Writing, editing, and publishing an eBook is a big undertaking. By the time you hit the publish button, you’ll be hoping for sales to be rolling in since the project is complete. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like that.
I can tell you from experience that pushing sales on your eBook can be tricky. It’s hard to bring attention to eBooks because of all the competition on the market. However, there are some platforms out there that can help to ensure your eBook becomes a bestseller.
I’ve put together a few of my favorite eBook platforms and steps you can take to start pushing more sales today.
How to Write an eBook And Sell It Online: 6 Platforms to Use
It’s time to sell your eBook online. If you've done a great job with the content and the cover, these six platforms should help you start to push your eBook out to the masses.
Shopify is one of the best-known platforms for any type of online sales. With Shopify, you'll set up your online shop and push your eBook sales through the website. I know it can seem like a big undertaking to put together an entire website for your eBook, it isn’t.
Shopify makes the process easy, and they are known for their impressive eCommerce solutions. Setting up a Shopify store is going to cost about $29 per month on the low end. In addition, there are some fees related to each sale.
Here’s the key factor throughout all of these platforms: it takes volume to make money on your eBook. Don’t get caught up on small fees with an individual book transaction. Instead, find a platform that will help you push out a large volume of sales on your book.
The next website I recommend to start pushing those eBook sales is Sellfy. Sellfy is a bit like Shopify (can you tell by the name?). Think of this website as a way to set up your little slice of the internet. If you want to sell t-shirts, your eBook, and maybe even a membership to your newsletter or platform, Sellfy is an excellent spot to do it.
One of the things I like about Sellfy is the reporting that you get. Understanding your sales and how they grow or decline will help you as a business owner.
If you already have a website and are worried about starting from scratch, don’t be! Sellfy allows you to set up your storefront with your existing domain. You can add a shopping cart, keep all of your branding, and make the shopping experience incredibly easy for your customers.
When it’s time to sell your eBook, you have to take your writer’s hat off and put on your marketing cap. Everything you've done over the last few months (or years) to get your eBook to market is no longer relevant when it comes to sales.
The transition from writer to marketer is a tough one. If you struggle with these types of changes, I highly recommend choosing a service like Payhip to help you sell your eBook.
Payhip has the most resources for marketing, affiliates, and management of your customers. You’ll make an easy transition from the development side of the business when using Payhip.
Perhaps the thing I love most about Payhip is the ability to create affiliates. Having other people sell your eBook for you is probably one of the best ways to make money in the publishing business. Although these affiliates will expect a cut, they will push your eBook hard!
Amazon has made it so simple for new eBook developers to find a place to sell their products. I know I’m not alone when I say that I end up on the Amazon website at least once per day.
With Amazon eBook sales, you simply upload your book through their publishing platform, wait for approval, and it's live on the website. I love the simplicity of the Amazon platform, the reporting, and the easy payments when you make sales.
You can choose the price of your book on Amazon to make sure that it’s competing and that you'll make the money you want on each sale. The only real downside of using Amazon is that it's huge, and it can take a while for your book to rank.
The bottom line with any of these platforms is that the better your book is, the more it will sell. If you need to manage several eBooks, I like how Amazon helps to get this done.
Blurb is my favorite online eBook selling platform for the new writer. If you're worried about how to take this process on, the formatting, the correct file size, all of it, Blurb is the place to be. With Blurb, you'll produce, publish and sell your eBook all in one spot.
When you finish your book, you can decide to sell it on Blurb, Amazon, or even Barnes and Noble. I like how much information is on the Blurb website for those that have questions about the process.
In addition, this website is growing, and people are starting to recognize it as a place to purchase high-quality digital downloads.
Even though I’m trying to help you sell your eBook, I love that Blurb allows you also to print your book. If you decide that you want a physical copy in addition to the eBook, the website is so simple to work with.
6. Google Play
It boggles my mind sometimes that people don’t take every possible avenue to sell their eBooks online. If you can have your product offered in multiple stores to reach millions of different people, why not take that opportunity and embrace it? Don't get stuck offering your eBook in one place; broaden the platform options and get that thing sold.
Google Play allows you to reach Android users, and you'll not want to let these users pass you by. If you haven’t noticed, Google has a relatively large following and customer base. Tapping into this group of people is a no-brainer.
The Google services for authors are easy to use; they allow you to create promo codes to sell your books, and the cut your receive should be around 70%. Of course, you'll have to do some of your own marketing and pushing to get people to your Google Play link; however, I recommend exploring this avenue.
Now that you have a better idea about where to sell your eBook let’s take a deeper look into how to sell your eBook.
How to Sell eBooks Online (8 Key Steps)
I can tell you that one of the most frustrating parts of becoming an eBook author is when your book doesn’t sell. Chances are your content is relevant, helpful, and maybe even hysterically funny. However, it just doesn’t make it into the hands of the readers.
The good news is that this likely has nothing to do with your writing. Your writing is probably high quality and informative. The real issue comes down to your selling and your business skills.
When you want to make money selling an eBook, you have to think like an entrepreneur. Now is the time to start explaining to people why they need your actual book. Here are the steps that you should be taking to sell eBooks online. The better you get at these steps, the more books you sell, the more money you make. Yes, it's that simple.
Before you can start pushing people to purchase your eBook, make sure that it’s formatted correctly. Each platform that you sell on will have different requirements for formatting. Some of these are as simple as page size, and others get more complicated with page numbers and text layout.
There are easy-to-follow guides on all websites like Google Play, Amazon, and Blurb that allow you to see exactly how your formatting should be.
