How To Make, Market, And Sell Ebooks
Want to know one of the simplest ways to start earning passive income online?
Fortunately, one of the simplest ways to start earning passive income online is writing ebooks based on your passions, hobbies or expertise.
Don’t worry whether you’re a good writer or not. There are other methods for creating your ebook and we’ll cover that elsewhere.
No matter what – everyone has some sort of knowledge or expertise that they can share with the world.
At the same time, there are people who would want to know or learn that same knowledge.
So creating an ebook about your expertise and selling it to people who want to learn from it…is a win-win situation.
You earn passive income by the knowledge you turn into ebooks and they gain the information they are hungry to learn.
And further in this article, we walk you through, step-by-step on how to do exactly that.
Creating your first ebook and selling it to the people who want that knowledge.
But before we do so, let’s talk about the main reasons why ebooks are great.
Benefits of Ebooks
Easy to Create
This is their biggest benefit.
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, there are many different ways of creating an ebook. You can write it yourself. You can record your voice and transcribe the audio afterward. You can collect books that authors have already written within your topic and rewrite the content in your own words.
In the past, authors had to deal with book-publishing companies to have their books published. Today, anyone can publish their book on ebook marketplaces like Kindle and Lulu, for a small investment.
As the owner of the ebook, you have control of everything.
The pricing of your ebooks, their availability in the market, the buyer’s sales funnel,
and also the processes that happen after a customer purchases from you. i.e. email-sequence follow-up, upsell, and down-sell to additional offers.
Build your Authority & Audience
The biggest advantage one can think of when you have an ebook of your own, it positions you as someone with authority within your niche.
It allows you to build a following of people who not only enjoy your information but also want to learn more .
We know how daunting it can be to create, market and sell ebooks. We’ve been through all the pain, the struggles, and overwhelming feelings too.
Hence it’s the reason why we’ve put this simple guide together. This is especially for anyone starting out and fasttrack their way to make, market, and sell ebooks.
Creating & Writing Your Ebook
Now, there are 2 ways you can create content for your ebook.
You can either create the content yourself. Which means, sitting down and writing what you know about that topic.
Or alternatively, you can simply outsource this to someone else to write for you.
No matter which method you choose to follow, they both serve the same purpose. To build your email list, generate passive income, build your credibility and authority in your niche.
There is a statement that says, “the biggest business card that you can have is a book – online or offline.”
In this case, it means that if you have your own book, you are perceived as an expert on a certain topic.
Really, creating your ebook boils down to these 3 steps:
- Choose a Topic
- Come up with a Compelling Title.
- Brainstorm it all onto paper.
Create The Content
So let’s go over them one-by-one.
1. Choose A Topic To Write About
The first thing you need to do is decide on the topic.
In this situation, think about…
- How you can help your audience achieve their goal(s)?
- What would they need?
- What information would they want to know more about?
- Or what topic are you most passionate about (but is also profitable)? i.e. Dog-training vs Knitting.
Survey Your List
Post up a survey or a question that will help you find out what topics your audience would be interested in. This could be as simple as sending out an email or submitting a question inside a group i.e. Facebook Group or Quora.
However, before you post anything, be sure to check for past threads if people may have asked your question. You might find answers back then that are probably the same today. This could save you hours of waiting.
Check Out Your Competitors’ Books
Another effective way to find a topic to write about is to check out other competitor’s ebooks through Amazon or on their own website stores. See what they are putting in front of their audience. This will indicate that they’ve already done the research and have found a need or demand in their field.
Lastly, make sure you share a personal connection to the topic. The best ebooks are the ones that share personal challenges and experiences. When you include stories into it, you become more realistic. You engage with your audience on a personal level.
2. Come Up With A Compelling Title
The most important element when it comes to content or publishing information is your title.
The best titles are specific.
Take, for instance, Ramsey from Blog Tyrant. He wrote an article called “How I sold a blog for $20,000 in 8 months”. Another alternative title he could have chosen was “How to sell a blog”. Notice how dull and boring it sounds? Yet, this is one of his most successful blog posts.
Joanne Penn from the Creative Penn is another example. She switched the title of her book “Career Change” to “How To Enjoy Your Job”. Since the title edit, her sales increased.
This is the power of picking a compelling title.
You can try this title generator from the KopywritingKourse guys.
Or check out other successful books outside your niche/area of interest. See how you can apply their title to your own book.
Model what works and check out the Amazon/Kindle marketplace for the best-selling books in your industry.
3. Create Your Content
Now that you’ve done some research, we’ve reached the stage where we actually write.
Let it be known that you don’t have to be great at writing.
The key to writing a successful ebook is to follow the K.I.S.S method.
Short for Keep It Simple Stupid.
Stay away from complicated sentences that don’t make sense. Your readers want to want to learn how to do something – not try and figure out what you’re saying.
So the easiest thing to do is to write in a conversational tone. Keep it short and simple so that even a 10-year-old can grasp your ideas.
