E-books are an excellent way to make money online, or give away for free as a sign-up incentive to your readers. I recently just published my first e-book 63 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle Long-Term, and have recorded the steps I took for others to follow!
They are easiest to sell if you have a blog, due to the fact you have monthly readers, and the numbers continue to increase. Refer to How To Create and Set Up Your First Blog and How To Turn Blogging Into a Side Hustle While Your A Student.
Think about what you would like to write about. What area or field are you knowledgeable in, what have you accomplished in this area and how you will make it stand out in the world of digital products. Will you take a different approach in your writing, provide step by step instructions for the audience, or tell success stories of others? Will you do your own research or write off your own knowledge? The most important thing to ask yourself is “how will I provide VALUE“? I believe that is the most crucial step, because if people love your product, they will tell their friends and it could blow up and make thousands of sales! This will generate trust from your readers and they will come back for more if you produce more products or follow on books in the future. I will let you in on a secret.. The fastest way to make money is to solve a problem, the bigger the problem you solve, the more money you will make. That should give you an indication of what you should write about! Make sure you are passionate about it because the result will be much better than if you are writing for the sake of it or feel as though you have to. What questions do you get asked most often? Everyone is an expert at something. Here is the outline of steps that I took to complete the process of creating and publishing.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you I may earn a commission. I only recommend products I trust.
Think about your target audience – Having a direction makes the process of writing a lot easier, as well as marketing once its published. Think about age, gender, geographic location, interests, education level, income level, characteristics and behavior of the people you want to attract. You also have to ensure there is enough people in your target audience to actually generate a decent amount of sales! If it’s too popular there will be too much competition, or if its too unique you may struggle to find readers/buyers once its launched. If it is a very popular topic, try talking about one category within that topic to make it more distinct.
Create – Brainstorm different ideas you have to write about to help avoid writers block and streamline the process. I chose to write bullet points on paper, then expand on the computer. I wrote my book on Google Docs, then transferred to Microsoft Word for the final page decoration and coloring. Other options I have heard of are Scrivener and Adobe. Ensure it has all the components such as a title page, table of contents, copyright and disclaimer page, personal bio, introduction, body of book, conclusion, about the author page, links to your social media platforms or website (if you want people to connect with you for the future), your contact details, and page numbers in the header or footer.
Don’t expect it to be written in a week, it will most likely take a few months. After I thought I had all the information written and completed, a week or two later I would think of even more ideas I could include, so don’t rush it. I also recommend to write on your ‘on’ days. You know when you wake up in the morning feeling overly happy and energetic and your brain functions well that day? We all have our off days where we can be staring at our computer for hours without accomplishing anything, so take some time out if it comes to that so you can return fresh minded.
Whats a disclaimer? It helps to deny you responsibility from something and to prevent an incorrect understanding. For example, I wrote an e-book about health. I don’t want someone to hold that against me if they make a claim that my advice caused them harm or didn’t give them the results they were looking for. Here is an example of mine:
The information provided in this book is designed to provide a helpful insight on the subjects discussed. This book is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own physician. The author is not responsible for any specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation, to any person reading or following the information in this book. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed in this book may change.
This book is to be used as a ‘guide’ to healthy living, based on my own results and backed up with research. Results may differ from person to person.
What do you write for ‘About The Author’ page? Best written in third person, yes, you write it about yourself. I simply stated my interests/what I do for a living, my mission for why I wrote the book, my beliefs relating to the book and that I want to help others to reach their goals and develop healthy habits for the rest of their lives. The Author Bio allows the readers to know a little bit about the person behind it all, and helps them feel more connected to you. Here is an article from Huffington Post explaining more about how to create it. This is usually placed at the back of the book.
Take or obtain photos to insert – I didn’t realize this till I started a blog, but you can’t just pick any old photo off the internet for your own creation. You need to take the photos yourself, or use stock photo websites such as Pexels or StockSnap, which are free from copyright restrictions.
Design the Front Cover – If you are anything like me, I judge a book by its cover. It is so so crucial that it is perfect. I tried to get my friend to take a photo of me for my cover, and it turned out okay, but not amazing enough for someone to say “WOW” I want to buy that. My model friend recommended a great photographer to me, so I did a photo-shoot to produce much more ‘beautiful’ photos. I chose my favourite one for the cover, then designed it myself on Canva. Here is the before and after of the cover after I decided to get professional photos, which i am so glad I did.
As you can see, the second one is much more effective and eye-catching!
Triple check for spelling and grammar errors – Read over it, get your friends and family to read over it, spell check it on multiple different online platforms, then read it again yourself days later with a fresh mind. Also check that all the hyperlinks work. Grammarly is a great tool to use for spelling and grammar checks, and to enhance your writing.
Decorate – Add colour, change fonts, play around with sizing for headings etc. Make sure it is visually appealing to readers.
Get a second opinion – Sent it to 5-10 people you are very close with, to have a read over it. They may pick up on things you didn’t, suggest wording some sentences differently, or adding/removing some content. At-least you will have some idea if others will enjoy reading it, before it goes out to the rest of the world.
Save it as a PDF file and LAUNCH!
Decide on a price – The price of e-books range from $1 to around $25. Price it based on value, your target audience (you don’t want to sell it at high price for a person with lower income), and your sales goals (how much money you intend to make). I would advise you to price it over the $5 mark, otherwise it will have low perceived value. You can receive the money through PayPal, just ensure your account is set up for business. I downloaded a plugin called PayPal Digital Downloads which allows people to check-out directly on my site, through the push of a button. I would suggest checking-out yourself first, to ensure the entire process is working correctly. Once you have the money in your bank account, be sure to put some aside for tax.
PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE – Your book isn’t going to sell itself. Invest in digital advertising.
- First of all, get your close friends and family to promote it. If they post it on their Facebook Page, it will directly share it to their group of friends. People are more inclined to buy something recommended to them by a friend, than by a stranger.
- You can pay for social media advertising to reach your direct target market. Pay-per-click advertising is available on Facebook and Instagram, which allows you to reach your exact target market.
- Upload it to Amazon Kindle, this will give it more exposure by opening it to a larger market. There will be more opportunities for people to see or come across it.
- Start taking Pinterest seriously. A few weeks ago I discovered Tailwind, which is a scheduling and analytics tool that posts your content when your audience is most active. It shows your product or blog to more people by scheduling at the most ‘active’ times, than you would get by doing it on your own. To sign up, click here.
- Try influencer marketing. Pay someone with a large social media following to upload a photo recommending it to their fans (send them a free copy as well), or offer them a percentage of profits for how many sales they make.
- Participate in forums, and genuinely help other people on blog posts or social media comments. Give them some advice relative to your book, then post the link to the sales page for them to click onto if they want to read more.
- Link to it in other relevant blog posts, so even if potential customers haven’t directly searched for it, they can still discover it.
- Ensure your sales page is attractive, not too pushy, explains the contents and details of the book, and how it will help the reader. Try to connect with the reader on an emotional level, and ensure the description explains exactly how you are able to fix their problem. I also installed a plugin that shows reviews on the sale page, to show potential buyers how others found the book. To see my sales page as an example, click here.
I hope you have found this blog post helpful. I am happy to answer any questions you may have directly, or in the comment section below.
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