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Making LEGIT Money (AND MORE) with eBooks in 2019

The evolution of eBooks over the years has been a remarkable thing to see.  Historically, people have been printing and publishing books since as early as the first millennium. That’s a long time! Books have always been costly and relatively difficult to produce. Even the mass-market, printed books of today require a sizable amount of capital upfront. Because of this, the printing and selling of books has been limited largely to publishing houses.

As is often the case with new technology, however, the game completely changed when ebooks entered the scene. Now, anyone can publish a book with the click of a button. In fact, self publishing an ebook is relatively inexpensive and well within the reach of most people.

Why Would You Want to Write an ebook?

We won’t sugar-coat things. Writing a book takes a lot of work. The process of publishing an ebook may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy.

So why would you want to do something so incredibly difficult? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of becoming a published author. If so, that is certainly reason enough. The rest of us mortals, however, may need a little more convincing.

The first and most obvious reason, of course, is to make money. Most likely, that is the reason you are here, reading this blog post. Ebooks are a great source of passive income. Once an ebook has been written, edited, and published, you can reap the benefits indefinitely. Making money while lying on a beach in Hawaii? Now that’s something anyone can get behind.

Beyond making money, writing an ebook is also a good way to promote yourself and position yourself as an expert in a particular topic. “I’ve written a published book” makes a great bullet point on your resume, and for bloggers or business owners, writing and publishing a well-informed ebook helps to build brand identity and trust.

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1. Picking a Topic

Most people think of fiction when they think of book-writing, but if writing fiction isn’t your thing, you aren’t out of luck. Non-fiction is particularly popular with ebooks — especially anything in the “how-to” or “self-help” category. If you are a blogger — or someone else trying to build a brand — you probably already have a niche. If not, pick something you are interested in or know a lot about. 

Once you have chosen a niche, you can pick a topic within it. When picking a topic, try to think about it from the reader’s point of view. What information would your potential readers find valuable? Do you have specific knowledge that could be helpful for others? What do your potential readers want to know?

2. The Hard Part (Writing and Editing)

So you have a niche, and you’ve chosen a topic. Congratulations! Now, the truly difficult work begins.

Writing is a game of endurance. When writing your ebook, it is important that you develop the habit of writing every single day. Don’t feel like it? Write anyways. Suffering from a bad bout of writer’s block? Put some words on the page — even if they are terrible. Lacking inspiration? Every author has been there, and every author will tell you the same thing. Forget inspiration and put pen to page (or hands to keyboard).

When you’ve completed your first draft, the work isn’t over (you didn’t think this was going to be that easy, did you?). After you’ve edited your book, we recommend hiring a professional editor. Paying editing fees sucks, but what sucks even more is a book that won’t sell because it’s filled with sloppy mistakes. Of course, just because you’ve had your book edited, doesn’t mean the hard part is over. You will still need to go back through and implement your editor’s suggestions.

3. So You’ve Written a Book … But Now What? 

After you have written and edited your ebook, you will need a title and a cover design. These two things will go a long way in selling your ebook for you. Your title should be memorable and informative. In many cases, your title will be the first impression that potential buyers get of your ebook. 

A professional and eye-catching cover design will also help you stand out amongst the competition. Unless you have experience in design, this is another place where it would be a good idea to hire a professional. Despite the trope, most people do judge a book by its cover. You want yours to be as good as possible.

There are several different routes you can take for the actual publishing of your ebook. One popular option is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. You can also buy your own ISBN number and publish through Ingram Spark, or sell your ebook as a download from your own website.

4. A Quick Note on Pricing

Before you hit publish, you will want to do some research to determine the best price point for your ebook. In most cases, this will be between $2.99 and $9.99, but the genre you are writing, the length of your book, and your goals might lead you to a higher — or lower — price point. Some things to consider: What is the average price of most ebooks in your genre/niche? What is the average price of ebooks the same length as yours? Do you want to sell more books, more quickly, or is it important to you to make a larger profit per book?

5. Marketing Your eBook (The Harder Hard Part)

Even the best book in the world won’t fly off the virtual shelf if no one knows it exists. This is where marketing comes into play. To make money with an ebook, you have to actually sell said ebook. And to sell an ebook, you have to market it.

There are a lot of marketing strategies out there, and some will be more or less profitable, depending on your audience and niche. Here are some marketing strategies to get you started:

        1. If you don’t already have a blog, now is the time to start one. Not only will blogging help people to discover your ebook, it will also give them a taste for your writing — and the desire to read more.
        2. Before you even hit publish, you should consider generating buzz by putting together a prelaunch campaign. This can be as simple as running several promotions, or as complicated as sending out media packages and getting interviewed by bloggers in your niche.
        3. Speaking of bloggers in your niche, going on a virtual book tour is another great marketing strategy. Virtual book tours can be done pre or post launch. You can put your tour together yourself, but there are also a lot of companies that will put together a tour for you for a fee. This is a great option since it can be difficult to get your book in the hands bloggers. Virtual book tours generally consist of book reviews and author interviews by bloggers, Instagramers, or Youtubers who specialize in your genre or niche.
        4. If you are willing to spend some money, targeted Facebook ads can also be a useful part of your marketing strategy. With Facebook ads, you can choose how much you want to pay per click, as well as your overall budget for the life of your ad. You can target your ad to your specific audience, so that the people who see it are the ones most likely to be interested.
        5. Try reaching out to influencers within your niche and ask for a review in return for a free copy of your ebook. You will be surprised at how many will take you up on this offer! Taking the time to connect and establish a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship will significantly increase your chances of getting a shout-out or review.

Conclusion

When tackled properly, writing and publishing an ebook can be a profitable and worthwhile endeavor. With modern technology and the internet at our disposal, we have at our fingertips an opportunity previous generations could only dream of. The reality is this. You too can become a published author. All you need is an internet connection and the dedication to do so.

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