If you don’t like writing, that’s ok.
An alternative is to pay someone on the other side of the world, a.k.a freelance. You can find $5 gigs on Fiverr.com or go to Upwork.com.
Here are some extra writing tips you may find helpful:
Mindmap Your Book
The first step to creating an ebook is knowing what’s in it.
A mindmap can help you stay focused on the topic and keep your ideas inflow. I recommend Xmind as it’s one of the easiest mindmap tools out there.
If you’re not too sure of what topics to write about in your ebook, check out your top 5 competitor’s books in Amazon. See what are the most common topics that are written about in all their books.
These common topics are usually the type of information that people are looking for.
Tip: Amazon offers a “look inside” feature on a majority of their books. Use this feature to look at the Table of Contents within the top 5 books in your chosen topic.
This generally gives us an idea of the big picture, therefore, we can leverage off to base our own book off.
By pointing out “same-same”, “same-different”, you will also find a “gap” where you can differentiate yourself and your book.
Another hack to make yourself unique is by going to the reviews section for suggestions of topics to write about.
The 1-3 star reviews tend to be the most useful areas to look at first because they reveal the unresolved pain-points readers have found by purchasing the book.
Specifically, they tell you their likes & dislikes and what they “wished” they’d get. Here the “opportunity” doors for you to fill-in and cover within your own ebook. [1-3 Star Review Rating IMAGE]
2. Know Who You’re Talking To
Have a clear picture of who are you trying to help? What do they look like? How do they speak – are they highly educated or are they an average Joe?
We recommend that you know who your audience is before you create anything at all because they are the lifeblood of your business. Your customers.
Know your audience so that you can talk in a way where they can resonate and trust you.
3. Write-In Blocks
The greatest writers have been known to write in blocks. We recommend you adopt the same mindset.
Rather than hitting it all at once, choose an area of your book to write about. Depending on how long each chapter is, you could vary the different chapters over one week or so.
For example, today you could focus on writing Chapter 1. Tomorrow, you could target Chapter 2 and so on.
By the end of the week, you’ll be able to join your chapters together and that then becomes your book.
4. Don’t Stop Writing
One of the biggest tips that I ever received in writing was to “never stop writing”.
Let your ideas flow out.
When you stop and edit sentences, you break the chain of
thought and therefore end up having mind blocks. You lose your creativity.
So when you write, let everything out. Don’t stop. Don’t edit.
You can do all that afterward.
4. Format Your Ebook
It’s one thing to get your content out onto a piece of paper, but it’s another to check it and format it.
One of the key things to include within your ebook (or any type of document) is readability.
Make it easy for people to digest and consume your information by paying good attention to your formatting. Not only that, but it helps to achieve a level of standard in your work.
Start by ensuring that your font is a Sans-Serif type of feeling. Arial and Verdana are the standard fonts that creators use at a size 11 or 12.
The aim of the game is not to go over too much. Which means less is best.
Don’t include anything unnecessary like fancy color schemes. Keep it simple.
Try to maintain 2 or 3 types of headers throughout your chapters. Typically, you would have the main header (as in a chapter title) and then sub-header (a sub-topic of the main topic)
From experience, readers are more likely to go through our content if it’s short, sweet and simple.
So always write in short paragraphs and sentences.
Break it down (just like we are doing right now!)
That way, it is easy for your readers to digest content. Plus, some people like to skim read. They just want to know the main points, so cut it down to make it easier.
Use Great Images
“A picture tells a thousand words”.
When we hear information, we’re likely to remember about 10% of what we heard 3 days later.
When we receive the same information with a relevant image, our retention rate 3 days later is at 65%. (Cool, right?)
So use as many images as you can in your content. Break up the text for your readers so it doesn’t feel as if they’re reading a novel.
If you enjoy photography/graphics and it is your font, you can take photos with your own camera.
However, the easiest and fastest way is by going to online image libraries like PhotoShack, Canva images, Unsplash, Pixabay and more.
These sites typically offer high-quality images for FREE, however, some do include licenses and watermarks. So make sure that you always check that out.
Alternatively, you can create your own graphics by using tools like Canva.com.
If you don’t want to go into this space, you can outsource it to a graphics designer freelancer on Upwork.com or Fiverr.com.
Formatting is a critical point in your ebooks for readability. So keep all the above tips in mind when you’re creating your conduct.
So you’ve gone through and written your first few drafts, great!
The next step and this is totally up to you, is to find a proofreader.
Freelance, Upwork or Fiverr.com are go-to sites for Elance work.
However, before getting another set of eyes on your content, do your own round of editing first.
We use Grammarly, an online Word-Corrector, for FREE.
If you can fix small mistakes, you allow your proof-reader to focus on the critical parts in your document.
After you’ve put it through a grammar-checker, print it out and read it out aloud.
You might be able to catch or fill in missing pieces. This will help your ideas flow smoothly.
Don’t make the mistake of giving your draft to your partner to go through.
