Writing an eBook may be one of your dreams and not knowing where to start is what stops most people. Whether you have a blog where you sell your eBook on or you just want to write an eBook to sell online then I can show you how you can get started.
There is a shift nowadays from physical books to eBooks. A survey was done to show reading habits between reading physical or eBooks.
How to create and sell an eBook online? When you’re new to writing eBooks, a month should be enough time to conceptualize, write, create, and sell your first book. Plus, if you set a goal for yourself to have your eBook done by a set date, you’ll be much more likely to actually commit to getting it done this way.
Kindle books and paperback books have a lot of requirements that make them harder to get up but I will show you the most common ways to distribute your eBook. If you have a blog then the eBook can be a PDF or JPEG that you can sell straight from your website or social media channels.
Start simple, make it better later and get over trying to be perfect. I will give you a simple checklist that you can follow at the end of the post – 18 steps!!
eBook Bestseller Bootcamp has been developed specifically for messengers, teachers, authors, speakers and experts who currently have teaching content or life experiences in the genres of self-help, spirituality, health, relationships, success, money or ‘how-to’ that they want to share with the world.
How to create and sell an eBook steps in 7 steps. Let me show you now.
Step 1: – What is Your Passion & Theme
It’s important that the eBook you are about to write is not for you, it’s for them, the readers. Your future clients. What do they need? What are their biggest frustrations, goals and dreams? What solutions can you bring to the table for your readers?
You can also look at what content you already have written and lying around. It can be your most popular blog posts or social media posts. What is your passion or if you have a blog then write about a topic in detail.
Curata has created a list of marketing eBooks that take a closer look at various content marketing topics. These top-notch content marketing eBooks will help give ideas to you on how to create, maintain, and come up with eBooks around your particular niche area.
Instead of trying to sell an eBook to everyone, identify a core target market or niche. Concentrate on a smaller subset of people, and tailor your marketing approach to them.
Pick the right niche for your target audience for your eBook.
Once you have narrowed down the theme of the eBook then I would suggest that you conduct some market research on the existing market.
Look at potential competitors already selling eBooks in similar categories on Amazon or their own site. Consider ways in which your story and unique perspective can help you to stand out. Get creative.
Have a look at these popular categories by BookHub:
Step 2: Plan Your eBook at a High Level
Now that you have a theme, you need to flesh content ideas so that you have a plan for your eBook:
1.Topic– Finalize on the topic you will be writing about. You should have considerable knowledge about the topic and also enough content to fill an eBook.
2.Title– Brainstorm possible titles for your eBook, and narrow it down to 2 or 3, if you’re not able to finalize on just one. Do make sure your title is creating compelling and attention grabbing.
3.Tagline– This can be a bit lengthier than your title (about 10 – 15 words). It should explain exactly what the book is about and how it will benefit the reader.
4.Outline– Make a rough outline of the eBook itself. This includes the chapter headings, and if possible, a few sentences describing the content you want to include in each chapter.
5.Length– It is essential that you decide on the length of your eBook beforehand. If you’re giving it away as a freebie, it need not be very long. Based on the number of pages you want your eBook to contain, you can estimate the length of each chapter as well.
Focus on your topic and then drill down on the topic areas for your eBook and this will start to form your chapter headings.
The best eBooks share a personal story or experiences. Why? A personal story is engaging, builds authority, and creates empathy with the reader.
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Step 3: Writing Each Chapter
After you’ve planned the overall “big picture” organization of your book, it’s time to plan the contents of the individual chapters.
To help you save time during this essential step, I suggest you use the following 7 questions to guide you through planning each chapter.
What is the purpose of the chapter?Identifying what you want to accomplish in each chapter will help you decide what ideas and information should appear in the chapter.
1.How will readers benefit from reading the chapter?How will the information help advance the reader towards solving their problem or achieving their desired goal?
2.What are the main ideas you want to share?Your answers will help determine the top-level subheads, or divisions, of each chapter. Try and come up with atleast 3 big ideas, but you can add as many as you want. The ideas can be resources, approaches, or specific
3.What details, examples, or stories can you use to reinforce your ideas? This is where you explain the relevance of the main ideas, or prove their value. Examples and case studies can add story-value to your narrative.
4.What kind of graphics can you use to add visual interest?Few readers want to spend time with books that resemble “gray walls of words.” As you flesh-out the ideas for each chapter, look for ways you can break up the text with visuals that reinforce your message.
5.What kind of engagement tools can you include in this chapter?Your book’s effectiveness will be judged by its ability to inspire your readers to act. Engage them with questions, exercises, and spaces to take notes.
6.What’s the best way to end this chapter?Look for ways to help readers recognize the value of the information you’ve provided in the chapter. For example, you might include a list of important ideas introduced in the chapter. In addition, prepare an introduction to the next chapter, so readers will look forward to continuing to read your book.
If you follow these steps for each chapter, you will have much clarity and have a logical approach throughout your eBook. I suggest that you aim to write each chapter in silence and make sure that you finish each chapter in one sitting if possible.
The writing process – if you are still having difficulty in the writing process then I suggest that you follow the process flow of writing in a simple, yet helpful way.
