How To Make Money By Writing An eBook!

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Write An eBookWhether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, are an experienced writer or a complete novice, you can make money by writing an ebook!

With the popularity of the Kindle and the iPad, as well as many apps for your smart phone, ebooks have never been so popular. There are even debates online as to which is the best eReader?

This popularity in e-readers has opened up a whole new range of opportunities to writers who thought their dream of getting a book published would never come to fruition. The emergence of electronic self-publishing has enabled anyone to publish an e-book to a potential audience of millions, worldwide!

For years, a whiff of failure hovered around the self-published author. Rejections from publishers would leave writers having to pay someone to publish their work, and after a lot of effort the results tended to look cheap.

The ebook reader, such as the Kindle, has revolutionised the publishing world, empowering and enriching writers in the process.

There are now an estimated 700,000 authors e-publishing worldwide. At the Kindle UK store alone, there are around 650,000 titles for sale with another one million free titles available for download.

Find out how easy it is to publish your own ebook online. What do you need to know? What does it involve? And how much money can you make?

Starting An eBook

8 Ways To Improve Your Writing

The process of publishing an ebook may be relatively simple, but actually writing your ebook is definitely not!

The big problem with e-publishing is that the vast majority of books that are being self-published are terrible! They are poorly written, woefully edited, badly formatted, etc. Many people rush to get their work published online, but this is the problem. A badly written book isn’t going to sell, no matter how cheap it is!

You can compare writing an ebook to running a marathon. Anyone that finishes a marathon deserves credit, it’s hard work after all. But just because you have run a marathon, doesn’t mean you should be running in the London Olympics!

Very few writers see any success from their first book, often it’s their forth or fifth that is good enough.

Before you start, it’s worth thinking about the type of book you want to write. Are you writing a fiction or non-fiction book? If it’s a non-fiction book, what niche are you writing for? Tutorials and guides work well because people can learn from them. If you are writing a fiction novel, what genre are you focusing on? Crime thrillers, fantasy, paranormal romance and chick-lit tend to sell well. These are the general types of ebooks that sell well, maybe because the fans of these types of books tend to read more than the average reader.

As with all writing, it’s worth reading other peoples books. Look at the top 20 best selling titles and download the ones that look most similar to your book. You will be able to see what works and what doesn’t, helping you to improve your own writing.

Consider the length of your ebook. Many of the top selling books tend to be short, quick reads that people can read on the commute to work.

Once you have written your book, make sure you proof read it for any mistakes. It could be wise to pay a professional editor to vet your work before you publish anything.  There is nothing worse than reading something with poor spelling and grammar!  Especially when you have paid for it!!!

When you are happy with your ebook, it’s time to think about the all-important cover design!

Judge A Book By It’s Cover

“Never judge a book by it’s cover”, right? Well actually, NO! A good cover is one of the most important aspects for an ebook’s success. Books are displayed online with an image thumbnail of the cover design, so it’s important that you use a good one.

Use a simple, striking image that tells the reader what your book is about (easier said than done, I know). If you are good at graphic design/photography, then by all means give it a go yourself, but generally it may be better to find a professional to design one for you. Having a professionally designed ebook cover could get your book noticed more and help sell it!

Uploading An eBook

Before you upload your e-book, you need to write a description, which Amazon says can be anything between 30 and 4,000 characters (not words!). This is your chance to really sell your work, so write a compelling blurb, without giving away any of its secrets/plot twists. A good idea would be to include a sample, perhaps the first couple of paragraphs, along with the e-book length, e.g. 90,000 words.

The next step is to get your e-book out there for people to read. Amazon has a great video and step-by-step guide to uploading your work, which is very simple. It’s also a good idea to check out smashwords.com, a platform that allows you to distribute your e-book to the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader Store and the Diesel eBook store.

Pricing

There are two royalty rates offered by Amazon;

  • 70% of the cover price if the book is priced between £1.49 and £6.99
  • 35% for titles priced at 75p.

So, try to keep your price as low as possible! The cheaper the book is, the more it will sell. Amazon lets you sell for as little as $0.99 in the US and £0.75 in the UK. For a first time writer, that’s probably the best price to go for. It’s hard for a first time writer to sell a book for more than £1.

Creating A Brand

Once you’ve uploaded your book by clicking the Save and Publish button, you will have to wait around 24 hours before your book is listed in the online store. What takes considerably longer is getting your book noticed!

