look at the power of ebooks and if it is indeed good for you to consider creating ebooks and even selling them.
Let's start with…
Are ebooks a good way to make money?
Creating an ebook can be a great way to make money online. But it's not a quick or easy process. It takes time and effort to write an ebook, especially if you want it to be a quality product that people will actually want to read.
And even if you do manage to write a great ebook, there's no guarantee that people will buy it. With that said, there are some definite advantages to making money online with ebooks.
For one, you can make a lot of money from a single ebook. If you sell your ebook for $2.99 and just 100 people buy it, you've already made $299!
And unlike other forms of passive income, you can continue to make money from each sale indefinitely with ebooks.
That means that once you've written your ebook and put in the initial work to promote it, you can continue to earn income from it for years to come.
There are many other benefits that come with writing ebooks apart from selling them for profit. They can help you in many other ways to make money indirectly.
Let's have a quick look at what I mean by that.
1. Ebooks are good for lead magnet
Leads are essential for any business, and collecting them is a key part of any marketing funnel. Offering an ebook as a lead magnet is a great way to attract potential customers, and you can offer even more value if your ebook is of high quality.
Best ebooks are those with evergreen content – something that doesn't change quickly once you're done with it. This makes them perfect for use as a lead magnet in the long term.
2. Easy digital product to make
Although writing an ebook takes time, it is incredibly simple to get the finishing done, it can be created much more easily with the help of pre-designed templates.
These templates are available on various online tools, such as Canva, Visme and Designrr.io These platforms provide a quick and easy way to create an ebook that looks professional.
3. Provides different options to make money
There are different ways to make money with ebooks. You can sell them on your own website, or on online marketplaces like Amazon.
You can also give them away for free in order to build your email list, and then sell related products or services to those subscribers.
4. The Best way to make passive income
One of the best things about making money with ebooks is that it's a great way to generate passive income.
Once you've written your ebook and set up your sales platform, you can continue to make money from each sale indefinitely. That means that you can earn money even while you're asleep with just one ebook!
5. Helps with link building
If you give away your ebook for free, you can include links back to your website or blog. This is a great way to build links and improve your search engine ranking.
You can also include links to your social profile and website in your ebook if you sell it on Amazon, which can help to drive traffic back to your website.
6. Lots of platforms to sell
There are many different platforms that you can sell your ebook on, such as Amazon Kindle, and Smashwords. You can also sell your ebook on your own website, or through a third-party service like Gumroad.
How to make money with ebooks
Now that we've looked at some of the benefits of making money with ebooks, let's take a look at how you can actually start making money with them.
As far as I know, there are three different ways to make money with ebooks, let's look at them one by one.
1. Using it as a lead magnet
This is probably the most common way that people use ebooks to make money. You can write an ebook on just about any topic, and then offer it for free in exchange for someone's email address.
Once you have their email address, you can then sell them products or services related to the topic of your ebook. This is a great way to build your email list and make money at the same time.
However, it's important to make sure that your ebook is of high quality and provides value to the reader. Otherwise, you're just going to end up with a bunch of people who unsubscribe from your email list as soon as they get your ebook.
2. Selling on your own website
Another common way to make money with ebooks is to sell them on your own website. This is a great option if you have a large audience and attracts a lot of traffic to your website.
To sell your ebook on your own website, you'll need to set up a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. You'll also need to create a product page for that. I'll share more about that later.
3. Selling on different platforms
The third option for making money with ebooks is to sell them on different publishing platforms, such as Amazon Kindle, Smashwords etc. This is a great option if you don't have your own website or if you want to reach a larger audience.
Making money with ebooks can be a great way to generate passive income and build your business.
However, as this post is about making money with ebook selling, I'll leave out the part about using it as a lead magnet and focus on how to get started with becoming an ebook publisher and start self-publishing your books.
How to make money selling ebooks
Before you start selling ebooks, you have to go through a series of steps so that you don't just end up with it as a hobby.