Find someone outside who won’t be overly concerned about hurting your feelings.
Feedback is your friend, so don’t be offended if your content is edited.
6. Create an Ebook Cover That Sells
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
The true fact is that readers will judge your book cover. To give you an example, here is an attention-grabbing cover:
Your ebook cover shows the readers the quality of your content. Look at and compare your competitor’s ebook covers for ideas. Here are a few things you want to note down:
- Set the text color different from the background,
- Make sure your font is easy to read,
- Graphics should be no more than 300 dpi,
- Don’t copyright any material,
- Use good quality images – not the standard images.
Getting the right design and graphics is a whole different kettle of fish. We’ll just focus on the content for now, but you can find lots of different experts who are versed in this space via Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, Upwork, etc. Ebook launch also offers a service to get professional covers done starting from $99.
You will be investing a lot of 2 things most of the way: Money & Time.
Note: Keep in mind that the money you invest will always come back through the sale you make. If you got the bucks, hire a graphic designer. If you haven’t yet, there are plenty of software and FREE video tutorials that you can pick up.
You can start by writing a short description of your ebook cover. This can be a teaser from the content within the ebook – just to entice the readers to buy. The headline, you want to share the benefits of buying your product. Consider it like writing a best-selling product description. Think about the message that you’re going to deliver to the reader/buyer.
7. Convert Your Ebook
Formatting your digital product is important. Especially when it comes to selling your ebook. We’ve written a guide specifically focused on this. You can read it here: www.link.com
The file format for Amazon Kindle is MOBI. Some readers prefer ePub, which also works with Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, and Kobe.
Now if you want to sell your book directly from your store, ePub is a good option to go with.
Also, selling your ebook as a PDF is still convenient for readers. If you’re selling from your store, you can make these 3 formats available – Amazon Kindle, ePub, and PDF.
This then makes it easy for the readers to select from.
To convert your work, check out this walkthrough by Kobo Books:
Or else, you can pay someone from Fiverr to convert it for you.
8. Upload Your Ebook To Your Website
Now, we’re going to upload your ebook to your website.
Specifically, this is talking about:
- Uploading your front cover
- Setting up your price & payment processor
- Integrating your “download” button with the actual PDF.
- Uploading Your Front Cover
So, whether you’re using WordPress, Clickfunnels, or any other platform to promote your ebook, you’re going to need to upload an image of your front cover. This will give your potential customers a visual and tangible representation of what you’re selling.
In most cases, every platform should have tutorials on how to upload an image to your webpage – so knowing how to do this technically is easy.
Setting Up Your Payment Processor & Pricing
The page you will probably be focusing on to sell your ebook is a sales page. Therefore, the last thing for you to setup should be your payment processor for when customers buy your product.
Most marketers mostly use Paypal. However, if you prefer another payment processor, you can use that as well.
Connecting Your “Download” Button With Your PDF
After customers purchase your product, you will need to set up a Thank You page where they can receive and download your ebook. This doesn’t need to be hard either. All you need to do is design your Thank You page, attach your download button, and then embed a link on the download button to your PDF.
9. Market & Sell Your Ebook
Once your ebook is uploaded and published, it’s then time to focus on marketing it. In other words, promoting it to your ideal audience or your target market.
There are various ways that you can approach this. If you’ve already got an email list or audience on social media, you can let them know about your product. Market your product directly to them.
If you don’t have an audience and you’re just starting, here are a few things you can do to get noticed:
Become a Guest Writer in Your NicheWrite 10-20 guests posts for sites that your target audience goes to read.
Use tools like Similar Web or Ahrefs to find your competitors, find what your ideal target market wants to know based on search keywords, etc.
An extra tip is to look at authors in your niche and see what is their most popular blog posts. When you do this, it’s not mainly for SEO, but to create an interest in your product.
The topic of your post should relate to your ebook so you don’t necessarily need to point it out. The goal is to make your ebook known so someone sees it, builds interest, and then considers buying it.
Request Bloggers To Share It With Their Audience
You can ask bloggers in your niche to promote your ebook. In exchange, offer those bloggers a cut of the profits. The only thing you should keep in mind for this is you’ve got to know the person first. Get to know them. Build a relationship with them and then ask for your request.
Leverage Social Media
Build traction through social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Especially market on the platforms where your target audience mostly hand online.
10. Tracking Your Sales
Now, the last step of the process. It isn’t as hard as you think it is.
If you’re using Selz editor, you can easily track your sales. Log into your account and you will see the sales you have made. To see where they come from, go to your Analytics Dashboard.
Want to know more about the numbers?
You can click here to learn more about the Analytics Dashboard. For deeper analysis, you can also connect Google Analytics with Selz Store builder.
There you have the 10 steps to create, market and sell your ebook(s). It does take time to create your ebook. However, it allows you to share your knowledge and find your voice. Not to mention, increase your income.
We hope you enjoyed this post so far.
Comment below your number one takeaway!