Writing and Selling eBooks: The Money Making Idea That Keeps On Paying

If you were a layman, when you heard the term eBook, you’d probably think about books in electronic form that people buy and read online. But since you are not a layman, the term eBook is probably synonymous to “ka-ching” to you, as you probably think about writing and selling them. Fortunately, there are a lot more people that think of buying and reading, than those of us who think of writing and selling. And thanks to all the flashy new eReaders like Nook, Kindle, the Sony eReader, the iPad, etc…the ratio is only going to tip in our favor a lot more. The best part about writing and selling eBooks is, it is one of the money making ideas that has great passive income potential – you write the book once, and have your marketing channels in place, and you’re all set. Just sit back, and watch the money roll in. Score!

Here are some basics on the topic to help you determine if this is the best route for you to take.

How Much Can You Make?

Writing and selling eBooks is one of the money making ideas that can make you a good amount of money, especially if you pick a popular subject that people are willing to pay money for. You could charge a price ranging anywhere from $1.99 to upwards of $100.00 per download depending on the length and depth of the eBook, and the topic it covers. Typically, most eBooks sell in the $10 to $69 range. Now depending on how you market your eBook, you may be able to sell only a handful of copies, or thousands of them. As you can see, the earning potential depends entirely on you – how well you choose the topic, how well you write, how well you can hype it up (marketing) and how good your network is (affiliate and joint venture sales – more on this in the archives).

What Are The Advantages?

The biggest advantage of writing and selling eBooks has got to be the fact that, once you finish writing your eBook and are past the initial hurdle of cracking into the market, it is a very passive stream of income. If you write on a topic that stays relevant for long periods of time (say, parenting advice), once you make the first few sales and build your affiliate relationships, you can just sit back, relax and watch the money keep rolling in.

The second biggest advantage of writing and selling eBooks is that it is a much easier approach to being a published author compared to writing a traditional print book. You don’t have to worry about finding an agent or sending drafts to publishers or being rejected. You don’t have to do book tours to promote your book. You just write it, edit it, market it and you are done. If you are a writer, then the “marketing” aspect may seem a bit intimidating – but believe me, it’s far easier than trying to get a print book published (See our Success Tips archives for marketing tips). That said, if your heart is set on being a published author of a print book, the experience of writing and selling eBooks will definitely provide you an edge when you start approaching publishers with your proposed print book draft.

Finally, with the eBook sales rising at a phenomenal pace, knowing how to write and sell eBooks puts you at the forefront of the next new wave. It lets you embrace new technology and you will have an edge compared to all the other writers in your niche that may have only published print books before.

And all this is in addition to the more obvious advantages – you can make money, you can share your passions, you can share your knowledge, or you can promote a cause (a lot of non-profits sell eBooks to promote their causes, and to raise money for their causes).

What Are The Disadvantages?

The biggest downside to writing and selling eBooks is that unless you train yourself well in Internet Marketing, you may not be able to make any substantial income. Unlike a print book, you do not have the backing of a publishing house or an agent to take care of the “marketing” end of it. So, you need to be much more than just a writer (or be willing to hire someone to do it for you) when you are an eBook author. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a marketing guru, then you will either need to hone your writing skills or hire someone to write that eBook for you. The bottom line is, if you want to be successful, you need to figure out how to be a good writer as well as a good marketing person. Unless you master both aspects, your success potential will be severely crippled.

And the second disadvantage, which is a much bigger issue is protecting your content from theft – whether it is from someone who plagiarizes content or from someone who tries to illegally sell you eBook and keep all the profits, or someone why finds a way to download it for “free” without offering you your fair share. As opposed to popular belief though, most people are decent. Even though there will always be some thieves, the number of decent, paying customers far outweigh the thieves making it worthwhile for most eBook authors to continue trying to write and sell eBooks.

What Types of eBooks Sell?

You can write an eBook on pretty much any topic that you fancy. But if your intention is to make money, you need to do some research on the topic of your choice. A quick Google search, or some keyword analysis with a tool like Market Samurai, can help you narrow the area to write about. Following it up with a search on Amazon, can give you an idea of what products are already available out there. eBay is another place to look. And finally, the clickbank marketplace provides a lot of information as well.

EBooks on popular subjects like self-help, healthy lifestyle, world issues (current events), online marketing, making money online, SEO, and learning a trade are all great sellers. You could also try your hand at writing fiction. The world of self-publishing is opening a lot of doors to writers who cannot find a publishing company willing to take a chance on them.

All in all, writing and selling eBooks is one of those money making ideas that requires passion, talent, marketing know-how, and a bit of a risk, but if you can come up with an eBook people will pay to read, you could potentially make a lot of money.

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  1. I would definitely urge people to try writing ebooks.

    A couple of tips: I would submit first to Smashwords (if your work is original) as they handle the formatting for the ipad and the nook, plus they’ll get you an isbn number.

    Then submit the book to kindle (but take the trouble to turn it into a prc file using the free mobipocket creator software, so it looks good). When uploading to kindle, make sure you put in the isbn you got from smashwords (so they know this is a proper original work).

    • Sam Baker says:

      Rose, Those are some great tips! I will have to look into smashwords – I am not very familiar with it. I have been toying with the idea of turning some of the posts on this blog into an eBook. I will definitely keep these tips in mind when I do.

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