These steps are important because they'll help you to create a professional-looking ebook, find the right publishing platform to sell it on, and more.
STEP 1 – Decide your topic and niche
The first step to making money selling ebooks is to decide what topic you're going to write about. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's actually one of the most important steps toward publishing a successful ebook.
Your ebook should be focused on a specific topic so that you can target a specific audience. For example, if you're an affiliate marketer, you could write an ebook about how to get started with affiliate marketing.
Alternatively, if you're a personal trainer, you could write an ebook about how to get in shape. There are certain things that can help you decide on your topic and niche.
First of all…
Know Your Goals
The goal of your ebook should be to help your reader with a specific problem. That means that you should know what your target audience is struggling with so that you can write an ebook that provides a solution.
But while you're looking for a solution for your audience, it's important that you also keep your own goals in mind. After all, you're writing this ebook so that you can make money, so you need to find a topic that you know you can write about or a topic that really interests you.
To find a topic that meets both of these criteria, start by brainstorming a list of ideas. Once you have a list of potential topics, you can then start to narrow it down by considering things like your interests, your target audience, and the demand for the topic.
Research the Competition
After you've found your ebook topic and niche, it's important that you research the competition. This will help you to see what's already out there and will also give you some ideas for how you can make your book better.
The best way to research the competition is to use Amazon's Kindle store. Go to the Kindle store and search for books that are similar to the one you want to write.
Once you've found a few, take a look at the reviews and see what people are saying about them.
You can also use Google to research the competition. Just type in your topic followed by the word “ebook” and you'll be able to find a lot of information about what's already out there.
Once you've done your research, you should have a better idea of what you need to do to make your ebook stand out from the competition.
STEP 2 – Start writing your book
Now that you have your topic and have researched your competition, the next step would be to start writing your first ebook. There are many things to consider while you're working on your ebook.
From content to the design and even the length, there's a lot that goes into creating a successful ebook.
The other problems that new ebook publisher face is things like writer's block, which software to use and how to format their book.
In order to make your publishing process smooth you can consider trying the tips I'm going to share below.
So, let's begin with…
Where can you get inspiration for content for your ebook?
If you find yourself struggling with what to write about, there are a few places you can look for inspiration. The first place you can look is your blog. If you have a blog, chances are you've already written about the topic you want to write your ebook on.
You can also look for other blogs in your niche and see if there are any topics that you could write about. Just make sure that you're not plagiarizing anyone's content.
Another great way to find content for your ebook is by taking the help of ebooks from PLR (Private Label Right) websites. With PLR products, you basically get the full rights to the product, which means you can do anything you want with it.
The best way would be to edit the contents of these books to your link and rebrand it in your name. There are lots of PLR websites around the internet, you can find the list of the best ones in one of my previous posts. (Best PLR products).
Make sure your content is well packaged.
One of the most important things to consider while ebook writing is how you're going to package your content. That's because the packaging is what's going to make your ebook stand out from the crowd.
Think about it this way, would you rather buy a book that's called “How to Lose Weight” or a book that's called “The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight”? The answer is pretty obvious, right?
The other thing is to think about what makes your ebook more special that can make someone buy instead of finding the topic free on the internet.
To do that you can compile all the information from different sources and make it a single resource. This will save lots of time for your readers and they would be happy to get all the information from a single book.
You can also try bringing a unique perspective to the topic you're writing about. This will make your ebook more interesting to read and will also help you to stand out from the competition.
Invest in your ebooks design
Your ebook's design is just as important as the content. In fact, it's probably even more important. That's because people are visual creatures and we're more likely to buy something if it looks good.
When it comes to designing, I don't think I can give sound advice on that but you can use easy graphic design tools like Canva which comes with a lot of prebuilt templates that can be edited and used in your ebooks.
You can learn how to design your ebook using Canva in this post.
Then there's Designrr, an online tool, created especially for ebooks. Where you can create a whole ebook from scratch including ebook covers. The other great thing with Designrr is that you can also convert your blog posts into an ebook with just a few clicks.
