We have evolved tremendously as consumers if we compare our buying habits to how they were ten years back. Now we’re dependent on the internet for almost everything - from keeping in touch with loved ones to paying bills and online shopping we can do it all. But lately, there has been a surge in the number of people who have harnessed the power of the internet to earn their income regularly. Selling written content is the most prevalent one of them all.
Independent authors are all the rage now. While big publishing companies are still going strong there is no denying that people have started to see the perks of publishing a book independently. If you are a writer and want to publish your book this is the best time to do it!
Also, the term publishing has evolved substantially. It is no longer limited to publishing a physical hard copy of the book but written content like e-books can also be published online! It is a growing trend that most authors who are venturing into the field of independent publication first turn to online publication.
Why should one sell their E-book online?
The best part about selling E-books online is that you can entirely skip all the logistics that come along with publishing a hard copy of the book you have written. This means no printing, no shipping, and no paper wastage! Books are also bulky and difficult to travel with. if you love books as much as I do, then you’ll realize the struggle of having to pick and choose which books you want to take with you on your travels. Also, books end up taking a lot of your luggage as well as storage space. This is why E-Books are here to stay! The singlehandedly solve all the issues of books and provide an easy and tangible solution.
Before we get into the intricacies of marketing and selling your e-book online, let’s focus on a few points which will help you create an awesome e-book in the first place.
- Think of the theme and outline for your book
- Writing an e-book is an intensive labor of love and time-consuming. Being an independent author and not being affiliated with any publishing house gives you all the creative freedom in the world and lets you write a book which is true to yourself. Think of a theme or topic, jot down a broad structure and start typing away!
- Once written, make sure you proofread the book at least twice
- Proofreading is very important as this is where you get to go through your book and find any grammatical or spelling errors. This also gives you a chance to go through the book in its entirety and change things around before it is too late.
- With the help of some online tools, do a quick check for any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
- After you have done the initial rounds of proofreading, you can now use the power of the internet to double check and see if you haven’t missed out on any errors.
- Have some of your close friends and family members read the first draft and take their feedback
- This can also act as an informal focus group from which you can expect more candid feedback, and improve your book. Make sure that you only involve people you trust dearly in this process.
- After making the changes, when you too are satisfied with the book, convert it to a suitable format
- While PDFs work best on platforms all across the board, there are certain formats which specific websites prefer. Do your research and have your book ready in all the required formats.
- Upload your e-book to various websites which support selling e-books by independent authors
- You can set up an online shop or even an individual landing page on websites like E-Junkie or Gumroad. Amazon too sells e-books now and is also immensely popular.
- Have a decent marketing strategy in place to increase your sales!
- Once you have uploaded your e-book on one or several platforms, it’s time to get the word out there! Having a basic but effective marketing strategy is essential to boost up sales, at least in the initial stages.
What formats work best for e-books?
Kindles and other e-readers are now popular choices amongst readers. The reason is pretty simple - you just need one super-light device which can store an entire library worth of books, which are accessible to you at your fingertips. What’s not to love?
The PDF format is excellent for publishing e-books and is accessible via mobile devices and e-readers. EPUB and MOBI are other popular formats, but when creating your document you'll likely be starting from a simpe DOC or DOCX file that you can easily convert to one of these later.
When you are selecting websites on which you want to sell your e-book, for best results make sure that they have the following features -
- - Safe and secure links for downloading the e-book
- - Should allow multiple formats
- - Easy to use and set up an online store
- - Should be able to create a landing page easily
- - Crisp and easy to understand user interface
- - Builds a loyal customer base by collecting customer information
How to market your e-book?
While posting links of your shop or landing page on your social media profiles is a good way to start, it is not a consistent marketing strategy which can last for a longer duration of time. One great strategy could be writing a bunch of articles for websites which are related to the niche of your book and asking these websites to add a backlink for your e-book. The more clicks you get, the higher are the chances of you making a sale. The articles should have a sufficient number of SEO keywords, but not too many so that the article does not sound like a sales pitch.
You can share a few copies of your e-book with some popular bloggers and influencers. People love influencers and bloggers because they come across as relatable and approachable. They live vicariously through them, so if they find out that their favorite blogger is reading a particular book, they would want to read it too, which means you get a sale!