I find this part a bit frustrating. It takes some knowledge of the word processing program you're working in, and it can be a bit tedious. However, you have no choice here.
To sell books, the product has to look good, and it has to be easy to navigate.
2. Catchy Cover
The old saying, “don’t choose a book by its cover,” never really resonated with people. The cover of a book is exactly how people will choose it. So, regardless of the topic of your book, make sure that the cover looks amazing.
Use easy to read text, striking images, keep things modern and fun, and appealing. Put your book cover-up against others on the market in your niche, make sure that you gravitate towards your own.
Although putting together an eBook can be inexpensive as a whole, the cover is the part of the process where you'll want to spend a bit of money. If you're not an artist or graphic designer, set aside some funds to let someone put together your eBook cover for you.
Having an image in your head of how you want this to turn out is great, but finding the person that can pull it all together for you'll make a big difference down the line. Many successful eBook authors agree that poor covers created issues with their first releases.
3. Choosing the Perfect Platform
We gave you six options for platforms that really work to sell your eBook. It’s up to you to see which of these platforms (or a combination of platforms) will be the best fit.
As I mentioned in the beginning, people get hung up on fees and royalties, and percentages. Trust me on this one, if you wrote a good book and you market it properly, you'll make money. If one platform charges twenty-seven extra cents as a sales fee, do not let that stop you from using it.
Don’t worry so much about the fees in the beginning. Instead, find platforms that look great that help you push your product, and you can worry about fees when you start making significant sales.
4. How Will People Find You?
Those who make money in the eBook industry start asking themselves this question before the pen even hits the paper. How will people find your eBook? The number one way to make money writing eBooks is to start considering how people will find your book.
Do you have a significant social media presence?
Is your website seeing a large number of followers and traction?
Have you solved a problem for readers and know where to find them?
Publishing an eBook is excellent; however, it does not mean that anyone will find your eBook. Think about the different ways that you can get the book in front of people. However, it’s great to announce to your friends and family that you have finished your eBook. That quick hit of sales will not last.
Think about who you wrote your book for, where those people look for information and how to get yourself there. Be creative about this process and think outside the box. It will likely require some time and some free promotion on your part.
However, those who learn how to put their products in front of people will sell to those people. I can tell you this from experience.
Social media is an important marketing tool for selling eBooks. Creating a social media presence before publishing your eBook can be quite effective. Let’s say you've been sharing recipes with your following for years. Now you've put all of your ideas and concepts into a recipe book. This is a tremendous kickstart to your eBook business.
Social media isn't nearly as powerful if you're starting from scratch. However, if you're serious about selling your eBook and it's a long-term project for you, get those social media accounts started.
Try to create some hype about the book and how the release is much anticipated. Don’t be afraid to share some key points or concepts from the text. These little blurbs or tidbits could be all it takes for people to want to see more.
Affiliates are an excellent option for those that are new to selling eBooks online for money. If you take a look at the platforms I recommend, one of my favorites was Payhip. The reason I love Payhip is that it helps you put together affiliate programs.
If you're not sure how the affiliate thing works, it's actually quite simple. you'll put together a unique buying code for the affiliate you're working with. They will market your eBook for you, and then when their customer uses the unique affiliate code, you'll give them a portion of the sale proceeds.
Yes, affiliates cost you a bit more money. It’s a bit like the entire wholesale vs. retail thing in business. However, affiliates with large audiences can help get your book out there, and from there, the possibilities are endless.
Use affiliates to help you gain traction in the marketplace and then channel that to make even more money.
7. Giveaways for Reviews
When you bought your last television, microwave, or blender, did you read any of the reviews?
If you saw a product with four reviews or one with 7,000, which one would you be more likely to purchase?
When you first publish your eBook, you'll not have any reviews, which immediately leads buyers to think your book isn't good. Of course, this isn't true, but it's the way this works. Selling your eBook for good money takes lots of positive reviews.
Getting reviews can be difficult because it takes time from people. I know that I don’t always want to give up my time for a review because there are so many other things I could be doing. Figure out a way to make writing a review for your eBook appealing.
If you have to give away a product or create a rewards program, that’s fine, but developing a way to get reviews is a must. In fact, for new eBook publishers, set a goal for yourself of the number of reviews that you want to get in a day.
Spend time reaching out to people using email campaigns to ensure that you're hitting your goal. The reviews add up fast, and they bring sales and attention.
8. Pricing Your eBook
Last but certainly not least is pricing your eBook. If you follow all the necessary steps to get your eBook in front of customers, but it still won’t move, the pricing could be off. Setting the right price for your eBook takes a bit of effort and research.
One of the things I try to get eBook publishers to understand is that your book price can be an ever-changing thing. You may set the price at $11.99 and realize that it's too high. Don’t be afraid to change it!
Take a look at your sales, run promotions, and be flexible about your pricing. I know doing a bit of math can sometimes help you see the big picture.
Let’s take for a moment the idea of selling five books priced at $15 each. Your total sales are $75.
If you drop the price on the book to $5 and can sell 20 of them, the total sales are $100.
With the low pricing of eBooks across the market, sometimes the lower pricing and higher volume are the way to make money in the industry. It can hurt to drop the price of your hard work, but that sting won’t last for long if it doubles the sales.
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Selling eBooks online does not come without challenges. However, the rewards are enormous. Think about what a fantastic source of passive income it would be to have several eBooks all working for you, making money while you sleep.
If you take the proper steps and ensure that you're working on sales as much as hard as you worked on your writing, you'll sell many books. Remember that those making great money in the eBook industry often have several books available for sale. I highly recommend getting this process down and then repeating it until you reach your desired income levels.