Another way to create great-looking covers for your ebook can be by hiring professional designers, and freelancers. Fiverr is a great place where you can find some great ebook cover designers for really cheap.
Help your readers by solving a problem they might have.
When you're creating an ebook, it's important to think about the people who are going to be reading it. That's because they're the ones who are going to be buying it.
You need to think about what kind of problem they might have that your ebook can help them solve. For example, if you're writing an ebook about SEO, then your readers might be new bloggers and might be needing help with their SEO campaigns.
Your ebook should be able to help them solve that problem.
Plan your content around what appeals to your target reader.
Be sure to plan your ebook around what appeals the most to readers. Content must be timely and updated as necessary in order not only appeal now but also years down line – so it will still matter when people come across this book!
Whenever you add something relevant like an idea from current trends (or anything else), make sure everything stays up-to-date by contacting previous buyers first; letting them know about any changes made along their favourite parts of the reading process is always good manners too.
STEP 3 – Sell your ebook
Now that you have your ebook, it's time to start selling it. There are various ways you can use to sell your ebook. But if we categorize it in general, it would be two types:
- On your website – If you have a website, you can sell your ebook directly from your website. For this, you'll need an ebook sales page and a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe.
- Other platforms – As I've mentioned earlier, you can also sell your ebook on third-party platforms like Amazon Kindle etc. These platforms will handle the payment processing for you and will also take a small percentage of each sale.
There are both upsides and downsides to selling your ebooks in either of the ways you choose. I would recommend using a combination of both methods.
That's because when you sell your ebook on your own website, you get to keep all the profits. And when you sell on other platforms, you get more exposure and reach.
1. Selling your ebook on your own website
When you sell your ebook from your own website, you get to keep all the profits. But the downside is that you'll need to drive traffic to your website and ebook sales page. And that can be difficult if you don't have a large audience.
You'll also need to set up a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. And if you're not familiar with the basics of setting website, then you'll need to hire someone to do it for you.
2. Selling ebooks on other platforms
If you choose to sell your ebook on other platforms, you'll need to pay a small percentage of each sale to the platform. For example, Amazon Kindle takes up to 30-35% cut of each ebook sale.
The upside is that you'll get more exposure and reach. That's because these platforms have a large audience that you can tap into.
Another upside is that you don't need to worry about setting up a payment processor. That's because the platform will handle it for you. The downside is that you won't get to keep as much of the profits.
Now, let's take a look at how to actually sell your ebook on your website and on other platforms.
How to sell an ebook on your website
If you want to sell your ebook from your own website, then you'll need an ebook sales page. Your ebook sales page is a page on your website where people can learn more about your ebook and buy it.
It's easy to build an ebook store in website builders like Shopify and Strikingly. And if you're on WordPress you'll need to use a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads or Woocommerce.
Both of these plugins are easy to use and will help you create a professional-looking ebook sales page on your WordPress website.
Once you have your ebook sales page set up, you'll need to add a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. This will allow people to buy your ebook directly from your website.
Now let's look at the other platforms where you can sell ebooks.
Best platforms to sell ebooks
The are many platforms you can use to sell your ebooks but I'll concentrate on the best three platforms that give you more exposure to readers worldwide and is free to use.
You only pay when someone purchases your ebook. I believe these platforms will be best for someone just starting out as you won't have to spend money on recurring payments to use their platforms.
Amazon's kindle direct publishing
Amazon Kindle Publishing is the biggest platform with the largest audience. It's easy to use and you can publish your ebook in less than 5 minutes and go live within 72 hours.
The downside is that you won't get to keep as much of the profits. For example, if your ebook sells for $2.99, you'll only get $1.70.
But the upside is that you'll get exposure to a large audience of potential readers. And you don't need to worry about setting up a payment processor.
Another advantage is that with amazon your readers don't need a separate ebook reader. They can read your ebook on their phone, tablet, kindle readers or computer with the Kindle app.
