Are you ready to expand your digital product selection and want to learn how to sell ebooks? Ebooks are wonderful for many different niches, genres, and industries. They take little time to create and anyone can do so with little to no graphic design skills. And let’s not forget the passive income potential.
So, let’s talk about the step-by-step process of how to successfully create and sell ebooks.
Table of contents:
Why sell ebooks online
Creating and selling ebooks is a great addition to your online business for many reasons. Here are the three most important ones:
Passive income is the ultimate dream of every entrepreneur. And ebooks are one of the most easy and straightforward ways to build a passive income stream, no matter what industry you’re in, or which genre you write.
You can make money selling ebooks while you sleep, or travel the world. And all you need to do is spend a little time upfront creating and writing ebooks. Of course, marketing might take a little effort down the line, but as you sell and publish more books, it will become easier to do.
If you only sell high-ticket online courses, you might want to introduce a cheaper introductory offer to your brand to have it as an easy sell to new customers. An ebook is a great option because they are often much cheaper than online courses, and less intimidating because people can quickly read them, rather than taking a few weeks to go through an online course curriculum.
Once people see that your ebooks are good and give them value, they’ll be much more willing to try your more premium products that require more money and time investment. Plus, an ebook can later serve as an order bump to increase your average order value.
Lastly, writing and selling an ebook on a topic you specialize in is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. It is a great way to build your personal brand and strengthen people’s trust in your expertise.
You can then go on to do guest blog posts and podcasts, and people in your industry will be able to quote you as a source if you provide tons of value in your ebook. In the long term, this can help grow your business and ensure long-term success.
How to sell ebooks
Now, the process of creating an ebook is less daunting than it sounds. You can easily create a professional ebook in just a few steps:
Identify your audience
First and foremost, you’ll want to think about your audience and what they are looking for. Are you trying to solve an issue they have? Or maybe, you want to entertain them? Answering these questions and identifying your target audience will be crucial for your ebook success.
Write your ebook
Writing your ebook will be the most time-consuming step. You’ll want to outline the contents, just like you do with your online course curriculum. You can easily repurpose some of your content from your online courses, or blog posts and turn them into ebook chapters if the content is valuable.
You always have the option to hire a ghostwriter to write a book for you. It might save you time and allow you to work on other aspects of releasing an ebook, so it might be worth it. While it is an investment in most cases, you can find more affordable ghostwriters on online marketplaces like Fiverr.
Design your ebook
Designing your ebook includes things such as:
- Designing an eye-catching book cover (super important!)
- Formatting the interior
- Including images, infographics, and other visual elements
- Choosing fonts
You don’t have to be a designer to design a professional ebook. Tools like Canva help you do just that with little to no graphic design skill, and you can do that for free. Canva even has premade templates for ebooks that make it even easier.
Choose a platform to sell
Once your ebook is written, designed, and ready to be published, you’ll have to make a very important decision on a platform where you want to sell it. You can do it on your own website, or publish it on online book marketplaces like Amazon or Google Books.
Which platform you will choose will depend on your niche and your business goals. For example, if you decided to publish a fiction ebook, Amazon might be much better than your own website. While if your book is on the topic of “how to start a blog” you will probably find more success selling it directly to your audience from your website.
Where to sell ebooks
Here are the best places to sell your ebook online:
The best way to sell your books online is through your own website. You don’t need to create an ebook store for that, a simple yet powerful landing page is more than enough for you to start selling.
Teachable allows you to easily create sales pages for your ebooks and sell them directly through the platform. You don’t have to worry about transactions, security, or delivering the ebook. Teachable does it all for you.
The sales page tools allow you to include many different elements that will help you sell your book, like social proof and reviews. Ebook sales are greatly influenced by reviews, and being able to include them on your sales page is key.
Etsy is an online marketplace for many different things, from wedding invitations, to dream catchers. And you can also sell ebooks online through Etsy.
Anyone can create a store and upload products for sale, whether physical or digital. Etsy is amazing because it is a search engine, so you can really optimize your ebook product pages with keywords. And they even have a built-in ads manager if you’d like to run ads on your ebook.
To list a product on Etsy costs a small fee of $0.2, plus they take a small percentage of each sale you make through their platform.
