If you have a Kindle or any other sort of eReader, you’ll be very familiar with the huge array of eBooks available and the varying degrees of quality.
There are many online tutorials espousing the virtues of publishing your own eBook, and promising that anyone can make money doing so by follow some simple instructions.
In a way, they’re not lying. EBook platforms are wonderfully open and allow anyone to try their hand at writing and make money from it, bypassing the lengthy and costly process of getting a physical publishing contract.
However, to say that anyone can write anything and make a profit is misleading. People don’t want to read rubbish, and the comments sections on platforms like Amazon are powerful and will influence whether people splash out on your book.
So, don’t use writing an eBook as a way to make a quick buck. If you don’t like writing or you don’t have a good idea it’s a time consuming way to become frustrated and not make money.
However, if you’re a decent writer, or you’ve got a story in your head, or you’re really knowledgeable on a particular subject and think you can educate people, then you can make a profit.
Write about what you know
Amateur writers who have in depth knowledge on a subject make great eBook writers, because they can provide readers with some unique insights, and in general their passion for the topic shines through. So this is a good place for you to start. Think about what you know about, or what you’re passionate about. If you don’t want to write something instructional and non-fiction, you need a great idea for a fictional novel, and a full vision of where the story will go.
Think about how you will make it resonate with readers
Once you have your topic, you need to think about your readers. You can be the most knowledgeable person about something, but if you don’t understand what other people want you will not be able to sell your book. If it’s a non-fiction book think about a unique and practical angle which will appeal to people. Find something that people care about and tap into these emotions; relate it to their lives. For example, if it’s money saving tips relate it to saving for a mortgage or childcare costs, or if it’s about a skill such as programming use real life examples and give tips about using the skills within a job hunt.
Think about your marketing
An eBook won’t just sell on its own. With so many on the market people won’t find yours by magic. Using social media and a blog to promote it will raise awareness. Some people don’t take naturally to marketing and self-promotion, and if you feel daunted by the idea then look at what other people do. Websites like AskDavid and WonderBookLand.com can help you. You might need a small investment but it’s worth it to get some traffic to your eBook listing. Tweeting snippets and teasers can entice readers to investigate more about your writing.
Think about price
After putting in lots of work to your book it can be tempting to try and charge a high price. After all, this is your first novel, your baby, and to you it’s valuable. However you have to be realistic about its value and appeal to others, particularly if you have no reviews and no previous writing to tempt them in. You need to build up readers who can provide reviews (hopefully positive ones) to encourage others to read you. Amazon also promotes best sellers and highly rated books, so you want to try and capitalise on this. Selling your book cheaply initially will help to build a readership, which leads to more readers, so consider your pricing strategy carefully.
Listen to reviews
One eBook probably won’t make you rich, so if you want to make a decent passive income you’ll probably find yourself writing a few more. If you do, pay attention to the feedback from your first effort and try and incorporate it into your writing. It will make you better.