I wrote my first ebook in 2002 and have written and self-published over 50 since then. But, it took over eight years (until 2010) for me to start making some real money as a self-publisher. And what I mean by real money is that the ebooks I wrote and self-published accounted for over half my income that year.
This made me stand up and take notice and say:
"Hey, I can really make a full-time living writing and selling my own ebooks online if I developed a real plan."
So that's what I did. I uploaded 50 titles to Amazon in 2011; and have added more since then. I'm not stopping; this is now a career for me.
With that being said, following are five of the most important things -- in my opinion -- that it takes to make a full-time living as a self-published author. There are many, many more, but these are some of the biggies. I've read accounts of hundreds of successful ebook writers (ie, those who sell at least 1,000 copies of their ebooks per month), and many of them mirror the advice I give here.
I. Write - a Lot: I was doing some research recently on how self-published authors managed to sell 1,000 ebooks per month or more. One of the things that many of them said was that they wrote - a lot. As in, they had put out more than one or two titles. Many had 6, 8, or 10. Some were short stories, some were novels - the point is, they were prolific in their output.
As I said, I've written and self-published over 50 ebooks - and it wasn't until I'd written about a dozen that I saw a noticeable uptick in sales. As an aside I write non-fiction, which tends to sell way less than fiction.
II. Create Series: Look no further than authors like JK Rowling to see how successful this is. Or to use another example, Hollywood. Why do you think here were five Rocky's made? Because the public fell in love with the character and wanted more.
So create a series of ebooks - if readers fall in love with your characters, it makes selling more ebooks much easier because it's a proven entity.
III. Professional Editing and Proofreading: Don't skimp on this. In the beginning of the self-publishing revolution, a lot of garbage was spilled onto sites like Amazon (still is). But, ebook readers got tired of it and started rebelling. Nowadays, they're much more discerning about who they give their money too.
So spend the money it takes to get your ebook professionally edited and proofed. Once it's up, it's ostensibly up forever, so make it a good representation of who you are as an author and self-publisher. Otherwise, you could be repelling readers who'll NEVER give your ebook a shot - no matter how good the story is.
IV. A Good Ebook Cover: Gone are the days where you can slap together an amateur cover and expect readers to buy. You must have a professional ebook cover, or readers will likely pass your title right on by because they'll think you're not professional.
V. A Good Story: This should go without saying, but I just had to put it in. Tell a good story. All of us can grow as writers; so spend always spend some time investing in your craft.
Take a writing class; read more; tune into what successful writers do by reading their blogs, watching their videos, and pouring over their websites and books. The better you get as a writer, the more ebooks you can ostensibly sell.
Is It Hard to Make Living as a FT Self-Publisher?
Yeah, but not nearly as hard as many think - if you're willing to put in the effort. In fact, I'm constantly pleasantly surprised by how straightforward it is to make money as a self-published ebook writer these days. As I said, I've been writing and selling ebooks online since 2002 and even though it took a while, I'm living proof that it's possible.
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 how to self-publish 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: self-publishing, sell ebooks online, marketing ebooks, writing an ebook, ebook cover, make money selling ebooks online