So you want to be an independent self-published author and learn how to sell ebook online? Well you’ve picked a great time because these days your chances of successfully selling digital copies couldn’t be better.
With the tremendous technological advances over the past decade, it’s never been this easy to self-publish and now more than ever an increasing group of writers want to know how to sell eBooks online for free.
How to Sell eBook Online
Quick Skip Contents
Below I’ll be discussing how to go about selling your eBook online in more detail, this is just the quick list of to-do’s:
- write quality content, be original
- good structure & formatting
- may want to hire professional editor
- share knowledge & experiences on a certain subject (if non-fiction)
- cover design (hire freelancer)
- creation of files for various eReaders
- uploading to online marketplace sites
- marketing your ebook online and yourself as an author
With all the giant online retailers (list is below) you can choose from to self-publish your eBook, it makes it easy to get your work in front of thousands of active readers. The best way to understand this phenomenon, forever changing the way we communicate and consume information, is to look at how most people spend at least part of their day reading on their smartphone, tablet, or eReader.
Where to Sell eBooks Online
So, what is the best place to sell eBooks online? Here’s a comprehensive list of where to sell eBooks online.
- Apple iTunes iBookstore
- Amazon Kindle DirectPublish
- Barnes & Noble Nook Press
- Kobo Writing Life
- Draft 2 Digital
Once you have your ebook up on as many of these sites you’re going to want to learn about online marketing in order to boost your sales by promoting your ebooks and yourself as an author. You’ll need a blog and social media accounts. This where the fun begins! Another way you can promote your ebook is selling through your own online store using Shopify.
eBook creation is one of those new forms of media, making it easy for you to disseminate information on which you are an expert, or to publish that first work of fiction. In the old days of print-only books, this type of self publishing was termed vanity press and often had a high cost associated with it.
Today’s electronic book creation however is relatively inexpensive and can even provide you with a decent income.
IMPORTANT: After writing and self-published your ebook, it’s a must that you are also able to use online marketing techniques to promote & sell your ebook properly in order to make a good living. My top recommended online marketing community to join to learn for free is WA. (click for company review)
Write and Edit your eBook
If you’re working on a novel, you already have an idea of what you want to do and may even have most, if not all of the chapters written. Producing and marketing a non-fiction electronic book, however, will take a little more thought.
eBook creation will allow you to:
- go beyond your initial concept
- provide you with a wider audience through self publishing
In order to reach and sell the eBook to your target audience, your manuscript will benefit from professional editing. An editor will help hone your book’s direction and suggest changes that will make your eBook better.
Having an editor look at the manuscript will also catch grammatical errors and typos, both of which can make your eBook look unprofessional and potentially harm your self-publishing efforts. Spell check and grammar checkers don’t catch everything.
In addition, they don’t give you the human element needed when you’re wondering whether to expand or to cut sentences from a passage. Even if you don’t hire an editor, at least have another individual proofread your manuscript to look for errors and make suggestions.
Design and Formatting for eBook
This step may seem one of the most daunting steps in eBook creation. Chances are, you already write on a computer, so you’re at least halfway there. Design and formatting is actually quite easy. You will generally find two types of eBook layout: standard and fixed.
Standard eBooks are ideal for manuscripts that are primarily text and have few embedded graphics. Standard format uses flowing text that may be used on any eReader, allowing adjustment of the font size and style. No set pagination occurs in this format.
Standard format allows your manuscript to reach the widest possible audience.
eBook creation that relies heavily on design elements including photos or large illustrations such as cookbooks, children’s books and other themed books where you want to preserved the look of the printed page are ideal for fixed format.
Consider fixed format if you want two or more columns on your pages or have aspect ratios that you don’t want changed.
How to Create Your eBook Structure
If you don’t want to format the eBook yourself for self publishing, there are a number of online companies such as BookBaby.com, Infinity Publishing and many more that will do the work for you, converting your raw files to a readable electronic book and then marketing and distributing your eBook to readers.
If you’re trying to minimize your expenses as much as possible, however, software programs such as Microsoft Word, Open Office and higher end desktop publishing programs can take you step by step through the process.
When formatting on your own, however, be sure to convert your pages into PDFs so that readers are unable to copy your work verbatim and pass it off as their own.
Selling Your eBook Online
Although 55 % of eBook readers owned an Amazon Kindle in 2012, look beyond the dominant player in the electronic book market to get the maximum exposure. Start by offering your book on your website if you have one.
Other possibilities are having the aforementioned self publishing companies market and sell eBook to popular sites such as iBookstore, Nook and international distributors such as Kobo and eSentral, popular in Canada and Southeast Asia, respectively.
The wider your distribution, the more legitimate your electronic book will be. Make sure to link your website to as many online sellers as possible to give your readers the widest number of choices.
If you decide to work with an online site that will publish, distribute and sell eBook, make sure that the site is legitimate. Reputable electronic book publishers will not take money up front, but will take a portion of your profits or royalties, thereby minimizing your overall profits, particularly in the beginning.
This option may be the best route if you have limited time or resources for promoting your eBook, or want to reach the widest possible audience.
My Final Suggestion
Now that you have found out exactly where to sell eBooks online, you can focus on your online marketing efforts. The natural progression is for authors to turn their focus on blogging as well. Authors realize that it is much easier to connect with their readers and provide value by writing short pieces daily or weekly, while using social media to promote their eBooks when they launch. A blog can provide a basis to sell your eBook and is an important element in your marketing effort.
*Again, the best place that I know of to show you how to sell ebook online and how to get started with creating an ebook and marketing it for free is over at the WA community (company review) mentioned at the beginning of this article. There are tons of helpful step by step videos to get you up and running.
Please leave a comment if you found this article helpful or if you have any specific questions regarding eBook creation and marketing to sell them online.