Amazon is the biggest online store for books in the world. So, you might want to have your ebook published on the platform. And you can easily do it through the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform.
You can create a free account and upload your ebooks in a matter of seconds. They even allow you to create paperbacks and hardbacks, if that’s something you’re interested in as well.
When setting up you have to choose the categories and genres and add keywords so that Amazon can categorize your ebook correctly. You are also able to set the price yourself, but there is a percentage of each sale that Amazon takes, depending on whether you choose to only sell on Amazon or wide, on other marketplaces as well.
How to market ebooks
Once you create an ebook and put it up for sale, it’s time to market your ebooks! Here are a few marketing strategies we recommend you employ:
If you have an email list, utilize it to sell your ebooks. People on your email list are your #1 fans, who are interested in products you are selling, so tell them about your new release.
If you don’t have an email list yet, no worries! It is never too late to start one. You can easily build an email list in anticipation of your book release, which is the perfect opportunity to use some book materials to help grow your email list.
Use excerpts from your ebook as lead magnets to collect people’s email addresses and invite them to join your email list. Once they are on your list, though, don’t forget to send out nurture emails to introduce people to your brand and yourself. When the time is right, create a promotion plan for your ebook that involves sending a series of promotional emails to your list leading up to your book release.
Paid ads on Google, Facebook, or Amazon are a very effective way to get your ebooks in front of a new audience that’s excited to read them. All of the platforms allow you to tailor your ads to target people who are interested in similar books to yours, which is a super efficient way to reach people who you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
This is not a free marketing strategy and will require some initial time investment to set up the ads. But it can offer a great return on investment.
Of course, don’t forget your social media following – let them know when you release new ebooks. You can share snippets and teasers, or quotes from the book. Visuals of quotes from books do pretty well on social media and make for easy-to-share content.
One very effective way to promote your ebooks is to collaborate with other authors in your niche and do giveaways. You can always do giveaways by yourself, but it is much more effective to involve other authors because it gives you a chance to reach a new audience.
So, find a few authors who are in the same niche and sell ebooks. Consider what prizes your audience would be interested in. Then, create simple rules for entry, such as – follow the accounts, share this post, and tag a friend. Usually, a week is enough time to gather enough attention.
Reviews are your social proof that your ebook is worth people’s time, attention, and money. And they are one of the most effective book marketing tools. Whenever you can, encourage people to leave a review of your ebooks.
You can collect reviews yourself, or on platforms like Goodreads and Amazon. Depending on your niche and genre, you might also want to get some paid reviews, just so you could have some marketing material to use when you promote your ebooks on social media or with paid ads.
Guest podcasting is a great way to promote your ebooks. If you are an expert on a certain topic and have an ebook on the topic, pitch yourself to relevant podcasts. Once you’re on the podcast, the host usually allows the guests to promote themselves and their businesses, which is a fantastic way to reach a new audience.
How to sell ebooks FAQs
Let’s answer a few most frequently asked questions content creators have:
Which platform is best for selling ebooks?
The best platform for selling your ebooks will probably be Amazon. It is one of the biggest booksellers on the planet, which means that your ebook will have the chance to reach more people. Plus, you can advertise and easily deliver the ebook to your reader’s hands without having to fuss about the technical stuff.
You also have the option to easily run ads, and promote your book directly on the platform which can be convenient and easier than setting up external ads like Facebook or Google Ads.
Amazon also rewards books that sell well by pushing them in front of more people, so once you rack up your sales, you will see that it gets easier to market your book.
Is it hard to sell an ebook?
It depends. Creating and selling an ebook on a platform like Amazon is easier than let’s say, creating and selling an online course. It’s quicker to create and put up for sale than larger digital products.
If your ebook has tons of valuable content inside, and you have written it with your target audience in mind, selling an ebook won’t be easy. You’ll know exactly who to market the ebook to and how.
Is it profitable to make an ebook?
Yes! Ebooks are one of the most profitable products to sell because of the relatively low money and time investment it costs to create and sell an ebook.
You can set your ebook price to be as low or high as you wish (depending on the contents and your industry), and because the cost of selling an ebook is much lower than physical products, you’ll be keeping most of the profit.