It’s a good idea to promote your book on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook & Google+, together with specialist sites like Kindleboards.com and Goodreads.com. If you haven’t done so already, create your own website and promote your ebook.

You need to define your target audience of niche readers, who are going to be the people most likely to buy your book. You could post a series of short blog posts for your target audience, helping to promote your book and raise your profile online. The idea is to attract readers to your website, where you can engage them on an individual level until they finally begin to correspond by Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Making Money With Your eBook

So, you have written a great ebook, it has a great cover design, you have priced it at the right level, and you have been marketing and publicising it online, but what are the chances of it making any money?

Well that depends on how well you have done the previous things. There are writers that have made hundreds of thousands in a matter of months, some even more! It all depends on the quality of your ebook. If people like it, they will tell others about it and things could spiral from there.

As the amount of Kindle, iPad & eReader owners increases, ebooks will continue to grow in popularity! Now, time to get working on that ebook…

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the founder and editor of OnlineIncomeTeacher. He is a Professional Blogger, SEO Consultant & Web Developer, running a number of sites from the UK. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Darrel456

    I’ve actually been thinking about doing this myself ffor a while. Thanks for another great post Matt, I might just get round to writing my own book now

    • Good for you Darrel! I need to get working on my ebook too 🙂

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  • The Approval King

    I have been writing a book on financing cars with the companies and how to make a successful profit with your own car-lot. I have been in the car business for all my life and have been very successful and want to share my knowledge on how to become rich and with limited debt.

    • Well I hope these tips on writing an ebook helped you out.

  • Courtney

    Thanks for the great advice. I currently post my stories on a free website called wattpad and they have received great reviews. Would it be sensible to sell the same story for money whilst having a free copy already out there?

    • Hi Courtney! I wouldn’t sell the exact same copy if it’s already online. If anything, that could come back to bite you if people who bought your book found the same free content. They may end up asking for a refund.

      There is nothing stopping you from rewriting that content and selling it though. The great thing about blogging is that you build up a vast amount of content that you can draw upon. Pick a few posts and combine them to make an ebook to sell.

  • vinodh

    you are an online income genius

  • grace

    Matt,

    I am an English teacher who has had a disconcerting first read on my new Kindle. I see better writing from some of my students. I also think that a copy editor could not have been involved. The story line was decent, but predictable, and there were so many grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence construction errors jumping out at me , I stopped taking the author seriously. I forced myself to finish it because I paid for it.

    You would think more people would be outraged because they paid for a work in progress and not a finished piece. It is like watching a movie that skips every five minutes.

    • Hi Grace! True, there are some very bad examples of eBooks online, but thankfully they aren’t as widespread as you may think (certainly from my experience).

      In order for an eBook to be successful, they have to spend time writing it properly and preferably having it edited by a professional. After all, poor books won’t sell very many copies, so it’s in their own interest to make sure it’s up to scratch.

      Hopefully you will have a better experience with your second purchase! 🙂

  • Writer

    “A badly written book isn’t going to sell, no matter how cheap it is!”

    Clearly you wrote this before 50 Shades Of Grey.

    • Haha, Yes, you are right!

      If anything, ’50 Shades Of Grey’ demonstrates that an eBook can have a big impact globally, whatever the quality. Bloggers that produce their own book and achieve just a small, small fraction of that success will be very happy.

  • I’ve been planning to gather around 30-40 of my posts and publishing it as an e-book for a while now.
    This post comes just at the right time. will check out the links that you mentioned in the post for further assistance.
    However, once am done, do you advise me to keeping the posts on the blog or should I “move them to drafts” ?

    • Hi Jigar (sorry for the late reply),

      Great news on your eBook. Plan to do something similar myself at some point. I would suggest that you add something extra though, whether it’s a few exclusive posts or rework each slightly. Would be a bit annoyed if I spent some money on an eBook (not matter how good the quality) to then find the exact same posts, word for word on your site for free. Offer something a bit extra to entice people to buy it.

      As for your posts on your site, I’d definitely keep them. They are helping to bring in traffic to your site, so removing them would harm your site in the long run.

      Why not take your 30-40 posts and chop them together to create a better flowing eBook. So instead of 1 post followed by another, work out how you want to structure your book (i.e. Chapters, sub chapters, etc.) and look at which paragraphs/sections you can use. It may need a bit of work, but you wouldn’t need to rewrite the whole book.

      • Yes, was thinking of the same and that’s why was wondering whether to keep or delete the posts.

