I’ve been writing and selling ebooks online since 2004. As of this writing, I’ve self-published over 50 on places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. As I blog a lot about what’s involved in learning how to write an ebook and sell it yourself, I get a lot of questions from wannabe writers. They usually want to know what’s involved and how to get started. Following is a typical email I received recently (some identifying details have been changed). It read:
I live in Finland and have been out of work for a while. I am a fitness instructor, nutritionist and parent. I have written articles for newspapers [about nutrition] before . . . but nothing I got paid for. I love writing and I want to really focus on writing ebooks but don't know where to start. . . . Any help would be appreciated.
With all of this being said, following are the basic steps any aspiring author needs to take to start writing and selling their own ebooks online.
1. Write the Book: Many get stuck at the starting gate by not doing this very simple thing. This is particularly easy if you’re writing in the “how to” genre (as opposed to fiction, for example) on something you know about and/or have a lot of experience in/with.
FYI, how-to information is some of the best-sellling info online, and if you know your subject matter it is ridiculously easy to write a 30-50 page ebook on a niche topic (the length most of my ebooks fall into).
For example, the writer in the above-mentioned email is a fitness instructor and nutritionist. She’s written for newspapers about her subject matter before. So, all she has to do is figure out what she wants her ebook to be about, then sit down and write it.
I think many aspiring writers don’t start because they get hung up on the “mechanics” of how to write an ebook, eg, how long should it be, what should it be about, how to format it, etc. While these are legitimate concerns, they’re easy to overcome. How?
There’s tons of info online about the mechanics of writing an ebook, so do some reading, then start writing so you can get a finished product in hand.
2. Convert Your Ebook: Once you finish your ebook, then you have to convert it. What you convert it to will depend on where you’re going to sell it. For example, if you’re going to sell it from your website, then you’ll want to convert it to a pdf file.
If you’re going to sell it on Amazon, you’ll convert it using their software. If you’re going to sell it on Barnes and Noble, you’d convert it using their software, etc. All of this can be done for free and major sites like Barnes and Noble and Amazon have detailed instructions (and really helpful forums) on how to convert your ebook. Once you learn how, it’s ridiculously easy to do.
3. Upload Your Ebook to Your Selling Outlet of Choice: Once your ebook has been converted, you simply upload it to the site you want to sell on to start making sales. This is as quick and easy as attaching a file to an email. It really is that simple!
Where to Sell Ebooks Online: A Few of the Biggies
Other major outlets for selling ebooks online include CreateSpace, Lulu, PayLoadz and Clickbank. There are tons of them though. A simple web search will unveil many more.
The Hardest Part of Selling Ebooks Online
Without a doubt, this is ebook marketing. This is where you have to learn about things like search engine optimization (SEO), landing pages, getting a subscriber list, building a blog, article marketing, call-to-action statements, etc.
Selling Ebooks Online: Conclusion
Remember, writing and selling ebooks online (self-publishing) is a full-fledged business. And like any other business, you’re not going to learn everything in one day. While there is a lot to learn, it’s not difficult; it just takes time.
But, I go back to this -- the first step in selling ebooks online is . . . well . . . writing an ebook to sell! You will learn all of the other stuff you need to know after you have a product in hand you can actually do something with. In fact, you’ll be much more motivated to learn because you will have a product to promote.
As always, I hope this insight helps.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has been writing and selling ebooks online since 2004. To date, she’s self-published over 50. Get everything you need to learn how to write and sell ebooks online, including ebook marketing strategies, how to create professional ebook covers, how to set up an ebook affiliate program – and more!
Keywords used in this article: Selling ebooks, selling ebooks online, how to write an ebook, sell ebooks, ebook writer, self publishing, ebook marketing