I've been writing and selling ebooks online since 2004. To date, I've published over 50, which can be found on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There are some definite changes I've noticed in the self-publishing game over the years. If you want to know how to write an ebook and make sales nowadays, following are three of the biggest changes to pay particular attention to.
I. Learn Your Craft
This means that if you write fiction, invest time in learning how to write a good story, ie, learn about character development, story structure, style and tone, etc.
If you write non-fiction (eg, "how to" business books), make sure your content is easy to follow and is grounded in fact, as opposed to supposition. Provide clear, concise examples and reference material so the reader can dig further if they want to.
I write mostly in the non-fiction, how-to genre. Many of my ebooks are derived from things I have first-hand experience with, eg, self-publising, freelance writing, SEO writing, making money online as an internet marketer, etc.
To "ground" my content in reality, I recount actual scenarios I've experienced with, for example, freelance writing clients, publishing my first ebook, mistakes I've made in affiliate marketing, etc. All of this makes my content not only more believable, it turns my experiences -- the good and the bad -- into usable, teachable moments. See what I mean?
Learning how to write an ebook that sells in 2013 means knowing your craft - just like a "professional" writer would - because that's exactly what you are.
II. Create a Series
For example, if you write fiction, create a series of two, three or four ebooks. Or, have a main character who appears in numerous titles. This way, if a reader buys one and likes it, they're much more likely to buy the other ebooks in the series or featuring a particular character.
Many successful self-publishers have followed this formula (eg, Joe Konrath, John Locke, Amanda Hocking.)
When you do this, you increase the dollar value of each buyer. Instead of them being worth $2.99 to your bottom line (because they bought one of your ebooks), they become worth $9 (because they buy three at that price).
Over your lifetime as a self-published author, this can be worth thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars - depending on your sales.
III. Get a Professional Ebook Cover
When I first started selling ebooks in 2004, I didn't have a specialized cover at all. Mine consisted of maybe a company graphic. But most were just the title of the ebook - that's it.
Nowadays, that doesn't cut it. If you scroll the pages of Amazon, it's easy to pick out the professional from the non-professional ebook covers. Look at them and ask yourself which ones you'd likely purchase.
How to Get Professional, Cheap Ebook Covers
You can hire a graphic designer from sites like Craigslist and backpage for reasonable rates, or you can use ebook cover design software. There's plenty of it out there that allow you to create covers for literally a few dollars. I know -- I use one!
The Stigma of Self-Publishing Is Disappearing
Many self-publishers are raking in five and six figures per month, having their ebooks optioned by Hollywood producers and getting fat publishing contracts with traditional publishers like Simon and Schuster, Random House, etc.
In the CNN.com article, Self-published e-book author: 'Most of my months are six-figure months', Hugh Howey, a 37-year-old Florida author who had his ebook series optioned by mega-hit movie producer Ridley Scott, stated:
The stigma [of self-publishing] is gone... Publishers will pick up a self-published work if it does well. Readers are really just interested in good stories.
What this means for writing an ebook that sells well nowadays is that they'll be looked at with the same critical eye as a "professionally" published book. So, don't drop the ball.
About the Author: Yuwanda has written and self-published over 50 ebooks, which can be found on major sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in addition to her freelance writing website, InkwellEditorial.com. If you found the info here insightful, get more in the complete package on writing an ebook. It will not only teach you how to write an ebook (in just a few days!), but also tell you exactly how to market it and start getting sales within a week - really!
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
Keywords relevant to this article: writing an ebook, how to write an ebook, write ebook, sell ebooks online, selling ebooks online, self-publishing