        That certainly seems better. To chop off a bit and re-write a few sections for the e-book.
        Thanks.

        • No problem Jigar!

          Let us know how you get on with it 🙂

  • Alan Dingwall

    Great post Matt. I’d like to do a ebook in the future too so I’m doing some research on that while doing a few other projects. However my whole blogging thing has fallen through again. I keep changing my mind and can’t keep to one thought.

    I’ve had this story in my head called Dead Night since I was 14 and I’m thinking of doing a blog around that and releasing a ebook series.

    • Hi Alan,

      “Dead Night”, what’s that? A story idea?

      Whichever idea you choose to go with, I’m sure you will do well. Think you just need to be more decisive and follow through with one. It’s great to have lots of ideas, but ideas is all they will be if you don’t follow through with any. 🙂

      • Alan Dingwall

        Yeah. I think that’s my problem.

        Well When I was younger like 14 I used to write a lot of stories. Dead night was by far my longest story in ever. It spanned around 50 – 60 pages in length and then I lost like half the pages. :/

        I had someone read it and they said it was good that I should turn it into a book so I was going to do that before I lost the pages, but then I lost them.

        However the idea has lingered in my head since I was 14 until now and I’ve written screenplays and everything, but in the end I deleted them because I didn’t think they were good enough.

        But the idea has generated from story, to novel, to screenplay to film and I was thinking about using that model for my online business.

        I have idea’s for shorts, feature length films and a episodic series I could write the screenplays, short stories, novels and I was so thinking about getting a friend to help me do a action comic sort of like a Manga if it was good enough and garnered a audience.

        I would act and create the shorts, the episodic series’s and the feature length films so that can go on my acting resume. This will help build my portfolio for acting, screenwriting and directing which would lead me to my ultimate goal of being a actor either way in the long run.

        It’s more for people’s entertainment, but do you think that this could be a viable business model?

        I have other idea’s too like midnight Falls (Vampire series), Devious minds (Drama, Comedy, Mystery series; Also sort of inspired by Devious Maids and Desperate Housewives) and I have a few other things planned too. What do you think?

        • “…do you think that this could be a viable business model?” Honestly, I have no idea. You would have to look at other sites that have done a similar thing and see how they have done. I’m certainly not the right person to ask about that I’m afraid, sorry.

          Sounds like you have a big interest in writing though, so I’d encourage that. Don’t delete things though. What may seem daft or not good enough one day, may develop into a new idea that you can come back to in the future. I myself have an ambition to write a book at some point and have tons of notes and pages of potential story ideas. It’s just deciding and committing to that one good one that’s the problem.

  • friend

    Wow plagarism doesnt pay off in the long run my friend. You really shouldnt copy and paste your paragraphs from different articles. Just a humble advice if you ever wish to be successful.

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  • Diane Winchester

    Is there a proofreading service available to ebook writers? If not, I would like to do that. I am South African. I have a distinction and a merit award in English. I could use the extra money. Could you point me in the right direction?

  • Anthony Esposito

    Well, I’m a man of many ideas and never had thought about posting online on a site such as “Ebook” but I’m very interested in doing so. No, I don’t have the best grammar, nor do I have the money to further educate myself to learn the proper way to write, but I do try! I am seriously thinking about posting a couple of my pages that has generated a decent crowd on “Facebook.” My story is titled, “Walking The Apocalypse” and it has generated a lot of attention. I hope that it will have much success in the near future.

    • Jen Roxx

      You can even outsource the writing of your ebook, it’s super simple and if you do it the right way it can be very cheap. Good luck! <3

  • Jen Roxx

    Excellent and informative post, thanks so much. I’ve been an entrepreneur for just under a year and have just decided to start working on my 5th stream of income which will be ebooks! I really enjoyed reading your article and I’ve marked “chick-lit” as one of my new fav terms! lol

  • Victor Pablo Benavides

    Thanks for the advice Matt. What do you think about writing an e-book that contains or expands on my class notes of an MBA finance course?

  • Giri Bai

    I would like to write an ‘E book based on curiosity,spiritual powers with divine and science , that i admires and along with my thoughts. I think i’m not good in grammar. I don’t know how to start this writing as a complete book, or chapters or blogs. How to present and sell my book Matt.

  • erick

    nice advice. its very hard to get started selling e-book in the internet. but, if we can get into the stream of selling e-book, it would be amazingly profit income