So if you're looking for the largest audience and easiest platform to use, then Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is the best option for you.
Rakuten Kobo Writing Life
Rakuten Kobo is another large ebook platform. And like Amazon, it's easy to use and you can get your ebook published on their platform within 72 hours.
All you have to do is open a “Writing Life” account with them and upload your document by following the steps provided in their onboarding guide.
The advantage of using Rakuten Kobo is you can set your own price and you'll get to keep a 70% royalty on your ebooks for each sale. Another advantage is that they have a wide reach with over 12 million readers in 190 countries. (Learn more here)
Smashwords is another popular ebook publishing platform and it's easy to use. The advantage of using Smashwords is you can distribute your ebook to different retailers like Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo. And you can also opt to make your ebook available for free.
Another advantage is that you can set your own price and you'll get to keep 60% of the sale profit if you sell your ebook through different retailers and 80% if it's sold through Smashword's own store.
You can learn more about publishing on Smashwords here.
STEP 4- Promote your ebooks
After you've published, the final step would be to start promoting your ebook using various marketing strategies. There are certain strategies you can use to get more exposure to your ebook. Let's take a look at them.
Write multiple books
Firstly, the best way to get exposure for your ebook is to write multiple books. This will also help you build a readership who will be interested in your future books.
If you have a series of books, then readers will be more likely to buy your new book when it comes out because they're already invested in the series.
You can also use your existing book to promote your other ebooks. For example, if you have a book on social media marketing, then you can promote your new book on email marketing in the social media marketing book.
This will help you get more exposure for your new book and it's a great way to cross-promote your books.
Promote through ads
Secondly, you can sell your ebooks by promoting them through various ad networks online. This means creating a landing page for your book and starting to promote it.
Meta (Facebook and Instagram) ads can be a great place to start with. It will be difficult to run your own ad campaigns on these platforms if you're a beginner.
The best way forward will be to hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you or you can buy a course on Udemy if you want to learn how to do it yourself.
As for the creation of the landing page, you can use a tool like GetResponse or Systeme.io which allows you to create beautiful landing pages and collect emails as well. And both of these have a free plan too.
Reach out to bloggers and podcasters
Another great way to get exposure for your book is to reach out to bloggers and podcasters who are in your niche.
You can offer to do an interview with them or offer to write a guest post for their blog. This is a great way to get exposure as you'll be able to reach out to their audience and promote your book to them.
Create a blog website and YouTube channel
Apart from all the above, the best one that I recommend is to start a blog website and create a YouTube channel. This will help you build an audience who will be interested in topics to write about and talk about.
This way you will not only get easy exposure and sale for your ebook, but you will also be able to build a brand for yourself. Plus, both of these can be a great source of income generation in the long run.
Now, there are lots of things that go into the packaging, marketing and creating an ebook. Here are a few more tips that will help you with creating and sell ebooks online successfully.
- Write a series – When you're writing an ebook, make sure to write a series. This will help you build a readership who will be interested in your future books.
- Refresh/Update Your Ebooks – Make sure to update and refresh your eBooks every now and then. This will help you keep your ebook relevant and up-to-date.
- Shorter is better – When it comes to ebooks, shorter is better. This is because people's attention spans are short and they're not looking to read a long book.
- Repurpose Your Content – One great way to create an ebook is to repurpose your blog content. This means taking your best blog posts and turning them into an ebook. This is a great way to create an ebook quickly as you already have the content. You just need to format it and put it all together.
- Cheaper is better – When it comes to pricing your ebook, cheaper is better. This is because people are more likely to buy a cheaper ebook than an expensive one.
- Free ebooks – You can also give away your introductory ebooks for free. Collect leads in exchange and make an up-sale later on for your main products
So, if you're looking for a way to make some money online, selling ebooks is definitely a great option. With these tips, you should be able to create your own ebook, as well as sell it successfully.
Have any advice on this process that you'd like to share with me? Let me know in the comments below so I can improve this post. Thanks for reading!