The graph below shows the average length of the Top 100 best sellers in each of the 30 main Amazon Kindle categories, measured in terms of the number of pages for a book in the respective category.
The number of pages you should write is entirely up to you and there is no right answer for this. The length of an eBook is also down to the complexity of the topic or story, the amount of research and fact-checking required, text-only vs. use of images, the expected level of quality and so on and so forth.
If you want an idea, then I would suggest to having 70 to 99 pages.
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Step 4: Editing The Titles – Attention Grabbing
You want the reader to get engaged with your eBook and stay tuned to the end. You want to add value to them. So, come up with great eye catching and creative title and sub titles throughout the book.
You need to make sure you get their attention and lure in readers with fantastic titles and keep them on the eBook for the rest of the chapters.
Here is a great list of words that you can use to create captivating titles.
Now that your creative writing is done, completed all your titles, have an eBook title, it’s time for some more research and editing.
Once you’ve gone back through your eBook and done the necessary research, you’ll want to go back and do another round or more of edits. This is what is going to sharpen up your eBook, this second and third and even fourth round of editing.
I practice this and I have found that after each round of editing, the eBook gets sharper, more visual and much more detailed.
Do great work and be proud of what you have done.
Step 5: Cover Design & Formatting eBooks
There are many eBook cover designs out there and you need to choose one that appeals to you.
Here are the 6 common types that you can choose from:
Cover design is very important. You want your cover to stand out, look professional, and have a title that’s very easy to read when shrunk down to 60×90 thumbnails (that’s how many people will see your book cover on Amazon and on their ereaders).
There are many companies now that can help you in eBook conversion services and book cover designs.
On average, you are looking at around $100 for say Kindle formatting by a software company. If you want to do it yourself then the one key to selling eBooks is readability.
Make it easy to digest the information you’re putting forward by keeping your formatting consistent and using a simple font like Ariel or Verdana at size 11 or 12.
Less is more here, so don’t go overboard on your formatting. Stick to a simple colour scheme. Try to maintain two or three types of headers and use lots of short paragraphs and lists.
Step 6: Publishing your eBook
There are now so many different ways to publish your eBook, you are spoilt for choice.
The most common types of publishing platforms available to you are:
- Amazon (Kindle – Mobi)
- Apple (iBooks Epub)
- Kobo (Epub)
- Barnes & Noble (Epub)
- Google Play (Epub)
Correctly formatting your digital product is vital for selling eBooks online.
For Amazon Kindle, the file format is Mobi.
For other readers, the universal eBook format is Epub, which is accepted by Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, and Kobo. Epub is also a good option for selling it directly from your own site or blog.
If convenient for your readers, you can also sell your eBook in PDF or JPEG format. If you are selling from your own store you can easily have all four formats available for the customer to choose between.
The final step is to have your price set up for your eBook. This is entirely up to you and will depend on the quality of content and length of your eBook. As a rule of thumb, I would suggest $2.99 to $9.99.
Step 7: Exporting Your eBook Manuscript
Depending on how you plan to sell the product, this may be your last step. The most universally readable file at this is the PDF. However, PDFs do not work well on some of other distribution sites.
The text can be too small or oddly laid out for an eReader screen.
However, if you want to produce your eBook as a PDF or JPEG, simply save the Word or other word-processing document as a PDF or JPEG document.
Reedsy’s recommended eBook distribution set up will be able to explain further.
You now have an eBook written, formatted and published. I hope that you can now take the steps to write an eBook and the journey is less painless than you think.
I hope that you have found this post useful on how to create and sell an eBook online.
Summary – How To Create and Sell an eBook
- Start with an idea, specific knowledge, or an observation, or if you have a blog then write an eBook around your niche
- If sales are important, consider doing market researchhere before you write and see what your competitors are doing also.
- Brainstorm/outline/or simply dump your ideas (yes, haphazardly) into a Word document.
- Edit #1: Edit for the big picture. Is the story/knowledge complete? Is it chronological (or, at least, logical)? Have you repeated yourself accidentally? This is where you may delve into research.
- Edit #2: Add the introduction and the conclusion. Look for actionable steps for your readers. Add supplemental materials like the table of contents, appendices, callout boxes, website links, case studies, other examples, and lists.
- Edit #3: Check for flow, order, repetition, length of chapters, discernible patterns.
- Edit #4: Edit for style, tone, voice, and sound. Does the book coalesce? Does it sound like it was written by the same person all the way through?
- Edit #5: Add graphics, photos, page numbers, chapters and sections, and other bells and whistles.
- Edit #6: Edit at the line/word level. This is where you get picky. Look for verb agreement, passive voice, serial commas, etc.
- Proofread your eBook. Twice. Try Read Please software. Check each link. Consider hiring and editor to check your book or go to FIVERR.
- Send the book to beta readers, close friends who are writers, or your writing group.
- Package your book. It’s time to generate a cover or hire someone to do it for you.
- Choose your selling outlet, as this dictates the final conversion of your eBook
- Set your price and note that royalty can be from 35% to 70%.
- Convert your eBook to the correct format, or hire someone to do it for you.
- Start marketing through social media or your blog