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Writing an e-book is a great way to earn money online, even if you’re not an experienced writer. Fiction and nonfiction e-books can provide a stream of revenue, and when you publish multiple books over time, you can increase your earning potential and end up with a nice supplement for your income. Some people have actually built million-dollar empires from publishing and selling e-books.
The popularity of e-books is on the rise. E-readers like the Nook and Kindle, tablets like the iPad and e-reader apps for smartphones are making people increasingly opt for electronic books over conventional hardbacks and paperbacks. This has made it possible for people of all ages and experience levels to make a living writing e-books on a wide range of topics. Self-publishing allows you to write a book and then sell it directly to the public without having to try and get your book into the hands of a publisher.
Studies show that there are around 700,000 authors writing e-books around the world, and websites have hundreds of thousands of books available. For example, there are more than 650,000 electronic nonfiction and fiction books being sold at the Kindle UK store, and 1 million additional titles available as free e-book downloads.
If you’ve always wanted to be a published author, it’s easier than ever to make your dream a reality, and if you follow the advice provided in this article you can make money online easily in the process. You can even turn it into your full-time online job if that’s what you’re looking for!
Writing an E-Book
The hardest part of publishing and selling an e-book is doing the writing itself.
It’s important to strive to produce a high quality e-book, not to rush and try to finish it fast. A book that is written poorly, full of errors and formatted improperly won’t make any money or be appealing to readers. In order to be successful, you need to produce the best quality e-book that you’re able to, and that means investing a lot of time into writing, proofreading and rewriting your work.
But before you actually start to create the content, you need to decide what you want to write. It’s not enough to choose just fiction or nonfiction. If you want to write a short story, novella or book, you need to focus on a genre. The best selling topics are crime thrillers, chick lit, paranormal romance and fantasy. More interested in nonfiction? You’ll need to decide on a niche to work in. Guides and tutorials tend to be the biggest money makers in the world of e-books.
Once you have decided exactly what you want to write, it’s a great idea to do some reading to see what successful e-book authors are doing to make their work sell. Try reading the 20 best-selling books in your genre or niche. You don’t want to steal their ideas, of course, but you can get a feel for how to write in a way that appeals to readers and format your e-book by reading the work of top writers.
Another important thing to consider when writing an e-book is length. You’ll quickly see that the best-selling electronic books tend to be short. Aim for something that a person can read in 1 to 2 hours or less. If your book needs to be longer, you may want to divide it into multiple books.
After you have a draft that you’re satisfied with, you may want to hire a proofreader or editor to go over your work and improve it. Then, you’ll be ready to move onto the next step.
One important thing to remember when you’re writing is that your first e-book may not be a smashing success. Many authors do not succeed until they write their fourth or fifth book. Have realistic expectations from the get-go to avoid being discouraged.
The Cover Design
That saying don’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t really apply to actual books! Often, readers select books in large part based on the cover, particularly in the world of electronic books. People will see a small image of the cover when they’re shopping, so you want to make sure that you have a cover design that is eye-catching and appealing.
To get the best cover possible, look for a simple, yet powerful image that relates to the theme of your book. You may be able to design one yourself, but often, it’s best to hire a graphic designer to do the job for you.
The best place to find such a graphic designer is Fiverr, the world’s largest freelance services marketplace. You’re sure to find whatever you are looking for there. Even if you’re thinking of getting a ghost writer to write your e-book for you, as previously mentioned, Fiverr is the place to be.
If you want to learn more or get started right away with finding someone to help you out at a reasonable rate, check out their site here, or click on the image below.
Uploading the Book
After you have written your e-book, you need to write a description of it that will make people want to read it. Write a short paragraph or two that captures attention and rouses curiosity. You may want to include a brief excerpt of your book, and you should also tell the reader how many words it is, so that they have a good idea of what they’re paying for.
Once you have your description ready, you’re ready to upload. The Amazon store is a great place to get started. The site has a video that will teach you the process and allow you to get your e-book uploaded quickly. Another great service to try is smashwords.com, which will help you get your book listed at the Apple iBooks store, Barnes & Noble, Diesel e-Books and the Sony Reader Store.
Setting a Price
It will be up to you to establish the price of your e-book. To determine how much to charge, take a look at what the best-selling books in your niche or category or selling for. You want your book to be similar in price or less expensive than the others.
Keep in mind that the store will take a percentage of the money that the customer pays for the book. Each site and service has its own royalty system, so do a little reading before you upload to find out how much the store will keep when you sell an e-book.
Marketing Your E-Book
Normally, it will take 24 to 48 hours for your e-book to become available on an online store. Don’t expect orders to just start coming in after that though. You’ll need to market your e-book to sell copies and get it noticed.
Some of the best ways to promote an e-book include:
The most important thing to keep in mind when you're marketing your e-book is your target market. Ask yourself:
- Who is most likely to read my e-book?
- Why would they want to read my book instead of another one?
- Where would they be most likely to learn about my e-book?
- What can I do to make them interested in reading?
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you wrote an e-book about cooking Mexican food. You wouldn’t just want to say that your target market was someone who wanted to cook Mexican food. Think hard about who would buy an e-book about Mexican food–likely it would be a young adult or homemaker who likes cooking and wants to try new recipes.
They might want to pick your book because your family is Mexican and it’s filled with recipes that are truly authentic. Pinterest is a popular place for people to search for recipes, so you may want to create different types of pins that would point to your website or to your e-book page.