E-book production and sales are continually on the rise because of the vast accessibility they afford authors and readers. Unlike physical books, you don't have to figure out a way to get e-books printed and shipped, which is often the biggest hurdle for a new author.
Now, you just have to write a quality book and learn how to sell the e-book version of it—the online resources we're about to discuss make this infinitely easier to do, so keep reading!
If you’re here, you know it’s possible to sell e-books online (you're probably even seeing a few ads for people trying to charge you big bucks claiming to make you rich doing so), but you might have no idea how to go from writing the book to making money off it.
Do you need a website?
How will people pay you?
Is Amazon your only option?
Fortunately for you, $ I have over 4 years of experience$ selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of e-books online, and I know there are many ways you can do it—whether you have a strong understanding of the digital marketing world, or none at all.
It doesn’t matter why you’re selling e-books. Maybe you want to use a low offer e-book to grow your email list. Maybe you want to make it your primary form of income. The process is relatively the same either way.
You need these few things to sell e-books online:
1. A quality book
2. A well-formatted e-book
3. A place to host the book & sales pages
4. A payment processing platform
5. A way to deliver the e-book (this is often included in the payment processing platform)
6. An e-book marketing plan that works
There are resources and software to help you sell e-books. Amazon’s KDP, Smashwords, and others make it easy to upload and distribute, but that still requires a few steps you can’t miss.
So let’s break them down by the steps above.
You may be able to sell a few e-books that are written terribly. But then the reviews come in, the word gets out, and they stop selling—even if you have a quality marketing plan (which most authors don’t).
If you’re trying to sell e-books to make a quick cash grab, that’s not reality.
Whether you’re writing a how-to style e-book, a short story or novella to grow your fiction email list, or just your memoir—quality matters.
How do you know the book is of quality?
First off, if you’ve put in the time to make it so. Most people can’t whip up a book in a tiny amount of time, no matter the topic. It requires time to plan or plot, draft, revise, self edit, and professional edit. If you think you can skip some of these steps because "it’s just an e-book," prepare not to sell many copies. When you charge people for a product, that product should be quality.
Secondly, if the book has been consumed by someone other than you. Have a friend, critique partner, or beta reader go through your book and give their feedback. You can even send a questionnaire to help clarify what type of feedback you’re looking for.
If more people than just you say your e-book is ready to sell, then you can feel more confident that you've written a quality book.
The term "e-book" itself will give you a clue about the formatting. But did you know there are over five different formats of books that can be read online?
These are the most common available formats for e-books:
The file type you use depends on your goals and the platform’s requirements. For example, if you’re selling a kindle on Amazon, it requires an EPUB file type because it can be resized per device, text size, and other customization options available to Kindle users.
But if you’re selling an e-book through your website with a third party payment processor that delivers the e-book through email, you can use a PDF instead.
So how do you take your draft from your writing software and turn it into the file type you need?
Most writing software has a way to export your work to different file types. With $ NovelPad$ , we make this easy with a quick export button and the options to turn your draft into a DOCX file (that Microsoft Word uses), markdown, or EPUB file.
The choice here is simple: download as EPUB since that’s a widely used and accepted e-book format.
If you want to get a PDF of your e-book (or another file type) from $ NovelPad $ or another software that doesn’t have that option, try downloading the DOCX (even if you use a Mac that doesn’t have Microsoft Word, it will open with Pages). Open that file and export it as a PDF by going to "File" then "Export To" and selecting "PDF".